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Shield Manor Campaign 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
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Location: Keizer, OR
Post Shield Manor Campaign
Well, having had most of those saying they wanted to play as no shows, I had to scrap my intended Steeldale Campaign and pull out an old old beginners campaign called Shield Manor. I've ran scores of players through this dungeon over the last 23 years as an intro into AD&D...and now, it's C&C's turn.

Players:
Atheran - Elf Druid F; lvl 1 (player age: 23+/1)
Amber - Bastini Illusionist F; lvl 1 (player age: 11)

(yeah, it's a squishy party so far)

The players started out within the town of Laketon in the Barony of Morue, located at the far east end of Long Lake (think the Great Lakes for size), a town of of halfling farmers and small trade port notable only for being the gateway into the wilds of the Gale Mts and Sandy Hills...and raising goats. Lots and lots of goats. Atheran and Amber ran into each other at the doors to the Academe', one seeking clues as to the whereabouts of the parents that abandoned her in the forest over 150 years ago, the other seeking her two missing younger brothers that left her clan to be adventurers. Bob, the on duty guard directed them to the office of Missy, a rather harried middle aged clerk-cum-secretary for the Headmaster of the Academe'. Missy was unable to help Atheran but did have records of Thomas, the youngest of Amber's brothers having trained there for a while and departing towards a well known local ruin called Shield Manor with a party of other adventurers. However, none of them are known to have returned and it has been nearly half a year.

The girls split up after agreeing to meet at the Academe' the next morning, Atheran to meet with the headmaster before joining Amber in going to investigate this Shield Manor place. Atheran found a nice patch of light woods in which to meditate for several hours while Amber obtained lodgings at the Piebald Possum (and fleeing the bombastic halfing proprietor, Newt, as soon as she could) before going to the Laughing Badger tavern to inquire about her other brother Evan. She managed to both insult the tavernkeep and a pair of sailors that were entering, resulting her fleeing to prevent herself from suffering severe bodily harm from the angry sailors. Spending time wandering around the town she eventually went to the Behind the Hill Tavern and seeking to earn a few coins to fill an all but empty purse helping the farmers. Atheran had much the same idea only she sought to assist the local herb merchant with packaging things for shipment, earning a package of tea leaves and another of rosemary. As evening fell, Amber returned to the Piebald Possum to enjoy her bowl of squirrel stew before retiring for the evening in the stables, lacking the funds needed for an actual room. Atheran returned to her spot in the woods and set up a meager campsite hoping the goats would not be bothering her as much through the night as they had during the morning. (end session)

_________________
"Among humans the only difference between death and irrelevancy is a heartbeat."
"In a lonely world of silence a smile becomes a symphony."
"C'mon guys, grow a backbone. It's only ONE stupid kobold!"


Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:43 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3597
Location: Keizer, OR
Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Shield Manor- Second Session:

The next morning, each of the ladies awoke where they had bedded down. Amber, in the Piebald Possum's stable was awoke by the crowing of the roosters and arrival of the stable boys caring for the animals of those within the inn. Atheran, at her campsite in the woods amidst the distant roosters crowing and a few goats looking for nibblies. Amber partook of the inn's fare, simple bread and cheese while being relieved that Newt was not a morning person himself and Atheren scavenging some forest mushrooms and raiding a few squirrel caches for nuts which she ate over a small fire. Whiling away the morning, the girls met up at the Academe for Atheren's meeting with the headmaster, Helmant Tor, to inquire of their records about her mother from 150 years ago. Headmaster Tor, being human, had no clue as it was in the time of Headmistress Beral-li. He promised some sort of answer within a week if she would return. While this was happening inside the Academe, Amber sat outside near the road watching the thin man in robes reading his book where Bob had been sitting guard the day before.

Atheran exited the building and the two decided to venture into the forest and check out this Shield Manor ruin they had been hearing about from the locals. Without much preparation, the two departed and a few hours later found themselves outside of a pair of partially destroyed and aging wooden buildings. One an apparent inn (The Golden Shield ) and the other a bow roofed stable. Checking out the stable first, they found an old carriage room with some mushrooms growing near the back walls. Atheren recognized them as being poisonous but chose to pick some anyways for possible future use. It was at this unguarded moment that a quartet of giant rats burst from their fungus covered burrow and attacked. Both ladies were badly bitten before Amber managed to scare three of them off and Atheren killed the fourth with a blow from her staff. Forging on, they found nothing else in the stables other than the skeletal remains of a long dead equine of some sort. Likely a horse.

They chose to enter the main building through the large hole left when the rear corner of both floors of the building was destroyed by something big. Inside was a bare common room with a weak, creaking wooden floor that bowed slightly under each step. Forging in further, the two found the debris strewn kitchen and the remains of a rusting damaged pot belly stove. Their attention was diverted from the ruin when Amber detected something foul in the air. Like rotting meat...and then, with her attention focused on the surroundings a bit more, heard the drone of many flies. The two followed her nose through the wreckage that was once the rear wall of the kitchen to the tree line where they discovered a pile of nearly a dozen bodies of various races stripped and rotting. The flies and other scavengers of the forest having been hard at work on cleaning up the corpses. Steeling themselves, the two sifted through the bodies trying to make sure that Amber's brothers ere not potentially among them. They weren't.

Retreating back inside, the two ignored the narrow stairs descending to the cellar next to the kitchen entry and instead made their way up a dangerously rickety set of stairs to the equally weak floored second floor. They poked through a few rooms before breaking down one of the few remaining intact doors present in the building. The room was relatively clean if not dusty with cobwebs about...and a large patch of yellow-gold mold growing up the rear wall and across part of the floor. It was at this point that Atheren made a fatal error in judgment. Not realizing what the mold was though recognizing it as unnatural (failing her identify check) she drew close and poked it with her finger. Spores were released into the air as well as taking root in her hand and a failed save or two later she collapsed to the floor dead, her lungs and throat clogged with mold and most of her right arm overgrown and still growing.

Amber, in a panic and unable to save her friend despite her frantic, choking pleas for help, fled the room and down the stairs as fast as she could, forgetting about the dangerous condition of the stairs themselves. Halfway down the stairs gave way sending her plummeting to the floor below only to break through the weak rotting floor boards as well and crashing in a broken, bloody, and quite deceased heap across the cellar floor. Thus ended the short careers of the druid Atheren and illusionist Amber. TPK! :twisted:

The girls rolled up new characters in the hour left of the session...creating a Dwarven Witch Hunter and a Bastini Animator (my daughter likes cat girls-eye roll). More information them in June after our next session.

_________________
"Among humans the only difference between death and irrelevancy is a heartbeat."
"In a lonely world of silence a smile becomes a symphony."
"C'mon guys, grow a backbone. It's only ONE stupid kobold!"


Mon May 14, 2018 1:01 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3597
Location: Keizer, OR
Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
It's been a while, but here is the most recent session report:

Players: Winifred von Cheswick - Dwarf Witch Hunter F; Level 1
Rose Grace - Bastini Animator F; Level 1 (plus 1 small puppet)

Shield Manor Take 2 – A new party:

Winifred Von Cheswick, dwarven female Witch Hunter, arrived in Laketon aboard the Schooner Storm Raven along with other passengers, cargo, and mail from the far off city of Balidor in hopes of both finding evil to vanquish, gold to gather, and escaping those pursuing her for a murder she was framed for by parties as yet unknown. Her first order of business was to find a replacement for the crossbow she was forced to abandon during her hectic flight from Trondahl north to Balidor. After first checking the local general store, she was directed by Shopkeeper Longtoe to Shrift’s, the local bowyer and Fletcher. Mister Longtoe did not warn her that Shrift was a gruff half-orc with the personality of a peeved porcupine on a hot plate.

Deciding that the crossbow was more important than indulging in any personal animosity, Winifred managed to not only barter for a second hand light crossbow, but also the bolts and a quiver for far less than what might have been charged. Shrift essentially told her that he would likely end up with it back at some point seeing as she was one of them stupid adventuring types. He shared a bit of local rumors about a cursed island, a long abandoned crypt, and of course the Shield Manor which tended to eat fool treasure hunters like they was sausages. With a less than cordial good-bye, mutual between them, the hairless (and more importantly, beardless) dwarf female made her way back to the Piebald Possum in search of refreshment and lodging.

Meanwhile, Rose Grace, bastini female Animator, arrived at the north edge of Laketon in the company of several small traders that had banded together on their journey from Nordell where Rose had joined them. Rose was fleeing a rather disagreeable marriage arranged by her father the chief of the Grace Clan as part of a political power play and thought to seek out a former friend heard to have been in the area. Rose sought out the inn to obtain lodgings and food immediately, opting for the catch of the day, fresh bread, and a cup of mead. Ironically, the catch of the day was baked catfish which creeped her out as it seemed to stare at her accusingly from the plate.
While she ate and tried to ignore the innkeep’s incessant banter with other patrons, Winifred arrived and promptly sat at the counter, ordering an cup of mead to take the taste of shipboard life out of her mouth. It wasn’t long before she had engaged Newt into a discussion about local trouble spots and locals known for undead sightings. There was the cursed island with its glowing lights amidst the tumbled stones of a ruined town where an entire army was reputed to have vanished, the ancient crypts now in disuse with rumored miles of tunnels beneath the Sandy Hills, the Shield Manor and its overgrown estate within the forest several miles distant, and a comment about something not quite right about things involving the Baron and his castle.

Winifred thought a bit and made an announcement to the room seeking those who might join her in going off to deal with some of these evil places. Rose, just finishing her meal, immediately stood up and expressed her interest. She joined Winifred at the counter and bought the dwarf another cup of mead as they began to feel each other out with barbs and banter. Eventually, the two left to seek out more information at the Academe’ as well as looking for someplace that might sell a sleeping potion to help Rose deal with persistent nightmares of what Winifred tentatively identified as a werewolf or similar.

The two got directions from Newt to the Academe’ and were soon at its doors which were guarded by a human male in non-descript clothes identifying himself as Bob. The two asked about Rose’s friend and found that she had been here several weeks past seeking her brothers then departed for the Shield Manor. She has not returned and is presumed to have perished. When asked about the manor, Bob had much information to impart about some of its history, what creatures have been found by those that made it back, and other tidbits. He also had some stories about the cursed island and advised the two ladies to avoid it unless they were feeling mostly suicidal. Bob told them a little about Deadman Swamp and the dragon that supposedly ruled it as well as about the Griffons and Harpies of the Shrieking Mountains. When asked about the Academe’ library, he directed the two to see Missy and provided quick directions to her office.

Missy received the two cordially, answered a few questions about Rose’s friend that Bob had already provided to them, and processed the paperwork and day use fees for their time in the school library. They were to show their passes to the librarian.
The library was a 20’x30’ room lined with walls with only a couple small square tables and chairs in the center. An elderly man in robes at the back of the room scribbled away at something on his scribe’s desk with quill and ink. As Winifred greeted him, the ladies found that this old man was as hard of hearing as he was getting to tell them something useful. Finally they were pointed to books on local creatures, ruins, and history which they spent a few hours looking through and reading up on items related to the Shield Manor and local beasties.

On the way back to the inn, they stopped at the Hospice just up the road from the Academe’ and obtained some sleeping draughts for Rose. The matron Halfling healer cautioned Rose that she was to only take one dose as needed per day. The potion itself was highly addictive and could cause her serious problems if misused. Winifred, taking advantage of having one of the healers present, asked about the possibility of obtaining healing potions or other potentially life-saving curatives. She was told that the hospice had no such potions but they did have some herbal based remedies that might help. Wound Paste and a general ointment that was good for burns, fungal infections, and some poisons. Winifred bought two of each while Rose bought one of each herself. After paying for the sleep potion and curatives, the two ladies decided to call it a day for their explorations about town.

It was late in the afternoon when the two returned to the Piebald Possum for dinner and retiring to their room early for the night to prepare for their sojourn to the infamous Shield Manor on the morrow.

(next session will be July 14th)

_________________
"Among humans the only difference between death and irrelevancy is a heartbeat."
"In a lonely world of silence a smile becomes a symphony."
"C'mon guys, grow a backbone. It's only ONE stupid kobold!"


Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:48 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3597
Location: Keizer, OR
Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Info on the stuff picked up at the Hospice:

Wound Paste: Non-magical herbal based coagulant and binder. Can be applied to any minor wound (not significant enough to require stitches or worse) with a one time effect (per combat encounter/wound) of healing 1d3 points of damage. One container holds four applications. 10 gp

General Ointment: Non-magical herbal & charcoal based topical pain-killing disinfectant and anti-toxin. If applied to burns, rashes, fungal infections, non-magically poisonous bites/stings within two rounds of the wound/infection occurring it will heal 1 point of damage and grant a +2 bonus to any CON save required as a result. One container holds two applications. 20 gp

_________________
"Among humans the only difference between death and irrelevancy is a heartbeat."
"In a lonely world of silence a smile becomes a symphony."
"C'mon guys, grow a backbone. It's only ONE stupid kobold!"


Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:01 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3597
Location: Keizer, OR
Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
(CK Note: The players are learning! – Session Start)

The intrepid duo of Winifred and Rose woke the next day; as they were partaking of their breakfast they were approached by a rather grizzled and travel worn human donkey peddler who identified himself as Reggie, a simple traveling merchant that frequented the towns and villages along the South Trade Road between Laketon and Kupross to the west. Reggie inquired if Winifred was indeed looking for rumors and tales of unnatural happenings or things not normally seen in the light of day. Winifred affirmed that she was indeed interested in such tales and went a bit on her guard.

Reggie smiled and then told her and Rose about his sightings of what looked to be moving animal skeletons skulking around a couple of the farm roads near Walfort a few days west. Small things like canines or large cats, he wasn’t quite sure just that bones weren’t supposed to be moving on their own like that. He pleaded with Winifred to check things out and make sure nothing was dangerous since some of his best customers were in that area and he did not want to see anyone hurt. (Especially his coin purse.) Winifred agreed that she and Rose would look into it as soon as they could getting a smile from Reggie as he took his leave.

After some discussion with Rose and securing a promise from her that once they had completed their business of finding out the fate of Rose’s clanswoman, Amber, they would go to Walfort and investigate Reggie’s story. Rose agreed and both of the ladies (cough) left town an hour later headed for the much talked about Shield Manor in the forest. A few hours later, the two came to the building ruins of an old inn and collapsing stable. As they approached, Winifred’s thumbs began twitching warning her of the presence of evil in the nearby area. Unable to get a direction, the two decided to investigate the badly damaged and rotting inn.

Unable to tell the age or types of tracks in the mess covering the main room floor on the ground level, Rose pressured Winifred to check out the upstairs. Halfway up, the two encountered a gaping four foot wide section of stairway missing. Looking down, they saw that the hole continued through a lower set of stairs to a lit room below, a large stain on the floor. From its color Winifred assumed it was likely blood. A lot of blood. She wanted to go find out why the cellar was lit and what had bled all over in such a manner. Rose insisted the proceed upwards however, though the gaping hole before them impeded further progress.

The two returned to the ground floor and then searched around the room and old stable for something suitable to bridge the hole with. Winifred tested one of the old planks from the destroyed stable doors by bashing it against the wall only to have it break into several pieces and dust as if it was old cottage cheese press. Winifred realized the bar was still in good shape, and after closer inspection, she found that the bar top was indeed solid teak and still very sturdy. Both her and Rose managed to pry a section of the counter top up and carried the very heavy board up the stairs. After nearly half an hour, they managed to move it into position and bridge the gap on the stairs with it. Walking up the smooth, steeply inclined surface was itself a difficult task and took both of the ladies several minutes to manage. Eventually, they made it to the stop of the stairs, covered in sweat and breathing hard, but in one piece.

They found themselves in a dark, narrow hallway with most of the doors and walls surrounding said doors, busted in, the rooms beyond strewn with debris. The first room even had most of the rear wall missing and Winifred thought she saw a pile of something just within the brush line before having to retreat from the dangerously weak floor edge. Further along the corridor they encountered a room covered in a brown-gold dust and a large, body-sized mound of golden mold with a few bones sticking out. A larger patch of mold grew over the far wall deeper within the room. Both of the girls retreated quickly sensing that this place was more dangerous than it looked. (evil snicker)

Farther down the hall, they found another room with almost half of the room missing along with the far corner walls of the building. A three foot diameter moss covered boulder rested against a slightly busted wall near the door, the floor beneath it sunken several inches from its weight and the weakening aged and rotting wood planking. Reaching the end of the hallway with yet another small room missing part of its wall, the two encountered two closed doors. Rather than walk into something dangerous, the girls decided to retreat downstairs and investigate the cellar.

Going down the stairs and gap plank was much easier than going up. Though they found the stairs down to the cellar and could see that something had been dragged from the blood stain now that they were closer in view, the gap in the lower stairs similar to those above, again hindered their progress. With a bit of exasperation, the dwarf and bastini girls retrieved their bridge from the upper stairs and managed to bridge the gap in the lower stairs with a bit less effort. Reaching the lower landing, Winifred stopped Rose from going further, her thumbs feeling like they were twitching madly. A quick, quiet discussion had Rose send her puppet cat down the stairs alone while Winifred readied her light crossbow and waited. The puppet cleared the ceiling and was halfway to the cellar floor when several voices let out epithets and roughly dressed and scarred people came into view, armed to the teeth. A half-orc male with a badly notched hand axe was first to reach them, racing ahead of his six other visible companions.

A quick slash, and the puppet cat was bisected into inanimate chunks of twigs, string, and wax by the half-orc’s axe. A half-elf woman with two short swords was right behind him, followed by a human in leather with a staff, his right eye covered by a patch. Others crowded around the bottom of the narrow stairs as well, unable to proceed up other than singly.

The half-orc missed his first swing at Winifred who immediately fired her crossbow into his gut at point blank range. It only served to enrage the evil creature. Rose fired her reinforced slingshot and missed the half-orc (and fortunately Winifred as well). Due to the crowd below she did manage to wound the one-eyed staff bearer somewhat. The next blow from Winifred’s foe was brutal and nearly killed her on the spot. Rose, thinking quickly, crowded behind her friend and slathered a large amount of healing paste over the gaping wound as best she could. Winifred dropped her crossbow trusting the dummy cord securing it to her belt to keep it near and made a wild, useless swing with her flail against her dangerous greenish foe. A sword blade started being stabbed through from below the stairs by someone unseen creating even more danger for the two girls. Suffering another grievous wound after returning one in kind, Winifred was on her last legs and urged Rose to retreat upwards. Taking advantage of a bad swing by the half-orc, the girls retreated and Rose managed to dump the plank through the hole preventing the numerous brigands from following. Seeking to avenge her puppet before fleeing, Rose managed to hit the staggering half-orc between the eyes with her slingshot stone toppling him over with eyes rolled up and blood pouring from his nose and ears. While the raging brigands cleared the stairs and retrieved the makeshift bridge dumped into their cellar, the two girls ran at their best speed from the ruins, back towards town along the forest trail managing to avoid pursuit.

Several hours later, they staggered into town, Winifred pasty and covered in bloody clothing from her wounds. A couple of town guardsmen intercepted them, then assisted the two to the town Hospice where Winifred was treated and released after a steep fee. Rose reported the brigands and their actions to the guardsmen assisting them. Both of the ladies returned to their room at the Piebald Possum exhausted, tired, and sore. The next day, a troop of soldiers and mercenaries left town in force headed towards Shield Manor. They returned later that evening somewhat battered but all alive carrying several bloody sacks. The brigand’s heads were mounted on pikes near the trailhead the next morning.

Winifred spent the week recovering from her wounds while Rose puttered around town working odd jobs for the local farmers and building new puppets. A small unicorn and a bobcat as a spare this time.

After Winifred was nearly ready to travel again, a couple guardsmen stopped by the inn and rewarded the two with a small bounty of 6 gold pieces and 20 silver pieces. Surprised since they had not brought any bodies back, the guardsman told them it was for reporting the situation and the one brigand they had killed. He also told them that these brigands had been preying on newbie adventurers that sought to shelter in the old inn ruin, killing them and stripping them of all their equipment and goods. They had found the badly broken body of a female bastini in a stack of bodies just inside the brush behind the inn ruin. It had only been there a couple of weeks from what they could tell (yes, this was Amber.) The brigands themselves were failed adventurers that fled the Manor grounds. With that, the guardsmen left the inn and the two girls decided to head to Walfort to the east to investigate the skeleton rumors. Maybe they would have better luck there than they had near the Shield Manor so far.

The next day, they ate breakfast and readied to depart. When they informed Newt that they were leaving for Walfort to check on some skeleton rumors, the normally cheerful halfing innkeep became very worried. He told them about a cloister for wayward women that had been founded near there by a retired lady cleric. It was said she was such a holy person that her cloister spread an aura of holy protection over the area that evil just could not stand to be within. If undead skeletons were indeed seen moving about the area it can mean only dire things occurring at the cloister and to be on their utmost guard. The town itself he told them was a simple walled village of farmers and fishermen with the inn built into the main gate and towers. Newt wished them good travels as they left.

The three day walk to Walfort over the heavily trafficked South Trade Road went by without incident for the two adventurers. Upon reaching the village, the two paid their copper piece entry tax, told the guard they were here to investigate rumors of undead, which surprised him since he had not heard such things, and checked into the Gatehouse Inn for the night after enjoying a supper of honeyed trout, corn whiskey, fresh bread, cheese, mutton, and pressed apple juice. (Session ends)

_________________
"Among humans the only difference between death and irrelevancy is a heartbeat."
"In a lonely world of silence a smile becomes a symphony."
"C'mon guys, grow a backbone. It's only ONE stupid kobold!"


Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:02 am
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