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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)

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


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
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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.

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Mon May 14, 2018 1:01 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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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)

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:48 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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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

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:01 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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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)

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:02 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
It's been a while since our last session due to various reasons including work, life, and plain ol' Murphy deciding to screw with me. But the time for the next session finally came.

And we have a new (new) player. The party now consists of;
Winifred von Cheswick – Dwarf Witch Hunter F; Level 1
Rose Grace – Bastini Animator F; Level 1 (plus two small puppets)
Bruce – Half Ogre Mystic Warrior M; Level 1

The next morning at the Gatehouse Inn found Winifred and Rose enjoying a quiet breakfast in the tap room while pondering their next steps. A quiet that was soon broken by a loud commotion on the road in front of the inn with the town guards yelling at someone. Trying not to get involved, the girls ignored the ruckus that quickly quieted down. A ruckus that was caused when the guards saw a raggedly dressed half-ogre wandering up the road to the town gates and demanded that he halt and state his business as friend of foe. Bruce stated that he was a friend and was just out wandering because he got bored at home. The younger of the two gate guards lost the non-verbal argument between them about who would perform the close inspection of the half-ogre. Finding nothing of any import and seeing that the traveler did indeed have some money the guards reluctantly let Bruce enter the inn.

Winifred and Rose noticed when the very tall and homely Bruce entered; a notice that was anything but good natured or friendly. Winifred spent some time glaring daggers at Bruce while Rose tried to ignore him. Bruce obtained a space in the common room on the second floor for the evening and sat back people watching for a while. Winifred, having finished her meal and objecting to the half-ogre, returned to her room to rest up, the two girls having decided to check things out around town once night had fallen. Bruce tired of his people watching some time later and went to the common room to meditate. Rose, being a typical Bastini, decided to go wandering around town to check things out and ended up taking a short walk on the narrow beach below the village. She returned a couple hours later having found nothing of interest and only seven businesses in the entire village.

That evening, a table boy came round the rooms informing patrons that dinner was being served in the tap room. Winifred, Rose, and Bruce all descended to enjoy a free bowl of fish stew and fresh bread, though they sat at different tables. Just after dinner, Rose felt something tugging on her tale. Incensed, she stood and turned, ready to verbally flay the offender only to see a small little girl of around three or four years old in pig tales giving her a gap-toothed smile. Her first words to Rose were “fuzzy” along with the grin. A short conversation about tail etiquette ensued before the girl’s mother came bustling over apologizing for Rosalind’s, her daughter, behavior with much stammering and embarrassment. When Winifred, trying to be friendly and put the locals at ease, mentioned their mission to look into rumors of walking animal skeletons, Rosalind blurted out that she had seen those near their farm which was Southwest of the village. Her mother tried playing things off as the imagination of a child and hustled the little girl off quickly, departing soon after with her husband and other children in tow.

Having seen and overheard the discussion, Bruce took this opportunity to introduce himself and ask if he could come too seeing as how he had nothing better to do and it sounded interesting. This got him a face full of scorn from Winifred but after several minutes of heated and not-so-heated dialogue from Rose and he, Winifred grudgingly gave her consent stressing that if she said jump he better be in the air before asking how high. Hours later, the trio departed the village with the gate guards admonishing them to be careful because even these parts were dangerous at night. Giving their assurances that all was fine the trio headed southwest towards the area that Rosalind had mentioned her farm was at, hoping to find a clue about the animal skeletons. About 5 miles from town, they got their clue when a wolf skeleton lunged from some bushes along the roadside and sank its fangs deeply into Rose’s leg. Winifred and Bruce attacked without being able to do more than drive the skeleton back away from Rose. Rose sent her bobcat puppet to attack the skeletal wolf while she applied some wound paste to her leg only to see her puppet torn apart like a hated chew toy. A short combat saw the wolf skeleton defeated from hits by both Rose and Bruce.

The trio opted to continue on with Winifred using her dark vision to track the skeletal wolf’s trail hoping to find its origins. She lost the trail in some rocky ground after an hour. While looking around and pondering, the girls both saw a flash of distant light and what looked to be a tower silhouette rising above some distant trees. Rather than head to the tower, the trio wisely returned to town while leaving markers so they could retrace their steps during the day. They managed to make it back just before the inn gates were closed for the night as the guards withdrew inside to keep watch from the towers above the walls.

The next morning after a late breakfast of porridge, the trio once again decided to head out, though they were told about an abandoned cloister to the north, northeast of the village and how before it was abandoned the goodness of the Lady there kept the area safe from evil by the guards. Shocked at this news, the trio had a short discussion which ended in them following their original plan of retracing their steps from the previous night. Doing so found that they had veered more east than south while following the tracks of the skeletal wolf. The tower that they had seen was visible and seemed to be a steeple with something metal in it. The group made their way across country through some wild woods and several meadows before emerging upon an old overgrown cart track opposite an overgrown orchard of some sort with black fruits (over ripe olives). Winifred’s thumbs started twitching near the orchard, so the group armed themselves and Rose set out her mini-unicorn puppet.

As they closed on the orchard, three twigglings rushed out and began attacking with some ferocity. By the time the fight was over and the twigglings lay crushed and splinted from Bruce’s club, all three of the group were badly wounded and in no shape to continue. Rose wanted to camp within the burnt out shelf of a building visible just up the path but was out voted and the trio camped in a meadow an hour back along the route they had traveled. Camping for several days while their wounds healed and Rose re-built her bobcat puppet they three adventurers got a bit closer and put the hostility behind them. Mostly. Bruce killed a grass viper early the second morning while on watch then grossed the other two out when he cooked it up and had it for lunch. Rose took the skin hoping to use it for a future puppet.

Once healed and recovered, the trio returned to the olive orchard and followed the path around and up a small hill. Not only was there an overgrown olive orchard, but a walled garden, the burned out house, an overgrown apple orchard with a worm ridden crop due to lack of care, the chapel tower, barns, and fields. All looked like they had not been cared for in many years. Rose spotted several vegetables and strawberries growing wild in the garden and convinced the other two to help her harvest enough to fill out the rations they had used while camping. Free food she noted. They managed to harvest several pounds of carrots, onions, summer squash, strawberries, and a couple water melons. During this time, Winifred’s thumbs began to twitch for a moment before subsiding just as quickly as they had started. Alarmed, the group proceeded to the barn cautiously, not wanting to enter the cloister building just yet. In a side shed off the barn they found a bellows pump and well head that they used to refill their nearly empty water skins.
Winifred asked Rose and Bruce to go with her to check out a lone tree with something below it she had seen while the group headed to the barn. Upon further investigation, the trio found that the tree sheltered the Stone tomb of a Lady Iradine Requae, priestess of the Lightbringer according to the symbol on her likeness that was carved atop the tomb and inscription at its foot. The area under the tree had a feeling of pureness and tranquility that the orchards, garden, and barn were lacking.

Girding themselves, the trio prepared to enter the cloister building through the main doors of iron bound oak. Bruce tried and failed pushing them open. Rose looked at him in amusement then pulled the door open by herself only for her and Winifred to nearly vomit from the rolling wave of corruption that seemed burst from within the room beyond. Bruce remained blissfully ignorant and stuck his head inside. What they found was a rubble strewn room with a very high ceiling. A busted up marble statue, its remnants littering the floor of the entire room, was at the opposite side from the doors with ochre yellow tapestries hanging from the wall behind it. Trails through the dust gave evidence to others having been here before, all leading to a single iron bound door exiting through the center of the right hand wall. After checking the chamber out thoroughly and finding nothing of note, the smaller door was opened and a hall revealed. Session End.

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:28 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3614
Location: Keizer, OR
Post Re: Shield Manor Campaign
(Continuing to explore within the ‘abandoned’ cloister – Session Start)

Party: Winifred - Dwarf Witch Hunter F, Lvl 1; Rose - Bastini Animator F, Lvl 1; Bruce - Half Ogre Mystic Warrior M, Lvl 1

Looking down the hall, both Bruce and Winifred could see a door in the opposite wall just past a side hall. It looked as though the hall turned in the opposite direction at the door. Rose sent her bobcat puppet into the side hall after a short discussion with her companions. Getting no reaction from anything that may have been watching for intruders, the trio proceeded cautiously forward though the not quite whispered bantering did little to hide their presence to any with a keen ear. Rose paused to ready and light her lantern so that she could see within the pitch black hallways. The ever present oppressive aura of corruption was bad enough without the darkness as well.

The group could see that the hall opened into some larger area several tens of feet farther down. Two 5’x7’ wood doors were spaced along the right hand wall with another at the end of the hall past the widened area. Bruce approached the first door while the others watched, wary of enemy attack. The door itself opened easily showing a small room that smelled rather bad and a pair of moth-eaten grey curtains. A quick check behind the first revealed this room to be a two stall ‘water closet’ and the rank odor from old partially full bucket under each bench. The trio hastily left the room and decided to check the open area since they could see a bit of furniture in their line of sight not blocked by the wall cornering. What they found was a comfortable looking lounging area with a long sofa, overstuffed chair, foot stool, and low table. Unfortunately they also found a very aggressive ursine skeleton that wasted no time in rousing itself to attack.

Bruce reacted quickly, taking a first strike that barely grazed the undead beast. Unfortunately he suffered a moderate bite wound to his leg in return. The battle commenced with the bear doing little damage before being overwhelmed. However, the commotion caused by the fight brought a quartet of snarling goblins from the room beyond yet another 5’x7’ wood door. A snap shot from Rose’s slingshot caused the leading goblin to stagger while Winifred let loose with her flail, crushing its nearby compatriot. Rose’s bobcat had been crushed by the bear so she ordered her unicorn to attack and attack it did, goring through the heart of the goblin she had wounded to finish it off. Meanwhile Winifred was suffered a nearly fatal strike to her head by the third goblin while Bruce struggled to work his way around the brawl so he could join into the fight. Rose and her puppet pulled back to let Bruce move to support the badly wounded Winifred. His first strike crushed one of the two remaining goblins with a single blow. That was too much for the last goblin which turned and fled back into through the door they had entered from, slamming it shut after passing through.

Winifred was not quite quick enough to take advantage of the turn tail so it got away clean. Rose quickly used the last of her wound paste and applied some minor first aid to the dwarf witch hunter. A quick search of the sitting area and sharp discussion between the three adventurers had them pursue the goblin lest it have more fellows it could summon or worse. Deciding it was safer to finish it off before they withdrew to recover from their injuries. Bruce opened the door while Rose sent her puppet in first to attack. The goblin was cowering at the far end of the room which looked to have been a dormitory or barracks at one point given the several bunk beds present. The unicorn managed to wound the goblin but not before being badly damaged. Rose and Winifred rushed in and opened fire with the slingshot and crossbow, both missing widely. Bruce followed behind managed to crush the goblin beneath his club yet again. A quick search of the room found nothing but the pot of a low stakes game of bones. Pocketing the few dozen coins, the trio withdrew from the cloister building with an audible sigh of relief upon exiting the main doors and escaping the stifling aura of evil that pervades the building.

Not wanting to go far, the trio opted to set camp near the Lady Cleric’s tomb beneath the old tree nearby to take advantage of any protection offered by the holy aura that still existed around it. A fortuitous choice as it would turn out. The first night went by without incident and the trio spent the following day lazing about, repairing and scavenging a few materials for new puppets to build. Thing One was created that day. That night, not even an hour past sunset passed before the trio was approached by the zombie bodies of the goblin quartet they had slain previously. Their gamble about the holy aura of the crypt held true and they were able to defeat the zombies easily but not before Rose tried to play grappler with one in an attempt to pull it into the holy zone to see if it would be damaged. Instead, the zombie pulled her out of the protected area and the unengaged goblin zombie dealt her a blow that nearly broke her back. It did break her nerve and under cover of Winifred’s crossbow and Bruce’s club, Rose hid in the tent in fear of her near fatal mistake. Eventually the zombies were dealt with and Rose managed to contribute with her slingshot from a distance.

A few hours later during the next watch, a pair of skeletons showed up and began throwing fairly large rocks at the trio once stopped by the holy protections present. Before both skeletons were slain, none of the intrepid trio could be considered healthy and whole. Fortunately the remainder of the evening passed without further incident. The next day was spent making another puppet, Thing Two, and resting and recovering as much as possible. Rather than flee, the foolish…errr…brave adventurers decided to hold out another night near the crypt. A night that was blissfully silent if not passed with baited breath and high tension. The next day was much the same with Rose building a Fox puppet with the last of her materials on hand. With four puppets present to serve as light combatants, the trio felt safe enough to spend one more night at the campsite with plans to resume their search of the abandoned building the next day. Again, the night passed peacefully.

Re-entering the cloister building, Rose lit her lamp immediately. The trio decided to check out the door past the side hall first this time. Finding the iron bound oak door securely locked, Bruce and Rose both tried to break it down by force. An exercise in utter futility if there ever was one and all they accomplished was to bruise shoulders and damage pride. The hall opposite the door extended away to a larger open area beyond their light. A couple of narrow doors visible in the side walls towards its end. The three decided to return to check out the other doors near the lounge area where the bear had been, though in passing, they found doors they had left open had been closed and the remains of their enemies no longer present from the few days previously. Even the remains of the bobcat puppet had been removed.

The first door checked found the trio in an old bathing room. Both wooden tubs warped and rotting, the iron plumbing rusted to uselessness, forgotten towels moth-eaten and the soap bars crumbled to dust.

The other door revealed a narrow stair rising as it turned around the central core of the tower. Following the stairs upwards, the group found themselves in yet another waiting room like area, though the window here had been bricked up somewhat recently leaving the small room in darkness. Bruce inadvertently broke a weak and rusted lock on the first door of the two present in the room. Beyond was an empty and bare office with only worn and dusty furniture present. The opposite door led off to a living area full of comfortable furniture, bricked up windows, and two skeletons with threshing flails standing to either side of yet another 5’x7’ door at the end of the room. The repaired unicorn was sent forward to test the reactions of the skeletons, both of which remained motionless until the unicorn was within just over a dozen feet from them at which point they attacked and crushed the small puppet. Once the puppet was dealt with, the skeletons ignored the group and returned to their original positions. Rose and Winifred used their missile weapons to open fire from outside of the reaction range only to both miss once again. Bruce and the three remaining puppets intercepted them as the skeletons responded to the hostilities. What resulted couldn’t even be considered a fight with Bruce and Winifred destroying the first skeleton almost immediately and the puppets and Rose holding off the second that was also finished off in short order.

Beyond the door the three found a bedroom, the bed unmade and the sheets smelling rank and stained with sweat. A bare night stand covered in wax drops was on the far side of the bed while an old armoire was near the door. Winifred found old worn clothing in dark colors and a pair of worn boots within it. She also checked the pockets of the clothing while Bruce and the puppets stood watch and Rose checked over the night stand, Winifred found nothing and then began checking the bed. Again, nothing found until it occurred that she had not checked the boots. A folded up parchment was stuffed into the left boot and covered a hole. Closer inspection found the parchment to be made of human skin and covered in illegible writing in dark brown ink smelling faintly of blood and brimstone. A single human signature at the bottom next to an illegible one read Anthony Duwalish. Pocketing it, the trio left the room and proceeded up the next flight of the winding stairway.

The three emerged into a well lit chamber, a statue of the Light Bringer in all his glory between stained glass windows and goldenrod colored tapestries driving back the rank corruption pervading the lower levels of the tower. Winifred spotted a small secret panel in the base of the statue. Within the concealed cubby was a sunburst shaped iron key which she quickly removed. Two narrow doors were present and were quickly investigated. The first revealed a private bathing area with a corroded copper tub and rusting plumbing before another stained glass window. The second door opened into a small store room with a few old supplies decayed into uselessness and also being lit by the daylight streaming through a stained glass window. A search of the shelves found a small crystal vial full of liquid at the back of one of the top shelves and a dusty silver flask bearing the mark of the Light Bringer shoved into a back corner on the lower shelves, also full of liquid. Rose made comment that it was probably holy water given the symbol on the flask as well as its material. It was at that point that the three all noticed the smell of something smoldering in a brimstone type way. Winifred realized it was coming from her!

She quickly divested herself of the folded human parchment, tossing it onto the stone alter before the Light Bringer. The lettering became almost cinder-like and the burning smell stronger as if it wasn’t quite ready to combust. Several minutes of panicky discussion and confusion about what to do found Winifred and Rose agreeing to pour some of the suspected holy water on to the parchment and see what happened. The results were nearly explosive.

The parchment flared into a ball of light and flame scorching the altar stone black and causing everyone in the room to have spots dancing before their strobe struck eyes. Seconds later the building began to shake and a feeling of inescapable doom crawled over the room like flowing honey, thick and cloying. A deep reverberating voice full of malicious gloating and promises of torment echoed from somewhere below.

“The contract is broken. You are MINE Anthony Duwalish.” The voice roared victoriously.

Its fading diabolical laughter was countered by a spine chilling wail full of agony and horror, “NOOOoooooooooooooo……” which faded away along with the laughter, the creeping terror, and earthquake.

The three adventures looked pale, sweaty, and had a major WTF just happened look on their faces…when the soot covering the altar stone began to turn into golden motes of light rising into the air. Grabbing weapons and readying for whatever the heck else was coming at them, the trio watched as the light motes formed into the incandescent image of an elderly woman in clerical robes. She smiled gently at them and nodded before fading away leaving her blessing of thanks behind her. With yet another round of stunned and lost looks…(Session Ends)

(CK Notes: The Players were actually sweating several times during this session with the events in the tower chapel having them in an actual worried and creeped out frame of mind. Rather fitting for the season I think. (evil grin) ) More to come next month with more of the cloister left to explore...hehehee)

_________________
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."


Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:30 am
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