Sunday, March 22, 2009

Side Quest #1: Ellira Investigates a Ghost

An episode from Ellira's past.

As a younger adventurer, Ellira worked for the Olemcorro arborist, Brais Lino.  As the most experienced arborist anywhere in Olemheiden, he often gets called on to investigate mysterious tree-related phenomena.  When he gets a report of a mysterious, ethereal stone statue that has suddenly appeared in the bark of Tamangawn, he sends Ellira to check it out.

At the site of the statue, Ellira uses her sensory concert ability and learns that unnatural, undead-seeming creatures are nearby, but the statue is not actually a ghost as everyone has thought.  Above a neighborhood restaurant, in a musty storeroom, Ellira is attacked by invisible creatures which she can see only in flashes.  (These later turn out to be ethereal marauders.)  Their attacks injure her, but not badly, and she manages to kill one and drive the other away with lightning.  Left in the storeroom is the mostly eaten corpse of an elf, apparently killed by the creatures.

She talks to Joris, the local bookstore owner next, and turns on her charm to the maximum, convincing him to let her look around his store.  He is taken with her, and agrees to let her snoop, but is ultimately no help with the statue.

Ellira takes a closer peek at the tree where the statue has appeared and decides to cut a hole in the tree with wood shape  and climb through.  She finds an empty shelf-lined storeroom and a passage leading away.  She also finds the statue inside.  It seems that some kind of glamer has made the statue blur around its true location, which is how the Tamangawn elves were able to see it outside of the tree.  Exploring further, she trips over a symbol of pain, and when the constables find her later, they agree to help her talk to the bookstore owner over the mysterious rooms that aren't supposed to be above his shop.  He stymies the investigation, but she is able to convince the constabulary that the statue is a real object and not a ghost by showing it to them.  Ellira explores the hidden passages, finding more traps but nothing that convincingly implicates the bookstore owner until she steals the statue and devotes several days to trying to dispel the obvious transmutation that has been cast on it.  She finally succeeds, freeing a dryad!

The dryad tells of using tree walk to travel to Tamangawn to speak to Tjaard, the local arborist and give him a message.  When she came through, she stepped on a glyph of warding and inadvertantly freed the ethereal marauders.  She promises a boon to Ellira for freeing her.

Now having a solid witness to an actual crime, Ellira recruits the local constables and then, late in the evening, she and the officers enter the closed shop and find a secret door into the back rooms.

Ellira, in a rare lapse of judgement, decides to investigate Joris herself while the constables go off to collect weapons to capture the store owner.  Behind another hidden door, she finds his hidden apartment, but he is ready for her.  They exchange words; he refuses to give himself up.  A brief magical battle ensues; he tries to hold person on her, unsuccessfully, and she tries to call lightning on him, but it is deflected by his lesser globe of invulnerability.  Finally, realizing that his crime spree is over, Joris casts teleport and carries his carefully hoarded knowledge away with him.

In return for her rescue, the dryad teaches Ellira how to cast displacement as a third-level spell.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maze of Sharps

Having been worn down by the monsters, the party decides to rest.  But they're not back in the woods yet; this is still the Glass Arcade, and danger is lurking.  As the spellcasters rest to recover their spells, Dev keeps watch, and is soon attacked by the everpresent vultures.  With a flurry of arrows he dispatches them, and except for occasionally noticing the turned ghasts watching them from afar, the remainder of the rest period passes uneventfully.

The party is then faced with crossing a worn-smooth glass tube that connects their platform to the next one.  Though the ghasts have disappeared, their threat seems ever-present.  They begin to cross to the other side, finding their a maze of some kind, its 9' tall walls made of spines of sharp glass.  Despite the danger of falling, all of the party manages to reach the other side safely . . . but one.  Tiffy still remains on the tube when the ghasts finally reappear.  One of them bounds over the wall and makes a beeline for her, taking blows along the way but pursuing her with a single-minded desire to knock her off to her doom.

As more ghasts jump over the wall and attack the party, Tiffy is forced to defend herself from the creature's attacks, surviving and managing to remain un-paralyzed until Maurice, thinking quickly, destroys it with positive healing energy, scattering its ashes over Tiffy.  Dev and Ellira take out the other two with arrows and spells, leaving the world once again in silence.

But they are not alone.  The sounds of movement and wailing and growling echo through the maze.  They begin to pursue, finding the passageways mostly empty, the only evidence of occupation a devoured vulture.  (The vultures continue to circle overhead.)  They cautiously round corner after corner, staying together for safety, and get nothing but the echoes of running feet coming from who-knows-how-far away.

Suddenly, as they round a corner, the green world goes black, the first time they have encountered darkness in this place.  A magical darkness spell has been cast and everyone is enveloped within.  As the party braces for battle, a mysterious foe attacks Tiffy, nearly killing her with a single surprise attack, and we stop here.

Game Session, 2009.03.17

Posted to Google Docs.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Glass Arcade, cont'd

After turning away a bunch of ghasts, the party collects the treasure of the creatures, having to retch only a few times at the corrupt odor hanging over it.  Once they sack away their loot, they pursue, and discover the ghasts have climbed up a series of glassy vines to the other side.

Crom, feeling bored, pursues the monsters up the vine, expecting to chase them onto another platform.  He is surprised, however, when he reaches the midpoint between the platforms and suddenly finds himself falling towards the undead monsters!  He slips and crashes to the ground.  Dev, also in hot pursuit makes the same blunder, and soon the ghasts have paralyzed both of the prone party members.  The rest of the party manages to keep disaster at bay though, for, before the killing strike lands, Maurice once again turns the creatures, and Ellira finishes the last remaining one off with a spell that renders its flesh into earthy moss.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Game Session, 2009.03.03

Posted to Google Docs.