Smugglers of Kristophan

Returning to Kristophan
There and back again...

On our return journey we were paid a visit by a whole sea of strange undead creatures (not normal undead, they were in fact strange). After fighting them off, then fighting some more of them, and then a few more just for good measure, we were in the clear. Or so we thought… DUN-DUN-DUN! When out of the clear blue sea (I am assuming the sea is blue or green) arose a rather large, fast moving ship: and they did not look like they wanted to ask us to the dance. When they got closer we launched our assault on the Vampires (that’s right, they where undead too, I am thinking we should avoid that stretch of the sea in the future). At one point the vampires tried to push some of us off the ship. The rogues and Tatsu Lung caught themselves on the railing but Vra’uul went overboard. At the last second he grabbed a stray piece of the rigging and avoided taking a swim. Otto had been kicking vampire backsides but he outdid himself by leaping back aboard and decimating the last vampire left on our ship. After some dancing we defeated all but the boss, who then retreated back into the sea with some members of the party jumping back to our ship.

Once we got to town we settled in for a nice dinner and wine (Beer for some), and were enjoying the peaceful evening, patting ourselves on our backs, when the former crew of the Aboleth is Pants decided to attack us. Us! What are they thinking? Right – they weren’t thinking, they were probably drunker than us. Us!

After Deneb made it clear what his intentions were and bringing in not only some of his crew but a big ugly dwarf with a couple of mastiffs, The Champion of the Potato Festival started things off by knocking over a table. Vra’uul sprang into action by sitting at the table and watching how intimidating Tatsu Lung was being. Gaylord Anaxarchus looked for a buxom lass to save from certain doom. What? Yes. And yes, he did save her from certain doom!

Tatsu Lung, after scaring the former Captain Deneb into wetting his drawers, decided not to even bother negotiating with the drunk fools and quickly returned 4 of them to the Raven Queens embrace, while making several others very mad. To confuse matters there were two groups of tieflings in the tavern who joined the battle and one of them said “Kill the rest but leave the dragonborn alive.” Vra’uul summoned the fanged darkness which prevented some of the assassins from coming down the stairs but not before they killed an innocent bystander. Gigantus Brutalis performed a science experiment (axe-assisted full-body cytokinesis) on one of the assassins. The experiment produced no usable scientific data but everyone agreed that it had been worth the effort. After a few of the sailors took an acid bath the rest of them including Deneb decided this was not a fight they could win and they ran away like little girls. When we had killed all but one assassin he disappeared. And the dwarf, who turned out to be Deneb’s brother, was almost killed but at the last moment Tatsu Lung decided to just knock him unconscious. As the final blow was struck the city guards showed up and tried to arrest everyone. Vra’uul resisted and this distraction allowed the rogues to slip into the VIP room and avoid being taken by the guards. The rest of the party were taken in for questioning. When things had calmed down the rogues slipped out and found another tavern in which to finish their meal.

Out intrepid heroes decided to spare the city guards’ lives and allowed themselved to be escorted to the captain of the city watch – a finely dressed fellow who appeared to think himself too sly for his own good. Through various awkward intimidation tactics and negotiations, the party agreed that in exchange for serving time in the imperial krab juice refinery, we’d deliver a messenger to the Duke of Greystaad. We also found out that the symbol being worn by the Would-be Tavern Assassins (a great band name) is in fact the coat of arms of the recently mentioned Duke of Greystaad. Conveniently enough, Greystaad is just where we planned to go anyway, so no problems. Back at the boat, we met the messenger – a 10-year old girl with a ken for being not so much with the talking.

Treasure Island part 11

Upon return of the party to the Lizardfolk village, they were received as heroes. Hukilau was held in celebration and strong drinks were consumed in moderation. Before anyone could raise their blood-alcohol level past the legal limit, the high priest of the Lizardfolk approached the party and informed them that their god had requested an audience with them. After some futile attempts to negotiate, the party only managed to garner irritation from their generous hosts. With some implied threat of force by the tribal chieftain, and the purchase of a pig for an offering, the party finally relented and was escorted to the walled in area where the god resided.

Inside the shrine, the party offered up the pig and it was gratefully received by the god which remained concealed in the dim light and low hanging branches of a large swamp tree. The god offered the party praise on its accomplishments, but the god demanded an offering of 90% of the loot if they were to be allowed to leave the island. As would be expected the party refused outright and Gigantus Brutalis rudely started to leave.

Not taking this response well, the god emerged from hiding revealing itself to be a young black dragon. It shrieked in rage (striking a few of the party members with fear) and ordered its lizardfolk followers to kill the insolent outsiders. The battle started in confusion as the party pursued a poorly considered strategy (to leave the walled shrine), but soon enough a more effective plan was adopted. After being knocked down twice by the chieftain Mungus was able to push him into the water with a Trick Strike. After the chieftain climbed back out of the water Mungus pushed him into the tentacled darkness which finished him off. Avoiding any serious injuries, the party managed to slay the dragon (as well as the chieftain) which subdued the high priest as well as the rest of the village. A treaty of sorts was worked out wherein the village agreed to always henceforth serve as a safe port for the party any time they might need to stop in. And there was much rejoicing.

Treasure Island Part 10

As the party slogged along through the marshes, burdened by the bags of treasure they had liberated from the dragon’s lair, a strange encounter unfolded. Undead creatures including spitting toads, deathjump spiders, and lizardfolk attacked the adventurers in waves, nearly killing several members of the party in the process. The group held strong though and a late show of strength won the day. The belated arrival of non-undead lizardfold arrived on the scene in the last moments of the battle and offered to escort the party back to the village and serve as pack mules for the loot. The party was obviously held in a bit of awe by the lizardfolk as they recognized the power they must possess to have stormed the kobold keep, navigated the underground labyrinth, and slain the dragon.


Treasure Island part 9

While preparing the dragon’s treasure for transport, the party discovered a prison pit where the dragon kept creatures until it was ready to eat. A lone survivor was freed and she agreed to pull her own weight in hauling the loot to the outside world. Fortunately, we found her dual scimitars and armor in the treasure pile.
After a short but difficult hike, the party saw its first sunlight in days. Unfortunately, the ShadarKai were there waiting for them. They had apparently killed off the gricks that had inhabited the mouth of the cave leading to the dragon’s lair, which was indeed a valuable service to the party. The party, however, was suspicious of their motives, and rightfully so. The ShadarKai demanded a fee for the valuable service they had provided. We declined.
While Bobilius Phett stalled for time, Vra’uul ordered both Otto and our new ranger friend into position to rush out to attack. Tatsu Lung accompanied Bobilius Phett as he moved into the cave mouth a short distance. It became apparent the ShadarKai intended to liberate our newly acquired treasure from us since we weren’t willingly paying their fee, and they attacked. They had hidden ambushers ready to strike and because the party had positioned themselves to protect the money and not each other it took several rounds and more than our fair share of blood to get better positioned.
The party learned a lesson about greed as they very nearly were sliced into tiny bite sized pieces. Tatsu Lung needed to play more defensive then he ever has and actually ran out out of healing surges. His faith in our new found party member was strengthened by her strong performance and willingness to fight (and nearly die) for us.
Unfortunately, we seemed to be distracted during the entire fight with thoughts of our shiny newly acquired loot – since we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. It was a good thing no barns were attacking us, just the ShadarKai. We couldn’t hit them much either. Vra’uul spend most of his time either immobilized or with limited vision. Otto was similarly denied free movement, and when combined with the general ineffectiveness and limited fighting space, we had several very close calls with several of the party members either going down or nearly so.
The Raven Queen did not see fit for Tatsu Lung to die just yet and sent him back to his mortal form to help send some of her followers back to her. In the end, luck smiled on them and they lived to fight for their sacks of money another day.
MNPs: Cari for actually kicking butt and Gigantus Brutalis for mimicking the Platonic Form of suck.

Treasure Island part 8

After loading up on sacks, the party made way to the dragon’s lair. On the way they had a scuffle with some Troglodytes and a Grell. Then they opened up a can on the young Red Dragon. The young nitwit dragon fell into the party’s cleverly unscripted maneuvering which kept it in place (more or less) with a devious series of glue pot sling bullets, icy terrain spells, black zone of deaths, and good ol’ fashion wallopping. Not having ever seen so much cash in one place (even if it was mostly copper), several of our heroes either basked in their own awesomeness (Gaylord, Gigantus), prayed to their puny gods (Tatsu, Bobilius), wet themselves in glee (Otto, Mungus), or brooded over the whole experience because, well that’s just what they do (Vrau’ul). Of course, some bickering over the distribution of the loot immediately began in typically surly online fashion.

MNP: Gaylord Anaxarchus for his well timed and targeted icy terrain spell which knocked the dragon out of the sky and into the devastating hurty zones and waiting weapons of the party.

Treasure Island part 7

On the way back to the shadar-kai settlement, the party encountered a small group of shadar-kai being overrun by frostclaw scorpions. Two of the shadar-kai were already down and presumed dead while the third was quickly being overwhelmed by the group of scorpions. Diving into the fray they managed to withstand quite a beating as the scorpions grabbed or stung making it hard for the party to maneuver effectively. Slowly the party managed to kill all the scorpions and even saved one of the shadar-kai (just barely, he was running towards the light!). Hauling the unconscious lump back to town they were rewarded with a magic dragon slayer weapon, for killing the kruthik hivelord, and a healing potion for the rescue of their warrior.

MNPs: Tatsu Lung, Bobilius Phett, and Otto for showing up and flirting with death.

Treasure Island part 6

The party entered the Kruthik hive and were swarmed immediately. As the first wave of critters attacked the party managed to fight their way into a good tactical formation. Bobilius Phett took advantage of the tight quarters to use his new daily power “Consecrated Ground” which served as a great minion killer as well as a mobile home base for the party since it offered some healing to bloodied characters who were in the zone. Fighting wave after wave of the critters they worked their way through the maze of tunnels to the Hive Lord. As the party neared the Hive Lord many raced ahead of Bobilius Phett and the mobile HQ, as it had been deemed, initiating contact without the support of the healing zone or their Cleric. As the rest of the party positioned themselves Vra’uul cast pointy teeth darkness and ??? at the entrance to the Hive Lord’s nook pureeing some minions and greatly irritating the Hive Lord. To the surprise of the party the Hive Lord burrowed through a side wall of his nook out into a larger area of the caverns just as Bobilius Phett happened to be coming by. With a manly girl scream Bobilius Phett positioned the mobile HQ to “block” and then ran down another side tunnel to try and reach the rest of the party. The party split into two squads One squad stayed to finish taking out the critters buy the pointy teeth darkness while the other shifted to confront the Hive Lord. As so goes the fate of many a Hive Lord the party killed it and cut off his head, and there was much rejoicing.

MNP: Bobilius Phett for his remarkably useful mobile field hospital/minefield.

Treasure Island part 5

Our fearless scoundrels continued their descent in to the abyss… okay into the cave. The cave is filled with glowing mushrooms providing dim light. Sadly most of our party needs light to to see, so Gay’lord provided light on Tatsu Lung’s shield. A short distance into the cave we noticed what we at first thought was Bruce Banner. Upon closer inspection we realized it was indeed Bruce Wayne or some other sort of big bat. Vra’uul decided to try his hand at being a rogue and snook into the cave past the first bat. We all thought he did a great job… sadly the bats thought he failed, so they decided to attack completely unprovoked (we would never hurt any harmless creatures).

While the bats were making quick work of themselves against the daggers and axes and such, it suddenly got even darker and the fray was joined by 2 Shadow Hounds who quickly made themselves look foolish by biting at butterflies and apparently their own tails, while in the vicinity of Bobilius. The shadow beasties really started to show some promise though when a few bizarro halflings showed up and decided to darken the place up a bit. Gigantus Brutalis achieved new heights of adequatulance as he stayed alive and inflicted moderate amounts of damage on those within his reach. Slowly but surely we reduced the numbers of our enemies until, at last, they remembered that they were late for a meeting or something and scurried away.

After they left, we found some Raven Queen worshipers who had been chained together and killed next to an evil altar. While Tatsu Lung was sending the souls onto the great beyond with some help from Vra’uul, a few other party members destroyed the alter and were rewarded by finding some gems. We pressed forward (not backward, backward, not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!). Further on down the cave, we were stopped by a big door. Said big door had holes for both talking and poking. We tried talking first and hoped that we would not be answered with poking.

Behind the big door, we chatted with a group of Raven Queen worshipers, who lived down there. Since we intended to simply search for treasure, we thought we ought to try and get through the big door to either rest (in the case that the Raven Queen worshipers would be friendly), or loot (in the case… not friendly). Of course, they wanted to know who we were, why we were there, and how we got there, before they would consider letting us in to their fair underground city. Vra’uul thought it would be funny to tell them we arrived via falling into a big hole. It was funny to our group, but the Goth guards bought it! They seemed amicable and although they kept a guard with us at first, seemed to be good freaks, errr people. We stayed with them through the night to rest and bandage our physical wounds. Our mental and spiritual wounds were healed by the nice Paladin Tatsu telling us we were all good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone-it, the Goths liked us!

After a rest, we inquired about the presence of any large, dangerous creatures that we should be aware of and/or kill and loot their lair. Well what do you know!!! There was in fact, a young dragon nearby! How do you like them apples? The Goths made a deal with us – they would show us where the dragon and it’s lair was, as well as provide us with a +9 dagger of dragonslaying if we went there – if we would also help to kill some Kruthliks or Kithkruks or Krucklekrithies (whatever the rock-burrowing spider things are). We learned they have chitinous exoskeletons.

Of course we would be glad to assist them in their plight.

MNP: Tatsu for taking the damage that would have killed Mungus.

Treasure Island part 4

After taking an extended rest to recover their strength and renew their souls (what is left of them anyway) the party continued to explore the dungeon. Tatsu Lung took point and made an excellent minesweeper as he walked headlong into a gelatinous cube and was enveloped. Of course, to Otto (who is generally accustomed to booze-induced sights of the sort) it appeared somewhat as if Tatsu Lung had merely learned how to defy gravity. Otto, noting his uncharacteristic soberness in this case, announced that something strange was happening, but before the matter could be properly discussed in committee the cube oozed near and enveloped him too. As the rest of the party came to investigate, the enveloped and slowly digesting members of the party managed to free themselves from the cube, making room for others to be enveloped. Long story short, the gelatinous cube was defeated after sliming several of the party in a satisfying manner.

A corner of the chamber that the cube had been lurking in was crumbled away, a cavernous tunnel beckoning the explorers to enter. Not wanting to live in the past or think about the present, the party made for the opening. However, Gaylord Anaxarchus, drawing on his dungeoneering expertise, noticed that the previous dungeon levels had shared the same layout, but this level appeared to be missing a room. Tatsu Lung belatedly made it known that he also had noticed that and the rogues in the party quickly discovered a secret door. After a bit of effort getting the decrepit portal to open, the party was rewarded with an Ochre Jelly. The large ooze didn’t cause much harm, but took quite a bit of effort for the fumbling party to defeat (especially once it split into four smaller oozes). Once this second and hopefully last oozing opponent was disposed of, the party was pleased to find a stash of magical-type items in what appeared to have been a panic room of sorts for the keep.

Wiping themselves clean of ooze, the party proceeded to explore the tunnel discovered by the gelatinous cube. It didn’t take long before they found themselves impeded by a chasm about 10 feet wide and of uncertain depth. To complicate matters, the ground leading up to the edge of the chasm was slick with cave slime. Using safety ropes, the party leapt over the chasm one by one, some more elegantly than others (with Bobilius Phett’s being the most elegant of all) until it came to the final crossing. Tatsu Lung slowly eased himself past the slippery terrain to stand on the edge of the chasm and prepared himself to leap across with aid from a jump spell cast on him by Gaylord Anaxarchus. Unfortunately, his feet slipped out from under him as he pushed off, catching the rest of the party off guard (with the exception of the anonymous dwarf that had joined us that luckily had joined us that evening). As Tatsu Lung disappeared into the chasm, the other party members felt the rope slip out of their hands and the dwarf (the only one with a firm grip) was promptly pulled to the ground and dragged towards the chasm. Adrenaline kicked in and the dumbfounded party rushed forward and piled onto the dwarf to keep him from falling in to the chasm with the dragonborn meatshield. Successfully anchoring their end of the rope, all Tatsu Lung had to worry about was the jagged rocks that hit his face with their jags as he swung into the wall of the chasm. The party recovered quickly, and pulled Tatsu Lung up to rejoin the group, and there was much rejoicing.

Having crossed the gorge of eternal peril, the party made their way through the caverns and presently happened upon the lair of a couple of Otyugh’s and a pair of Carrion Crawlers. As they engaged the onerous and odorous creatures, a Blade Spider attacked from behind (assumably coming from the gorge of eternal peril). Lucky for the party the monsters were not at the top of their game and fell without much of a fight (except the Blade Spider which retreated). After the melee, the party retreated in the tunnel for an extended rest. They awoke to find most of the anonymous dwarf (who apparently had the last watch) missing. It is assumed the Blade Spider returned with a taste for dwarf. Funny enough, being eaten by a giant spider isn’t the worst way to go in this world. After a few moments of silence, the party returned to the treasure hunt.

Treasure Island part 3
Assault on the keep (conclusion):

As the party clears the first tier (the lower, “outer” wall) and prepares to climb to the second tier (the higher, “inner” wall), the kobold high wyrmpriest flees into the western tower and barricades the door behind him. Gigantus Brutalis and Gaylord Anaxarchus climb down into the courtyard to make sure it’s clear while the rest of the party climbs to the second tier. After receiving some help up from Bobilius Phett, Tatsu Lung is able to displace the barricaded door with one mighty kick. Mungus chases the remaining wall defender around the upper wall as the rest of the party enters the western tower. As Tatsu Lung and Vra’uul descend the west tower to find another barricaded door, which Tatsu Lung again opens with another forceful kick, Bobilius Phett heads into the eastern tower. Just after arriving in the eastern tower the kobold that Mungus was chasing burst through the door opposite Bobilius Phett, and seeing the intimidating form of the half-elf cleric started running down the spiral staircase. Not wanting to allow the kobold to reinforce the others Bobilius Phett heroically leapt from the balcony down to the stairs opposite the kobold. Heroically landing poorly he sprained his ankle, but is now in a position to strike at the fleeing kobold and strike he does scoring a critical hit with a lance of faith killing the whelp and sending it’s body tumbling down the remainder of the stairwell. As the party begins to congregate in the upper courtyard it seem empty so they start searching the buildings to find the kobold leaders. As luck would have it the first room they check is the commander’s quarters and he has pulled all the remaining kobolds in to protect him. Tatsu Lung takes advantage of the tight quarters to use his breath weapon, filling the room with an acid spray. Some of the kobold defenders try and attack Tatsu Lung but are unable to muster the grumbas necessary. Slowly the party forces it’s way into the room. The kobolds seem out of sorts and inept as they fail to defend themselves and their leader from swift destruction. After the battle is over the party searches the remaining rooms only to find them mostly empty of anything worth looting. Behind one of the doors is a stairway leading down below the crumbling keep. In the commanders room a hidden lockbox is found under the commanders bed. After disarming and unlocking it Mungus finds 3 platinum and a gem. He treacherously palms one of the platinum before he passes the rest over to the party. After the area is secure the party returns to the courtyard to take a short break before descending down the stairwell.

Into the darkness:

Once rested the party cautiously descends the stairs to find what the kobolds where willing to risk their lives defending. The first landing offers a door and another stairwell continuing farther down. The party quickly checks the second stairwell only to find a door at the bottom locked and barricaded with additional debris piled in front of it to keep it from being opened. The party investigates the first door, finding what used to be a wine cellar and a cold room with several chunks of meat, some even humanoid, hanging in it. The kobolds are using the wine cellar to store firewood but luckily, none of it is flaming. Returning to the second door the party clears the debris, unlocks the door and slowly enters. They hear talking from down the hallway. Upon more careful listening Vra’uul is able to determine that the language is draconic and they are speaking of the great war between the dragonborn and the tieflings of centuries ago but they are discussing it like it’s currently happening. The party decides to send Tatsu Lung first since it seemed likely that this area was controlled by the dragonborn at the time (plus, it might be dangerous). Tatsu Lung, Bobilius Phett and Gaylord Anaxarchus enter what appears to be a holding area with crumbling holding cells on either side. There are two dragonborn ghosts there who plead their innocence and bemoan the horrors of torture on “the table”. The rest of the party approaches a doorway at the opposite end of the hallway. As Mungus prepares to check for traps Vra’uul brazenly opens the door and steps in. In the center of the small room they see an old, rotting torture table and once the door is opened the ghosts start bemoaning their ill fortune even more. Suddenly three wraiths phase in from the walls assaulting Vra’uul, causing him great harm and even somehow persuading him to try and kick Mungus. After Vra’uul’s thrashing, Gigantus Brutalis tries to run into the room and leap onto the table, which he does, but fails to land on his feet. Also by doing so, he opens himself up to several attacks from the wraiths who pummel him, though not quite as brutally as Vra’uul. As the part starts to shift towards the torture room the strongest wraith phases over near the stairwell slowing down the rest of the party with it’s aura of mad whispers. everyone is able to shuffle enough to allow Bobilius Phett to get into position and cast turn undead which is successful at pushing away the wraiths for a round allowing the party a chance to get better positioned and heal up a little bit. Tatsu Lung takes advantage of the break to smash the torture table and in so doing releases the ghosts from their tortured undead state. When the wraiths return the party is better prepared and is able to defeat them.
With the wraiths defeated Vra’uul takes a moment to scream in pain and horror like Guy Fleegman which is a surprising departure from his usual demeanor


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