Smugglers of Kristophan

Said the Spider to the Fly part 3

Next the party encountered a strange old crone who was protected inside a time-stopping field thing. She cackled a bit, then sent the party into weird skill challenge rooms where everyone was shuffled around each round. The party did very poorly for the most part, but luckily if skill failed, brute force was still an option so eventually the party overcame the challenges and regrouped.

And then, we met back up with the strange old crone who was protected inside a time-stopping field thing. She cackled a bit, then sent the party into weird skill challenge rooms where everyone was shuffled around each round. The party did very poorly for the most part, but luckily if skill failed, brute force was still an option so eventually the party overcame the challenges and then…

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Said the Spider to the Fly part 2

The party continued to ascend the tower and were rewarded with mentally disturbing images and encounters. First they were turned against each other in a bizarre shared hallucination (which took the form of a game of Munchkin, played in character-ish). Then they were attacked by the darkness. The darkness had nasty, pointy teeth. Also, the darkness was dark to the point of snuffing out light sources. Sort of like a can of pastel black being released into a dark room. Then they were engaged by multiplying bad guys that eventually turned into images of affection (of one sort or another) which the characters had to destroy in order to continue. Some characters, knowing that there would be no affection for them in either the real or arcane-imaginary world, had an easy time with this encounter.

Despite having less affection for each other and some members even being slightly traumatized emotionally, the party sallies forth… are they going to get out? Or are they going to die?

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Said the Spider to the Fly

With the party reunited, they defeated the Frost Giant leadership in a brutal battle. Returning to the Fire Giant lands, they had to lay low to avoid being overwhelmed, and happened into the lair of a Red Dragon. Following a drawn out fight, it was also defeated, enriching the party further with a rowboat full of loot (really).

Returning (mostly) victorious from their adventures in the lands of the giants, the party found Baraata efforts to organize the settlement around the coastal fortress (by which I mean tower) in full swing. Archimedes had apparently also been sent to the area to asses exploitation of local resources following the recent depopulation. He also had an “important assignment” for the party from Diogenes that involved using a ritual scroll to go to a teleportation scroll where agents would properly brief the party.

Turns out the portal led to a gas chamber (which the party escaped with minimal poisoning). Worse still was a greeting received by the Dreamwalker the party had encountered in their recent group hallucination, which suggested (and was quickly confirmed) that they were again facing another jaunt through a wizard’s tower. Their host: the Lich.

The first challenge was manageable puzzle involving a pivoting floor over a bed of poisoned spikes. After working out a system (and Mungus getting some acupuncture) the party managed to get through without too much grief. But there are other levels yet to be explored…

Of note this session was 2 [yes 2!] instances of 3 [yes 3!] natural 1’s [yes 1’s!] being rolled in quick succession by a player (Gaylord, then about an hour later by Otto). An amazing density of suckitude deserving to be immortalized.

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Since Then...

The party arranged with Diogenes to occupy the previously encountered coastal fortress and use it as a base of operations in the area (especially important since Baraata’s stronghold in that region had been razed.

Upon arriving at said coastal fortress, the party discovered some refugees has already moved in (and were under siege by a ship crewed by bad guys. The party quickly defeated the unprepared baddies and added a 3rd ship to the fleet in the process. Turns out the refugees had been victims of a rampage of a coalition of giants. The party split up to attack the different giant strongholds simultaneously (thus throwing them off balance and unable to reinforce each other). So far it has worked, though it nearly got everyone killed. The threat of death was so prominent in fact, that a ritual was used to coordinate a new plan. Reunite the party and finish off the giants as a combined force.

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Friends Close, Enemies Closer

The party was fortunate enough to encounter Jar Jar Binks (Jocobeax or whatever) returning from his pursuit of the hosers that stole Baraata. After negotiating a partnership in the apple beer business, the party then travelled to the tiny coastal fortress where the search had led and stormed it in their own particular idiom (by land and by sea). Besides recovering the Aboleth is Pants and impounding a pirate ship, the big bad cheese was also taken prisoner and delivered to Diogenes along with the still unconscious Baraata.

Much to the surprise of the party, Diogenes was able to revive Baraata and both were so pleased with the service and loyalty that a new business arrangement was arrived at and the party now has a very small fleet of it’s own.

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Vengeance is a dish best served...

… by turning Tatsu into a Death Knight. Apparently the party’s new found friend, Brisket, was an unwitting pawn in a revenge plot by the maligned Lich. His dream was a manufactured device to manipulate the party into recovering an artifact that made Tatsu into a much greater prize than a mere boneclaw.

On the bright side, they picked up yet another new companion, a potent sorcerer named Nemoi Smock who they rescued from the clutches of the same trap that ensnared the once mighty (and now even more mighty, but in a bad way) Tatsu.

At least our “new friends” list is keeping pace with our “new villains” list for the time being.

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Big crawly things!!!

The party waited at the pier for the mage who would release the spell on the Aluminium Falcon. However when he showed up he was being escorted by a party that was wanted by the government. Their wanted poster had been seen by the party at the tavern. Apparently they thought they could force the mage to nullify the spell and then steal the Falcon. But we moved into position and ambushed them. Even though they outnumbered us we foiled their plan and turned in the corpses for the reward (20,000 gold).

We left immediately after to go find Barata. We arrived ?? without further trouble only to find that Jacobix had left some weeks prior and neither his servants nor the townspeople knew where he had gone. Mungus and Otto crawled the taverns trying to find some Apple Beer but it was not being produced yet. The orchards were being renewed but as yet Apple Beer production had not begun. Bob went to help the orphans. V’rauul and Tatsu went somewhere? and got ambushed by some freaks that wanted to do unmentionable things to a follower of the Raven Queen. They killed Tatsu. About this same time Mungus and Otto overhead some crazy guy in the tavern ranting on about how he had to find Tatsu before it was too late. Pretty soon V’rauul showed and gave us the bad news. The new guy convinced us we had to go get some jewel or we couldn’t save Tatsu. As we searched for the gem we got attacked by megapedes.

To sum up, Bob was the big hero (in his own mind) killing TWO non minion monsters. The first to fall at his hand, figuratively speaking, was a mighty Dopelganger who was part of a group of NPC’s trying to steal our ship in Kristophan. The second was one of many Megapedes the party stumbled upon looking for a pretty rock they needed to go save, or at least to keep the baddies from desecrating, Tatsu. Mungus pulled out of his slump, he not only knocked the drow avenger unconscious and sent him to sleep with the fishes, he knocked out a megapede and made another one bite itself to death. Otto finally fulfilled his fantasy of riding a monster (its never ended well before) and managed to mount a megapede and somehow kept hold of the garrote he had around it neck while the monster futilely tried to bite him but always ended up biting itself.

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Death of Tatsu

Prequel to Big crawly things!!!

Tatsu and Vra’uul went into Moondance to search for information on the whereabouts of Jacobux Kincep. While in town, a nice old lady asked Tatsu if he would act in his capacity of a Raven Queen priest and perform last rites for her dying husband. Excited by the prospect of using his axe (the usual method of performing last rites), Tatsu agreed and Vra’uul followed – deciding that this would be more fun than threatening the people in town for information (which is pretty much the only Streetwise Vra’uul has).

Upon entering the home and being distracted by the Old People Smell, Tatsu and Vra’uul triggered a trap on the stairs leading to the upper floor and fell 20 feet down. Vra’uul managed to hang on to the trap door grate and negate falling damage.

The carpet in this new room came alive and attacked Vra’uul and Tatsu – it being some sort of disgusting creature. Unfortunately, the only exit to the room was blocked by barred doors and some nasty creatures with pointy, bitey teeth – including Bone Claws!!!

Now pissed off, both Tatsu and Vra’uul inflicted considerable damage on the carpet and it’s friends, and teleported their way into the hallway beyond the barred doors. After turning the corner, they discovered their way was blocked by a closed door. Vra’uul, being the sneakier of the two smugglers, crept up to the door, opened it a crack, and looked in. All he saw was a room full of jerks.

The room was full of enough jerks that Tatsu and Vra’uul decided they’d have to escape the way they’d come. This task was accomplished by forcing their enemies into attacking one at a time, due to their large size in such a confined space. The plan was to teleport back into the evil carpet room and then to escape back up through the trap door. Vra’uul was to go first because he could teleport back up to the stairs and then provide a rope for Tatsu to use to climb up.

Unfortunately, as Vra’uul threw the rope down to his buddy, the carpet finished Tatsu off and engulfed his corpse. As this happened, the old lady (let’s call her Dennis) tried to sneakily attack Vra’uul. With his friend unconscious (or worse) and out of sight, combined with the old lady attacking him, as well as having already expended several daily powers and nearly all encounter powers, Vra’uul was forced to flee to seek revenge another time.

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Dream a Little Dream...

The party navigated a complex dream world reminding them of many (but certainly not all) of their obligations that had as of yet been left unfulfilled. Eventually it was revealed that the dream was the result of a powerful ritual performed by the Lich and a powerful Psion lackey of his. The Lich was very dissatisfied with the apparent lack of progress of the party and after the Psion recommitted them to complete the quest (by bringing back the tiefling wizard’s head) the party was teleported to a location near their target.

The wizard was waiting for them and attacked soon after their arrival. After a significant struggle, the party was victorious, but rather than killing the wizard, they negotiated a new deal with him against the Lich. At that point the Lich and his Psion lackey revealed themselves and the fact that this was just a dream within a dream and the party had betrayed him. The party is now officially enemies with a very powerful Lich that wants them very dead (and then probably wants to make their corpses into undead minions).

Vra’uul is the MNP for both almost dying without actually dying as well as consistently almost hitting without actually hitting.

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Otto's Curse part 2

While venturing through the caverns to the underdark, the party was attacked by giant phase spiders with big, sharp, nasty teeth. Unfortunately Brother Maynard wasn’t available so we had to fight them hand to leg (and mandible). Vr’aaul triggered the attack in Otto like fashion by running ahead to examine the dragon corpse. During the battle Otto showed his penchant for epic fails (1-1-spider head) and ended up falling into one of the pits. A spider followed him down and somehow Mungus managed to kill the creature and have it fall on top of him. However he did make it out of the pit without assistance. After killing all the spiders they looted a long-dead dragon and ventured on to find the dark place they were looking for to complete the ritual for Ottto. During the ritual a bunch of undead creatures (shattered souls, zombie, wights, a wraith?…) appeared and made a bee line for Otto. This made it easier on the rest of the party and Gigantus and Tatsu had fun whacking the creatures as they passed by. Otto was lucky to end up by Tatsu who was able to heal him as well as redirect the fury of many of the foul undead spawn. Just as the ritual was ending Otto saw into the abyss and had some kind of spiritual? experience. He now curses quite proficiently in abyssal. After performing the ritual, fighting a bunch of undead (briefly including Otto), the cursed artifact was banished to the Abyss.

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