Ground Zero

The king and I
Visiting Aramath's Home Sphere

Hello, everyone. Here are my notes for the last run. Send me the corrections, please, while the run is still fresh in your minds.

The King and I

Regis Pellucidar sends us to do some investigation of Aramath’s homeworld, in the Sphere Thera. (Note: Ground Zero is from the Sphere Oerth.) He opens a portal which should take him and us to the basement of Castle LaForce on Aramath’s homeworld.

We walk into an elemental sandstorm in the ruins of Castle Laforce. Jet shapechanges into a black and white dragon – an Occidental dragon with wings, instead of her normal wingless Oriental dragon. She uses the wings to shelter the group while Tarl uses a ring (elemental control?) to build a stone shelter for us. We notice that Pellucidar has disappeared, but the Amulet of Kings is there. Jet puts on the Amulet.

We learn that most of our magic items do not work. Shui Jing Lung (the spelljammer ship) bleeds from a pinprick, and can not change into her ship form.

Maximus focuses his anger and uses his obsidian mace to break into the wine cellar of Castle LaForce. With every blow, his mace enlarges. When the flagstone shatters, he relaxes and the mace returns to its original size.

The wine cellar is connected to the family crypt and to a mirror which acts as a gate (for Jet) to Pellucidar Rex’s lab. Holding hands, we all walk through the gate. In the lab, Jet “hears” a muffled noise from the Amulet, and contacts it psionically. The Amulet asks to be touched to the staff, and when it is, Pellucidar reappears. Regis tells us that that Malovar LaForce betrayed his family to Wraithe Storm, head of the Storm family. All of the LaForces were killed, except Malovar, Aramath, and Ariel. Regis asked Aramath to accept the title of Sire (head of the family), but Aramath refused. So, Regis sacrificed (?) himself and Ariel to send Aramath away to safety. What we see is not Regis himself, but just a spell construct in his likeness.

Regis asks Aldebaron to scry for three people: an unknown woman, Malovar, and Wraithe. Aldebaran gets nothing. Beodar tries and finds that all three are alive, but not on this Sphere. Wraithe is actually on Sphere Oerth.

Regis tells us that timaevril can make a weapon that will transfer the power of a Bloodright from the victim to the killer. However, bloodsteel (harvested from the bodies of the long dead Bloodright) can make a weapon which will transfer the power of a Bloodright from the victim to the land.

We decide to collect bloodsteel ore. Jet uses Commune with Nature. Before it takes effect, she seems to be on the featureless Astral Plane. She sees Malovar. She offers him a chance at redemption and reconciliation with his family. He says they mistreated and betrayed him. Jet leaves and begins the Commune. There is no bloodsteel in the area of the Commune, but there are two dragons and some monsters.

We head toward Rauxes, the home of the Storm family, and where Wraithe was known to slay his enemies. We travel in a Chariot of Sustarre, with Anatoli’s illusions obscuring us. The first night we spend in a Rope Trick. The second night, Aldebaran puts us in Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. Inside the mansion, all of our magic items work.

However, some githyankee show up and tell us we have intrudedinto their back yard. They tell us to leave, and to send tribute once
we have killed Wraithe (whom they call Raehavoc). They give us the Astral Plane coordinates correcting factor which Aldebaran needed to adjust, so that we don’t show up there again.

Tarl uses his tuning fork to figure out where we are. We then use a Plane Shift to go to the Astral Plane. Malovar is there. Maximus shoots him with a couple of arrows in passing, but mostly we ignore him. We move to the appropriate spot that Aldebaran figures out, and Plane Shift back to Thera’s Rauxes.

The walled city of Rauxis is heavily damaged. The walls are broken in many places. Only a few ragged people are walking around. We see, but avoid, a few black-clad guards that remind us of Ivid’s guards in Oerth’s Rauxis.

We head toward the Temple of Hieroneous, the tallest building in the city. The front door appears heavily trapped so we head for the sewers to find an underground entrance to the temple.

We split up to search. (Why? I have no idea. I guess we thought we would not have to change any lightbulbs here.) Some people are living in the sewers. Jet and Aldebaran meet up with some of them, and go with them to their leader, David. He says he was a paladin of HIeroneous, and sent by the Solars of Rel Astra to slay Wraithe with a knife of bloodsteel. But Wraithe had left the world six years ago, and he had not had the opportunity. He had lost his faith. (NOTE: Jet’s children were born six years ago. Jet and Aramath had come to this world four years ago.)

Jet says she is a druid, here to restore the balance. She asks for David to give her the blessing of Hieroneous. He gives her the blessing and the knife. He also shows us the collapsed tunnel which had led to the crypt below the temple. Tarl uses his ring of elemental command to create a safe passage through the tunnel. In the crypt, we kill a bunch of undead with Walls of Fire
(courtesy of Jet) and Ceilling of Fire (courtesy of Anatoli). We open many vaults and collect 105 fragments of bloodsteel. We leave alone three steeldoor crypts, which apparently are the mother and son of Wraithe Storm, and the first Storm Rider. We also check, but leave alone, the crypt of Adam, first priest of HIeroneous.

We open the vault of Dalen LaForce, “the greatest of enemies”, to find he is under the curse of Tiamat, to keep him forever apart from his wife Sepsis. Tarl and Beodar break the curse after many blows with Max’s adamantium mace and Tarl’s hammer (and many saving throws against Slay Living). Jet takes the armor and sword back for Aramath.

We also open the vault of Tzarina Katerina, to find a 5000 gp necklace with a bloodsteel pendant.

We open the wood coffin of Rasputin, a skeleton with a stake of timaevril and bloodsteel through his ribs. Jet removes the stake and the vampire reforms from mist. Tarl, Beodar and Maximus quickly slay him, by cutting off his head and restaking him. We collect the dust to expose to sunlight later.

Anatoli loots Rasputin’s grave to find a gold case of gems containing lights, a silver box of scrolls with true names, and a bronze box of hundreds of vampire teeth. There is also a magical sash (4 charisma), and a magic rope (4 constitution) and a +3 tulwar.

We leave the crypts back through the tunnels, putting a wall of stone in place so that nothing can get through from the crypts to the tunnels. We fly to the top of the temple where David told us that the body of Aramath’s brother Coromar had been staked. Jet collects the armor and remnants to place in Coromar’s empty tomb in the Castle LaForce.

Anatoli exposes the vampire dust to sunlight, and to water from his decanter of endless water. He also exposes the vampire teeth and gems to sunlight.

Beodar Waypoints us back to Pellucidar’s workshop. He gives us the instructions for smelting and forging the bloodsteel. He gives Anatoli written instructions to talk to the Solars of Rel Astra if we need help getting back home.

We leave the workshop and go back into the crypt of the LaForces. We bury Coromar in the crypt, with Tarl performing the ceremony. The party goes into the wine cellar. Anatoli casts a Tempus Fugit for the party to force-rest and learn spells.

Jet keeps watch in real time, and performs the wine ceremony with Shui in Lugh’s honor. Sepsis apparently comes to join Jet in the ceremony, but Shui does not see her.

Beodar uses a ?limited wish? and a plane shift to get us to the Astral Plane. He appears visibly aged 50 years. Tarl uses another plane shift to get back to his temple/forge in Bloodhaven.

Jet goes to Caer LaForce to tell Aramath what happened, and to put him on guard against Wraithe Storm. Aramath is upset by his brother Malovar’s unwillingness to reconcile, and by the possible current threat of Wraithe to the children.

Tarl and Beodar start the smelting process.

Anatoli meditates (Ritual of Boccob, using the Tetrahedron Compass) on the situation and gets three coordinate/equations – the lost temple of Tharzidun (near Rauxis), the plane of Concordant Opposition, and the phlogiston around the Oerth sphere. He consults with Zarya, who confirmed the coordinates with her own compass.

Anatoli also consults with Adrianna, Boccob’s high priestess. Adrianna said her first vision as high priestess was of the upcoming maelstrom coming to Greyhawk. She also says the first coordinate/equation is the death of Tharzidun, the second is the birth of Tharzidun, and the third is a focal point related to Tharzidun. Anatoli still has the Anti-Life equation in his mind from Kubrik’s castle, and that is somehow related.

Treasure picks from various recent adventures

My notes list some items that our party has collected over the last several runs. I thought I would email the list to you, and you could fill in whatever we discovered through identification spells, and then forward the rest to the group for treasure picks. Maybe we could get the picks done by email, even.

During the Grayhawk run with Max’s simulacrum killing people, including the Ambassador of the Lands of Iuz to Grayhawk.
Ambassador Lurch’s stuff
3 scrolls
bone wand
crystal ball
skull with melted wax and candles

While travelling to Acheron to find the entrance to the Travelling Temple of Boccob, so we can place the Eye of Boccob on the statue
Brigands’ stuff
+2 morningstar
ring of shielding (21 charges)
gauntlets of ogre power (currently being worn by Anatoli?)
helmet – hallucinatory terrain 1xday

While searching the darro city below Tarl’s city of Bloodhaven
lumps of “metallic stone” found in the guts of a mimic/lurker
books on crystal lore
Spellbook – Crystal Storm, Invisibility, Lightning Bolt, Crystal Kill, Crystal Pattern, Thought Crystal, Create Crystal, Anti-Crystal
Living Crystal House, currently looking like a crystal earth dragon
and answering to the name Shui Jing Lun.

After fighting an illithid leading a pack of gremlocks
ring of spellstoring (3 x Dispel Magic, 1xCure Serious), with a
secondary power of Meld into Stone

After killing a carga
20 pounds of raw adamantium
20 pounds of raw mithral
10 pounds of raw steel

After blitzkrieging the illithid camp
Crystal Divining Rod – ice cream cone looking artifact which apparently animates/creates crystal monsters

After returning to the darro city
necromantic wand – 2d6 vampiric healing, level drain for charges,
create undead by draining levels (type of undead depends on
how many levels were drained), command undead
dweornite stone – polished – apparently stone of spellstoring
more clumps of magnetic stone
dweornite stone – polished – stone of spell storing (raise dead)

Animuses Everywhere

Regis Pellucidar asks Jet to do some investigation of Aramath’s homeworld.

Before she does that, Jet decides to summarize what she believes about the Bloodright and her history with it for her teammates In the narrative below, a line of dashes means that time passes and apparently irrelevant stuff happens.

In the distant past, on multiple worlds, many gods spilt their Blood across the lands. In some places, on some worlds, the Blood touched individuals. These individuals and their descendents had a special connection to the land where the Blood was shed. If the individuals stayed on the land and cared for it, they and the land would prosper. If the Bloodrighted people left or grew ill, the land would sicken.

If a Bloodright person was killed by another Bloodrighted person with a weapon made of timaevril, then the connection to the land would be transferred from the victim to his or her killer.

On our world, 150 years ago, Ivid the First of Aerdy was a Bloodright person, who made an additional pact with the gods Hextor, Orcus, Pholtus, and Cuthbert. Ivid the First went on to conquer the entire continent, slaughtering all Blood right people he found along the way.

About 20 years ago, Ivid the Fourth (probably the last Bloodright person left on this world) kills his generals and other leveled
people. He raises them as animuses – undead who are vulnerable to milk, but not to light, who remember their previous lives, who retain their levels, who are subject to Ivid’s will, and who are healed by honey. Jet also believes that Ivid the Fourth was killed and raised as undead by the priests of Hextor.

About 10 years ago, Jet meets Aramath LaForce, leader of the Silver Guard, a mercenary team. They fall in love, get married, and return to Aramath’s ancestral home, Castle Covington. There they find Pellucidar Rex, who is a magical construct, connected to the LaForce family. (In earlier incarnations he was the Amulet of Kings, and before that, the sword Krysblaven.)

Jet becomes aware that Aramath’s memories of his family do not match those of the people living around Aramath’s ancestral home. She uses a wish to restore Aramath’s true memories, and finds he was a Bloodright person from another sphere. He fled here with the aid of Regis Pellucidar to escape the slaughter of all Bloodright people there by his brother, Maelstrom Raehavoc.

Aramath decides to return home to rescue his sister (Arial) if possible, and to confront his brother. It will be a one-way trip. Jet decided to give up her position as 13th level druid to go with him.

Aramath, Jet and the two children are transported back to Aramath’s home. In the fight for control over the land, Aramath is killed. Maelstrom dies. The life drains from the children even as they are held in Jet’s arms. (“mommy, I’m so cold”). Jet has some energy that the land cannot drain, but she is also unable to restore it. She must choose between continuing an endless struggle or surrendering to allow the land to resolve its Bloodright. She chooses to surrender, knowing that stasis is antithetical to balance.

She thinks she has a vision of her god approving as she dies. Lugh asks her if she is ready for the next level. She says, “The caterpillar does not know what the butterfly’s life is like, but chooses it anyway.”

Aramath, Jet and the children awake back in Greyhawk.

Jet learns that the Kingdom of Aerdy is closed to non-humans and druids. No druids have issued reports from there in many years.

Ground Zero investigates the Kingdom of Aerdy, and find out about the animuses who control all of Aerdy, and about King Ivid IV’s madness. The only druid Jet finds is Vladimir Kovalic. A former 12th level druid, he has relinquished his druidic status, and is a court painter for Ivid IV. One of his paintingsis called Madness and puts Anatoli into a coma. (Tarl cures him later.)

In the capital city of Rauxis, we find an old enemy, Xavier Warchild, priest of Hextor. We last met Xavier attempting to control the Tenh as the powerbehind the throne.

We find an underground temple to Tharzidun just outside Rauxis, with 96 bodies of druids in it. 8 of those druids are still alive, although comatose. Jet takes the living druids back to be cared for at the Temple of the Mind. (This is the psionicist guild, outside of Greyhawk.) We return to this temple to seal it, but we find Xavier Warchild there. We kill him and Jet puts his spirit to rest – permanently.

We mobilize Tenser to fight against the growing aggressions of King Ivid IV.

The leader of Ivid IV’s army is Shaitan Warchild. Shaitan is also Xavier Warchild’s brother and seeks revenge against us for his
brother’s death. When Kymbala is slain on a date with Max, we find her next at Shaitan’s side, answering to the name Shalimar. We eventually restore her, and currently she is planning on marrying Prince Melf Brightflame, Heir Apparent of Celene.

Jet uses a wish to restore the comatose druids at the Temple of the Mind. The leader, Rasputin, says that he and his followers deliberately sacrificed themselves to imprison a great evil. He apparently notified Taki of his decision, and that information was deliberately lost. Jet honors Rasputin’s decision and restore his position on the Druidic Council, and as Great Druid of Aerdy. When Jet is ready to ascend to Hierophant, Rasputin assumes the title of Grand Druid.

Upon the death of the High Priest of Boccob (Ravel), Adrianna becomes the new high priestess of Boccob. She tells us of a vision which links the priests of Iuz and Hextor in a threat to us.

In a trip to the World Serpent’s Inn, Jet uses an Inn Coin to force Orcus to admit that he is Ivid IV’s patron, and that Ivid IV’s weakness is light.

In recent times, we have found animuses in Greyhawk and in Rel Astra.

The Siege of Critwall
Lets sack Critwall!

Since the experdition to Castle Greyhawk, Maximus has been crossing the DMZ and spying on the forces of Iuz in Critwall and other places on the southern border near Greyhawk’s northern border. This is due to him having relocated the former Iuz-priest Angela. Angela said that there were likely a lot of lower level clerics that were forced into the clergy that might wish a way out if it were possible. Maximus thought that a city or other location would be needed for these so called refugees since its unlikely that any city would trust their sincerity. He set his sights on Critwall because we knew the leader of the cikty Vayne and his 2nd and command General At Ur-Rehmat were both dead (by our hands of course). His spying also revealed that the city would probably be moved on by other Boneheart members in the near future.

So, he asked Ground Zero if we would assist in sacking Critwall. We temporarily put aside the quest of returnig the eye of boccob to the Grand Temple of Boccob in the lost castle of greyhawk due to the Druid not being able to accompany us at the time. So we thought at least looking into Maximus’ claims that Critwall was ripe for the pickings would be a good option.

Eljay hires the SeaMutts to enforce a blockage of the river that supplies both Critwall AND Amundfort/Greyhawk for as long as they can. Then all of Ground Zero visited the encampment of Prince Stephen in Amundfort unannounced with the hopes that the news of the blockage would encourage Stephen to launch his assault on Critwall without us asking him to do so. Thus, making it look like
his idea and making him very agreeable to the notion. Adrianna was asked along by Eljay because he thinks that the priests of Boccob don’t get out enough.

Ground Zero uses the Rough Riders Marine Division’s new Mark II submariner ship to travel to Amundfort. Once there, we visit the bivouaced troops and wait for Prince Stephen to find us. This doesn’t take long. He invites us to dinner with a few notable personages and announces that the time is right to strike. he asks Eljay, Maximus and Beodar to lead the Strike Force of Ground Zero (and whatever forces they need) to handle any "level"ed opponents in the city while he and his army handles the conventional forces. Eljay and GZ accept and start planning their assault.

Maximus’ contacts in the city is Angela and she learns that the rebels in the city are children between the ages of 5 – 15 that have managed to scrounge up some magic items off the corpses of the dead. Anatoli uses a Dream spell to emulate the druid’s commune with nature spell with respect to the city. Armed with this info, GZ creates the following plan.

We discover that there is a group of 15 charmed hill giants to the north of the city rebuilding destroyed walls. We discover that there are 6000 orc troops inside the city and another 4000 outside. There are four tribes of orcs including the Celebits and Jelibits and two others. We learned that there were several summoning circles around the city including a really big one in the city hall in the center of city. Most (over 2/3rds) of all the bldgs in Critwall are rubble. So the buildings that are left are very obvious and spread out.

Maximus uses the rebels to plant explosives made by Beodar on all the major bldgs. They also place metal “lightning rods” on the various buildings attached to the explosives to be used to set them off. Maximus also has the kids find the various summoning circles and sabotage them by erasing parts and covering them with chalk to make it difficult to discover from a distance. They also
poured a thickening solution/potion onto the arrow reserves so that they would be useless in combat. The children reached all of the circles except for one large one in City hall. Maximums took care of that. During this process, he discovered that the circle there had a center gem that was too big to be a diamond and had runes around it. After conferring with GZ, he learned from Beodar that it was a soul object and he should leave it there and get out immediately. Before leaving. he succeeds in destroying the summoning circle and gets a rubbing of the runes around the soul object.

Aldebaron, Maximus and Beodar disguise themselves with polymorph self as Orcs to sell wine to the troops as well as spiked wine to the troop leaders.

Anatoli planned on using Blindness to blind the leaders as orcs take being blinded without physical injury as a sign of displeasure from Gruumsh.

Anatoli uses a Major Creation to put a false drainpipe made of aluminum and filled with powdered magnesium with a wick on it. It runs the entire height of the city hall.

GZ agrees to meet on the top of City Hall once all the other plans start. Those plans are:

Eljay polys into a Hill Giant and Tarl into an Orc. They head to a large encampment of charmed Hill Giants that were helping to fix the city walls on the Northern side of the city. Eljay uses his sword to break all the charms. Tarl then aggravates the giants and makes it look like the orcs are doing it. Eljay then “herds” the giants through the city killing everything in their path.

Anatoli then creates an illusion of General At Ur-Rehman stating that one of the orc tribes leaders has been struck blind and has betrayed the others. and that all the orcs should go to war on that tribe to kill them for doing so. He then uses his Rog of Beguiling to “encourage” them to believe him. He then disappears via ring of invisibility and lets the orcs that are now whipped into a
frenzy deal with the chaos of the giants, the blind leaders and the tainted wine.

Aldebaron then kills an orc and polymorphs him to look like the General in a different part of the city and makes it sound like he has been slain by Gruumsh. The corpse is created to look as if it died of the “dreaded bleeding death” that orcs accompany with being punished by disobeying Gruumsh.

Things get chaotic here. For the orcs at least. The plan goes fairly well and as we expect. however, in city hall, some sort of continngency goes off and the demon that is attached to the soul gem is summoned. At the same time, GZ scatters and Antoli sets off the drainpipe. The resulting combination of forces creates a firestorm that incinerates everything within a 100 yards.
After the dust clears, we notice that there is a type 6 demon present in 17 foot height weilding a flaming sword and whip. We decide that we should leave except that it was uncontained and would decimate Prince Stephen’s forces when they got there…and keep going. So Beodar says that if GZ can buy him some time, he can use the rubbing (which is the demons’ true name) to create a
weapon that will vanquish the demon. So GZ engages. Anatoli casts a reverse Tempus Fugit so that GZ and the demopn are slowed to 1/10th of the time relative to Beodar who is outside of the area of effect. Beodar casts several spells including one that copies the runes from the paper rubbing to his Lawful Evilly aligned magic sword.

During the delaying fight, Antoli used an Alter Reality to pull the soul object to his hand and then fed it to his Gnomish Bag that devours gems. This got the attention of the Demon as apparently it didn’t kill the demon as Anatoli was hoping. Anaotoli is slain by the demon. By fire. His bag turns into a normal bag for now. Beodar was able to hit the demon with his sword which caused the demon to turn to stone.

The forces of Prince Stephen arrive and kick much ass aided by GZ. Lots of large area of effect spells go off. Maximus emulates a blender. Adrianna shows up and apparently resurrects Anatoli despite the fact that she doesn’t appear to be high enough level.

The captain of the Water Raven used his ship to help reduce the number of fleeinng orcs to the river. Afterwards he confessed that he is a displaced Shield Lander of the noble court and was going to be coming back to help restore Critwall land the Shield LAnds. However, Critwall is completely beyond repair after the demons arrival. Anatoli decides to recreate the foundations of the city with a central keep using an Alter Reality. After announcing his intentions to GZ, the other mages in the group including Eljay, Aldebaron and Beodar agree to lend Limited wishes to the effort. Beodar stays up all night and completely designs New Critwall. That morning before sunrise Tarl summons earth elementals to shape the earth and bring forth raw materials for the effort. Magic Ensues. New Critwall is born. And GZ rides off into the sunset.

Treasure picks from the ruins of Castle Greyhawk
Player Pick# Item
Beodar 1 Tzilla’s Rod of flailing
Beodar 2 Ring of spell volley (21 charges)
Beodar 3 Longsword sword of ebon flame +2
Beodar 4 Stone of seeking +3
Beodar 5 +1 Short bow
Beodar 6 Amulet +4 chr to illithids
Anatoli 1 Max’s glass steel dagger
Anatoli 7 Ring of weakness and Ring of contrariness
Anatoli 2 small gun,belt,24 bullets/gloves of dexterity w/ prof in handgun
Anatoli 3 Miniature hat of disguise
Anatoli 4 Amulet of dimension door (6x per day)
Anatoli 5 Book of charisma
Anatoli 6 Minitature vorpal great sword
Aldebaron 1 Book of constitution
Aldebaron 2 Miniature vorpal great sword
Aldebaron 3 Adamantium
Aldebaron 4Miniature halberds (vorpal)
Aldebaron 5 2 statues (one crystal, one gold) spell components
Eljay 1 Magic crosbow (hand crossbow) +2
Maximus 1 Suelese battle harness
Maximus 2 Minor quiver of holding
Maximus 3 +2 axe of hurling
Maximus 4 Ring of fire resistance
Maximus 5 Earring of extended hearing (target with hearing vs vision) 5 charges 1 turn per
Maximus 6 Minitature vorpal great sword
Tarl 1 Ring of water elemental command
Tarl 2 +2 axe of hurling
Tarl 3 Amulet of protection from magic (gives save when no save)
Tarl 4 +1 Ring of protection
Tarl 5 Minitature vorpal great sword
Jet 1 Pearl of wisdom (in ear ring)
Jet 2 Ebony fly
Jet 3 Ring of charm monster (1/day)
Jet 4 Ring of shocking grasp
Tahlia 1 Wand of fireballs (melted tip) 12 charges
Tahlia 2 Ring of undead protection (5’)
Tahlia 3 Handaxe +1 on natural 20 slay living
Tahlia 4 Spiked buckler +2
Tahlia 5 Miniature murlynd’s spoon
Tahlia 6 Arrowhead of slaying (trolls)

Ring of greater boneheart and lesser boneheart (proof of death given to city)
Magical cloak of admiration (returned to greyhawk)
Statue for contingency

Assault on the Greyhawk Mage's Guild

Hey, guys

I heard that on the last run, Eljay was given the task of finding the Temple of Boccob previously located in Castle Greyhawk and placing the Eye of Boccob on its altar. The Temple is supposedly somewhere in the Abyss.

You contacted Zarya Savendi of Rel Astra and Lo Rel Tarma. She said she could contruct a device which would locate the Temple, but she needed something from Zagyg’s Study in the Mages’ Guild in Greyhawk.

You went to the Mages’ Guild to find everyone unconscious. After investigation and combat, you learned that a Type 6 demon had been released (summoned?) from an artifact by a discontented student. Aldebaran made a bargain with the artifact to reimprison (dispel?) the demon. Eljay woke the unconscious people by cutting them with his sword (which had a dispel magic effect).

Question 1: What happened differently from this writeup?
Question 2: What else happened?
Question 3 (and most importantly): When shall we run again? I have plans for Jan 17, 18, and 24. But after that is currently okay.


The Last Maxximillian B. Thornblade Story

Hey, guys. Here is the last run summary.

Before the game starts, we have just attended Max’s wake and the viewing for Sym. We are in the city of Greyhawk. Eljay has become a Storm Warden for the Temple of Boccob. He is apparently very friendly with Adrianna, the high priestess of Boccob.

Talia gets Beodar and Aldebaran to help her get Anatoli to go on a date with her. (The spells, Web and Geas, are mentioned.) Anatoli is out of game for the rest of the evening.

While we are in Greyhawk, the Ambassador to Greyhawk from the Lands of Iuz (Lurch) is found dead with Max’s badge found near the body. Beodar was the last one to have Max’s badge. The Mayor of Greyhawk asks us to investigate.

Tirra (the elven thief who got us to steal the brass monkey from Zagyg’s study) drops by to say her underlings saw something jump the Ambassador. They “tried to help”. One was wounded, another killed, and the rest ran. By the time they returned, the Ambassador was dead – they found him in the catacombs beneath the city, not in the street where he had been allegedly jumped. Eljay is suspicious of the thief’s information, mostly because she volunteered it.

The Jewels of Greyhawk have a shop just beside the spot where the Ambassador was allegedly attacked. One Jewel (Alethia) says she heard creams, saw 5-10 people fighting, and left when she saw a wand emerge.

Maximus says the area of the attack is unnaturally clean. Jet uses Sensitivity to Psychic Impression. She “sees” the Ambassador, accompanied by two thief bodyguards, go into the shop of the Jewels of Greyhawk. He then comes out, and goes into the next door merchant’s shop using a key. After an hour, he comes out and goes into the alley. After 15 minutes, a flapping noise is heard. Shadow figures attack the ambassador and his guards. The ambassador uses a bone want on his attackers. The caped figure uses a wand of acid in response. The ambassador retreats through a locked grate (he has some device which acts as a key) into the catacombs. The caped figure attacks again. The ambassador says “please don’t take my soul” and dies. The caped figure appears to be a shade.

The merchant’s house that the Ambassador went into belongs to the merchant Othmir, an importer/exporter of exotic goods. Maximus interrogates the clerk. Eljay questions Othmir. Othmir says the Ambassador sells him cheap oil, and he provides the Ambassador with a special perfume to hide his rotting stench, and makes the ambassador special candles with blood.

We go into the catacombs to examine the death scene. Maximus finds tracks from the Amabassador, his guards, the city guards who found and retrieved the body, and the shade (whose tracks are very light and just start in the middle of the tunnel).

We go to the city morgue to examine the body. The ambassador apparently died from having a sword inserted into his chest and twisted. His skin reacts to milk as if he were an animus. He has a tattoo, which might be the holy symbol of Iuz, or Nerull, or Hexis (Iuz and Igwilv’s son, the god of corruption). Tarl uses Speak with Dead. After a few minutes of conversation, the body animates and Jet cuts off its head.

We go into the catacombs to find what the Ambassador was running toward. Eljay uses Mordenkainen’s Hound to find the Ambassador’s cache. Protected by a guardian familiar, the cache contains 3 scrolls, a robe with bloodstains, a cauldron, a crystal ball, and a skull covered with wax and a candle on top.

A separate box contains a diary. Lurch had lost his spells, and then he got spells back. He started having dreams asking him to betray Iuz. His spies (the Bone Shadow) had started disappearing. He planned to leave Greyhawk soon.

Beodar remembers that Max had created a simulacrum. Max’s staff, Umbra, has the ability to drain levels and transfer energy to the wielder. If it drains all a person’s levels, the weilder gets a permanent level.

We think that several prior murders have occured in the Thieves Guild. Unable to handle it themselves., the guild set it up to implicate Beodar to get us involved. So we call their bluff and throw Beodar in jail ourselves – after getting drunk at Sym’s favorite tavern first.

Tirra comes to us and tells us that someone else died last night (Sentel Nerev, guild seneschal). Before the ambassador, four other people had died. There was a fence, a recruiter for the Thieves Guild, and the assistant to Bubka, the mage of exchange. All were enemies or assistants of enemies of Max. She accepted that we called her bluff, and agreed to make the evidence against Beodar disappear. We agree to find the killer.

With Adrianna’s assistance, we set up “a special night of divination” and invite the head of the merchants guild and his friends. We believe they are the most likely next targets of assassination. The simulacrum of Max attacks and we kill him.

Death of a God
End of an Era

First and foremost. WOW. I had some massive expectations and you people did NOT disappoint. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. One by one you go into the GodTrap to face an unknown foe only to be picked off one by one. Maximus challenges Maxx show his true allegiances and he chooses the IuzBane. Maxx meets his unavoidable end. Anatoli pledges himself in the service of Boccob and soon thereafter releases all the occupants of the GodTrap. Epic battle ensures in which many of us fall, Sym for the final time. A desperate battle with a desperate god. IuzBane triumphant. But at what cost? Sym slain by a vengeful god…Maxx’s soul forever lost..But much was gained: Robilar restored. The Iuzbane cursed removed. Iggwilv thwarted.

Oh yeah, and just so you know. I was fairly sure that the game was going to end with everybody being dead except for the Druid. But thanks to Anatoli’s quick thinking, the group managed to survive certain death. And we all live to do this for another 21 years :-)

And now, THE AFTERMATH!!!!

The backwash of energy from the deactivation of the GodTrap completely nullifies the magic of the templated ioun stones and anything created from the focus. All those items lose their dweomer and turn to dust about an hour after we make our way from the area of Castle Greyhawk.

Additionally, the World Serpent Inn has closed off most of its doors from the eyes of casual mortals. You can only enter through consecrated temples to Greater Gods. Certain lesser powers may allow transport but is is unknown how to ascertain which ones can do so.

Zuggtumouy is distraught and blames the IuzBane for Iuz’s death. However, she has limited ability to affect the prime material plane. At least in theory…

Mordenkainen “leaks” knowledge of our encounter with minions of Iuz beneath Castle Greyhawk. He explains it simply as “on his behalf”. The ruling oligarchy of the City of Greyhawk hails us as heroes for our part in thwarting the invasion via the Underdark. There are no public accolades though as they do not wish to upset the general public with knowledge of a threat that they did not see coming. It would cause unnecessary panic. Each of us is awarded the title of Lord and is given a small 2 bedroom bungalow in the High Quarter. The title is meaningless outside of the city but grants some respect and some small amount of political clout inside the city. We still have to pay taxesto the city for the land of course….

Robilar gives each of you a gift from his cache of treasures:
Maximus: You are given a strange piece of leather like material with a beautiful tattoo of a bullseye on it. If worn for one month against your skin, the tatoo will transfer to you. It will allow you once a day to get a bonus of +6 on a hand held missile weapon either thrown, hurled or mechanically shot. When the ability is activated, the tattoo becomes indistinct. Over the next 24 hours, it becomes more and more clear as it recharges.

Tarl: You are given a_Phylactery of Divine Power_ . This small gem is attached by a silk cloth piece and allows you to recall any one curing or healing spell you have already cast, once a day. the spell must still be cast normally once it is back in your mind. It must be worn to be activated.

Eljay: you are contacted by Mordenkainen. He says that in thanks for helping him, he will help your “sword enchantment problem”. I’ll get with you one-on-one for more details.

Aldebaron: Robilar gives you a wand of polymorphing with 36 charges left in it.

Jet: Robilar gives you a Gauntlet of the Gladiator. 1/week grants the wearer the THACO of a warrior of equal level for 1 turn. However, you also lose 5 points each in intelligence, wisdom, and charisma for the duration.

Anatoli: Robilar gives you a Cloak of Protection +2.

Tenser gives you access his following spells:
Tenser’s Deadly Strike 3rd
Tenser’s Giant Strength 4th
Given your levels in fighter, he thinks these might help you.

Beodar’s gift is revealed at a later date. :-)

Sym’s Fate:
A hero’s funeral is given for Sym. He is declared The Forever Arena Champion and the title is retired. The new title for those that compete is Grand Gladiator. Sym is laid in state in Five Oaks Quarter for one week. He wears the cape of the Champion and his sword is atop his body.

After a week of such ceremony, his body is transferred to the Shield Lands. Prince Stephen makes him an Honorary Knight of Holy Shielding (which pisses off most of the existing Knights of Holy Shielding. Sym is laid in state in the current capital city of the Shield Lands for one week. To hide his face for the more delicate members of the elite, a carved wooden mask of his facial likeness is used to cover his withered/shriveled head. Sym is buried in the ancestral graveyard of the noble houses of the Shield Lands. His statue has one foot atop a bloody skull. He wears chaimail with no helm, his sword and a club in his off hand. It is an amazing likeness in the statue.

Afterwards, the campaign to retake the shield lands begins full tilt. Prince Stephen calls for an all out war to take back the Shield Lands. All the exiled Knighs of Holy Shielding jubilantly answer his call to arms. There is a large exodus from Greyhawk City as the drums of war start there steady pace. It is rumored that Sym’s will leaves all of his fortune to pay for mercenaries and such to fund the war.

Kymballa’s Nuptials:
Kymballa and Melf have been given leave to reschedule heir wedding at their own convenience. Out of respect for their dead comrades, they have scheduled for 2 months hence. Kymballa openly grieves for Maxx’s passing.

Tahlia’s Plans:
Decides to spend stay in Greyhawk for Kymballa’s wedding before heading back to Urnst. She says she will drop in from time to time but wants to spend sometime with her kids, Winkin, Blinkin and Chuck.

Mordenkainen gives you the ring permanently. Ring of the Faithful Companion. Summon’s a Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound. Visible and audible only to the ring wearer. Can exist 4 hours a day in any increments. If the hound is dispelled, then the ring is inert for a week. The dog has memory between summoning and can be named. It cannot talk but there is a 75% chance that it is able to get its point across even if the information is more complicated than yes/no.

Mordenkainen also gives you access to his following spells:
Mordenkainen’s Emcompassing Vision 2nd
Mordenkainen’s Electric Arc 4th
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Shield-Maidens 4th
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Defenders 5th

The spies in the Lands of Iuz report that there is a major happening in the capital city of Dorakaa. No one knows exactly what is going on. It is rumored that a female has stepped up to assume leadership there. But no one can give an accurate description other than to say her skin is unusual in texture and color….

Ruins of Castle Greyhawk Part 3

Hello, everyone.

We are playing dnd this weekend (where? who knows!) and so I am trying to post a quick summary of our last run.

We joined our intrepid adventurers camped out in the waiting room for the chamber of summoning. This is the room that gave us instructions for the safe phrase “I am a guest of Zagyg and I am allowed on the Promenade”, to be used before using gaseous form in the Chamber of Summoning.

We had decided to camp in this room. That night, we got attacked by
some oddly strong and oddly organized goblines, equipped (like the Kamikaze Kobold Korps of yesteryear) 1HD fireball beads. We kill them and collect the barrels of explosives they were planning on using on us.

We explore west and find a ?natural? cave covered with mold and fungus. A yellow musk zombie (a bullette in life) attacks, but Maximus kills it. He then kills the yellow musk creeper controlling it (in the bullette’s brain) with his bare hands.

Through the next door, we see what appears to be a picnic scene in Akbar in Tusmit. Anatoli’s Reveal Truth shows a pool of water, a banquet table, a bird cage, and many doors. The banquet table is covered with
rotten meat. One door leads to a room with a portal covered in blue mist. We do NOT go through the portal. Another door leads to a room that smelled of rotting meat and vinegar. We do NOT go through that one either. We do go into a hall lined with cells filled with components for illusionist spells. We loot whatever Anatoli wants, and destroy the rest.

In another room we find Loris Racnian, reigning champion of gladiators in Greyhawk. He was rumored to have made a deal with Nerull, to sacrifice his foes to the god of death. We kill him and his two arumvorax pets.

Mazier starts throwing up and teleports away. Sym shows up. We head back toward the Chamber of Divination. Beodar asks the name of the Iuz’ prist who died under Maximus’ questions – Renar. Beodar also asks for Vayne’s current location – the Chamber of Summoning.

We head for the Teleport Room, and go to Zagyg’s Prison. Anatoli uses the Obsidian Key to get in. 4 Type 2 demons (Hezrou) attack us, and we kill them.

In another room, we find what we think is Shindra’s gear.

In a desecrated temple of Boccob, we see an undead Ravel about to sacrifice a blond priestess. Anatoli uses Reveal Truth, to find that the priestess is the demoness Levashti. Sym dies when he attacks her, only to discover that she is protected by ice shield. Eljay uses giant growth and Tensor’s Transformation, and strikes her down using a desecrated statue of Boccob as a weapon.

In the next room, we find 9 cells, and a work bench with materials to repeat a simulacracum, and 2 books on making Zagyg’s prison and using a Force Cage (like the one Eljay has). The 9 cells contain materials for spells for the nine schools of magic. We loot them.

We find doors of strange purple metal engraved with pictures of Castle Greyhawk. Inside 2 crystalline statues of warriors attack us. Beodar destroys them using Shatter.

We find a pool of “blessed water” in the next room. We use it to clean the desecrated temple, purify Ravel’s body, and restore Sym. We create a sarcophagus for the body of Ravel in the temple, and Beodar blesses the temple in Boccob’s name. Boccob’s statue smiles

Ruins of Castle Greyhawk Part 2

Here is a quick summary of our last run.

In the previous run, Ground Zero had spent some time in a room where divination spells were apparently cast for free. We agreed to leave there and go to the room where we had rested the previous night.

When we got to the rest and recreation room, it did not respond to Aldebaran’s commands as before. Anatoli used Reveal Truth to show a beautiful sea-elf lady in fine garments. She murmured something about her mistress summoning her, and used a spell to take the energy of the spell casters present. (All mages and clerics except Jet lost memorized spells of level 5 and above. Anybody recognize that spell? Anybody got any ideas about why Jet was not affected?) Then she disappeared.

We spent the night. All the mages spent at least some time researching information in the library in the back of the rest and recreation room. On the table were several books on the creation of life.

The next day, we headed back down to the treasure rooms. We tried a passageway, which had two alcoves – each filled with amazingly detailed miniatures. The miniatures included two groupings of Ground Zero. The first included the people and equipment from the first time Ground Zero came to Castle Greyhawk. The second was the people and their equipment from this time. The mages took their figurines. The rest of us did not.

Continuing down the hallway (ignoring the graffiti which warned us to not go on), we ended up teleporting naked into a tree-lined avenue. Apparently, we shrank as we teleported, and the miniatures remained the same size. Tarl arrived behind an amazingly convenient boulder. Jet came through with her dragon scale armor, and the appearance of her torc worked into the armor (but nothing else).

The people who brought their miniatures quickly dressed and armed themselves from the miniatures. Since Anatoli had brought his miniature, he had access to his gnomish pouch, and brought out robes of Hieronymus for all the naked people. Beodar and Anatoli armed all the naked people.

Jet used the torc on her armor to summon birds. They told her of the castle ahead, and that in the castle there was a black shard that we could use to leave.

We apparently were in Wonderland. Some people with the bodies of playing cards saw Maximus and ran away. (Possibly that was because he was naked!) We followed them to a red and white striped palace with heart motifs.

Inside we heard a shrill female voice. “You burst into my palace! You start talking! When will you learn — knock, then supplicate! Knock! Supplicate!”

We followed the voice to find the queen of the card men. Upon seeing us, the red queen screams “Off with their heads!” The fight begins. The seven red guards are armed with vorpal weapons. The queen is a magic user, casting through projected image. Also, concealed in the room is the alterkin of Murlynd (Dnylrum?)

The fighting was very intense, but the puns were even worse. Maximus got depressed because with only one sword, he’s not doing as much damage as usual. Anatoli told him to “deal” with it. When a card guard got damaged, Anatoli said “he folded”. I forget the rest, though. Jet used the claws built into her dragon armor and turned into a Celestial cloud dragon. When she hit Dnylrum with both claws (being Jet, that took her five rounds), she unexpectedly got a bite attack. She also got a breath weapon attack greater than normal on the next round (killing Dnylrum – Anatoli took a Kodagnome picture) and a constriction attack on a guard on the round after that. Weird. Aldebaran Itemizes Dnylrum.

Anatoli who is holding the Obsidian Key, feels a tugging toward a black shard. When he gets close, the shard merges with his Key. Anatoli uses the Key to draw a door, and we walk through that, back to the passageway. We are naked again, but we find our stuff on the floor where we teleported away. Oddly, we have the loot from Wonderland, but it is all miniature sized, except for the picture that Anatoli took which is normal size, and inside his bag. Tarl Raises Dead on Dnylrum, and we use the Orb to send Dnylrum away.

Finally, we go to the last unexplored door, which has a picture of an ape on it. Inside we are apparently at the beach, with a small, empty boat on the shore. A bank of mist hangs off shore. A few people get in the boat and the boat heads for the mist, but another boat comes out for the rest of us.

Through the mist, we come to a lush, volcanic island. The jungle heat and insects are oppressive until Jet uses Control Temperature and Repel Insects.

On the shore, a 20 foot tall ape is feeding on a dinosaur carcass. Following Maximus’ advice we act non-aggressive. The ape acts suspicious, but then ignores us. He walks into a cave, and we follow into a long natural tunnel.

The tunnel opens out unto a natural savanna, surrounded by volcanoes, some of which appear to be active. Browsing dinosaurs and pterodactyls are visible in the distance. We also can see a purple ziggurat in the distance.

Anatoli feels drawn to the ziggurat, so we head that direction. As we draw near to the ziggurat, we see it is covered with arcane runes of binding. From the top of the ziggurat charges a huge dinosaur – something like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Anatoli distracts him with an illusion and lures him into an area where Jet has cast Rock to Mud. Maximus goes around to the top of the ziggurat, sees a cloudy pool, and dives in.

The rest of us follow (“Ground Zero doesn’t split the party.”) and we end floating in a dark space with moving spheres. Aldebaran touches one and is sucked in. He confronts himself, and immediately engages in combat (a bit Freudian, now that I think about it). The victor (we assume the original Aldebaran?) emerges from the sphere, holding another black shard.

Anatoli touches the shard with his key, and the key absorbs the shard. Anatoli has a vision of three shards merging to form a pyramid headed key – the form of the Obsidian Key artifact, held by Boccob. Anatoli’s key now looks a little more like the key in the vision, but not entirely.


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