Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Honor Friendship and Deceit

While I've spent much of the past two weeks writing, participating and thinking about gaming, there just wasn't any room for blogging! I guess that's a good thing?

Two weekends ago, "Group A" went for a double header. A Saturday game that started at 1:00pm and didn't end until 9:00pm.... On Sunday!

It's my game-face!

Now before you get any wild ideas, we did break for food, stretches, conversation and a bit of TV. We also returned to our respective homes and got a good 8 hours sleep between Saturday and Sunday but for a brief moment in time, it was like middle school where all that mattered was "what's going to happen next?"

And what happened next was nothing short of great storytelling. The setting was a desolate wasteland in a pocket dimension linked with the planes of hell - an immense fortress on an equally immense chunk of rock floating freely in a vast nothingness. The land was parched and dry, geysers of boiling blood dotted the landscape and all around wandered wretched demons and devils, scrounging what they could outside the fortress walls.

The party was a ragtag group of adventurers with little in common, linked only by mutual respect and over a year of adventuring together. They've helped each other through thick and thin and now, they were really in the 'thick' of it. They were in search of a devil named Kulkus the Deceiver. They were to find him and kill him.

-The Cast-

Blanklee, their resident fighter is a mountain of a man. Born in the snow covered lands of Viklingr, he is as hardy and strong as he is ugly and socially inept. Months prior, in a moment of weakness and poor judgement, Blanklee made a deal with Kulkus. Overcome with guilt, Blanklee went back on the deal and turned himself over to the church. After a formal heresy inquiry and with a little help from his friends, he was released from custody under one condition - that he seek out and destroy Kulkus the Deceiver.

Karl Steimer is a battle-priest and the group's unofficial morale officer. Often going off on lengthy tirades about the dangers of evil and of mankind's need to be free of temptation, Karl is a model follower of the human deity Albrich Vul. He stood by Blanklee's side during the entirety of his inquiry, risking his own career on the actions of his companion. 

Gertrude Saddylmoor was once the well-to-do wife of a wealthy adventurer-turned-celebrity. When he was ruthlessly murdered before her very eyes she swore revenge and trained in the ways of stealth and combat. With the help of her friends she sought out her husband's killer and avenged his death. Children in the city of Sessovir tell tales of her exploits. Not knowing her true identity, they gave her the name "Black Widow." Gertrude also stood by the side of Blanklee during his trials, using what political and social influence she had to pull strings.

Alvernus "Alvi" Thornwuld was a modest priest on a simple pilgrimage when he joined up with the group of adventurers. Thinking it would be safer to travel with "experienced professionals," he found himself thrown into one dangerous situation after another. Typically in the back lines during combat, Alvi has saved the day on more than one occasion, mustering his courage and risking life and limb to keep his new friends alive. Alvi's knack for good fortune has earned him a position as a kind of "mascot" for the party.

-The Game-

The players were only one part of a much larger force. An Imperial force known as "The Order of the Destructors" were waging a large-scale frontal assault on Kulkus' fortress. During this time the party was to infiltrate the stronghold from below, gaining access via a little known cave located on the underside of the floating island. They were accompanied by an Imperial Demon Hunter and a sorcerer with celestial bloodlines. The adventure led them through spider infested caverns where Blanklee was swallowed whole by a gargantuan fiendish spider and ancient catacombs filled with ravenous undead who cackled in glee as the party fell into their various traps. The imagery on the walls and armor worn by the dread grave knights hinted that this place did not always reside here, but may have been ripped in entirety from the prime material plane. 

Breaking through the catacombs they found themselves in the lower levels of the keep. They battled their way through the torture chambers and prison levels, freeing an imprisoned friar in the process. Reaching the surface levels they remained inside the fortress, although they did peek out the door to witness Kulkus' secret weapon, an immense two headed giant! Cursed with the blood of fiends, the beast was a tower of muscles, tusks and weapons.

They quickly made their way up Kulkus' tower, dispatching guards and ruining his alchemical laboratory, slaying the infernal alchemists and ransacking their potion stockpile. Unfortunately one of the alchemists escaped, giving Kulkus ample warning to their intrusion.

When the party finally ascended to the open roof of the tower they found Kulkus waiting with a host of minions from lowly lemures, to wizards and bearded devils. Kulkus boasted and laughed at the party, offering them wealth, power and titles if they would only bow to him. The heroes refused and engaged with the forces of evil.

 The setup.

The battle was hard fought and their wounds were grievous. Blanklee was surrounded by devils and fighting Kulkus' new champion - a fighter of similar abilities to Blanklee himself. Every hit he scored was healed quickly by their foul cleric. Blanklee on the other hand, bled freely from many open wounds, his own clerics preoccupied with combat elsewhere on the rooftop. Gertrude was trapped in a dome of ice with a cluster of low level minions, effectively preventing her from helping her comrades and the sorcerer was attempting to locate Kulkus, who had conveniently turned invisible.

 Gertrude trapped in an ice dome, behind her Blanklee is quickly overwhelmed.

Discouraged by his lack of progress, Blanklee's strength of spirit was fading. He watched his companions struggle against the tide of evil and his player - a long time roleplayer and friend named Jim- had a hard decision to make. I could see it in his face and I knew something was up when he pulled out a coin and flipped it while still maintaining his character at the table. Jim passed me this note...

Johann Dangles -called 'J. Dangles' by the players- was a player character in a previous campaign. He has since become evil and is the main "Big Bad Evil Guy" in our game world.

 Fortunately for the players, a few of them spoke infernal and relayed the message to everyone. The table was stunned. The brief silence was broken by Karl who ordered retreat. A devil and his minions were one thing, but with Blanklee against them, they knew their chances were nil.

Karl grabbed the now unconscious demon hunter and ran down the steps, hoping to somehow escape the cursed place with Alvi hot on their heels. The sorcerer cast featherfall and took a leap from the tower to land on the bridge below. Blanklee, now a villain under player control followed the sorcerer in the hopes of cutting off Karl and his former allies. Free of fear thanks to his own ring of featherfall.

 Gertrude surrounded and alone.

Gertrude was left behind, having just escaped the dome of ice and with no chance against such a formidable force, she took a running jump from the tower with no means to slow her descent. She grabbed hold of Blanklee betting that she could "hitch a ride" but he easily pushed her off, leaving her to plummet to certain death.

With a little quick thinking the sorcerer cast a pit spell below Blanklee before slowing Gertrude's descent only moments before she hit the ground. The party used their limited time wisely, escaping while their former fighter was trapped within the pit. They barreled through the fortress and ran straight out the front doors to find what was left of the Destructors standing victoriously over the massive corpse of the two headed giant. Blanklee, no match for an army of trained clerics and warriors returned to his new master at the top of the tower.

His new employment was not long lived though. Kulkus made contact with a plethora of devils, begging for reinforcements. He was denied at every request except for one. A tall skeleton in dingly black robes appeared and offered aid and reinforcements on behalf of his master. In exchange he wanted only one thing - Blanklee. Kulkus, already having a suitable champion willingly made the deal.

The party, now short one 'killing machine' have regrouped and on their next adventure will venture back to the tower to slay Kulkus and destroy his domain once and for all.

Ugh, sorry for the long post but it was an interesing game! Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow to sum up this past weekends game which was equally exciting.

Until next time, happy gaming!       

No comments:

Post a Comment