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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Marauders
to be written...
Session: 119th Game Session - Tuesday, Aug 18 2020 from 1:00 AM to 4:00 AM
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Pointer-left Investigator__male_2_thumb
Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 1 — Truly Horrid!
The gray monster dead, Solisar immediately flew off to recover Kytharrah. As he passed by, he saw the formerly mind-controlled slaves wondering about, all of them seemingly lost.

   At the door, Barth spoke. "These are the docking-bay doors, we are finally here."

   The wooden-planked walkway upon which they stood passed through a slit in the doors, and the doors extended above and below it, such that a worker could guide a floating crate out to waiting ships from either side and from either the top or bottom of the plane.

   Szordrin, still invisible, asked why there were no defenders for a wildspace station such as this.

   "We do have defenders," said Barth. "The Consortium pays mercenaries to protect us from such raids or the threat of them."

   "Where are they now?"

   "Perhaps you were betrayed," suggested Hakam. He put his ear to the door and heard muffled sounds through the thick wood. "Be ready for another fight," he warned.

   "An umber hulk, likely the one with the neogi on its back, came through these doors," said Leokas, noting the scratch marks he could spot on the wood at their feet.

   Kytharrah jogged along the plank to join them. Despite having been cleaned by one of Solisar's simple cantrips, he was still a mess — bleeding, cut up, and missing fur — but he still had a grin on his face, as he chugged from a bottle of healing potion, and at least the prestidigitation meant that he no longer smelled of sewage. Hakam hesitatingly put a hand on his wet fur to heal him. The flesh wounds sealed and the blood stopped, but he would still need a full-body barber to look presentable elsewhere.

   "We will still have the blessing of my god for whatever we have to fight beyond these doors," Hakam said.

   "Minotaur," the cleric continued, "Shove open the door and charge at whatever enemy you see. Do not look any of them in the eyes!" Then, using the magic of his air-walking spell, he flipped himself to the bottom side. Belvin joined him on the bottom side and began stripping off all his clothes, so that he would be ready to shapeshift.

   Kytharrah stepped up to the doors, shoved them wide open, ducked his head, and charged in.

   "Truly horrid!" exclaimed Martho.

   Leokas leapt through the doors at once and saw the object of Martho's comment. There ahead on the docks, standing with its back to them for the moment, was the largest umber hulk yet. It was at least double the height of their minotaur. Leokas let two arrows fly into its upper back just as Kytharrah drove into its lower carapace with his horns. To Kytharrah, it felt somewhat like charging into a metal wall. His head rang from the crash, and he stumbled back dizzily, but he still knew that he had a job to do. As the creature stomped step by step to turn around, the minotaur struck it again with both the melted and bladed sides of his weapon.

   The adventurers took in the scene around them. The umber hulk was not the only threat. Human crossbowmen, probably more slaves, were moving up and down the metal staircase leading from the docks to the upper offices. They were moving about on the Frihet too. Only Solisar, who was still flying, could see down on the deck to notice that many of the crew were bound. Nargroth was tied up at the forecastle, while he spotted Oma bound to the mizzenmast and Bansh to the mainmast.

   The other vessel that had been docked here, the tradesman, was gone, but now a much, much larger vessel filled the back of the docking bay, blocking it. It appeared to be made from a curved, dark crystalline material. Almost double the width of the Frihet, it looked something like a giant spider that had come in backwards, its engorged abdomen up against the back of the dock. Between several spider-like appendages hung sail-like webbing. The dome-like abdomen was open in the back, revealing two wooden decks within. The upper deck had a catapult and two ballistae aimed at the Frihet, while on the lower deck, more enslaved humans were at work moving crates.

   Five different Szordrins suddenly popped into vision below Solisar. From each, a dagger of ice flew forth. The sole non-illusionary icicle shattered against the giant umber hulk as it faced down Kytharrah. Kytharrah swung again but missed. The monster's left claw and then its right clasped the haft of the large axe and snapped the weapon in two. Kytharrah jumped back in shock — and just in time to avoid being decapitated by the rapidly vibrating giant mandibles that the hulk used for burrowing through stone.

   Solisar sent a cloud of glitterdust down on the monster in an attempt to distract it. Leokas stepped forward and prayed for aid on his next shot, while nocking an arrow, waiting for the perfect opening. Hakam walked on air from below and behind Kytharrah and touched him, granting the minotaur enhanced strength. Kytharrah felt the rush of power and snorted. He moved to the left side of the towering umber hulk, while grabbing a small vial. Quickly chugging it, he near-instantly doubled in size. "Now play!" he bellowed, arms ready to wrestle.

   Suddenly, there was an enormous sound of crashing, cracking, and grinding, and the whole wooden dock shook and buckled. The massive umberhulk fell onto its backside, and Szordrin also lost his balance. All five of him tumbled into the gravity plane. Only Solisar could see the cause of the sound and rumbling. A hammership had driven at full speed into the docking bay and rammed into the head of the neogi spelljammer. It fired a ballista directly through the crystalline windows at the head of the spider-shaped vessel. Sword-carrying men swung down from the masts of the hammership on ropes, shouting war cries.

   On the Frihet, Nargroth roared in rage and tore apart his bindings. The mind-controlled man guarding him was tossed overboard moments later.

   Belvin, stark naked, suddenly flipped around from the bottom-side of the dock, behind the umber hulk. As the umber hulk rose to its full height again, Belvin morphed into an eight-foot-tall polar bear and roared.

   The umber hulk turned to face the minotaur that now matched it in height and the white bear and seemed to hesitate. Szordrin magically tried to sway it from where he floated in the gravity plane. "I suggest that you investigate that crashing sound at your ship."

   Instead, it lunged at Kytharrah. Kytharrah ducked and rammed his horns again into the monster. The monster drove its massive claw into Kytharrah's right side.

   Magic missiles and arrows flew at the umber hulk. A heavy object struck the dock, tossed by Hakam. An instant later, a huge elephant now flanked the monster. It punctured the umber hulk's left side with its massive tusks, while the polar bear tried to bite at the legs with its jaws. Then, with a loud twang, a ballista bolt sprung from the deck of the Frihet and impaled the insectoid creature. Nargroth let out a victory yell from their ship, but the umber hulk still stood, even with a huge wooden projectile protruding from the front of its carapace and hemolymph spurting from several gore wounds.

   Kytharrah took the opportunity to try and shove the umber hulk off the dock, but even with his doubled size and enhanced strength, the umberhulk slammed him back with a blow that almost knocked him senseless. He felt blood all over his face, and it was hard to see. The umber hulk's digging mandibles began to whir, and it tried to look Kytharrah in the eyes, but before the magical gaze could affect the minotaur, the floating Szordrins completed a spell that filled the area around the umber hulk with magical darkness. "Lunk, get out of there! It is too big for you!"

   Kytharrah stumbled backward out of the darkness and dropped to one knee, as the monster's bite had still managed to slash at him in the dark as he pulled back. Hakam was there immediately to send a surge of positive energy through his body.

   The impaled-but-standing umber hulk was still in the darkness, trapped between a roaring polar bear and a trumpeting elephant. Leokas flipped himself over to the underside of the docks and hustled to the other end. Solisar flew toward Oma on the aftcastle, while continuously aiming his wand back toward the umber hulk and letting missiles of magic fly unerringly. The Szordrins, duplicate scrolls in hand, called down a rain of icy snowballs into the darkness. Hakam ran through the air to the staircase and observed the rest of the area. The crossbowmen who had been there were now aiming their shots at the mercenaries battling on the decks and dome of the neogi vessel, content to let their masters' monster fight the powerful newcomers.

   From the forecastle of the Frihet, Nargroth shouted, "Hey, hairy buddy with horns!" Kytharrah glanced over to see Nargroth's double-headed axe flipping through the air. It landed on the dock, and Kytharrah swiped it up. He could not see into the magical darkness, of course, but he could smell his opponent. He stepped back in and drove down his new weapon, hearing a loud crack, as the blade cut through the shell of the monster's forearm. He heard the dreaded whirring of mandibles and sprung back, but still they caught him in the chest, digging deep enough to chip a chunk out of his sternum. He fell to his back on the dock outside of the sphere of darkness.

   "Szordrin, I cannot shoot something that I cannot see!" shouted Leokas from below.

   The tiefling wizard dismissed his spell, as Leokas leapt from the dock in an attempt to land on the underside of the figurehead of the Frihet for the right angle to shoot at the umber hulk, but his feet slipped, and he continued past, gliding away on the gravity plane.

   Belvin, in polar bear form, and the elephant, continued to hold the umber hulk at bay, but it was swinging its massive arms wildly at both of them. Hakam hustled back down through the air to Kytharrah, who was on his back heaving in difficult breaths. Positive energy once again restored him. "Stop getting hit!" Hakam commanded.

   Able to see now, Belvin went low and wrapped his furry arms and claws around the umber hulk's legs in a hug, yanking it off-balance. The elephant drove a dusk into the back of the umber hulk's neck, driving the ivory weapon deep into the back of its head. The umber hulk twitched and jerked in its death throes before going still.

   The rest of the battle went very quickly. Solisar cut Oma free, and soon a summoned owlbear skeleton appeared on the neogi deck to block fleeing slaves from the escaping the mercenary boarding party. Bansh, once Nargroth had cut his bonds, helped the half-orc remove the mind-controlled humans from the decks and untie the rest of the crew. No one on the Frihet had been killed; it seemed that the intent had been to make slaves out of all of them.

   Solisar helped Leokas return from drifting away, and Belvin changed back into an elf and began recovering his clothes. Then they gathered at the edge of the docks, cracked where the neogi vessel had been driven into the wood. The deck of the neogi ship was strewn with bodies, and various mercenaries were wiping the blood from their weapons. A large man with a tricorne hat like Ombert and Frath wore stepped out from deeper in the vessel and approached them. He was carrying a small object that was dripping blood. He came up to them and tossed the decapitated, eel-like hairy head of a neogi at their feet.

   "Behold, the neogi 'master'," said the man. "My marines are already claiming all the cargo on board the deathspider for us. However, we could not have taken down that umber hulk monstrosity without great loss of life. My thanks is that I've ordered my men to leave its personal treasure horde to you; hearing this thing's spinal column snap as I ripped its head from its body with my hands is reward enough for me. Neogi masters always keep their trinkets in a room across from their quarters at the very front of the vessel. Help yourself. I won't set foot again on that god-cursed ship."
Session: 108th Game Session - Wednesday, Mar 20 2019 from 11:30 PM to 2:30 AM
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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Chapter 5 — An Anticlimactic End
~ eighth-day, 8th of Hammer, The Year of Rogue Dragons, highsun
Spinning Keep of Siri'wadjen


The spelljammer hovered over the surface of the dried sands of the Calim Desert. Solisar, Belvin, and Leokas had followed the gnomish illusionist's map to the Spinning Keep of Siri'wadjen without issue.

   The keep was not like any structure any of them had ever seen. To call it a structure at all was perhaps not the right language. The Keep was essentially an outer shell to the infamous Calimmemnon Crystal, the magical prison of the greatest two genies of Calishite history. The Keep was itself crystalline, a dodecahedron of pearly, translucent material, which was hard to spot in the day's sunlight until they were rather close.

   The twelve-sided keep magically floated some fourteen or fifteen yards from the surface of the sand and rotated on multiple axes simultaneously. It was more than 20 yards in diameter.

   About 100 yards west of the Spinning Keep was a large, circular tent.

   "Allu and his goblin archwizard are already here, as we expected," said Szordrin, standing at the railing of their spelljammer.

   "Let me take a look," said Solisar, as he removed a bit of bat fur from his component pouch. They waited for ten minutes for him to complete his divinatory spell, after which point he seemed to enter into one of his trances.

   "I am entering the tent. There are two cots here. One of the cots is occupied by a small goblin in robes."

   "The archwizard," said Hakam, "but who sleeps on the other cot, and where is he?"

   "Durbuluk?" suggested Belvin.

   "No, he stayed behind," said Hakam. "It is likely Allustairimarinastralmindivu's cot, and he has already entered the Keep."

   "He cannot enter the Keep," said Solisar. "The elven high magic prevents it, remember. Only the goblin can enter the keep."

   Belvin said, "Allu is gone, and his wizard is asleep — this is either a trap, or we are exceptionally fortunate."

   "Could the tent be an illusion?" asked Hakam.

   "If I were closer in body, I could scan it for auras," said Solisar.

   "We have to take the risk," said Szordrin. "This could be our only chance. Lunk, lower us to the ground."

   Kytharrah lowered them in one of the rowboats to the sand, then lowered Kamil, and finally came down one of the ropes himself.

   Szordrin stealthily approached closer to the tent and then returned to the others. "The tent itself has no magical aura, but there are some inside. The wizard likely wears some sort of magical items."

   "I can encompass the whole tent in silence," said Hakam. "The wizard will not be able to use any verbal spells or hear us as we approach."

   "Do not silence the flap of the tent, so that I can stand at the entrance and use my own magic," said Szordrin.

   "If the goblin is asleep, I can take it out with a single arrow," said Leokas. "Mark my words."

   "I can call on the winds to further guide your shot," said Belvin.

   "I can approach the tent invisible and open the flap," said Szordrin. "The moment that I do, let loose your arrows."

   Everyone agreed with the plan.

   Solisar granted Leokas the ability to see invisible creatures, while Belvin blessed him and enchanted everyone's ranged weapons. Leokas himself called for a blessing from Solonor.

   The others protected and readied themselves in other magical ways. Szordrin created illusionary duplicates of himself, and he and they all turned invisible. Belvin mounted Kamil. Kytharrah drank one of his potions.

   "Kytharrah, stay by my side," Hakam commanded. Then he completed a brief prayer that created a bubble of silence around the whole tent.

   "Follow my footprints," said Szordrin, and he moved quickly toward the tent. Leokas followed.

   The flap to the tent was whipped back, and several Szordrins appeared. They and Leokas took aim at the goblin. As the arrow left Leokas' bow, a powerful gust of wind rushed past the wood elf and visibly spiraled around the projectile as it traveled. Simultaneously, rays of fire erupted from the fingertips of the Szordrins.

   The flames enveloped the goblin, but seemed to do nothing to him or his robes, except to startle him awake. The arrow, however, struck through the goblin's right arm, through his side, and into his spinal column, striking with enough force to knock the tiny humanoid from the cot and unto the floor.

   Leokas nocked another arrow and took aim toward the ground. The goblin was not dead. Instead, he seemed to explode into a cloud of black smoke. The cloud was vaguely humanoid and much larger than a goblin or even a hobgoblin, filling half the tent. Red fire glowed for eyes.

   "He vanished into black smoke! It is Allu!" shouted Leokas in warning to those on the other side of the tent. He let fly his arrow, followed by two others, as the cloud immediately flowed under the tent and outside. The magic enchantment in his arrows caused the cloud to break apart with each hit. Szordrin tried to bind the gaseous form of the genie to the earth, but he could not overcome the efreeti's magic. Free from the confines of the tent, it rose into the sky.

   Hakam and the others outside the tent saw the smoke cloud rising and could make out the shape of arms and horns. The cleric touched Kytharrah and an aura of blue, watery mist formed around him. Belvin rode up and instilled him with extra strength. Everyone felt a surge of speed, as Solisar hasted them. "Attack the genie if it comes near enough to strike!" ordered Hakam, and Kytharrah took an offensive stance and waited.

   But the genie rose higher into the sky, far out of reach of any melee weapon. "You! You are the mortal scum who stole my gem!" came a booming voice from the cloud, just as Leokas and Szordrin appeared back outside the tent. The upper portion of the cloud formed into the bare upper torso of a muscular humanoid with bronze-colored, metallic skin, black, magma-like blood pouring from a wound in the side and arm. The blood struck the sand and sizzled and hardened. A ball of fire ignited in Allu's left palm as he opened his tusked mouth and roared. "Give it... ugh!"

   Surrounded by another tunnel of wind, a magical arrow escaped from Leokas' bow, piercing the efreeti's neck.

   The genie fell from the sky like a meteor, bursting into a black cloud on impact, which dissipated into nothing.

   They gathered around the scorched sand where the efreeti had fallen. "That was anticlimactic," said Belvin.
Session: 100th Game Session! - Thursday, Jan 25 2018 from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM
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How many giants does it take to defeat us? More than this, apparently.
I had a bad feeling about taking the invitation to the Ice Queen's lair. That said, the time for stealth had clearly passed - may as well confront her before spending any more of our strength. The bad feeling grew as we discovered how many of her followers were close to hand in her throne room.

It didn't appear that we had anything to negotiate about, so I led the fight off with a roar - two roars, specifically, as I turned Peck and Aramil into Tyrant Lizards. The Ice Queen didn't seem to appreciate the evening of the odds, because she followed up with a word of death. As I slipped from consciousness, I could feel the Polymorph spell dropping.

I found out later that the party had responded to that first with a Fire Wall by Varis, to begin softening up and hindering our foes. The rest of the group then targeted the Queen with a focused assault, followed by a Sleep spell by Miri - only just powerful enough to take hold after the beating she had taken. This gave Peck the opportunity to administer the Coup de Gras, finishing her off.

Rather than surrender, the remaining giants continued the attack. To keep it out of their hands, the Queen's Orb was picked up first by Oscar, who narrowly avoided domination by the device. Miri then took it off his hands, and was able to firmly resist it. Unfortunately, there seemed to be no time to Attune with the device and make use of it now (too bad - my impression is that the giants were only barely keeping their dragon 'pets' under control even with the Orb).

The rest of the party engaged the remaining giants, with mixed results. Anton and Theron each caught a group of them with Lightning spells, but the giants ganged up on Anton and Oscar... managing to bring both of them down. With the giants clear of his Fire Wall, Varis switched to a Blade Barrier just above our heads - weakening our foes further and giving us cover.

It was at this point that my journey on to the afterlife was interrupted by Varis' Revivify spell. Noticing that he had also saved Oscar with a Healing Word, I responded with another T-Rex Polymorph for both of us. We rejoined the fight with renewed vigor, and Oscar was able to take down one of the giants after a brief scrape with the Blade Barrier. Peck was able to save Anton with a healing spell.

Theron put up a Sphere of Force around himself - knocking the giants away and killing one by knocking it into the Blade Barrier. The giants retaliated, taking Anton out again, but Varis incinerated one with a Flame Strike and revived Anton with a Healing Word. Peck and Miri's wounds forced them to hide, while Oscar continued his prehistoric rampage - killing two giants.

Anton served up another helping of Lightning, and Theron traded his Force Sphere for an Air Elemental to distract one of the giants. Aramil protected himself with a Blink spell, and slew a giant which was harassing Anton. The remaining giants rallied again - knocking down Anton and nearly doing the same to me (I changed forms at the last moment, and protected myself with a Shield spell). Miri healed Anton, and the Air Elemental engulfed a giant.

Varis wounded several giants with a Radiant Dawn, and I bolstered the party with a Mass Cure Wounds - followed by a Spiritual Weapon to pressure one of the giants. Peck sniped giants from hiding, killing one, and Oscar continued his fight with two of them before being knocked down and out of Dino form. Anton was finally able to disengage and hide, and Theron tossed more Lightning.

At this point, the tide of the battle turned entirely in our favor. Miri continued healing the party, saving Oscar... while the Air Elemental finished off a giant. Varis used his last Radiant Dawn to blast the life out of another, while I cast another Mass Cure Wounds. The last three giants were slain by Oscar, Anton, and Theron. I think I missed a giant or two in all of that, but what a fight!

We all stopped to catch our breath - our thoughts turning immediately to escape. Theron informed us that he had kept back one teleportation circle - he just needs a minute uninterrupted to cast it. I suggested we quickly loot the bodies, and then pile them up in the doorways to buy us time. I'm temped to see what treasure we could find here, but I think we have little time to spare for it.
Session: Frost hall of death! - Wednesday, Jan 10 2018 from 1:00 AM to 4:00 AM
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Out of the Dragon's maw... into another's !?!
So we can add 'Dragonsbane' to our list of honorifics - although, I got a strange sense of Deja-vu about that. The gargantuan white beast took out many of Draven Thornbolt's fine crew, though Varis and I were able to bring two of them back from the brink with a little Divine intercession. That eases my mind to some degree - this isn't their fight, though I noticed their cook acquitted himself quite heroically.

We continue on, and the lookout yells ‘sails’ - this turns out to be a a wrecked ship (the 'Wander', apparently - a whaling ship). We pass close enough to hail the ship, and get no response. We notice marks of a dragon attack, and no lifeboats left on it. As discuss whether there's anyone left to rescue, Blackwolf smells human & chickens on ship.

We grapple onto the ship, head to the front with ropes, and my blade quickly de-ices the doors. We open the passenger area, and find no one - it was looted (by giants, no doubt), but they left behind an emerald (worth 300gp), 20 silver pieces, and two pieces of scrimshaw (worth 10gp each).

Continuing on towards the back of the ship, in the hold, we find chickens, 4 goats, and the cook (Bor Medred). He is unconscious, and suffering from hypothermia. Varis is able to cure this, and we take him back to our ship. Apparently his vessel was having some difficulty with their hunt, due to giants in the area also taking whales. They must've ended up too far afield in their search, because they encountered a giant longship with a shackled dragon (sounds familiar) which wiped them out & looted them. Bor heard in bits and pieces that the dragon apparently didn't come back to the ship after the fight, much to the giants consternation.

We keep going, and were able to get in a long rest unhindered. On a sleety day, we again get a call of ‘Sails’ - a giant longship! They pass us by (possibly aided by some impromptu magic to hide us), and seem to be following a guiding device parallel with the shore to deeper waters (looking for another of Aramil's family?) Further out, we see a bigger iceberg, with a huge hole down to the water-line (with a giant black chain hanging out from it, and a giant frosted face above it). Our ship anchors at an iceberg and lets us off. Draven is only willing to stay for 24 hours - if we're not back by then, we'll have to find our own way home.

We come up with the following plan to surprise the giants: Anton casts water-walking, and we head straight there single-file (behind a minor illusion I keep up, of the area behind us) As we get closer, we see large arctic owls - might be dangerous if hostile. We get a better look of the giant face - a depiction of a giant ocean god. We get a bit of a scare about the possibility of giant sea creatures swimming below us (the area is known for them), but we make it safely to the iceberg (off to the side of the opening)

Around this time, a SECOND huge white dragon flies out of the cave in the direction we came from. We hear signs of battle, and then see it come back with Draven in its claw. I'm not optimistic about the rest of his crew, but it looks like we've got someone else to save. We use two upscaled Invisibility spells along with a Locate Object (targeting Aramil's signet ring), and then head into the cave (using ropes to stay together).

Peering around the edge, we see a large harbor inside with five giant longships and 1 normal ship (possibly of elvish make?). A giant staircase of ice seems to lead up to a huge ice castle, and below that is a wide, bloodstained beach (covered with whale bones). We cut across the bay inside the harbor, up the beach, along the edges and up the ramp towards the castle.

Peck squeezes under a door on the ramp, and finds three people frozen solid against the wall (no one we know). With a combination of Wildshape, Polymorph, and Dimension Door, we're all able to make it through the door quietly. We replace the invisibility spells and pass through another door, narrowly evading an axe-wielding Giant sentry. He seems to hear us, but we're able to sneak past him and then flatten up against the wall.

We make it to a 4-way intersection, leading to a kitchen and various shut doors. With our options seemingly limited, we continue straight (following the locate spell) to a locked door.
Peck picks the lock, which attracts the attention of the giants inside (note to self - good time for a Silence spell). We decide that the time for stealth is past, and engage the pair of giants in the room. The fight seems to be going well, but their yells of pain are attracting further attention. I square my shoulders and prepare for a long fight.
Session: Did that iceberg move? - Wednesday, Dec 13 2017 from 1:00 AM to 4:00 AM
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