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1/25/2015 10:15 am  #1


The Mulish Inconsistencies

Clearly, the pressure of a fully immersive CJ is too much for me. But here's a quick catch-up on our game and the current state of affairs. Our own one-line recaps are in bold.

8/2: Takes out a tower of orcs and a swine daemon at the command of the necromancer who's been yanking their strings. With the berserker restored, the party's necromancer "enters the shadows." Back to town for serious drunken debauchery. Level 2 is obtained by most.
"We win? And no one died! Mathematically, at least. Drunken debauchery is almost as much fun as wiping out a town for a necromancer."

8/30: To the Black Fief! On the way, the temple of the daemon speakers reveals that with enough panic and unconsciousness, a party of lvl. 1 characters with one magic item can take out a mummy! These sheep-women are kind of hot but also rude. When the party finds a labyrinth made out of eye fungus, there's much argument about who should walk it until Audgisl gets fed up and does so. He is rewarded with a daemon. They send the daemon after the necromancer, who is killed. Then, in order to make sure the daemon doesn't come after them later, they release it early to "play." Horrible consequences are assumed.
"You walk the fungus-eye labyrinth because you *rolled lowest*! What's so complicated? Now, do I get XP for everyone my daemon kills, or just the evil ones? Think about it, Mike."

9/13: Acting on the daemon's advice that the nearby sunken swamp contains great treasure, they investigate. Swamp lotuses are fun. Swamp zombies less so. The wrecked paddle-wheel steamer *looked* fun until the entire party was wiped out by giant ticks. Well, almost the entire party. Barita the Pict monk managed to haul the unconscious Shazuregon Qaan, Hyperborean magician, out of the fray and slam the door on the ticks. Unfortunately, Barita had been bitten by the swamp zombies and was, it turns out, already quite dead. As was Shazuregon after Barita ate him. RIP, everyone. New characters are rolled up on the spot, and the action shifted to Felchapel in Brigands Bay and the dungeon Kihago nearby. A berserker and a legerdemainist die almost instantly by (detected, easily avoidable) ambush and giant-stone-worm eggs laid in the brain. That one's hard to avoid.
"Team Murderhobo falls to suck monsters but gets right back on that talking blue cow. J keeps opening doors, to his sorrow. RIP, everyone. Also, J again. And, it looks like, Ross again. But this Esquimeaux is hot!"

10/11: Back to the dungeon. Alliance with the mumbling mutant tribesmen. Enmity with the cult of the Luminites, which is fine, since they often have laser pistols once can claim after killing them. However, the party retreats with losses from the Luminites' HQ.
"Manny guest-stars, dies in a cupboard kerfuffle. Comes back bigger, badder, and ready for more."

11/1: We're getting good at this TPK thing! Daylight proves deadly in the Prison of the Hated Pretender. Also, splitting up the party and running directly into the monster-generating pit is of dubious tactical use.
"Deadly daylight! Escaping deeper into the giant head does not seem to help. We are going to need more first-level FBI guys."

11/8: Back on the horse! In this case, the horse is a mine where everyone has gone crazy because of a rock and a village of zombie farmers. As with many things, this was a paladin's fault. Still, the party kind of impresses the Reavers who run the town's muscle. They even manage to make friends with an NPC before cutting off his head for advanced zombie reasons.
"Missing mines and zombie dirt grubbers. RIP, Donal. You were getting too old for this sh*t. Also, too zombie."

At this point, a roster is useful:
--Solon Eurybial: Atlantean magician. Spider familiar that lives in mouth. LE
--Fearghes MacRoss: Kelt shaman. Giant white elk totem. N
--Kilburn: Pict fighter. N.
--Qannmorr Zanntes: Common thief. CE.
--Eutropia: Steppe Kimmerian ranger. N. (Her identical cousin was killed by the Luminite chief)
--Bodicca: Pict witch. CG
--Graziela: Amazon cleric. CG
--Eydis the Viking Berserker! Apparently, she ended up in Felchapel at some point. She comes and goes. Always with long swords.

11/22: Acting on advice from some local drunks, the party decides to cure Qannmor of his crazy-rock problem by entering a ring of mechanical mushrooms. The transports them to a space-pixie station among the stars. They end up having to summon a tribe of old-Earth Eskimos and sacrificing them in order to make it back. One of them is so impressed, he signs on as a henchman. They manage to bring back a miniature golden city. Several days of illegal smelting operation later, they have portable wealth and the deep suspicion of the Reavers.
"Words can hurt, you dead space fairy. Not *your* words, but words. The illegal gold-smelting operation costs Eydis her mule deposit but gets her laid."

12/13: Sent to find out what happened to a missing Viking ship. Find some strange objects, follow tracks. Turns out an immortal ice witch is collecting man slaves. While camping between forays into her ice caves, a mountain ape smashes Graziela's head open. These things happen.
"I think the best way is if I cast sleep and *then* you shoot them. I'll just make myself a camp bed of the cleric's spinal fluid."

12/20: Ice witches are tough! Solon abandons everyone to their fate. These things happen. Then he leads a rescue party back to get them because Lt. Reaverson really wants the Viking who was on the ship. Rescues are effected. Solon's spider familiar agrees he's the hero. Second level becomes more than just a fond dream!
"A rescue operation can't succeed unless you abandon everyone first! Also, dibs on the magic items. Second level, watch out!"

1/10: Back to the dungeon! This time, many Shubs and Zulls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar! That is, the Luminites are wiped out, as far as anyone can tell. They try to replenish their numbers through some kind of cloning tubes. The party uses these to make a new war dog, which ends in war dog on war dog tragedy and some serious emotional trauma. Solon's attempt to clone his gold results in serious physical trauma when the clone tube blows up. They manage to destroy six med robots in order to cut the hand off Lt. Uhuru so they can use it to get through a strange door. The tomb complex on the other side has some weird straw-metal-flesh creatures that are nonetheless susceptible to sleep spells.
"One dog enters. Two dogs leave. RIP, Nudog and Dunog. Also, we figured out why the clones had those cloning machines--earwigs!"

1/24: Turns out this part of the dungeon is an ancient temple of Rel and his saints. With some sort of bizarre cult of nonhuman jerks in it. They call themselves the Foolish Consistency and attempt to eat little brains. Party all make their saves against allusion. Kilburne's brain is eaten. The Foolish Consistency finally goes down, though, and the party takes their name, with some alterations! Also, magic items! A lucky hat and a golden armband of henchmen getting! The unthinkable happens when Qannmor and Eutropia make level 3 and Qanmorr gets a priest of Rel hanchman--Pandar Er (3 INT, 15 WIS).
"The last cult we killed was crazy! What's stronger than the Foolosh Consistency? The Foolish Inconsistencies, jerks. Nice hat, Qanmorr. RIP, Kilburne."

Which brings us current.
 

 

1/26/2015 1:11 am  #2


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Nice. Now these are the type of campaign recaps that even I can readhttp://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/nerdy.png


You are fortunate to have a solid group to play with. I am hoping to get a regular game going again this summer with a few peeps.


I filled my palace with deadly traps so trap admirers will come and visit me

AFS magazine - pulp literature meets old school gaming http://hallsoftizunthane.blogspot.com/
 

1/26/2015 7:13 am  #3


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Sounds like a good time, Handy. Thanks!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/27/2015 5:51 pm  #4


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Thanks, Chainsaw!

Yeah, we manage to have a pretty good time.

     Thread Starter
 

3/30/2015 12:11 pm  #5


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

After meeting you all this weekend this all makes so much more sense!  I see J doesn't exaggerate!

 

3/30/2015 1:43 pm  #6


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

lige wrote:

After meeting you all this weekend this all makes so much more sense!  I see J doesn't exaggerate!

Good point, Eli! 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/31/2015 1:11 pm  #7


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Ha! Now you guys have him all spoiled thinking I'll be shamed into planting magic-item trees all over Hyperborea. I ran my philosophy by Ghul, and he agrees that there's no reason to spoil the players. That lucky hat will have to last them the rest of the year!

When we played Thurs. night, it was like Chainsaw was born to be at our table! The four-minute character is one of our player's specialties. But if you can't survive by either prostrating yourself in worship or hitting something with your hand axe, the fix is in!

     Thread Starter
 

3/31/2015 10:13 pm  #8


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Handy Haversack wrote:

That lucky hat will have to last them the rest of the year!

 
Don't forget that Sword +0 you gave them!

 

4/01/2015 7:25 am  #9


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

capitalbill wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

That lucky hat will have to last them the rest of the year!

 
Don't forget that Sword +0 you gave them!

You're right, Bill--I've been getting soft! I'll tell J you said playtime is over!

     Thread Starter
 

4/03/2015 11:47 pm  #10


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Handy Haversack wrote:

capitalbill wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

That lucky hat will have to last them the rest of the year!

 
Don't forget that Sword +0 you gave them!

You're right, Bill--I've been getting soft! I'll tell J you said playtime is over!

Just so you know, J's new line is, "Bill understood--and Jeff's a Red Sox fan anyways!"

You see how hard it is here.

     Thread Starter
 

4/14/2015 1:41 pm  #11


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Er, OK, let's see. Fallen behind once again.

2/7: The party goes down to the next level where more horrible things happen. They charm a hyaena-man, though, who keeps offering to eat the eyes of anyone Bodicca might name. They also find that much of the area is occupied by some sort of hell gnome, who like to do things like toss a cockatrice at the party and teleport away. After some hi jinks with teleport traps, they manage to take out the hell gnomes and their dwarf leader and scoop up some treasure.
"Hell gnomes? Meet Operation: Hell Yes! Hyaena-men: a great way to get rid of your friends' offal."

2/28: When they leave the dungeon this time, something strange happens. Even though the landscape does its normal shifting and changing, this tme it doesn't change back, leaving the party exiting a region of huge orange-sand dunes, more than 200' high. They find a small walled compound nearby and learn that they have been transported hundreds of miles "east" to the Slumbering Ursine Dunes, between the Lizard Coast and Dagon Bay. They learn of a local godling in a Glittering Tower, Medved, and that strange otehrworldly creatures have recently invaded the area. After resting and taking on a couple of hirelings, they head back into the dunes.

They pay off some horse-men (centaurs) who demand a toll for passage through the Dunes for Medved. Eydis the berserker and one of the spearmen kill a grue in its lair and find as treasure a silvery ball that induces sudden sexual ecstasy. Solon, as a noncompatible Atlantean, claims it. They press toward the shore and encounter a band of pirates that first offer hospitality and then attack. The pirates are all killed, and the party finds their outrigger canoe on the shore. Solon takes his potion and flies on ahead while the others paddle for six horus along the coast, passing a massive barge of strange golden construction. At last they come to the Glittering Tower and entered it through a sea cave. A large galley was tied to a stone jetty. There, Ondrj, a strange man being suckled by two gray-skinned creatures offerered them 3,000 GP to kill Medved, whom he claimed as his cousin. Negotiations went poorly. Ondrj, it turned out was a wereshark. The party was able to defeat him, but when they were searching the ship, his body disappeared. Solon then appeared after his own adventure inside the tower.

"Aren't there a lot of tadpoles on the ground? And let this be a lesson to any wereshark that might insult Ross's god! Basktabbed with fire!"

3/14: Solon related that he had arrived before the party, waited around outside until he saw the canoe pass under the headland, and then entered the Tower. Soldier-bears directed him to Medved and his androgynous werebear lover, Yavo. After some flirting and discussion, Medved showed Solon the way to the lower level of the tower with the wish that Solon and his friends rid him of his meddlesome cousin Ondrj. he gave Solon a star-shaped piece of mold, each brance of which would grant him invisibility for an hour. Solon immediately neglected to take it and was captured by a pair of pirates while listening at all the doors in the first room on the lower level. With the help of the Orgasmatron 3000, he was able to escape and "rescue" the rest of the party.

After meeting Medved and resting in a disused room, the party returned to the lower level of the Tower. They encountered the eld, a strange race of overwhelming order that seeks to enter Hyperborea and bring the very physical nature of the place more in line with their own rules of order. The party fought them several times, finding some strange places on the level, including a well that seemed to descend in to otherworldly blackness and a freezing void where a wall should be--a wicker coracle stood nearby in the chamber as if to bear its users into the void. Finally, the roused eld set an ambush and their was a fierce battle as the depleted party tried to get back upstairs. With some clever use of old rags and smoke, they party was eventually able to prevail before anyone panicked and tried to boat the wounded and unconscious through the strange void.

"I'm loading the unconscious party members into the Void Boat *just in case*!"

3/28: GaryCon!


 

Last edited by Handy Haversack (4/14/2015 1:41 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

4/14/2015 1:47 pm  #12


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

4/11: So, a slightly more detailed recap (and spoilers for Slumbering Ursine Dunes):
 After much debate, the party decided to go back downstairs to check out the two areas of magical darkness: the one in the corner of the corridor that the eld leader had been running toward when they shot him in the back, and the one through the secret door that Taliaktrug (Esq. cleric of Kthulhu 1) discovered while statue bashing--the one with the alarm gong and, that time at least, a hail of arrows. They decided to try the former first. In the room on the left before the dark corner, the crystalline turtles maintained their vigil. After much discussion and one experiment that indicated the things were still in a shoot-lightning-at-intruders mood, 100' of wire was wrapped around Qannmorr's (Common thief 3) 10' stick with loops at either end. He moved through the room trying to toss the stick so the wire would conduct between the turtles. It wasn't a great throw. In the ensuing kerfuffle, Utropia (Kimmerian ranger 3) shot arrows, Bodicca (Pict witch 2) held the light and taunted, and Qannmorr ended up dashing between the turtles and getting down the hole in the floor. The rest of the group retreated to the hall and decided to try exploring the darkness around the corner and find Qannmorr later.
 Fearghas (Kelt shaman 2) tapped ahead with his spear. He and Eydis (Viking berserker 2) were in the front. Too late, Fearghas realized his spear touched empty air--he and Eydis fell 20'. Fearghas was in coonvulsions and bleeding badly from the skull. Eydis heard something massive moving toward her. She swung her swords and felt one connect as she saw huge, glowing red demonic eyes. A second later, massive tusks tossed her into the air, and enormous skeletal hooves crushed the life from her body. By that time Utropia had a rope tied around herself and followed a lit torch into the pit where she saw an undead mastodon (zombastodon!) venting its fury on Eydis's corpse. Utropia tied the rope around Fearghas and scampered back up, but the thing saw her and attacked. Its tusks passed on either side of her, and she made it safely up. They hauled up Fearghas, whose Atlantean armor saved him from an impaling as well. Leaving fallen Eydis and her gold behind, they headed back for the stairs.

Qannmorr had emerged from the tunnel into another chamber, mainly empty. He left it and came into a corridor on the other side of the magical darkness, where he could hear the rest of the party in a panic, trying to get Fearghas away before the shaman died. Figuring they were fine on their own, he went the other way and found himself back in the room with the statue that Taliaktrug had smashed. The secret door trigger was jerry-rigged with a stone fragment now, and Qannmorr activated it and eventually passed through the magical darkness into the room beyond, which was a large chamber dominated by an enormous open forge in the center. The coals therein glowed a strange eldritch green, though they cast off no heat. Many areas of the walls were hung with enormous smithy tools, sized for giants. Qannmorr dug through the coals with his short sword until he felt something metal. This he scraped over toward himself and finally reached into the coals to grasp. Strange feelings as of power moving through him prickled his arms as he reached into the coals and faded as withdrew them along with a broken black blade about a foot long, ending in jagged shards at one side and a deadly point at the other. He stowed this and a few of the coals in his blanket and then looped the long way around to find the others as they were ascending the stairs back to the main floor of the tower. There they rested the afternoon and the next day until Fearghas was well enough to go on. One of the soldier-bears ushered into the room a Viking fighter (1) who had been picked up by the centaur patrols and brought to the Tower. He joined the party, and when Fearghas was well, they all decided to head upstairs (after Solon flirted with Medved for a while).So then upstairs. The first room at the top of the stairs had three eld guards in it and two massive white-steel boxes, 5' wide, 5' high, 15' long. The eld attacked but Solon dropped two of them with a sleep spell. The third was dispatched. Bodicca had cast charm, and one of the sleeping eld proved to have succumbed. With cool, calm, collected questioning that never, ever involved the making up of the entire eld power structure out of whole cloth in order to convince the eld that someone higher up had told him to spill the details of the plan (though totally with some agreeing that everyone else in the party was some ape-maggot combination), Bodicca learned that the boxes concentrated ley-line energy, which the eld were using to open a portal to their world and bring more of their number through, eventually to conquer of of Hyperborea and impose their rigid alien order over it. Bodicca convinced him to turn off the machines. Then Andrew's new fighter convinced him to not be charmed anymore by trying to cut off his hand. The eld was dispatched quickly, and Utropia decided that even though the machines had been turned off, they were still not to be trusted. Undaunted by the sparks that flew from the machine the first time she struck it with her war pick, she did it again.
 Utropiasplosion!
 Solon, Fearghas, and Hesperos (Amazon Fire Lord 1) were killed outright. Qannmorr, Bodicca, and Andrew's new fighter were reduced below 0 (I think). Only Utropia was still conscious. As fast as she could, she stabilized the unconscious and dragged the living and the dead downstairs. There she managed to convince Medved that if he really wanted to teach the Sublingual Embraces of the Seventh Circle to Solon, he'd have to bring him back to life somehow. Medved agreed. The next day Solon was back--though with an unhinged jaw that could open wide enough to encompass an ostrich egg and with golden fur covering his body. And a curious sense of shame.
 And then many dice were rolled.

"Utropiasplosion! RIP, Fearghas, Hesperos, and hinged-jaw, furless Solon. And Eydis (zombastodon!)."

Last edited by Handy Haversack (4/14/2015 1:48 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

7/21/2015 9:35 am  #13


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Man, I suck at keeping this up.

Some fast recaps:
4/18: Man, that kitchen staff is tough!
--Party set out from Kugelburg to get to Copen on the Lizard Coast to see about getting the ship out of the Slumbering Ursine Dunes and selling it. Signed on as caravan guards to help with some raiding. Ended up helping a tribe of cave-men that had allied with giant bees. The cave-men were threatened from below by Deep Ones. The party's first foray into the Deep One levels saw them almost wiped out by the cooks.

5/2: If we never get to town, can we keep getting XP? Hey, town! Makes all the Deep One killing and model-ship smashing worth it. Plus, this boa constructor sounds interesting.
--Managed to finish off the Deep Ones once the kitchen staff had been promoted to HQ. Back along the road met a Viking fighter who was looking for the treasure of the Tomb of the Flayed King. Found tomb, smashed some stuff, almost died, got treasure, met creepy Flayed King, who revealed that the rest of the blade Qannmorr carried is in the Temple of the Frog in the lizard swamps near Copen. Theyr each Copen, which is a REALLY REALLY COOL anarcho-syndicalist commune.

5/23: Isles of the Dead: Riddles are best solved with extreme violence. Also, Ross is a magic otter. And alive!
--Special side quest for some dead characters. Sexquimeaux cleric of the Kraken, Taliatkrug, comes back to life with a spiffy new sword that lets her turn into a random daemon!

6/13: Utropiaganger rekills the Sexquimmeaux. Send in the clowns. #YouDontJustEatEm
--After a strange dead man returns a living Taliatkrug, the party investigates the disappearance of the local rug maker and several murders in the Rugmaker's Den. Things get weird. Utropia is replaced by a flesh doppelganger for a while, and Taliatkrug once again returns to the Isles of the Dead. Whatever killed the rug maker sure likes creepy clowns. Even Qannmorr didn't like it when the doppelganger's eyes grew hands that waved at him. Circle of Life. Party misses out on chance to start rug monopoly.

(VACATION)
7/18: Call that battle axe Vice President Bush because your other hand is electing Mr. Ray-Gun! Also, if that slave girl wanted to be rescued she should have been covered in gold, jewels, or magic items. Somehow, after Andrew kills J, Manny (and Barry) save the day.

See details below!



 

Last edited by Handy Haversack (7/21/2015 11:28 am)

     Thread Starter
 

7/21/2015 9:38 am  #14


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

The Moon Bog! from our own joseph. Spoilers kind of.

I sent three level 1 Hyperborea characters into it, Clerica Strada, half-breed Pict cleric of Thaumagorga (played by J); Bergthor, Viking fighter (Andrew); and Lugotorix, Pict scout (Manny). The cleric started with two mooks and a mission. An enemy of Thaumagorga had come to Hyperborea from *beyond* and brought with it something that Big T did not want on the world--or so he claimed through intermediaries to his first-level cleric. They set of from Copen on the Lizard Coast, went inland a ways to avoid most of the swamp, and then headed for Stillwater on your map. An acidic swamp amoeba (ochre jelly) took out one of the mooks and almost got eveyone else before they drove it off with fire. Just as they reached the causeway out to the village, four giant mosquitoes attacked, and the scout was knocked unconscious. But their show of prowess impressed the villagers, or "Bretheren of the Deep" as they styled themselves, who took the party in and let them stay in the traders' hut in the center of the village. They revivied the scout with bog wine, which tasted of eel, rot, and fire but got him on his feet again. The party was complimented for destroying the blood suckers who prayed on the Bretheren. When the cleric mentioned that they were looking for a gathering of man-frogs in order to destroy them, they gained even more respect. But when they asked for directions, they were told that all enlightenment had to come from the Deep. Their escorts left them in the hut, and soon the sound of chanting filled the village. Every man in the place, it seemed, even those bringing in the eel boats, had joined in the eery eldritch chant, and many of those gathered around the stilted huts accompanied the chanting on drums of pale leather.

A slave child came to their hut bearing water, more bog wine, smoked eels, snails, herbs, and kelp. They realized she was the first female resident of the village that they had seen. When questioned, she named herself a Brdie of the Deep, as were the other girls, though since she had been chosen to serve those who occasioned the Sounding of the Depths, she thought soon she would be wed. Though they could not get from her any details that were not couched in superstition, they began to guess what all this meant. Not seeing any profit in rescuing the child, though, they decided to wait and see what happened.

The chanting and drumming lasted all night, and the party passed a wary and watchful night. The next day, they found that the elders of the village maintained the chant while some of the younger ones began to set about other tasks, readying boats and other items. They found the youth who had brought them in the day before and asked him what was going on and whether they could go ashore since a 20'-long bridge section of the causeway had been removed. He told them that all were preparing for the sounding and that while no one could spare any boats to let them go ashore on their own, they were welcome to join his party in going to propitiate the Ghost Turtle deeper in the swamps. Informed that they would have to remove their armor to go safely in the small boats, Clerica Strada and Bergthor declined and returned to the Traders' Hut, but Lugotorix accompanied the small flotilla.

The boats passed through the swamps along a winding stream. The villagers were wary, looking anxiously around and keeping near the bundles of small spears and arrows they piled in the bottoms of the boats. They took these and other large bundles with them after landing and passed along winding trails to an area of lakes and ponds. Here the villagers began to drum and chant until from one of the ponds a monster rose, a snapping turtle 20 feet across, its head the size of a wolf. Its shell was dead white, streaked with slime and algae. Its eyes were red and flat, and they burned as the massive head loomed over the villagers. These shook loose the bundles they carried, revealing skins of mottled white and gray woven with moonstones and pearls. These they shook and rattled until the Ghost Turtle snapped up the offerings one by one. Hastily, the villagers all drew their favored weapons and held out the spears and short blades to the massive thing. It moved its head down the line, dripping its saliva on the weapons and taking each into its beak. The youth who was his escort gestured for Lugotorix to copy their actions, and the Pict hastily drew his long sword. He stared into the Ghost Turtle's flat, red eyes as it took blade and hand in its beak. Then the creature withdrew and was gone. The villagers congratulated the Pict and, boisterous with triumph, returned to the boats and the village.

[More . . .]

     Thread Starter
 

7/21/2015 3:28 pm  #15


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Clerica Strada and Bergthor (and Mook 2) had passed a boring, hungry day, with nothing to do except watch the villagers chant. No new food was brought to them, and when they questioned the girl who was set to serve them, she told them that everyone fasted for the Sounding of the Deep. So they fasted, too. When Lugotorix returned, he told them of the ceremony of the Ghost Turtle and also the bundles of strange white snake skins woven with jewels that the villagers had sacrificed. They again questioned the girl, who admitted that before they were wed to the Deep, the Brides prepared and wove the skins of the moon snakes for trade and for sacrifice to the Ghost Turtle and the Deep. They debated having the girl show them where this weaving took place, but Bergthor doubted they could steal the gems and escape with the whole village roused for the ceremony--and he didn't like the idea of swimming ashore in his armor. So they waited.

Finally, they were escorted to the platform farthest out over the lake. It held no huts but instead had an open center reached by narrow planks. Most of the population crowded onto the platform, and the rest lined the swaying bridges and facing platforms close by. The chanting swelled, and the elder, draped in the moon-snake skins and crowned with that snake's skull, led a sinuous, fluid dance in counterpoint to the drumming. The red sun rolled under the rim of the world, and strange torches shed white light on the straining revels. As the elder danced, a bunch of the village warriors drew from the lake water a harness that held a great moon snake, twenty feet long, that thrashed and bucked in its restraints. They milked its fangs into a leather jug of bog wine and then paraded the captive creature around the platform, letting any who wished inhale its fetid breath.

Then the elder carried the jug to the party and offered it to them. "We force no one to see the Deeps," the old man said. "But the answers you seek are there." Dubiously, Lugotorix, Bergthor, and the Pict warrior all drank, though Clerica Strada kept well clear of the liquid. The two Picts began to wretch and heave, spluttering the liquid back out. But as the ceremoney climaxed, Bergthor's vision seemed to split. With his physical eyes, he watched the girl who had acted as their servant led out to the center of the platform and left there alone. She made no move as she was abandoned, neither to flee nor to cower. The chanting seemed to crash into Bergthor's mind. He saw a shape like a millstone, trailing fire across the heavens shoot over the village and crash into the swamps, and he knew he was seeing the past. From it, a strange being, eight feet tall, covered in thick fur emerged, its single eye taking in the island in a lake where its strange conveyance had crashed. On the platform's center, the girls stiffened suddenly, her body wracked and straightened as in the lake's depths, a phosphorescent stain appaeared and seemed to writhe in time with the chanting of the villagers, even as it rose through the dark waters. In his vision, Bergthor saw the man-frogs of the swamp come and worship the stranger, who cowed them with a sword of dark metal and wand that fired blasts of energy, powerful enough to kill a giant crocodile. But soon the man-frogs began to change. Some died, sores weeping on their skin. Others grew stronger and learned the use of spears and stone axes. They erected a statue of the visitor and lived on the island and worshiped it even as strange changes began to take over other creatures of the swamp.

The suggestion of a shine rose through the lake water and seemed to hit the surface like an explosion. The chanting of the villagers reached a shrieking crescendo, and all the torches were extinguished, though Bergthor could see that at the last instant, as volition returned, terror gripped the child on the platform. Then like a crashing wave, dark water and white light washed over her, and she was gone, and Bergthor knew the way through the swamps and the abode of the enemy of the Deeps.

He was changed, though, the others discovered in the morning as they set out for the shore in boats they had purchased from the suddenly businesslike headman, accompanied by Barry, the youth who had first brought them to the village. Bergthor's eyes seemed to bulge from his face, much like the cast of features observed throughout the village, and a thin green pallor seemed now to underlie the pale Viking skin.

[more . . .]

     Thread Starter
 

7/22/2015 4:08 pm  #16


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Guided by the memories Bergthor now possessed and by Barry's knowledge of the area, they set off along the lake shore and turned in to another stream that flowed more or less coherently through the swamps. Barry indicated that a line of dark trees on the (Hyperborean) southwest horizon was called the Flooded Forest. To the (HYperborean) southeast, the hills that separated the Moon Bog from the Copen road were visible, and Barry told the party that a flock of bird-men lived there that was often at war with the man-frogs of the swamp. As they followed the stream deeper into the swamps, the animal life around them grew louder and more insistent. Sometimes they glimpsed creatures that seemed diseased or strangely enlarged. After several hours, they poled past an enormous boar. It stood as high as mule, and it glowed a sickly green in the ruddy light of the setting sun. It charged into the water with a bellow, swimming strongly for the fragile boats, but they were soon able to out-distance it. They passed a quiet night on a small island, keeping a wary watch.

Several more hours of travel the next day brought them close to the lake where the island of the man-frogs and the strange ship lay. They pulled into the shore before reaching it and concealed the boats. Lugotorix left the others behind and crept away across the boggy ground, though the rest of the party could clearly hear his footsteps through the sucking, clinging mud. They settled into wait, and Lugotorix found a slight rise on the lake shore where he could observe the island. It was shaped something like a spear head, pointed at the river that drained the lake. At its far end, he could make out a low stone wall that surrounded a dark circle, which had to be the craft Bergthor had described. On the nearer end, several wooden huts were scattered. He could just make out the forms of the man-frogs as they moved among these, though it was impossible to tell how many there were. It seemed that they came and went, in and out of the lake, slipping across the boundary of the water as if it did not exist. He resolved to watch until nightfall to try to understand the disposition of the man-frogs.

Lugotorix shifted his weight and focused on the far island, though he tried to stay alert to the underbrush around him as well. He heard a wind move through the trees and realized only too late that he could feel no breeze. Even as he tried to turn and gather his feet, a spear slammed into the soft ground next to his back, driven by a single man-frog, that had leaped from concealment and only barely missed. The Pict scrambled to his feet, and the bachtrian horror again stabbed with its wooden spear. This blow was turned, barely, by the scout's stiff leathers, and though his return stroke decapitated the thing, he was coughing bloody spume as he sank back to the boggy turf. Though wounded, he resolved to keep his watch, and he concealed the dead man-frog as best he could in the shadows. As the light faded, he thought he saw several man-frogs emerge from the lake water and move among the huts on the island.

When he returned to the others, he found that they, too, bore wounds. Five of the man-frogs had found them. Clerica Strada showed off the stone axes he had taken as trophies. The cleric healed the Pict. After hearing Lugotorix's report, they decided to wait until full dark before setting out in the boats. They stayed close to the shore until they had passed the island, and then they circled back, approaching it from the broad far end, where they hoped the stone wall around the sky craft would hide them from anyone within. From inside the wall, a bright white light shone out, casting the wall's back side into even deeper darkness. Here they found a narrow purchase and tied up the boats. Lugotorix climbed over the wall, which was made of loose and dry-piled stones. He let down a rope for the others, but Clerica Strada dislodged a stone that rattled down the wall and plunged into the lake with a loud splash. The party froze, but it seemed nothing had heard them.
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     Thread Starter
 

7/22/2015 9:24 pm  #17


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Looks like I need to read this Moon Bog by Joseph! 

Clerica Strada? That's nearly criminal. If one of my players came up with a name like that, I'd have to ponch him in the nose!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

7/23/2015 7:59 am  #18


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Ghul wrote:

Looks like I need to read this Moon Bog by Joseph! 

Clerica Strada? That's nearly criminal. If one of my players came up with a name like that, I'd have to ponch him in the nose!

It was two of my players! They're dangerous when they gang up.

     Thread Starter
 

7/23/2015 8:47 am  #19


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

It took me a minute to get it because Southerners don't pronounce "cleric" in a way that rhymes with "Erik". http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/embarrassed.png


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

7/23/2015 4:29 pm  #20


Re: The Mulish Inconsistencies

Handy, this is the best use of any "one page dungeon" ever and I'm stoked that you have taken the time to run it. You've taken the bare bones of an adventure and turned it into your own outstanding tale. Keep it going, can't wait to see how it turns out for your hapless adventurers!


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Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

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