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9/11/2019 1:53 am  #41


Re: Nightfall

Session 8:  The Tower
 
For this session we were joined again by ahi but rob and EOTB were absent.  It was a near TPK but the party was triumphant in the end. 
 
PCS
mike – Ole Oleson, Viking Fighter (Level 2)
terry – Sparky, Keltic Pyromancer (Level 2)
wind – Zambrosia, Keltic Cleric (Level 2)
ahi-  Talia Shirazz(Formerly TPK), Ixian Cryomancer (Level 2)
 
NPCS
Lutho – a tiny red humanoid
Tiresia – a one armed Amazon
 
With the great horned beast slain the party turned their attention to the tower.  In the aftermath of the battle Von (and Lutho) decided to rest and recover in the shelter of a boulder pile while the Nameless Legerdemainist had remained in bird form and flown out of sight of the rest of the party.   The remaining party started for the tower when they were joined by Talia who had been captured soon after her foray through the gate and carried in a basket for several days before escaping.  Amazingly this was near the tower!  Hearing the sounds of battle she investigated and was astonished to find her old companions.
 
Thus reinforced the party continued to the tower.  This structure was made up of massive boulders piled up like a cairn.  It was about 100 feet tall and the only entrance (besides window openings higher up) was a stout wood door.  In front of the tower they found a post to which was tied the recently dead body of a bulbous headed lizard man.   As the party contemplated this sight the door opened, and a pair of humans emerged.  They called out to the party inviting them into the tower.   Though wary the party decided to accept the invitation and entered the tower.  Within were three humans.  One in armor and two others dressed in the normal garb of Torth.   They said they had ended the menace of the wizard lizard and offered the party refreshment.  During this conversation another man made his way downstairs.  He was disheveled and half naked – in one hand he carried a silvery cane with a golden head in the shape of a lizard.  He glared at the party balefully before one of the other humans told him to get dressed before he spoke to their guests.  As he was doing this the other humans said that this person was their leader - the wizard Karash - who had been behaving erratically since they slew the lizaed wizard.  They then offered the party a drink of the local liquor – Taranteen – a fiery substance flavored with native herbs.  After drinks the party was given a room on the ground floor and fell (too) quickly to sleep. 
 
They were awoken several hours later (all save Talia) by the sound of guttural voices in the next room.  Trying the door they found it locked from the outside.   Listening at the door they realized that the humans were selling them to somebody for a substantial amount of treasure.  As the negotiation ended they made plans to escape.  Sparky started priming his Eel Skin Gloves, Vambrosia cast Sanctury on herself.   As the door opened they sprung into action and found themselves in a fight with 7 lizard men.   Vambrosia scouted around to the open door of the tower and found that there were many more lizard men outside – including several heavily armored ones mounted on enormous horned reptiles and at least one with a bulbous head.    Vambrosia quickly shut and barred the door.   The rest of the party slew the remaining lizard men after a tough battle.  Sparky was injured and returned to the room to rest with the still sleeping Talia.  Seeing the way out blocked Vambrosia and Ole decided the only way out was up. 
 
They crept up the wooden stair to the second level of the tower which was a single large room.  They were horrified to find that it  contained a two legged reptile at least 25 feet in length.  It snapped at them with its dagger sized teeth and they quickly retreated.  Seeing a stair leading further up in the creatures chamber they decided to see if they could distrac the beast with the corpse of a lizard man. Rigging the corpse as a crude puppet they were successful as the creature grabbed the dead lizardman and began shaking it giving Ole and Vambrosia just enough time to scramble to the stair.  They made their way up the stair and found yet another one room level – the sleeping place of the humans.  All save the leader were here.  They sprung into action at the sight of the party.   The two civilians each put on rings and began to change into something – a process interrupted when Vambrosia managed to cast hold person on all three.  They were quickly dispatched, and the party continued upward after taking note of a large chest filled with gold and ingots of lift metal.
 
On the next level they found another room this contained a fairly completed wizards laboratory.   Of note were several human size “birdcages” and a butchers chopping block that had apparently been used very recently.   Vambrosia also found two stones that seemed to want to float around her head – she put those in her pouch.   The only way up from this room was a ladder at the top of which was a trapdoor that looked to open to the roof.  Ole led the way – to his misfortune – as he was immediately hit by several magic missiles as he emerged onto the roof.   He managed to strike back once but a second volley knocked him from the ladder and into unconsciousness onto the floor below.   Vambrosia considered her options but suddenly Karash appeared next to her and began a spell but he was not fast enough as she stopped it short with her sword.   Picking up the man’s cane she made her way to the roof. 

Down below she could see the band of lizardman at the base of the tower.  The bulbous headed one called up and  said for her to give them the rod as it belonged to his sire. 

At the same time the cane or rod began to speak to Vambrosia and offered her great power – as long as she ate one of her fellows – an offered she spurned.

Vambrosia held the rod aloft and threatened the band below with its power and she was surprised to see them make a hasty retreat.  Returning to Ole she brought him to consciousness with a drink of liquor and left the cane with him.  

The rod tempted Ole as well, more successfully,  but he was too week to take it up on the offer.  However he did look longingly at the body of Karash.

Vambrosia then made her way to the stair to the great dinosaurs chamber and casting speak with animals convinced the creature to give her passage for the corpse of Karash and the promise of release from his prison.  While the creature ate the corpse of his old captor, and with the help of sparky and the now awoken TPK, she dismantled the wood stair to the second level opening just enough space for the creature to squeeze out and escape.   The party were now the masters of the tower!

 

2/24/2020 7:19 pm  #42


Re: Nightfall

Well I've gotten quite a ways behind on my recaps!  I'm going to try to start posting the long forms again but to catch up I'm going to post slightly edited version of the capsule recaps I send out with my game scheduling emails.  

Session IX - Run through the Jungle wherein the party:  met up with companions old and new, set out on a journey to the outpost of Dr. Agama, fought off a squamous mage and his mesmerist pterodactyl henchmen, decided against exploring a vast pit (with caves at the bottom) that was heralded by a swarm of carrion "birds" hovering over a scene of carnage, arrived at a vantage overlooking the great river, and fought off a second squamous mage - this time assisted by a pair of pachycephalosaur mounted knights - in a pitched battle that left one party member unconscious. 

Session X - Rivers Edge wherein the party :  made an new ally, crossed a rivers, survived a crocodile attack , tamed a pachycephalosaur (after many attempts), found an ancient stele covered with Hyperborean writing marking a path into the mountains, discovered a small shrine and blood covered idol, found a secret door, began exploring an enormous underground structure, and contemplated opening a door sealed with blood.  

Session XI - A Bloody Temple wherein the party:  Opened a blood sealed door, fought a demonic turtle, were ambushed by an albino alligator, descended to an underground pool, through careful planning successfully got the jump on determined group of enemies, and survived a late night attack by a pair of ring bearing monsters out for revenge.  

Session XII - The Outpost wherein the party: Surveyed the outpost of Dr. Agama from a high vantage, went on a scouting expedition near small temple, saw a human wearing a large-brimmed black felt hat duck into recently excavated burrow,  shouted for human at entry to burrow, were answered by three giant black acid spitting lizards, followed last lizard dragging remains of Taledorn Phoenix) into burrow,  after a series of missed opportunities said goodbye to Vambrosia and Tiresia, limped back to camp, and said hello to two new travelers from the wilds of Torth.

Session XIII - New Companions wherein the party: Welcomed a new companion, recovered the remains of Zambrosia and Tiresia, agitated a whole colony of deadly lizards with fire, met  Lord Hyskos the master of the outpost (formerly of Hyperborea), learned of Lord Hyskos’ feud with the underground dwelling and black hat wearing folk the Oon, and were given the command of a troop of tiny lizard men.
 
Session XIV - A Personal Army wherein the party:  Led a small army of half-size lizardmen, defeated a nest of acid breathing lizards, unleashed an environmental catastrophe, discovered an ancient underground laboratory, recovered gold plates covered with unknown writing, awoke a monstrous lizard-toad beast, and charged into battle against laser axe wielding undead lizardmen.   
 
Session XV - Strange Doings Underground wherein the party:  Further explored the ancient laboratory under Lord Hyskos's fortress,  defeated a corpse throwing lizard-toad beast, sadly lost the services of an eminent explorer of the Amazon,  had a supernatural encounter, discovered many locked metal boxes, were given passage by more laser axe wielding undead lizard men, and discovered a possible portal to two separate worlds.   
 

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2/27/2020 11:42 am  #43


Re: Nightfall

This was a fun read, lige. I gotta go back and read the rest some time. But I am a fan of the one-line recaps! Torth! My players are STILL complaining about it, ten years later!

 

2/27/2020 8:12 pm  #44


Re: Nightfall

Thanks Handy!  I hope to have that sort of longevity with the complaints - I'm already hearing a fair amount!  

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3/24/2020 12:31 am  #45


Re: Nightfall

Session XVI:  Open Gates 
I’m going to catch up one of these days!

PCs
mike – Ole Oleson, Viking Fighter (Level 3)
wind – Snake Eyes, Neshfal Abomination (human combined with snake)* Fighter (Level 2)
rob – Vonn the Unyielding, Kimmerian Cataphract, (Level 3)
tellion – Rogue Wolf, Keltic Barbarian (Level 2)
 
NPCS
Varago – green vegan lizard man agent of the Green Empire (Monk)
Several half-size lizardmen warriors
 
*Players making replacement characters on Torth were given additional options beyond the cultures of Hyperborea.  The wizards guild of old Neshfal has a long running program of combining humans and reptiles – most of these are released into the wilderness.  Some survive to become adventurers. 
 
TLDR:  The second half of the party  re-entered the underground laboratory, did a forensic reconstruction of a battle, avoided the corpse of a toad-lizard beast, watched the barbarian make a mighty leap, discovered the shocking nature of a strange metal studded rift, found several football sized eggs, discovered a neatly organized collection of human skin suits, watched Snake-Eyes don one of said suits and then appear as a Hyperborean grandee, were given safe passage from two laser axe wielding guards, entered a gate to another land,  laid bones to rest, viewed a battle between two elephant riding armies, left that land and entered a gate to Hyperborea, fought a pack of giant rats, emerged from a burrow into the backstreets of Khromarium, had a good night’s rest and a hot meal, and engaged the services of a magician to examine some of their stranger items.

Recap:   Following up on the adventures of Sparky and the late lamented Percy Harrison Fawcett (tellion’s 2nd PC) the remaining party left the outpost to follow their lead.  After an exploration of the tunnels of the acid spitting lizard, finding said tunnels abandoned, they entered the ancient laboratory.  In the second chamber they discovered the corpses of several of Lord Hyskos’ small lizardmen warriors as well as the mangled corpse of Percy Harrison Fawcett.  The signs of battle were everywhere.  Opening the door to the hallway beyond they were confronted by the lizard-toad beast they had encountered before.  This time it was strangely adorned by a broadbrimmed black hat perched atop its head.  The party made sure the beast was dead and continued onward. 

After traversing the long hallway, they pushed on to see what had been guarded by the laser axe wielding undead lizardmen.  This was found to be a small circular chamber with walls of metal and two levers and another door leading beyond.  The party ignored the levers and continued through the door.   After a short journey the passage ended at a chasm extending for 30 feet on either side.  On the other side of the chasm they saw a landing and door.  Looking down the walls of the chasm were studded with evenly spaced metal rods.  At the base of the chasm the party saw another broad, brimmed black hat identical to the one worn by the toad-beast.  Rogue Wolf leaped across the chasm but found the door had no lock or latch.   Meanwhile Snake Eyes decided to climb down into the chasm to investigate and was zapped by lighting arcing across the chasm.  He quickly climbed out and Rogue Wolf leaped back.  

Deciding to leave this door for later investigation the party went back and moved into the auditorium area where they had originally encountered (and awakened) the toad beast.  Searching this area further they found 3 football sized leathery eggs.  They debated whether or not to destroy them but in the end Snake Eyes put them into his pack.  They continued onward, tracing the path of their companions and found themselves in a chamber with a stack of 16 metal boxes.   After braving a nuisance trap of electricity, they managed to open one of the boxes.  It contained: fine robes, a small repair kit, the hilt of a dagger and the folded skin of a human with platinum hair.  After some debate Snake Eyes decided to try on the skin suit and after donning it appeared to be a Hyperborean of noble bearing.

Snake Eyes decided to continue wearing the skin.  The party continued on and were confronted by two undead lizard men guardians at a door.  On the floor they saw the decapitated remnants of another lizard man.  Snake Eyes went forward and commanded them and the two stepped aside and the rest of the party entered the room beyond where they found Sparky and Varago and the small lizardmen.  The room contained a complex device that appeared to be a gate.  Sparky and Varago had earlier found two keys to the device which appeared to open it to two different locations.  One a stone hallway with a five-sided door and the second a dimly lit, rubble filled room with a mosaic of Thaumagorga upon the wall opposite the gate. 
  
The party decided to enter the gates.  They first entered the gate with the five-sided door.  They found themselves in a corridor with a glowing portal back to where they came partially blocking the corridor.  After some investigation they figured out how to open the five sided door (which folded back into five equal triangles).   Beyond they found a semi-circular room with panoramic window overlooking a tropical valley.  Through the window they could see a battle between two armies of men.  Each army had a number of war elephants in addition to regular infantry and cavalry.  In this room they laid the remains of a human Sparky had found earlier in the laboratory and felt compelled to return to that human’s home.  Leaving the panorama  room, the party explored further and discovered a number of other chambers as well as a pentagonal amulet, a coronet studded with blue gems and several jars of very good wine.   In one of the chambers they found a pentagon inscribed on the floor – Sparky (and the barbarian) were sure it had sorcerous import.  They also found a passage that seemed to lead outdoors but they decided to return and try the other gate.   

This is just a taste of one of the more divergent settings for MERP  - Ardor - I'm thinking I'll be using it with some of the serial numbers filed off if the players decide to come back. 

Stepping through this gate the first thing they noticed was the bitter cold. The second was the odor of rats.  The room appeared to be an underground chamber – possibly a long-abandoned shrine of Thaumagorga.  The party was quickly confronted by a number of giant rats which were quickly dispatched.  A search for exits found one door blocked by rubble and a crude burrow leading upward out of the chamber.  The cold caused the lizardmen to stay behind in the gate room while the party decided to see where the burrow led.  Ole took the lead and started slowly climbing up the burrow – his knife in his teeth.  After climbing about 15’ he was confronted by a giant rat blocking his way.  After a long battle (and after sustaining several bites) Ole was victorious and pressed on and emerged into an alley in the back streets of Khromarium.  The rest of the party followed.   A small group of slum denizens warming themselves at a fire the only witnesses to this emergence.  Finally at home the party searched out accommodations and found The Manticore – a respectable establishment – where they ordered food and rented rooms.   The weak stew of roots and unknown meat was the best thing most had eaten since entering Torth.  This was washed down by some of the wine they had discovered beyond the other gate.  The next few days were spent buying supplies, searching out a cure for Ole's rat bite infection,  and asking for sorcerous help in identifying some of the items they had discovered.  In particular the rings they had recovered from the pair at the lizard wizards tower (when Ole had tried them on one caused him to grow fangs and the other caused him to grow a short tail)..

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