Thursday, May 25, 2006

C'mon... They're Just Goblins!

Normally, I try to get these synopses out one to two days after the event while it is still fresh in my memory. This one was a little late due to a lot of job interviews, fighting depression, and racing around like a maniac before KublaCon, so -- I'm sorry already! I hope I get this right. If there is anything I left out or got wrong I am sure someone, next week, will alert me to it. Here goes:
First of all, Dramatis Personae: Flaine, Laurel, Mondavi (the rogue returneth), Link & Mishka (the leopard. Finally! I remembered!), Avinal the elf ranger, Qurynack Lock version 1.0, a half-giant barbarian played by Matt, and Ix, the cleric of Pelor.
Not here: Sir Galotte the aasimar paladin (he will no longer be with us as the player has moved to Arizona!), and Gin the human fighter played by Ken (he pulled 80 hours straight at some company function...), he later gets played in absentia by John H.
Okay, so at the end of last session, we received an invite from the constable of Cauldron. We start the game showing up there and he tells us about a rash of goblin raids going on throughout the city. We wander about like zombies trying to ferret any information about their point of origin. While Flaine, Avinal and Qurynack Lock are taking in the lovely goblin graffitti (Draknar is the Fog!, Draknar is dead - Long live Draknar!, Burzag is stinky, etc.), Mondavi is getting information from the insidious 'Mr. L.', a street-savvy underworld ganglord. He learns that most of Mr. L's soldiers are noticing a lot of activity near the bathhouse. As he later relates this to the party, Flaine realizes that he spent a day at that same bathhouse last week! The party pays the dwarf proprietor, Orak, a visit. He grumbles and gruffs at us and after Flaine tries to be conciliatory (being a semi-famous, previous customer) he relents and lets the party take a look around. Luckily, today, business isn't exactly booming as no one else is in the place. There is one door that Orak won't let us near. Well, as you can imagine, all sorts of hijinks take place trying to get into that door. Flaine tries singing a song of fascination - Orak is non-plussed. Qurynack Lock and Avinal try to get around the dwarf and to the door, but Lock can't seem to bust it open. Orak pulls out an axe and Lock is ready to fight him, then falls into a 3-foot deep pool (remember Lok v.1.0 is 7'5" tall) and pretending to drown. Ix, Mondavi and others try to 'rescue' the half-giant from this sorry attempt at bluffing. Finally, the bard casts Tasha's Hideous Laughter while playing a comedic lay (a comedic lay is an Old English phrase for funny song, not the Modern English for your first time, so stop it out there), and the dour dwarf starts guffawing involuntarily, rolling on the floor laughing - you know - ROTFL! The party takes advantage and ties the poor chap up in some hemp rope, we open the door and we saunter right in... little did we know....
The immediate area beneath the bathhouse seemed to be more forgotten dwarven ruins from an earlier era. However, these were infested with goblins. After searching through a few rooms, we were ambushed by a patrol of goblins with their worg buddy. Lock v. 1.0 was swinging his two greatswords with such abandon it was difficult for anyone else to get through to the goblins. Flaine ended up using his Cure Mod. Wounds wand to help the half-giant while Mondavi struggled with his goblin. The rogue scored a critical hit with his venomous dagger, but it had little effect. Laurel blasted a few goblins with her electrical breath (this is a common tactic for her now). The elven ranger shot arrow after arrow at the goblin threat. Then, at the sound of myriads of goblin feet, we were flanked! Crossbow bolts scattered toward Avenal and Laurel. Link and Mishka moved in for the kill and held the line, moving the party further away from Lock, Ix and Flaine (who are kinda busy with their own problems).
During this time there was a dispute with the Dragon magazine fumble charts...yada yada yada. Ain't wuth it McGee!
Suffice to say, the worg was slain, Lock went down due to the pesky goblins, Flaine jabbed him with the wand, Lock crawled away from battle to get back up. Ix was swinging and casting like a madman! (You gotta wonder about a cleric who wears a perpetually flaming feather in his helmet). After Ix and Co. mopped up their mess, they took off after the rest of the party. Catching up, they dispatched the remaining goblins who then lost morale and closed some double doors on them. I'm not sure about this, but I think we broke open those doors and killed the remaining goblins... oh, but not before some shaman put Flaine to sleep. Nice.
We killed off the rest and searched some more through the tunnels. Link discovered a collapsed tunnel. It looked like someone was trying to bore through to our side. Lock reaches in, grabs the hand and pulls him out. It's a human with barely a stitch on him! He was missing sixty-odd days ago according to our information. Apparently, he was sold as a slave to the goblins some weeks ago. He was in a holding cell and was burrowing his way out with a sharpened spoon when he ran into us. So we escorted him back up to the Church of Pelor, which, btw, the tied up dwarf ended up as well. After they returned, we found a passage leading to rough hewn stone tunnels with a definite negative grade. Great. Deeper means deadlier.
The tunnel branched out into three forks. Wonderful. Mondavi used the invisibility potion that we gave him last session to scout out ahead. (Mondavi threatened to goose Laurel while invisible which would have ruined his invisibility -- hence, he thought the better of it). Now here, John, our DM, made a small goof and never knew that Mondavi was invisible (I guess he didn't hear us) so he was putting out all these goblins down one corridor surrounding Mondavi and attacking him. Mondavi was in a state of shock as he couldn't believe these guys could detect invisibility. John later removed them after learning about the mistake. Mondavi failed a search check and informed the party that the coast was clear. Flaine will never trust that shyster again. Knowing it was safe, Flaine went traipsing down the central corridor at full speed hoping to quicken the pace as the party seemed slow and indecisive (cautious is another word one could use, I guess, in retrospect).
Well, here it comes... every known goblin came out of the woodwork. Every one of the three forks were filled with goblins, worgs, shamans, and other circus freaks. Welcome to the Circus of Death! I felt really bad about this because it was Flaine who ferretted out these creatures and put the party at mortal peril. Four of us went down, including myself (thanks to a sleep spell cast by one of the shamans). Ix had his back against the cavern wall, smiting the foes as best he could. It was nearly a TPK (Total Party Kill). Finally, some headway was made as Ix healed Lock and went to town on the goblins. I remember Pelor helping out Ix in some minor way when he called on him for aid. Ix seemed to glow for a time, filled with the holy might of The Shining One. Lock went into a rage and goblins started flying in all directions from his two weapons (this is still the 1.0 version). Laurel breathed lightning twice down the cavern, eliminating her fair share of miscreants. Avenal stayed behind, sniping goblins with his longbow. Link and Mishka were keeping the flank clear with their complimentary attacks. Face it, that celestial leopard makes a difference any way you slice it. I think in real time, that battle took nearly 3 hours to resolve. And at that time it was getting close to the Customer Appreciation Day fiesta at Hobbytown USA which John and Audrey were hosting. Btw, Mondavi had for the whole day been trying to use this 'customer appreciation' to his advantage, asking for help and favors as well as 'combat mercy' during the game. Of course, this all fell on deaf ears, much to Mondavi's dismay.
So, we called a break and some of us ended up at Hobbytown USA to eat, drink and be merry. A word must be said here for the kindness of Mike and his wife (whose name I have forgotten, sorry) who fed us until we were stuffed and watched the players' children during the game. This was much appreciated and I hope to play there again as the atmosphere was very relaxed and the sunroom was a refreshing place to play a roleplaying game. I am sure all of our hats go off to Mike C. and his significant other (I will edit this later on once I remember her name, I promise). So I paced around Hobbytown for a few hours eating this pink paste called salmon mousse. Ughh. I will say that it seemed to me that the fiesta was a success considering the largest number of people I have seen in that shop. I dunno if it broke any records, but if it didn't, I'm sure it came close.
After that, we reconvened at John Peterson's place to continue our dismal quest. Btw, we won that goblin battle just barely. We healed the injured and went back up to the surface to buy equipment, ready spells, and advance in levels. Most everyone went up a level. Flaine was now 4th level, as was Laurel. I can't remember where everyone else ended up.
At this reconvention, Skip had to leave, so Mondavi was out. Ken wanted to make it, so he had John H. play his character in absentia. So Gin was in (kind of). Qurynack Lock was revamped to version 2.0 thanks to help from Mike and John H. So, instead of wielding two greatswords, he was now wielding a huge sized fullblade. Pelor help us all!
We went back into the ruins under Orak's bathhouse and went to the three-way forked tunnel. We searched out the central and rightmost tunnels only to find some hobgoblins, a couple shocker lizards and some weak treasure. Not much else. However, the left tunnel led to a huge chasm beyond which was a room manned by a large scorpion, a bugbear who suddenly turned into a gaseous form and left, and a couple of goblin shamans. This battle was congested and lengthy. We finally got rid of them, but it took a while. We searched the remainder of the level and we decided it might be better to return to town and refresh ourselves before we advance further, especially after that battle.
To make a long story short... we came back to the tunnels again and this time, Laurel felt a presence behind her. She whirled around to find a vampiric bugbear trying to hypnotize her. Being an elf, the attempt failed. However, the party attacked the foul beast only to see him turn to gaseous form again and spirit away. Ix kicked himself for not turning the beast while he had the chance. But soon, that chance returned. This time I was the victim, being I was in the back of the party. Ix not only turned this sucker, he consigned him to the deepest pits of the Abyss, turning his unholy form to ash! Looks liked we kicked some ash! (sorry...)
We investigated the rest of the complex, found some hefty treasure and returned topside to spend gold and celebrate our success.

THE END (finally...)


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