The Hidden Hand

Session 34
Not a polar bear in sight...

From the Chronicles of Athon Bewick

There was an eerie calm as the remains of the Kraken slid squelshily off the small boat. The four of us (as unbeknownst to us Gerrard was unconscious on the floor) looked for a few moments before realising our situation and we started to make for the coast again. We had seen some activity on the beach but as we got closer we could see what we presumed were more survivors from a shipwreck. Ever the more cautious, we kept our hands on our swords as we disembarked and moved to greet them.

Our worries were unfounded though (at least for the moment), they indeed were survivors, and there had been more but they had been carried off by the giants that seemed to inhabit the middle part of the island. Consulting the tablet, it was indeed pointing in direction, our hopes of an easier part to this quest were quickly dashed.

With the advice of the survivors ringing in our heads we sailed the boat a little further down the coast and then brought it up and hid it as best we could with rushes and leaves, I offered to take the survivors with us when the skyship came back for us, their relief was palpable. I still didn’t trust Boltagar at that stage, he seemed to be eyeing us all, would he stand with us or against us when the time came?

A peaceful nights sleep was had by all as we then ventured into the jungle along a path that Polgara and her new friend had found for us. We were making good progress when we came into a clearing with a pool, we spotted some movement ahead and dived into the long grass. What we saw was of a concern, a basilisk being “walked” by an Ettin accompanied by several Baal’Gara’s. Creeping up in the long grass, I saw Boltagar to the right of me stand up, one of the Baal’Garas spotted him and began to move towards him, at that moment Gregg stood up, the Ettin then let the Basilisk go. I admit I was concerned about this fight, I thought we might have taken on more than we were able to handle, even more so as Gerrard was still an unconscious heap back in the long grass where he had been dumped by Boltagar. I needn’t have worried though, the party might have it’s philosophical differences, but in a fight, we all become much more singular of purpose and all our opponents were soon laying in a pool of their own blood.

Moving onwards we left the jungle behind and encountered a rocky valley, we thought we could see nests at towards the top but we quickly made our way through. Polgara was on point for the party, using her familiar as a scout when suddenly a Galeb uncurled itself from the rock and several ogres moved from their concealed positions, an ambush! This was then further complicated when a Manticore landed behind us cutting off our escape, as if we had even considered escape when the likes of Gregg relish nothing more than a chance to prove their mettal, and so he did when he virtually cut one of the ogres in two, covered in blood and guts, could Gregg be even happier? Polgara was being hemmed in by the Galeb and the Manticore’s flying attacks but Boltagar moved to help her whilst me and Gregg took care of the remaining Ogres.

Soon, all were dispatched and the heavily wounded Manticore took to the skies and did not return. However, we had to run as some of the Ogres friends took to throwing rocks and trying to cause rockslides at us. Running on we came to a large open area with what seemed to be a door, consulting the tablet, it was indeed pointing us towards it. With vaguely shamanistic affectations surrounding it, we cautiously moved through the door to the sounds of battle. Drawing our weapons we moved cautiously letting our eyes adapt to the darkness, we saw fragments of gearing, cogs, and suchlike scattered on the ground. What we saw next, we did not expect.

A group of ogres were fighting a larger group of clockwork men, some ogres were laying dead, other clockwork men were laying, a now worthless heap of scrap metal. We watched for a few minutes fascinated but the clockwork men soon ovwewhelmed the ogres through force of numbers and the ogres were vanquished. The clockwork men then proceeded down a corridor leaving the cavern. We entered and saw the usual affactation of ogre existence, a large cooking pot and a cage of prisoners. We freed the prisoners and told them we would get them out. Turning we then followed the clockwork men down the long path, deeper, ever deeper…

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Session 33
Robo Dragon

Ducking and waving around the dragon, boltagar dashed over to give aid to polgara but the dragon stikes him accross the back it seemed a risky move it impressed gregg because he put himself in danger to protect someone he hardly knows.
The Dragon rose up and jets appeared from the mechanical beast and it pour acid over Boltagar polgara and garad all burnt quite badly by the acid.
Gregg took this oppertunity to charge in and in doing so found an exposed area of the dragons underside hitting vital parts of it core, it splutered and shundered to a halt as the gear stoped we waited for something else but nothing else came the metallica dragon fell.

The rest of the journey was uneventful for gregg the only entertainment he got was training the deck hands to fight but all but one survived ending up in the sickbay. This kept Boltagar busy, Gregg spent alot of time waiting in the sickbay for boltagar to fix them up so they can train again.

As we were lowered down in a large boat into the sea a few miles from the shore, the airship cast of the lines and began to float off towards another one of the islands to try and round up some business, hopefully they will be more carefull of taking cargo of an unknown nature.
We rowed through a wreakage what appeared to be quite recent but there were no signs of anything around that could of caused this mess.Untill a large shadow under the water came to the surface and was gaining speed.

4 tentacles appeared out of the water and shuke the ship back and forth Garad being quick and nimble pressed his advantage to cut one of the tips of which the tenticale slumped back into the water.the 3 remaining tenticales surrounded polgara and wrapped themselves around her and began to contrist her movement this played into her plan with a stike of the sword cutting deep into the stem releasing its grip Boltagar pulled her free.

One tentacle tryed to sneak around the ship to grab garad but he was waiting with his dagger to cut another one down. Athon Distracted by another tenicale and he got caught and grabed and gregg freed him with a mighty blow cuting it down and charging off to help Boltagar kill another.
Gregg kills the final two tenticales and they return to the ocean swiftly. We got a short rest before we felt the boat begining to turn back towards where the tenticales were then we began to pick up speed and we entered a large whirlpool controlled by the tenticaled beast below.

Grabbing the oars Gregg and Boltagar and polgara heaved but were out of rthem and their efforts are not working. Garad scaled the rigging to turn the mast and athon took to the steering trying to guide us away. in their last efforts they pulled it together and pull out of the force controling us. Before they manage to get away fro the beast its large tentacles smashed onto the ship causing it to tip up and its mouth clamped down onto the back of the ship behind.

Two tentacles swiped across the ship and managed to grab Garad and started to drag him down the ship but they were ineffective. The tentacles fell in quick succession and the mouth began to tip the boat move causing everyone to slide further toward it. Boltagar jumped towards the mouth and began walking on water out flanking the beast after a short battle it was beat and the ship rocked back to it right postion.

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Session 32
Ship's Log Dale Reckoning 1474.28.09.10

Entry 1 – After a short layover in Balder’s Gate the Captain has finally picked up new cargo, crew replacements for those not strong enough to serve, and some passengers.

The crew is as healthy as I can make them and the Captain is confident in their skills. The cargo is due to make us a reasonable profit and the passengers although, shifty appear well enough off to temporarily buy the Captain’s trust.

Entry 2 – The passengers are not as trustworthy as first thought. They have been sneaking around below decks. Possibly in an attempt to recoup the cost of their travel via theft. As the Captain has put me in charge of them I have taken certain precautions against further interference.

Entry 3 – Well, what do you know some of these passengers are useful afterall. We were set upon by Wyverns and Stirge-like creatures this evening and as would be expected a battle commenced. Between the passengers Gregg and Athorn and myself we managed to fight them off with minimum damage to the ship. Unfortunately, much of that damage was called by the woman passenger. Somesort of wizard she set the dang ship on fire and I had to spend a considerable amount of time out of the battle ensuring that she didn’t burn the ship down. Kind of attractive for a human though.

Entry 4 – Kord giveth and Kord taketh away. The passengers after nearly burning to ship to the ground while pitching in against the Wyverns have somehow set off a piece of the Cargo. Some automatonic dragon that the Captain claims to know nothing about set-out to destroy the ship and eat as many of the crew as possible. The Captain has asked that I go ashore with these passengers and keep an eye on them. If they are responsible for this creature or the extra danger on this voyage I am to let him know so that he can put a black mark against them in the Seaman’s Guild books.

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Session 31.5
Marauding out of town gang terrorizes baldur's gate!

Chad Weaverson, reporting for the ’gate gazette.

Late yesterday, one of the many groups of out of town gangs assaulted and greviously injured a group of civic minded Baldurs gate citizens. The gang subsuquwntly made off with whatever artifacts they’d pilfered and are still at large.

The gang was found exiting a sealed tomb, presumably after desecrating and looting it, and was attempting to flee the scene when they were stopped by a group of civic minded inividuals. Organised by respected local community leader ‘Fingers’ Johnson, the Baldur’s gate inhabitants almost managed to detain the thieves, but were ultimately unsucesful, due mainly to the extreme brutality employed by the maurauding gang.

“It was horrible”, one of the few surviving citizens said. “The big guy especially just kept hacking and hacking away with that massive meat cleaver of his, laughing all the time. They just didn’t want to stop till we were all dead, it was like a sport to them”

Reports have also placed a local citizen with the gang, and speculation is rife as to the significance of this.

When interviewed later, captain Drogue of the Flaming Fists attempted to downplay the seriousness of the incident, claiming that “incidents like this happen all the time across Baldur’s gate, and are a legacy of the state of affairs from before the Flaming fists took over policing duties”. He went on to add that his organisation could in no way condone this kind of vigilante action, and instead citizens witnissing a gang committing such a crime should “inform your local Flaming Fists officer, whereupon we will bring the full force of our organization against such law breakers”.

While one of the few reported survivors of the masacre, Mr Johnson, is unavailable for interview, it is reported that he is deep in consultation with another local civic leader, the enegmatic woman known only as Cat. Reports indicate that Johnson is preparing to leave Baldurs Gate at the earliest opportunity, and our source indicates that he will be “seeking new opportunities elsewhere….permenantly”

the current location of the pillaging gand is unknown, but sightings have placed them at the air ship docking platforms. Presumably the dastardly brigands are attempting to flee the law and this reported can only hope that the forces of Law catch them before they do.

for editor’s comment, turn overleaf and read column 2

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Session 31
Beholder Cocktales by Gregg

While Delamor and Athon used there arcane knowledge to deactivate the red floor tiles, Gregg was more interested in the spectral bindings holding whatever

was behind the portal inside since delamor sensed great danger and undead power.
Once Athon finished the last tile he pulled out bit a scroll and began piecing them together to make some kinda of ritual “insert ritual” and the doors swung open.

With the larger red tile still glowing gregg took a run and jump and cleared it with ease. in the room was a glass cabinet which contained a sword and on top was a glass disc which gregg picked up and it reveled a puzzle “insert puzzle” to which he read out and delamor shouted back its map the answers map no sooner did gregg say this colours swirled to create some form of locater map for the 3 weapons which are need to kill diker thane. next on greggs agender was the glass cabinet he rose his fist in the air and with a heavy trying to smash the glass, he struck the glass and the force knocked him back and another clue appeared looks like brute force can only work on some things to greggs disappointment.
the new puzzle read “insert puzzle” Athon knew this “Sword” he spoke and the case opened releasing the sword and Athon placed his hand into the case to grab the weapon and as soon as he grasped the hilt the stone open began to shut we were trapped if we didn’t act fast. Gregg and garad jump for the door weights and Athon and Belgrath tried to assist the to but Garad being nimble was not enough to stop his door from closing.

The door seem to begin to rest at there point and Delamor had the idea to tie a rope to the weight and return to the other room to take the strain and it seemed more weight was needed. Gregg had the idea that since he couldn’t break the glass maybe it was strong enough to take the brunt of the weight. it was placed in the gap between the door and seemed to take the strain as athon and Gregg dashed out you could hear the strain before it shattered and the door shut Gregg mighty impressed with his quick thinking.

For the next hour we waited for athon to attune himself to his new sword. We used the portal to get back into the tower with athon watching the rear.
for a moment the sword resisted the portal like it wanted to stay like it was guarding something, Athon forced the sword through the portal and gasly scream that could screeched through our minds but it was happy and a beholder appeared on the other side of the portal before it shutdown.

We moved for the exit because we knew it was coming down from its chamber once we hit the bottom floor construct guards at the doors and surrounding walls and bookshelves. Delamor first to act ran in and planted the purple eclipse standard. And the Anvil priest returned with a flame burst in his direction hitting everyone in the room. Garad second into the room struck out with a fury of talons striking his enemy’s. the constructs charge in to attack the rest of the party on the stairs. As Gregg charged in but to over eager missed but with a backswing catching the enemy offguard as shards of metal and sparks fly.
Quickly in pursuit of Gregg, Delamor followed up with a secondary blow.
the other constructs fired red orbs towards Delamor and belgrath but they fizzle out before damaging them and Belgrath returns with some magic of his own and fires two bolts while cursing there existence.
the anvil priest opens his mouth and his head flips back and a purple wave bursts from his open head.
the constructs turn to face Gregg and unleash another blast of energy knocking him and Delamor to the floor. With one of the constructs prone garad finds its weakness and forges a hole tearing out its insides.
Gregg stands and charges the anvil priest cutting him down and leaving him in a wreak and then before his crumpled mechanical corpse hits the floor he charges again and delivers a crushing blow to another foe.
Belgrath sun illumination beams in and blinding light strikes the constructs but unaffected they lash out at Gregg and Garad knocking him unconscious but Gregg relatiates back and drops the target. Belgrath steps back only to get hit again by the constructs as he attempts to cast a chaotic bolt.
Athon hits the construct and rips its powercore out of its chest with it still ticking Gregg knowing what happened previously tears of the head and kicks it across the room and smashes across the floor.

they step out side of a breath of relief forgetting the horror which still follows them.

The top of the tower pulses green and the pulse grows strong and slowly fills the next floor and then another and another. A bloodkiss beholder heads onto the lower floor and is hit by a dagger and a lightening orb. it floats forward and opens its mouth and screams at all in its way but Athon managed to cover his ears to stop the sound. Then proceeded to turn his new blade striking the beholder and once it return flame cyclone hits and scorching the beholder.

Gregg charges in hitting the beast and then flanking behind before it could relatiate. Delamor orb glows and a beam of radiant light sears the undead forcing it back 25ft.
Athon charges in to hit the beholder and once he steps in range it attempts to bite him and as he bites Gregg follows up but the beholder swiftly dodges the barbarians attacks.Delamor following Gregg with his orb again but this time stunning the beholder.Gregg and Athon press the advantage and double team delivering devastating blows and cutting deep through the beholders flesh doing this caused another scream from the beast dazing the two with half the party deafened by the scream and the beholder gushing out blood it looks dazed weakened and prone from the last attack Gregg with a finishing blow carving the beholder into small chunks and snapping up some hide for his collection.

As the party return through the portal to the city they are Greeted by Needles and his welcome party.

until next time: Season 3 of the Adventures of the Purple eclipse.

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Session 30
Drunken tales of stabbing one's way to the top of a tower.

“whoa, back up there” the scared man holds up a hand to his neighbour at the bar and squints at him through the thick tobaco haze “You just skipped a bit there”.

“Huh?” the younger man pauses for a second and conciders “how’d you meen? We’ve got to the tower…”

“yah, and suddenly you’re fighting this big bone monster without you explainin’ how you got there. Garrad m’lad, these tales of yours are fanciful enough without you jumping all over the place.”

“OK, so, we’d got over the bridge, right?” Garrad looks expectantly at the older man

“Right, the bridge over the bottomless chasm”

“Can’t have a bridge leading to a wizards tower without a bottomless chasm Lurt” a voice in the crowd pipes up “it’s tradition. Probably written down in one of them wizard rulebooks Dale said he stole one time”

The old man, Lurt, shifts over slightly to make room for the newcomer at the bar and gestures to garrad to continue.

“So, evil looking dwarves and gem eating rock monsters outside the tower’s main gate, yes?” Lurt nods agreement. “OK, Stabbed and dealt with. No real treasure though, rock monsters seem to eat gems and precious stones” the three men wince at this. “So, through the doors, Gnoll mage, some deamons and the Raven Queen’s own load of zombies…” another nod from the old man “also stabbed, also dealt with”

garad pauses a moment to finish his ale, order a new flaggon and gather his thoughts, Since meeting up with these out of towners, his life had become a jumble of crazy danger, and he’d found himself having trouble keeping everything in order. “OK, erm, stone gargoyles? Have I mentioned those yet?” Lurt conciders for a moment, then shakes his head. “Right, next floor up, buncha ugly critters, a big, mean Barlguar, something I’m told is a carrion crawler…”

“and some stone gargoyles?” the newcomer pipes up.

“Yes Ang, and two stone gargoyles. They had the habit of swooping down and knocking whoever they tried over, though they mostly went after the Sorcerer. Belgarath spent most of the time on his arse during that. Anyway, same story, more stabbing, more killing, still no treasure, so up the next flight of stairs we go.”

“more floors?” Ang interupts again “how many are there”

“It’s a tower Ang, it’s kinda in the nature of towers to have a lot of floors. Anyway, I’m sneaking up to have a look at what we got there, when Gregg”

“Gregg?” Ang again.

“Gregg, massive chap, even bigger axe, strange looking helmet and with lots of trophies hanging offa him. Brought him in here last week. Got bared after half an hour for starting too many fights”

Lurt and Ang nod sagely to each other. Bar fights are part and parcel of a dive like this, but too many tend to disrupt the business that also went on in here. You had to be sensible about these things after all. At least if you wanted to leave in the same number of pieces as you arrived.

“Anyway, Gregg, I assume he’s getting bored at this point, decided to charge past me and thwack whatever he can see. We all kinda have to pile in after him and we run smack into a bunch of honest to gods massive iron snakes and a couple of gods damned harpies. My ears are still ringing from them I tell you. Anyway, stabbing and hacking and the odd fireball, and a couple of the snakes are scattered round the floor in pieces, and one of th eharpies looks all but dead, then Gregg does the biggest gods damned swing of that axe I’ve ever seen anyone do, chopping the harpy so hard it basically explodes in gore, covering us all. He’s not even finished as he somehow manages to use the momentum of thte swing to lurch himself over to the other harpy and land a backstroke upside it’s head and fairly snapping it’s neck. Now, I ain’t no one to shrink from a bit of blood”

Nods all round from the three, they’ve all seen, and had to cause, a fair ammount of spilt blood in their line of work

“but I ain’t seen nothing like that before. Guy’s an animal. Anyway, we finish up with them and the snakes and the big mouthy thing”

“wait, big mouthy thing?”

“Ohh yah, Foulest looking thing, all covered in mouths with needle sharp teeth, came lurching round a corner. Got stabbed though. no sweat. Anyway, at this point, we’re all fairly knackered, and there’s some beds tucked away in a corner, so we decide to rest up before heading up the next flight. Still no treasure see?”

Nods of sympathy from his two drinking companions. He’s about to continue when the barkeep leans over and whispers to them “Owl-eyed Pete just gave the sign the Flaming Fist are on the way. Probably best to make yourself scarce.”

Drinks are finished, flaggons collected and Ang’s wrist released from the bar keep’s massive meaty paw after he pays the coin he “forgot” to earlier, and the three head out the concealed cellar entrance.

“You’ll have to give us the rest of the story sometime” Lurt says as they jog down disused alleys.

“Next time” garrad says as he disapears into a shaddowy doorwway.

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Session 29
Monty Hall's Flying Paladin

Dear Father,

Did you ever find it amazing how easy some creatures are to bribe and how hard some others are no matter how greedy they seem to have been in the past and in the stories. I told you before about the Wizard’s Tower and the guards there seemed to exemplify both of the above in one go. One the one hand the Duergar there who we never really believed that trustworthy stuck to their duty despite offering to give them 50% of all the treasure within the dang tower whereas one of their Xorn slaves gave up and left for two rather trivial diamonds. Anyway, after the partially successful bribery attempt we were forced into combat with the Duergar and one remaining Xorn. Being on a stone bridge which was only 10 feet across it was impossible for the group to manoeuvre into any sort of effective fighting pattern so I took upon myself to change this and to ensure that our Battle Standard was suitably planted where the sight of it would give the group the biggest morale boost possible. With that in mind I signalled to Gregg for a boost and with a running start leapt over him and the Duergar Fleshreaper he has battling. Unfortunately for me the fleshreaper chose that moment to poke Gregg in the chest just hard enough to be a distraction and instead of the planned acrobatic display I found myself bumping back and forth around them until I finally came facedown behind the fleshreaper. At least it put me within 5 feet of where I’d intended to be and I could plant the standard for all to see. The battle after that was hard fought but, one in which I think everyone managed to excel although it was a bit of a shock to see some of the Duergar grow to large proportions upon being bloodied I think it was handled very well indeed even when they managed to get behind us and attack Belgarath.

Having gained entrance to the tower I was rather mistaken in hoping for a unoccupied entry hall and instead we came across a spell-throwing gnoll who having heard the ruckus out-front had managed to summon up two cambion hellswords and nearly a dozen undead minions. Another fight where we spent sometime pinned in, this time by the witherings. Gregg used the magic of his Berzerker badge to charge the Gnoll Wizard and the rest of us tried to dispose of the minions before the hellswords could do us in. The Company of the Purple Eclipse has its ups and downs tactically and if I’m honest I’m not sure this was one of our best outings but, we did manage to get through it mostly unscathed and bravely set off for the next level of the tower. Knowing that there was a great source of undead power at the top we were surprised to find not undead in the next room but, trolls and thunder lizard type creatures called destrachors. Tactically we were much more sound in this battle and worked well to ensure that the trolls were taking as much fire damage as we could dish out and harming the destrachors anyway we could. We managed to concentrate enough fire power on single targets that we made relatively short work of them and decided despite our weariness to press on ahead.

Oh we also found some things in the Gnolls’ library books for conjuring demons and undead and a scrap of paper with perhaps part of a ritual written on it. I of course destroyed the books and am hoping the other things we found will prove to be useful.

Give my love to Mother.

Sincerely,

Delamor

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Session 28
Down, Down, Deeper and Down

Presto McSpark: And welcome back to Dungeon Tonight, as ever I’m your host, Presto McSpark and my co-pilot, noted dwarven fighter, Slab Bulkhead. Joining us tonight we are fortunate to have the famed Barbarian Chad Hardchest and the Deva, Slyren. So Slab, moving on to the Company of the Purple Eclipse, good week for them this week do you think?

Slab Bulkhead: Actually pretty much, we left them squaring up for a battle and we rejoined them just as it kicked off.

PM: For the benefit of our viewers, they were facing one Vampire, two Eladrin Knights plus some minions, looking at it, it seems relatively straight forward.

SB: Certainly seemed that, way, some good initial maneouvering and it seemed to be going to plan, but then the Vampire’s Domination came into play. Picking what was probably the highest damage dealing member of the party who also happens to have the weakest will, let’s be honest the Barbarian was always going to be a first choice.

Chad Hardchest: You saying Bararians stupid?

SB: Not at all but I’ll wager a barrel of Dwarven Ale that Athon needed to change his pants when he turned round and saw the Barbarian swinging the Axe of doom towards him!

PM: Absolutely, they were fortunate that the Barbarian was able to snap out of it so early on.

Slyren: I feel your pain!

PM: Thank you for that. We should probably spend some time talking about the Rogue and the wretched time he had.

SB: It happens to all of us, like that time I was in the Tower of Heinous Death, sometimes you can’t hit for toffee, it seems to happen to Athon all the time it seems.

PM: Unless of course he’s dominated.

SB: Absolutely, dominate him and suddenly he’s a killing machine, bloodying the Sorceror can’t have gone down well, and how long was he dominated for, can’t help but think there may have been a little payback going on?

S: I feel his sorrow!

CH: Barbarian should have smashed little pretend wizard.

PM: Getting back to the main battle, the two Eladrin certainly caused more problems than I bet the party thought they would.

SB: Certainly that grab attack caused the rogue a few issues adding to the issues he was already having and occupied Delamor for longer than it probably should have. And Athon should have broken that domination sooner than he did.

PM: Well bearing in mind what happened next perhaps he shouldn’t have.

SB: Well Garard was just in the wrong place in the wrong time, Gregg gets dominated and then proceeds to cut him in two.

PM: Can’t be easy the last thing you see is a Barbarian swinging his axe towards you..

SB: And then when you wake up, you see the same axe sticking out of you!

CH: Barbarian have mighty weapons, do mighty blows!

S: I feel your agony!

PM: Well thank you for your comments there…

SB: Once the Knights were down it was only a matter of time for the Vampire and she probably knew it, dominated Athon again and sent him after Belgarath again.

PM: Belgarath did get in a retort…

SB: And Athon gets a repair bill..

PM: But ultimately the Vampire merges back into her cauldron of blood that is subsequently tipped over ending her reign for ever.

SB: A tough fight, tougher than it initially looked I’m sure, as usual Delamor first to hunt the room down..

PM: But both Belgarath and especially Gregg benefitting.

CH: Shiny Axe!

SB: Very much so in this new age of spirit of co-operation.

PM: So after an extended rest they are back on the trail and walk almost entirely into a party of Doergar.

SB:

PM: After the Rogue engages the enemy, the party are left almost too far behind to do anything effective.

SB: Aye, I thought the Rogue should have waited until the party had moved up as close as it could but oh well, tactics and all that..

S: I feel your misery..

SB:

PM: Battle seems to be going well initially until two things happen, two Dark Mantle’s lower themselves from the ceiling and start screaming and after a particularly nasty blow, one of the Doerger’s suddenly swells up in size and becomes a Doerger Hulk! Add in that one of them is a caster and suddenly it’s fight on for the Purple Eclipse..

SB: You say that, all enemies were despatched fairly quickly, even the one that ran, Gregg soon caught him up and sent him to the next world.

PM: Yep, can’t say much more than that, certainly a more straight forward battle than their previous one. Moving on they get to the causeway that leads to the tower with some more Doerger and a couple of Xorn in their way.

SB: I tell you I wouldn’t be happy fighting on that narrow causesay.

PM: Not at all, it’s what, 150 feet long, just wide enough for two at a time? Not fun to fight on, but it looks like Delamor is going for the ole Diplomatic schtick again, certainly with the Xorn but with the Doerger pulling out Crossbow’s it doesn’t look brilliant.

SB: Not forgetting the ‘undead’ presence in the tower..

PM: Well I think that about wraps it up, so thank you to all my guests and catch us next time.

CH: Barbarian SMASH!

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Session 27
World of Darkness

Dear Father,

Here we are ever so slightly further through our line of enquiries than we were last time I wrote. Most recently we have returned to Balder’s Gate from Castlekeep and discovered even more of the inherent evilness of “humanity”. It was while combating a vile splinter cell of the local guild when Gregg, my barbarian travelling companion and friend managed to solve the puzzle key that has been causing Athon and myself so much trouble over the last few weeks. I suppose sometimes these things are just a matter of strength, endurance, and the appreciative smile of the Goddess. Anyway, we dispatched the traitors and decided after a long restful night we would go looking for the fabled Wizard’s Tower which lies beneath the city somewhere.

During the night my rest was disturbed by a most intriguing creature and through discussion and charm a number of facts/rumours were shared by both sides. My campaign to discredit the sneak Devlin continues and I’ve asked this creature to help in that regard as it is believed that he and the traitorous guild are in league. It is possible though not proven that the metal man is more leader than dupe in these endeavours but, until we have more information it is hard to undertake a proper investigation. We are doing what we can but, as Aradon was the only one with any previous knowledge of this type of work it has been hard. I will speak to him upon our return from this tower and see if he has any strategies he can suggest to us.

Anyway, the sun reared its bright and ugly head and we set off to the Necropolis to find the Tomb of Doctor Talos and the entrance to the Wizard’s Tower.

When we arrived it appeared that others had already investigated the Tomb and the door had been jammed shut to keep out further intrusions. Garad was busy inspecting the door to figure out the best way of opening it when Gregg decided that with all doors the best way to open this one was to bash it with his head at top speed and charged in. Unfortunately, he tripped over the edge of my cloak on the way past and did not get as solid a strike against the door as he normally would have. Eventually, though he and Garad managed to open the door into the darkness.

Revealed within was a set of stairs which we duly descended and descended. Between the stairs and the sloping corridors between we quickly realised that we were far deeper underground than any normal crypt and had gone outside the above ground boundaries of the Necropolis. Eventually, we came upon a another closed door. Gregg again took up the initiative and screaming out “There it is” charged at the door. After bouncing off yet another door Gregg got a look in his eye which suggested that he had happened upon an idea. He casually reached into his backpack and pulled out the puzzle key he had recently solved in the sewers. He touched the key against the door and it opened to reveal… yet more stairs.

We descended these stairs as well and began to feel a faint breeze blowing which suggested that we had now entered an area that had an unsealed exit somewhere else.

Not feeling particularly stealthy Gregg, Athon, and myself quickly formed a front rank and marched on into the dark.

When we reached the bottom of the stairs my heart sank as the first thing I saw in my field of vision was a swarm of Rot Scarabs, the very same beasts that had killed Aradon. The swarm was accompanied by two vampires, which immediately made me look askew at Gregg, just in case we were going to have to guard against our friend as well as the enemies in the room. Thankfully, Athon’s arcane knowledge and my knowledge of religion revealed these vampires did not have the power to subsume our Barbarian friends will. Garad immediately led a charge into the room to confront one of the vampires and we all gasped as it was also revealed that two Zombie hulks were within. Garad was able to circle the predators about the vampire and hit it with a dagger. I immediately blessed my weapon and the rest of us joined the fray.

After a hard fought battle in which we all expended far more energy than we could probably have afforded we decided it was probably a good idea to take a short rest. Gregg set about making a helmet/hood thing from one of the Zombie Hulk heads and I did my best to tend to the wounded. Garad found an item of power, a belt I believe it was which will hopefully provide him with extra standing power in any similar battles and make him slightly less reliant on my limited healing abilities.

We set off even further downhill and with Garad and myself in front came across a rather small room with tubes in the opposite corners. Obviously, a trap and based on the scorch marks around the tubes on associated with fire. While Garad and I discussed the best way to disarm the traps Gregg decided that he was bored and the best way to get through this 20 foot room was to just take a running start and jump. Unfortunately, Belgarath’s staff was this time responsible for the barbarian’s stumble and he landed just enough weight on the last stone to set off the trap and scorch himself something fierce.

Gregg extricated himself from the room having given Garad and I a better idea of how the trap worked.

The two of us rushed in and disarmed the traps.. well Garad disarmed his and I set mine off. I think it may be time to start practicing my skills again as I seem to have gotten very rusty since leaving Loudwater. Anyway, Garad was just about to disarm mine as well when a half hearted comment by myself inspired Belgarath to rush into the room and attempt to clog the tube with bits of metal. Unfortunately, this foray simply served to set the trap off and the room filled with fire yet again. Long story short Garad eventually disarmed the second trap and after we’d all taken a deep breath we set out down the corridor. A corridor which very quickly led us to a room occupied by a Vampire Muse and her lackeys. Gregg slowly turned towards us with a gleam in his eye and his hands ever tightening around the handle of his axe…

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Session 26
Robot Wars

Belgarath takes a resting view…..

After the excitement at Candlekeep recently I think the “Party of the Purple Eclipse” felt they could do with a break and return to Baldur’s Gate, oh how wrong we were, trouble follows us everywhere!!!

With the Golden Dragon defeated, Gregg decides to start slicing & dicing the dragon ala “Gordon Ramsay style”, meanwhile Delamor examines the book we have been seeking and learns that DRAVEN the Dragon whom we seek can be found at Thunderpeaks, North of Cormyr. Belgarath and Delamor agreed that visiting the Moonshae Islands home of the Giants should be our next port of call but after returning to Baldur’s Gate.

Before leaving Candlekeep the party felt they should be rewarded somewhat for our heroics, whereby Gregg decides to intimidate the monks into paying us does surprisingly well, meanwhile through research Athon discovers the Ritual to Enchant Magic Item which excites Delamor somewhat. So after agreement on returning to Baldur’s Keep our intrepid party make there way back the Silver Star within the city for rest and make plans for their next moves. Once in the city Gregg and Belgarath go off to visit the Dwarven smith to trade dragon scales which does not go overly well and they asked to return in several weeks.
Meanwhile Athon and Delamor are working through the ritual, and stocking up with needed magical items to benefit the party, Garrad makes his usual disappearance into the Baldur’s Gate underworld.
While the partying are rejoining each other and discussing their day’s pursuits, Belgarath suggests setting our own Ebay in the city called D&D Bay, to trade the many things we keep killing.
In the late afternoon Garrad returns and relays a message he received about a possible robbery at the warehouse of Baron Coverant, Garrad and Belgarath agree this could be important and worth checking out so with this news Delamor suggests that the party reports to the one Sergeant of the Flaming Fist who we trust.

The party then proceed to seek the Sergeant whereby Delamor explains our news and that we are happy to help, we then hatch a plan whereby Garrad will wait in the sewers and the rest of us will break-in and hide within the warehouse. Great plan or what!!!!
As we head of down the dank, slimey sewers underneath Baldur’s Gate, Garrad follows us and covers our tracks, at this moment with great surprise Gregg cracks the puzzle which has given us so many problems, our joy is shortlived………..

We round a corner of the sewers to be confronted by 5 robed figures in the dark of the sewers, as we knew they would not surrender the battle commences with Athon and Garrad striking out first against our enemies with Garrad decimating one enemy with a flurry. Belgarath decides to stay back and cast Sun’s Illumination which lights up the combat zone and strikes at several enemies. Gregg seems to be the target of their anger as he hit with several scimitar attacks. Delamor finds himself tangled in a whip attack which surprises everyone, not a very sporting move!!!! As the battle progresses Garrad continues to wade into fighting with his flurries of speed, Gregg critical hits another enemy as Belgarath gets comfortable at the back as his Sun’s Illumination moves from enemy to enemy dealing damage.
The strikes on Gregg take their toll as he becomes bloodied and angry i might say, Garrad continues his flurries and critical hits and kills an enemy, while the zone of illumination from Belgarath continues to move through the enemies as he gets comfortable in the background. Delamor critically hits another enemy and bloodies the target as the enemies seem to be going down, in return Delamor is also critically hit hard but he can handle the pressure being the paladin. Athon’s sword bursts into flames and strikes out fast and hard at multiple targets, unfortunately suffering many effects he keeps failing to help himself, at this point the leader smashes several boxes and these mechanical figures come out and start fighting for the enemy, damn warforged who brought the meccano!!!!

The leader of the enemy throws out pyschic energy which hits hard against Gregg, Garrad and Athon causing them many restrictions within their fighting, again Gregg and Garrad are hit hard and forced backwards away from combat, are the enemies rejuvenating their attacks?

Delamor is kept very busy healing the bloodied members of the party as the battle progresses the leader sends out shooting flames which hits everyone except Belgarath who is busy admiring the walls and the sewage, causing much disruption to our party and their attacks.
The warforged now move into battle our party, Athon strikes out in a flurry scoring one critical hit and killing one of these cursed enemies, Belgarath again has much fun moving his zone of illumination around and scoring a critical hit too. Gregg strikes out with his Bloodhunt Rage scoring a critical and slicing one warforged to nothing but bolts and metal, then Gregg and Garrad chase down the last leader with Gregg knocking him prone and Garrad finishing him off. Their are now pieces of metal and bolts around the dead bodies of the enemy a tough battle with Gregg and Delamor using the most healing on themselves as it seems they were the brunt of the enemy frustration.

Finally with the battle over, Belgarath moves and joins his companions as the party loot the bodies and take some of these strange, mysterious metal parts and bolts. The party finds a list of instructions for these mechanical destructors, a list of metal components needed, and a small insignia on one of them which links with a disappearing gnome we have come across in the past.
Delamor suggests we take the bodies to the Sergeant of the Flaming Fist, the Sergeant states that one of the dead was a wanted criminal and seems pleased with our work, the party is rewarded with 100gps for our efforts. We decided to return to the Silver Star for rest and to plan our next moves, but I feel somewhere in the distance Diker Thain and his cohorts are watching our progress with interest…….

That’s Belgarath’s view, although i must say next time a chair and a mug of ale would not go a miss for myself whenwe are fighting, just a thought!!

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