Attronarch's Athenaeum

Campaign journals, reviews of TTRPG stuff, and musings on D&D.

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Brother Kallahan Cleric level 1 Crooked, broken nose; big bags under eyes; long hair, bald spot hidden under old pilgrim's hat; and emaciated figure. Mosquitoes and the smell of dampness always accompanies him.
Sashundo Dwarf level 1 A cube-shaped dwarf with with massive, floor-sweeping braid and very long eyelashes. Dressed in black-and-yellow plate mail.
Gabriel Faria Elf level 1 Cravatted silk shirt and a gold-encrusted rapier are all this 7th son of a duke needs to carve his own empire.
Amanda Hugencuise Thief level 1 A new girl in town, claiming to be foreign exchange student, up for some “exciting missions” and enjoying the local cuisine.
Taaaz Fighter level 1 Tall figure whose skinny frame is hidden behind plate armour he never takes off—including the helmet.

Sashundo's report linked at the end of the post.

Flowerbloom 9th, Fireday

“Good to see you back... Where is your silent friend?” Theo greeted Gabriel and Arradir as soon as they walked though Gates of Antil. “My condolences, he seemed like a good squire.”

“Come, Sister Silente is waiting for us.” he guided the duo through the unfamiliar streets “She instructed me to take you to the Hare's Head inn. You've been smart to carefully wrap the totem.” he explained as they walked far from the shade thrown by the Sky God's monumental temple.

The inn was as unique as its name—it'd be difficult to imagine a more generic place—and so were its patrons. “She is waiting for you on the second floor. This is where I take my leave.”

“What kind of sick game are you playing!” luckily, Gabriel's tongue was faster than Silente's mace. Only now he realised how big of a woman she is. Silente listened to his whole story, all the while holding her mace up high. She relaxed after some time, but kept squinting at him.

“This is Brother Bartwell's eagle. He set out two weeks ago; and we'd expect him back in some two weeks from now.”

“I don't trust you.”

“I want you to take me there. Gather whatever and whomever you need by next sunrise—we leave at the earliest hour.”

“Why don't you trust me my lady? Have I not done your bidding. Have my subject's blood not been shed in order to return to you this sacred object, which, as it happens, is exactly the object you described to me. And I have told you there is a second totem in the same place. I will be happy to guide you to the location, so long as I may claim my own reward; the coins I mentioned earlier.”

“Deeds speak louder than words. If you speak true, then you will join me in glory of vanquishing this beast and recovering our holy symbols! All coin therein are yours to take for might makes right!” as she clasped her forearms audibly.

“Then it shall be done, let us make merry and toast the dead. Let me warn you that whatever creature haunts the dark caverns is from the underworld, I only saw it wreathed in shadow and was chased away by its minions. It will be a deadly mission. I may require even more goods than before, companions, and even some retainers.”

Gabriel continued “Do you know any goodly youngmen fit to make a nobles squire?”

“Brother Theo will bring you all the mundanes you might need. Just give him your list. Antil is full of virile men. Remember that this is a covert mission. I don't want anyone whom might recognise me or what we are doing. Drunken Whore, Hare's Head, and Seven Vultures might have the right persons for the task. And so might the docks.”

“Pah, no dock worker is fit to be a nobles man aid. This you surely know. I shan't be in the company of peasants. I am looking for a good strong yeoman of clean blood.”

“I'll ask brother Theo to join us. This shall be a good test for him.”

“Excellent my lady, am I understanding you correctly that Theo shall be entrusted to me as squire?”

“Absolutely not. He will join me on this holy crusade!”

“Then point me in the direction of the lesser nobles of this city. I require a seneschal!”

“Then go and find one, what do I care!” she picks up the totem—with much more ease than Gabriel did—and went for the doors “That pouch is for your 'services.' Tomorrow at dawn—by the gates!” and out she went.

Gabriel squinted at her insult, but picked up the purse none the less. It counted 51 gold pieces. Not to be discouraged, he went on to squeeze Brother Theo for information about his potential new squire. Alas, the acolyte wasn't of much help, but did manage to remember Thorkild Caltrap, a noble from faraway land whom settled in Antil some 12 years ago. His sons are respected fighters.

No stranger to courtly manners, Gabriel sent a peasant boy to announce his arrival at Caltrap manor. Further, he made sure to bring appropriate gift with himself—a move that surely helped him get much desired audience.

One of the guard took Gabriel's gifts and disappeared in the manor. He returned some ten minutes later, joined by a finely dressed older man with a noticeably different complexion.

“It's an honour to have an envoy from such distant land.” his soft voice did not match his firm stance. “I'm Fellow, and I'm Head of the Manor in Lord's absence. Please, join me to the courtyard.”

He took Gabriel to a small, rectangular courtyard, with a square table for six, covered with shade of two apple trees. Wine and fruits are already served.

“Ser Gabriel Faria, please pardon my ignorance, but I know very little of your family and land. Would you care to tell me more?”

The elf spoke in great detail about his noble family, omitting minor details like himself stealing his father's sword and running away in anger. “I am hoping to take a courtly squire who will assist me and that I might train in the Arte, and in return I will pledge allegiance to this great house as a knight and do my lords bidding.” Gabriel explained.

Fellow carefully listens to his request. “I'm afraid I can make no such arrangements, but I will convey all you've said to me to Lord once he arrives. In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to Young Lords Bowie and Krom Molder, whom are currently in the manor. Both yearn to test their mettle in the world.”

Bowie joins them first. A young, healthy and eloquent fellow of some 20 years. Krom, two heads taller and three shoulders wider than his brother, joined with a significant delay. He threw himself in the chair, almost breaking it. “Who is this Arte you've been speaking of?”

“Why ,the Arte of the blade of course. Have your servants fetch wasters, it will be an honour to spar with you. We must sharpen our skills, for there is a beast in need of slaying. In a fortnight you will return here with beasts blood dried on your blades, and sacks full of coin.”

And so the deal had been made.

Flowerbloom 10th, Spiritday

With first ray of newborn day, our group of adventurers met at the agreed upon location. A respectable party of eight: Gabriel with his two new squires—Bowie and Krom Molder Caltrap—and two new adventurers—Sashundo, a dwarf in black-and-yellow plate mail, and Amanda, a mousy girl with a soft spot for cute guys like Bowie—as well as Sister Silente's crew of Brother Theo and Brother Kallahan. The latter being a rather sinister looking fellow. And let us not forget Delphine, a mule hired solely for the purpose of brining back all that wealth Gabriel had seen. They marched out with purpose and vigor.

Interlude

The last Taaaz had felt was a giant beetle, weighing what seemed like a metric ton, taking him down to the ground, its mandibles crushing through his neck guard and ripping out his throat. The warmth of gushing blood was soon replaced by the coldness of limestone beneath him.

...

Violent jerks brought Taaaz out of his slumber. No, jerking is too subtle of a word. It felt as if someone was swinging him through the air. But what he could see made no sense whatsoever. There was no discernible ground—or any land for that matter.

The air was filled with a thunderous roaring of such volume that he felt his whole body vibrate in pain. There were moments when he could've sworn that his eyeballs and eardrums burst; and yet he could still see and hear.

Titanic visages filled the air; their features indescribable by human words; were they real or imagined?

After an eternity of flying and swirling through the air, one of the colossal horrors pierced Taaaz with a thousand spears and pinned him to an ice cold surface. Taaaz could feel his helmet ripped off, as well as every last piece of hair on his head. That was followed by an intense pain; as if his skin and face melted off; followed by sharp pain as if hundreds of needles were stuck all over his head.

Despite all the noise and hurt, he could clearly hear P U U L K R E A K I V Z I again and again in his head. Taaaz's ordeal lasted for a century.

...

He woke up in a dimly lit cave with a splitting headache; his armour covered in dried blood. He could feel no helmet on his head. His face hurt horribly whenever he even attempted to touch it. The room smelt of body odour. Taaaz recognised two artefacts on the far side of the room—wooden figurine and a cowbell.

Unwilling to go around helmet-less, he made an improvised cowl out of hides he had been resting on. After initial exploration, which had been at a snails pace due to all the hurt and pain, he decided to go through the moss drape on the south-west side. Struggling to speak, he only managed to make a few grunts before “Pullkreakivzi!” slipped from him mouth.

Another cave, albeit larger then the one he came out from, housed two broad-shouldered, squat humanoids by the fire. Some pantomime and broken common later helped Taaaz piece out that they dragged his body here and tended his wounds. He bid them goodbye, and went looking for an exit... But not before attempting to collect all the treasure he left behind!

Following the sounds of rushing water, he managed to find the waterfall his party descended. He soon found out that underestimating his own wounds nearly proved to be a fatal mistake. Few steps after he begun to descend down the rope, a sharp pain in the spine took away all his bodily strength, sending him down in a freefall manner. It was by sheer luck he faceplanted the underground pond instead of limestone.

Since dying once wasn't traumatic enough, Taaaz was once again fighting for his own life. Unable to walk normally, he crawled the same path as last time, ultimately reaching his place of demise. Nutriel and Pusgic were still rotting away, but he cared little for them—only for his backpack full of treasure. Alas, he was to weak to carry anything of weight! A man of culture he is, he pried out “The Complete History of Botany,” and crawled back to the cave with two hairy humanoids.

Flowerbloom 11th, Airday

Gabriel led the party to the caves he fled from days ago. “Lead the way” Silente commanded. In they went, retracing his steps. By the time they descended into second chamber, something most curious had happened—the circle of rocks with cowbell in the center was restored.

Further, there was a thick gray fog with cinnamony smell in the connecting chamber, something that hadn't been here before. Sashundo used his (lack of) height to enter it first. He couldn't see further than his own outstretched arm. “GO BAK... GO BAK... GO BAK...” a monotonous voice boomed. But only the dwarf could hear it. Since nothing else seemed to be happening—Sashundo was still alive—rest of the party entered as well.

It didn't take them long to step into the stream they'd be looking for, and find their way to the waterfall chamber. Gabriel and Amanda took to inspect the overhanging rope, dwarf inspected the south walls, and the rest formed a protective perimeter. The rope was frayed, as if from heavy use, but unsuspect otherwise. Sashundo hearing cowbells from the mist was enough to send the party down the rope.

Half an hour later Gabriel had led them to the secret tunnel where he found the holy totem and piles of coin. The crawlspace was so tight that only two could go at once, and even then, they wouldn't be able to turn if they had to.

The treasure was where they left it—a pile so wide six men could easily roll in it. Everybody but Amanda, Silente, and Theo dove straight into the pile, stuffing their sacks with as much coin as they can. A pile of mangled deer corpses next to it were no concern of theirs.

“This can't be...” Sister Silente went pale. “What is it?” Brother Theo inquired “This... This is the High Priest's totem... This... This can't be here...”

“Ahem—Boys!” Amanda coughed loudly, pointing down the dark corridor they haven't ventured through yet.

A massive human-like head, adorned by long, greasy, lanky hair—imagine armpit hair half-a-meter long—with horse-like jaw hovered high in the air. Its diabolical cackle revealed a sickening array of ghastly, yellow, rotting teeth. True horror was revealed only after it'd made few more steps forward.

Lantern light now fully illuminating the figure, revealing its elephant-like body covered in warts and blisters. To further the nightmare, ten more heads like the first one—with varying degrees of balding—were connected with thick worm-like veiny tubes to the body.

It rushed the party with child-like glee.

There was a silver lining in all of this chaos. Four of eleven heads seemed to be dead or dysfunctional, as attested by them simply being dragged on the floor.

That was all silver lining though.

Silente and Krom Molder counter-charged, each meeting a grisly fate. The priest was drawn and quartered by four heads, while the warrior screamed his guts out as the creature shattered limb after limb with its blunt teeth. One of the heads stood up high and unleashed a deafening high-pitched scream that made it impossible for adventurers to hear each other.

Gabriel managed to set the beast on fire, although doing minimal damage. Amanda sneaked in for a backstab. Sashundo and Brother Kallahan failed to have any impact at all, while Brother Theo hugged the cave, paralysed with fear.

The creature roared as it burned, unleashing its full rage on young Bowie whom charged in to avenge his brother. Brave but foolish. His battle-axe hadn't even made a chip on the creature's hardened skin. The monster battered him mercilessly, turning him into nothing but a messy pulp. Amanda stabbed the creatures behind, dealing so little damage it hadn't even turned around one of its heads to check on her.

Brother Kallahan the Wise, and Gabriel the Swift, were first to reach the tunnel, crawling for their life. Before fleeing with two sacks of coin, Amanda slapped enough sense in Theo for him to get eaten alive by the demon. Sashundo made a run for it, but dumbly decided to jump over the corpses, landing into the maw of two heads.

The surviving trio returned the same way they came in. The creature's shriek was echoing through the cave. Alas, there was one more surprise awaiting them—a barely visible figure stood in the fog, blocking their exit.

“Who goes there?” Gabriel yelled. “Identify yourself!”

“Taaaz... My squire, is that you?!”

“Speak so if you are!”

And indeed it was, leaving Gabriel without words, an amazing feat achieved by few. He quickly explained that some cavemen tended his wounds, and helped him recover. Gabriel's hug was prevented by Taaaz's outstretched arm. “What are you doing my boy? Get over here and pick up our stuff! Without any further delay!” and so was the dynamic duo reunited.

“Real gentlemen carry coin—they don't make petite girls carry it for them!” Amanda protest's fell on deaf ears until the party reached their donkey.

Stopping to sleep for only one watch, Gabriel, Taaaz, Brother Kallahan, and Amanda reached Antil On Flowerbloom 14th, Fireday, with their biggest treasure haul to date—1060 gold pieces and 340 electrum pieces.

How long will it last?

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

The events below happened at the same time as events described in session 9.

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Gabriel Faria Elf level 1 Cravatted silk shirt and a gold-encrusted rapier are all this 7th son of a duke needs to carve his own empire.
Taaaz Fighter level 1 Tall figure whose skinny frame is hidden behind plate armour he never takes off—including the helmet.
Pusgic Fighter level 1 A hero of a long forgotten battle.

Taaaz's report linked at the end of the post.

Flowerbloom 1st, Airday

There it was, a gaping maw sixty feet wide, splitting into two cavernous corridors, one leading left, another right. The party decided that Arradir will stay behind and guard the entrance, while newly met man-in-black, Pusgic, was to join them in their delve.

Both tunnels were of significant size, the right being slightly wider at some 40 feet. Left hand path was chosen as the preferred option. Just as they were ready to light up one of their last three remaining improvised torches, Gabriel noticed a greenish discoloration on the cave wall. He threw a rock at it, and it went straight through. Pusgic came up close and poked it with his polearm. What looked to be some sort of moss drape had proved to be most easy to move around.

Brave man he was, he decided to face check what lies behind. Darkness. And a smell of rotting leaves intermingled with body odours. Gabriel finally lit up that torch, and passed it to Taaaz, whom then stormed the room together with Pusgic. A dead end it was. Small, elongated cave with some bunched up leaves alongside south-east wall.

Disappointed with lack of any treasure in the first cave they stumbled upon, the party decided to follow the left tunnel, which led north. After some time they reached an what seemed to be a crossroad. Shining more light revealed that it wasn't really, for turns to the right and left were nothing but more dead ends.

Gabriel lit up a candle and then used some wax to glue it to the top of Taaaz's helmet. That must be that ingenious resourcefulness that adventurers are known for. A blue pouch could be seen in distance, covered by rubble and debris. Taaaz bravely poked it, provoking a giant centipede nesting beneath it. It proved to be no match for the armoured brute.

Eighteen electrum pieces, seven copper pieces, a wooden dish, a rusted metal spoon, and several moldy rags. Pusgics inspected the rags with his tongue, leading to a burning sensation and bad breath. There was a narrowing in the cave, which led further down.

This time they emerged in a simple chamber, with a twisting tunnel leading downwards. A most peculiar arrangement was presented on the far side of the cave: a brass cow bell placed in the in circle of oval stones. Taaaz the Inspector poked that as well—no bugs coming out on this occasion—discovering a three foot long iron bar and a broken horse-like wooden figurine. Sound of rushing water could be heard coming from down below.

Downwards they went, finding even larger chamber. A stream of water, seemingly emerging from the cave walls, ran through the depressed part of the cave, turning into another corridor. Ignoring the wide tunnel to the south, the party opted to wade through the ice cold water.

Now they were in a truly cavernous chamber—so large that their torch revealed no walls in front of them. The sound of rushing—or falling?—water filled the air, making it very difficult to hear each other. Trash detector Taaaz found a distressed leather backpack. Within it were another wooden figurine of a horse-like figure, a golden hair brush and a poorly bound book with a bare wooden cover. The spine read “The Complete History of Botany, by Brardarn Stoneshovel of the Hillforge clan.”

The party soon learned the source of noise: a waterfall that terminated some thirty feet down. Whilst Gabriel and Nutriel were setting up some pitons with rope, Pusgic yelled “CANNON BALL” and short-circuited the whole process by throwing himself straight into the lake below. Luckily for him, it was deep enough to avoid breaking his legs, and shallow enough to avoid drowning outright. Others refused to follow his lead, and descended down with fastened rope.

Twenty feet wide tunnel leading up was the only exit the party could find. It progressively got narrower and narrower, and was winding right quite often. At one moment the elves noticed a slight discoloration of the ground—a small area that seemed to be a lighter shade of gray. There were also some scratch marks on it. Kneeling down to investigate, Gabriel could feel a draft of fresh air coming out of small crawlspace close to the ground. It was barely wide enough for one average human, and tall just enough to scrape someones ass.

They could also see the tunnel terminating in a two way split: one wider, and one narrower. Smell of rotting meat was coming from the former. After no deliberate planning, Gabriel light up a candle and went to investigate the previously discovered hole, while Taaaz, Pusgic, and Nutriel went for the narrow tunnel.

Gabriel soon found himself scrapping the ground with his elbows, messing up his silk shirt in the process, to be the price of this passageway. Alas, once he did find his way out, the candle had proven to be too weak to reveal the true nature of the cave. The air seemed fresher here, but there was also something disturbing in the darkness.

Courageous fellow he is, he decided to follow the wall, moving as quietly as he could. He'd have to pause every few steps to make sure his fickle candle doesn't blow out... An eternity later unbelievable sight had entered his vision—piles and piles of coin in front of him! So much that his puny candle could illuminate them all! He immediately lit up a torch. Thousands and thousands of coins laid strewn around the cave—so much that six men could roll in them easily. More importantly, he saw what they came here for originally: iron rods adorned with eagles, the holy symbols of Shang Ta, staked into the ground.

Alas, he couldn't carry both for they were much heavier than they initially seemed. That priest must've been quite strong to bear one with such ease. So he grabbed one and went back to inform his fellow adventurers of this most stunning findings.

Whilst Gabriel prowled through darkness, remaining trio explored the narrow corridor. It proved to be quite short, merging with the wider tunnel at the end. Peeking around the corner uncovered a surprising sight—a humanoid figure dressed in robes with feathered shouldepards sitting at a large wooden desk. Pusgic carefully approached it, only to find it turning towards him, tongue hanging where its lower jaw was supposed to be. The unholy undead lunged at the man dressed in black. Pusgic responded by cutting it in half. Another rotten figure rose from the rubble, butt naked, only to be taken down by a headshot from Nutriel.

Taaaz managed to find yet another bag. It contained some chalk, a small leather pouch with gray sand, and a necklace made of hide and sinew. Pusgic rocked the table, discovering a large secret compartment filled with coin. A total of 2120 copper pieces and 44 silver pieces were found, if it is to believe Taaaz's counting skills. Unfortunately, demonstration of his packing skills was interrupted by the approach of three glowing orbs. Unwilling to take any chances, the party retreated back to where they came from.

At that moment Gabriel crawled out of the small tunnel, finding his friends engaged with what seemed to be large flying beetles. Taaaz and Pusgic were engaged in melee, whilst Nutriel was shooting from behind. One of the beetles was killed with a thrust through its thick head, courtesy of Taaaz. Alas, the other promptly rammed the plated warrior, throwing him down on his back. It quickly scaled him and crushed his Adam's apple with its strong mandibles.

Pusgic killed it, but too late to save his friends. Blood gargles were supplant with silence. Gabriel took of with the totem, Nutriel missed with all his arrows, and Pusgic made his final stand “You go. It's gonna be all right.” he smiled as the last remaining beetle downed him. In desperation, Nutriel rushed it with dagger, only to find his arms snapped in half by unforgiving mandibles. Gabriel threw arms severed from one of the unfortunate acolytes, and fled for his life.

He made it to the cave exit against all odds. Arradir looked at him in disbelief. The duo managed to return to Antil undisturbed. They retrieved the totem—but at what cost?

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

The events below happened at the same time as events described in session 8 and 9.

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Gabriel Faria Elf level 1 Cravatted silk shirt and a gold-encrusted rapier are all this 7th son of a duke needs to carve his own empire.
Taaaz Fighter level 1 Tall figure whose skinny frame is hidden behind plate armour he never takes off—including the helmet.
Arradir Elf level 1 A freckled, flame-haired elf on the run, looking to start a new life.

Taaaz's and Arradir's reports linked at the end of the post.

Dewsnap 15th–Flowerbloom 1st

Following a three day bender, Gabriel and Taaaz were sufficiently motivated to head out into the wilderness. A map from Sister Silente marking the usual pilgrim routes proved to be most useful. And let's not forget that our dynamic duo has now transformed into a dynamic quartet: Nutriel, an elf they hired at Drunken Whore, and Arradir, a red-haired elf that joined them at the end of their debauchery.

A group of acolytes, led by a priest dressed in chainmail adorned with feathered shouldepards and carrying a large iron staff topped with an eagle-like symbol, marched through Gates of Antil just as the party was discussing their best way forth. “Might makes right!” the man grunted as he hit the ground with the totem. Then he set off with such an incredible pace that his men almost had to run to keep up with him.

Assuming they too were pilgrims, our adventurers decided to follow them from a “safe” distance. They indeed seemed to be heading towards Windgod Hills. Good weather served both parties well, and they almost reached the foot of the hill by the sundown. Adventurers broke camp while the pilgrims continued marching. Everybody had a good night's rest—everybody except Taaaz, that is. He was pissing fire throughout the night.

Sun shone on the next day as well. By the end of the first watch our party had caught up with pilgrims. In fact, they found the priest pouting in front of some tents. “These men of mine... Never will they make it in this world! Look at them, still sleeping and lounging—and we haven't even yet set foot on the Mountain.” While Gabriel and Arradir spoke to the man, Taaaz used the opportunity to inspect the eagle-staff. All parts seemed to be iron, and it was covered in scruff marks all along. Was it also used as a weapon? Alas, his inspection was cut short by the priest's volatile response to elven provocations. Apparently, asking “Should we make this a little competition?” was enough motivation for him to set off further up—alone.

The party opted to follow him few paces behind, making their presence well known to him. Unperturbed, the man kept his impressive pace for two watches straight. Not even the setting sun deterred him. Unwilling to be upped, our quintet started burning through the torches in order to keep up with him. The ascent was difficult enough during the day, but traversing the jagged edges at night was completely different game. Every now and then, they'd lose the priest out of sight, be it for the rocks, turns, or distance.

“Come at me!”

It was the holy man's voice.

“Come! What are you waiting for cowards!”

He was shouting angrily. But it didn't sound like it was meant for them. The party quickly dropped to the ground, hiding in the bushed and behind rocks, in order to assess the situation. Three elves could see heat signatures in the dark, but Taaaz's mortal eyes could see only moonlight. Gabriel and Arradir prowled ahead, while Taaaz was led by Nutriel.

“Might makes right!” THUD. THUD. THUD. THUD. THUD.

Sounds of iron striking the rocky ground permeated the air.

Elvish duo came close enough to make out the priest's heat signature. There he was, standing in a power pose, facing something in front of him. Crawling a bit closer, they noticed three horse-like heat signatures some 50ish feet ahead. They seemed to be moving left and right, but not coming forward. Unwilling to wait any further, Gabriel and Arradir joined up with the man, whilst Taaaz and Nutriel caught up from behind. The creatures ran away, but the man had nothing to say to our party.

Exhausted from the march and adrenaline rush, the adventurers decided to rest for the full day. They made their camp on a small elevated clearing, well protected from all sides. Priest and his acolytes camped across them, but only rested for a brief moment before continuing their pilgrimage.

Onwards to glory, as they say. In this case it was upwards to sweat. The hills turned even steeper and more difficult to pass, often requiring adventurers to get on all four in order to proceed. Perhaps it was his helmet obstructing his vision, or the sun blurring his mind, or exhaustion stepping in. Whatever it was, Taaaz tripped over a body lying in the pool of blood he'd failed to notice. Turning the corpse around revealed a familiar face—one of the acolytes they've met earlier! His torso and face were ripped to shred, his innards strewn about. The blood trail lead eastwards, between a narrow passageway.

“Whatever might've been taking away the totem is probably that way...” Arradir's words of wisdom broke his fellow adventurer's reluctance to follow danger. Not before Gabriel and some others followed up on his macabre suggestion to carve up the corpse and carry some of the extremities in case “Some horrible creature needs to be fed!” The trail led downwards in a sharp zig-zagging descending pattern. They could see another man sitting at a small clearance overhanging the descent further down. “Hey!” went unanswered.

Taaaz poked the man with a sword, tipping him over. Another mangled corpse. That one was too relieved of its worldly possessions by our squire-in-practice. It did get to keep its body intact though.

The trail led them to the foot of the mountain, with a grassland clearing between them and the forest ahead. They could see the priest standing, again in his power pose, facing the forest. The area he was in seemed to be bereft of grass, extending behind him as some sort of a cape. Silence was his response to any hails coming from the party. He also hadn't responded to a rock being thrown at him.

Gabriel and Arradir went south whilst Nutriel went north, circumventing the grass-less ground. Taaaz went straight ahead and tried to pull the man backwards. To his surprise, the man was solid as a rock, refusing to budge even an inch. Frustrated, he stepped in front of the priest, only to be met with a grisly sight: his clothes were torn, his chainmail barely held intact. The man was covered in blood, little stream running down his arms and legs.

“Might... made... right...” he whispered barely audibly.

“I... was... not... worth... it...” were his last words before he collapsed to his knees and lifelessly hung his head.

FFIIIUUU! Nutriel whistled and motioned to a thick tree behind Taaaz. The party was quick to surround it, revealing a trembling man behind it. “Leave him alone!” the man shouted through tears. “Speak!” Gabriel demanded. “Leave him alone you animals!” But Gabriel wouldn't have any of that crap from a snivelling man. He slapped and spanked him “Speak!”

“I was trying to keep up, but my blister were bleeding and I was thirsty so I took a break. By the time I caught up he was already down here. He summoned it! He called it out! Oh how he fought! But the horror! I couldn't bare to look at it! So many head! So many! Horrible heads! it left once it ripped the holy symbol from him! Oh, you bastard!”

“Have you seen where it'd go? Lead us after it you peasant!” more slaps and spanks were all the additional motivation this broken acolyte needed. “I hope you all die! I hope it rips you all apart! May you be mangled so horribly your ancestors won't recognise you in the afterlife! You—” his flurry of insults was cut short by Taaaz backhand to the lips.

“Oh, I can never return to Antil now... I've brought such shame to my order...”

Upon reaching the creatures lair, good man Arradir persuaded his peers to release the acolyte. And so our party readied themselves to descend into darkness.

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

The events below happened at the same time as events described in session 7.

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Gabriel Faria Elf level 1 Cravatted silk shirt and a gold-encrusted rapier are all this 7th son of a duke needs to carve his own empire.
Taaaz Fighter level 1 Tall figure whose skinny frame is hidden behind plate armour he never takes off—including the helmet.

Taaaz's report linked at the end of the post.

Dewsnap 10th, Spiritday

Romilion sea was gentle to Slim Whale, a caravel boarded by Gabriel Faria and his squire Taaaz. What choice did Gabriel have but to steal his father's treasured weapon once he'd learn that his brother would be the future king? That went as expected, so he boarded the fastest ship in town—no questions asked. Little did he know that he would sail to most barbarian lands in the whole world...

The colossal eagle-like statue entered their sight much before the port did. “Aye lads, yer in the landz of the sky god now!” the blind captain giggled. And so the duo landed in Antil, the largest bastion of civilisation in the Barbarian Altanis.

It wasn't long until they've been accosted by a group of suspiciously looking men. “Till, at your service newcomer! Pardon my directness, but you do seem a bit disoirnted. Would you like us to escort you to a fine establishment worthy of your rank?”

What seemed like a good offer at first, quickly fell through for logistical reasons. Till insisted that he'd lead with Gabriel, while his three “associates” would walk behind with Taaaz. Few harsh words later, and our dynamic duo was off on their own.

“Can't go wrong with following the gigantic statue!”

The main street was wide and littered with loud men and women manning their small booths. All kinds of fruits, vegetables, and meats were sold. There were also bands of urchins crawling between all the stalls—and Taaaz, in his infinite wisdom, decided that best course of action is to interrogate one of the dirty orphans.

He dragged one into the dark alley and pinned him to the wall. “Speak!” he growled. Spit in the face and kick into the shin is all he got, to which he responded by tossing the kid into the wall. From now on, several gangs of urchins followed the magic duo.

In flash of inspiration, Gabriel tried to frame urchins for stealing from one of the local merchants. That also went as expected, so now they had gangs of orphans and an angry merchant chasing after them. The duo took a sharp turn to one of the many alleyways, cutting a booth canopy in an attempt to slow down their pursuers. Straight, right, down, no, let's go back, pause!

Alas, their break was not meant to be. A familiar figure stepped from around the corner, blocking off their route forward. It was Till and one of his “associates.”

“Gentlemen, this doesn't have to be violent!” unfortunately for Till, Taaaz woke up desiring nothing but violence. He swung his massive sword downwards, cleaving Till in half. Adding insult to injury, he splashed the associate with Till's remains. Without missing a beat, he swung upwards, cutting him open from chest to face. The remaining associates fled in terror, whilst Gabriel was making “Uh! Ah! En garde!” sounds.

And then they took a casual stroll through the alleys, ending up beneath the Sky God's temple surrounded by many acolytes. One of them, presenting himself as Theo, was more than delighted to tell Gabriel everything about the Temple of Shang Ta, the sky god, their ceremonies, beliefs, and such.

Gabriel listened—or pretended to—whilst waiting for an opportunity to offer his services. After all, the coins won't make themselves, and temples are usually full of the, are they not? Naive Theo was happy to take them to Sister Silente, a chaplain of his section. Perhaps he wasn't wrong, for she had also trusted the ambitious duo with her worry.

Several of the pilgrims went missing, and so did the sacred regalia they carried with them. She needed that investigated—covertly—because there is a big religious event coming up, and this would be most inconvenient. She agreed to equip the party with all the adventuring stuff they might need.

Drunken Whore tavern was their next destination. Gabriel promptly jumped on the table and made a display of his swordsmanship. “Who wishes to join us and get rich?” Talent attracts talent! Tarwick and Wolgos, two burly looking men, approached the boisterous elf. Negotiations went quite well, resulting in Tarwick getting stabbed through the head by Gabriel, and Wolgos jabbed in stomach by Taaaz. Our brave duo was quick to loot their bodies, and even quicker to leave the tavern. “This is Drunken Whore, not Bloody Whore, you gits!”

At least one of the patrons had been impressed with their unadulterated display of self-control and fine diplomacy. An elf named Nutriel followed them out, expressing his desire to join such talented individuals. He was warmly welcomed.

“Gabriel, you won't believe this. We're rich! One of this bloody bastards has some coin stored with the jeweler!”

Naturally, that was the next best place to go to. A small store with numerous colourful gems at display was headed by stout dwarf. He inspected the blood drenched note for few seconds, before disappearing behind thick wooden doors. Ten minutes later he was back with a small pouch.

“There are some coin missing... Have you counted them right?” Gabriel inquired.

“Cleaning fee.” the dwarf replied.

Taaaz was quick to swing, but dwarf was faster, hitting him with a battleaxe he always keeps under the counter. Elf managed to charm him before he'd have a chance for the second strike. Nutriel stared in disbelief, as the party dragged him outside.

A celebration was to be had! Gabriel got himself a fine courtesan (or at least that's the story he kept telling himself), while Taaaz went for the cheapest street rat. The duo burned through their coin in two days. As an added bonus, Taaaz managed to contract gonorrhoea and who knows what else.

Now they were ready to seek the missing holy symbol.

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Old School Reference and Index Compilation (OSRIC) is an OGL retroclone of the AD&D 1E. It restates PHB, DMG and MM in a single book, with minor modifications for legal reasons.

Version 2.2 was released in 2013, and is freely available on Lulu and DTRPG. Knights & Knaves Alehouse hosts a thread for tracking and cataloguing latest known errata.

Will Mistreta did an amazing job of compiling above thread into a single post:

Yes, it's another one of these. The longest one yet by a country mile, too. As per usual, I must emphasize that this document is 100% unofficial. It is not endorsed in any way by Stuart Marshall or the rest of the original OSRIC writing and editorial gang. That said, it's my hope that the long hours I and others have put in with this superb rulebook will one day be reflected in an even more superb updated version.

All page numbers reference the most up-to-date published edition available as of this writing.

Includes contributions from: Between3and20, Cobalt-60, EOTB, grodog, Guy Fullerton, Kellri, Kramer (RIP), Landifarne, PapersAndPaychecks, soner du, squeen, Steppenwolf.

Last updated: 5-26-2022.

I compiled Will's errata into a printable document:

Enjoy. Do share any errata in the above linked thread.

#ADnD #OSRIC #OSR #Resource

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Isembard Halfling level 1 Tall halfling dressed in worn tweed jacket. Always chewing on something, his jaw accentuated by thick chestnut coloured mutton chops.
Pusgic Fighter level 1 A hero of a long forgotten battle, now Isembard's bodyguard.
Jimmy Three Fingers Thief level 2 Small, unimposing elf-wannabe. So bad at playing lute that he lost two fingers whilst doing so.
Cigam Magic-user level 1 Wears a bright red hat as tall as himself.

Jimmy's and Isembard's reports linked at the end of the post.

Flowerbloom 1st, Airday

Isembard, an aspiring cook and intrepid adventurer, gathered a party to seek his long lost cousin in third-knee, Bobil Tightpants. His cousin was a well known chef; his cooking so legendary that he was apparently hosted by kings and demons alike. But he went missing twenty-seven years ago, never to be heard of again.

But Isembard was about to change that. He managed to track down what seemed to be last Bobil's note, describing a particularly large tree in a marshy area beneath Lagh Anon. “Mushrooms as tall as me, and tasty as elvish tears! To die for!” the note read.

And here he was, only wetlands standing between him and the tree that matched his cousin's description. He assembled a party others would envy him on: Pusgic, a tough-as-nails-all-dressed-in-black bodyguard to whom he owed money; Cigam Resu, a master of arcane arts so confident that he marched the earth with a hat everyone could spot miles away; and Jimmy, a man of such strong convictions he had no issues pickpocketing his own fellow adventurers.

After careful deliberation (and attempted communication with a pack of giant weasels), the brave team decided to seek out a log they could float on through the marsh. It was Pusgic's keen eye that found one, and soon the whole party was neck deep in murky waters. Lush green vegetation intermingled with sulphurous bubbles made the whole swamp seem like one big, breathing, organism.

Caution was name of the game on the island as well. Despite the tree clearly in their view, the adventurers decided to take it slow; prowling and observing. It didn't take them long to notice numerous pathways criss-crossing the island. They looked as someone dragged something round through the mud, without any sense or logic. The island was indeed peppered with thick, phallic mushrooms as tall as Isembard.

Unmolested, they approached the massive tree at snails pace. The tree was so thick that a group of twelve would have to hold hands to reach around its base. Isembard was convinced that this is the spot—but where was the entrance? If there was one at all?

It was Jimmy's brilliant idea of gently tapping the bark at different spots that helped them find a hollow point. It was no door, but a rather large part of especially heavy bark that seemed broken off from the rest of the tree. Despite its condition, it was so heavy that it required brains instead of brawn. The party threw grappling hook on top, and then pulled down with all their might. The bark finally came down after several attempts, revealing a dark, black hole.

Torchlight only revealed a sharp descent, nearly vertical. So our brave gang made an improvised anchor, tied some rope, and begun their descent. There were no stairs; only roots and soil. Walking was tricky and difficult, so easy to trip. After some twenty minutes of descent, Cigam stepped on a bloody piece of cloth with a symbol of fish on it. “Fish worshipping cult underneath the tree?” one of them wondered aloud. Downward they pressed. They ran out of rope—twice—before finally exiting into a round chamber.

It seemed to be a cavernous chamber some 40 by 40 feet. The air was stale, with nutty and smoky aroma in the air. It was so dark one couldn't see their own hand in front of their eyes. The floor was mostly roots and soil; the walls primarily roots. The party had enough light to see there are three paths: north, east, and west.

Eastern passageway slopped further down and had a whiff of something rotten. Northern led into another chamber dominated by a large pile of weapons and armour. In fact, there was enough of it to fully equip ten or more men. Alas, closer inspection revealed that most of it is broken or ripped to shreds. All were covered in blood.

Undeterred, the party went west. Jimmy sneaked in front, at the edge of light, Isembard straight behind; Pusgic and Cigam watched the back. This corridor led them to what seemed to be a large wooden bench and three metal hooks affixed to the rooty wall. There was a moth-eaten coat hanging from one of the hooks. It was large enough to fit two men. The passageway twisted north, terminating in thick, gray drapes. Careful listening revealed a female voice—singing? Crying? Whatever it was, it didn't sound particularly happy.

After some careful poking of the drapes, Jimmy crawled underneath it. He prowled through darkness carefully, attempting to follow the wall. “Is this another one of your games?” a female voice asked him. Isembard, whom had followed him in the darkness, did not understand a word of what has been said.

Jimmy, incapable (or unwilling?) to pass an opportunity to hit on whatever might be behind such a sweet voice, immediately responded; painting a vivid, if unrealistic, picture of this brave band of heroes on a mission to find the halflings long lost cousin.

“Come closer, so I can see you...” was enough to have him prowling the other way. He lit a small candle, which provided just enough illumination to see few steps ahead. A distressed marble figure of beautiful dame was followed by a stone dais on which a gorgeous lady sat. Long blonde hair accentuated her captivating amethyst-pink eyes, almost hiding any signs of stress from her situation. Her exquisite but weathered clothing only confirmed what Jimmy suspected:

“I've been captured here by the black demon for years; forced to entertain him! He fancies himself some sort of an art aficionado, but is nothing but a mere brute! He tricked me to wear these cursed shiny red shoes—if I take even one step of the dais I will suffer fate worse than death.”

“Oh dame—sexy lady—worry not—Jimmy Boy is now here—first I'll save you—then I'll marry you!”

By now the whole party was in the room, their torchlight revealing it was a dinning hall of sorts. A large table dominated the center, with a single large chair of black wood facing the dais. Walls were littered with what seemed to be paintings of various figures and vistas. Most of them were in poor state. A makeshift fireplace stood at the opposite side from whence the party came.

“The black devil hid the key in his chambers. Quick go there before he comes! I implore you to find a sleek red box encrusted with red rubies, for it holds a solution for my predicament!”

She motioned towards a disk-shaped stone just behind the chair “That where his chamber is. Please, waste no more time!

“Don't you worry baby girl!” Jimmy uttered. Another set of drapes rustled, those right next to the fireplace, revealing two halfling-sized yellowish blobs. Each had six legs, supporting a veiny egg-shaped torso. Two worm like protrusions, one extending from each side, seemed to function as arms. Nothing resembling eyes could be seen from the front, in fact there was just a snout-like appendix hanging from the creatures' highest point.

Our brave band acted in unison by fleeing as fast as they could. “Forget mapping, forget the dame, just get out of here!”

“You cowards, they are more afraid of you then you are of them!” the lady screamed after her husband-to-be. One of the blobs disappeared behind the drapes it came from, while the other ran to the other side of the room and forced himself into some hole. Sad farting noises was all that could be heard.

Isembard, Jimmy, Cigam, and Pusgic were out much faster then they were in. They didn't even care to stop and attempt to cover the entrance they came through—straight to the shore they went. Blinded by terror, they failed to notice a wobbling mushroom. The latter responded by unleashing a chilling shrill.

They boarded their driftwood without delay, with Pusgic sitting on top as sentry, while the other three submerged and started to paddle furiously. Alas, shrieks were so disturbing our brave party failed to notice their impending doom in the shape of a bear-sized crocodile. Red hat was all that was left of Cigam.

The rest made it across, wet and heavy-hearted. With a sigh, they went back to their camp...

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Alric Fighter level 1 Tall, broad-shouldered avatar of masculinity. Obligatory horned helmet and majestic blonde mustache included.
Melvin Magic-user level 1 Introduces himself as “Melvin the Magnificent.” Known as “Melvin the Mediocre.”
Belanor Elf level 1 Mohawk-rocking ex-slave on a path of vengeance.
Gon'd'elf Elf level 1 “Surely magnificent, am I not?” is his favourite opener. Works every time, 40% of the time.
Lir Cleric level 1 A tall lanky worshipper of Ragtha dressed in grand blue robes covered with fish motifs.

Dewsnap 20th, Spiritday

Having buried Richter, our band of heroes was ready to find the treasure so many have already died for. With nothing but their memory to count on, they decided to follow whatever notable markers they could remember.

It was a marvellous day, sunny and bereft of any wind. As soon as they set off, they've encountered a most curious thing—a piece of leather armour standing upright, as if someone invisible is wearing it. Traumatised by their previous experiences, they opted for circumventing it in the broadest possible arc.

Next thing they've encountered was what seemed to be a piece of wall, standing all alone. Their cautious approach to it paid off, since Alric, their vanguard, was greeted by a warning shot between his legs. “Not a step closer!”

Banter ensued, and our brave adventurers managed to persuade the defender to let them in, in exchange for a nice cup of tea. As they came closer to the structure, it became apparent that it was a wall of an old building, now long gone. They also noticed there was a smaller, supporting wall, which they couldn't see as they approached it. Two sides still stand but the grassland has reclaimed all the area around the walls. The two walls, only a story high, are at right angles to each other and protrude awkwardly out of the plain.

To their surprise, the inside of a bigger wall was covered in a magnificent mosaic, depicting a scene of a mountain above a blue lake, beneath a clear blue sky. No such scene was around them.

Cullan, Eoghan, and Donnan, three men with unerring likeness, made this ruin their home. They invited the party to their humble campfire, each sitting on a box. The latter seemed to fascinate Belanor to no end, and he struck up a bargain to take a peek into one. Few rubs and a peel later, he found that the contents were indeed what the men had told him—dried food, oil, bedrolls, and some trinkets.

Disappointed, our party left. “Watch out for the ogre!” was the last thing they heard from these open-air connoisseurs.

Elves were the first to pick up the crushing sound of rapids; something they went towards to. There it was, a powerful river was running rampantly in the chasm some sixty feet below them, frothing and crashing against boulders. A make-shift “bridge” was withing sight as well. If one could call a large tree rolled over the chasm a bridge, that is. A fine specimen, probably some hundred feet tall in its heyday, now laid there, devoid of any branches.

One by one; each party member carefully crossed the bridge; finding themselves in a thick, dark forest. It was a lively day, and wildlife was abundant. Songs of thousand birds could be heard, sometimes in sweet unison, sometimes in deafening cacophony. Gon'd'elf tried to sing with them, but alas, it wasn't always as melodious as he might've thought.

Trying their luck, the party decided to veer off-path, in order to cut their travel time. After some time they found themselves at a proverbial crossroads—the path in front of them seemed to descend into marsh, wetlands covered by tall woods; whilst the path north seemed to go deeper into the forest.

The ground surrounding the junction was completely blanketed with a vibrant, blue clover, the bright full blooms almost glowing in the gloom of the woods. Hundreds of rainbow-coloured butterflies were hovering and darting above the clovers. Idyllic scene was interrupted by a viper ambushing Belanor. But wait! His elvish fast reflexes allowed him to grab the assaulting viper mid-air, grabbing him right behind the head. A milking conversation ensued, resulting in poor viper being squeezed for two drops of its venom... Before they smashed its tiny head on the ground.

Satisfied with their heroics, our band opted for the northern, drier route. It didn't take them long to notice that the forest here seemed to get quieter and lighter. There seemed to be less trees, but those there were, were indeed astounding in their size. Some of them were towering over hundred feet tall, spanning ten to twenty feet across. There was some solemn quality to the air; as if they are entering a place of care. That and mushroom covered ground. Hundreds of tiny red-headed mushrooms carpeted the ground. Lir could smell their poisonous nature just in time to prevent Melvin from rolling in them “for academic purposes only.”

Their journey was driven to a halt by two ginormous trees that have grown toward each other over millennia past, their great roots intertwining and forming a latticework wall that completely barred the path. Melvin did notice that part of the roots resembled ladders, so, as all careful mages do, decided to check where do they lead to. Face first.

Surviving the climb, he found a small nest at the top, some three feet in diameter. There were some tiny clothes and shoes there, as well as small iron box. He was wise enough to ask one of the heavily clad warrior folk to inspect it further. Belanor was next to climb, replacing Melvin, for the ladder was wide enough for barely one person. Just as elf was reaching out for the box, he felt an immense force pushing his chest, sending him flying some twenty feet back. Surprised, and distressed, the party threw some rocks up there, only to find them flying back straight at them. They were quick to leave this place at rest.

Wetlands it was.

Swamp has penetrated through the forest edges, soaking the ground for meters. Intense smells lingered in the air—sweet aroma of blooming flowers intermingled with stench of decaying wood and sulphurous bubbles. The whole place seemed to have a life of its own.

The party formed a single rank file, treading mush grounds as carefully as they could. It wasn't long until they found themselves waist deep in chilly water. Wading through they encountered a portly rat grinning at them from distance, smelly bubbles popping around him. No one was in the mood for that. They did see a large tree some hundred feet away from the, too. And it seemed to stand on a dry piece of land, something they desired the most at this very moment.

Some twenty minutes of wading through chest-deep marsh later, and they were finally there. Isn't it weird how sometimes things seem much closer than they really are?

The “island” seemed to be bereft of any living trees, except the particularly large one. There seemed to be some human-sized mushrooms around.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Parties exploration was abruptly interrupted by a piercing shriek.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Another one joined in.

“IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!”

And a third one went of.

“Uh, it's time to go.” Gon'd'elf uttered just as towering, gaunt, lanky figure stepped out of the tree's shade.

There it stood, its black, leathery and warty skin glistening in the dim sunlight.

There it stood, its nose hanging like a limp snout, its two bright-red eyes gazing straight into the soul of our brave adventurers.

There it stood, its jaw wide open, drool dripping down its chin.

“Fall back behind me!” Alric shouted, positioning himself between the black horror and other party members.

The creature took its time, strolling menacingly towards Alric. It was only then our brave warrior could see how large the deformed horror was, towering over him by at least three heads.

The creature swung its sharp talon—missing Alric by an inch. The warrior rolled masterfully, confusing the creature in the process, making it slip whilst attempting to catch him. The demon face-planted with might, and was seemingly dazed and disoriented.

Belanor shot an arrow which found its target, and the rest, encouraged by Alric's dodge, ganged up on the creature.

Bravery or stupidity?

No hits connected. They kept going at it, but alas, their weapons have proven to be most ineffective. And they could all see the moment creature got back to its senses. Oh, they could.

Melvin felt the creatures claws ripping into his shoulders, its strong grip squeezing him with no mercy. The last thing he saw was a gaping maw full of disgusting, rotting teeth.

The creature bit his head off, popped his skull like a cherry tomato, and then spat the remains at Alric. The warrior was next. The creature clawed into him with disturbing glee, cackling at Alric's impotent allies.

Alric tried. He really did. But he passed out from the grievous wounds; wounds that would've killed any lesser man.

“What are you crying for?!” the creature mocked Gon'd'elf in its broken tongue. It torn asunder Lir, throwing his limbs and jaw into Belanor, downing him next. It was perhaps Belanor who had the most luck of all, since his death was fast and only moderately grotesque.

Gon'd'elf fled, crying, running, begging, pleading, praying, sprinting, swimming... He fled, as the creature cackled and mocked him. He fled, as the creature dragged the bloody remains of his friends into depth, into hell.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Richter Fighter level 1 Ugly looking figure with ruddy face, belching speech, and single tooth.
Melvin Magic-user level 1 Introduces himself as “Melvin the Magnificent.” Known as “Melvin the Mediocre.”
Tsielpffn Elf level 1 An imposing 4 foot 9 figure rocking a crazy goatee and embodying multiple personalities.

Later

Character Class Description
Alric Fighter level 1 Tall, broad-shouldered avatar of masculinity. Obligatory horned helmet and majestic blonde mustache included.
Gon'd'elf Elf level 1 “Surely magnificent, am I not?” is his favourite opener. Works every time, 40% of the time.
Belanor Elf level 1 Mohawk-rocking ex-slave on a path of vengeance.

Richter's report linked at the end of the post.

Dewsnap 10th–15th

Our heroes took a full week of rest to recover from their most recent ordeal. Majority of them engaged in menial task around Rantar's keep, as well as some carousing and drinking with the locals. Owsley, an outdoorsman deprived of human touch, decided to hit on one of Rantar's wives. A brave man he is. Either that, or easily motivated by his peers and some fermented barley. His attempts fell flat; and luckily for him, Rantar wasn't around to liberate him of his head.

Richter the Ruddy also went big on drinking, spilling his guts to whomever had the patience to listen: “When I was a boy, my father, who was a peat digger, came home one day and took a solid look at me. ‘All day I shovel shit, and for what,’ he said, ‘so I can come home and look at more of it!’ And from that day I was made to sleep in the hog pen with the sow. The local children were cruel. They called me the Hogling and screamed oink oink at me. When I stood up for myself and told them to stop, they whipped my hide with reeds. Whipped my rump raw!”

Lir, the priest of and only honest man in this party, spent his time meditating. On one occasion he attempted to commune with his deity by divining over a cup of tea. The tea started swirling; slowly at first. Then it kept getting faster and faster, and just when he closed in and squinted to understand it better, it suddenly took the shape of a watery spear and rammed straight into Lir's pupil. He didn't have good time.

Owsley, liquid courage still in his veins, decided to befriend a guard on duty, so he could steal some spears. His plan was simple: sing some shanties, have some good time, and then quickly nab some spears and pretend they were always there.

Barry's ocean-blue eyes welled “Ou- Owl-” he stammers “OVULY!” “Is that why we've had such great time!” Barry is an honest man in his early thirties, his family in a nearby hamlet. He told Owsley everything about his sheep, his gorgeous Jannette, and their three children. He's been serving Rantar for some years now—much better pay than tending the fields. He couldn't hold back anymore, and was bawling by now “IS THAT WANT YOU WANT!” shaking his spear “AND I THOUGHT YOU WERE A GOOD MAN! A FRIEND”

“Hey hey, come on now. It’s nothing personal! I’m still your friend! It’s just that I need some more spears to support my livelihood but I’ve got no coin to spare for it!” Owsley put his hand on Barry’s shoulder. “I shouldn’t have done that to a friend like you, Barry. How about I go hunt us a nice critter and l’ll cook your family a nice meal and this can all blow over, yeah?”

“Are you for real? Or is this another of your tricks?” Barry inquired, wiping his snots.

“I swear it on my honor as a Ranger, Barry. May the great Baytnorn, God of trees, make a tree fall upon my head and kill me if I lie.” Owsley replied.

Barry wiped his snotty face “I knew you were real. After all, real eyes realize real lies!” A branch from a nearby tree fell off.

Indeed, our fine heroes spent their rest days well. Richter was seen going out and about, until he returned one day looking all sour and smelling of cat piss. From that day on he painted his shield as follows:

Smart as they are, our enterprising adventurers decided to recruit some meatshileds—ahem, retainers. Richter managed to recruit Euin, a local drunkard, while Melvin and Tsielpffn convinced four local boys to join them:

Samton, a burly man who ends 90% of his sentences with “eh?;” Nolgar, a sheperdboy looking to get rich quick; Larlo, thirsty for goblin blood and Tsielpffn's mentorship; and Gryx, the only one with actual weapon and armour—spear and leather.

On the morning of next day, they set out to recover riches Arder told them about.

Dewsnap 18th, Earthday

After two days of unmolested travel, Euin led the party to ruins of Deeridyll. What once was a hamlet, now was nothing but four dilapidated huts.

“The boys! The boys are back!” an old, stuttering figure shouted, emerging from the darkness of one hut. An old man, Altanian if it was to be judged by the colour of his skin, slowly approached the party. Despite his enthusiasm, Richter and Tsielpffn responded by pointing their spears at the old man.

“What? Why would you do treat me so? Boys...?” old man's eyes revealed nothing but child-like innocence. He did look to be in a rather poor shape, with flaking yellowish patches of skin hanging from his limbs. “Come! Come to my home. Come boys!” he uttered and dragged himself back into the hut.

Melvin followed; Richter took watch from outside; and Tsielpffn took Nolgar and Gryx for a crash course in wilderness surveying.

Old man's hut was dirty and unkempt. Ground was nothing but soil; a pile of straw was a bed. There was a pot hanging over some embers in the corner; a dark-brown stew rested lazily in it. The hut smelt of bodily odours and smoke.

Old man only spoke of “the boys” and how happy he is that they are back, despite Richter's and Melvin's best attempts to find out what has happened here. Euin said that there were some people that refused to leave the hamlet, and that perhaps the old man was one of them.

Unlike his colleagues, Tsielpffn did manage to find useful intel—a black spire to the north-east that looked very similar to the landmark on their treasure map. Plans were made to head there first thing in the morning.

Old man was delighted to offer his hut to he party, but only Melvin, Samton and Larlo took him on it. Richter and Euin selected another hut, while Tsielpffn and his mentees selected yet another.

Dewsnap 18th, Earthday, Night

Crrrraaaaaack.

Crrrrraaaaaack.

Shhh-hhhss-ssshhhh.

Tsielpffn's keen ears picked up sounds of cracking branches and shuffling leaves. Something heavy was moving outside of his hut. He quickly but slowly jumped up, and instructed Nolgar and Gryx to ready themselves in darkness.

Richter, in another hut, heard it as well. He kicked Euin awake, and they readied themselves, opting to stay in darkness of the hut.

Old man and Melvin heard it as well. “Oh no, oh no” the man stammered “follow my lead boy, if you wish to live!” He started to rub himself with dirt and dried feces. Melvin obliged, and so did Samton and Larlo.

The cracks were gone, now replaced with heavy thuds.

Tsielpffn could hear them coming closer and closer. “Ready yourselves” he growled through his teeth “do exactly as I say!” Leaning against the rotten planks, attempting to see anything in the darkness revealed little. There was something out there, but what?

“Boy, lie still, lie still...” was the last thing old man said before dozing away. Melvin and his compatriots obliged once again.

Richter's hut was filled with the sound of Euin's trembling jaw. “Get it together!” didn't help him at all. Richter positioned himself just behind the improvised doors—nothing but a plank of wood leaning on the ramshackle hut—to stop whatever might try to come in.

Euin was now trembling proper. One could hear his knees clicking, his jaw clacking, and the his back gently tapping the wall of the hut. “Come on, get it-”

Just as he was about to finish his admonishment, the hut came crushing down, revealing a massive owl-headed hairy figure towering behind Euin. It tore through him in a blink of an eye. Just as he was to avenge his fallen comrade, Richter immense pressure behind him, followed by unimaginable pain. He went up and down, his flesh torn to shreds; massive beak ripped his muscles; he could see Howla and Vannis clearly as he flew through the air; landing face-first on the soil in front of the old man's hut.

Tsielpffn and his team carefully opened their doors, intending to surprise whatever might be out there. Alas, they were unaware of the fate suffered by the Ugly One. Only the elf could make sense of what was happening, for they all fought in the darkness. He weaved his hands, attempting to sleep the massive bear-like figure in front of him. Alas, he only succeeded in attracting the creature's attention. It went through the hut like it was made of paper, crushing Gryx in it's charge.

The elf put up a bloody fight; cursing and growling at the cursed creature with his every breath. He was clawed, he was bitten; his body was torn to shreds, but his resolve remained unbroken to the very end. Nolgar shared the fate of his master.

Melvin decided he couldn't lie in wait any longer. “No boy, don't! Don't!” the old man pleaded, but his words fell on deaf ears. “Light up the torch!” Melvin instructed Larlo.

What a sight it was. Ricther was lying in front of them, resembling a collection of strips of flesh. Nothing but planks and bloodied remains were where once a hut stood. And on it a monumental bear-like creature stood, feasting on whatever was left of Euin. It raised it's unholy head, revealing massive beak and owl-like features.

Driven by raw instinct, it immediately charged the light source, severing Larlo in half. As did the torch extinguish, so did any remaining atom of courage in Melvin and Samton. They fled for their life in blind panic, each going their own way.

Melvin ran through the night—a man who used to sleep whilst others were exploring the keep—stopping at nothing and for no one. “The black spire, the black spire...” he braved himself, hoping to reach it as soon as possible... But running and finding direction is difficult in darkness, even with two moons...

Exhausted and expended, Melvin stumbled out of the woods with the first rays of new day. His tired eyes had seen what he yearned the most for—glorious flowing handle-bar moustache and muscle-bound python-like arms of Alric the Fighter. There he stood, at the base of great black obelisk.

Was it a mirage?

“Alric?”

“Melvin?”

Finding strength, the wizard stood back up and continued his march.

“Alric!!!”

“Melvin!!!”

By now the fighter was running, ready to embrace his beaten comrade in his safe arms.

“You have to save them! We have to go back! Richter! Tsielpffn! The boys! We have to go back!”

“Back where? What happened! Speak man!”

“They were hacked! Smashed! We have to go back!”

Alric was joined by two elves. Belanor, a mohawk-rocking ex-slave on a path of vengeance, and Gon'd'elf, a silver-headed and silver-eyed magnificent specimen. Neither of the two were too enthused with the wizard's plea. But Alric had a soft spot for his friends. And so they marched back.

The found four huts as they left them. Utterly crushed. No bodies in sight. Only bloody remains. “The boys are back!” Oh, the boys are back!” The old man was still in his hut. There lay Richter, pale as the robes of Priestess of Feninva. “Richter!” Melvin and Alric gasped simultaneously. They knelt next to him, and tried to shake him back to life. Alas, nothing but a corpse laid before them. “He is hungry boys, step aside please...” the old man muttered, and fed the cold corpse some of his stew. It spilled all over Richter, enraging Alric “It's enough old man, he's dead! Please, stop!”

They buried Ricther by the black spire, leaving his shield on his grave.

Taken too soon. The pantheon has one more Saint in its ranks. You may have only had two points in charisma, but you were beautiful. Good night sweet prince. Rest in Peace Richter the Ruddy. Torn asunder by an owlbear at the ruined village of Deeridyll.

The Gods of Wilderlands can be cruel in their mercy.

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Reedo Halfling level 1 Portly, somewhat distant and out-of-place, novice adventurer seeking riches in the big scary world. Very likeable.
Richter Fighter level 1 Ugly looking figure with ruddy face, belching speech, and single tooth.
Alric Fighter level 1 Tall, broad-shouldered avatar of masculinity. Obligatory horned helmet and majestic blonde mustache included.
Melvin Magic-user level 1 Introduces himself as “Melvin the Magnificent.” Known as “Melvin the Mediocre.”
Tsielpffn Elf level 1 An imposing 4 foot 9 figure rocking a crazy goatee and embodying multiple personalities.
Lir Cleric level 1 A tall lanky worshipper of Ragtha dressed in grand blue robes covered with fish motifs.
Owsley Thief level 1 A rugged survivalist dressed in greens and browns carrying a special-made spear quiver.

Richter's report linked at the end of the post.

Dewsnap 4th, Fireday

“I'd rather die than keep on running!”

Reedo, Richter, Alric, and Melvin turned around to face their pursuers. It's been a long day. Perhaps it will be their last.

Ingemar kept fleeing—he was carrying most of the treasure they've recovered just hours ago.

They could see the goblins mounted on giant wolves rapidly approaching them, spittle flying left and right. Ricther and Alric joined their shields, Reedo readied his sling, and Melvin hastily readied his spell.

Unbeknownst to them, master tracker Owlsey managed to find Ibor's camp. He persuaded him and Lir, a short off-balance priest obsessed with fish, to move towards the parties last known location.

The brave fighter duo took the brunt of the charge, braving bites and slashes and insults. Melvin pulled off a miracle and managed to put to sleep two of the large wolves. Owlsey and Lir were just within the sight—the former rushed to aid his battle brothers. The latter ran forward as well, but with much less grace.

Unknown figure stepped out of the woods, shooting down one goblin with uncanny precision. Friend or foe? Whilst definitely humanoid, the creature seemed to scream and yell in the same language as the goblins party was currently fighting.

Melee turned nasty; both sides fought desperately; chunks of flesh and blood splattered the green, lush grass. The goatee rocking figure turned out to have arcane capabilities as well, as demonstrated by it putting to sleep the remaining giant wolf.

Once the chaos subdued, everybody was standing but Melvin. Brave as he is, once he cast his only spell he took to his dagger and charged straight into the fray. Clumsy as he is, he immediately slipped on the grass and knocked himself unconscious.

The newcomer introduced himself as Tsielpffn, a recreational butcher of goblins, and invited them all to counter-attack incoming goblin horde. The party kindly refused. In fact, they opted for tactical retreat, leaving behind their thrown weapons, loot, and corpses.

Reedo sweet-talked Ibor into taking them to his secret safe spot at the edge of the jungle. Many of them were wounded and exhausted, and were unlikely to survive the perilous jungle trip back to the Rantar's keep. Two full days of rest later and they were ready to march on.

Their journey was mostly calm, except that one time Tsielpffn and Ibor ran into a greyish, gooey substance between the trees. The surroundings look as if the jungle itself had a yeast infection. Adventurers' amusement was cut short once Lir and Reedo spotted two giant tarantulas descending from the dark tree-tops.

Tsielpffn ripped himself and Ibor free, while Richter and the rest deliberated if they should set the whole jungle on fire or not. Ibor had no patience for their shenanigans and laid out an ultimatum “Either leave with me right now, or navigate this jungle yourself!” The decision made itself once a winged creature picked up one of the giant spiders. From then on, our brave gang moved with an impressive pace.

The party arrived at the keep on Dewsnap 10th, Spiritday, and promptly partied away their recovered treasure. But that is another story.

Player Session Reports

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Adventurers

Character Class Description
Reedo Halfling level 1 Portly, somewhat distant and out-of-place, novice adventurer seeking riches in the big scary world. Very likeable.
Richter Fighter level 1 Ugly looking figure with ruddy face, belching speech, and single tooth.
Alric Fighter level 1 Tall, broad-shouldered avatar of masculinity. Obligatory horned helmet and majestic blonde mustache included.
Ingemar Magic-user level 1 Polyglot covered from head to toe in inked scriptures. Only thing more stained than his skin is the robe he wears.
Melvin Magic-user level 1 Introduces himself as “Melvin the Magnificent.” Known as “Melvin the Mediocre.”

Richter's report linked at the end of the post.

Dewsnap 4th, Fireday

The warmth of the sun was lost on our band of adventurers—Reedo, Richter, and Alric—replaced by the burning fire of vengeance in their belly. In silence they sat; waiting for the new day to dawn. They will have their vengeance; there is blood-price to be paid.

Ibor, their guide from the Rantar's keep, joined their solemn silence. That was as much as he could offer. New day brought new allies. Melvin, a moaning wizard looking for his dwarf friend “Jaha,” and Ingemar, a man of magic and languages. Our party set out with the earliest rays of sun—to Melvin's incomprehensible complaints.

They circled the keep like vultures; their victims the only thing they could think of. North? South? East? West? East it was their corridor of choice. They crept, like a snake towards a warm egg nurturing new life, unmolested, undisturbed.

It was a wonderful sunny day. There was vibrant life all around them, but alas, they were too engrossed in their devices to notice such beauty. Walls were still as old as yesterday. They crawled around the corner, inspecting the passage once protected by large gates. The floor was charcoal-black, like a sore on the earth. Richter poked it with sword—the party's favour inspection technique. Yes, it was scorched earth.

There was fresh soil just beyond the gate's threshold. The ground there looked quite different. Our heroes filled one pot with flesh soil; Richter chucked it with all his might; revealing a shoddily made pit trap with some wooden stakes at the bottom. You should've seen their smug grins.

Few jumps later, and our A-team was in the keep's courtyard, hugging the wall in order to avoid any ambush. West? North? South-eastern tower it was. They busted the doors open with elephant's grace, finding themselves in the foot of a guard tower. Up they went carefully. Richter was the last to go. And it would've been his last going hadn't Alric been there to offer his muscle-stacked arm when the ladder collapsed under the ruddy one.

Adventurers are know for not letting anything going to waste. So they ripped out corroded rail—that is, what remained of it—and celebrated their new pole. They were on the first floor now. Reedo listened to the west doors, getting some bugs in his ear; Ingemar took to north doors, which swung right open in front of him. There was another trapdoor on the ceiling. Reluctant to immediately climb them, the party figured out a perfect way to test the alluring trapdoor.

Reedo climbed on Richter's shoulders, and then used to corroded pole to poke the doors. The pole fell apart in his hands, turning into nothing but dust and rust. Being no coward, Ricther braved the ladders, and went up. They held. The tower floor above was covered in rubble; azure blue sky clearly visible through the collapsed ceiling. There were dried blood stains and broken arrows amongst the rubble.

There were two exists from the tower's first floor. Both were covered in blackish burn-marks. “Will it hold us?” Alric and Richter ran across, Reedo carrying a torch behind them, Melvin and Ingemar stayed behind in the safety of the tower. Nothing bad happened.

They found themselves in a long room—barracks if it was to judge from all the rotten bunkbeds, tables and chairs. The air had acidic smell to it; the kind that feels like it burns your nasal hairs; as well as that familiar smell of death. The room was stripped by lazy sunrays making their way from numerous killholes. Myst lay where they left him; although he was nothing but gummy skeleton covered by pink slime.

Our brave adventurers couldn't resist the allure of robbing the corpse of their former companion. “It'd be a pity to leave his spellbook behind!” Richter readied his sword so he can lift the skeleton's hand off the book; Ingemar prepared a small sack, so he can grab the book; Reedo light up another torch in case something needs to be set to fire. Alric and Melvin looked on with curiosity.

The tip of Richter's sword sizzled away.

Reedo's torch extinguished.

Ingemar gambled his life. Twice.

Whatever the slime covering Myst's body was, it seemed alive and hungry; going for the first thing by it. It is part luck, put wonder, that no one died in the ensuing chaos. Our brave party—all of them—made a mad dash to the nearby staircase. Whatever might lurk below is surely less scary than this , right? Reedo, Melvin, and Ingemar, took the stairs like civilised gentlemen they are. Richter and Alric, on the other hand, just jumped leg-first in the pit bellow.

Another room prostrated in front of them, cut short by a gaping hole in front of them. Hesitant to spend any more time while that thing crawls about, they opted to go deeper. They found themselves in a dank, dark, cellar. There were skeletons around, as were straw-filled sacks that reeked of piss and worse. Although skeptical of the resting dead, our band quickly investigated all nooks and crannies.

It were Ingemar and Melvin who found old, bloated, wooden chest. The duo, pretending to be Richter and Alric, attempted to force the chest open. Alas, they aren't as bulging as the named duo. Originals had no trouble ripping the chest open; revealing thousands of orangish coins. Ingemar recognised the lettering of a long gone empire. There were so many coins that five large sacks were barely enough.

But which way to exit? Are staircases safe? Should we climb the rubble? Richter abandoned the latter option after feeling intense coldness beneath him. So they made their way back, exiting into the other side of the courtyard. There they've noticed that makeshift wall that divided the courtyard in half was supported by three beams. Reedo was the last to kick one of them to the side, sending the whole wall down. He was caught up by the debris, but was quickly dusted by others.

Those ancient coin surely quenched their thirst for vengeance. They exited the keep just as the sun started to set, with Howla and Vanis announcing their presences.

And then they heard a familiar-sounding horn going off south of them. Then another, south-east. Then another, north-west. “Run!” and ran they did. “Run!” and ran they did. But it is difficult to run when you are hauling five large sacks filled with coin. Barks and grunts could be heard in the distance.

Ingemar understood them.

“Catch them! Skin them!”

Player Session Reports

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.