Bringing Your Brain Back to the Game

Current Campaign - April 18, 2014 - Session 1

We started a brand new TSRS campaign last week! This page will highlight the storyline for both casual readers and players - we plan to play once per month so this page will help the players remember what they did last time. Most importantly, the group will be playtesting the next campaign series, starting with EC2, "False Promises". ***SPOILER ALERT*** Do not read the story here if you plan to play "False Promises" when it becomes available for download in the next few months.

The five players, Elijah, Jeremy, Ben, Malcolm, and Christian prebuilt their adventurers with complete backstories before we began. Our 6pm start time was met and we began playing right away. The next several paragraphs detail most of the highlights of the first session...

The story began in Bordovia, a northern province of Sivona. The five adventurers each previously fell upon bad luck and were imprisoned within the city lockups (their offenses were fairly minor, ranging from gambling, cheating, brawling, and lying to officials, with the exception of one adventurer who was suspected of an offense far worse). While awaiting punishment, they were each brought before Baron Umbar Wyrmbul, Bordovia's city leader. Additionally, several other suspected criminals were brought before the Baron for judgement. All but the five adventurers were sentenced to death for their crimes. The Baron then told the five that they were spared because they had enough skill to help the Baron on a special mission to the north - Sivona's principal mine (mine 127) in Kwaltast had fallen silent for two weeks; shipments of ore, coal, and gold usually make their way to Bordovia twice per week for dispersement. With the military spread thin between the border of Sivona and Darkhome, and any additional troops supporting Wynhelm, the Baron could not spare soldiers to investigate Kwaltast. The Baron needs the five to travel north and investigate the dwarven mine at Kwaltast. Additionally, the group would be rewarded with 100sp total.

After a hearty noonday meal, the five adventurers, Doran, Chack, Khan-Kan, Casius, and Thraak mounted up and headed out via the North Mine Road. They travelled through several small villages before encountering a poor old woman being attacked by dire wolves. Immediately, Doran and Khan-Kan (both the Combat specialists of the group) urged their mounts forward to engage the wolves. Doran fired several arrows in to the alpha male, a large pony-sized black wolf. Even with a few arrows stuck in it's head, it turned to attack. Khan-Kan turned his horse to engage the big beast. Meanwhile, the other three casually approached the scene. The black wolf lept at Khan-Kan, knocking him from his steed, and ripped in to his neck and chest area with its massive jaws. Khan-Kan was pinned under the great beast! A vicious battle ensued, with Khan-Kan jabbing his scimitars into the torso of the lead wolf, and Doran firing arrows at anything that moved. Doran ended up slaying 3 wolves, including the alpha male. Chack managed to defend himself well with an energy wall that an attacking wolf ran into, snapping it's neck and dying. Cassius used his energy to push the wolves back and Thraak targeted the legs of the fleeing wolves, disintegrating limbs to slow them down, so that Khan-Kan could catch them from behind and end their suffering. After rescuing the old farmer, she gave the group a handful of vegetables, all she could spare. After gathering up their frightened mounts, they continued north.

After a few hours, they finally reached Kwaltast. Just before seeing the town however, they encountered shadowy shapes in the forest to their right. These figures seemed to move along the group in parallel as the five moved northwards. The figures were scared off when Doran launched an arrow enchanted by Chack in to the forest. Who were they? The group may never know.

Upon reaching Kwaltest, they found the town deserted. After tying up their steeds in a small grove outside of town, they carefully approached the town entrance. Chack moved to the leftside guardpost and found it empty - but could see bloody handprints on the inside of the door! He broke the window and entered but found nothing else of interest. The rightside guardpost was also empty and lacked any clues. Feral dogs ran to intercept the noisy adventurers, but Doran quickly put 2 down. The rest fled.

The group decided to move directly up the main street, checking a few buildings along the way. They found the interiors of each building in disarray - it looked as though the shops were already looted, stripped of anything of value. Khan-Kan did manage to find a secret lockbox full of silver coins in the Long Tale Tavern. Tilly's Apothercary was also cleaned out. At the end of the main street, a few hundred yeards from the mine entrance, they found the Kwaltast Payment Office, the place were the dwarves of the mine received their daily pay. A foul stench eminated from within... Before entering, Chack made a silent prayer to Umwei, his god.

The group entered the payment office and found the former payment officer dead, surrounded by 9 equally dead dwarves. The location of the bodies indicated that the dwarves had fought to the death against one of their own. The large dwarvish officer was riddled with crossbow shafts and several lethal wounds, likely made by the several hand axes found amongst the dead. Interestingly, no crossbows were found. When the dwarves were examined more closely, the group found that all the dwarves except the payment officer had solid red eyes. Doran stood watch at the front door while Khan-Kan and Thraak searched the dwarves for treasure. Casius and Chack searched the treasury room for the money but it was completely empty. As Chack was examining the area, he received a thought and brief image in his mind that he struggled to understand. Khan-Kan and Thraak found a few silver coins among the dead.

End of Session 1

Current Campaign - January 1, 2015 - Session 2

We left off at the Kwaltist Payment office, where the party had just finished searching the room. They found nothing of value in the places they actively examined. Leaving the office, they saw two figures approaching from the town's entrance - two adventurers, Neb and Gramm, looking for a place to stay for the evening, were surprised to find Kwaltist empty. Two adventurers from the first session (Cassius and Thraak) "decided" to check on the horses outside of town [note: those 2 players did not attend this session].

The new group of Doran, Chack, Khan-Kan, Neb and Gramm decided to check out one of the side streets and found a warehouse. Neb the super-stealthy, discovered that the wareshouse was overun with giant rats. Hatching a plan to bottle them up in the doorway to slow down their attacks, the party lured them out in the street and ambushed them. Doran filled several with arrows and Khan-Kan chopped any leftovers to bits. In a few rounds, all 12 rats were destroyed.

Searching the wareshouse, the found a trap door in the floor. Following it down and then east, they came to another trap door in the ceiling about forty feet from the warehouse. After much difficulty with lock picking and fire, Khan-Kan put his shoulder through the weakened door and they emerged in a fine dwarven home - untouched by looters.

Searching the home, they found a locked silver box, several important parchments, a journal, and a finely made map. Once opened, the box was found to contain 250 sp, 5 silver bars and a gold bar! The parchments mostly had details about town transactions, taxes, and most importantly, a note about the payment office's current inventory. The document revealed 2 treasures (the primary and the secondary) and revealed the total contents of both. The journal had notes from the town magistrate and the last entry indicated that the night shift had not returned from the mine and men were being sent down to investigate. Gramm took the map but no one actually looked at it. Khan-Kan also found the key to the lock box in the desk drawer he broke open.

The front door to the home was locked and barred - they decided to leave it that way and exited via the warehouse tunnel.

They moved to the mine entrance and immediately discovered more dwarves of the "red eye" variety. Combat ensued. Dwarves with crossbows fired at Neb as he fled the entrance, while other dwarves wielding short swords advanced. Khan-Kan charged while Doran did his usual missile attack. The battle raged on, with a few dwarves falling to the mighty blows of Khan-Kan. Chark used his creation magic to explode the crates which were blocking the entrance (and knocking several dwarves down), while Doran kept firing away. At one point, Gramm sucessfuly made everyone think that Neb was one of the converted dwarves except that Chark's explosion knocked off his hat - Doran didn't know who was who and fired an arrow in to Neb's neck, causing him to fall (he was "playing dead"). Chark used an energy barrier to knock back a dwarf and keep him at bay long enough to be captured.

Before long, the group eliminated all but the one dwarf. He was interrogated but was resistant - his eyes would "drain" of the red momentarily and he'd seem to have a moment of clarity before reverting back to full red eyes and resistant. He eventually passed out with all the stress and his injuries. The group decided to carry him back to the magistrate's home for further questioning.

Before exiting the mine, the group did a complete search of the area. They discovered a few handfuls of silver and found a nice looking broad axe (under the body of a dwarf found further back in the mine entrance - a previous battle it seems). Khan-Kan too kthe axe and noted that it was extremely light. Several crossbows, dozens of bolts, rope and lanterns were taken from the entrance before the exited.

*** end of session 2 ***

Current Campaign - July 2, 2015 - Session 3

We resumed gameplay with a new mix of four players. Elijah (Doran) and Ben (Khan-Kan) were joined by Malcolm (Casius, from session 1) and Efraim (Masif Da'Laan). We switched adventurers in the group in the usual way; as the last group exited the mine to make their way back to the fine dwarven home found last session, Neb, Gramm, and Chack went to check on the horses and Casius returned. They also met up with Masif, an Lunramalian warrior far from home.

The small party rested at the home to regain MP and DP. [They each gained 1 PR and added an attribute point] In the morning, they attempted to interrogate the captured fanatic again but it seemed he was too mentally frazzled to answer questions or stay conscious for more than a few minutes. They decided to return to the mine with the captured fanatic bound and carried by Masif, the single-minded. The returned to the scene of the battle on the day previous and examined the area. Casius found signs indicating mine locations - after a quick discussion and the spin of a bottle, Masif led the group into the southern passage. The passage eventually led in to a rectangular chamber with a south and east exit. Three converted dwarves were rummaging through corpses, searching for supplies, and were surprised by two charging Lunramalians - Masif and Khan-Kan, ignoring the battle plan forming on Casius' lips, tore in to the room looking for blood.

Before Casius could take his turn, Masif, Khan-Kan, and Doran dispatched the surprised fanatics in a single round. As Casius examined the area and fallen dwarves, Masif and Khan-Kan continued south. Doran and Casius reluctantly followed. After travelling nearly a mile and half of a slowly declining mining tunnel, Casius and Doran paused. The surrounding area look deserted and the layers of dust, dirt, and cobwebs in the tunnel and side rooms indicated that the area had been deserted for many years. After trying to reason with Masif for several minutes (and failing), Casius decided to return to the last chamber above, taking the quiet Doran with him. Masif and Khan-Kan continued south, descending another half mile. After all, the bottle had indicated south.

With the party split in to two groups of two, we worked back and forth between group actions for the next half hour of gameplay. Masif and Khan-Kan were surprised by a scouting party of goblins, led by a shaman and his archer sidekick. Meanwhile, Doran and Casius returned to the chamber with the three dead fanatics and decided to venture into the east tunnel. They quickly entered a smelting chamber with six cold furnaces. A south exit angling southeast looked promising. Ath that point in time, Masif and Khan-Kan jumped in to battle dispatching goblins quickly. Although 12 goblins aren't too hard for seasoned adventurers, the two warriors were pinned in on both sides of the tunnel and faced combat on two sides. Khan-Kan failed to dodge the cruel blades of the goblin scouts and quickly took 2 DP. They decided to change from offensive to balance tactics the next round.

Doran and Casius found that the southeastern tunnel was much like the south tunnel - dusty and deserted. Just as they were thinking of returning, they encountered an ancient wooden door with a massive padlock. They examined the door for several minutes before Casius created an energy key with 1 MP to open the lock - he was successful! He took the padlock, thinking it useful for later. The door opened in to complete darkness.

The goblin battle raged on, with Masif and Khan-Kan dispatching at least 2 goblins each round. The goblin shaman successfully tormented Masif, causing him to suffer a -1 to all actions each round (which didn't really slow him down much really). Khan-Kan kept failing to dodge goblin blades and took at least 3 more DP - his armor looked like swiss cheese by the battle's end. Before long, the two sand warriors carved their way through the goblin scouts and got to the shaman and archer. Masif grabbed a goblin and used him as a club to crush the shaman's head. He then slammed the goblin-club in to the wall, killing him. Khan-Kan gutted the archer and the battle was over. Masif pulled an interesting medallion off the shaman - it was bark0like in texture, black, and had two red gems that looked like eyes. Masif threw it around his neck and they continued south.

Using light created by Casius, the creationist and the ranged warrior entered a small chamber. It was filled with old crates, sacks, and three chests. A weapon rack stood filled with dusty weapons on one wall. The crates contained old mining supplies, most worthless after years of decay. Doran emptied the sacks out, discovering old grains, and cooking ingredients. Casius had a quick look at the weapons in the rack - polearms, spears, and battle axes all appeared old and of average quality. As Doran started to examine the chests, Casius found an ancient dwarven rune on the back wall. As he got close to it, a faint glow emanated from the mystical writing. Not knowing what it was, Casius decided to place his hand on it. Luckily, he made a save against the magical burst of energy that shot out of the rune when it was touched - it actually recharged Casius expended MPs! But it also set off the trap - the door to the room slammed shut and the ceiling started dropping slowly...

Masif and Khan-Kan found that the south tunnel was caved in - only a small space at the top was open, large enough for a small goblin to squeeze through. Deciding it was a dead-end, they began the journey back up to the top. Meanwhile, Casius tried to reset the trap by sending magical energyback in to the rune. Expending 1 MP, he was able to reset the trap before the ceiling descended too far. They thought the door was locked but Casius had taken the padlock so they could have fled back through the door easily if they hadn't reset the trap. With the ceiling trap disabled, they examined the chests. Two were unlocked and empty but one was locked and heavy. They dragged it out in the tunnel and using two weapons off the rack, were able to pry off the lid. Inside, there were fourteen silver bars, worth a total of 280 sp! Casius gathered up the bars and they decided to return to the last chamber.

After a time, the party rejoined at the central tunnel. Casius repaired 4 DP worth of Khan-Kan's armor. They decided to go down the central decline (east passage) together. The farther they travelled, the more active the area looked - the lower areas seemed to be more recently mined unlike the other tunnels visited. After a few miles, they saw light up ahead. Five sturdy dwarves were guarding two giant gilded doors. Before Casius could come up with a plan, Masif and Khan-Kan moved forward, eager for battle once again. Casius created a force wall in front of the two warriors as the fanatics level crossbows at the approaching group. One converted dwarf stepped through the double doors in to the area beyond. All crossbows bolts but one missed their mark - the force wall absorbed that damage. As the the group moved forward, the dwarves and Doran exchanged ranged attacks. These dwarves were better protected; Doran's first arrows damaged armor only. Finally, the groups collided with Masif and Khan-Kan using their melee attacks to dispatch the dwarves before they could pull free their axes. Ben (Khan-Kan) rolled exceptionally well in this battle, slaying to tough dwarves in a single round. After 2 rounds of battle, the four dwarves wer dead.

Casius carefully peeked his head through the door to see what was beyond - he saw a massive chamber with five dwarves grabbing their gear, preparing for battle while a huge dwarf (over 6' tall) gave instructions. As Casius relayed the information back to the group, Masif and Khan-Kan were already moving toward the door... Just as the dwarves were completing preparations for battle, the group pushed through the door opening. Masif and Khan-Kan moved right in to melee range with the sturdy fanatics, as Doran set up in a side location. Casius entered last, and examined the room and foes carefully. Masif and Khan-Kan immediately engaged their foes, dealing damage but not instantly killing the well protected fanatics. Doran sent a few arrows in to one dwarf, completely destroying his helmet. The dwarves fough back but failed to deal any damage to the seasoned group. The large dwarf, Mung-Tu-kep attempted to convert Khan-Kan to follow Thringalesh but Khan-Kan saved! In the next battle round, Doran, Masif and Khan-Kan take out out a couple more dwarves while Casius violently pushes one dwarf backward. Mung-Tu-Kep tries to convert Masif and succeeds! Masif's eyes go blood red and he turns on the party who are now foes to his new god Thringalesh! Mung-Tu-Kep attempts to also convert Doran who amazingly saves (by rolling a 6, which is what he needed)! Casius uses his magic to blast Masif backwards. Doran kills the second to last dwarf at point blank range.

Mung-Tu-Kep sends his new convert Masif to aggressively attack Khan-Kan who is fighting defensively. Khan-Kan parries Masif's attack, and ripostes by slamming the pommel of his scimitar in to Masif's temple, knocking him out. Casius uses his magic to slam Mung-Tu-kep into the ground - the large dwarf suffers 4 DP... but gets back up! Doran puts an arrow in to Mung-Tu-Kep's forhead, finally killing the Thringalesh bodyguard. As Mung-Tu-Kep dies, both Masif and the last converted dwarf's eyes both return to normal. Masif remains unconscious however.

Casius examines the room carefully. This massive 12 sided room is ornately built with beautiful stonework and marble pillars throughout. In the center of the room, five pedestals sit in a line - two on each side of a center (bigger) pedestal. The four smaller pedestals had resifual glass shards around them but the center pedestal is free of any glass. After searching the room, the group discovers a sixth pedestal in the back of the room out of sight. This pedestal has a clear glass block on it with a blonde dwarf frozen in it in mid stride. The dwarf wears the sigil of Thrinbor on his chestplate. Meanwhile, the converted dwarf starts remembering previous events. He tells the party that the miners found the sealed double doors weeks ago. No physical device, minting tool or weapon could break the seal on the door. Finally, the town priest used his magic to break the seal. Entering the chamber, they found five dwarves encased in glass bocks, with a huge 10' dwarf in the center block. Nothing could free the large dwarf from the darkened glass. A miner broke the glass block of one of the other four dwarves, freeing an ancient warrior from suspended animation. The freed dwarf immediately started speaking of Thringalesh, the true father of the dwarves, and converted the Kwaltist miners to follow this new god... soon, the other three bodyguards were freed. At this point, the dwarf can no longer remember what happened. The adventurers decide to push the glass block off the pedestal and free the blonde dwarf...

The glass block shatters and the dwarf breathes air for the first time in a milenium. Once he is fully aware of his surroundings, he introduces himself as Gulldek, a loyal follower of Thrinbor, the father of the dwarves. He tells the group that he was in the final battle of the twin brother gods, Thrinbor and Thringalesh, here deep within the mountains of the mortal plain (where Thringalesh would hide from the other gods). Thrinbor's final spell in the battle froze Thringalesh and his loyal followers in glass blocks... but unfortunately caught Gulldek in the blast too. Gulldek worries that although Thringalesh's weakest bodyguard has been eliminated (Mung-Tu-Kep), the three others are missing... as well as Thringalesh himself. He can "feel" that Thringalesh has not yet been freed - his evil essence is not felt. But it appears that Thringalesh (in the block), three of his followers, and many of the townsfolk are gone from Kwaltist.

The session ended with the group discussing what to do next. Note: XP awarding at the beginning of the next session, "Fury of Thringalesh".

*** end of session 3 ***

Pages Maintained by Thom Wilson