Shattered Star: Gnome Baseball!

Game Date: 2/28/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 17
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Carlie Nackle (Chere) - Gnome Wizard
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger /Cleric/Rogue
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
Today we started out resting on the beach, recovering from last session's epic fight with a statue.  After a long rest, we tried the nearby door and peeked into the next room. On the walls were murals depicting wanton acts between otherworldly beings and the Runelord Sorshen (whose body is now a party member named Tai, having changed her name after Sa'oa's mind took over Sorshen's body.  Confused yet?)  The murals were signed by an artist named Amivadeus Yasrin. 

Around the next corner was a gate.  Maruca picked the lock and we entered the next room.  A crimson-clad man approached and asked us for a password.  We quickly pointed out that his master Sorshen was with us, and he grudgingly let us pass.  In the next room we found a few more statues of Sorshen, but one was missing a head.  Two other statues' heads suddenly came off and grew legs.  We soon found ourselves in battle with a pair of sentinels.

Once they were destroyed, we saw another statue around the next corner.  We took a preemptive strike on this one, and killed it in a couple of rounds.  Through the next hall we saw more dirty murals.  Meruca, Slancio and Bjertha triggered a pit trap, but only Bjertha failed her save and fell.  She managed to land between the spikes, and didn't take much damage.

We spent a while figuring out how to get the party across the 15-foot long pit.  We did lots of tricks with ropes and pitons, some climbed across, others jumped.  Bjertha performed a Fastball Special on Carlie, easily tossing her across the pit.  Once we were all across, we made our way down the narrow hallway until we reached a door.  We kicked the door in, and saw a chanting Incubus.

The Incubus started out by trying to charm Bjertha, but failed.  We ganged up on the creature, and after a couple of rounds he vanished.  When he reappeared, he proclaimed, "If nothing else, the imposter must die!" and attacked Tai.  Bjertha finished the Incubus off with a double crit.

The next room was very warm.  It was a large room, with a two-tiered raised area in the middle.  In the center of the highest platform, a gray flame burned.  There were two side chambers, one of which had a set of doors.  On another wall there was an obvious secret passage - a dull gray section of wall next to an unlit torch.  Meruca got the idea to light the torch from the gray flame. 

When she touched the torch to the flame, four animated balls of fire jumped out of the flame and attacked us.  While we fought the fireballs - actually Cacodaemons - Maruca put the torch back on the sconce, and the secret door opened.  Carlie used a Shatter spell to damage all four fireballs, and it didn't take long to finish them off.

Note I had to leave the session early, but here's what I'm told happened next, courtesy of Rusty:

Shemus impetuously opened the doors to the west.  They found a hallway with ten doors; five on the south wall, and five on the north wall.  All but one of them said the same thing, translated from Thassilionian by Jasper: "Thou wouldst enter? Then thou must touch!"  The remaining door, the closest on the north wall, was covered with frost.  It said, "Thou wouldst enter to enjoy the company of the Runelord of Lust herself? Then thou must touch!"  So Shemus touched it.   Shemus, Slancio, and Carlie received a large amount of Cold damage.  The rest of the rooms were luxurious bedrooms.  Maruca and Slancio helped themselves to the sheets.  Shemus found a secret door in the west wall, which led to an even more luxurious bedroom, complete with a 10 x 15 ft bed.  Leaving that room, they found another room with benches and a starburst pattern on the floor that detected as magical. The group decided to back out of the room at that point.
 
Going back to the flame room, the door had shut again.  Bjertha lit the torch again, with no ill effects. They then spent several minutes trying to figure out how to shut the door again, and how to open it from the other side.  Eventually, Shemus had put the torch out, and went back up to the flame to light it again.  The Cacodaemons reappeared, showing a new ability, flame breath.  One breathed on Shemus, but he escaped the worst of it.  Another got Bjertha, Maruca, Tai, Carlie, and Jasper.  Jasper got dropped.  No sooner had he been brought up when another one breathed again, killing Jasper outright.  Shemus was dropped again before they were all dealt with. 
 
Finally going down the stairs, they came upon a large lascivious painting of Sorshen, arms outstretched in a welcoming embrace, lips twisted in a faintly cruel smile.  A phrase in a foreign tongue was inscribed in gold across the top of the mural.  The feet of the mural showed wear.  Slancio used his comprehend languages to get, "Prostrate thyself and demonstrate proper devotion, my sweet slave, if you wish to enter my domain."  Maruca, Slancio, Shemus, Carlie, Tai, and Bjertha kissed the feet and vanished in order.  That's where we stopped for the night. 

Shattered Star: Looking For Lust In All The Wrong Places

Game Date: 2/14/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 16
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue
Sa'oa (Angela) - Elf Monk/Warlock
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger

The Session:
We're still looking for the Shard of Lust.  Last session we finally approached the lighthouse called the Lady's Light, and we started exploring some Bullywug-infested tunnels.  Today we continued searching those caverns.  Around one corner we found a room filled with mud.  We were soon attacked by three giant frogs and their bullywug master.

Sa'oa and Meruca were hit by the bullywug's fear power.  One of the frogs grappled and restrained Bjertha, who took a lot of damage over the course of the fight.  Fearing for the safety of our tank, Sa'oa finished the boss off with a Sleep spell, allowing Meruca to perform a coup de grace.  After the battle, we looked around the room.  We found two glass jars, filled with some sort of weird bug-repellant substance.  We took the jars with us and kept on going.

Sa'oa scouted ahead and brought us back news of the next chamber.  It was infested with insect creatures.  Most of them were just bug-sized, but there were three huge Albino Cave Solifugids on the walls.  While Sa'oa was hoping to ask them for directions, Bjertha rushed in and attacked the only one she could reach.  Maruca set the insecticide jars on the ground and removed the lids, and threw them on the Solifugids that ventured too close.  It was SUPER EFFECTIVE and by the end of the battle, all three insects were unconscious.  We tied them up and tried talking to them.  Unfortunately they didn't understand us.

There were three more exits from the room.   Sa'oa scouted one, which eventually led to a hydra.  It saw Sa'oa, but luckily it couldn't fit through the tunnel.  She sauntered back to the main chamber.  The next tunnel didn't go anywhere interesting, but the final tunnel led to a square room with a pit in the center.  There were several statue-shaped columns surrounding the pit, four of which came to life while we were examining the pit.

This fight was difficult because attacking them could potentially break ours weapon.  We discovered this when Sa'oa hurt her hands with some unarmed strikes.  Not wanting to do any more punching, she pushed one of the statues into the pit.  Rather than seeing it fall all the way down, it vanished after about 10 feet.  Jasper and Slancio both broke their weapons attacking enemies, but luckily the fight didn't last much longer, and they were able to fix their weapons with a mending spell.

Now that we were safe, we examined the pit.  We experimented with dropping various objects into it.  Everything disappeared about 10 feet down.  Sa'oa and Shemus secured some ropes and climbed down.  Once they entered the dark area, they found they couldn't speak.  As they got closer to the bottom, they saw the statue Sa'oa had pushed.  It was still fine and tried to attack her.  Unable to use vocal spells, she fired an arrow at it.  The arrow flew too slowly to do much damage.

They climbed back up, experimented a bit more, and realized that inside the pit was a zone of darkness, silence, and feather fall.  Sa'oa climbed back down, got low enough to be out of the zone, and used Eldritch Blast on the statue.  It jumped up and grabbed the rope.  Sa'oa cut the rope beneath her, dropping the statue.  The statue picked up a magically-lit stone our party had dropped earlier, and threw it at Sa'oa.  Sa'oa finished off the statue with Eldrich Blast.

She came back up and convinced us to follow her to the bottom of the pit.  At the bottom, there was a room with several statues and a a sarcophagus.  Bjertha and Sa'oa worked together to remove the lid, revealing a body.  The body was of a beautiful woman, who looked just like the statues around the room.  She didn't look dead, so we nudged her.  Suddenly Sa'oa was stricken with images of her estranged family, and took a huge amount of psychic damage.  Bjertha pulled her away from the sarcophagus and tried to help her.

Every time we healed Sa'oa, she took more psychic damage on the next round.  Maruca and Shemus tried doing various things to the woman in the sarcophagus, like stabbing her or removing her jewelry.  Nothing we did broke the psychic connection, and Sa'oa soon died.  Then the woman in the sarcophagus opened her eyes, sat up, and looked around.  She told us to let go of her body, meaning Sa'oa's.  We soon realized that Sa'oa's mind was in this new body.

The woman Sa'oa now possessed was human, with purple eyes and long black hair.  She turned out to be the Runelord Sorshen, who Maroux had told us about last session.  Or at least she used to be.  Now, she's Sa'oa.  We agreed to take Sa'oa's old body back to the surface when we're done down here.  We kept looking around.

There were two tunnels to choose from.  One dead-ended at an underground river.  The other one led to a door, which opened after Sa'oa pressed some panels on the wall.  The doorway led to a beach on the same river, with two skiffs tied up.  After a little bit of reconnaissance, we all took the skiffs down the river into a large open room.  There was another beach along one wall, and there was a seven-sided island in the middle of the room.  On the island was a large glass statue of Sorshen.

We tried casting detect magic on the statue, which came to life and attacked us.  This was a long, difficult battle.  We discovered early on that most of our weapons could not hurt it, giving some of us little to do in the fight.  Those of us who couldn't damage it played support for those that could, providing healing potions to those who needed it. At one point Carlie fired off a Shatter spell, which wasn't as effective as we'd hoped it would be.

Eldrich Blast hurt it some, Thunderwave spells also worked, and Slancio's sword worked pretty well.  When Slancio finally went down, Shemus grabbed his sword while the bard recovered.  Shemus dealt the final blow, bringing the statue down.  We ended the session there.  We each got 500 xp for the session, bringing a couple of us up to level 5 (as soon as we get a chance to take an extended rest).

Shattered Star: The Most Dangerous Soup

Game Date: 2/7/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 15
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Carlie Nackle (Chere) - Gnome Wizard
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue
Sa'oa (Angela) - Elf Monk/Warlock
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
Last session we nearly finished our trek through the swamps, looking for a lighthouse called the Lady's Light, home of the next shard of the Shattered Star.  As we resumed our journey today, we found the remains of an ancient battlefield.  We searched the area, and saw a suit of armor and a helmet floating towards us.  Not knowing if it was friend or foe, we waited for it to attack first.  Which of course it did.  We took out the helmet quickly, but it rejoined the battle as a floating skull.  It still didn't take long to finish off.  The armor itself had a lot of hit points, so it took a bit longer to defeat.

During the battle Jasper got confused, and kept trying to attack Bjertha.  Maruca nearly died, failing two death saves before we finished off the armor and healed her.  After the battle, we took a short rest and explored the area.  We found about 600 gp worth of muddy gold trinkets.  Note, the armor was an Invisible Stalker, and the helmet was a Wisp.  We received 550 xp for the encounter.

Our guide Jasper led us to a small island, on which sat a small hut.  We greeted the owner of the hut, Maroux the swamp witch.  She was an old half-orc with one eye glazed over.  We asked her for any information she could give us about the Lady's Light.  She offered to help us, but gave us a task first.  She was in the mood to make some soup, and for that she needed some seaweed called Kelpie's Hair.  She told us to go to a nearby shipwreck, where the seaweed grew in abundance.  Being genre savvy, we used a scroll of Water Breathing before attempting the deed.

We swam towards the shipwreck, and Carlie began using Mage Hand to pick some seaweed.  Seven undead pirates emerged from the ship, led by their captain.  It reminded us of an iconic scene from Pirates of the Caribbean.  The pirates didn't take a lot of hits to kill, but the captain was pretty tough.  We took them out one at a time.  Carlie killed the captain with a Thunderwave, and Slancio finished off the final pirate skeleton.  We looted the captain's weapon, a nifty-looking +1 rapier with scale hilt and a blade made of coral.  It glows with an enchantment that keeps it clean, and inspires the wielder with great confidence.  We let Slancio keep the rapier.  We received 175 xp for the encounter.

We went back to Maroux's hut and had some stew.  While Bjertha found it to be quite tasty, Slancio and Shemus had trouble keeping it down.  We stayed the night, and Maroux drew us a crude map, and gave us some info about the Lady's Light.  Apparently some knights came through recently, led by a woman named Oriana.  They were also on a mission to loot the lighthouse.  They took advantage of the rivalry between the local bullywugs and trogs, pitting them against each other and using them to take control the lighthouse.  Maroux doesn't know how that turned out, so who knows if what we'll face once inside.

We set out.  We passed through the Trog area, thinking maybe we could befriend them.  However, the Trogs had been so badly defeated that we couldn't even get a response from them.  We kept going until we reached the bullywug village.  Since we knew Oriana's knights were female, and our party was fairly female-heavy, we concocted a plan.  We disguised our male members as slaves, and hoped to convince the bullywugs that we were there to join with Oriana.

The name dropping didn't work.  As we reached they bullywug huts, we tried to communicate with them but just got blank stares.  They regarded us warily as we walked the long way around their village, blocking entry but taking no hostile actions.  We gave the village a wide berth and kept going until we reached a cave.

Inside the cave we saw a large carving of a multi-headed frog demon.  Four bullywugs were crouched around a pile of colored stones.  They threw javelins at us as we approached.  It was a pathetically easy battle.  The bullywugs wound up at the bottom of the initiative, and we nearly wiped them out before they even had a turn. 

After the fight we looked at the stones they'd been protecting, and found a lot of copper, silver, gold, bloodstones, agates, garnets, and a platinum necklace.  This fight netted us 33 xp.  We ended the session there.


Shattered Star: Are You A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?

Game Date: 1/31/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 14
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
Last session we left off preparing to enter the swamps, to make our way to a lighthouse called the Lady's Light.  Today we entered the swamps, led by the doomsayer Jasper.  We noticed that it was unusually cold for this time of year.  On our first night, Bjertha took the first watch.  A Half-Orc came out of the woods and approached the camp, but he was peaceful enough.  He warned Bjertha not to wreck the swamp, and left us alone.

The next day we saw some smoke in the distance.  We headed that way until we came across a small cabin, and heard sobbing inside.  The door was partly open, so we peeked in.  A woman was crying on her bed.  She told us name was Grizelda, and that she had just given birth, but a witch named Hassani stole her baby.  Some party members started searching the grounds for Hassani's tracks, leaving only Slancio, Jasper, and Bjertha alone with Grizelda.

Slancio attempted to give Grizelda a medical exam, but due to a bad die roll ended up offending her greatly.  She barred the door and turned into a disgusting old hag.  Jasper cast a "Calm" spell on her, and she apologized.  She claimed she was just hungry.  We unbarred the door and left.

Later we found a camp full of grubby children.  In the distance we saw a Tengu about to slay a newborn baby.  As we closed the distance, Slancio called out, "If you harm that child, your life will be forfeit!"  The Tengu put down her knife and answered, "Don't be alarmed! It's not what it looks like!"  She turned out to be Hassani the witch.  Her modus operandi was to kidnap the children of evil races (goblins, trolls, hags, etc), kill them, and resurrect them as kinder races (elves, humans, etc).

It was a hard concept for us to accept.  It's a different type of morality, and each of us had to think long and hard about whether we should accept it.  Yes, she was making the world a better place.  But she was also killing infants.  Sure, she was also bringing them back to life, but still...  We finally decided that it wasn't really our business, and that the issue was between Hassani and Grizelda (and whatever other monster parents Hassani had stolen from).  Maybe we'd have felt differently if Grizelda hadn't tried to eat us.

Hassani offered to let us stay for the night, and we accepted.  We spent the evening playing with the children, telling them stories, and teaching them how to sing, fight, and pick pockets.  Because we're good influences that way.  The next morning we continued on our way.

We came to a clearing full of quicksand.  We saw a path around it, but there was a very poorly-hidden Manticore preparing to ambush us.  While we debated on the best way to attack the beast, he started shooting spikes at us.  He flew at our faces, and hit Jasper with a confusion spell.  Bjertha kept held the Manticore back from the party, and the rest fired at it from the woods.  Maruca dealt the monster a particularly powerful blow, and it soon surrendered.

The Manticore offered to give us his treasure if we would let him live.  Bjertha and Maruca got on his back, and he took us to his nest.  He gave us a box which included a gold ring (with a ruby), a spyglass, a pouch containing 150 gold, and a potion of water breathing.  He brought us back to the party and flew off, and we made our way around the quicksand.

Later we came to a sign that said "Chalos the Sage".  We followed a path from the sign down to a bog, where a hydra was resting.  One of the heads was rational and polite, and was a bit embarrassed by the actions of his other heads.  We chatted with Chalos for a while, asking him questions about this area.  Slancio payed him 100 gold for a romance-related prophecy, but unfortunately Chalos predicted bad luck for Slancio's love life.  Eventually Chalos asked us to leave; it seemed he was having trouble keeping his other heads from attacking us. 

That night Bjertha was on watch when several Lizardfolk walked past.  Bjertha let them pass peacefully.  One of the Lizardfolk was holding up a frog adorned with jewels.  Bjertha asked them if the frog was sacred, and they said it was their god.  Bjertha bowed respectfully as they passed.  Later, on Maruca's watch, it started to rain heavily.  Lightning struck the ground nearby, and the party rose to find better shelter.  We finally found a cave at the mouth of a river.  We had to tie ourselves together to avoid being swept away.

The rain died down, and by morning it was feeling a little warmer.  As we resumed our trek we were soon able to see the Lady's Light off in the distance.  The lighthouse was a giant statue of a woman holding a lantern, facing out to sea.  We ended the session there, with our destination in sight.

XP: 300 each

Shattered Star: Bring On The Swamps

Game Date: 1/17/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 13
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
iCarlie Nackle (Chere) - Gnome Wizard
Kelson (Matt, Subbing for Ben) - Half-Elf Warlock
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger
Slancio Brioso (Rusty, Subbing for Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
We left off taking a short rest in a crypt.  Today we turned the corner and approached a door, but Bjertha and Meruca set off a Glyph of Warding.  We made our saves, but still took 13 damage.  Then we opened the door which revealed a shrine. 

There was a person kneeling before the altar.  He stood up and turned around to face us, revealing himself to be Henric Slidell, a former party member.  He fired off a Silence spell at our party, which rendered several of our party useless until they left the zone.  We used some of our best attacks, taking him down a lot faster than we were expecting.  Oops, guess he wasn't the real boss. 

There were two side rooms that appeared to be prison cells.  We heard someone calling for help from one of them.  We let the prisoner out and grilled her for info.  She claimed to be a follower of Sarenrae, who had been captured by evil cultists of Shax.  There were holes in her story - she said she was a washer woman, but her hands were too smooth, and she detected as magical.  Bjertha trusted her enough to stand a little too close, and paid the price.  The woman hugged Bjertha and gave her a "Draining Kiss", which did 29 points of damage - exactly enough to bring Bjertha to 0.  Worse, it reduced Bjertha's max HP by the same amount, giving Bjertha a max of 11.

The prisoner then altered her form, revealing herself to be a Succubus.  The party had to face her without their tank, everyone keeping their distance so they could lob spells and arrows.  Bjertha was healed a little late in the fight, but only got one revenge whack in before Kelson dropped the Succubus.  After looting the bodies and finding a hidden stash in one of the cells, we found 2500 gold, a magic dagger, and scrolls of Greater Restoration, Cure Wounds, Divination, and Cure Disease.

We went back to Heidmarch Manor.  A long rest cured Bjertha's ailment.  We received 3000 gold for solving the crime, and spent the next day knocking around town and doing research.  We learned the order we will be finding the shards, since each shard leads to the next.  We already have Pride and Greed, the next one will be Lust, followed by Gluttony, Envy, Wrath, and Sloth. 

We're to search for the Lust shard in a lighthouse called the Lady's Light, which is south of Magnimar.  We had to choose whether to take a boat, or trudge through the swamps.  Unfortunately it's hard to find a boat willing to go there, so swamps it is.  Looks to be about 40 hours of travel.  It was suggested that we seek out someone named Jasper, who knew his way through the swamps.  We were also warned to "be patient with him."

We went to an area of Magnimar called "Beacon's Point", where it was pretty easy to locate Jasper.  He was an evangelical kook, shouting doomsday prophesies to passersby.  When he saw us, he seemed to recognize us.  As he approached our party, another party approached him.  Three members of a gang called the "Black Kiss Boys" attacked Jasper.  I can't say I blame them, but we needed Jasper alive, so we had to intervene.

We made short work of the clowns, and we introduced ourselves to Jasper.  He'd been having dreams about our party, and believed we would be the ones to bring on the end times... and he seemed to be pretty happy about it.  He agreed to lead us through the swamp.  We asked him (and some shopkeepers) what we should expect to encounter in the swamps.  We should be prepared for Troglodytes, Bullywug tribes, Maroux the Swamp Witch, as well as crocodiles and will-o-wisps. 

We made a few more preparations - waterproofing our gear and buying magical bug repellant, and ended our session ready to leave for the swamps.

Rewards:
300 + 450 = 750 XP each
2500 + 3000 / 6 = 916 gold each
+1 Dagger (Kelson)
Scrolls: Greater Restoration, Cure Wounds, Divination, Cure Disease


Shattered Star: CSI: Magnimar

Game Date: 1/10/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 12
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Carlie Nackle (Chere) - Gnome Wizard
Kelson (Ben) - Half-Elf Warlock
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue/GodKnowsWhatElse
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
After a long holiday break we resumed our campaign.  Our characters experienced a similar downtime - having recently found the second shard, we took a few weeks to discover its power and research the location of the third.  During our break, our characters practiced professions, gained renown, caroused, and basically did whatever they could to pass the time.

Today we got a visit from the Magnimar Watch, asking for assistance with a case.  Someone has been murdering clerics of Sarenrae, the goddess of healing.  These murders have been particularly brutal, the victims suffering from multiple stab wounds before having their hearts cut out.  The Watch had few leads.  They'd even tried using "Speak With Dead" spells on the victims, but the attacks had been from behind.  The only clue they had was that the murder weapons had a strange symbol on them - a white feather dipped in blood.

We split up and went to various taverns, churches, and shops around town.  Our investigations eventually led us to an old abandoned shrine, and its graveyard out back.  The tiny cemetery only had three graves, and it looked like the dirt had been displaced recently.  We dug up one of the graves only to find it was now empty.  We were about to try going through a door when a red skinned Gargoyle attacked the party.

We attacked the Fiendish Gargoyle as it swooped in and out of range.  It was extremely difficult to damage, so after a round or two we fled through the door.  The door led to some stairs, at the bottom of which was a passageway.  Bjertha was the first down the stairs, where she was attacked by three Wights around the corner.  Slancio hit one of the Wights with a Fairy Fire spell, giving us advantage when attacking it.  The rest of the party tried to enter the door, but there wasn't enough room for all of us to get inside.  Stuck outside, Shemus continued to fend off the Gargoyle, taking a lot of damage from the creature.

Eventually Carlie hit the Gargoyle with a sleep spell.  Once it lost consciousness, a few of the party members worked on tying it up while the rest of us dealt with the Wights.  They didn't take a lot of damage from melee attacks, and it was difficult to maneuver in the close quarters. We finally took them out, but we almost lost Kelson in the process.



After the battle, Shemus performed a coup de grace on the Gargoyle, and we took a short rest.  We ended the session there.  Next session we will explore more of the passage under the shrine.

Shattered Star: The Second Shard

Game Date: 11/29/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 11
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Looplily "Lilly" Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger

The Session:
I missed last week's session, during which they explored an underwater shipwreck, found a brooch which they agreed to return to an undead guy's widow, fought some Darrows and a Dark Mantle, and rescued Fenster the Blight from a torture chamber.  They left off with a choice of two sets of stairs leading down.

Today we picked a stairway and headed for a small room.  As we approached, we were overcome with magical darkness.   We turned around and headed back up the stairs, out of the range of the darkness spell.  As we were moving, Bjertha felt a bolt glance off her armor.  We waited for the spell to end and then rushed back into the room.  We encountered a Darrow named Magister Khrysm, and her two Homunculus henchmen.

The first Homunculus went down easy.  Khrysm killed the second henchman herself, when she hit our party with a Thunderwave spell.  Kelson made the final blow against Khrysm, and we looted the room.  Between Khrysm and the room's closets, we found a few potions, a Wand of Spiritual Weapon (11 charges), 232 gold, 1423 silver, and 2100 copper pieces.  We took a long rest in this room.

We went back up and then down the other set of stairs.  These stairs ended suddenly, but on the way down there was a hidden door.  Slancio felt his piece of shard pulling him towards the next piece, and we followed the secret passage until we reached an altar room.  The second shard was guarded by two giant spiders called Shriezyxs.  But lets just call them spiders because it's easier to type.

The spiders didn't hit often but they hit hard.  They each got three attacks per round, and if they'd ever managed to hit with all three it would likely have killed their target.  Bjertha faced one while Lilly kept the other one occupied.  Lilly dodged each round, keeping the spider busy while Shemus fired damaging arrows at the creature.  Once Lilly's spider was dead, we all concentrated on Bjertha's, taking it out pretty quickly.  Shemus dropped it with an arrow, but it got back up.  Kelson dealt the final killing blow, and Bjertha hacked at the bodies to make sure they didn't get back up again.

The pedestal in the center of the room had grooves to fit all seven shards.  Since this meant we'd probably need to come back here in the future, we went around the rest of the Crow compound and made sure everything else was dead.  Lilly took a sample of some brown fungus which damaged her as she collected it.  She had to do a lot of clever things involving swords and barrels to keep the fungus doing her more harm as she dragged it back out of the dungeon.

We went back to town and headed for the mansion of Sheila Heidmarch.  We found out that the new shard was the Shard of Greed.  We are now taking 40 days of downtime in order to do more research.

Session rewards:
+983 XP each.
65.88 gp each.

Reminders:
As the holidays make a lot of us busy, we are considering taking the rest of December off and resuming sessions in January.

Shattered Star: Follow The Lemure

Game Date: 11/15/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 9
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Looplily "Lilly" Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger


The Session:
We're still exploring the dungeon beneath the former Tower Girls HQ.  Today started with us finding a wand inside a tapestry rod, but we didn't have any party members who could identify it.  We found a magic fountain, but it wasn't healing or anything; the magic just keeps it from overflowing.  In the fountain was a piece of green crystal, but we haven't found a use for it.  In one room we encountered a pair of Lemure Devils, and persuaded them to follow us.

Down one tunnel we found the skeleton of a Bulette.  A gray ooze attacked Bjertha from the mud, corroding her armor.  We all beat the ooze's initiative, and it went down before it got a turn.  Lilly fixed Bjertha's armor with a mending spell, and we kept going.

We reached a large room with about 30 feet of water in the middle.  There were columns along the sides that were shaped like tentacles.  In order to test the water's depth, we sent in one of the Lemures.  It sank and never came back.  So we sent in the other Lemure, which similarly disappeared.  We cast Light on an arrow and fired it into the murky water, and saw something moving down there.  We didn't feel up to this fight yet, so we tried one of the other tunnels.

We found a locked door with a bronze plaque, depicting runes we could not read.  Maruca and Kelson worked on picking the lock, and several die rolls later we finally got in.  The next room was full of cages, some of which held skeletal Fleshdregs.  The creatures attacked, and most of us fought back.  Lilly attacked the empty cages instead, because she had a sudden fear that we would lock her up.  Of course, we might not be tempted to lock her up if she wasn't always doing things like attacking cages, but that's one for the philosophers.

Once the Fleshdregs were dead, we left Lilly to her cage smashing, and looked into the next room.  There was a winch-operated portcullis, and a burnt corpse.  Fearing a fire trap, we used some rope to operate the winch from a distance, then headed on through the doorway.  The next hall appeared to be a nightmare of flame traps, so we held off.  We passed back through the cage room, tiptoed past the obsessed Lilly, and tried another hall.

The next passageway led to a maze.  As Lilly caught up to us we heard a growling, and we soon found ourselves face-to-face with a Hell Hound.  This demonic doggie hit us right away with fire breath, which did a fair amount of damage.  When the breath recharged, he used it a second time and dropped Bjertha.  The party healers patched her up and Shemus dealt the killing blow to the Hell Hound.

We took a short rest and headed into the maze.  We didn't find anything interesting in the maze, and the other end just took us back to the other side of the hallway full of fire traps.  We took out our current piece of the Shattered Star, hoping it would lead us to the next one.  It seemed to be pointing towards the water room we'd considered earlier, so we headed back that way.

We pondered at the edge of the water, not wanting to get our feet wet.  Lilly was the bravest (or most impulsive) of us.  She grabbed a rope and swam across, getting attacked a pair of Sinspawn.  Once Lilly got across Bjertha followed, and a third Sinspawn joined the fray.  Lilly grappled two Sinspawn simultaneously, as Bjertha made to the other side.  The rest of the party fired their ranged weapons at any monsters they could see.

The Sinspawn had the ability to enrage those they attacked, but we never really got to see this in action.  With Lilly holding two of them to keep them from escaping back below the water, we managed to finish them off quickly.  We ended the session there.  Some of us are about to level, so we've decided to take an extended rest if possible.

Shattered Star: Baz the Great and Powerful

Game Date: 11/8/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 8
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Kelson (Ben) - Half-Elf Warlock
Looplily "Lilly" Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger
Shemus (Cliff) - Elf Ranger
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard 

Decent-sized party today, though Slancio didn't get to join in until the end.


The Session:
We're still making our way through the depths of the tower. We left off about to enter a door where we heard voices speaking in infernal.  We entered the room and got the creatures' attention  It was two lumpy Lemure Devils, which where easy to kill.  From behind a curtain on one wall, we heard a voice say, "Congratulations you have passed the first test!"  It was an imp who called himself "The Great Suzerain".  He asked us to recover some of his lost minions, and defeat a different devil called Lord Baz.

His deal:  He would have us sign a contract that would keep his own devils from attacking us while we made our way to Baz's territory.  When we returned, Suzerain would make us lieutenants in his army.  We tried to pass on the deal, but our leader/overlord Anya fell for Suzerain's compulsions and demanded that we take the deal.  So we followed her through the tunnels towards Baz's domain, flashing our contract at any of Suzerain's devils we passed.

In one hallway there was another of those statues of a polearm-wielding woman, and as usual Lilly decided to draw a mustache on it.  This statue turned out to be trapped, creating a fireball that did a lot of damage to our party.  Anya took the worst of it, taking a full 21 points of damage.  Even though the party was low on hit points, Lilly decided that this was our best chance to take out Anya once and for all.  The impulsive gnome attacked both Anya and Maruca, and the rest of us had to decide whether to join the battle.

Of course we fought alongside Lilly, though the rest of us avoided harming Maruca.  It was a long battle, and most of us went down at one point or another, to be revived by healing potions and goodberries.  Eventually Anya started to flee, but we kept after her.  It was Kelson who dealt the final blow, after which Bjertha savagely perforated her corpse with a silver dagger.  We looted the body and took a rest.

But Lilly wasn't ready to let things go with the final Tower Girl, Maruca.  It took a lot of work to get the gnome to calm down, and Maruca promised that her allegiance was to Natalya, not Anya.  Lilly still doesn't trust Maruca, but we managed to get them to work together for the remainder of the session.  Lilly is determined to push Maruca down the stairs at some point in the future.

Through another door we found a trail of salt.  Then we fought five devils, which were very easy.  Next we found a set of stairs leading down into the water, but didn't feel like drowning just yet.  In a round room we discovered an underwater observatory, which was the first time we realized how far down we'd come in our explorations.  From the observatory's windows we could see a shipwreck.  We also found a couple of scrolls of underwater breathing, which we will presumably use at some point in the future to explore the shipwreck.  But not today.

In one room we found a cowardly Lemure Devil, who begged us not to hurt him.  He was a bit of an artist, and had decorated the walls of his safe room.  We decided not to kill him, and kept looking for Baz.  The halls finally led us to a round room with a balcony.  Two devils sparred on the ground floor while a pair of imps conversed on the balcony.  Kelson, our infernal-speaking warlock, entered the room and asked to be taken to see Baz.  One persuasion check later, we were escorted to the master's room.

Baz, an Accuser Devil, had the body of a fly and the head of a bad cross-dresser.  Next to his desk was Silencio, our party's bard, who had been missing for several sessions.  The bard's fingers were bleeding from having been forced to strum an instrument for far too long.  Baz seemed happy to see us, probably because he craved more entertainment.  The foppish devil greeted us in an over-the-top manner, but we weren't in the mood to talk.  It wasn't long before initiative was rolled.

Baz turned invisible right off the bat.  We also faced two imps and two devils, and all our enemies were resistant to non-magical weapons.  On Kelson's turn he tried hitting three of the enemies with burning hands, but found they were immune to fire.  Baz dropped Silencio in one hit, but the rest of the party got him back on his feet.

Once Baz had taken enough damage, he indignantly teleported away.  Cleaning up the rest of the enemies was easy, the last one getting talked to death by one of Silencio's bardic powers.  We ended the session there. 

Shattered Star: A Mustache Emergency

Game Date: 11/1/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 7
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Kelson (Ben) - Half-Elf Warlock
Looplily Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Maruca Notyet (Daniel) - Human Ranger

The Session:
We're still exploring the tower known as the Crow, under the leadership of the were-rat Anya.  In one room we found a familiar-looking statue of a woman with a polearm.  While Looplily drew a mustache on it, the party got attacked by a cavefisher.  Bjertha killed it in the first round.  We then realized we were being followed.  Kelson, a professional criminal, joined our party.  Anya gave him the same deal the rest of us received - Anya gets any loot we find, and we get to live.  Fair enough... for now.

In another area we found a room full of spiderwebs.  Looplily started burning the webs, which drew the attention of three giant spiders.  Once they were dead, we kept exploring.  In another room we found a pool of water, which detected as magical.  Looplily peed in it, and we kept going.

We found a room with several ovens built into the walls.  Bjertha heard some rustling coming from one oven, and went to investigate.  It was full of centipedes, which swarmed her.  Figuring centipedes would be afraid of spiders, Looplily cast an illusion of spiders crawling over Bjertha.  All this really accomplished was to freak Bjertha out.  She stopped, dropped, and rolled madly while the rest of the party helped kill off the swarm.

A bit later we encountered six skeletons.  It wasn't a terrible fight but it took Bjertha down to zero hit points, so the party took a long rest afterwards.  Some of us had earned enough xp to level last session, but it wasn't until this rest that we were allowed to take the level.  Now fully healed and feeling a bit more powerful, we continued our explorations.

We went down some stairs and found an octagonal room.  Four of the walls had double doors, and the floor was covered in slime.  There was another statue of the woman with the polearm, but before Looplily could draw on it we saw the creature who had generated the slime.  It was a giant, maggot-spitting larva.  After killing it we went through the left door.

At the end of a narrow hallway there were two undead.  As Bjertha and Kelson fought them, Looplily tried to run the opposite direction.  Anya and Maruca kept Looplily from running past, instructing her to get back in there and fight.  Looplily wouldn't comply and kept fighting them while trying to run past.  Bjertha and Kelson finished off the undead and turned around to see what the ruckus was.

Bjertha tried to talk everyone down, rolling 20 on persuasion, which was enough to convince Anya not to kill Looplily.  Looplily finally broke through, and ran back to the statue in the octagonal room so she could finally draw a mustache on it.  Apparently it was very important.

In another hall we found a circle of runes, with some dancing flames inside.  Looplily stepped into the circle and was attacked by two small flame beings.  Reasoning that the creatures couldn't leave the circle, we opted to run through and get to the other side of the room.  We did kill one of them as we made our way through, and left the other one alive.

In the next hallway there was a door on the right, from which we could hear a conversation.  Kelson informed us that someone was speaking in the infernal language, but he couldn't make out what they were saying.  We were about to burst in when we ended the session.

Shattered Star: Mite and Magic

Game Date: 10/11/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 6
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Looplily Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Maruca Notyet (Daniel) - Human Ranger
Sneex (Cliff) - Dwarf Rogue

The Session:
When we left off last week, we had just been defeated by Anya, the were-rat leader of Tower Girls.  We started today's session still tied up.  Anya probably would have killed us, but she was impressed that we'd been able to solve a puzzle last session, when we opened a door they'd been trying to get through.  Now short-staffed (thanks to us), she needed our help exploring the corridors beyond the door.  So Bjertha, Sneex, Looplily, Anya, and Maruca (Anya's last remaining minion) proceeded to explore the halls.

A few corridors in, we came to a room with a balcony overlooking a scum-covered pool.  We saw one side tunnel that was too small for us to explore, with tiny footprints inside.  We decided to worry about that later.  As we searched the room, a couple of pseudopods erupted from the pool, and we had to fight a pair of oozes.  Bjertha tried to bypass the fight entirely, but Anya reprimanded her.  The oozes weren't particularly difficult, but they did split into two when damaged, prolonging the battle.  When the oozes were finally destroyed, we went down the next hallway.

In the next room, we awoke a swarm of bats.  Bjertha fended them off until a few got into her armor, sending her into a panic.  Finally Looplilly used her magic to make a loud noise that drove them off.  Sneex found a bracelet in a fountain, and attempted to pocket it without the rest of the party seeing.  Some of the party did see, but we didn't make an issue out of it.  We went through more corridors and down some stairs.

We came out into a room filled with large mounds of dirt.  Bjertha disturbed one of the mounds, and a giant ant climbed out.  Four more ants eventually joined the battle, some of which had scorpion-like stingers.  Bjertha and Sneex lost a lot of hit points that fight, so we took a short rest afterwards.  In one wall there was another one of those tiny passages.  Then in the next hall we found a tiny secret door, scaled the same as the other tiny tunnels.  We wondered what little creatures could be living here.

We found out in the next room.  We encountered several pint-sized goblinoids called mites, two of which were riding giant spiders.  They didn't do a lot of damage, but since there were a lot of them, they still inflicted their share of pain.  Some of the mites could cast Bane, which gives you a negative d4 to attack rolls and saving throws.  Anya finally helped out in this battle, killing a few of the mites, which made it go a lot easier.  The final two mites tried to flee, but we killed them on their way out the door.  We kept one of their bodies and took it with us.

We went down a spiral staircase and had a choice of two directions.  The corridor we picked led us to some halls lined with empty cells.  We reached a large room with a heavy stone door and torture instruments.  There was one more cell, but this one actually had someone in it.  There was a crazed humanoid with a half-melted face, attacking the bars.  Looplilly lobbed a couple of spells at him, and we considered finishing him off, but then decided to leave him alone for now.  We ended the session there.

Shattered Star: Hide and Sneakx

Game Date: 10/4/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 5
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Bugg (Daniel) - Human Warlock
Looplily Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Sneakx (Cliff) - Dwarf Rogue

The Session:
There was a bit of confusion about the order of last session's encounters.  Some of the rooms couldn't have been conquered in the order we did them, requiring a small amount of retcon.  This session began with us entering a room containing five enemies - three Tower Girls and two rats.  Bjertha lost initiative, but she still managed to kill both rats before the rest of the party did much of anything.  Then Natalia, Bugg, and Looplily each killed one of the Tower Girls.  Sneakx spent most of the battle finding places to hide to set up a sneak attack, but missed when the time finally came.

The room contained a life-size statue of a beautiful woman, wielding a polearm.  We all failed our history/arcana checks to identify the subject, so naturally Looplily drew a mustache on it instead.  There was also a barrel of whiskey in the room, which Looplily took with us.  Rolling the barrel through the hallways and bouncing it down the stairs didn't do any favors for our stealth checks.

A later room contained several doors.  One set of doors had the words LISTEN and THE EYES written on them, on moveable tiles.  We rearranged the letters to spell SILENT THEY SEE and the doors unlocked.  We decided to rest for an hour before proceeding through the doors, but we failed our stealth check and drew some unwanted attention.  Three were rats, one of which was much larger than the others, burst into the room and attacked us.

We quickly killed the two smaller rats, but the big one gave us a lot of trouble.  It was resistant to ordinary weapons, so we had to get creative to damage it.  Sneakx kept throwing dirt in the rat's eyes, causing temporary blindness.  Bjertha had a silver dagger she'd picked up in a previous session, which helped a lot.  She rolled well on the next couple of hits, but so did the rat, and soon Bjertha was making death saves.  While Bjertha was down, Sneakx grabbed her dagger, and took over dealing damage.

Meanwhile, our guide Natalia fled the room and braced the door closed behind her.  Thanks to a heal from Looplily, Bjertha got back up, but without the dagger she could no longer damage the were rat.  As the fight went on, Bjertha went down again, along with Bugg and Looplily.   Now alone, Sneakx ran out another of the room's doors, followed closely by the rat.  Natalia came back into the room and healed Looplily a little bit.

Sneakx fled out a door into an X-shaped hallway, which contained another door back into the room we'd been fighting in.  The were rat proceeded to chase Sneakx in a circle - through the first door, down the hall, through the second door, back through the battle room, and so on.  Meanwhile, Natalia started rolling the barrel into the hallway, no doubt with some clever plan involving igniting the whiskey.  This plan would never come to fruition, however, as the were rat killed Natalia on the next pass.  Eventually Sneakx fell as well, finishing off our party.

We woke up a few hours later, all tied up.  One by one the were rat interrogated us.  When Bugg refused to answer any questions, the were rat killed him.  Looplily, on the other hand, was much more cooperative, spilling the beans on our entire operation.  We ended the session there.

Next session:
There are several questions we need to ponder before going forward.  For starters, the party Bard, Slancio, wasn't present this session.  We need to decide where he was in the hopes he might be able to rescue us.  With most (or all) of the Tower Girls dead, the were rat seems like she wants to recruit us.  Daniel will have to bring a new character next week, so that might also be a factor in our escape.

Shattered Star: My God, It's Full Of Stairs

Game Date: 9/6/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 4
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Bugg (Daniel) - Human Warlock
Looplily Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric/Fighter
Natalya Vancaskerkin (Lanessa) -Human Rogue/Sorcerer
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
Last session we found the first shard that will eventually make up the Shattered Star.  Then our characters took a week off to do more research.  During this week, Slancio had a vision about the location of the next piece.  It was at a place called the Crow, a piling in the waters of Outcast Cove.  Natalya led the way, knowing that her former friends the Tower Girls were using the Crow as a hideout.

We had to take a rowboat there.  When we docked, we spent a while bickering about whether to damage the other docked rowboats, but finally decided against it.  Natalya led us through a secret tunnel, where we passed the privy and headed up some stairs.  On one landing we saw some empty stone boxes and some yellow dust, along with some human and rat footprints. 

The waaiiting is the hardest part...
Up more stairs, and on the next floor we saw a giant rat flee up the next set of steps.  We figured it was going to warn the others an come back, so we set up an ambush.  We had Natalya stand in the middle of the room and announce her presence, while the rest of us hid off to the side.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Well, it was a good plan anyway.  We finally got bored and continued up the stairs.  Natalya led us up landing after landing, checking for traps on the way. 

At the top of one flight of stairs, Natalya was attacked by some Tower Girls.  Because of the stairs, it took an extra turn for the rest of us to catch up to the fight.  It was an odd-shaped room, with several nooks and crannies to hide in.  Two of the Tower Girls hid behind an overturned table, firing at us.  Each of our party members rushed from one side of the room to the next to get closer to our enemies, while taking cover behind the corner.  Finally Bjertha took point and rushed the table.  She got some good hits in, but a were-rat joined the fight.

The were-rat was tough because she was resistant to non-magical damage, could make both bite and claw attacks each round, and could disengage as a bonus action.  Still, our party eventually surrounded her, hacking at her from all sides. Bugg tried to hit her with Eldritch blast, but was at disadvantage due to using a ranged attack at melee.  He rolled a 20 and a 1.  What a waste of a potential crit!  Still, he hit anyway by using an inspiration die.  The were-rat attacked the Warlock back, and Bugg's Hellish Rebuke reaction finished off the creature.  When she died, she reverted to her human form.

Afterward, we looked around a bit and found a secret door.  Well, it wasn't that secret, seeing as how the door was propped open with a dagger.  Knowing it could be a trap, we followed the secret passage.

In another room we had to cross a rickety rope bridge, suspended 200 feet above some boats.  It was nerve-wracking but we made it across safely.  Next passage, Bjertha triggered a tripwire, setting off some warning bells.  A couple of sleepy Tower Girls attacked us, fleeing down the hall as they fired their crossbows at us.  We caught up to them and killed them quickly.

A half-collapsed side room contained a sealed amphora, and a small statue.  At the end of the hall was another set of stairs, going down.  We were about to head down the stairs, but it was getting late so we ended the session there.

Next week (spoiler alert):  More stairs!

Afterthoughts:
This is the second time I've been a Pathfinder campaign that switched systems a few sessions in.  Last time it was the Unlikely Heroes campaign, where we switched to D&D 4e after a couple of months.  I believe some of the players were disappointed in a few aspects of Pathfinder, such as the slow healing.  This time we're switching to 5e, but it's not due to any failing of Pathfinder, it's because we're excited about D&D's new edition.  Only time will tell if we stick with 5e or switch back.

Bjertha was the only character in the party that directly converted, because she's the only one with a race/class combination found in the 5e PHB.  Some of the others are similar in spirit, but it's still a very different party.

Funniest roll of the day.  Too bad he had disadvantage.

XP:
Since the numbers don't really convert easily, we just decided to start this session with everyone at level 2 (300 xp).  We earned 160 xp for the session, bringing us up to 460 xp.

D&D 5e: Web of Doom

Game Date: 8/23/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: N/A
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Looplily Timber (James) - Gnome Cleric
Moe (Thomas) - Human Monk
Ramas (Daniel) - Human Warlock
Torgga (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter

The Session:
Last week I couldn't make it, so the remaining players tried out D&D 5e.  Today we were still down one player, and didn't feel like returning to our Shattered Star campaign quite yet.  So we continued the story they started last week.

They'd left off in a narrow hallway, outside a room full of giant spiders.  It was a large cavern, filled with approximately sixty giant spiders.  There was a cage in the center of the room, with skeletons in it.  We knew there was something important about the cage, but couldn't agree on a plan to get to it.  Among our assets was a sample of purple mold, which reproduces quickly and puts nearby creatures to sleep.

We decided to... well, we never actually decided anything, which was our downfall.  We tried a bunch of different stuff, had some communication issues, and generally got our asses kicked.  We threw some mold in there, letting it spread so that it would put some spiders to sleep.  Then we tied a rope around the monk, and had him tiptoe through the room to reach the cage.  Problem was, he kept failing his saves against the mold, and we'd have to pull him back out again.

So we tried it again with the fighter, who had better saves against poison.  She managed to reach the cage, but got attacked by a spider.  As she started to come back out, she found herself trapped by two spiders and restrained by webbing.  The monk tried to help, but he got knocked out again.  Both the monk and the fighter were covered in spores, and due to suffocate within a few rounds.

The cleric and warlock managed to save the monk, but they couldn't make it to the fighter.  As the cleric pulled the monk to safety, the warlock got caught up in the webs, and couldn't make it out.  The fighter and the warlock both died, but the monk and the cleric lived to fight another day.

Reminders:
There's no game next week.  Our next session will be on 9/6.

Shattered Star: Pride Cometh Before The Fall

Game Date: 8/9/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 3
System: Pathfinder
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Bugg (Daniel) - Goblin Alchemist
Sneex (Cliff) - Sylph Rogue
Toad the Toad Summoner (James) - Human Barbarian/Wizard
Henric Slidell (Thomas) - Human Oracle

The Session:
When we left off, Bjertha had found Natalia in the rafters of a ruined building.  Holding a crossbow trained on Bjertha, Natalia informed the Dwarf that she would rather not return to the Pathfinder Society, because they might take the trinket she had found.  Natlia held a metal shard, which seemed to possess magical properties.  To keep the rest of the party from climbing up to help, Natalia used the shard to set the ladder on fire.  Then she used the trinket's power to charm Bjertha into being her new bodyguard.

It turned out the fire was an illusion, but Natalia proceeded to charm Slidell, and asked us to take her to Heidmarch Manor... not to turn in the artifact, but in the hopes of making it her new home base.  She gathered a group of charmed goblin followers, and ordered us to lead the way to the mansion.  Sneex tried to run off, but Natalia charmed her as well.

This left only Toad and Bugg free from her influence, but those two followed along anyway - Bugg was happy to be in the company of goblins again, and Toad just enjoys chaos.  Besides, let's face it, our mission was to return Natalia and the artifact, so in a way she was playing right into our hands.  As we approached the next section of town, the town watch stopped us.  They were a bit concerned about us leading a bunch of goblins through town in the middle of the night.  Such worrywarts.  We told them that we meant no harm, but they escorted us through the area just to play it safe.

We arrived at the mansion of Sheila Heidmarch and knocked on the door.  A manservant answered, but was repulsed by our gaggle of goblins, and shut the door in our face.  He opened a slot on the door and asked us what we wanted, and we ordered him to fetch Sheila.  An impatient Sneex climbed up the wall and broke in through a second story window.  Two of the goblins worked on setting up a crossbow to fire as if it were a mortar, while the rest of the goblins got into general hijinks.  When Sheila finally answered the door, Natalia ordered her goblin minions to attack.

Because of all the charming going on, this battle was a bit confusing.  Several of the goblins ran around the sides of the mansion to cause more mischief, so we didn't have to fight them.  Bjertha broke her charm and tackled Natalia, pinning her to the ground.  Toad killed a couple of goblins, shouting "I surrender!" after each one.   Bugg killed a goblin or two with his crossbow.  Sheila attacked Toad and took him down on one turn, using nonlethal damage.  Slidell managed to wrestle the artifact away from Natalia, only to succumb to its effects himself.

His mind suddenly affected by delusions of grandeur, Slidell refused to turn the amulet over.  Sheila managed to convince him to combine it with an Ioun stone, which broke the spell.  Now that no one was being affected, we cleaned up and let Sheila lead us to a meeting room.  She briefed us on the artifact we'd recovered.

It turns out this trinket was just one piece of a powerful relic.  When complete, the Shattered Star had seven points, each made of a different metal.  Now in pieces, each shard represents a different one of the seven deadly sins.  The one we recovered represents pride.  We also learned that properly used, each shard could guide its wielder to the location of the next shard. 

Looks like our mission is obvious.  We're taking a week of downtime while Sheila does more research on the shards.  We ended the session there.

Rewards:
+336 XP each
+200 Gold each

Reminder:
Next week I will not be there, and the remaining players are planning to try D&D 5e instead.

Shattered Star: Choked and Grappled by Grappling Chokers

Game Date: 8/2/2014
Location: The Game Cave
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 2
System: Pathfinder
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Bugg (Daniel) - Goblin Alchemist
Sneex (Cliff) - Sylph Rogue
Toad the Wet Sprocket Toad Summoner (James) - Human Barbarian/Wizard
Henric Slidell (Thomas) - Human Oracle

The Party
The Session:
When we left off last session, we were trying to learn Natalia's whereabouts from a disgusting informant called Fenster the Blight.  We took a quick trip back to the Pathfinder Society so we could enjoy a nice dinner and added Sneex to the party.  Then we went back to the Underbridge district to take another crack at Fenster.

We considered several options, including beating the information out of him, but rejected that idea because it would involve touching him.  Finally we took the high road and bribed him with a garnet.  He told us that Natalia had been seen at a local boarding house.

We headed for the boarding house.  On the way, we were attacked by five chokers.  They won a surprise round, grabbing most of the party and dragging us in different directions.  Bugg the goblin was dragged up the wall.  Bugg broke and reversed the grapple, briefly grappling his grappler before the grappler regrappled the grappler's grappler on its next turn.  Or something.

Bjertha struggled against her choker, consistently failing to hit it with any attack rolls.  Toad fared much better, gradually killing chokers one at a time and freeing up other party members.  Sneex climbed the wall after Bugg's choker, attempting to save the goblin.  Just as Sneex reached the goblin, Bugg broke free and dropped to the ground, leaving Sneex alone with the choker.  Then Bugg threw a bomb at the choker.  It didn't do much to harm the choker, but the splash damage finished off Sneex.

We used some tokens to save Sneex's life, but the rogue was not happy with the goblin.  Bugg should sleep with one eye open for a while.  Once the chokers were all dead, we continued to the boarding house.  The building turned out to be in extremely poor shape.  After a few minutes of deliberation, Toad charged through the front door... and fell into a pit of sewage.  He climbed out of the collapsed floor, now covered in filth.

Much of the house's floor was similarly collapsed, so we decided not to just barrel through that part of the building.  Bjertha kicked in a side door, and encountered two angry thugs.  Bjertha attempted to apologize, but Toad taunted them and they attacked us.  On Slidell's turn, he convinced them to stop fighting.  We prodded them for a bit of information, then persuaded them to leave the premises.

Around the back of the house, we knocked out a few of the boarded-up windows.  We saw the same thing in all the rooms - collapsed floors, and some ladders leading up to the rafters.  In one room there was a chimney with a ladder in it.  Sneex climbed through the window and tried to climb up the chimney, but a Goblin Snake attacked her.  The rest of us gradually climbed through the window, and Bjertha dealt the final blow to the snake. 

Once it was dead, Bjertha climbed the ladder up to a landing.  At the top of the ladder, she found a crossbow aimed at her head.  The weapon was held by a gypsy woman, who we believe to be Natalia.  We ended the session there.

XP So Far:
+378 (7/19)
+760 (8/2)
= 1138