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 Post subject: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- The stars are beautiful.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:54 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Here follows the new campaign we're using RPTools to play as we've all spread out a little, it took us a while to get used to it but it seems to be working well now. Any comments, hints and tips then feel free to post- more the merrier.

And so...

Castle Whiterock- The Backstory.
Turn 1.


Twiglet’s story.

“But I don’t want to go.”
“You’re going son, there’s nothing you can say that’ll make me change my mind. It’s for your own good.”
“Ohhh Daaaad.”
“Sh’up.”
“But Daaaaad.”
“Nope. You’re going.”

Twiglet looks up into his father’s tired eyes, one-hundred-and-fifty years hauling slabs of granite from “Pog’s Granitarium- Rock Bottom Prices”, a delivery driver, two Fire Beetle mounts (Bert & Ethel) and a hole in the ground called home- that’s all he has to show for a century-and-a-half of hard labour. One-hundred-and-fifty years, a hell of a long time, and the last thirty without mum, a shale slide, treacherous at the best of times, still they were lucky to survive it- mum got away though, rumour has it she’s shacked up with Mister Lard the fattest dwarf in the seven clans, he’s got a finger in every pie- and an inside toilet, all the luxuries. No wonder she left them.

Twiglet doesn’t want to go though. To leave his old dad, adventuring, it doesn’t sound safe, lots of other dwarves went away to prove their worth, topside, the human lands- they never came back, none of them.

Some said they made their fortunes- why would they come back, to this dump. Nobody said that they had just died up there, nobody, everyone thought it though, they had to- it was true.

Twiglet looks around him, the one bed mansion, actually hole in the ground, they call home- a palace to him, all he ever wanted, warmth- well actually not a lot of warmth; shelter- actually not much in the way of shelter either, especially when the middens flood, he’d been knee deep in turds in the summer of 83, during the Kaka Keepers strike; and dad- dear old dad.

“Here, take this.”

Twiglet looks over, his father holds out a parcel, wrapped in a dull red neckerchief, his father’s neckerchief, the one he wore to work, day-in day-out, for the past Moradin knows how many years.

“What is it?”
“Something for the journey.”

He takes it, bundles it away into his backpack, out of sight, out of mind.

The silence goes on a while.

His dad wads tobacco, stuffs the plug into his pipe, then lights it, Black Scumble, he’ll be out of it in soon, if he’s got something to say to him, some last words, parting wisdom, then he’d better get it said soon, because in twenty minutes dear old dad will be talking to the walls.

About mum again.

“Dad.”
“It’s no use…”
“I know, I just wanted to, well…”
“Well what?”
“I just wanted you to know, well…”

His father strikes another match; it’s hard to light Black Scumble, wet to the touch- greasy even.

“What is it?” Almost irritated.
“I…”
“Spit it out son.”
“Mum shouldn’t have left, she was mad too, I mean we don’t have much but you stick it out don’t you, if you’ve taught me anything…”
“I’ve taught you nothing. Nothing worth learning. Until now.”
“Dad?”
“Go son, don’t come back, don’t even look back, there’s nothing here for you- portering knocked off lumps of mica, lichen rubs to make them look like granite, that’s no job for a young dwarf- you know how to swing an axe, the rest you’ll pick up. Adventuring son, that’s the future.”
“But I…”
“Son. Son, please listen to me- I know what I’m saying, stay here and you’ll end up like me, waiting centuries for someone to tell you that you’re dead already, that nothing is real anymore, that all your dreams and hopes have turned to chippings. Don’t waste your life like I have, too long going nowhere, and back-breaking work- I’d rather have died on an Orc’s axe… well not an Orc, a Giant- one of them big ones with the bald heads, throw stones around…”
“Stone Giants”
“Yeah them, with the bald heads, I’d rather have died battling a Stone Giant, a chieftain mind, than… this.”
“I don’t want to though- I’m scared dad. Really scared.”

His father stares at him, puffs contentedly on his pipe a while longer.

“Good, you’re supposed to be, scared is Moradin’s way of letting you know you’re alive- scared is good, just remember though… you’re a dwarf, don’t act scared, of anything, ever- and don’t say anything unless its worth saying- strong and silent, like the stone.”

His father reaches out, for a second Twiglet thinks, but his dad’s hand passes on, over his shoulder and smoothes the stone wall behind him.

“Go now.”
“Dad I…”
“Taciturn, grumpy even, that’s the dwarven way. Don’t let them see you’re frightened, not ever- even when it’s terrifying- Orcs, Goblins, Bugbears, Trolls, Giants- scares the iron pyrite out of me just thinking about it.”

His dad coughs, remembers what he’s saying, and to who, he bites his tongue.

“You know what I mean?”

Twiglet nods.

“Now your mother, your mother was a strong woman, she wasn’t scared of anything.”

His dad rises, stumbles the two yards to the cold stone wall that’s marked forever with his filthy hand prints, over the years the indentations have taken the shape, exactly, of his father’s hands. The old dwarf’s body shakes and strains as he braces and begins to push against the unmoving, unfeeling stone.

Nothing happens, just as it had been doing for decades.

The old dwarf trembles, tears come unbidden.

Twiglet turns away quickly, goes to leave.

His dad turns swiftly to face him.

“And don’t, whatever you do, don’t tell them you’re a girl.”

Twiglet nods once, grimaces, and heads off.

Out of the mine, out of the clan, out of the cave, out of the dark.

He passes two guards on the way- they watch him for a while, they know where he’s going, there’s only one thing in the direction Twiglet’s travelling- the surface.

The younger of the two dwarves makes the sign of the Hammer and shivers, the other chews tobacco and looks away.
“You know where he’s goin’.”
“Moradin help him.”
“It’s too late for that lad.”
“Who was it- I didn’t see properly?”
“I think his name’s Twiglet… funny looking little… a nobody really.”
“He live in that hole in the ground on Feldspar Way?”
“He did.”
“With his dad?”
“His dad died thirty years ago, shale slide- big one- didn’t stand a chance.”

The younger dwarf nods and goes back to leaning on his axe.
“And put some bloody pants on before the Sergeant comes round again.” The older dwarven guard spits and shakes his head.

Twiglet strides on into the light, it’s blinding.


Last edited by goonalan on Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:39 am, edited 21 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:06 pm 
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(thatwassoeffingsweet!)

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Castle Whiterock- The Backstory.
Turn 2.


Grungarak’s story.

It’s a cold morning.

Frost on the grass, a low mist hugs the ground, rolls forward to surround the bed roll, two paces away a fire smoulders, the remains of a rough camp illuminated in dawns first light.

The bed roll stirs.

PARP.

And farts.

More movement.

Eventually the creature emerges, grinning, taking in lungfuls of the crisp morning air, it exhales smoky white clouds, snorts and stretches, huge fangs clacking together in its oversized jaw.

It’s an Orc.

Nearly- the ears are strange, human like, not the large flapping angular ears of an Orc, clearly the creature is of mixed heritage.

A Half-Orc, the bastard breed- outcasts by birth, wastrels and bandits by trade, doomed to short violent lives.

The Half-Orc grins again.

PARP

Farts some more and settles to stoking the fire, dry wood is added, then moss for kindling, sparks fly and very soon the fire burns brightly.

Less than five minutes later the low mist is being chased away by the smell and smoke of burning sausages.

Burning because the Half-Orc is no longer in sight, somewhere not to far away a horse whinnies.

The flop of feet landing on the hard packed dirt, the rider has dismounted.

A man enters the clearing, a tall man, armed and armoured, cloaked against the cold- he’s very big, and very tall, a huge man in fact.

The man looks around, expert eyes take in his surroundings, the rough camp, the abandoned bed roll, and finally the burning sausages- instincts take over, he’s lightning fast.

At the fire in an instant, rescuing the cindered sausages, he juggles the burnt bangers in his hands- blowing hard trying to cool them down.

“Put the sausages down.” The voice is half growl, half whisper- and all menace.

The hulk of a man turns slowly; he’s facing the Half-Orc, who has a bow in hand, arrow notched, ready to fly, and pointing right at him, the space between his shoulder blades itches.

The huge man drops the sausages.

FWUNG

An arrow flies.

Lances into one of the tumbling bangers and thuds into a tree about thirty feet beyond, the sausage still impaled upon it.

“I meant back in the pan.” The Half-Orc growls again, genuinely unhappy.

“They were burning.”
“Then take the pan off the fire.”
“Oh.”

The big man shrugs.

“Can I…”
“No.” The Half-Orc is quick to counter.

Silence stretches, the Half-Orc has another arrow notched ready to fly, the huge man doesn’t remember seeing him do that.

“Where are they?” The Half-Orc growls.
“Cillamar- WhiteRock, the castle, somewhere… They went into the depths, they’ve been there… years.” The huge man gulps.

The Half-Orc walks, scratch that, strides forward- towards the huge man who tenses- ready to shift his weight, draw his blade, it doesn’t happen- nothing happens the Half-Orc walks straight past him, following the line of his arrow.

Up close the huge man can see, and feel, just how big the Half-Orc is, a head bigger than he is- nearly seven feet tall but whip thin, the Half-Orc’s face a patchwork of scars.

It doesn’t even acknowledge him, he turns to stare, the Half-Orc’s back is all he can see- now’s the time he thinks, his palms feel greasy, and then just as swiftly he decides that now is not the time- the Half-Orc’s a coiled spring, he can tell. The creature’s not in the least bit frightened of him, which is nearly all of the huge man’s advantage gone.

The Half-Orc reaches his errant sausage, shoulders his bow, retrieves his spent arrow and claims his breakfast, munches, then turns back to the huge man.

“You can go now.” The Half-Orc growls and licks a finger clean.
“My money…” The huge man holds the thought, forget the pay, chalk it up to experience, he saunters off, nearly tripping- trying to get away and yet affect nonchalance, in truth his cover is blown, and he knows it.

“Your fee is on your horse, saddlebag, right-side.” The Half-Orc nods.
“But how did you…”

The Half-Orc’s stare cuts right through him, head down he breaks into a trot- and is quickly gone from sight.

Soon after sounds come back of a horse departing at speed.

Grungarak, the Half-Orc, kicks around in the ashes of the fire, spots something, bends low and scrabbles, comes up with the dropped, now almost charcoal, sausage.

He sniffs it warily, blows ash and cinders from the offending banger.

“Whiterock then.” He whispers.

And bites.

CRUNCH

“Me fecking toof.”

Grungarak holds his jaw tight shut, hops a little from foot-to-foot, eventually flings the offending sausage into the undergrowth.

The sun rises, crests a nearby hill and pours over the scene, the Half-Orc attempts feebly to shield his eyes as he continues to caper and dance.

A sudden flash of gold winks and signals, a locket on a chain around the Half-Orc’s neck, it twists and dances in the air as Grungarak continues to pogo and not-so-silently curse.

“’kin toof ya buggeroid.”


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:18 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Castle Whiterock- The Backstory.
Turn 3.

Gina’s story.


The seminary of Garl Glittergold, Little Fell Delvings, 102 Scarp Road, and dull, dull, dull.

Again.

“May Glittergold forgive me for what I am about to do.”

The young Gnome checks her bundle again, all that she owns- it doesn’t amount to much, still at least it’s not very heavy. She stuffs the bundle in her pack; it fits easily, hikes the straps up and secures her burden.

Looks around- one last time.

Cold, austere- not very cheery she thinks, she’ll be glad to escape this place, cold comforts, nothing to hold her here- except...

She quickly removes the pack, just as quickly removes the bundle from it and rips, almost, into it- fishes about furiously looking for… got it.

Her hands clasp the odd shaped stone, cold to the touch- it was her Uncle’s, he gave it to her, he said… no, not now, she must leave.

Less than a minute later and she’s almost out the place, nearly free, when…

“Gina?”

She turns.

Father Titanium “Hammer of the God’s” Boyle, a big Gnome, just over three feet tall, once, now stooped and bent- ancient.

“Gina?” The old Gnome barks again.
“I’m going.” Her voice sounds small, distant- detached, worst of all, uncertain.
“Gina.” Boyle’s voice is soothing, calm, and above all else certain.
“I have to… I can’t stay here, not one more day, and I can’t see him, never- I can’t, I just… can’t- I can’t go back. I have to find out.”

The ancient Gnome scuttles over to a pillar, to lean on, he’s out of breath by the time he gets there, he wheezes and gulps in air.

The silence thickens.

Gina doesn’t move.

“You sound like…” The ancient Gnome’s voice trails off; his eyes flash the missing words.
“I don’t care.” Gina’s certain of something at last.
“You do… Oh you do care, that’s the problem isn’t it?” Boyle grins; he has too few teeth to make a smile.

“Father, I have to go, I can’t stay here… this, I have to see if it’s true, what he says. I have to Father.”

Eventually the ancient Gnome nods.

Gina takes it as a signal, she moves away- slowly.

She doesn’t get far.

She turns.

Boyle is still stood there watching her leave.

“Tell him…” She starts and then discovers she has nowhere to go.
“I’ll tell him.” Boyle states, and nods again for good measure.

Father Titanium “Hammer of the God’s” Boyle looks down at his broken body, remembers- just for a second who he used to be, and straightens, it hurts- he settles back into his broken crouch.

He looks up.

Gina’s gone.

Two hours later the ancient Gnome stands before a mighty stone door, it has a small barred window, and a hatch- also made of stone. It’s a cell door, a very imposing cell door.

Boyle straightens again, tendons pop and bones creak, till his face is pressed close against the barred window, the ancient priest is clearly in excruciating pain- the effort, he catches his breath, gulps, and whispers.

“She’s gone.”

Boyle continues to strain, his face smudged against the bars, turns till his ear rubs hard against the cold metal- he waits for the reply.

“Gud-shhh.”

The word slithers out of who knows what, certainly not a mouth.

Father Boyle sinks back into his crouch, all his energy spent.

Above him a hand, of sorts, half-rubbery tentacle- complete with suckered cups, flops into the space between the bars, it cannot reach- no more than six inches above the ancient Gnome’s hairless head.

It squirms and coils, tries to stretch, to grasp… to crush the life out of the ancient Gnome, if it only it could reach.

“She’s gone to Whiterock.” Boyle mumbles and scuttles away, eager to escape.

The half-hand, half-tentacle stiffens.

Slowly retracts, back up to the bars, where it curls and grips, just for a second, forlorn, and then flops back into the lightless chamber beyond.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:39 am 
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Location: Grimbo
Castle Whiterock- The Backstory.
Turn 4.

Ronald’s (& Reggie’s) story.


The Cillamar Academy for Waifs and Strays.

Fifteen years ago…

Two badly dressed boys stand either side of an open doorway, the one on the left is tall and rangy, the one on the right is much, much shorter- squat with a layer of puppy-fat. They must be six or seven years old.

Through the open doorway can be seen a huddle of other boys, jostling and fighting around a series of trestle tables.

One of them detaches from the crowd, carries a steaming bowl with him, balancing it carefully- grinning, towards the open doorway.

The squat boy peeks around the doorframe.

“This one.”
“Hmm, ‘kay.”

The rangy boy nods.

It all happens so quickly, here goes-

The bowl carrying child passes through the doorway.

“I’ll take that.” The squat boy takes the bowl.

SLUG

The rangy boy punches the bowl-less child in the face, a tooth flies out and the child crumples- begins to bawl and scream.

His ambushers flop to the floor behind their screaming victim and using their fingers scoop the hot porridge out of the bowl, stuffing their laden digits in their greedy mouths.

The pair blow on their burning fingers between scoops.

“BINGO.”

Matron, a very large woman, appears in the doorway, rolls up her sleeves and levers the Bingo twins to their feet- by their reddening ears.

The squat boy, still has the bowl in hand, he continues to feed- gulping down what’s left of the meal.

The rangy boy fishes in Matron’s pocket, unseen, quickly hides away a crumpled packet of “Fizzbang’s Red Wallops”, a hard rock Dwarvern candy- one piece will last you a weekend, also useful as doorstops.

“You little bastards.” Matron calmly states, and then crashes the Bingo twins heads together.

CLONK

And again.

CLONK

And again.

CLONK.

Neither of the boys make a sound- stoic, they take their punishment.


The Cillamar Special School for Vagabonds and Ne’er-do-wells.

Ten years ago...

The rangy boy is now a young man, he’s taller, thinner, and sports a bum-fluff moustache- he’s still badly dressed, mostly rags.

The squat boy is also now a young man, he’s put on weight, but not much in the way of height, decidedly Dwarven in shape and size, he too sports the beginnings of a crooked moustache.

The pair stand either side of a dilapidated wooden gate, hidden behind a low hedgerow- crouched, waiting.

They’re in the gardens of the School, which are overgrown- ideal.

Someone’s coming.

A young man, well-dressed, or at least his ragged clothes are pressed and clean. He’s carrying a bag of what looks to be everything he owns.

The young man turns, waves at someone unseen.

“I’ll make you proud, just you see.” The young man calls back, then continues on, towards the gate, wiping his face with his sleeve.

The squat young man peeks around the hedge.

“This one.”
“Hmm, ‘kay.”

The rangy young man nods.

It all happens so quickly, here goes-

The bag carrying young man passes through the gate.

“I’ll take that.” The squat young man takes the bag.

SLUG

The rangy young man punches the bag-less young man in the face, a tooth flies out and the adolescent crumples- begins to bawl and scream.

His ambushers flop to the floor behind their screaming victim rip and tear at the bag, till its contents spill out, they grasp and stuff away all that they can hold.

The pair scrabble in the dirt.

“BINGO.”

Beadle, a large man, appears at the gate, rolls up his sleeves and levers the Bingo twins to their feet- by their reddening ears.

The squat young man continues to stuff away a battered and much fingered picture in a silver frame.

The rangy young man fishes in Beadle’s pocket, unseen, quickly hides away a ragged leather coin pouch.

“You little bastards.” Beadle calmly states, and then crashes the Bingo twins heads together.

CLONK

And again.

CLONK

And again.

CLONK.

Neither of the twins make a sound- stoic, they take their punishment.


The Cillamar Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Five years ago...

The rangy young man has now come of age, he’s taller again, and even thinner, the bum-fluff moustache has filled out a little, although still a ragged mess- he’s still badly dressed, mostly rags.

The squat young man has also come of age, he’s put on weight again, but very little in the way of height, you’d think he was a Dwarf, his crooked moustache is still crooked and tufty.

The pair stand either side of the exit of a dark alley, hidden behind crumbling blackened walls, waiting.

They’re in the exercise yard; it’s a broken shadowy arena- ideal.

Someone’s coming.

A tattooed lithe man dressed in ragged prison uniform strides down the alley. He’s carrying a heavy crate, and grinning, there’s the clank of bottles coming from inside the crate.

The tattooed man turns, nods and gestures to someone unseen.

“Same time next week.” The tattooed man half-calls, half-whispers back, and continues on, towards the exit of the alley, struggling to lug his load.

The squat man peeks around the edge of the wall.

“This one.”
“Hmm, ‘kay.”

The rangy man nods.

It all happens so quickly, here goes-

The crate carrying tattooed man exits the alley.

“I’ll take that.” The squat man takes the crate.

SLUG

The rangy man punches the crate-less tattooed man in the face.

The tattooed man just stands there, then turns to face the rangy man.

WHUMP

The squat man kicks the tattooed man in the balls.

OOF

All the air goes out of him.

SLUG

The rangy man connects again, a tooth flies out and the tattooed man crumples- begins to bawl and scream.

His ambushers flop to the floor behind their screaming victim wrench and tear at the slats of the crate, till they’re through and at the moonshine, they grasp and stuff away all the bottles they can carry.

The squat man, bites and pulls out the cork of one of the bottle, swiftly upends it.

GLUG-GLUG-GLUG

“BINGO.”

Jailer, a very large man, appears in the alley exit, rolls up his sleeves and levers the Bingo twins to their feet- by their reddening ears.

The squat man continues to glug down the contents of the uncorked bottle.

The rangy young man fishes in Jailer’s pocket, unseen, quickly hides away an ancient looking key.

“You little bastards.” Jailer calmly states, and then crashes the Bingo twins heads together.

CLONK

And again.

CLONK

And again.

Blood pours.

CLONK.

Neither of the twins make a sound- stoic, they take their punishment.


Cillamar, outside the Slumbering Drake Inn.

Six minutes ago...

It’s dark down the alley.

Shadowy even.

Ideal.

The trained eye would be able to pick out a myriad details, loose paving stones curled at the edges with crumbling mortar, pools of oily water reflecting the toe nail of the moon’s chill light, the remains of a Hessian sack- ripped and torn, cast aside.

And two spots of denser shadow.

The half-blind, all blind-drunk, merchant staggers on into the darkness.

“This one.”
“Hmm, ‘kay.”

It all happens so quickly, here goes-

The fat drunk merchant staggers forward.

He’s suddenly not alone.

The man at his side is squat- thick set, very thick set, almost Dwarven in his build- his moustache is bushy and full, he’s armed and armoured.

The second man is tall, almost too tall, he must have to stoop to pass through doorways, and thin, almost unhealthily so. His moustache is a little lank but just as thick and fulsome. He’s also heavily armed and armoured.

“Give kindly.” The squat man spits out.
“Money.” The rangy man simply states and rattles the merchant, coins clank in his fat purse.

“For the orphans… and that.” The squat man states.
“Yeah. Money.” The rangy man continues to shake the merchant, his free hand searching out his equally fat purse.

“BINGO.”

Sergeant Gandle, a very, very large man hoves into view, rolls up his sleeves and clasps his arms around the shoulders of the Bingo twins- encompassing the Merchant also.

The squat man grins up at the Sergeant, nods.

The rangy young man fishes in the merchant’s purse- grabbing out handfuls of coins.

“You little bastards.” The Sergeant calmly states, and hugs the Bingo twins to him.

“Sergeant.” The squat man grins.
“Sarge.” The rangy man grins.

“Collecting?” The sergeant nods towards the fat drunk merchant, now sprawled in the gutter.

“S’right.” The squat man states.
The rangy man nods his reply.

“Good lads. Good lads.” Sergeant Gandle hugs the pair again- grins all round.

“Right then- good work. Well then… about your business.”

Sergeant Gandle shuffles off, back on his patrol, still chuckling to himself.

“G’night Reggie.”
“Night Sergeant.” The squat man states.
“ G’night Ronnie.”
“Nigh’ Sarge.” The rangy man states.

The pair move out of the shadows leaving the Merchant clutching the cold cobbled stone, a little light in the purse.

They head across the street, deserted at this time of night, to the Inn- The Slumbering Drake, and enter.

The Inn is jumping- and packed, a mixture of locals and visitors from far flung places.

The noise dies down- gradually.

The Bingo twins wait for silence.

“I am Reginald Bingo, Priest of Kord.” The squat man sternly qualifies.
“Ronald Bingo, Paladin of Kord.” The rangy man nods.
“Get your money out sinners.” The squat man orders.
“The temple is collecting.” The rangy man finishes.

To groans.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:35 am 
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Location: Grimbo
And so with the characters established let’s head on into the action.

Castle Whiterock- Drunk in the Drake
Turn 5.

Cillamar, The Inn of the Slumbering Drake.


Lady Chauntessa, the owner of the Drake is wearing a red dress, it must have been very expensive, there’s very little of it and what there is qualifies as sheer.

“Ronnie, Reggie. Good to see you, grab a drink at the bar, I’m sure we can find something for the orphans, can’t we folks?”

The patrons of the bar grumble and look out their smallest coins, soon a steady stream of folk head for the bar to hand over coppers and the odd silver.

Ronnie and Reggie stand close by sipping small ales and pocketing the change as it arrives.

“Bless ya.” Reggie growls and grins.
“Strength before Honour.” Ronnie scowls.

More or less everyone has contributed, even those new to the area are chivvied into emptying out their pockets by the locals- while it can be entertaining, when the twins get fresh with non-payers, there’s always the chance the violence will spread.

Nobody likes an angry Paladin or Priest of Kord, keen to demonstrate the strength of their arm.

Ronnie once punched Cookie, the toothless Half-Ogre bouncer, when he failed to donate a portion of his Cream Scone- Cookie’s dentures, or lack of, a result of his love for all things cream-carrying or jam-laden.

The Paladin received a broken jaw and nose for his endeavours but remained silent throughout the beating, he also got a slice of the scone, although it took him thirty minutes to eat it.

“I’m not fecking givin’ you no muney.” It’s Arien the drunk, fairly predictable.
“Leave it, here.” Lady Chauntessa tries to diffuse the situation quickly, slips a gold coin onto the bar, Arien’s contribution and more.
“Fecka’s.” Arien sweeps the coin from the bar.

Silence returns to the bar.

“I tried Arien, I tried.” Lady Chauntessa steps away from the bar.

Ronnie rounds on the drunk, “Money.”
Arien tries to push the Paladin in the chest, Ronnie stands firm, the result being Arien instead pushes himself backwards into a gaggle of drinkers, glasses fall- confusion reigns for a moment.

Cookie lurches out of his huge chair by the door to the Inn, moves towards the impending fracas.

A young male Dwarf spins away from the bar, it has taken nearly an hour for Twiglet to pluck up the courage to order an ale, his first ever, and now most of his first pint has been spilt down his front.

“You…” Twiglet stares cross-eyed at the fallen Arien.
“Feckin’ stumpy.” Arien mumbles up at Twiglet.
“What’s your problem?” A smiling Gnome, Gina, curls her arm around her mug and attempts to lever the drunk upright, offers a helping hand at least.
Arien slaps the proffered hand aside.
“None of you know.”

The drunk totters to his feet.

Cookie stops en route, glances at Lady Chauntessa who shakes her head, the Half-Ogre returns to his seat.

The noise returns as Arien finds his way back to the bar.

Everything returns to normal.

For just a little while.

“NONE OF YOU KNOW. NONE OF YOU. None of you… None.” Arien screams and smashes his tankard against the bar, it shatters.

The drunk slumps forward and cries, ragged sobs.

Gina is the first on the scene.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Whiterock, bastards… Bastards.” Arien staggers, clutches at the bar, almost slips over but at the last moment is held upright by a blonde haired young man, well dressed, clean cut.

Arien blinks in and out of consciousness, crying all the while.

Gunner, the young man, nods at Gina, and then Twiglet- “Help me to get him to a booth.”

The Gnome and the Dwarf do the best they can to drag Arien over to a seat in an empty booth. There the drunk is made comfortable.

“None of you know- Whiterock, bastards…” Arien mumbles.

“Gunner, Cillamar watch, off-duty” The clean cut young man offers his hand and smiles.
“Gina. Who’s he?” Gina shakes Gunner’s hand.
“Arien, he’s a drunk, don’t believe everything he tells you- bit of a story-teller, know what I mean.” Gina grins back.
“Twiglet- nice to meet you. What’s he on about- Whiterock?” Twiglet shakes Gunner’s hand.
“Oh. One of his stories.” Gunner replies.
“He’s a drunk, a filthy coward, a waste of space.” Ronnie arrives on the scene.
“Leave him be Ronnie.” Gunner reaches out to touch the Paladin, calm him, thinks better of it. The Paladin growls at the assembled crowd.
“I ain’t no coward, no coward- slavers there, Whiterock.” Arien mumbles.
“What did he say?” Gina asks.
“Slavers, at Whiterock.” Twiglet states, “What’s Whiterock?”
“A ruin.” Everyone turns to stare, unseen and unheard in his approach a huge Half-Orc stands behind the assembled crowd watching, and listening, to the proceedings, Grungarak ignores the stares, concentrates on Arien- who continues to mumble to himself.
“I don’t know you?” Ronnie shifts his gaze.
The Half-Orc grunts, doesn’t look away from Arien.
“Have you contributed, the Church of Kord demands you make an offering?” The Paladin growls and holds out his hand.
It has no effect.
“I said…” The Paladin shoves his way to the Half-Orc.
“I heard.” The unblinking Grungarak continues to stare at Arien.
“SLAVERS- IRON MANACLE.” Who suffers some sort of seizure, ripping and tearing at his shirt.
Gunner is the first to react, trying to calm the drunk, he’s too late- Arien’s shirt is ripped open and on his back…

Scars- welts and tears, signs of the lash, used to excess.

Covering a huge tattoo of a pair of tightly manacled hands, fists clenched.

“Iron Manacle- Whiterock.” Arien half-cries, half-whispers and is back to sobbing and bawling, clearly lost in visions of pain, he thrashes and writhes trying to ward invisible blows.

Gina, Gunner and Twiglet do the best they can to hold him down, prevent the drunk from hurting himself.

The fit passes, and Arien is soon slumped over the table, snoring.

“Well…” Gina begins.
“I told you, don’t listen to him.” Gunner states.
“What’s at Whiterock?” Twiglet asks again.
“Monks.” Gunner quickly replies.
“What?” Gina wonders.
“Order of the Dawning, or Morning, Sun- something like that. Religious men, they’re looking for relics, there used to be a monastery there- or so they say. Nothing suspicious- keep themselves to themselves, pay their way. No trouble…” Gunner runs out of steam.
“Perhaps we should take a look- see if there’s anything we can do for them?” Gina states.
“Who’s this we?” Ronnie asks.
“I will travel with you.” Twiglet squeaks.
Gina nods and shakes the Dwarf’s hand.
“Gina, Priestess of Garl Glittergold, Holy Father and Protector of the Gnomes.” Gina states and smiles.
“Twiglet, er… Dwarven Warrior, in training.” Twiglet offers nervously.
“I will lead you, I know the way.”
The two demi-humans turn to stare at the Half-Orc, weigh up his words, Gina is unsure.
“Thanks. I mean… thank you.” Whereas Twiglet needs all the help he can get.

Grungarak turns to leave.

“We start early when the sun rises, its six hours to Castle Whiterock, bring food for three days, all you need- there’s no going back.”

“Okay.” Twiglet squeaks again.
“You’re on a wild goose chase, there’s nothing there.” Gunner states plainly.
“We’ll see.” Gina is unsure, about many things, including the Half-Orc.

Ronnie suddenly remembers that the Half-Orc hasn’t contributed, he’s mid-turn when Twiglet grabs him, which gets his attention. The Paladin spins around, fist already clenched, ready to lash out- he hesitates, Twiglet smiles up at the ferocious Paladin.

“Will you come with us?”
“Please?” Gina adds her grin to the cause.

Ronnie looks back to the bar, then at the back of the receding Half-Orc heading straight for the door of the Inn, and then over to his brother, Reggie, Priest of Kord.

Reggie meets his gaze, grins- a cruel smile.

“The Strength of Kord will lead the way.” Ronnie repeats, not turning, and strides towards the bar.

“Thank you sir.” Twiglet calls after him.
“What’s your name?” Gina asks.

The Paladin turns, “I am Sir Ronald Bingo of Cillamar.” He looks stern, then suddenly softens.

“You can call me Ronnie.”

Twiglet and Gina smile, reassured.

Gunner is not so sure, the threesome watch the Paladin head back to his brother, when he’s far enough away Gunner whispers, “Bingo twins.”
“Who?” Gina turns to stare.
“Bingo twins- Ronnie”, Gunner nods towards the Paladin, “and Reggie”, then nods at the Paladins drinking companion, “the Bingo twins- maniacs, fanatics. They’re mad, both of them- it’s been nice knowing you.” Gunner half-grimaces, half-smiles, nods once and then strides away.

Twiglet grins at Gina.

Gina doesn’t look so sure.

“It’s exciting isn’t it?” Twiglet declares.
“Mmm.” Gina reserves judgement.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:07 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Whiterock’s a grinder, or so it seems, having read some of the other campaign updates on the Goodman Games Forums. So we’ve got-

Gina Female Gnome Priest of Garl Glittergold.
Twiglet (Fe)Male Dwarf Fighter
Grungarak Male Half-Orc Ranger
Ronnie Bingo Male Human Paladin of Kord

The last character is one of the Pre-Gens available in the module, the player turned up without a character, Ronnie may get replaced a little way into the piece, or maybe he’ll end up dead, maybe they all will.

So three warrior types and a cleric-, no rogue, no magic-user. Not my idea of a balanced party but what do I know, I’ve only been playing the game for the best part of a quarter of a century.

Castle Whiterock- The Road to Ruin.
Turn 6.

The Road to Castle Whiterock


It’s early the next morning, very early- and they’re on the road, and already not talking.

Except for Twiglet.

“I’m very nervous.” Twiglet nudges Gina who’s watching the Half-Orc Grungarak out front, leading the way.

The track through the trees to Castle Whiterock is mostly overgrown, although the path is obvious, dotted along the way are dozens of dark stone heads, ancient moss covered statues- long-faced idols scarred by time and nature.

Twiglet and Gina were at first interested in the strange stone monoliths, however after passing the thirty-first of them then they deserve nothing more than a cursory glance, they’re markers- to commemorate the road that once lead to Castle Whiterock, now nothing more than an overgrown trail.

Ronnie, the Paladin, strays a little way back- where he can see them all, he keeps a close watch, and his hand on his sword.

Gina looks at Twiglet, grins a little, “don’t be, it’ll be okay.” Gina lies.
“I’ve never done this before, adventuring- I used to work at Pog’s Granitarium- Rock Bottom Prices, do you know it?” Twiglet continues, with an eager smile.
Gina shakes her head.
“We’re famous for our Mica, lovely stuff, the sheen… Anyway, what do you think we’ll find ahead- at the Castle.”
“Monks.” Gina states and shrugs.
“I’ve never seen a Monk- what’re they like. Are they very hairy?”
Gina opens her mouth once or twice, but continues walking- “Hairy?”
“Mmm. Why are they looking for Relics, I thought they liked curly-fruit, I mean bananas?”
“Monkeys.” Gina smacks the flat of her hand against her forehead.
“Mmm?”
“That’s monkeys, these are Monks.”
“Oh. What are Monks like?”
“They’re religious, a bit faraway like, and they dress bad and wear flip-flops.”
“Flip-flops?” It’s Twiglets turn to be confused.
“Like sandals.” Gina explains.
“Oh. Clip-clops, that’s what we call them, or Rock-slippers, we make them with layers of Sandstone and Pumice, they’re excellent for veruccas, actually I’m quite interested in podiatry- you know, as a hobby.”
Gina nods, no longer interested, the Half-Orc has suddenly stopped, he’s staring at the tree-line, and unlimbering his great axe, a monstrously ugly looking weapon.

“What’s…” Gina starts.
“This is my first time above ground”, Twiglet babbles on, “is the light always left on for so long?” Twiglet indicates the sun.
“Twiglet, I think…”

“AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH.”

And from the tree-line they come, burly men, humans, badly dressed and wild looking, two from each side, and screaming.

They seem to be very mad about something, and have their weapons drawn.

The first pair double-team Grungarak, the first swings his club low, the Half-Orc dances back and creates and opening, brings his great axe down in an overhand stroke, the bandits arm is severed just below the shoulder, the man crashes to the floor- dead. Grungarak pivots and checks the other man’s blow- the guy has wild eyes, he looks out of it, however the sight of his comrade’s severed arm seems to be having some effect, the bandit gibbers and swings- and is blocked again.

Meanwhile.

Gina grabs Twiglet by the arm, trying to drag the Dwarf away from harm, the screaming humans, one with a shortsword the other with a spiked club, close the distance fast.
“Twiglet.” The Gnome screams, but it’s too late.

Twiglet rushes forward, somehow the Dwarf seems to have readied his great axe, Gina doesn’t remember seeing him unlimber the huge weapon.

CHUNK

The first bandit curtails his charge, his right leg now nothing more than a mess of blood, ripped flesh and shattered bone, he stumbles forward and crunches into the hard earth- dead.

“Wow. Mmm. Sorry- I’m…”

The other pulls up short, although still within striking distance, blinks once, then twice- turns tail and runs screaming into the dense woods.

“Sorry, I’m new…” Twiglet babbles.

Gina continues backing away, in a rush, the last of the bandits spies the Gnome, easier prey, he disengages from Grungarak who is almost sent sprawling when he over-extends himself with a wild swing, and screaming heads straight for the Gnome, club raised high.

CRUNCH

The Gnome finds the Paladin, Ronnie, who’s en route to save her; alas she only gets in the way, tripping the servant of Kord as he approaches at speed. The pair end up in a heap on the rough track, the last bandit, still wild-eyed, about to smash one of them.

THUNK

That is until Grungarak’s axe crashes into the man’s back- he collapses on top of the Paladin and the Gnome, dead.

The Half-Orc nods at Gina, and grins at Ronnie- raises an eyebrow, the Paladin, still sprawled on the floor, growls.

Suddenly the air is full of the sound of buzzing, Grungarak turns to stare, just in time to see Twiglet engulfed in a frenzied swarm of stinging hornets, which appear from nowhere, Twiglet flails and staggers trying to escape the storm, already stung all over.

“Aaaaarghelpmeeeeeeee.” The Dwarf staggers and swats as he stumbles forward, the hornets in hot pursuit.

Gina shuffles backwards in a rush, she’s up on her feet and scrambling away, “Help him”, she screams.

Ronnie is also on his feet, but alas lost for what to do next, “Kord…” he mumbles.

FWWWWWST

A smokestick flares and stepping into the swarm is Grungarak, the Half-Orc grabs hold of the stumbling Twiglet, hoists the Dwarf over his shoulder and retreats at speed, the dense burning fog keeping most of the hornets at bay.

Grungarak shambles away from the now dispersing swarm, constantly looking back, beyond the swarm, scanning the tree-line.

“Heal… him.” The Half-Orc shrugs the Dwarf off his shoulder and onto the ground. Twiglet stirs, “Exciting”, he mumbles and is sick down his armour. Gina’s quickly on the scene.

Ronnie stands tall, stares at the back of Grungarak’s head a while and then grimaces.

The Half-Orc’s off again, striding forward with purpose.

“Where you going?” Gina looks up.
“Wait there.” Gungarak orders.

Ronnie follows behind the Half-Orc, draws his longsword en route. Grungarak heads into the woods on the right hand side of the track- disappears from view.

The Paladin of Kord stares hard at the spot, a branch moves. He heads in.

Less than a minute later he finds the creature, bent down examining the ground.

“What is it?” The Paladin snarls.
Grungarak looks up, grins, “There was someone here.”
The Half-Orc stands and sniffs the air, looks behind him.
“They went that way.”
“Cillamar?”
Grungarak shrugs.
“Who was it?” Ronnie enquires.
“Where’s your brother?”
The Paladin screws his face up, “You…”
Both go for their weapons.

“Where are you?” Gina calls out.

They freeze.

“Are you there- Ronnie? Mister Half-Orc? Are you there?”

The two continue to stand statue.

“Are you there?” Gina sounds desperate, scared.

“Here.” Grungarak plainly states and strides towards the sound of the Gnome’s voice.

Ronnie waits a moment then bends to look at the ground, he can’t see anything there, he looks in the direction that the Half-Orc indicated, there’s nothing to see there either. The Paladin stands, sniffs the air- nothing.

“Kord give me strength.” Ronnie makes his way out of the woods.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:26 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Location: Grimbo
Castle Whiterock- Therg’s nog Gog bug Korg.
Turn 7.

Outside Castle Whiterock.


Five hours later, Twiglet’s back on his feet, although much subdued, for now, they’re on the outskirts of Castle Whiterock, which seems to be a solid wall of rock- probably a hundred feet height, perched atop it a single spire.

“There’s a cave there”, Gungarak points to the base of the cliff, to the east of where they stand in the last shadow of the woods.
“You seem to know a lot about this place?” Gina states.
Ronnie looks round to stare at the Half-Orc, awaiting his answer.
“Here before.”
“When?” The Paladin asks.
“Yesterday.”
“What for?” The Paladin takes over the interrogation.

Grungarak stares back, “So I’d know the way.”

“That’s clever.” Gina attempts to diffuse the moment, “isn’t it Twiglet?”
“Mmm.” The Dwarf nods, then shivers, remembering the fallen bandits shattered leg- there was a lot of blood.

“I don’t like this.” The Paladin of Kord states.

“We watch a while, see if anybody comes out, if not we enter.” Grungarak strides away, finds a tree to lean against and hunkers down.

The Paladin watches him go, “I said I don’t like this. Keep an eye on him.” The last warning is aimed at Gina, who gulps and turns to stare at Half-Orc.

“What are you called?” Twiglet finds her voice, “your name?”
Grungarak looks up at the Dwarf, “Grungarak.”
“Then thank you, Grungarak, thank you.”
The Half-Orc nods, settles down, and shuts his eyes.

“I don’t like it one bit.” Ronnie whispers.

The cave is damp, fat droplets drip, there was once a road here, through the mountain- its surface ruined now- cave mosses, lichen, fungi and pools of water have cracked and crumbled the stone.

“Bad job”, Twiglet mutters kicking at a pile of rubble, “bad job.”
“Shhhh.” The Half-Orc’s voice a hiss.
Ronnie looks stern, Twiglet mouths ‘sorry’, they head further in.

Grungarak, stops- signals for them to approach.

“A wagon.” The Half-Orc points at the echo of a carts wheel caught in a thin layer of horse dung on the stone.
“Monks?” Gina whispers back.
Grungarak shrugs, and moves off.

A minute or so later and the way ahead is curtailed by a huge wooden door, the ancient timbers show the signs of struggle, and latterly of repair.

“I’ll do the talking.” Grungarak whispers back, then counts his audience, one-two, where’s the Gnome?

KNOCK-KNOCK

“There’s a knocker.” Gina whispers back, although the whispering seems superfluous now.

Ronnie blinks hard, did she… Even the Half-Orc looks crestfallen.

SHHHDUD

A wooden hatch slides open in the door, it’s about half-way up, but the doors are huge, possibly twelve feet tall.

“Who’s there?” A weasly voice.
“Kord guides our hand stranger, open this door or I will be forced to smash it down, you are being tithed.” Ronnie has one hand on the symbol of Kord that hangs around his neck, the other on the hilt of his sword.
“Shut up.” Grungarak coarsely whispers.
“Silence Orc. We are here in the name of Kord to collect your taxes, now open this…”
Ronnie suddenly flies hard right- WHUMP- and into the cavern wall, his nose bleeds a little.
Grungarak stands there, fist still clenched, “don’t ever call me- ORC”, he hisses.

The Paladin is lightning fast for a man his size, head down he catches Grungarak in the belly, continues his charge and thumps the Half-Orc into the opposite cavern wall.

OOOF

All the air goes out of the Ranger.

CRONK

Ronnie leans his head right back and then forward, as fast as it can go, and into the now bloody face of Grungarak.

The Half-Orc sees his chance and wraps his meaty arm around the Paladin’s neck, and lifts, for a second Ronnie kicks air, then he topples- face first into the rough stone floor.

“Er…”, Gina looks away from the fracas, back up to the weasly face behind the weasly voice, which is pressed against the hatch in the door. Gina shrugs.
“We’d like to come in.” Twiglet offers.
Gina nods, perhaps that will suffice.

“We are monks of the Dawning Sun Ord…” The weasly man at the window suddenly disappears from sight, there’s a noise from beyond the door, a sudden whispered conversation- someone is insisting on something.
Gina presses herself against the door, listens hard- “a door just opened, someone’s on the move”, she whispers back at Twiglet, who nods.

Behind the Gnome and the Dwarf the fight is resolving itself.

“Dew knot kawl me anOrc? Efer.” Grungarak offers through bloodied lips.
“Org, Hugman, Whagever? Gust keeg agay grom mig.” Ronnie responds, his nose at an odd angle.

The weasly face is back at the door. “We are the monks of the Morning… or Dawning Sun Order, we are seeking artefacts and lore from the ancient monetary, sorry monastery, that dweleth without, sorry, dweleth within in.” The face disappears again, there’s more muffled conversation, only this time it’s louder, “I can’t read this, its all smudged, have you used it… Oh you haven’t, urghhh, urghhh, urghhh- you’re dirty.”
Gina and Twiglet giggle.

Weasly’s back, “Who are you?”
“We’re here to…” Gina begins.
“For…” Twiglet starts up.
“Give us a minute.” Gina turns his back on the weasly man, Twiglet hums a happy tune, smiles now and then at the man, shrugs a bit too.

“Get up, the pair of you. Ought to be ashamed of yourselves.” Gina hisses at the Ranger and Paladin, “we need to get in, any ideas?”

Grungarak looks at Ronnie, Ronnie looks at Grungarak.

It seems they’ve just agreed on something, which is a first.

“Fog KorG.”

The pair run head-long at the door, the weasly man takes it all in, “hey, what you…”

SMASH

The door holds.

The pair stare at each other again.

Weasly appears back at the hatch, “not a chance you pricks…”

They go again, this time Twiglet adds his weight to the cause.

“FOG KOOOOOOOOOOOOORG.”

SMASH

The door crunches and folds in upon itself, or at least the one they charged does, the weasly man dodges back just in time.

The chamber is bare, the remains of an ancient gatehouse, there are murder holes in the ceiling above where the three warriors stand, on the far side of the chamber, some twenty or more feet away stands another pair of wooden doors, a second line of defence, one of them is ajar.

Standing in the chamber are two figures, both wearing dull brown robes, both humans and both wielding quarterstaffs with a degree of skill, one is weasly looking, the other is simple enormous.

“I am Brother Jason.” The weasly man states.
“And I am Brother Lee Love.” The huge man states and slaps one end of his stave into the flat of his hand.
“Prepare to meet your marker.” Brother Jason snarls.
“He means maker, fools.” Brother Lee Love corrects.

And this is it…

The battle for Castle Whiterock has begun, heroes are set to be forged, terror and fear stared down, friends lost and foes bested, it all starts now…

“Therg’s nog Gog bug Korg.” Ronnie mumbles with the help of his broken nose.

“Garl help us.” Gina mumbles.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Castle Whiterock- We’re doing monk stuff here… finding things, and that.
Turn 8.

Castle Whiterock.


“Korg demangs paymeng.” Ronnie continues.

It’s the Half-Orc and the Dwarf that share a look this time, great axes to the fore the pair rush either side of the pontificating Paladin.

WHAM-WHAM

A double whammy, both monks have barely time enough to register what’s going on, Brother Jason is struck a very low blow courtesy of Twiglet’s axe, he expires very quickly, gibbering and twitching his hands still clutching the bloody spot.
“Sorry, I’m… Sorry… I’m new.” Twiglet wipes his hands down his jerkin, smearing invisible blood.

Brother Lee Love lasts but a second longer, Grungarak has more reach, the huge monk makes a home for the Half-Orc’s great axe between his head and his shoulder, I believe the correct anatomical term to be the neck. He sinks to his knees and then topples forward, blood gushes and pools, finds its way to the lowest point in the chamber.

“Perhaps next time you might want to keep one of them alive, ask some questions?” Gina huffs into the chamber.

“Tithge themg.” Ronnie wanders over to the corpses, wading through blood and worse, unconcerned, and rifles the bodies- comes up with gold and two very crude looking, possibly silver-plated, holy symbols.

“Dig yewg hag tog dog thag?” Ronnie stares at Grungarak.
“Yewf.” The Half-Orc finally replies.

Gina shakes her head, “sit down the pair of you, let’s get you cleaned up”, the Gnome unpacks her healing kit and gets to work on the myriad cuts and bruises that dot the combatants- its mostly superficial, in no time at all they’re as good as new, which let’s face it, is not very good at all- particularly the Paladin.

Twiglet meanwhile has shut the only other door out of the ruined gatehouse, and barred it.

They rest a moment as Gina takes a good look at the bodies, and the Paladin’s find. “Rough men, bandits”, she declares.
“Not monks?” Twiglet asks.
“Not unless they’ve got a note from the Abbot to wear armour.” Gina pulls back the robes on both of the figures, chain shirts beneath.
Twiglet feels a little better.
“Now these…” The Gnome looks again at the badly made holy symbols, “these are just plain wrong- bandits, or worse, they’re hiding something that’s for sure.”

“Okay, let’s take a look.” Grungarak heads to the door.
“Remember, one of them got away, they know we’re here.”
The three nod back at the Gnome.

Grungarak opens the door wide, light spills in, an ancient cobblestone courtyard- weeds have taken hold, low piles of rubble evidence here and there of walls and buildings long ago destroyed.

To the east, maybe forty feet away the cobblestones give out to a bank of mud, the murky waters of Whiterock Lake lap and twinkle in the light. To the west, only thirty feet away, is a large wooden building, long and thin, with two sets of open double doors facing into the courtyard, clearly a stables- a horse whinnies within. Directly ahead, are a group of large tents, although they must be some one hundred and fifty feet away. Nothing stirs except a few flies that buzz.

Grungarak shields his eyes from the sun and heads over to the wooden building in a low lope, the others, one-by-one, follow him over.

To the south of the building are the high cliff walls, the same cliffs they saw from the shade of the woods, jutting from the cliffs is a high white stone wall, much marked by time, dotted with the scars of flame and battle. The wall must be some twenty feet high, and thick by the look of it, it curls round and behind the stables, forming a dark alley there.

Grungarak leads them over, except for Twiglet who wanders, lost, towards the cliff- way up he can see the spire they saw earlier, and a rough path up to it, he stores this information for later, then realises where he is and heads back to join the others.

Grungarak is pressed against the worn wood of the stables when he returns, “There’s…”, Twiglet begins, but is shushed into silence by Gina.

“Many horses.” Grungarak levers himself away from the wall, “I go.” The Half-Orc states and is as good as his word.

Grungarak creeps along the edge of the building to the front, then again to the first set of open doors, there are indeed lots of horses within, he enters.

Riding horses, there must be over twenty of them, although they appear to be mis-matched, many are old nags on their last legs, a few young and lean- bred for speed, others working horses more suited to pulling carts and wagons. Grungarak heads along the line, as quiet as he can, whispering kind words as he goes, so as not to startle the beasts, all the way to the end of the building, he suddenly halts.

ZZZZZ

There lying on a pile of hay is another of the bandits, robes hitched up to reveal a layer of mail beneath, Quarterstaff leaning against the far wall and clutching to his chest an almost empty bottle of Cillamar Special Brew. The Half-Orc grins, approaches quickly and quietly and…

THUMP

Breaks the false monks jaw, Brother Beyond is unconscious before he’s awake. Grungarak grabs his rope, cuts a short length and binds and gags the man, who is barely breathing.

Grungarak meets back up with the others at the far end of the alley, a whispered conversation ensues and another crude holy symbol is handed over.
“Good work Or… I mean Ranger.” Ronnie offers and gets a grin back.

Grungarak leads them over to the tents, there are five of them- one for stores, three sleeping quarters- although the beds are mostly unused, and the last contains a number of crude table on which are bits of pottery and odd lumps of stone. They do not linger long here- Grungarak sets the pace, the group double back, keeping low to the stables and then follow the white wall around, there’s a breach in the wall, a sea of loose rubble, it looks… dangerous.

Through the gap, they spy the inner courtyard and the remains of the castle keep, the building has likewise seen better times, the corner they’re facing has fallen away, they can just see within, over another mound of rubble.

Suddenly a robed man pops up from behind the second rubble pile, “we are the monks of the dawning sun…”, he disappears from sight suddenly, and then as suddenly reappears, “morning sun, apparently. Anyway, clear off.”

The man struggles with something at his belt, it seems to be a little pottery jar, whatever it is he fumbles it- CRACK, the false monk engulfed in a yellow cloud- BLEURK, he’s sick down himself. He staggers backwards seemingly disorientated by the jars contents, then, once again, suddenly disappears from sight.

TWONK

A crossbow bolt thumps into the rubble at Ronnie’s feet, as one the group realise they make excellent targets, they drop and find cover, unleash their ranged weapons of death.

TWONG & FWUNG x lots.

A hail of bolts, there seems to be at least three monks firing on them.

They give as good as they get.

The air is thick with crossbow bolts and arrows.

Actually it’s not at all.

A stalemate plays out over the next minute or so, nobody hits anything of import, unless you count broken rubble.

Eventually a voice breaks the missile frenzy.

“Stop bloody firing will you.”

The firing stops.

Thirty seconds pass then another robed man stands up.

“Didn’t you hear him, he said we’re monks, we’re doing monk stuff here… finding things, and that- now piss off.” The monk bobs back down.

Gina, Twiglet, Ronnie and Grungarak huddle for a moment, Twiglet is elected spokes-dwarf.

She stands. “NO.” Then ducks back down again.

The firing starts back up again almost immediately.

And continues for another thirty seconds before Twiglet and Grungarak have had enough; needless to say no one is hurt in the barrage, on either side.

“Aaaarrrghhh.” It’s a collective expression of their frustration.

The pair shuffle hop and scramble up and over the first pile of rubble, Ronnie and Gina provide covering fire, the monks shoot back but the pair make their way to the second pile without mishap.

They begin to scale the second pile, Grungarak is forced to take cover, the chamber beyond is a rough barracks, rows of cots, most look to have been used, a crude fire and cooking pit, tables and chairs scattered, the chamber has no ceiling and so is well lit. There’s a rubble chocked hole in the far wall, an open door heads in the same direction, and in the chamber are four of the false monks. One lies on the floor washing his face vigorously, another two are heading for the door, while the last is keeping the Half-Orc pinned down with his crossbow.

Twiglet has better luck, he scrambles down the far side of the rubble pile and comes up almost face-to-face with the crossbow wielding false monk, who fumbles his weapon and reaches for his staff.

But not bef-FWUMP-ore he’s almost cut in two by Twiglet’s great axe, not to be out done Grungarak quickly follows in and is to the monk washing his face vigorously- CRACK, and the man is unconscious.

Not content the Half-Orc runs on- following the fleeing men through the door and out of the chamber, Twiglet is still stood there, admiring his work- actually not admiring, he’s still not used to the blood; when Ronnie and Gina scramble into the room.

There’s a buzzing noise.

High up on the wall, next to the breach is a hornets nest, the creatures seem to be unconcerned with the events of the day so far, Twiglet prays they remain that way.

“Aaaargh.” The Half-Orc screams.

They race after him.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign- We’re doing monk stuff here…
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:20 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Turn 9. May the Power of Kord flow…ERK!

Castle Whiterock


And into a great hall, actually not so great anymore, what was once a fine white flagstone floor has become pockmarked, smashed and pitted, and smeared with all manner of foul substances. The ceiling is gone, the sun shines through, the walls once adorned by fine tapestries are now the home to crusty rags.

To Grungarak’s left is a door, closed, to his right an open archway, ahead a breech in the massive wall of the cliff, into some dark and shadowy underground chamber. Which is where the fleeing monks are heading, two of them are well ahead of the Half-Orc, scrambling out of sight over yet another treacherous looking rubble pile.

Alas the third Monk is a little slower.

The false monk loses a flip-flop, stumbles and stubs his foot, suddenly pulls up short- hopping, cramp or a tendon problem, Brother Louis’ face a death mask grimace, he has never before felt pain like this.

It’s blessedly short lived.

Grungarak chops his head off.

“Hold mighty Or… I mean Ranger.”

It’s Ronnie’s voice, Grungarak curtails his pursuit, heads back the way he came and into the false monks former barracks.

Brother Trevor, the monk who spilled his stenchpot earlier is swiftly tied to his bed, he’s going nowhere, and Gina will have someone to question.

A brief conflab takes place with Grungarak providing the details, dodging out of the chamber into the hall to point out the pile of rubble ahead, the place that the other two monks fled to, a plan is born, well, when I say plan…

The foursome burst from their hiding space and head hell-for-leather at the rock pile, aiming to scale the thing at speed and then fall upon their enemies.

It doesn’t quite work that way.

Only a third of the way there the closed door on the left is suddenly and violently flung open- and standing in the doorway is a man, a cruel and martial looking man.

Brother Melchior is the real Monk here, his simple black robes hug his taught frame, tattoos colour his arms, he points then motions- towards Grungarak.

“You. Orc.”

He motions again, but the ‘Orc’ bit is enough to get the Ranger’s attention, Brother Melchior backs into the room beyond and takes a fighting stance.

Grungarak however is less cautious, he follows the evil Monk in swinging furiously and is met by a fist, and then a kick, and then the fist again- before he knows it the Half-Orc is bleeding and bruised.

It’s enough to clear his brain.

Brother Melchior backs away again, smiles thinly, and motions once more for the Ranger to attack him.

Grungarak rushes forward again, axe whirling, swiping, swatting- Melchior grins as he spots his opening, about to deliver another flurry of blows, but too late, Grungarak is only feigning anger, the real Monk kicks thin air.

RIPPPPP

And has his foot amputated at the ankle.

Tries to stand, mouth still agape at the damage done.

Slips and totters on his stump.

THWACK

Grungarak buries his greataxe in Melchior’s chest.

HaWWKSPIT

Gobs in the dead man’s eye.

“Human.” Grungarak delivers with as much contempt as he can muster.

Back in the great hall, the three intrepid adventurers scamper up the rubble, which proves a lot harder than they expected, particularly as… as… as… as…

“Feckin’ Garl.”

Gina looks up, and up, there before them, emerging from the shadow climbing up the opposite rubble slope is a Skeleton, this is no ordinary Skeleton, the thing is easily eight, maybe nine feet tall, and big with it, with great clawed hands, the size of a bear in fact.

“Garl’s power.” Gina screams and presents her holy symbol, to no effect, the thing rumbles on, crests the rubble pile and heads on down to meet the three, who are forced to back away, their footing unsecure.

“May the Power of Kord flow…ERK!”

Ronnie gets a little way into his war cry, and then twists his ankle on a loose stone, which fortunately causes him to duck beneath one of the huge Skeletons meatless paws, alas only to rise at the ideal moment for the creature’s other paw to slice into him.

The Paladin of Kord lurches suddenly right, blood fills his eyes, his mouth; the flesh on his face and neck ripped, almost shredded.

He stumbles, crumples, and crunches into the stones of the rubble pile- lies still.

“Grungarak.” Gina screams, and sure enough the Half-Orc comes running.

The Gnome backs further away, leaving Twiglet to face the great beast alone, Gina mumbles prayers presents her holy symbol of Garl Glittergold- the creature comes again, slashing wildly, her turning attempt has no effect.

CRUNCH

And is met in kind, Twiglet’s axe smashes almost all of one arm, bones hang limp and useless, the creatures mouths a silent scream and bears down upon the Dwarf, who’s caught a glancing blow, enough however to send him skittering back as Grungarak joins the line.

Axes swirl, swing and dance, and in seconds the awesome Skeleton is reduced to so much splintered bone.

Grungarak is quick off the mark, he grabs the fallen Paladin, and with hand signals issues orders to retreat, into the chamber he recently fought and killed Brother Melchior, the evil Monk.

Twiglet slams the door shut behind them, then opens it again, a crack, keeps an eye on the great hall. Gina meanwhile is quickly to work, Ronnie’s still breathing, her healing hands knead the spot where the Owlbear Skeletons blow penetrated, bones mend, skin knits- as good as new.

The chamber has a mostly intact ceiling, obviously someone of import lives here. A flickering torch in a sconce provides dim illumination; the north wall is rounded with a door situated in the middle. Pushed against the west wall is a wooden desk and positioned in the northeast corner is a fancy bed with an overstuffed mattress. An iron pot lies discarded along the east wall.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH

Ronnie suddenly sits up, takes a gulp of air, like a diver surfacing after a long time under.

“Thank you…” The Paladin whispers in the general direction of the Gnome.

GRRRRRRRRRRIND

As the wall ahead suddenly pivots and opens.

Stepping out of the previously hidden portal is an armed, and armoured, Orc- the size of which… well, easily a foot taller than Grungarak who’s six feet eight, the creature growls a challenge and attacks.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign- May the Power of Kord flow…ERK!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Turn 10: “Nail ‘em up, that’s what I say.”

Castle Whiterock


But is nowhere near fast enough, Grungarak is however- lightning fast, the Ranger’s greataxe swings and buries itself in the massive Orc’s gut, the force of the blow is incredible, the axe blade bites deep, smashes it’s way through several important organs and severs the creatures spine.

And let me just say from a personal point of view, speaking as the DM, bugger… I mean, bugger- whose stupid idea was it to introduce “critical hits” to the game, Ikenvar, the enlarged Orc represented about the best the Slavers of the Iron Manacle have to offer, I mean… bugger. It wasn’t even close, Grungarak did about 42 damage with his greataxe, whose… I mean… bugger.

Ikenvar the Iron Manacle’s leader folds like a pack of cards, now little more than a nasty smear on the stone floor, standing behind the huge Orc is another of the false monks, in fact one of the ones Grungarak had been chasing earlier.

“I give in.” The monk, Brother Ralph, sinks to his knees and surrenders.
“Good, may Kord have mercy on your dirty black soul. Although I doubt it” Ronnie strides over to Brother Ralph and rattles the poor guys head against the wall a few times, till the bloods flowing- Paladins, a law unto themselves.

“Time for a few questions.” Gina steps close to Brother Ralph, who’s being tied up at the moment, very tightly by Grungarak, Twiglet continues to keep an eye out for movement beyond the chamber. Ronnie leers down at their prisoner, pointedly sharpens an already razor sharp dagger, making sure Brother Ralph gets the full effect.

The Q&A session lasts for a little more than twenty minutes, Brother Trevor is brought through and questioned, as is Brother Beyond, the drunk false monk from the stables- the three prisoners sing like birds, the adventurers discover that the Iron Manacle Slavers are more-or-less no more, there’s one or two members of the gang unaccounted for.

“What d’ya reckon we’ll get?” Brother Trevor gulps up at Ronnie.
“Hmm?”
“Sentence? You’ll put a good word in for us wont you?”
“Crucifiction, first time offence.” Ronnie spits on his comb and fluffs his moustache.
“Crucifiction?” Brother Trevor screams, Brother Beyond gulps and then takes up the call.
“Nail ‘em up, that’s what I say.” Ronnie states.
“Crucifiction?” Brother Trevor gasps and sobs.
“Nail some sense into them.” Ronnie calls over to Gina, and winks.
Gina looks wary, gulps.

Trevor and Beyond scrabble in the dirt at the Paladin’s feet.
“Save us, save us- I’ve changed, seen the light-“
“I didn’t want to do it, I was brought up wrong, unable to tell-“
Ronnie kicks the nearest of the pair in the stomach.
“If I had my way we’d save the good citizens of Cillamar the bother, do it now- quick and clean, throats cut- watch you bleed to death.” Ronnie makes a slicing motion across Brother Trevor’s throat- the false monk feints away.

“I know something else.” Brother Ralph has been quiet for a while, “I know something you don’t know, something you need to know… I know.”
“Yes, we got that.” Gina wanders over, “now what is it that you know?”
“Let me go and I’ll tell ya?”
Gina looks at Ronnie, who shakes his head.
“You’re going nowhere.”
“Then my secret dies with me…”
“Suits me.” Ronnie takes to cleaning his nails.

The other two prisoners snivel on the floor, Brother Ralph stares hard at Gina, waiting for the Gnome to crack. It doesn’t take long.

“What if it’s important?”
“Hmm?”
“What he knows.” Gina states.
“Don’t care.” Ronnie gets back to his nails.
“Look what’s it about?” Gina asks Brother Ralph.

“There’s something down there, in Whiterock, waiting for you- I know what it is, I can warn you, so that you’re, you know, prepared- ready.” Brother Ralph states.
Grungarak wanders over, plonks himself down in front of the prisoner, cups his massive hand under Brother Ralph’s chin, lifts his head so he can see his eyes.
“You mean Orcs.” Grungarak growls.
Ralph tries to look away, but can’t.
“Orcs, big Orcs- like me.”
“No.” Ralph fights to be free of Grungarak’s grip.
“Big Orcs that look exactly like me.”
“I said no alright, no, not Orcs- something else, there’s something else in there.”
Grungarak holds Ralph a little while longer, “You’re lying.”
“I’m not, I’m not lying- you’re the liar, liar. Bastard Orc lia-“
That’s the end of Ralph’s sentence as the air is suddenly gone from his system, the huge Half-Orc’s bicep crushing his windpipe, Ralph flails a while- his hands tied, unable to break the hold.

It’s Gina that strides over, places her hand on Grungarak’s arm, and when the Half-Orc looks up, into the Gnome’s eyes, simply shakes her head- Grungarak looses his grip.

Ralph chokes a little and then breaths again.

“We will search the area, only for things of immediate danger- no risks, no wandering off, then back here, fortify this chamber in case of attack, then rest.”
Twiglet looks around from the door, nods. Gina, who’s almost out of spells, nods too, that only leaves…

“How, in Kord’s name, did you know there were Orcs here?” Ronnie is on his feet and looking menacing.
“That’s my business.” Grungarak declares and stares hard at the Paladin.

Eventually the Half-Orc blinks first, “I’ll lead the search, anyone else coming?”
“Yep.” Twiglet nods.
“Please.” Gina states, warily watching the maniac Paladin.
“I’ll guard the prisoners then. Keep them safe.” Ronnie grins, behind him the prisoners look less sure.

Thirty minutes later the three are back, and the prisoners are surprisingly well, and much calmer than before. Gina tells the tale.

“There’s an underground complex, doesn’t look big- haven’t searched it as of yet, there must be a door in there that heads down, we did find a chest however, lots of money, and a key.” Grungarak thumps the chest onto the table.
“There’s a fallen tower on the opposite side, and a dead monk there- didn’t like the look of that so we left it well alone.”
Ronnie nods.
“Twiglet found a centipede, it darted out of the rubble, there’s a ruin of a chapel over the other side, I think there’s a nest of the things in there.”
“You kill it?” Ronnie nods towards Twiglet, the Dwarf shakes his head.
“He didn’t get chance, a huge Hawk came screeching down from up high, ripped into the thing before Twiglet could get at it- quite a fight, particularly when the centipede stung the Hawk, it couldn’t get airborne again- another two of the centipedes came out and took it down- messy.” Gina finishes the tale.
“That it?”
“Yep.” Gina nods, “now we rest.”
“There’s the tower too.” Twiglet adds, Ronnie nods again- stares at the back of Grungarak’s head as Gina starts to snore.

And here endeth the second actual session of play.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign- “Nail ‘em up, that’s what I say.”
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:50 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Turn 11: “Can you track it?”

Castle Whiterock


The rest goes smoothly, well except for the bit where the eight foot tall Praying Mantis sidles into what remains of the Great Hall, grabs the body of a dead false monk and retreats back the way it came.

“Feck.” Twiglet states from his spy hole at the door.
“What is it?” Gina wanders over just in time to catch the last of the show.
“That’s a…”
“Giant Praying Mantis.”
“Hmmm.” Twiglet nods, and with that the shows over.

The adventurers also take the time to rifle through the equipment of the captured and the permanently fallen.

Rest over they head to the cliff where Twiglet discovered the track up to the tower, a fifteen minute trek later and they’re at the base of the tower, which up close is a mess. The thing must be sixty feet tall, there’s a lot of loose and crumbling stonework about, and a door in the base of the tower- which proves to be locked.

Ronnie looks up, then nods towards Grugnarak, the Half-Orc sighs and begins to clamber up the side of the tower, then suddenly stops, there’s a rope a little way around- already in place, it seems to be firmly anchored, he heads on up.

He gets a little over three quarters of the way up when just above him, from a shadowy hole in the side of the tower a Hawk flutters out, a large Hawk with blood red plumage. Grugnarak climbs the last ten or fifteen feet as fast as he can, there’s a window, or at least an opening.

ZZZZZ

The Half-Orc grins and climbs as quietly as he can into the top level of the tower, the chamber is clean and tidy. A circle of arrow slits, and a trio of windows overlook the castle. Under one window is a bedroll- occupied, a small table, and a wooden chest. Sitting on the table is a wooden birdcage about three feet high. Inside a jet-black raven plucks at its feathers.

ZZZZZ

The wooden floor creaks, getting closer now, until…

FWUMP

And that’s the end of the false monk in the tower.

Grugnarak’s peers down from above, the Half-Orc signals, down at the base of the tower Ronnie nods and starts on up, followed by Gina and finally Twiglet.

They reassemble up above in the top of the tower, set to work, working out what’s what here.

“Hey, don’t…”
But too late, Gina watches the raven hop to the window and then flutter into the air. Ronnie looks a little sheepish.
“Why did you do that?” The Gnome asks.
Ronnie shrugs, “just a bird.”
“It might have told us something, some clue.”
“It was a bird, how could it tell…”
“Raven’s talk.” Twiglet adds and nods, “my dad said he knew a Dwarf that kept one, Barry was its name, the Raven, not the Dwarf. Mt dad said it kept him company when his wife died and his son left him to go adventuring. He said if it wasn’t for Barry then Arthur ‘the axe killer” Smith, that’s the name of the dwarf, well he would have gone mad.”
“How’d he get the name ‘axe killer’?” Gina wonders aloud.
“Oh that… I think he killed some Dwarves… With an axe, I think- my dad said he was crazy in the head, you know, semi-permeable.” Twiglet taps the side of his head.
“What happened to him?”
“He died and they stuffed him.”

The adventurers go about their business for a good five seconds, and then stop again, Gina breaks the silence.

“Stuffed?”
“Hmm.” Twiglet nods.
“Why’d they stuff him?”
“He was a friendly bird.”

Twiglet gets back to work.

Grugnarak turns back from the window, “the Raven is heading for Cillamar.” The Half-Orc pointedly stares at Ronnie.
“Can you track it?” The Paladin asks.
Grugnarak continues to stare at the Paladin, like he’s just asked the most stupid question in the world, ever- which is apposite.

“Well how can I bird tell us what we want to know, there’s no proof it could talk, and besides if you were a raven you’d head to Cillamar- it’s obvious.”
“Why?” Gina continues to investigate.
“Obvious- food supply, water, lady ravens, it makes sense.”
Gina wrinkles her nose.

“Hang on.” Twiglet is fishing about in the chest, he discovers, well… a pot of ink, a quill, a number of small strips of paper, and an object to attach the aforementioned bits of paper to the leg of a bird. The Dwarf displays his find.

Ronnie looks a little flustered. “How do we know, I mean… what I’m trying to say is it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, just because you found… there’s no proof, I mean… highly unlikely, it’s only conjecture that…” he tails off.

Twiglet shrugs and gets back to searching.

There’s little else to find, Grugnarak indicates its time to check out the trapdoor which leads below, weapons at the ready the others circle the spot in case of any suprises.

EEEERRRR

The thing hasn’t been opened for a while, and…

SQWARK x lots.

The circular chamber below is choked with straw, twigs, dirt and decay; and lots of bird sh*t, it’s also choked with Hawk, Bloodhawks to be precise, adults and fledglings, all told there must be two dozen of the vicious birds in there.

SLAM

Grugnarak slams the trapdoor back in place.

One more quick search and they head back down the rope to the base of the tower and the locked door, there’s nothing for it. Ronnie puts his shoulder to the door, eventually all of the warriors are taking turns.

SMASH

They stumble into a dark chamber, webs, decay, another trapdoor in the floor heading down, and a huge stone spiral staircase heading up.

“I though I saw something move.” Twiglet declares, and points way up.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign- “Can you track it?”
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:38 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Location: Grimbo
Turn 12: “D’you think I’ll be like them one day?”

The Upper Ruins of Castle Whiterock


“Are you sure?” Gina asks.
“No, but…” Twiglet tails off.

Grungarak moves past the Dwarf, hugs the wall and heads up the crumbling stone stairs; Ronnie draws his sword and follows after.

Gina shrugs at Twiglet, the Dwarf gingerly takes a few steps up the stairs, follows on, he’s not a great fan of heights, now depths, depths he doesn’t mind.

“What are we going up here for?” Gina asks out of breath a little while later, “surely it just heads back up to the Hawks?”
Which makes Grungarak think, the Half-Orc stops in his tracks, which in turn causes the Paladin to come to a sudden halt, there’s no side to the stairs and it’s a long way down.

The adventurers concertina on the stairs.

“Back down.” The Half-Orc growls, Ronnie looks a little peeved but turns tail, three of the group manoeuvre round and head back down, which just leaves Twiglet.

They’ve not gone far when- “There’s something up there, something moving.” Twiglet states and in the next instant is swathed in sticky strands, a web shot from the spider above, the Dwarf scatters down the stairs, breaking through the web with ease, alas the sticky substance appears to have had an adverse effect on the Dwarf’s armour, a fine tracery of rust creates a lattice work affect, bits of it fall away- ruined.

“Urggggggghh.”

The Dwarf cannonballs past the other adventurers causing all manner of confusion, Gina nearly ends up plummeting over the side of the stairs saved in the last moment by Ronnie.

A nasty looking albino spider descends down the centre of the tower, a huge creature, it’s leg-span some eight feet across, Twiglet makes it to the bottom of the stairs, the others hot-footing it after the Dwarf, not far behind.

FWUNG

Twiglet’s crossbow sings, the bolt arcs into the air, missing the great arachnid by a mile, careens off a stair and disappears up into the darkness, but only for a second or so… what goes up must come down.

THUNG

The bolt’s return journey is suddenly curtailed, by a stocky dwarf, Twiglet gets his bolt back, buried in the Dwarves right thigh.

The spider descends further.

“Missile weapons- keep out the way.” Grungarak screams and fires.

FWUNG

And sinks an arrow into the spider’s abdomen, which is enough, the huge arachnid quickly heads back the way it came, the adventurers breathe a sigh of relief.

“Let’s check the trapdoor down then.” Gina states and scrambles through the trapdoor, and down a ladder into an empty circular chamber, clearly the base of the tower- with no visible exits.

“We’ll see about that, I know about stone, leave it to me.” Twiglet traces his finger around the outer wall of the chamber, “nope, nope, nope, ahhh… rock and coal- here it is.”

A shove later and a stone door pivots open, otherwise the chamber is empty, Twiglet heads into a very small chamber, “hang on”, the Dwarf shouts back, and then thumps the wall ahead of him, which springs open too, another hidden door.

“You’re quite good at that aren’t you?” Gina states as she follows Twiglet through to yet another newly discovered chamber.
“We know about stone, the Dwarves I mean, my father worked in the quarries, as did my grandfather, and his father, and his father before that… and his father, no, hang on Festan Middlegrip Rockhammer AKA Goblinbane, my great-great-great-great grandfather he wasn’t a quarry Dwarf.”
“What’d he do? A Warrior?” Gina enquires.
“Goblinbane, no he made wigs- out of moss, he was one for the theatre, mostly leading ladies- he loved cross-dressing, or so the stories go, there’s a beautiful shield with his image etched into it back in the mine- he looked lovely in a dress, and heels.”
Gina smirks and starts to laugh, then catches sight of Twiglet, he’s serious, she stifles her laughter.

“Come on.” Ronnie pushes his way past the little people into the newly discovered chamber, which is a mess, like everything else around here. This large room is covered with a thick layer of dust and appears to have lain undisturbed for many years. In the centre of the room are the shattered remains of a huge dark wood table, its some kind of defunct meeting chamber, possibly. Broken chairs are strewn about the room. Hanging on the north wall are the frayed remains of an elegant tapestry.

Grungarak rips the thing down, tries to make sense of it.

“What is it Or… Ranger?” Ronnie comes over to take a look. The tapestry is no more than a dark smudge, ripped and torn. “Nothing of value.”
Grungarak nods, folds the ruined tapestry up and stows it away in his backpack.

“’Nother one.”

GRIND

Twiglet opens another secret door and marches the adventurers back into a chamber they’ve been in previously; back in the ruins.

“Right.” Twiglet states.
“Is that it then?” Gina asks.

The are a pair of double doors centred in the opposite wall, the wall to the left contains a single door that appears to have been recently repaired and reinforced with iron supports. A pile of rubble intermixed with the shattered bones of the destroyed Owlbear skeleton head off back into the Great Hall.

“Check these two.” Grungarak states.

The double doors reveal a wide hallway; the floor is covered with the rotting remains of once-fine carpeting. Stone pedestals, each about two feet high, are spaced along the walls. However, the hall ends in a massive pile of rubble, atop which sit two Centipedes tearing their way through the body of what must be the last of the false monks.

Twiglet unleashes his greataxe but Ronnie stops the Dwarf’s progress- “Leave them be, vermin feeding on vermin, Kord will be pleased.”
A little fazed, but convinced nevertheless, Twiglet backs out of the chamber, which just leaves one door.

Gina has the key, there are a set of stairs heading down into darkness, Gina is sure she can hear voices down there, but that’s for later.

“Come on, let’s go.” Ronnie states, Grungarak nods.
“Back to the Inn?” Twiglet asks.
The Paladin nods, “Time to deliver the miscreants to justice”, which causes him to grin.

An hour or so later the adventures, now mounted, with many more horses to spare wend their way back towards Cillamar, their three captives secured and the Slavers of the Iron Manacle no more.

“So…” Twiglet starts while gripping on for dear life to the mane of his mount; he’s not very good at riding.
“So.” Gina confirms.
“I’m an adventurer?” Twiglet asks.
“Yep.” Gina confirms and grins.
Twiglet grins back.
“How do you like it?”
“It’s okay, I’m not sure I like all the fighting, although… anyway, it’s a bit, you know, scary- at times.”
Gina nods back; it goes quiet for a while.
“Did I do okay?”
“Yes, of course, you did great.” Gina states.
“Good, I mean… good. How can you tell?”
“You’re alive, we’re alive.” Gina shrugs.
“Oh. Okay. I guess.”

Up front the Paladin and the Ranger ride side by side, not speaking, proud and erect, ready for any sign of danger.

“D’you think I’ll be like them one day?” Twiglet asks and nods towards the pair.
Gina thinks about it- “I hope not.”

Cillamar appears on the horizon, home, for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign- “D’you think I’ll be like them one day?”
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:39 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Location: Grimbo
Turn 13: He can stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Cillamar


The remains of the Iron Manacle Slavers, three blubbering prisoners, have been delivered to the appropriate authorities, and with an eager smile, Ronnie of course puts in a good word for them- “belligerent, they seem remorseless, uncaring, no signs of them ever changing, the one called Brother Ralph made to bargain with me thinking he could exchange his captivity for information regarding what lies below, in Whiterock- I suggest he spends time with the Inquisitor. The other two were helpful, to a point, run-of-the-mill scum, I suggest you kill them slowly so that they may consider the many other paths they could have travelled.”

The Paladin is soon back in the bar with his brother, bragging about his role in the activities, “the Gnome was mostly for show, I don’t think I saw her do anything of use in the entire time we were there, mind you brother, the Dwarf’s not much better- they get in the way… little people, prevented me from getting into the action on many occasions, they’re hard to see at times- too short. Yes, I can honestly say they’re no use what-so-ever.”
“Ahem.” Ronnie spins around, fists clenched, before him is a large figure, large and short, almost as wide as he is tall, a Dwarf, the emblazoned Hammer & Anvil on the Dwarf’s armour mark him out as being a follower of Moradin.
“I heard what you were saying- about the ‘little people’, and… well”, Cestode suddenly notices Reggie, Priest of Kord, Ronnie’s brother- Cestode shuffles over so he can measure like for like, the Dwarf is a good inch taller then Reggie, “I’d ask you to reconsider your rash statement.”
“Feck off, short arse.” Ronnie spits.

The bar goes quiet.

“I am Cestode Rafferty, the second, Paladin of Moradin- Holy Dwarven Warrior sent to scourge Whiterock of its blasted vile inhabitants- to see this land safe again, I am the son and heir of Cestode Rafferty… the first, who fought for right, and justice, and freedom- and retired undefeated.” Cestode rocks back on forth on the balls of his feet- loose, ready for the fight that’s about to begin. “Call yourself a Paladin, your nought but a wastrel, a lick-spittle follower of a deity that prizes might alone, a bully…” he continues.

The fight begins.

Or rather would do if it wasn’t for the sudden commotion from the door of the Inn, good citizens lurch left and right as a sea of people rush into the place, ahead of the mob is a mono-browed middle-aged man clad in much repaired raiment- a simple son of the soil, a farmer, in fact- Farmer Palmer.

“Me young ‘uns, oooo ‘eaven’s to betsy, lil Pete, forlorn Jim and stern Molly- me young ‘uns- gone frum me.”
“Steady on stout yeoman, simple son of the soil, for I am Cestode Rafferty, the second, Paladin of…” Cestode rambles on, the same introduction as before, it’s enough to silence the crowd, for a moment.

“Please yer Lord Dwarfship, please too ‘elp me in me ‘our of need?” Palmer wails.
“If you are asking me to help you then- yes, yes I will prevail, for I am Cestode Rafferty…”
“Got it Lord, son of Cestode Rafferty the first, yer dad. Quickly now sir Dwarf- to the Monolith.” Palmer, and the rent-a-mob, vacate the premises, dragging the Dwarvern Paladin with them, who manages one last rendition, “I am Cestode Rafferty, and I’ll be back…”

Which leaves Ronnie and his brother, Reggie, high and dry- the pair shrug and head back over to the bar, “Fecking stumpies”, the Paladin of Kord’s farewell to Cestode.

Over the other side of the bar deals are being done, Quintas a travelling Potion salesman, purveyor of all things magical, has just been commissioned to identify a number of items. Also to clean and mend, through the use of ‘mighty magics’, the tapestry Grungarak found in the ruins- the Half-Orc’s just curious, it seems to depict the Castle. The other members of the adventuring group are in the business of securing supplies and doing the things that adventuring groups do between jobs, that is except for Twiglet- who seems to be in some sort of trance.

“Twiggy?” Then louder. “TWIGGERS?”
The Dwarf turns around to stare at Gina, “Mmm?”
“What you lookin’ at?”
“That Dwarf.” Twiglet replies, still staring at the door, replaying the scene in his mind.
“What about him?” Gina screws up her face.
“He was so… dreamy.”
“Dreamy?”
“I mean, sorry- not dreamy, I mean brave, very brave- did you notice his beard?”
“No.”
“It was lovely. Shiny and soft.”
“Twiglet?” Gina stares.
“Oh sorry, I was just… anyway.”
“What are you going on about?” This time Gina smiles, like she knows a secret.
“I was just thinking we should help him.”
“Really?”
“Yes, rescue the farmer’s kids- that’d be the right thing to do; perhaps we could get to know him… find out what he’s really like?”

One conversation and fifteen minutes later the threesome are packed and ready to go after Cestode, they head for the door.
“Oh what about Ronnie?”
The three turn to stare.
“He can stick it where the sun don’t shine- he’s an idiot.” Gina states, Twiglet shrugs and Grungarak grins, from ear-to-ear.

They’re gone.

For those of you that are stat-based life-forms; Ronnie is now a Paladin of Kord level 2, Twiglet a Fighter level 2, Gina a Cleric of Garl level 2 and Grungarak a Ranger level 2- Cestode’s a Paladin of Moradin level 1- shame.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- “He can stick it.”
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:08 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Location: Grimbo
Turn 14: Cestode Rafferty, Moradin’s little helper.

So Ronnie is out, he was only along for the ride, one of the Pre-Gen characters, the player in question arrived unprepared, sans PC, so we change out a mad Paladin of Kord for a mad Paladin of Moradin… hang on.

Absolutley none of you are asking- Why Cestode Rafferty the second, aren’t you? Well I’ll tell you. Cestode Rafferty the first lead a party of AD&D-style adventurers about eighteen years ago in a campaign I DM’ed- it’s the same player, with the joy of RPTools and Skype some of the old gang are getting back together.

And so…

"Well me lad, its time for ye to walk in the world of men like I did" the grizzled dwarf states, clasps a gnarly hand on the shoulder of his son. Everything is packed and ready, Cestode Junior trained, as good as he’s ever going to get without real experience, ready for the wider world.
"I will do what you ask, of course Da", Cestode looks fondly down on his old dad, "though I do not know where to begin, any suggestions?"
"Ahh I was hoping ye might ask that" the older dwarf chuckles, and limps over to a series of dusty wooden cabinets. He'd made the large creaking cabinets himself, when he’d retired from a life fraught with danger, a life of adventure. Cestode Senior’s woodwork has become the stuff of legend, dwarves often travelled from far and wide to commission his magnificent pieces for their homes; he did his best to keep up with demand. What his work lacked in beauty, for they were all far from beautiful, except perhaps to a dwarf, they more than made up for in sturdiness. A Rafferty chest would last for generations, and that’s a long time when it comes to dwarves. They also often had little drawers tucked away in the most obscure and unsuspected places. Cestode Senior often mused that half of all the wealth of the dwarves was probably hidden away in his secret drawers, or sliding false-holes, as he called them. You could keep a secret forever in a piece of Rafferty.

His own cabinet creaked a brief shower of dust drizzles down as the old dwarf scampers up a set of fold-out steps to one of the higher shelves, and begins rummaging.
"Here we go lad, this should get you started". He returns to earth clutching a large rolled up parchment, brown with age and torn in several places. Carefully spreads it out on the sturdy wooden table, one of his earlier pieces, then points a stubby finger "We're here, Far Cirque, in the mountains", Cestode Junior peers over his father's shoulder, nods, "Forget South, there's nowt much there, and the West for now, East - well me map don't show much of that, but look 'ere to the North" he gestures grandly, "Lots of towns and exploring to be done down there- Cillamar, Whiterock. Lot of men-folk and", he stabs at a woodland area, "there's elves livin’ in there, and down here", his hand waves about a bit vaguely. "They say there's a mighty empire, I heard there's dwarves living in the mountains by the sea- they does fishing, now that would be a sight to see- imagine a dwarf with a fishing rod", he dabs his eyes a little. "Anyway plenty to see, and maybe you can fill in my map a bit on the way…"
Young Cestode doesn't know what to say. His head buzzes with all the strange sounding names of places on the map, his excitement coupled with sadness at having to leave his old Dad, and his home.
"Don't worry lad", the grizzled veteran smirks, "The mountain'll still be ‘ere when you get tired of wandering, and so will I. Plenty of life in the old dog yet, an’ I got yer sister to train, and yer mam to nag me, and twenty orders for furniture so plenty to keep me busy. Mind you, a letter once in a while, so as I can keep up with your adventures would be nice, if it ain’t too much trouble o' course."
"Course I'll write you old fool" the younger dwarf punches his old dad on the shoulder, as gentle as he can without making it too obvious, "So you know when I've seen more than you did, killed more monsters and rescued more people from certain death."
"Aye, bloody size of you, you probably will an all. Keep yer wits about ye though, remember not everyone fights fair like we do. I've packed ye some extra stuff to take with ye. Come on then yer mam and sister are waiting upstairs, let’s get it over with."

The two dwarves clasp hands one last time, then head to the stairs which lead up to the entrance of their home. Both can hear the snuffles already as they mount the steps, the younger dwarf stops, takes one last look around the dwarf hole he calls home, then heads upwards to a tearful farewell, and adventure beyond his mountain home.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Moradin’s little helper.
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:45 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
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Location: Grimbo
Turn 15: His beard’s lovely.

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock


“Helloooo. Helloooo.” Twiglet runs after Cestode, Grungarak and Gina a little behind, they share a look, Gina shrugs up at the Half-Orc. Twiglet’s skipping.

Cestode spins around, “I am Cestode…”
“I know.” Twiglet slurs, which stops Cestode in his path.
The others catch up.

“We’re here to help Sir Dwarf.” Gina states and proffers her hand, “Gina, Priest of Garl, at your service.”
Grungarak nods, “This is Grungarak.” Gina offers, “and this…”
“I’m Twiglet, you can call me Twiggy.” Twiglet half curtsies then remembers, and bows- clears his throat once or twice, drops an octave and grumbles “pleased to meet you Cestode.”

Cestode takes them all in.

“Thanks. Well- it’s this way isn’t it?” And before anyone can answer heads off.

They fall in line, Gina and Twiglet at the back, “his beards lovely”, Twiglet whispers to the Gnome, who smiles politely back.

Twenty minutes later the fields end and the hills start, and there on a rocky scarp is the monolith, their destination- Farmer Palmer’s kids it seems have entered the dark place below the worn stone.

They crowd round the thing, to one side a rough stone stair leads down into darkness.

“I shall lead the way, fear not comrades for my steel shall lay low any that seek to harm us- the children will be back in home before bedtime or my name’s not Cestode…”
“Hang on.” Gina states, she’s found something. “There’s writing, rather runes, ancient Gnomish, warnings really, something about Poderon.”
“Poderon?” Twiglet asks.
“The Trickster, a minor Gnomish deity fond of pranks and games- traps to be precise; this must be some sort of Gnome redoubt… perhaps.” Gina can’t help herself, she grins from ear-to-ear, her hand finds the stone device her Uncle gave her- it’s hidden away in her pocket.
“We best get on then.” Gina states and grins some more.

Cestode leads the way down into the darkness.

Shallow stone stairs descend into a small, unlit chamber. Thick, dusty cobwebs cover the ceiling and corners; the air is stale with age. In the far corner of the room is a battered husk of an old crate.

A torch flares, Gina waves the flame around to chase away the shadows.

There’s a flagged passage heading south, Grungarak draws his weapon and heads over to take a look.

“Look there.” Cestode points, wedged in the corner with the crate is a skull- picked clean, a dwarven skull.

“Beware friends- who knows what foul creatures infect this place.” Cestode grimaces.

“Oh he’s so… so… dreamy.” Twiglet whispers.
Gina grins back at the Dwarf.

“I shall remove the skull of our ancient ancestor Twiggy, this brave fallen warrior’s spirit can at last be set free from his immortal torment.” Cestode strides over.
“I wouldn’t, I mean…” Twiglet trails off.
“Speak stout Dwarven warrior.” Cestode commands.
Twiglet goes weak in the knees for a moment, recovers, clears his throat once or twice and grumbles, “it is likely a trap stout, I mean brave, Protector of Moradin- I think all that junk around it’s holding the ceiling up.”
Cestode looks again, and really has no idea what he’s looking at, nevertheless he looks determined, he even goes so far to adopt a determined pose, “you speak the truth of it.” Cestode nods sagely.

“He’s so determined.” Twiglet whispers.
Gina nods some more.

Grungarak appears back in the chamber, “corridor ends at a door- silent, suspicious.” The Half-Orc gestures back over his shoulder.

“Then let us breach the door, for we must strive to return the lost children to the succour of their family.” Cestode marches past the Half-Orc, heads off down the corridor, he doesn’t get far.

“Or we could try the secret door, over here.” Twiglet states, and points at a blank area of stone wall directly opposite the stairs down.

Cestode about turns, seamlessly, and strides back into the chamber, “Ah yes”, he chuckles, “well done brave Twiggy- I, of course, spotted the secret door earlier- you have passed the test, truly you are both brave and stout, good work soldier.” Cestode grips Twiglets arm for a moment, long enough for Twiglet to melt a little inside, the Paladin of Moradin strides over to the far wall- looks at it blankly for a moment before turning back.

“I will ready my axe- now open the way.”

Twiglet scurries on ahead, feet hardly touching the ground, to the wall, thumps a spot about half way up and the section of stone, slightly to the right of Cestode, slides aside, the Paladin of Moradin adjusts his stance so that he’s facing in the right direction.

“Light.” Grungarak murmurs and crouches combat ready.

And sure enough, ahead, a light flickers and dances.

The adventurers shuffle into the cramped passage, as quietly as they can, then forward into a second chamber.

The air is thick with the smell of cooking meat and wood smoke. In the centre of the chamber is a large iron cauldron, blackened with age and soot. A pair of small, pale humanoids, Gnome-like in size and shape, but with fierce fangs and oversized pads on their fingers, kneel near the cauldron, adding sticks to the fire, while a third pulls squirming rats from a bag and tosses them into the stew.

“It can’t be.” Gina catches her breath, “no…”, but by then it’s too late.

“I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord Moradin when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

Cestode finishes up his speech, the three strange looking Gnome-shaped creatures lay dead, Cestode, Grungrak and Twiglet’s weapons are bloodied- they didn’t last long, nor did they stand a chance.

Gina collapses in a heap, sobs and weeps as she pummels her tiny fists into the hard, cold and unmoving stone floor.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- His beard’s lovely.
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 11:12 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
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Location: Grimbo
Turn 16. “Dwarves were never meant to dabble in the athletic arts.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.


“What is it?” Twiglet is quickly to the Gnome.
“They… It’s… I mean, who…”, Gina wipes her eyes, sits up, then shuffles over to poke through the rags of one of the dead- the hands warped, fingers twisted into tripod fleshy claws, and suckered. Face and body hairless, teeth sharpened to fangs, eyes unused to natural light- milky white, the pigment gone- just, just like her Uncle.
“What is it Gina? Are you alright?” Twiglet asks again and levers the Gnome up to her feet.

Cestode and Grungarak have secured the chamber, a passage leads to the south, and directly over from where they entered another passage leads on a little way to a heavy door, rotten with age.

“Nothing, nothing.” Gina adds wiping her eyes still, “only next time let me talk to them, at least try to make sense of what they are.”
Twiglet looks from the corpse to Gina, shrugs then smiles.

“We cannot turn back, our way is clear, ahead- the door yonder, surely that is where our destiny lies, far portal stands alone between us and our fate, tremble at this auspicious…” Cestode is off again.
“There’s something down…Aaarrghhh.”

Cestode swivels, Grungarak has decided to check out the southern passage, which quickly leads him into another darkened chamber, a maze of oversized gears, pulleys, rusting chains, and rotten rope. Everything in the room is coated in dust and black
gunk, that is until the contraption springs to life- a metal piston arm lances out and thumps into Grungarak’s midriff laying the Half-Orc low. Gina and Twiglet rush to the scene, leaving Cestode alone with the door and his speech.

Grungarak is dragged back, out of range of the wheels and pistons that lurch and lunge from the strange machine. The noise is deafening.

“WE MUST BRAVE THE DOOR.” Cestode shouts as the three come skittering back into the chamber, the Dwarf points.
“WHAT?” Twiglet shouts back.
“TAKE THE DOOR.”
“TAKE THE DOOR? WHERE?”
“WHO KNOWS WHERE IT MAY LEAD, TO OUR FATE SURELY.”
“I’M FAT?”
“NO, FATE.”
Twiglet looks confused.
“I’M FATE? AND DON’T CALL ME SHIRLEY.”
“NO STOUT WARRIOR, YOUR FATE.”

Twiglet turns to Gina, yells over the noise, “AM I FAT?”
Gina yells back, “NO”, then waits for Twiglet to turn away before adding, “not for a Dwarf.”

“NO, YOUR FATE.”

Twiglet strides over to the door wrenches it open and walks in, signalling for the others to follow, a damp and dirty passage way continues to a corner where it turns to head south, it’s much quieter here.

“Now what did you say?”
“I said we should take the door?”
“What door?”
“That one.” Cestode points to the door they’ve just passed through.
“Take it where?” Twiglet looks confused.

Silence erupts.

For a while.

“Doesn’t matter.” Cestode, crestfallen follows the passage on, the others fall in line, there’s a set of stone steps leading further down a little way in, the passage continues. They note the spot and head on, the noise gets louder again, much louder, they head round a corner and back into the room with the very active machinery, actually they pull up short, Cestode uses hand signals to usher an about turn.

They’re back at the stairs down.

“Do you hear that?” Gina asks.
The other three strain their ears, finally Cestode breaks the silence.
“No.”
“Oh.” Gina remarks and points the way.

Cestode non-plussed heads down.

“Fear not…” He starts up.
“Got it.” Gina finishes and shoos the paladin of Moradin on into the all encompassing darkness.

“Ooo that’s my toe.”
“Sorry.”

The stairs wind their way down through rough, but flagged, stone passages, its good craftsmanship, just a little the wrong side of ancient.

“Good sturdy stuff”, Cestode thumps a wall, “Dwarven- probably.”
“Mmm.” Gina keeps her own counsel.

The new noise gets louder, as they emerge.

Onto a platform that reaches out over a dark crevasse. The walls of the cavern
fall away to either side, vanishing into inky gloom. Across a roughly six-foot gap stands another platform.

A massive chain descends from the ceiling down the centre of the chamber, between the platforms. From below can be heard the rumble of a thundering waterfall.

“Blimey.” Twiglet looks impressed.

There’s a sudden flurry of squeaks, followed by flapping sounds.

“What’s that?” Gina asks.
“Stirges.” Grungarak states, and looses and arrow, the first beast to emerge from the gloom is now sans much of one wing, the Stirge flaps, spirals down and is soon out of sight.

FWUNG

Twiglet’s crossbow sings, the second Stirge is hit, no more than a scratch but enough to send it on its way again, back up and out of sight.

The third Stirge is however through their defences and onto Cestode in a flash, actually a smash, the thing hovers for a second and is then batted out of the air, it lands a few feet away a crumpled wreck.

Silence, only the forlorn flapping of the first Stirge, vainly trying to control its descent, and below the dull rumble of the waterfall.

Silence some more.

“Dangnation, thwarted- Moradin hear my prayer, so close and yet to be met by the impossible, the gap, the gap-“ Cestode starts up, moves forward, a little- wary of the edge, he points at the terrific gap between the two platforms- as I say, probably six feet. “Too far, too far- Dwarves were never meant to dabble in the athletic arts, like jumping, or climbing… Oh.”

FLOP

Grungarak lands on the far side, a perfect leap, the Half-Orc mooches off into the darkness, he’s spotted something on the far wall.

“Oh.” Cestode confirms, and shrugs.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Dwarves are not athletes.
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:42 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Location: Grimbo
Turn 17. “Suckers.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.


“What is it you spy yonder stout Orc.” Cestode starts up, and is hissed into silence.
“Not that.” Gina snaps, thankfully Grungarak hasn’t heard.
“Not what- stout? Does he have issues with his size? Some sort of regime may be in order, I try to eat half a pig before lunchtime, and I avoid exercise at all costs- bad for digestion.” Cestode pats a belly, he has a few to spare.
“No, not the stout bit, the Orc bit.” Gina whispers.
“But he’s…”
“A Ranger.” Gina finishes.
“No, he’s an Or…”
“That’s right, a Half-Orc.” Twiglet steps in.
“Oh. I see.” Cestode plainly doesn’t see at all.

Over on the far platform, a rickety wooden affair, Grungarak levers himself up and begins to climb the cavern wall- he’s not got far to go, in seconds he’s at a little platform, there was a ladder here once, now there’s just a lever, it can go up and down- it’s in the down position.

“There’s a lever.” The Ranger calls back.
“Good. What position is it in?” Gina asks.
“Down.”
“Then pull it up.”

Obvious really.

GRRRRRIND

Shuddering and shaking, dancing in the air, the chain between the platform rises- all the way up, there’s a hook on the end of it, a very large hook meant to haul something big. The something big it used to haul is alas long gone.

“That’s a puzzler.” Twiglet states.
“I’ve got an idea.” Gina smiles.

Ten minutes later they’re ready.

Or not, as the case maybe.

At least some of them are ready.

“How did they get up and down then, the Gnome things?” Cestode asks.
“Suckers.” Grungarak shouts down to the Dwarf.
“I beg your pardon, I…” Cestode splutters.
“Suckers- they gripped onto the cavern wall and just walked down it- I s’pose.” Gina clears up the mystery.
Grungarak nods, unseen.
“Oh, I see.” Cestode adds.

“Ready then brave Paladin of Moradin?” Twiglet asks, leering over the edge of the platform.

Below Cestode, hangs off the chain secured by a loop of rope, a second rope is tied around his waist- that’s a lot of rope, just in case he falls which, in turn, is gripped up top by Gina and Twiglet.

“Ah. Yes, for Moradin.” The Paladin mumbles.
“Lower away.” Gina shouts across.
Grungarak wrenches the lever down, and jiggling into the dark goes Cestode.

It takes a little over thirty seconds for the chain to descend all the way, thirty seconds of blind terror for Cestode, followed by a little more blind terror- he hangs there, in the dark.

“Err… I’m down.”
“What can you see brave Cestode?” Twiglet calls.

Cestode gulps.

“Err… Not much, there’s a ledge- both sides, a bit above me- both sides. But too far away for me to get too. And… er… there’s a big waterfall- somewhere below, I can hear it. And a light- either very small, or a long, long way down.”

Cestode gulps some more.

“Can you get off the rope, on to the ground?” Twiglet calls down.
“NO. There is no ground”, Cestode screams back, “as far as I can see.”

“Okay- we’ll swing you.” Twiglet calls back.

Which takes a while to register with the Paladin of Moradin.

“What do you mean- swing me?”

But by the time he’s finished the sentence he’s found out- the hard way. Cestode suddenly learns a new skill- trapeze artist.

“Hey. HEY. HEEEY.” He feels sick.

“Tell us when you’re…”
THUMP
“I’m there.”

Cestode grips the ledge, hauls himself up. “Give me some slack.” He shouts up, rope loops below him, he eventually unhooks the first rope from the chain.

He gulps again, and heads on in.

“Please Moradin, please Moradin, pleeeeeease.” He whines and with white knuckles grips his axe.

Down a short corridor that ends before a peculiar portal cast of silvery metal. Each of the paired doors sports the face of an enraged giant, maw open wide, as if in a barbaric howl. A raised keyhole is placed at the seam between the two doors.

“Nice.” The Dwarf whispers, “homely.”

Thirty seconds later he’s back out again.

“There’s a door, it’s locked- we need a Rogue, or else the key- do any of you have the key, probably not- waste of time really, I should be heading back.” He calls up.
“Have you tried it?” Gina shouts down.
“What?”
“The door. It might be open.” Gina ends the debate.

“sh*t.” Cestode minces back into the dark.

All the way to the door.

Gingerly he reaches out, carefully lays one hand flat to the door, breaths out, then in- and pushes.

CLANG

Behind him a portcullis drops, the Dwarf spins to see.

FWEEEEEE

The mouths of the giant faces on the doors open wider still, it gets very windy, Cestode crouches low, tries to stagger forward towards the portals.

FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

A hurricane is unleashed.

CLANG

And Cestode is sent spinning back into the portcullis, pressed flat against the metal, cruciform, and either side of a pair of dirty great iron spikes, the portcullis is dotted with them.

By the time the wind ends, runs out of puff, Grungarak is down at the bottom of the chain, and screaming at the lost Dwarf.

The portcullis rises, then clangs shut again, standing on the ledge is Cestode- he looks as if he has seen a ghost, or else he’s been hit by lightning.

“Get back over here.” Grungarak’s words arrive at last, Cestode shakes his head, and steps off the ledge.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Suckers.
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:37 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Grimbo
Turn 18. “Nothing better than a good old sausage in you.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.


Everybody, suddenly, takes the strain. The bewildered Paladin is eventually hauled up, back into the waiting arms of Grungarak, who is hanging onto the end of the chain with one hand- like he was born to it.

“Went a bit dizzy there”, Cestode explains, “still no harm done.”
Cestode is as pale as a sheet, almost glowing- spectral.

“Hold on.” Grungarak grunts, and begins to push and pull on the chain. The pendulum swings.

“Wheeeeeeeee.” Cestode declares, and gurns.

FLOP

The Half-Orc leaps, and lands, turns and braces himself- pulling as hard as he can, the pendulum swings back and away, and is suddenly arrested in its progress as Grungarak stops it dead.

“URK.”

The other end of the rope that’s attached to the Half-Orc passes through one of the giant links on the chain and then encircles Cestode’s waste. The Dwarf is momentarily crushed and slammed into the chain.

“This was not supposed to happen.” He’s certain.

Grungarak unties the rope and lets it flop onto the ledge, “don’t go away”, he declares and heads off.
Cestode waves his thanks.

A set of stairs leads up into the dark, Grungarak draws his axe and pads up them and into a large chamber, lit with a soft, gloomy light, radiating from overgrown, giant mushrooms. The floor is covered in a thick carpet of rotting humus, the air stinks of stagnant water and decay.

Near the southwest corner is a stone spiral staircase that ascends into darkness. At the far end of the room is a pair of golden doors, overgrown with thick roots.

Grungarak cautiously enters, from behind him he can hear the ongoing conversation.

“I don’t know where he is.”
“Well where’d he go?” Gina asks the obvious.
“I said I don’t know. I’m a bit- dizzy.” Cestode replies.
“Be brave Cestode.” This time its Twiglet’s voice.
“Yes. I’ll try. Probably.”

The Half-Orc creeps on, the chamber is ancient, there are bones on the floor, animals, humanoids, Orcs- he smiles.

The spiral stair heads up into darkness, he sniffs the air- there’s an animal scent, filth and rot, it’s coming from above. He moves on towards the door, and is almost caught.

Like lightning a vine, one of the myriad that snake through the chamber, lashes at him, set to catch his leg, he dances, to the side and back, another vine, another, the vines reach out to grab him- but he’s away, moving backwards, dancing still till…

THUMP

His back’s against the wall, ahead of him, on the door, sinuous liana’s wind and coil, creep out, reach out- trying to grasp him.

He’s back at the ledge in less than thirty seconds.

“We need to find another way down.” He calls across, the Dwarf now back to his senses nods.

Two minutes later the pair are back up top, and off the chain.

“Nope. Moradin has assured me, as if in a dream, that we should have taken the first door, the first path… the righteous path, as I stated earlier, Twiglet… Twiggy, there’s no shame- you tried.”

It goes quiet for a bit- Twiglet looks crestfallen.

“Onwards.” Cestode marches off, back up the stairs.

They follow on, and back into the first chamber, with the as yet unexplored passage heading south, Cestode is almost at the end of the passage.
“There’s a door, onward Moradin’s soldiers, marching as to war, with the hammer of Moradin going on before…” he states and then sings.
“Wait.” Gina calls to him.
“What is it now?”
“We need a Rogue.”
“What?”
“A Rogue.”
“We have no need of pilfering vagabonds, miscreants and ne’er-do-wells, we...”
“To find any traps that lie ahead.” Gina adds.

“Good idea, I think I suggested it earlier.” Cestode confirms.
“Then we’ll go and get one, back at the Inn, there’s a few shifty looking critters in there, bound to be one… me and Grungarak.”
Grungarak looks surprised, shrugs. Gina winks at Twiglet, who winks back.

“Perhaps I can be of assistance…” Cestode starts, but they’re gone, “right, spot of lunch- what’ve you got? I’ve got sausages, nothing better than a good old sausage in you, eh? Twiglet?”
Twiglet blushes furiously.
“Are you hot, we could take a step outside my trusty comrade in arms- once round the Monolith?”
Twiglet shakes his head.
“Glad of that- hate exercise, abhor it, rolling around, pumping, jiggling- sweating, profusely mind, not for me. A pie, now that’s exercise.”
Twiglet nods.
“I’ve had some great pies in my time, steak & kidley, mince & bunion, my mum…” Cestode suddenly has no where to go, his eyes glisten.

Twiglet nods.

“Glad we had this chat.” Cestode mutters and shuffles over to the exit, “I’ll make sure the monolith’s alright, find something to guard.” He heads up to wipe his eyes.

Twiglet takes a breath, her first one for ages.

And there endeth session 3 of actual game play.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- A good old sausage in you.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:13 am 
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Turn 19. “Clear up your mess.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.


An hour passes, mostly in enforced isolation, then they’re back.

“So what qualifications did you say you had?”
Fandango, all tight leather armour and Half-Elven Rogue, just delivered from the Drake, “I thought…” She looks at Gina, the Gnome shakes her head- no help there.
Cestode continues, “if you were in a balloon, and it was rising higher, and you had to throw someone out, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get back, who would you throw out… to earth, so you could get back there. Who?”
The Half-Elf scans the vacant faces that surround her.
“Easy. You.”

Time passes- Cestode works it out.
“Moradin you…” Twiglet restrains him.
“I want an equal share, minimum 100 gold, else I head back to Cillimar.” Fandango states.
“That’s an outrage, I…” Twiglet struggles to keep a grip on the frothing Paladin.
“That a deal?” Fandango asks and removes an errant piece of lint from her attire.
“One hundred- I’ll give you one… One of these.” Cestode proffers a meaty fist.
“Thanks for the exercise.” Fandango goes to leave.
“Wait.” Gina sees sense, “equal shares, including the magic, and fifty minimum.”
“What magic, I thought we were after some kids- what’s down there?”
“Don’t worry about that- there’s magic down there, fifty minimum.”
“Seventy five- up front.”
Cestode makes animal noises as he struggles.
“Deal.” Gina concludes.

Two or three minutes of stuggling and swearing later order is restored, well… of a sort. Cestode’s still not happy.

“Can you check the door ahead.” Gina points, Fandango nods, “I’ll put my talents to work, if you’ll keep the lumbering Dwarf at bay.”
Cestode fumes, and then thinks- possibly a first.
“How do we know, y’know- how do we know that you’re up to it- the job?” The Paladin of Moradin grins.
“What?”
“Look over there”, Cestode points, “that skull, in the corner, on the crate- get it for me, if you can do that, then…”
“Just the skull?” Fandango looks confused, “why?”
“Cestode, that’s a tr…” Twiglet starts up but is cut short.
“A test- just a test.” Cestode declares.
Fandango shrugs and mooches over to have a look at the skull lodged in the corner.

“NO.” Twiglet’s getting angry, he stomps off down the passage- to the door, “we need you to check out this…”

FWUD- “Aaaaaaaaaagh…”

And…

CRUNCH

Two things happen at once, Twiglet reaches the end of the passage- the floor gives way- he falls. At the same time Fandango reaches in and grabs the skull, tugs it away, one corner of ceiling collapses but the Half-Elf is too quick, she’s out of the way- rubble and dust fill the air.

PLOOOOOOSH

Twiglet plummets into deep water, and somehow retains enough cool to furiously flap towards the surface- more by luck than judgement, the water is a little cloudy to say the least.

He breaks the surface.

“I’m alri…”

Then spots a very large Rat, a Dire Rat in fact, paddling towards him- he grabs out his dagger.

“Rats- get down here”, Twiglet calls up, “quickly.”

Up top things are not going to plan, the dust clears and lying amidst the rubble are the skeletal remains of a trio of, well- Skeletons, Orc in size and shape, oh look they’re picking themselves up and reaching for weapons, jagged, rusty scimitars.

“Rope- grab.” Grungarak gets to work, throws his rope down the newly formed hole and passes the end to Gina and Fandango. “Clear up your mess.” The Half-Orc shouts at Cestode then nods at the pair holding the rope- they take the strain, the Half-Orc descends.

Cestode shrugs, unlimbers his warhammer, spits on his hands and grins- “come to daddy.”

The first Orc Skeleton obliges and is smashed to smithereens.

“So he’s good for something.” Fandango whispers to Gina, who smiles.

Down below Twiglet snarls, the Rat splashes towards her and is stabbed in the belly, once, then twice- it floats off lifeless.

PLASH-PLASH

Twiglet looks about, two more Dire Rats have taken to the water, he frantically scans the circular cavern, some sort of a cistern- spots an opening, a set of stairs leading up out of the stinky water. He paddles furiously, thrashes the water to foam in an effort to get there.

PLOOOOSH

Grungarak falls the last ten feet into the stinking water, grabs a rat in passing, and submerges- rip, tear, rend. The Half-Orc surfaces and discards the corpse of the deceased Dire Rat neck broken by his crushing hands.

Twiglet makes the stairs, spins around as the last rat follows on, slices the thing but not before it’s taken a bloody chunk out of his ankle.

RAAAAAAAR

The noise comes from behind him, he spins around again- dagger still in hand.

Out of the darkened stinking chamber up the stairs ahead comes a huge creature all matted fur, clawed paws and terrifying beak- hang on, beak- it’s an Owlbear, a juvenile, but still six feet at the shoulder, Twiglet looks down at his dagger, back up at the Owlbear, turns once more, and plunges back into the fetid water.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Clear up your mess.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:19 pm 
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it might be poor form to post in these story segments. if so, i will ask an admin to delete my post ...

... but am i the only one that reads these posts and suspects that goonalan is a published author?! who the heck IS this guy? these are awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Clear up your mess.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Warduke wrote:
it might be poor form to post in these story segments. if so, i will ask an admin to delete my post ...

... but am i the only one that reads these posts and suspects that goonalan is a published author?! who the heck IS this guy? these are awesome.


Post all you like, don't mind me,all comments gratefully received,

As to the published author bit, well I'm flattered, but not at all- these posts represent much of the action from my present game, which is on hiatus for 4e at present- although I've got plenty more turns to write up...

I just endeavour to get all the words in the order right... Oh, I'm not always successful.

This one's for the Warduke-

Turn 20. “Dwarves- we don’t float.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.

Back up top the remaining pair of Orc Skeletons double team the fat Paladin of Moradin.

MASH

Or rather they would do, the second Skeleton loses his head, Cestode’s warhammer describes a furious arc, the offending skull ricochets off all four walls before coming to rest, the Skeleton concertinas into a pile of dried bones.

One left, and Gina’s no help, the Gnome is heading down the rope, now secured by Fandango, she's incredibly light, almost no weight at all.

Gina gets half-way down the line and stops, a light spell flares, illuminating the chamber fully, and the Owlbear growling at the top of the stairs, the creature moans and shuffles backwards not used to the glare.

And that’s all the time Grungarak and Twiglet need, the pair share a look and then thrash their way to the stairs and out, trampling some sort of nest on their way after the monstrosity, a rats nest by the look of things.

The pair dash into the Owlbear’s chamber that stinks like a butcher’s slaughterhouse, the air thick with the smell of bloody feathers. A hulking shape looms out of the darkness, and is met by flashing axes.

The creature lurches forward paws the air before it and for its efforts is gashed horribly, blood and fur fly, the thing squeals like a stuck pig as Grungarak buries his blade in the creature’s side. Twiglet is none too slow either, a downward chop that bites deep into the its left knee, it moans, almost sags and falls.

It swipes out, desperate; one claw catches Grungarak, spins the Half-Orc around and away- blood gushes from the wound on his forehead. Twiglet dodges in, swings his greataxe beneath the creature’s guard, buries the blade deep in its gut. The creature squeals again, wrenches the axe from the Dwarf’s hands and backs away, moaning all the while, blood pours from the wound, a curtain of red making the floor slick.

The Owlbear gets only two or three feet away before finally collapsing, one slow sad eye opens and closes, it takes a good while for it to die.

Back in the first chamber the last Skeleton is giving Cestode the run around, the Dwarf has already taken a glancing blow, his armour absorbing much of the hurt, till finally he backs the thing into a corner and smashes its legs from beneath it.

The fight is over.

Two minutes later the rope has been secured up top and Cestode has finally made his way down, and through the water,

“Not made for water, Dwarves- we don’t float, it’s against nature, the teachings of Moradin, start splashing around in water and where will it end- washing, that’s where.”

The others ignore his mutterings, explore the chamber properly. It’s a stinking mess however there’s something odd in the rat’s nest, interesting-odd, a bone, a rib by the look of it, although much bigger than a human rib, the bone is covered in odd runes, Gina tucks it away, perhaps Quintas can help to identify it.

Then there’s a spiral staircase heading down, and down’s where they need to go, but not too soon, Gina tends to wounds, and proffers friendly words.

“Keep it up Twiggy, you’re a real warrior now- look at the size of that thing.” Twiglet and Gina turn to stare at the corpse of the Owlbear. Twiglet grins.
“There, there Mr. Grungarak.” Gina soothes the hurts of the Half-Orc, who grunts and nods back at the Gnome.
“Chin up brave Paladin of Moradin.” Cestode shrugs and looks along the line to Fandango- grimaces at the Half-Elf.
“I’m fine Gina, I endeavour to avoid sharp objects, at all times.” Fandango winks at the Gnome, and she’s done.

Fandango also makes a discovery, the skull she rescued earlier, on Cestode’s behest, it’s got something rattling inside, the something turns out to be a nicely cut emerald, not of great value but nice looking and worth a gold or thirty. The value of the stone increases dramatically when Gina indicates that the gem seems to have magical qualities- although what they are, another item for Quintas to inspect.

Five minutes later they’re heading down, and this time Grungarak is leading the way, which is fortunate as he’s been in the chamber below before- soft, gloomy light, radiates from overgrown, giant mushrooms. The floor is covered with a thick carpet of rotting humus, and the air stinks of stagnant water and decay.

And at the far end of the room, a pair of golden doors, overgrown by a flailing Assassin Vine that probes the air as they shuffle around the outside of the chamber, keeping as far away as they can from it’s twirling lianas.

“Moradin’s greenhouse, how do we kill that?” Cestode asks.

Grungarak points, buried within the thickest part of the plant is its central stalk, the Half-Orc stops pointing and starts shooting, arrow after arrow thunk into the heart of the plant, a good half of them penetrating the rough bark.

Fish in a barrel time, the others join in, save Cestode who, as it turns out, has an opinion on missile weapons.

“Face-to-face, that’s real fighting, the clash of steel, combat-at-arms- anyone can throw things, fire them… whatsits?” The Dwarf indicates the strange device that Gina is putting to good use.
“It’s a crossbow.” The Gnome states and shakes her head.
“Crossbow, an alien word to a Paladin of Moradin, victory can only be gained in the test of strength.” The Dwarf shuts up a while.

Eventually the Assassin Vine flops onto the floor, dead.

“Where can I buy, one of these- Cross-Bows?” Cestode enquires of Twiglet, in a whisper, when no-one is about.

“I’ll check out the doors.” Fandango heads over, Gina scurries after the Half-Elf.
Grungarak guards the way, which leaves Cestode and Twiglet with time on their hands- they promenade.

Actually march- Cestode insists.

“Marching’s good for the soul, it’s orderly, and in polite societies, Dwarven societies that is, it’s considered fashionable- you can tell a lot from how a Dwarf marches.”

Twiglet tries to keep up, Cestode has taken marching to whole new level- hops, skips, turns, random about-faces, there’ll all in there.

“For instance, if an observer were to see me marching now, well they’d know that I was a serious Dwarf, that I have good intentions, and…” Cestode stops stretches a leg, “feel that”, he indicates his right calf.
Gingerly Twiglet reaches down and rubs the spot, “Nice.”
“Isn’t it- I have excellent calves.” He flexes some more, Twiglet rubs some more.

“Oh.” Twiglet stops, stares hard at a blank piece of wall.
“What is it?” Cestode is all action, greataxe to the fore.
“Secret door.” Twiglet points to the wall.
“Where?”
“Where I’m pointing.” Cestode follows the finger, it’s a blank bit of wall.
“I’ll tell the others, you find the opening mechanism.”
“But…” Twiglet heads off, as good as her word.
Cestode turns back to stare at the wall- he has no clue where to start.
“Bastard.” He whispers and then feels the stony impediment that bars the way, not even sure he’s looking in the right place.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Dwarves- we don’t float.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:43 pm 
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Turn 21. “Shining example of he-Dwarf.”

The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.


Twiglet returns, with Gina in tow, the golden portals are proving to be quite a conundrum, not the opening as much as to the what happens next, after they’ve been opened- they seem to be trapped, or else something happens- the Half-Elf’s not entirely sure, she continues to search for the answer.

“Well I’ve scoured the whole of this wall”, Cestode indicates everything within reach- it’s not a lot, “there seems to be no opening mechanism, as far as I can see, there’s probably nothing here, a false secret door- sneaky, Gnomes are you know, oh hello Gina, I didn’t see you there.”
Gina scowls, “it looks like a door, even I can see it.”
Cestode peers around, stares hard at the spot, what are they seeing?

Twiglet sets to, and a minute later agrees with the Paladin of Moradin, “nope- odd really, why would you go to the trouble, unless”, Twiglet marches over to Fandango, and when I say marches, I mean marches- Cestode style.
“Look at him move.” Cestode rocks back and forth, chuckles and claps his hands in admiration.
Gina screws up her face, confused.

A little while later, “Ok- got it”, Fandango calls them over.

The doors are decorated in a sheet of hammered gold, depicted on which are the traditional enemies of Gnomes – Dragons, Giants, Ogres, and Kobolds. The key, rather the lock, is in the Giant’s mouth- Fandango reaches in.

“There are some tumblers in here, hard to manipulate, made for smaller hands, still I think I’ve got the hang of it.” Fandango states while working away.

The others, bar Twiglet, take several steps back, adventurers are an instinctive bunch. Twiglet catches up on reality, she retires a little way and…

CLICK

The doors open and…

GRIND

“What was that?” Cestode’s in combat mode.
“The door’s open.” Twiglet leaps into the air to celebrate, claps his hands like a… well, a little girl, and then scurries off to see.
“Is he…” Cestode starts up.
“Oh, I get it- he’s a sh…” Fandango cuts the Dwarf off.
“Shining example of he-Dwarf… ness.” Gina concludes.
Cestode looks from one to the other- what did he miss, Fandango grins and heads over to examine the newly opened secret door.

Very soon after they break for sandwiches, it seems the Half-Elf Rogue has found some more traps, which is a shame as the secret chamber revealed is desperately in need of looting.

The stench of death and untold antiquity assaults their senses. Inside the darkened alcove is a dusty wooden altar, covered in cobwebs, and in two smaller alcoves, recesses, a pair of coffers- silver coffers, silver as in the metal, not just the colour.

Cestode rubs his hands together- undisguised glee, minimalist undisguised glee however.

But that’s all before Fandango ruins the party.

“There’s a… portcullis”, Fandango points up, “and then there’s two”, she points again- to the spaces just before each of the silver chest, “two, raised areas- there and there, triggers, any weight on them and… Whammo.”
“Whammo.” Cestode states, “what does Whammo mean, exactly?”
“No idea, nothing good I’d imagine.”
“Do you even know what you’re doing?” Cestode splutters.
“Yes.” Fandango states, certain, “not rushing in- getting myself killed, however…” Fandango curtsies and indicates that the way is clear for Cestode to try his luck.
“Harumph.” The Paladin of Moradin goes for a little walk, then stops and turns back- grinning.
“Can’t we just drag the coffers out, we don’t have to step on the triggers- ahhh, see, I was paying attention.”
“Not if there’s anything in them.”
Cestode stares into space a moment; in polite societies it signifies thinking, finally- “why?”
“Because the weight of the coffers will probably activate the triggers.” Fandango concludes.
“Then we just have to disarm all of the traps- starting with the portcullis.” Cestode goes one better.
“Right, I hadn’t thought of that. Give me a minute.”

“Logic, cold-hard Dwarven logic.” Cestode taps the side of his head and retires to eat pre-lunch.

Twenty minutes later Fandango’s done, or not…

“The portcullis is secured; the other two traps are beyond my skill…”
“Beyond…”
“However”, Cestode shuts his mouth, “I have a plan.” Fandango continues, “two of us rush in, grab the coffers and drag them out.”

Nobody talks for a while because they think there’s more to it- the plan that is.

There isn’t.

“Who goes in?” Cestode’s eager, he’s also the slowest and least agile person present, he smiles, warm in that knowledge.
“Me.” Fandango states.
“Me.” Grungarak concurs.

It goes like a dream.

The pair rush in, trigger the triggers, grab their respective coffers and rush back out again, all before the right hand wall of the chamber travels all the way across to crush anyone, in this case no-one, that’s left in the chamber.

“Whammo.” Fandango says, and springs the first chest, and what a lot they’ve got, courtesy of a Detect Magic spell from Gina they divine that there are two magical milky white pearls; a magical warhammer- Cestode doesn’t wait to be asked, he grabs it; a magical cloak, and five magical crossbow bolts. There’s also a trio of gold ingots and a single, beautiful, emerald wrapped in silk.

“That paid for your time?” Gina asks.
Fandango grins at the Gnome.

The find is stashed away; they head over to the golden portals and through.


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 Post subject: Re: Whiterock Campaign Storyhour- Shining example of he-Dwarf.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:38 am 
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Turn 22. “The stars are beautiful.”

A moment away from the narrative to introduce Fandango, for your delectation and gaming pleasure-

The stars glitter, she’d never felt so… so… alive.

Safe in his arms, twenty-one and in love, beyond love… already. She’d found her soul mate- the man that she would marry, raise children with, grow old with…

“The stars are beautiful, when I see them, when I’m away- I think of your smile.”

They dance on, the beat mirroring the beat of her heart, Fandango felt like she was in heaven, lighter than air, the tips of her toes barely brushing the ground.

He’s eighteen, three years her junior, of the Rhenee folk, bargees, floating extended families content to ply the waterways of the land, sometimes in search of adventure, most times laden with cargo for faraway places. His high cheek bones are perfect, his face- well, an Adonis, his hair- silky, too good to be true, and yet here he is- holding her to him, his strong arms…

They dance on.

Until the sun comes up.

Then it’s back to the fire, the music has stopped, it stopped an hour ago, but by that time they no longer needed the violin and the drum, the rhythm was within them.

The drum.

The Drum.

DRUMDRUMDRUM.

Fandango awakes, it’s raining outside, and on the thin and leaky wooden roof of the shack, she pulls the covers over her- cold. She shivers and coils her hair around her finger.

Time passes, oh so slowly.

Eventually hunger gets the better of her, she rises, tip toes across the sodden boards to investigate the cupboards knowing full well that there’s nothing to be found there- she looks anyway, even feigns annoyance for a while.

Then heads back to bed.

Pulls the covers up over her.

Cold still.

Hungry still.

The rain beats on the roof, trying to get in.

She lies down, closes her eyes, blocks out the light.

The fire’s almost out now, they hold hands, gaze into the dying embers lost in the moment, lost forever.

His hand feels warm in hers, and yet his touch is light, almost fading.

He turns to her, stares into her eyes, eventually leans in to kiss.

Kissssssss.

HISSSSSSSS.

She wakes again, the water has made its way into the shack, although the drum on the roof has ceased, it’s dark out.

Droplets fall onto the still warm oven, bubble and hiss into puffs of steam.

Fandango gets up again, in a rush this time- she dresses quickly, then leans hard on the door, it sticks sometimes, and bursts out into the night.

A toenail of moon shines down illuminating the muddy lane, the other wooden shacks, and behind them the huge broken walls of Cillamar.

She heads off in a crouch, warped like a crone, makes for the nearest gap in the wall, she’s soon there, nobody sees her, there’s nobody about. Although a hacking cough, emanating from one of the other rickety shacks, signals life, although fading.

She’s through the gap and into the city itself, at this time of the night there’s next to nobody about, drunks in the doorways, a few watchmen doing their level best to avoid anyone’s attention, and the odd shadowy figure more concerned with their own business than the business of others.

It takes her ten minutes to reach the Temple of Pelor, unheard and unseen.

The main door is open- she goes inside.

Finds a pew.

Settles into it.

And finally sleeps.

Without dreams.

Three days later she awakes.

In a cell.

Right on cue the cell door opens.

“You can go.” The watchman indicates the direction of the exit, follows her out, to the front desk first for her belongings, then out into the cold light of day.

He’s a young man, the watchman, not yet wearied of the job, he has some sympathy- he passes Fandango a handful of coins and nods his head towards the Drake.

Fandango heads off.

A second watchman exits the watch house, stands there- stretching his legs, stiff and tired after a long shift spent sleeping off yesterday’s hang-over.

“Sad story.” The first watchman speaks.
“Mmm.” The other acknowledges the effort, and yet remains uninterested.
“Killed her man.”
“Who did?” That’s got his attention.
“That one.” The first watchman motions towards Fandango just entering the Drake across the way.
“How come we’re letting her go then?”
“He’d been bitten- Ghoul, he was on the turn when…”
Silence for a while.
“When she stuck him with a knife. Been shacked up with his rotting corpse for two weeks when we found her... found her- that’s a laugh- we found her asleep at the Temple of Pelor, it took two days with the Sarge to get her to tell us where she lived, where the body was.”
“Mmm.” The second watchman sidles round to a side wall, unbuttons his flies and pisses against the watch house.
“We found the dagger still in her hand at the Temple- knew she’d killed someone, just couldn’t work out who.”
“D’ya wanna cuppa?” The second watch man is back.
“Nah.”
The second watch man ducks back inside, the first reaches out, grabs his arm.
“Husband gets bitten, turns into some undead beast- tries to kill her, the place was a nightmare- blood everywhere, she stabs him to death and then, get this, drags him back to bed- sleeps with him, for two whole weeks, doesn’t eat- there’s nothing to eat.”
The second watch man tries to free his arm, he can’t- the first holds tight.
“Then we- we get her back here and kick the sh*t out of her. For two days.”
The second watchman shakes his arm free at last, enters the watch house without a backward glance.

The first watchman turns back to the Drake.

Fandango’s long gone.

He hopes she’s sitting by the fire.

With something to eat.

And drink.

And someone to talk to.

The sun beats down.

It’s a beautiful day.


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