Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Cult Entrenched.

The Ivory Scimitars regrouped back in Kelton to resupply and gather their forces for another strike on the forest base of the Lizard Cult; during which, the fangs of the Cult were barred in a retaliatory strike - an assassination attempt on Roldrick. Darkedge, the Eastern Shinobi, gave chase after the rooftop assassin, but lost him after being wounded by the would-be killer.

After a days rest, the group began their three day journey back to the Woods of Sharp Teeth. The travel across the prairie was uneventful, perhaps a calm before the storm. As they approached the marshland mound that lead to the Cult's lair, strange totems were found. Bones, both human and animal, adorned the wooden tripods, clearly placed there as a warning. Crude as they were, they were unnerving to several of the Scimitars, but Roldrick fearlessly pressed the group forward. Near the mound, many large lizards were tethered to surrounding trees. These great lizards bore leather saddles and were likewise adorned with bones as well as what appeared to be human scalps. The Reptilian mounts were not disturbed; instead, the party descended into the lair.

Down the earthen stairs they went, deep into the wet underground. Even though he'd purchased an everlasting Torch back in town, Roldrick failed to spy a thin tripwire stretch across a step and triggered a clay pot full of Green Slime to spill upon him. His everlasting Torch was useless, as the magic item only provided light and no heat. Thinking quickly, Morn plied his skill in the Art upon poor Roldrick, summoning a Vancian sphere of many colors that burned the slime from him.

The attack at the bottom of the stairs was clearly rehearsed in anticipation of the return of the Ivory Scimitars. Fanatics of the Lizard Cult shot both arrows and spells at our stair-bound heroes, causing them to retreat back up to the surface. The clash was furious and swift; fighters on both sides were held fast by holding spells and druidic entanglement. Poisoned daggers glanced off armor and shields, and cultists fell before righteous blades.

Then entire engagement lasted not even a minute, but the curses and warcries of the fighting men aroused the curiosity of a bizarre denizen of the deep. Rubbery flesh pressed against muddy walls in the westernmost passage of the entry chamber. Sensing prey with it's long eye-stalks, the Giant Slug vomited a gout of corrosive fluid at the leading member of the party. Once again, Roldrick was victim of the fury of the Cult, as the acidic fluid burned his armor into a useless husk.

Things continued to spiral out of the Scimitar's control as the slug blocked the passage to the surface with it's fleshy bulk and pushed the group southward and deeper into the underground complex. Slithering out of the pool of stagnate water in the center of the next chamber was a mechanical construct in the form of a great cobra, its fangs dripping with certain death. The slug continued to belch forth its caustic acid against the Scimitars and the Iron Cobra focused its attacks on the only name the Cultist knew of the party ... Roldrick, he who slew the High Priestess in Kelton.

With considerable effort - almost to the point of exhaustion - the Ivory Scimitars prevailed against the randomly appearing slug and the programmed Iron Cobra.  They had reached the secret door that behind which was a boat that could ferry them across the stinking waters of the next chamber. But the boat had been removed. The group decided to move across the hip deep waters as swiftly as possible. Their fears were realized in the form of three hungry Giant Alligators that were hurriedly swimming toward their next meals.

Morn threw icy bolts of arcana at the beasts, while Ramne, the elderly wizard from Kelton, manipulated the very fabrics of time and space about the gators, causing them to slow their approach. Even as such, the beasts were formidable, causing injuries greatly against the Scimitars as they struggled to reach the other side of the chamber.

No member of the Scimitars were not bloodied by the vicious Alligator attack, but made it to the other side of the chamber, they did. Their path was highlighted on their map as to the most direct way to the heart of the Cult's activity. A long hallway leading to the stairs that descended to the chapel of the damned was next to be overcome. The Cult had prepared the great hallway with mosses and swampland vegetation on the floor.  The group pressed on.

The Cult had dug pits in the hallway, twelve feet deep, but only five by five feet in width. In each pit was an undead abomination.  These Hungry Dead were particularly hard to dispatch,  for there was not much room to manoeuvre in the pits and even missile weapons were a poor solution considering the closeness of the undead targets and their prey. The Ivory Scimitars dealt with two such pit traps before utilizing a ten foot pole to scout ahead for further traps, which were found and quickly bypassed.

Arriving at the stairway to the second level of this complex, a large bloody smear stretch across the stone tiles of this room leading under the door to the stairs. An eerie silence filled the room creating a certain trepidation among the group. The pushed themselves past the gory scene and took to the stairs going down.

It was at the midpoint of the stairway a Strange Skeletal Construct reared it's souless face to be lit by Roldrick's everlasting torch. At each end of the beast, there were skulls; both ends were typically skeletal up to where the torso ended - and here they were connected by additional spinal bones and sharpened rib bone. It moved in the flickering torchlight like a great serpent. Ramne wasted no time in dispatching the horror, hurling a great lightning bolt at the thing. It writhed as it blacked under the power of the old wizard and finally fell; its scorched bones tumbling down the stairs into the dark below.

The clattering spill of bones in the dark served as a warning to the Lizardmen at the stairwell's bottom. Trident armed Lizardmen charged up the stairs and clashed with the party's strongest, yet very wounded members. Roldrick sounded a full retreat back up the stairs. The Lizardmen pushed their advantage upward.

Manjores shouted to the party to split up to better flank the lizardmen in the labyrinthine tunnels above. Utilizing their map to their best advantage, all the while keeping a steady distance from their pursuers, the Ivory Scimitars successfully flanked the Lizardmen in the now empty Alligator Chamber. The battle was swift, but the party was badly beaten ... they would take refuge in the Gator's nests for now ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Against The Reptile Cult - Part II

... She was of an ethereal beauty, stepping out of the shadows. Her short cropped hair, though some might consider boyish, made her devilish smile all the more noticeable. In a quick gesture, she blew the would-be heroes a kiss, from which a pair of dice, knucklebone of eldritch origin, clattered against each other as they rolled across the earthen floor ...

Burning reptilian eyes of red came swiftly out of the gloom, crimson with murderous intent. Korrick and Malark stood firm, with Manjores just behind them, steady to meet their charge. Swords, Scales, and Great Maul met in a savage clash of violence. Korrick rushed forth and summoned his strange Druidic powers to entangle his foes as his rage set in. Malark cracked scaly skulls with his Great Maul and Manjores moved to the first rank of their formation, skewering serpent men as he went. Elvish Arrows split the shadows and found their marks in the chests of Troglodytes, again and again, as the fray continued in the claw dug earthen tunnel.

As quickly as it begun, it was ended and the party of fighting men  felt as lady luck was surly on their side. They pressed deeper into the Reptile Cult's warren, eyes ever ready for retaliatory attacks.

They descended stairs deeper into the lair, and found themselves in a labyrinthine network of tunnels. Dorian lead the party with light Elf steps into the shadowy halls. Suddenly, with an unearthly quickness, the shadows leapt forth at the elf, covering him with chitinous legs hungry for his blood. The great arachnid was quickly dispatched by Malark's heavy Maul, but not before Dorian had succumb to the beast's poison. Wearily, the brave Elf managed to stand and press on with the party's aid ...

The winding tunnels of earth opened up to reveal a large chamber of shin deep mud. This hindered the group slightly, but as they waded through the muck, more hungry arachnids attacked them from below. Burrowing out of the wet floor were great centipedes that latched onto their legs in search of rare meals. Now, others fell victim to poisons and Malark and Llywillin struggled to carry the fallen to the other side of the chamber, fighting off hungry Centipedes as the went.

"Halt ... Drop your weapons and comrades," a voice called from just beyond the threshold of mud. Six to Eight bow-armed men drew bead on the Barbarian and Elf as they struggled to drag the rest of the party to dry earth ... but surrender they did to the bowmen. They were lead to a great chamber that was engulfed with an underground lake. A phosphorescence of lichen cast the rocky walls in a pale green glow. Great pillars reached to the cavern ceiling and great serpents were carved into the stone, which entwined their circumference from the waterline to their top ends.

Upon reaching the opposite shore, the party was forced to kneel before a serpent entwined pillar - but the serpent clinging to this stone column was not carved of rock, it was very much alive. The great beast lowered it's human-like head, just nearly shadowed by it's cobra-like hood, before the group. It spoke to Malark and Llywillin in a gravely, yet whispering voice,

"Worship Me ..."

With a golden glow in its eyes, The Naga's spell of charming seemed to take hold on the both of them. The group was then lead to a jail of sorts, were they were stripped of their belongings and locked away, under close watch by the charmed duo of Malark and Llywillin.

There was the sounds of many voices outside of the brig, as though some social event was about to take place in the bowels of the Cult lair. Trident armed men entered the jail, and Llywillin, who'd been biding his time - unaffected by the Naga's charm - dove into one of the guards. Malark shook off the magical effect just in time to aid his Elvish comrade.But one of the guards managed to yell above the growing noise outside and call for assistance. Keys were quicly collected from the guards, and now, Korrick and Malark, armed with two newly acquired Tridents stepped into the outer hallway, looking for their stolen gear.

After a quick fray with Cultists, in which the guards were soundly defeated, the group turned to the South to evade more sentinles spilling into the outer hall. Some manner of undead attempted to hinder what was turning into an escape from this subterranean temple. The fortitude of the undead creature was formidable, but the fight against the creature was cut short as more cultist took up pusuit of the party ... a chant was swelling in the twisting turns of the labyrith ...

"Ia, Ia, Yig-Ia!"

The chant caused panic in the party, yet somehow - without a map to aid them -  the stairway back to the surface was frantically located by Manjores ... they ran, clearly outnumbered by the Cult, through the claw carved warren and out into the marsh of The Woods of Sharp Teeth ...

They vowed to collect the rest of the Ivory Scimitars and strike again at the Reptile Cult ... this tale was far from over ...

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Agianst the Cult of The Reptile God

In Kelton, the threat of the Reptile Cult was driven a crippling blow by the Ivory Scimitars, with the killing of the High Priestess in the abandoned Temple of Chauntea ...

... However, in the complex below the Wood of Sharp Teeth, the barbarians and their Elf companions were literally fighting tooth and nail against the dreaded cult.

One of their members was hypnotised by the haunting melody of a siren song, but he was quickly restrained by the Goliath called Korrick. No sooner than he was physically disabled, the Harpy attacked the group from the air. Malark's hefty maul crippled the bitch beast and she was quickly slain by Elvish blades.

The beast's nest-like lair was investigated and bore collected treasures of silver and gold; and according to Dorian, an enchanted necklace. Malark took an expensive ruby strung chain of gold as his prize, while Korrick favoured the mystical medallion.

After much exploring in the damp tunnels - some over-washed and sunken in - more Cult members defended their subterranean base, but proved to be little resistance to the Druidic-like powers of the Goliath - who entangled his foes and then pummelled them unto death.

The stench of Troglodytes overpowered the ever present stink of swamp gas deeper into the underground fortress, as a pair of reptilian guards were overcome at a crossroad in the dark tunnels. While the foul odor of the creatures was utterly bowel churning, only the Elf, Llywillan, was overcome with violent retching. The party of invaders followed the vile scent to a locked door deep within the maul of the Cult's headquarters were Malark attempt to break down the door with his impressive might, but his only success was making a loud noise that alerted those behind the door.

The Troglodytes spilled into the hallway like so much slime dripping from the dungeon walls. They were great in numbers, overrunning the barbarians and Elves with little effort. Korrick worked frantically to revive his comrades from the unconsciousness that his fallen friends had succumbed to, yet the Troglodytes pressed their advantage against the group. They fled down muddy tunnels; turning West, then South ... it was difficult to recall in their haste. Turning tail did not set with the barbarians well, and Malark decided to make a stand, better to die in battle rather than  fleeing like scared children in the dark. His bravery inspired the group, and Korrick took to his side and the Elves drew their bows in anticipation of the reptilian hoard chasing them in the gloom ...

... Tymora smiles on heroes and fools ... it remains to be seen which our heroes are.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beneath the Woods of Sharp Teeth ...

They departed from Kelton after another round of mead, which the Moon Elf, Dorian, happily supplied. Korrick and Malark the Barbarian drank deeply in anticipation of the journey that they knew would have its chances for glorious and righteous combat. Overhearing the festivities, the newly arrive paladin, Manjores, asked to join the quest to strike at the Lizard Cult. It was agreed by all that the paladin would join their ranks, if nothing else but for the luck of the gods to be on their side.

The foggy morning revealed rolling grasslands to the west of Kelton and fewer and fewer farms as they marched onward into the Borderlands. Dorian took first watch that evening as they camped on the plains. Come the morn, they were roused from their bedrolls by the Elf and fed a breakfast of granola and nuts, no cooking was to be done on this journey, as not to arouse the appetites of predators.

The Woods of Sharp Teeth greeted them like a spectre in the night - it's dense grouping of trees creating a twilight in the midday; the sounds of birds and squirrels absent in its gloom. Onward through t6he brambles and thickets they strode, guided by the keen eyes and light feet of the Elf, Dorian.  He lead them straight into a soupy marsh in the centre of the woods and bade the party continue on in the stinking bog, that their destination would not be much further.

The further they travelled into the swamp, the smellier it got, until it was nearly unbearable. There was a great splash and the source of the stench was upon them. Teeth and claw gnashed against axe blades and elvish swords, as the Troglodyte scouts attempted to capture the party. As quickly as it began, it was over and black tar-like trog blood rested upon the murky waters.

Dorian lead the to an artificial island mound created by a crude dike in the dismal wetland. In the centre of the mound was an opening that lead into the moist earth. They descended into the mound along wet, slippery stairs, into the foetid hole of darkness. Though the elves scarcely needed light to see in the bowels of the swamp, not so was it for the men. As they stepped into the gloom, Manjores lit a torch to revile the mound's secrets to all.

No sooner than they had come to rest at the stairway's end, they were assailed by spear wielding men, no doubt cultist on guard in this damp underground. The spearmen were quickly dispatched and Dorian quickened the pace into the depths of this place. In their haste, Malack stepped into a concealed pool of Green Slime just beneath the grime of the wet floor of this place, which claimed his boots, but not his feet.  The pool of slime was circumvented by placing a wooden door, ripped from it's spongy hinges by Korrick the Goliath, and placed over the dungeon hazard.

Backtracking through the complex a bit, the party discovered sleeping cultist, who were rudely awakened by blades in the dark. None were sparred.

Deeper into the lair of the Lizard Cult, they discovered  an over-washed section of hallways with waist high waters blocking their path. Undeterred by this obstacle, they waded into the waters, only to be set upon by hungry crocodiles. The great lizards nearly drowned the Goliath in the shallow waters and cause Malark to shed more than a little blood, but with great determination, the party survived to fight another day ...

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Plot Thickens ...

Mithelvarn's Labyrinth drew blood and claimed Vartan in a horrible display of gore as his head was pulped by Bugbear assailants that chased the Ivory Scimitars out of the Dungeon for now ...

... However, later, at the Company Major Tavern, Korrick and his new found drinking companion, a stout Barbarian, were confronted by Dorian, a strange sight in Kelton, as Moon Elves, or any kind of Elf for that matter, is a rarity. He joined their carousing and struck up conversation with them, trying to learn more about their from whereabouts and why they were in Kelton. The Elf's nosiness was quickly forgiven after he bought several rounds of Mead, and after he was satisfied with the aims of the Ivory Scimitars, he disclosed the true purpose of his acquaintance with the two fighting men.

It was heavily rumored that many townsfolks had succumbed to following strange reptile gods ... Yig, Set, and others lesser known were sited by the gregarious Moon Elf. Dorian had been summoned by the Mayor of Kelton, Zacarius Ormund, a former Adventuring comrade of the Elf's, several weeks prior to investigate the rumors. Dorian claimed they were indeed true and he and his Elvish companion, Llywillan, were seeking men such as the fearsome Ivory Scimitars to aid them in striking at the woodland heart of the Lizard Cult.


Meanwhile, Roldrick had received a message from a mysterious stranger to meet him at the gates of the abandoned temple of Chauntea. Roldrick assembled the remaining Ivory Scimitars and set out to meet with the odd request.

There, sitting at the gate of the abandoned temple sat an old man, leaning on a gnarled staff accompanied be a pet weasel that sat in a satchel draped over his frail shoulder.. He introduced himself as Ramne, and proceeded to tell Roldrick that he had heard of the newly reformed Ivory Scimitars, and trusted that they'd not been so long in Kelton to be corrupted. He went on about how the old Temple of Chauntea was not so abandoned as it seemed; that cultist of strange reptilian deities were cavorting in it's ruin and he needed the Scimitars' help in irradiating them for the good of the village.

Roldrick immediately trusted Ramne and agreed to take on the task at hand; but upon boldly striding up to the great ornate doors to the front of the temple - he found them barred from within. Ramne located a hidden entrance to the temple, probably used often by the secretive Lizard Cult, into which they entered the ruin.

In little time, they found themselves doing battle with fanatics of the Reptile Gods and guardian Skeletons; and soon after that, a multitude of vile Black Goblins assailed the Ivory Scimitars.

Though the exploration of the temple was in its infancy, the group spiked the doors shut in one of the meditation chambers and took a well deserved rest.

What more horrors remain in the temple would have to wait ... This scribe shall update you gentlefolk later.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Beneath Roslof Keep

Kelton is a small village on the west-most borderlands of Iriabor's influence and here on the frontier of what passes for civilization, stands stoic Roslof Keep; the last bastion of defence against the lawless plains between Eltugard and Amn.

It is here that our heroes have been gathered by Lord Aldenmier,the last of his lineage to the 7th House of Aldenmier. These adventurers have been tasked to revive the ageing lord's old banner, the Company of the Ivory Scimitar and help restore his House's former glory by braving the mad mage Mithelvarn's Labyrinth beneath Roslof Keep.

And so begins our FLGS campaign at WARGEAR ...

So far, the ragtag group has only but scratched the surface of the fabled dungeon; but in so doing, they've discovered powerful undead nightmares and dangerous humanoids - Orcs and Ogres and their kin, roaming the uppermost level.

Roldrick - Brave, if not befuddled warrior from beyond the gates ...

Grissom - War Priest of Tempus; wanted for smuggling in far northern Luskan ...

Vartan - Adventurer thief and scout for the party ...

Korrik - Savage warrior of Goliath stock ...

Oki - Eastern refugee monk fleeing the Shadow Ku-On in his homeland ...

Darkedge - Mysterious Ninja from Kozokura, also a refugee of those lands ...

Morn - Sorcerer of powerful arts ...

Akira - Another of Mystra's favoured; an Eastern Warlock of considerable skill ...

And who else is on the horizon, drawing ever closer ... wishing to dare the Labyrinth? Only the passing of sand in the hourglass will tell not the soothsayers and astrologers ... rumour has it they worship strange reptile gods ...