Land of Lost Souls

D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Sessions 12, 13
Dragon attack and defeating the Drow

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 12 and 13 of our D&D5e game, which were held on 17 and 31 May 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 6
  • Sakan Agramon Majere/Sam [Beruk A.]-male Irda (High Ogre) Ranger, charlatan disguised as a human, with snow leopard Minerva; TNc, Lvl. 6
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O./absent ]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 6
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 6
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 6
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 6
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 6
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

After persuading King Obould to withdraw some of the Orcish armies attacking the Dwarves of Thorbardin, the adventuring party had explored the ruined Irda (High Ogre) city of Vantal. It then defeated a Drider, an arachnoid servant of Lolth, before meeting with Dwarves on giant owls and Elves on great eagles.

The diplomats and scouts fly back toward the Kharolis Mountains. On the Plains of Dust, they see some of the hordes of Orcs returning to their homeland. However, Drow, giants, Driders, and even dragons have joined the siege.

Perogen and Rowan note that some of the chromatic and even metallic dragons are fighting among themselves, so they hang back as their companions head straight for Thorbardin.

The Wizard and Bard attend to a wounded gold dragon at the battle’s edge. The drake says that his “lord Paladine bade us to work with some of our chromatic kin to repel the newcomers to this world. Some of our youths — particularly red and green dragons — have been seduced by Lolth….”

Perogen and Rowan also see Clerics of Takhisis riding black, blue, and white dragons. The ancient gold thanks them by breathing a Blessing on them and then flies off to fight a young red dragon.

Meanwhile, Sam and Maddie maneuver to assess the tactics around the siege of Thorbardin. They see aerial cavalry consisting of Dwarves riding metallic dragons.

Cal, Redrik, and Santiddio land within the city’s battlements and are greeted by Shadowfox. They notice that the chief scout is acting strangely, so Cal casts Protection From Evil.

The others regroup, and Rowan joins with a Countersong. Shadowfox is angry to realize that Dark Elf prisoner Meandrea has tampered with his mind. Cal, Redrik, and Rowan go with him to report to King Ivor Stoneaxe as planned.

Sam, Maddie, Santiddio, and Perogen head with two elite Dwarven scouts to the dungeon. They find the guards there similarly ensorcelled and all the cell doors open. Meandrea says she has been waiting for them.

Perogen casts Fireball, but the Drow deflects his spell. Rogue Santiddio draws his rapier and dagger but swings wide, and Barbarian Maddie rages and strikes the Sorceress.

Meandrea casts, but Perogen counters. The infiltrator then poisons Maddie. Ranger Sam and his snow leopard Minerva both miss, as does Santiddio again. Maddie falls unconscious, and Meandrea summons a diabolical winged figure with a flaming whip. She taunts the would-be heroes, telling them to run.

The male Erinyes strikes Sam with a whip of Entanglement, and Perogen uses Expeditious Retreat to go warn the others. Santiddio drags Maddie out of the chamber, as Sam provides cover, leaving four explosive arrows wedged in the floor.

Santiddio slashes at the whip holding Sam. Rowan gives an Inspiring Word to the Ranger and casts Heroism on himself, Sam, and Cal. The infernal Erinyes uses his whip to burn Sam, who manages to break free.

Cleric Redrik revives Maddie, who swings her axe at the Erinyes, misses, and again rages. Meandrea chants and opens a portal to the nether planes. She also turns the prisoners slain by Perogen’s Fireball and the fallen guards into zombies.

Seven zombies fight the remaining Dwarven sentries, and five collapse, thanks to invisible faerie dragon Itchum. Perogen yells to the Dwarves to fall back, but his Frostbite fails to affect the Erinyes or the Drow.

Paladin Cal casts Sanctuary on Sam. Cleric Redrik attends to Sam’s wounds as the Dwarves draw Holy Avengers and close on the Erinyes. Half-Elf Santiddio hits the monster twice before disengaging to draw his bow.

Fellow Half-Elf Rowan draws his sword and casts Sound Burst, destroying eight zombies. Sam throws a net at the Erinyes, briefly entangling him. Feline Minerva pounces on the Dark Elf but misses her.

Canine plainswoman Maddie strikes the Erinyes but misses Meandrea, who heals the devil and wounds Cal. Perogen runs around the melee and takes control of some of the zombies. He commands the Undead to drag the Drow out of the room.

Sylvan Elf Cal invokes his patron Kiri-Jolith, god of valor, as he Channels Divinity and smites Meandrea. She cuts him with a poisoned blade. Santiddio shoots arrows, misses, and maneuvers.

Rowan gives Santiddio an Inspiring Word and aids Maddie against the Erinyes. The Erinyes gets free from Sam’s net and hits Rowan. Sam asks Redrik to borrow his crossbow and fires at the witch. Maddie also lands a heavy blow.

Meandrea uses Mass Suggest to get Redrik, Maddie, and Perogen to drop their weapons. She also hides behind three Mirror Images. Perogen lobs Magic Missiles to deal with them, plus Chill Touch, and Cal manages to hit his foe despite being weakened by poison.

Redrik hurls a vial of the Light of Paladine at the gate, ending Meandrea’s summoning. The Dwarven guards hit the Erinyes, as Santiddio notices glyphs and a circle etched into the walls and floor of the Drow’s cell.

Rowan casts Healing Word on himself and grabs Maddie’s dropped axe. The bleeding but lawful Erinyes yields to the Dwarves and complies with their order to leave the plane.

Meandrea swings her Mace of Contagion, but Perogen casts Blindness on her as he notes that her minions are dwindling since he controls the remaining zombies.

Cal Lay on Hands to keep himself in the fight, and Redrik heals Santiddio. Cal finishes off Meandrea with swift sword strikes, but she says, “Death is not the end.” Redrik pours the Tears of Paladine on her oozing wounds.

Perogen identifies the dead Drow’s explosive runes and summoning circle, and Rowan casts Dispel and Shatter to disable them. The Dark Elf and zombies dissolve, and the Dwarves take her mace and their wounded.

King Ivor later thanks the heroes for helping to stop an attack from within Thorbardin’s stout stone walls. However, Cal and company are worried when they learn that the Elves of Qualinost are also under attack….

Thanks, Dexter, for a mostly fun fantasy miniseries! I know it was a challenge to combine AD&D2 settings, a D&D4e/“Next” module, and numerous D&D5e characters. I look forward to helping you rebuild your world, as well as to our eventual return to the “Vanished Lands!” -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 11
Drider duel

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 11 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 26 April 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 5
  • Sakan Agramon Majere/Sam [Beruk A.]-male Irda (High Ogre) Ranger, charlatan disguised as a human, with snow leopard Minerva; TNc, Lvl. 5
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 5
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 5
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 5
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 5
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 5
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

The adventurers had entered the ruined Irda city of Vantal, encountering demonic centipedes (Quasits), hell hounds, and a Helmed Horror. They also found an oracular statue, a pool of transformation, and a cursed crown.

The group debates whether to press on or leave the catacombs. Perogen and Rowan are curious about a possible dragon in the lower depths, but Sam, Maddie, and Santiddio are more cautious.

Cal and Redrik recall their original mission to parley with Orc King Obould on behalf of the besieged Dwarves of Thorbardin. They note that they need to return and report.

While camping at the perimeter of the dungeon, the explorers hear whispers in the wind, saying words such as “release,” “redemption,” and “beware the shadows.”

Rowan eventually locates the source as a hand-and-a-half sword carried by Cal. The Paladin doesn’t sense any evil, so the Bard casts Identify. The sword actually contains the spirit of a man named Valenthius [LN, +2, +6 vs. Chaos, plus Protection From Chaos ].

Back on the surface, the spelunkers aren’t happy to see that a magical darkness has spread over all lands. Ranger Sam and Barbarian Maddie help their companions evade yet another Orcish patrol.

However, the six humanoids are led by a servant of Lolth that Wizard Perogen recognizes. She has the upper body of a Dark Elf and the lower body of a large spider.

The adventuring party decides to attack. Cal reaches for javelins, and Sam hits with Hail of Thorns. Cleric Redrik follows up with a Fireball, while Maddie closes for melee.

Perogen’s Chill Touch misses, and Rowan casts Heroism on himself and Maddie. Rogue Santiddio fires his magical bow. In response, the Drider casts Darkness, strikes Cal with an arrow, and taunts the “minions of the light; hear the voice of your new empress.”

Cal’s javelins miss, so the Sylvan Elf draws Valenthius, which glows. Human Perogen switches from Chill Touch to the more defensive Invisibility. Most of the Orcs swing wide, but one strikes Redrik.

Rowan and Maddie team up against one foe, with the Half-Elf inspiring the plainswoman to hit with her axe. Half-Elf Santiddio joins in with sword and dagger, killing an Orc.

Hill Dwarf Redrik invokes his patron deity Paladine to place Silence on Cal, preventing the servant of Lolth from casting more spells. However, the Drider hits Maddie, Rowan, and Santiddio with poison gas.

Before the Darkness fell, Cal glimpsed a beautiful woman, but he manages to shake off the Drider’s ensorclement. The holy warrior of Kiri-Jolith, lord of valor, smites his opponent. White-robed Perogen casts Magic Missile before joining Cal in the Silence.

The burly Orcs step out of the area of Darkness to attack Maddie and Rowan. Rowan grants inspiration to Maddie and Santiddio and swings at an Orc. Sam hits with Hail of Thorns and arrows, as Maddie senses something approaching. The skin changer rages and beheads an Orc.

Swashbuckling Santiddio kills two more of the Ogre-kin, and Redrik casts Daylight near Cal and the Drider. Perogen falls under her Charm and ceases his attacks. The spider-woman slashes at armored Cal with swords, but the two surviving Orcs surrender to Sam, who moves them away from the battle.

Maddie hacks at the Drider with her axe, and Redrik’s Scorching Ray badly injures her. Cal and Valenthius slay the Outsider. Sam and Santiddio quickly search the body, finding the following items:

  • arrows, infected by plague — destroyed by Redrik
  • arrows, 5, of Slaying (Lawful and Good) — destroyed by Cal
  • bow, + 2 — claimed by Sam
  • poison, 4 vials — claimed by Santiddio
  • spellbook — claimed by Perogen
  • swords, 2, of unknown metal (adamantium, + 1) — claimed by Santiddio and Rowan

The team resumes its hike to the rendezvous point. However, instead of just Dwarves on giant owls to meet it, there are also Elves on great eagles. Cmdr. Ileria explains that Thorbardin has asked for help from Quelinasti, which is itself under attack from armies of the nefarious Drow.

Perogen casts Message to send Shadowfox, a master scout among the Dwarves, a report on the division among the Orcs that may help with the siege of Thorbardin. The wanderers saddle up and head back southwest….

I’m sorry that we didn’t have quorum this past weekend, and note that we won’t be meeting virtually on Sunday, May 10, because of Mother’s Day. Still, I look forward to wrapping up our “Land of Lost Souls” miniseries and the “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” campaign! Stay in touch, -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Sessions 9, 10
Into the Irda ruins

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Sessions 9 and 10 of our D&D5e game, which were held on April 5 and 19, 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 4
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 4
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

After visiting King Obould in Bloten, the group encountered another Orcish patrol. It quickly slayed three wargs, but the Drow squad leader Teleported away. The Orcs surrendered and gave the adventuring party some maps before leaving.

The explorers enter the abandoned Irda (High Ogre) city of Vantal and descend into the ruins of an ancient temple. Stealthy Maddie and Santiddio scout ahead in the dusty catacombs.

Pious Cal and Redrik follow, with arcanists Perogen and Rowan behind them. Sam, who is hard to surprise, brings up the rear. The team finds smooth stones that are warm to the touch.

In one intersection, the party finds iron-bound doors to the north and wooden doors to the east and northwest. Two giant centipedes crawl into the tunnel and telepathically ask if anybody wants to play with them.

One of the arthropods turns into a small demon, frightening Sam. The Ranger casts Ensnaring Strike, keeping the creature from reaching him. A Magic Missile kills the centipede, and Paladin Cal slays the demon with his long sword.

Wizard Perogen identifies the demon as a Quasit, while Barbarian Maddie yanks open a door. Cleric Redrik and Skald Rowan follow.

The next chamber has a door to the west and stairs. On the east wall, someone has scrawled, “No, I said, it had Elven eyes.” Rogue Santiddio unlocks the door and sees a statue of a beautiful woman holding a brazier.

Sam and Perogen say the figure is a High Ogre. They light the brazier, and the statue’s eyes glow purple. She says they may ask one question.

Perogen asks about the “Spider Queen,” whom several of the Dark Elves they’ve encountered have mentioned. The entire squad suddenly sees itself in a shadowy place with sounds of skittering. A female Drow with the lower body of a spider sits on an ornate throne.

The statue says that Lolth’s followers are helping her gain entrance to this Prime Material plane of existence. Perogen is worried because he has heard the Spider Queen’s whispers before and might even be able to summon her. The vision disappears, and the statue’s eyes dim.

In the next room, the spelunkers sense magic. As their eyes are drawn to a glittering pool, Maddie hears something moving and growling. A hell hound steps into the light. Sam and Perogen try talking, but Cal and Redrik Sense Evil and charge.

Santiddio draws his rapier and a dagger and casts Comprehend Languages. Cal casts Protection From Evil on Santiddio. The hell hound breathes fire at the Half-Elf and Sylvan Elf.

Perogen casts Magic Missile, and Redrik heals Cal. Sam draws from the Waters of Destruction, and quick-thinking Maddie shoves the beast into the pool. Rowan makes sure that nobody is approaching from behind.

The hound emerges, radiant. The warriors keep their weapons drawn. Sam notices a carving of a dragon on the pool’s stone rim, and Redrik recognizes it as the seal of Sirrion, the god of alchemy.

In return for 400 out of his 800 steel pieces, Santiddio accepts a “gift of beauty” from the hound of Sirrion (+3 to Cha until transformation). The canine then vanishes.

At the north door, Santiddio hears more scurrying, and Sam senses something infernal. The party falls back to a room where it can lock the doors for a short rest. Cal invokes Kiri-Jolith, lord of valor, to heal Santiddio.

Later that night, Sam and Rowan take Minerva, one of two rescued snow leopard cubs, on watch for exercise. Unbeknownst to Sam, Minerva laps from the glowing pool and magically matures.

The adventurers resume exploring Vantal’s catacombs. To the southeast, Santiddio and Sam find a trap that would release a flail on a chain. They lead the group through a passage to the east to an archway.

Brave Cal and Maddie take up positions at the front of the marching order, followed by wary Santiddio and Redrik. Spellcasters Perogen and Rowan walk behind, with perceptive Sam again bringing up the rear.

Through the arch, they find a large room with a scaffold against one wall. A rickety ladder leads up to a platform. Curious Perogen and Santiddio climb up. The human and Half-Elf find four crates and one chest, as well as glyphs on the wall.

After some debate, Santiddio disables a needle trap and opens the chest. The Rogue finds coins, jewels, a crown of Irda make, and a note saying, “I told you to run.”

Perogen helps lower spelunking supplies, including rope, flasks of oil, and potions of Cure Wounds. The white-robed Wizard also finds a book titled The Art of Dragon Slaying.

In addition, Redrik claims a magical crossbow with Dwarven runes calling it “Dragon’s Bane.” The group passes around spare daggers and a hand crossbow.

Perogen, Santiddio, and Redrik all argue over who gets the crown. Rowan, realizing that it’s cursed, tries to close the case. A figure in red armor appears and says the artifact belongs to its master.

Rowan tries in vain to persuade it to help them find its master. Sam asks the armored apparition about its master, who was apparently on an expedition to find and study ancient texts. The red knight also alludes to a monster in a lower level. Redrik holds the crown and finds his essence being drained.

Perogen says the circlet should be destroyed, and the Helmed Horror draws its sword. Santiddio sneaks in, grabs the accursed crown from Redrik, and tosses it into a bag. He runs, leading the knight and his companions on a chase through the tunnels.

Maddie swings at the red knight but misses, and Cal senses that the being isn’t evil but the crown is. Rowan swings at the Helmed Horror as it passes him, then casts Enhance Ability (Con) on Redrik.

Sam grabs a journal from a crate and casts Ensnaring Strike, which slows the Helmed Horror. Redrik, still under the curse’s influence, chases after Santiddio. Perogen casts Magic Misssile and Shield.

Nimble Santiddio stays a step ahead, rounds a corner, and slams a door behind him. The crimson construct flies into the door, smashing it, and it summons two more hell hounds.

Maddie misses the infernal canines, and Cal casts Protection From Evil on Redrik. As he runs, Rowan chats with invisible faerie dragon Itchum, who is offended that he hasn’t been asked for help more often.

Minerva’s ferocity inspires Maddie, as Sam casts Hunter’s Mark, helping his arrows. Redrik readies Scorching Ray but is more effective in the narrow corridors with a crossbow. Perogen’s Sleep spell has no effect on one hell hound.

Santiddio manages to resist the crown’s allure long enough to throw it into the pool of Sirrion, lord of transformation. The hell hounds harry Rowan and breathe fire, which Cal steps in to take for him. The Paladin responds with a Divine Smite.

Rowan finishes off one hell hound, and Redrik invokes his patron deity Paladine to cast Radiance. Perogen casts Chill Touch, but Cal and Redrik are too busy to notice the necromantic spell. Maddie finishes off the last hell hound.

Thanks to Santiddio’s quick thinking, the crown’s hold over Redrik and the Helmed Horror is dispersed. Rowan takes the vanished red knight’s sword and also dips it into the pool. Cal takes the magical hand-and-a-half sword.

The wanderers prepare to resume their exploration of Vantal before meeting up with their giant owl steeds to return to the Dwarves of Thorbardin….

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 8
On the way to Vantal

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 8 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 22 March 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 4
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K./absent ]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 4
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

The adventuring party delivered a long-lost grandson to Obould Many-Arrows, who gratefully held a feast in its honor. Maddie defeated a large guard drake in a trial by combat as her team persuaded the Orc king to withdraw his armies attacking human and Dwarven realms. However, some of the assembled warlords refused to cooperate, and the group fled south.

Cal asks Rowan about ruins of Vantal, where they are headed while waiting for owls from Thorbardin. The Skald tells the Paladin that the city was supposedly built by Ogres before most of them were cursed with barbarism.

Sam and Maddie scout ahead as the group hikes northwest through passes in the Khalkist Mountains before turning south. Santiddio watches spellcasters Redrik and Perogen, and Skilelo had left previously to warn the Dwarves of Thorbardin.

On the second day out of Bloten, the team notices a patrol of six Orcs and a Dark Elf. Sam guides the group to higher ground, while Maddie senses a pack of wargs on the trail. Cal asks Itchum for help, but the invisible faerie dragon is annoyed that he wasn’t called upon earlier in Orcish territory.

Still, Itchum casts Hallucinatory Terrain so that his companions can hide and reverse the ambush. Three wargs approach, and Ranger Sam casts Hail of Thorns, injuring one. Wizard Perogen casts Chill Touch on the same canine, driving it away.

Cal hits another warg with a javelin and follows Maddie in closing to melee distance. Rowan also maneuvers to join the Barbarian. Cleric Redrik casts Scorching Ray on another beast, which howls.

Sam draws his long bow and drops the retreating wolf. Perogen’s Chill Touch kills a second one, and Maddie strikes the third with her great axe. Rowan hits with his long sword, and Redrik finishes the last one with another Scorching Ray.

Redrik, Maddie, and Perogen drag the carcasses off the path. Once the rest of the patrol gets within 100 feet, they spring out to attack. Two of the larger Orcs attack Maddie and Rowan.

The other humanoids disbelieve Itchum’s Hallucinatory Terrain. Tired of such skirmishes, Maddie rages and charges at the female Drow, who tries to taunt her. The Dark Elf casts Faerie Fire on the shapeshifter and draws a hand crossbow.

Rowan casts Heroism on himself and Maddie, as Cal casts Wrathful Smite. Redrik casts Silence on Maddie to prevent the Drow from using spells. Perogen continues the focused attacks on the enemy leader with Chill Touch.

Sam casts Hunter’s Mark on the Drow, and four Orcs close in on white-robed Perogen, who hits them with Magic Missiles. The two larger Orcs try to step out of the area of Silence to cast Spiritual Weapon, but they are hit by Cal, Maddie, and Rowan.

Mighty Maddie swings with her great axe, but the Dark Elf evades with her innate Darkness ability and draws two poisoned short swords. Sly Half-Elf Rowan still finds his foe with his long sword, as does Sylvan Elf Cal.

Hill Dwarf Redrik invokes patron deity Paladine with Divine Radiance, dispelling the Darkness and burning the Orcs’ eyes. Perogen verifies that Silvari, the white moon of his patron, is in ascension. The human then successfully casts Sleep on four Orcs.

Sam hits the Drow with arrows and a successful Ensnaring Strike. She wriggles and touches a clan amulet, Teleporting away. Rowan tells the remaining Orcs that they can leave or die.

The Orcs are surprised at the Bard’s mention of King Obould and agree to depart. They say that the Dark Elves came from the south a few months ago and “promised a return to the old ways.” The nefarious Drow are growing in number, worrying Cal.

In addition, the Orcs offer some maps in exchange for their freedom. One parchment describes the top level of Vantal. Redrik and Rowan heal injured party members as they prepare to resume their march to the ruins….

Bruce, we missed you last Sunday night, although it was good to see you at Drew’s for your fun Dread: Beneath a Metal Sky one-shot! I also look forward to Jason’s “Channel 37” miniseries next Monday and returning to our “Vanished Landsgame.

In the meantime, remember to update our “Land of Lost Souls” characters to Level 4. Be seeing you, -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 7
Before King Obould Many-Arrows

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 7 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 15 March 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 3
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 3
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 3
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O./absent ]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 3
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./absent ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 3

After evacuating two villages ahead of a spreading shadow and an Orcish army, a group of would-be heroes accepted a mission from the Dwarves of beseiged Thorbardin. They flew on giant owls over New Coast to Blodehelm, land of the Orcs.

In the city of Bloten, the group is brought before King Obould and a female Orc shaman. The great hall is lined with animal trophies and clan banners. Obould Many-Arrows invites the visitors to join him for a feast to celebrate the return of his long-lost grandson, Root.

Elf Cal and Dwarf Redrik are disguised as Orcs. They learn that the king is less interested in raiding his neighbors than some of the tribal warlords. Sam chats with Chief Quetti.

Sam and Santiddio learn that Strunge, chief of the Green Moss tribe, doesn’t want to squander the current unity of Blodehelm’s ruling council. Although the Orcs arrived in the “Land of Lost Souls” about a century ago, they have mostly been at peace with other races.

Rowan talks with the shaman, who is less interested in peace with other races and mentions one-eyed Gruumsh. The Skald doesn’t recognize the reference.

Perogen observes the humanoid banquet and ponders the lessons of his test at the Tower of High Sorcery, as well as a black spell book. Skilelo had returned with the second Dwarf scout to warn Thorbardin about another Orcish army on the march.

The Orc chieftains demand that Obould and the outlanders participate in a trial by combat before they’ll consider withdrawing their forces attacking human and Dwarven lands. They admit that Dark Elves have promised them territory.

Both Rogue Santiddio and Rowan volunteer, but the group eventually agrees on Maddie as its representative. The plainswoman is brought down to an iron-bound arena, where she faces off with a large guard drake.

The lizard charges at Maddie, who strikes it in return. In the rowdy audience, Paladin Cal prays to Kiri-Jolith, lord of valor, and Cleric Redrik prays to Paladine. Ranger Sam watches both those making wagers and the combatants to make sure there is no cheating.

Wizard Perogen tries chatting with some of the Orc, and Rowan starts a chant in favor of wolf-skinned Maddie. Others invoke Gruumsh as they cheer for the reptile. Santiddio talks with Strunge, who is sympathetic to the idea of peace.

The drake claws at Maddie, whose Barbarian rage helps her resist injury. The lupine warrior slays her scaled opponent, disappointing its handler but encouraging the non-Orcs.

Obould proclaims that his troops will no longer go to war on behalf of the manipulative Drow. He orders runners to be dispatched. Cal, Sam, and Redrik accept the king’s offer to stay the night in his keep.

Victorious Maddie goes out carousing with Perogen, Rowan, and Santiddio. A burly Orc challenges Perogen and Santiddio to a drinking contest, while Rowan spins tall tales.

After a pint of “Demon’s Brew,” Perogen passes out, so Maddie has to bring him back to his room. During the first watch, there is a knock at the adventuring party’s door.

A servant named Gribba says she brings word from Obould. The young female Orc says that the king has lost sway over several tribes and that the travelers should leave before a possible coup d’etat. She says they should return to Thorbardin if they can.

Gribba leads the group through the castle’s garbage-strewn lower levels. Through a combination of guile and stealth, the team makes its way past sentries. The wanderers make a forced march through the Khalkist Mountains until they are many miles from the Orc capital.

Since they have to wait a few days to rendezvous with their owl steeds, the adventurers head south, toward the ruins at Vantal….

I look forward to continuing our adventures tonight! Remember that our characters have attained third level.

I also look forward to Bruce’s Dread: Beneath a Metal Sky one-shot at Drew’s place tomorrow night. Be seeing you, -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 6
On a wing and a prayer

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 6 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 1 March 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 2
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 2
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 2
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./absent ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 2

The band of adventurers visited the Dwarven capital of Thorbardin to give warning of an approaching Orcish army. It also questioned a Dark Elf prisoner, acquired supplies and flying mounts, and met King Ivor Stoneaxe in an alley. Part of the group defeated would-be assassins in a Gnome’s shop.

Maddie keeps the surviving thug in a chokehold, while Perogen casts Detect Magic and finds amulets with two faces. They give the Goblins the illusory guise of Dwarves. Rowan confiscates two daggers that are cold to the touch.

Members of the city watch arrive and question Gnome shopkeeper Smigem. They are wary of the outlanders but take the Goblin into custody. The trio regroups with its companions at the “Dragon’s Forge” inn on the city’s outskirts.

Cal, Sam, and Santiddio report on how they met King Ivor Stoneaxe, who approves of their mission to bring Half-Orc Root to his grandfather, King Obould, in the hope of avoiding bloodshed. They, Redrik, and Skilelo prepare to head out.

Dwarf scout Shadowfox asks the group to make note of what it sees in the New Coast region between Thorbardin and Bloten, the capital of Blodehelm, about 300 miles away. He assigns two underlings to escort the team to the edge of Orcish territory.

That night, Princess Eina visits the tavern. The wanderers hear laughter but don’t immediately see who is with her. Cal asks Perogen what he can perceive, but Sam simply asks the princess. She introduces Itchum, a violet-scaled faerie dragon whom the king has asked to join the travelers.

Cal and Sam are reluctant to bring the mischievous drake along, but Maddie and Rowan take to Itchum. Redrik realizes that he must leave his boar Gristle behind, and he hopes that the steeds will be safe as Thorbardin comes under siege.

Eleven giant owls set forth from the capital and fly northeast:

  • 2 for the Dwarf scouts
  • Sylvan Elf Cal and Half-Elf Santiddio
  • Half-Elf (Irda) Sam and one snow leopard cub
  • Hill Dwarf Redrik (the heaviest in armor)
  • Plainswoman Maddie, human Perogen, and the other cub
  • Half-Elf Rowan
  • 2 for Skilelo and his three Draconian followers
  • Half-Orc Root (the second heaviest)
  • One spare, for provisions

The first day is uneventful as the adventuring party flies out of the Kharolis Mountains and over a caravan on the hot Plains of Dust. When the Dwarves spot something else large in the air, the group turns north to avoid it.

Cal and company plan to switch to nighttime flying for the owls’ sake. They also set the following watches when resting:

  1. Maddie, Rowan, and Itchum
  2. Redrik and Santiddio
  3. Cal and Sam
  4. Perogen and Skilelo

On the third day, the explorers camp in the grasslands of New Coast [Marker 2]. During his and Ranger Sam’s watch, Cal hears something just outside the perimeter. The Paladin sees a green woman, which one of the intelligent owls recognizes as a Dryad.

The sentries are wary of the fey and wake their friends. Nyera says that others have passed through her lands, including Orcs and mysterious Dark Elves. The nature spirit also talks with Barbarian Maddie’s cub, which she says is grateful for being rescued after its mother was murdered.

Cal and Cleric Redrik explains that their mission is to relieve the impending siege of Thorbardin by Orcs and to fight for justice, but Nyera is more concerned with nature’s balance. Cal also asks about the Qualinesti homeland in the Wayreth Forest, which has fallen under an unnatural shadow. The Dryad says that she is in occasional contact with her kin there.

Nyera also hints to Skald Rowan and Rogue Santiddio that there are “new players” among the outer planes of existence, potentially adding a “fourth power” to the sources of divine magic. Spellcasters Redrik and Perogen aren’t happy to hear that. The Dryad grants the group one favor while it’s within her lands.

Later, on fourth watch, Perogen has a vision of a woman whose face and upper body match that of the recently captured Drow and whose lower body is that of a giant spider. She asks him to join her. The shaken Wizard shares what he has seen with the group.

The next evening, the owl riders see another Orcish army encampment. It’s not as large as the horde approaching Thorbardin, but Sam sends one of the taciturn Dwarven scouts back to warn the city.

The would-be diplomats fly through the night and stop to rest at the ruins of Netheltan, just across a large bay from Blodehelm. Root tells Rowan that Orcs are usually organized in tribes that fight among themselves; large, unified armies are unusual.

Sam notes that most Orcs came through a planar rift about a century ago. Redrik speculates that the Dark Elves could have reopened the rift and be former allies or enemies of the Orcs. The priest of Paladine isn’t happy to learn that the humanoids trade with Ogres and human knights of Takhisis.

Sam recommends having a cover story of being tomb raiders, merchants, or mercenaries, and Rowan is confident that any of those identities should be fine. Perogen gives Cal and Redrik the amulets of illusion, since they’d stand out most.

In the fourth night, the group reaches the plains of Blodehelm. The owls drop off the wanderers in the foothills of the Khalkist Mountains, which separate the Orcish plains and swamps from the more urban Ogres of Blode [Marker 18].

Maddie shifts into wolf form to scout ahead with stealthy Sam, Santiddio, and invisible Itchum. Cal takes on the guise of an Orc warrior, and Redrik appears as a Goblin shaman. They hike through passes south and then east toward Bloten.

Orcs riding wargs accost the party. Impatient Root announces himself as King Obould’s heir apparent, and the Orcs shoot him with arrows. Santiddio and Rowan manage to calm down both sides by surrendering, and Redrik rushes to heal the Half-Orc.

Cal claims to be from the Broken Arrow clan, and Skilelo and the other Draconians balance out the Half-Elves in the Orcs’ eyes. They take their companions’ weapons. However, Urphaer, the leader of the warg riders, is unimpressed with the “bastard” Root.

He marches the newcomers into the city of Bloten and tells them to wait. The humans and demihumans keep their nerve despite being surrounded by numerous Orcs.

The group is eventually brought before King Obould and a female Orc shaman (whom Cal senses is evil)….

Please note that we won’t be meeting next Sunday, March 8, but the “Land of Lost Souls” should resume on March 15. Happy Birthday to Dexter!

In the meantime, remember to update your character records on Obsidian Portal to Level 3, and let the Game Master know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing some of you at Jason E.R.’s FAEChannel 37” game tonight, -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 5
Trouble in Thorbardin

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 22 February 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 2
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O./absent ]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 2
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 2
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./absent ]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 2

After investigating the haunted ruins of Methegrist, spotting King Obould’s Orcish army on the move, and encountering wargs and strange Dark Elves, the adventuring party visited the Dwarven capital of Thorbardin.

The wanderers had received a chilly reception from Princess Eina, who asked them to wait in the city’s outskirts. Cal sleeps off his hangover, and Sam isn’t worried about posting watches in the “Dragon’s Forge” inn. He and Maddie find food for the snow leopard cubs they have adopted.

Perogen begins preparations for his test at the Tower of High Sorcery, and Rowan overhears someone in the common room asking for the “emissaries from the outside world.” Santiddio is also curious, since he isn’t interested in staying under house arrest.

Redrik and Skilelo keep watch over the steeds and cart with Half-Orc Root. They have already handed over Drow prisoner Meandrea and warned the Dwarves about Obould’s approaching horde.

Rowan, Sam, and Santiddio greet Erik Stonehammer, a Dwarf from the merchants’ guild. He wonders how the team managed to get around an Orcish army. They reply that while they encountered a few bands of scouts, they were able to take advantage of the mountainous terrain.

Stonehammer promises steel coins for information, but the travelers decline the offer. He then shifts back into his true form, that of the princess! She seems surprised to find that they’re honorable.

The next morning, the group debates what to ask of the Dwarves in return for the prisoner and information. Princess Eina brings it to the North Hall of Audience, where armored women stand alert and a council has gathered around a large table.

Skald Rowan defers to Paladin Cal, who reports on the magical darkness spreading over the Wayreth Forest, Obould’s army, and how his companions came across Root, the Orc king’s grandson.

The princess asks why the party bothered to warn them, and Cal and Ranger Sam reply that they hope to protect the free peoples. Shadowfox, a Dwarf scout, enters and verifies the outlanders’ report. He also flirts with Barbarian Maddie.

Retnu Greybeard, a captain of the guard, asks what Thorbardin can do. Cal and Rogue Santiddio aren’t sure of how to stop the Orcish army, but they recommend getting word to Obould that he has a grandson and heir.

Shadowfox is curious about Root and the strange Dark Elves, and he says that King Obould is probably not with his army, which has traveled across the sea from Bloodhelm to the northeast.

After consulting with the council, Princess Eina asks the party if it will take Root to King Obould in return for favors or some treasure. Sylvan Elf Cal asks the Dwarves to help his people with the growing shadow over the forest.

Sam asks for a seal of recognition and 1,000 steel pieces. The princess grants 500 st.p. to each party member. Cleric Redrik asks about any information on prophecies. Maddie and Wizard Perogen request favors to be determined later.

Half-Elf Rowan asks for provisions and weapons. The princess also grants the would-be heroes giant owls to take them over Orcish-held territories and the sea. Half-Elf Santiddio wants the “dark mithril” armor confiscated from Meandrea to be retailored so he can wear it.

Speaking of the Drow spy, the travelers receive word that she has asked to see them. Cal, Sam, and Santiddio go to the dungeon to talk with Meandrea. Meanwhile, Redrik, Skilelo, and Root watch the caravan and animals, and Maddie, Perogen, and Rowan go to the market to buy supplies and candy.

The guards outside the Dark Elf’s cell are entranced, and Meandrea taunts Cal, Sam, and Santiddio. She confidently tells them to give her regards to King Obould.

In the market, Maddie notices that someone is following her trio. In a weapons shop, a Gnome named Smigem accosts the squad and offers the following items:

  • Bow, autofire (fires magically flaming arrows) 10,000 steel pieces
  • Bow, Elven long
  • Bow, ram’s horn (“Rambo”)
  • Collar, blade, to restrain beasts

Maddie expresses a strange interest in the collar, so Smigem summons a large dog named Sapphire. Rowan is more interested in enchanted armor, and bored Wizard Perogen tries to discern the various schools of magic found in the shop.

Santiddio also notices someone following him, Cal, and Sam after they leave the prison. The Rogue ducks into an alley, while Cal and Sam try to block two cloaked figures. Santiddio stabs a third one, who had offered a business proposition and is surprisingly unharmed.

The man in the alley removes his robe, revealing himself to be the armored King Ivor Stoneaxe. Santiddio apologizes, and Cal and Sam are surprised when the two others turn out to be two young brass dragons!

The Dwarf king uses his mighty axe to verify Santiddio’s identity and story. He also senses that Sam is not the Half-Elf he appears to be. Ivor is amused by the ambush attempt and is interested in the party’s willingness to help against the Orcs. He advises them to leave the city before it comes under siege.

The two cloaked people following Maddie, Perogen, and Rowan enter Smigem’s shop. They’re Dwarf-sized with red, glowing eyes. Rowan casts Bardic Inspiration on Maddie and draws his long sword.

Maddie draws her sword but misses, and Perogen tries to protect the Gnome proprietor. The would-be assassins draw daggers and stab Maddie. Rowan strikes one foe twice, killing him, and Maddie rages. They take the remaining enemy prisoner….

Byron and Drew, we missed you at this past weekend’s game! I’ll also try to post notes for the latestStar Trek: Restorationsession soon. In the meantime, I look forward to continuing our adventures in the “Land of Lost Souls” and to resuming Jason E.R.’s “Channel 37” scenario. -Gene

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D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 4
To Thorbardin

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 4 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 15 February 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 2
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 2
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 2
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S.]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 2

After warning their respective superiors about the rising darkness, the travelers regrouped to evacuate the village of Winter’s Edge ahead of an approaching humanoid army. They met a Dwarf and a few Draconians, as well as a Half-Orc who might be related to the King Obould. They also spotted a dragon in the distance.

Skilelo pulls a wolf off the second dark-skinned Elf the group has recently encountered. Maddie returns to human form, and Santiddio resists the Drow woman’s charms and ties her up. Cal casts Detect Evil and verifies the spy’s hostile intent.

Sam and Maddie go to sweep the perimeter of their camp in the Kharolis Mountains. They follow some tracks and find a wounded snow leopard with her two cubs.

Perogen is unfamiliar with the Dark Elf, and his Detect Magic reveals faint extraplanar traces. The Wizard also feels lightheaded, so Redrik casts Purify Food and Drink to ensure that the Drow hasn’t poisoned their provisions.

Rowan chats with Half-Orc Root and Skilelo’s Draconian squire, cook, and porter/messenger. Santiddio confiscates the Elf’s armor and jewelry and tries to interrogate the haughty prisoner.

Meandrea says that Lolth is her mistress and defiantly claims that her people will soon dominate “lesser races.” When the Drow starts muttering or chanting, Perogen smacks her and gags her before she can cast any more spells.

Among Meandrea’s magic items is a spider amulet, which Redrik tries to smash with his hammer. The strange metal sparks but remains undamaged. The Cleric switches to fire and holy water, to no effect. He then wraps up the amulet and a Charm brooch with a face on it.

Meanwhile, Sam and Maddie find that the snow leopard is fatally poisoned by darts, presumably from the Drow’s hand crossbows. The Ranger and Barbarian bury the mother and take a cub each (one male, one female) to safety.

After regrouping, the adventuring party makes a forced march from Windweavers to Thorbardin. Scouts Sam and Maddie take point, followed by armored Cal and stealthy Santiddio.

Spellcasters Redrik and Perogen ride behind them, and Meandrea is tied to the cart bearing Skilelo and his entourage. Rowan and Root take the rearguard through the mountains.

Several miles into their hike, Sam and Maddie see five Goblins riding wargs. Eager to avoid scouts for the Orcish army, the caravan makes a detour. It eventually arrives at the massive North Gate of Thorbardin, the Dwarven capital.

A group of sentries rides out on rams. Retnu Greybeard, a captain of the guard, talks with Redrik and Perogen in Neidar (Hill Dwarven). The priest of Paladine and the white-robed mage explain that they have come to warn the city about an approaching Orcish horde.

Retnu tells the newcomers to wait in the outer city while he gets word to the proper authorities. They check into the Dragon Forge Inn. Abstemious Cal tries to order a salad, but boisterous Redrik gets the Sylvan Elf drunk on strong ale.

Sam and Maddie make sure the leopard cubs are fed. Perogen asks Redrik to order him some ale. Santiddio goes out to the stable to check on Rowan, the Draconians, Root, and Meandrea.

Two soldiers arrive and tell the tavern regulars to leave. Princess Eina enters and listens to Redrik’s report. She sends for a priest of Reorx, the metal forger, to dispose of the Drow’s amulet and brooch.

The princess notices that Perogen is a rare human in Thorbardin. He says that he came from a port town. She also tells Sam to reveal his true form. The Irda shifts into a Wild Elf, and Eina disdainfully dismisses him.

The visitors turn Meandrea over to the Dwarves, who order them to wait until summoned. The Half-Elves are annoyed that they are not able to enter Thorbardin proper, but Cal needs to sleep off his drink.

While they wait, Perogen analyzes the Drow’s chain shirt, which is made of the same hard metal as the amulet and brooch. The group divides the remaining spoils:

  • Armor, Elven chain — Maddie or Rowan?
  • Bracers of Archery — Sam
  • Cloak of Elvenkind — Santiddio
  • Crossbows, hand, 2 masterwork — Sam, Perogen
  • Daggers, 2 masterwork — Cal, Redrik
  • Poison, 1 vial, lethal — Santiddio

The team waits impatiently in the tavern and wonders how it can help fight the growing gloom in the Wayreth Forest, Obould’s Orcs, and Drow infiltrators….

Dexter, I’m glad you felt well enough to run, and I look forward to continuing our adventures next Sunday! I’ll also try to post my notes for the latestStar Trek: Restorationsession soon, -Gene

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"Land of Lost Souls" D&D5e Session 3
Ahead of the Orcish army

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 3 of our latest D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 8 February 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 2
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 2
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 2
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S.]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 2

The new adventuring party had followed the ghost of Jahan, a Moonwatch Paladin, into the ruined tower of Methegrist. There, it met a band of treasure-seekers and explored subterranean chambers.

In addition to traps, the spelunkers found cursed and blessed areas and solved an imp’s riddle. However, the devil turned the teams against each other, and they fled as the ruins collapsed, releasing a magical darkness.

After evacuating the border village of Quarevarr, the travelers temporarily disbanded to warn their respective superiors. Spring turned to summer, and a shadow fell over the Wayreth Forest and the kingdom of the Qualinesti.

Rumors of Orcs massing in the Kharolis Mountains prompt the would-be heroes to reunite. Two tribes of the normally chaotic humanoids march under the banner of King Obould toward the town of Winter’s Edge.

The party skirts the increasingly dangerous woods and takes a pass east through the mountains to the Plains of Dergoth between Skullcap and Pax Tharkus. It arrives near Windweavers shortly after nightfall.

Cal and company tell goodwife Winnstrom about the approaching Ogre kin. Sam asks if there are any nearby caves that can shelter the villagers. Maddie and Santiddio keep watch for Orc scouts and help the people of Winter’s Edge gather their belongings.

Perogen wonders if they should head back toward the Tower of High Sorcery, or south to the Dwarven capital of Thorbardin. Rowan keeps the human peasants from panicking.

Winnstrom thanks the team for its warning and introduces Root, a Half-Orc raised in Winter’s Edge. Root says that his late mother, who had married a human, said she belonged to the Broken Arrow tribe, one of the groups now following King Obould.

The goodwife asks the wanderers to bring Root with them, since he may even be related to the king. They reluctantly agree, noting that they don’t know how to get to Obould’s Dark Arrow Keep to the northeast unmolested.

After some discussion, the party sends the refugees to Thorbardin. A girl named Lithendel offers Rowan her doll, which she says a Gnome once gave her. Lithendel tells the skald that the doll should magically protect them. Rowan thanks her and passes it to Perogen for later study.

Maddie hears the thunder of many feet and the horns of the approaching Orcish army. A squad of five Orcs charges into the village as the last peasants flee. Meanwhile, a Hill Dwarf riding a large boar and a group of Draconians approach from the opposite direction.

Redrik spurs his boar steed Gristle, draws his war hammer “Silver Rain,” and casts Channel Divinity to blast the Orcs with the light of Paladine. Fellow newcomer Skilelo sends his three Dragonborn followers and cart away from the fight.

Half-Elf Rowan gallops to the first Orc and cuts it down with his long sword. Abanasinian plainswoman Maddie slays another, but Sylvan Elf Cal misses with his javelins. Tall Sam casts Rain of Thorns before felling the last Orc with an arrow.

Human Perogen and Half-Elf Santiddio quickly search the Orcs and find 50 steel pieces, hide armor, and hand axes. Root tells Sam that such an attack is unusual for Orcs and shows a necklace proving his royal blood. Cal considers sending Root to parley.

The adventurers ride northwest, toward Pax Tharkus, to draw any more patrols away from the fleeing villagers. Ranger Sam leads the climb into the foothills, where he and the others see columns of Orcs marching south.

Cleric Redrik mentions a prophecy of an otherworldy being and how the magical darkness might be repelled if they can learn more about the mysterious Mistress of Spiders.

Wizard Perogen casts Detect Magic on Lithendel’s doll, and says that it is somehow blessed. Redrik identifies it as Gol’s Puppet (+1 amulet of Protection, sheds sunlight in an area of 20 squares/hexes). He then gives it to Paladin Cal.

As they hike, Barbarian Maddie senses movement nearby. Sam determines that four wolf-like wargs are surrounding the band. Redrik readies Silver Rain, but Maddie is able to communicate with the lead warg.

It invites Maddie to join his pack, but she declines. Cal readies his bow, and Bard Rowan is relieved as the wargs withdraw. Sometime later, Fighter Skilelo spots a large dragon flying from the northeast, but it is too far away to cause fear or identify a rider.

The party turns to notify Thorbardin, a few day’s forced march away. At night, Perogen and Santiddio sit first watch, and keen-eyed Maddie and Skilelo take second watch. Wary Cal and Redrik follow, with Sam and Rowan finishing.

Perogen hears something and casts Light. He sees a leopard with a cub. During the second watch, Maddie pounces on a dark-skinned Elf spying on the camp. She is similar to a woman encountered near Methegrist.

Maddie tries to question the haughty Drow, who creates Darkness. The women continue talking, and Skilelo wakes the rest of the caravan. Maddie changes into a wolf and bites the Dark Elf to keep her from running.

Perogen dispels the Darkness with a Light spell. Cal readies Gol’s Puppet and sees an Elf and a wolf struggling but no obvious sign of Maddie. Sam throws a net at the woman and draws his scimitar. Skilelo pulls the wolf off the Drow.

Rowan ties up Meandrea and begins interrogating her. The strange scout claims that her people will soon rule the world. Santiddio finds daggers, vials of poison, and hand crossbows. Sam identifies the wolf as Maddie, who returns to human form.

The riders resume their journey toward Thorbardin, staying just ahead of the Orcish army….

Welcome, Drew, to the “Land of Lost Souls!” While I’m sorry that Jason E.R.‘s “Channel 37” was again postponed, I hope that everybody will be able to play tomorrow night (Sunday, Feb. 15). Also, let me know if you’re interested and available forStar Trek: Restorationon Monday. -Gene

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"Land of Lost Souls" D&D5e Session 2
Into the ruins of Methegrist

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 2 of our latest D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 25 January 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 1
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 1
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 1
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 1

After meeting in Quarevarr late one spring, a new adventuring party investigated reports of a ghostly knight haunting the border village. As the team headed north into the Wayreth Forest, it encountered Orcs, winter wolves, and a mysterious sorceress.

The group resumes its pursuit of the apparition, which leads the way to the ruined tower of Methegrist. Skald Rowan recalls tales of Jahar, the first Moonwatch Paladin to strike one of his fellows at the instigation of an evil imp.

Sam and Rowan search the area and find recent tracks. They soon find four other people poking through the rubble. A Dwarf in chain armor aims a crossbow at the newcomers, and says that his group arrived first and is thus entitled to first dibs on any treasure.

Meanwhile, a female Elf in dark leather crouches by a tree, while two humans holding clubs stand watch. Cal isn’t intimidated by gruff Karrik, and Santiddio flirts with Lisstra. The shade of Jahar sinks into the ground, and Maddie finds a trapdoor concealed by some brush.

Santiddio slides down a ladder into a stone chamber. The Rogue finds an old rectangular rug and a door swollen by moisture. Both bands follow. Rowan rolls up the rug but finds nothing under it, while Paladin Cal Detects Evil but senses divine benevolence instead.

Ranger Sam and Barbarian Maddie pry open the door to the west. In the next room, they find a statue of a knight in antique plate armor and the holy symbol of Paladine, god of justice. Cal offers a prayer, and Sam is healed from his earlier injuries.

Sam and Perogen sketch a rough map. Sam notices a loose flagstone, beneath which he finds the following:

  • 85 steel pieces (equivalent to D&D5e gold pieces)
  • Goblet, silver, worth 250 steel
  • Moonstone, worth 100 steel (pocketed by Santiddio)

Santiddio peeks into the next room and sees double doors to the north. The Half-Elf steps in but takes damage from a spike trap. Maddie pulls him back with a rope.

Half-Elf Rowan treats Santiddio’s injuries and helps him and Sam figure out which floor tiles are trapped. Cal asks Perogen to keep an eye on Karrik and company, and the Wizard agrees that he doesn’t trust them either.

Through the double doors is a series of halls lit by braziers. Perogen is drawn to the Pool of Remorse, where he is reminded of a letter from a dead colleague. The human gains confidence from the vision.

Santiddio gazes into the magical pool and feels fresh guilt for not talking to his mother before he left home. He encourages Lisstra to join him at the water.

Sam secretly regrets resenting his brother, who took more after the Ogre side of the family than the Irda one. Cal and Maddie resist the temptation to look in the pool, and Karrik and his team are too busy looking for tombs to raid.

The explorers turn east, and the braziers in this area radiate an unholy aura. Cal prays to his patron deity, Kiri-Jolith, as he extinguishes them. A distant scream echoes. The wanderers then find red flaming runes on the floor and hear the voice of the imp.

The diminutive devil taunts them and poses a riddle — if they can guess his true name, he will leave them alone:

First is number whose letters count,
True to its name’s amount,
Then you can subtract a letter,
But adding six would be better.
To get the second part,
Then comes the sound of the start of start,
And finally, with a blast,
Sound out the last of last.

The imp then tries tempting the spelunkers with untold riches. Even with the door closed, Karrik’s squad turns on them! Karrik and Lisstra swing at Cal, while the human warriors attack Maddie, who rages.

Sam fires an arrow at Karrik, and Perogen casts Acid Spray at the Dwarf. Rowan misses him, but Santiddio’s rapier finds its mark. Cal orders the treasure hunters to drop their weapons, and Rowan asks Lisstra and the two goons to leave with their leader rather than fight to the death. They reluctantly do so.

Perogen casts Detect Magic and confirms that Karrik was merely greedy and thus prone to the imp’s influence. The white-robed mage also perceives auras past a door to the northwest.

Behind it, the party finds two glowing fonts and the kneeling ghost of Jahar. Cal and Santiddio pay their respects alongside the fallen knight. Sam finds vials and fills them with holy water, or the “tears of Paladine.”

Cal, Sam, and friends eventually solve the puzzle by naming the imp “Fortenst,” who disappears. Santiddio and Rowan also find the following items:

  • 115 steel pieces
  • 2 gemstones worth a total of 100 steel
  • Statue of Paladine, silver, worth 175 steel (kept)

Including the previous haul, each party member present gets 108 steel pieces. Maddie calls the rest of the group back to the font chamber, where Jahar’s shade is finally fading. In addition, the ground shakes, and the dungeon begins to fracture!

The would-be heroes race out of the ruins as the walls crumble. A fissure opens in the ground, swallowing Methegrist and releasing dark filaments. The night sky is blotted out as magical murk spreads from the site.

Sam, who can see in darkness, hastily leads the way back to Quarevarr. Cal and Perogen urge the villagers to evacuate beyond the darkness. Mayor Geldren Bressar thanks the newly-confident team….

While we won’t be meeting virtually this coming Sunday, 1 February 2015, because of the Super Bowl, I look forward to continuing our adventures! Don’t forget to update your characters on Obsidian Portal to Level 2.

Byron and Sara, I hope you’ll be able to fully rejoin us soon! We’ll also have to see when the “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” and Jason’s “Channel 37” face-to-face groups will meet next. Stay in touch, -Gene

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