Saturday, February 22, 2020

Stonehell: Bandit Hunting, Part 2

Session 118 was played on 1/12

Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 7 (Josh)
Joho, Mystic 5 (Chris)
Brother Dimetri Andropov, Cleric 3 (Jeff)
Daton, Fighter 1 (Jay)
Elwin, Elf 1 (Robert)
Drolo & Kallo, linkman (NPC)
Falcon, M@A (NPC)

Having explored this wing of the dungeon, the party backtracked and took a side passage, coming upon a stuck door. Demiti used his great strength and the mass of his armor to shove the door open, and the cacophony of noise on the far side indicated just how much junk had been piled against the door. A literal rats nest getting knocked over had the predictable result of a swarm of angry giant rats attacking! Sadly for them, Demitri’s armor was rat-proof! The rats were slaughtered. In the stinky mess of a room were 3 other doors.

Picking the nearest door, it opens into a room with a glowing well. The light came from the silvery liquid about 15 feet down. Elwin used the ladder on the inside of the well to climb down and collect a sample. Dimetri lowered a waterskin into the fluid, and then took a swig. His dex increased! Borumar also took a swig, and his presence diminished. The rest of the party declined to try their luck.

Elwin, keeping away from the magic well, was first back in the rat room, and found another door open, with 3 rough looking men looking in. They fired bows at him, and tossed flaming oil. Elwin was hit by the oil, and screamed in pain, managing to yell out the incantation to the Sleep spell… then he dropped. Demitri shoved past the rest of the party, and while Borumar put out the flames, healed the unfortunate elf. Then they checked on the unconscious ruffians.

In addition to the 3 at the door, they discover a total of 8 men, including Hagar, who is quickly bound. The rest Elwin, Daton, and Borumar kill. In another room, they find a large chest, and the invisible net trap set up under it. Borumar and Demitri get scooped up and smashed against the chest and ceiling before the net rips and they fall to the floor. Sadly, the chest is empty. Where the bandits kept their treasure remains a mystery.

Beyond the bandit lair, they find an old library infested with crab spiders. One book is recovered, along with a remarkably well preserved set of leather armor. The crabs are killed.

Then there’s a room with lowered gravity and some combat spheres. Demitri faces them alone, while the rest of the party watches & takes pot shots with their bows from the door. Then some skeletons come around the corner, and are smashed to dust.

Continuing along, they find a side hall that dead ends, and then they see the smoke… they’ve circled around to the stairs. Deciding that they’ve faced enough, and with their goal in hand, they return to the surface, and to town, turning in the bandit for their reward.

In town, Borumar decides to drink some of the liquid, and gets sick. The magical effects seem to have been lost after removal from the well room. Daton goes carousing and ends up spending his time with the bums in the city’s biggest park. They give him a tattoo. Demitri brews some more healing potions.

Gains: 1 book of poetry, 1 set of magic leather armor, 500gp reward
Kills: bandits, rats, crab spider, combat spheres, skeletons.
Losses: Drollo and Kallo (retire)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Stonehell: Bandit Hunting

Session 117 was played on 1/5

Joho, Mystic 5 (Chris)
Brother Dimetri Andropov, Cleric 3 (Jeff)
Daton, Fighter 1 (Jay)
Elwin, Elf 1 (Robert)
Drolo & Kallo, linkman (NPC)
Falcon, M@A (NPC)

With Borumar off on guild business, Demitri and Joho decide to see what other adventure could be found. An inspector in the city guard tells them of a bandit that needs capturing, Hagar the Horrid, who has recently been seen around the still smoking ruins of an old wizard’s tower. Elwin, a newly arrived elf, overheard, and offered to come along.

Hours of travel through the woods, they see a pillar of green smoke rising above the trees. They follow it to the ruin of the tower. Little remained but a few low walls, and a bunch of scattered worked stone. They scout the ruins, discovering a stair leading down into the basement. Unfortunately, that’s where most of the smoke was coming from. Deciding to try it, they take deep breaths, and head down.

Some coughing and gritty eyes seems to be the worst effect of the smoke, and the party finds themselves down one level. The stairs continue down, but the smoke is even thicker below. Noting some signs of footprints in the green dust, they head north. At the first door, they stop and investigate, and Joho gets slimed! The green slime eats away at his clothing, and the party begins to burn at the slime with torches, burning both the slime and Joho. Beyond the door, they find what was once an animal or monster cage, but the broken bars tell a story…

They continue up and around the hallway, facing a coin worm that offered no treasure, finding what must be a rocket ship, but failing to open it up, and then dealing with a swarm of centipedes.

Kills: Centipedes, coin worm, green slime

Monday, February 17, 2020

Stonehell: An Introduction

The dungeon today known as Stonehell sits in a box canyon, about 3 hours walk south west from the gates of The City. Between the dungeon and the city the Old King’s Road dips down and passes through the southern tip of a swamp. Rising out of that swamp the terrain becomes more rocky, with mountains off in the distance.

The hills around Stonehell are dotted with ruins. Directly above the dungeon is what once was an old watch tower, but is now little more than a few low walls, but it does sport one of the entrances to the dungeon, leading into the bandit caves above the mushroom caves on the first level.

Numerous other caves have been carved out of the hills, some are occasionally inhabited, and a few open up into smaller dungeons that so far seem unconnected to Stonehell itself. Old ruined wizards towers, a haunted windmill, and an old silver mine have been occasionally visited by local toughs looking to get a reputation. Somewhere, believed to be in the swamp, is the former lair of the dragon that terrorized the countryside a century ago.

The early history of the upper level of the dungeon stretches back about 400 years. Some caves were picked to be used as a prison by an advisor of the The Pontificate As more prisoners were fed into the caves they were given tools to dig deeper and expand the space. And did they did. As more and more people were imprisoned, they brought their skills to the dungeon. Dwarves, halflings, religious cults, hedge wizards, and then the diggers hit natural caves, and beyond those are older passages and halls from civilizations that are unknown to most on the surface world.

200 years ago, the Pontificate fell, and the prison opened. Few emerged, and many who did we descendants of those imprisoned, and had never seen the sun. In the following decades, various humanoid clans, cults, and bandits have called the dungeon home. Recently Eiric, Flinger of Fire and her party release a long imprisoned mummy priest of the Black Sun, who swept through the upper levels of the dungeon before he was destroyed by a group of adventurers passing through the area. Since then a new tribe of kobolds has moved in, a troll worshiping goblin tribe has arisen, and the undead are mostly quiet.

Within The City, the Mage Eiric has purchased a small estate, and is currently supervising the construction of her new manor house. Kili the dwarf has a successful money lending business established, and is also growing the cult of the Great Old Ones using the Cult of the Black Sun’s now abandoned temple. Karl the dwarf has a semi-fancy millinery. A-A-Ron is running a thieves guild in town (possibly the largest?). Sir Orpheus now sits upon the city council.

And then there is the dragon... Recently bested by some adventurers, it hasn't been seen in several weeks, much to the (temporary) relief of the City's merchants and shippers.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Stonehell: As the worm turns

Session 116 was played on 12/29

Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 7 (Josh)
Joho, Mystic 5 (Chris)
Brother Dimetri Andropov, Cleric 3 (Jeff)
J, Fighter 1 (Jay)
Drolo, linkman (NPC)

Having completed his recovery, Joho was ready to rejoin the party and continue the exploration of the side dungeon. Brother Dimetri decided that their ranks could use a little filling out, and he stopped by the taverns and recruited the drunks most willing to go into a monster infested hole in the ground. Joining Drolo in the ranks of meatshields were: Kallo the Linkman and Hurtag, Nolgar, Farwood, & Falkon the men@arms..

Returning to the side delve, the party enters through the temple of the elementalists, and then heads back up to the Medusa’s prison level. There they come upon what looks like a wizards dorm room, protected by a glowing glyph on the door. Borumar uses his force bow to strike the glyph, and where the magic arrow strikes, the glyph stops glowing. With the glyph disabled, they open the door, and enter the dorm room. The 4 crystal statues in the corner of the room come alive and attack… or try to. They’re incredibly clumsy (can I roll above a 5? Please?) and end up as shattered chunks of crystal strewn about the room.

Noticing another glowing rune coming from under the wardrobe, J tries to scratch it off with his sword. A blast of flame chars the outside of the wardrobe, and injures the poor fighter. Checking out the rest of the room, they discover only the old wizard’s robes. Brother Dimetri collects them to have the metallic thread collected from the moth eaten fabric.

Returning to the medusa’s prison, they’re set upon by a carrion crawler who has apparently eaten the remains of the medusa. The plate armored members of the party were hard to hit for the carrion crawler, and it died quickly.

With this level apparently explored they checked their map, and decided to head down to parts unexplored. Finding a natural stairway, they headed down, coming to a large chamber… inhabited by a large white worm. Borumar is all for attacking it at range, but J and Joho charge in. As the worm pulls itself from the ground, they realize just how big it is. And then it bites J… and then swallows him. The party hacks at the worm, killing it, as it continues to force the armored body of J deeper into its digestive tract. They cut the monster open, and pull out J’s slimy, burned, pierced, and crushed form. Too far gone, the party wraps the body in a cloak, and tucks if off to the side, and then checks the rest of the worm for anything else. They discover 4 uncut gems in the beast.

Joho, while checking out the rest of the chamber, discovers a hidden door, well designed to blend into the natural rock wall. Opening the door, the party finds themselves facing three very startled looking humans, a man, a woman, and a teen. They reach for what weapons were at hand (some improvised) while the party just closes the door.

Talking through the door, the family basically tells the party to go away and come back later, and they’ll tell their king that the party wants to meet with them. The teen is sassy, and the woman picks on the man as they talk.

Rather than try to force the issue, the party presses on, going deeper. Again, a large chamber opens up, this time one with two obvious exits, one to the northeast, one to the southeast. Joho sneaks up to the north, and after a short-ish passage creeps into the bedchamber of a minotaur! And he’s asleep on his bed. Also in the room is a large cookpot with a trussed up figure sitting in it. Joho sneaks out of the room to tell the party what he saw.

Joho wasn’t as sneaky as he thought, and had woken the minotaur, who, once Joho had left the room, got up with his large 2 handed sword, and circled around to get behind the party.

The party decides that the best plan is to try to steal the sword, and free the trapped person in the pot. Joho sneaks back, only to discover the minotaur gone. He quickly rushes to free the man, just in time to hear the bellow of the beast as it charges his friends.

The minotaur watched Joho sneak off, and then rushed into the mass of intruders, chopping Nolgar clean in half. Swinging the massive sword around trying to keep the party from dog piling onto him, he was still outnumbered, and in a final blow of revenge (or self preservation) Falcon speared the monster under the arm, piercing his heart.

Feeling the rush of victory, but also the loss of their second party member, they decided to return to the surface. The rescued human was grateful for the save, and asked to join the party, as adventuring with a group seems to be far safer.

With J and Nolgar dead, Hurtag and Farwood decide that dungeon delving isn’t something they want to keep doing, and so leave Brother Dimetri’s service.

Gains: 4,000gp worth of gems (from the worm) and jewelry (from the minotaur)
Kills: Minotaur, Crystal statues,
Losses: J, Nolgar

Thursday, February 6, 2020

A Ghastly January

So last month was probably the worst month in the history of my blog as far as posting went. I’m working on my CPA, and studying has just sucked up the vast majority of my time. I’m still squeezing in my weekly Stonehell game, but had to drop out of the Curse of Strahd game. In all of January, aside from pulling out all the minis to take the picture of what I worked on in ‘19, I spent about 1 hour hobbying, and that was mostly cleaning off my painting tray, and clear coating the vampiress.

I’m going to try to be better about updating things this month. Don’t expect a lot, but there should be more than just my Sunday Inspirational Images!

In fact, I took a cheat night on Monday, and sat down to do some actual painting! I worked a little bit on the bride of frankenstein, and a lot on the Ghasts I’d converted late last year. They aren’t pretty, or as clean as the original from Bones 1, but they’ll do. At this point I need to base them, and maybe clean up the rags they’re wearing. I could also spend a little bit of time cleaning up the conversions with a bit of greenstuff. Some of my cuts/gaps are a little obvious.

And for those interested, the colors used were Red Liner, Kobold Scale, Vampiric Skin, Imperial Purple, Linen White, Mountain Stone.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

2019 Mini Roundup

While not as productive a year as 2018, my total output for 2019 was a respectable 60ish miniatures.

Why 60ish? Because I really finished about 60 minis, but I’ve got a bunch that are really close to done, which, when I have a few hours to spare, will bump up my 2020 numbers right quick.

As with last year, there’s a fair amount of troop minis.

And yes, this should have been posted a month ago. I've been busy, which is why there's been next to nothing posted all month.