Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Pit -RoQIV

pit

Ruby rustled through the inventory bag and pulled out a long age worn bundle of rope, gave one end of the rope to Crumm to hold on to and tied the other end of the rope around her waist.

Twiggy peered into the vast and darkened depths of the pit. “It is such a long ways down from here. Why can’t we just take the stairs down? And just look at that flimsy old rope. It will probably snap in half under the party’s weight.”

“You complain too much.” Iscreem retorted. “Besides, according to Gnarshm’s map, the pit is the fastest way to reach level 5. We will descend the rope one at a time, and from smallest to largest to avoid putting too much strain on the rope. Ruby will descend first. Crumm will hold the rope and lower us down.” Iscreem explained.

“I still don’t like it.” Twiggy muttered as Crumm slowly lowered Ruby into the pit below.

The party watched as Ruby descended further and further into the pit until the darkness of the pit swallowed her whole. A short while later, Crumm felt the weight of the rope lighten as Ruby’s voice echoed from the bottom of the pit.

“Okay, I’ve reached the bottom. Send down the next person. I will light a torch here.” Ruby shouted.

As Iscreem attached himself to the rope, a faint light could be seen flickering at the pit’s bottom as Crumm slowly lowered the kobold into the pit below. The walls of the pit were made of sharp jagged rocks and stones that could make for a perilous fall if one were not so careful. Iscreem’s footing slipped only once in the darkness, but it was enough to make his heart race. He grasped at the wall and his hands quickly clasped onto a rocky ledge preventing him from falling further. Crumm felt the rope pull forward and become taut. The kobold shouted to Crumm who in turn gave the rope some more slack and lowered him further. Iscreem knew he was close to the bottom as the light from Ruby’s torch became brighter. Iscreem turned his head and saw Ruby’s outstretched hand reaching for him. A moment later, Iscreem had reached the bottom and Ruby helped cut the kobold loose from the rope.

Ruby and Iscreem shouted from the floor of the pit to send down the next person. Greenhat, Elvira, and Sammy descended the pit uneventfully. Twiggy took hold of the rope and looked over the edge and saw the flickering light of the torch some fifty feet below. “I really don’t like this. It’s such a long drop from here.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I’ll be right behind you.” Gnarshm said reassuringly.

Crumm lowered the elf into the dark pit. About halfway down, Twiggy let out a shriek as a swarm of bats took flight and flew past her towards the entrance above.

Gnarshm peered into the pit to see what was going on just as the swarm of bats reached the pit’s entrance nearly knocking the gnoll backwards and off his feet.

Twiggy clutched the rope as tight as she could and her feet were firmly placed onto a rocky ledge. She looked down into the pit below and began to feel dizzy and she felt the pit begin to spin about. Twiggy had had enough. “I can’t do it. I can’t go any further. Pull me back up.” Twiggy shouted.

“You’ve got to keep going. Just don’t look down.” Gnarshm yelled from above.

“No. I can’t do it. Pull me back up now!” Twiggy panicked.

“Stay right where you are. I’m coming down to get you.” Gnarshm shouted to Twiggy. Gnarshm then looked back at Crumm. “You are going to have to secure the rope to something heavy. Tie the rope onto that large boulder. Crumm quickly looped the rope around the stone and double tied it to make sure it was secured. Gnarshm then took hold of the rope and made his way towards Twiggy. Crumm watched as the gnoll quickly made his way down the rope and on to the ledge where Twiggy was clung to. “Grab on to me. We will descend the rest of the pit together. Twiggy grabbed onto the gnoll with a death grip, her fingernails felt like little daggers clutching at Gnarshm through his leather armor.

“Ouch! You really need to cut your nails.” Gnarshm said as he and Twiggy slowly made their way further down the pit.

“Sorry. I just don’t like heights.” Twiggy responded.

The two reached the bottom of the pit and Gnarshm was as glad to be released of Twiggy’s death grip as Twiggy was to finally have reached the pit’s end. Gnarshm yelled up to Crumm. “Okay Crumm. Now it’s your turn.”

Crumm pulled at the rope as hard as he could to test his weight against the boulder he had secured the rope to. The rope was tense and taut, and the boulder did not move. The ogre proceeded to descend the pit. He carefully made his way lowering himself further and deeper into the dark pit. Crumm made good time making the descent but upon reaching the halfway point his footing slipped and the ogre lost grip of the rope falling another ten feet before his large hands were able to again grasp the rope. The jolt of the short fall knocked Crumm into a wild swing from side to side, and the friction of the rope on the pit’s edge above ripped and tore the rope to shreds. Crumm was hanging on by a thread and was still swinging about in the air, not knowing where he would land if he fell. Suddenly the rope snapped and Crumm tumbled and crashed onto Twiggy at the pit’s floor below.

pitfall

“Augh! Get off of me you big lug. You just had to land on me didn’t you! I told you descending the pit was a bad idea.” Twiggy yelled.

Crumm picked himself up and dusted himself off only to be hit in the head by the remainder of the falling rope.

Ruby brought the torch closer to Twiggy and Crumm. “The rope snapped! It looks like we’ll have to find another way to get back up to the surface. Well at least everyone is alright.”

“Well I for one am glad the rope snapped. I don’t ever want to climb down any more pits. From now on, it’s stairs and ladders for me.” Twiggy claimed.

Greenhat cleared his throat. “Ruby, bring the light back over here. I think I’ve found something.”

foundcyankey

“This must be another of the Time Lord’s Keys. What luck!” Greenhat exclaimed.

“You know I really have to wonder about these Time Lords. They are always leaving their keys in the most random places. You’d think they would lock them all up somewhere safe and not just laying about at the bottom of some pit.” Iscreem pondered.

Time Lord #4 -RoQIV

Time Lord #4

tl4battle

The party comes face to face with another time lord. Air elementals twist violently like raging tornadoes, crashing and slamming Crumm and Iscreem into the wall.

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The clay walls of the lair began to shake and crumble to the ground leaving a large pile of rubble. The mound of rubble speedily changed shape and morphed into a golem of clay.  Soon more and more golems are formed from the rubble. They too attack!

claygolemsummon

In the midst of battle, Ruby kept her concentration and read aloud from her spellbook. Harvesting the power of the ancient magic of words, she used a wand to draw the shape of a word into the air one letter at a time until it read K.I.L.L.

The power word materialized out of the air in a thick and heavy smoke. The ancient magic repeatedly chanted the word which now hovered in a mist about the center of the room. Kill. Kill. KILL.

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With Ruby’s power word declared, the ancient magic both diffused the air elementals power and turned the clay golems into a lifeless mound. Twiggy performed a successful time stop, allowing the rest of the group to carry out multiple attacks on the Time Lord, draining him of his power until the last slash of Iscreems blade eventually did the evil time lord in.

tl4dies

Gnarshm Returns / The purple door -RoQIV

Iscreem led Elvira and Greenhat on a winding tour, zig-zagging through the endless passages of the maze of mysteries, when he came to yet another intersection and stopped. He had sort of a puzzled look on his face as he looked to the left then right, backwards and right again.

“Are you sure you know where you are going?” Greenhat asked.

“Of course I do. We should go this way.” Iscreem pointed towards a passage to the left.

“We’ve been down there already. I think you just don’t know where you are going do you?” Elvira said.

A frustrated Iscreem snapped back. “I know we’ve been down that way before! I…um…I just wanted to make sure you two were paying attention. We need to go this way now.” the kobold pointed to the passage to the right.

While not quite sure whether Iscreem was being serious or not, Elvira and Greenhat decided to continue following the kobold while also keeping tabs on their which turns and passages they traveled.

The right passage led past a series of identical halls with walls and archways which dispersed in an alternate pattern, each by ten feet apart.

As the trio continued on, Greenhat’s torch suddenly blew out. The three stopped in the darkness as the old gnome lit another torch, but it too flickered and blew out just as soon as it was lit. He tried once more but to no avail. Something of magic and evil kept the passage a permanent blackened darkness. “It’s no use. I can’t light a torch here.” the gnome said.

Elvira took out a rope. “Here, both of you take hold of this rope so we don’t get separated as we make our way through the darkness. Iscreem and Greenhat each grabbed onto the rope with Greenhat making sure to tie the end of it onto his belt. The rope connected trio continued further using the walls of the passage as their guide. With their eyesight useless, they began to listen intently to their surroundings. They heard their three pairs of boots walking through the dark halls, occasionally stepping down with a crunch on an insect or two that had wandered into their path. There was a drip of water from the ceiling that sputtered onto their heads as they passed by. They began to hear the muffled sound of voices which began to grow louder as they continued through the darkness. They made their way towards the voices that they heard.

“I can hear people talking in common up ahead.” Elvira stated.

“What are they saying?” Greenhat asked.

“I’m not sure. The voices sound like they might be on the other side of the wall. HELLO? Is there anybody out there?” Elvira shouted. A muffled voice was heard in return from beyond the wall.

A loud click was heard as suddenly the wall moved sending a stream of light towards Elvira. A large hand appeared from the light and grabbed her pulling her through towards the light in a fast jolt. Iscreem and Greenhat, who were still connected at the middle and other end of the Elvira’s rope were also quickly pulled through.

Elvira, Iscreem and Greenhat fell forward in a tumbling heap onto the ground as they were quickly surrounded. As the trio picked themselves back up from the floor, Iscreem pulled his blade from his sheath and swung it, but the blade’s handle was caught in mid swing, blocking the attack by a much larger hand than his own.

“Hello friend.” A voice boomed as Iscreem felt the hand pull the kobold upwards and off the ground until Iscreem was eye level with the larger of the two. Iscreem recognized the familiar voice as the two’s eyes met.

“Crumm! It’s you!” Iscreem exclaimed as the ogre lowered the kobold back down to the ground.

Elvira and Greenhat looked about also recognizing Ruby, Sammy, Twiggy and an oddly snoring Gnarshm who was sleeping away on the ground behind Twiggy.

“Great to see you all again.” Greenhat exclaimed. “We have managed to locate the purple key, however we have not yet found the time lord’s lair. What happened to Gnarshm? Why is he sleeping? I thought I told you to wait until he was fully recovered before bringing him down here? the old gnome asked Twiggy.

“He was recovered and walking about at the inn, but he didn’t recognize Crumm and I, and wouldn’t come with us at all, so I had to use one of my sleeping potions to knock him out. Then Crumm carried him down and we met up with Ruby and Sammy at the entrance to the maze like we had originally discussed. We waited there for a while but when neither you nor Iscreem or Elvira returned we thought you might be in trouble so we went searching for you. Now here we all are.” Twiggy summarized.

“It wasn’t my fault that we got lost, honest. Iscreem led us on a wild goose chase through the maze.” Elvira wise cracked at the kobold.

The old gnome leaned forward to view the sleeping gnoll. “It sounds like his second resurrection didn’t go as hopeful as we thought. Let’s try to wake him.” Greenhat took out a vial of a vile smelling liquid and held it to Gnarshm’s nose. The gnoll quickly awoke screaming, then quickly began to calm while Greenhat pulled out his bag of medicines.

A somewhat dazed Gnarshm began to speak. “Oh my. What a nightmare! I had dreamed that an awful ogre and a foul elf tried to lure me into a dungeon and when I wouldn’t go along with them, the evil elf tried to murder me with a towel of toxic fuming liquid. It was horrendous. It was…it was…”

“Aaahhh!” Gnarshm screamed when he saw Crumm and Twiggy standing next to him. “There they are! Help! Help! They’re trying to kill me!” the gnoll panicked. Ruby, Sammy and Elvira had to restrain the gnoll as he thrashed about.

“Now now Gnarshm, none of us are trying to kill you. I can assure you of that. Please be patient while I fix you up some medicine to help you regain your memory. The old gnome proceeded to mix up some liquids into a new vial. “Iscreem, can you try to calm Gnarshm down while I fix up this medicine for him?” the gnome asked the kobold warrior.

Iscreem tried to calm Gnarshm as best as he could as Ruby and the others held the gnoll in restraint. “Gnarshm, don’t you remember us? Don’t you remember Haggrinna? and how she sent you on this quest to accompany us, using your maps of these dungeon passages? and how you were so eager to finally go adventuring?” Iscreem asked the confused gnoll.

“No….I remember…..I remember……….cheeses and wines…..and royal hunting expeditions and…..” Gnarshm started.

“GNARSHM! SNAP OUT OF IT!” Iscreem yelled. “What is wrong with you?! Pull yourself together! Your our official cartographer of these dungeons in our quest to defeat the evil time lords! Don’t you remember?!” Iscreem screamed as he began slapping Gnarshm across the face in an attempt to make him remember.

“Please it is not necessary to use violence. Crumm, will you extract the kobold please? Greenhat motioned to the ogre, who quickly grabbed Iscreem and pulled him away from the confused gnoll.

“Now Gnarshm, I want you to be still and drink this medication. It will not taste good but you must drink it if you are to recover your memory. Bottoms up!” The old gnome poured the vial of harsh liquid down the gnolls throat.

For a moment the party thought the gnoll might upchuck the nasty tasting liquid, but to everyone’s suprise he kept the brew down. Gnarshm’s dizzy mind began to clear as everyone leaned in to see what would happen with the gnoll. Greenhat began asking questions to the gnoll. “Gnarshm, do you remember your quest to defeat the time lords? Do you remember any of us? Do you remember your book of maps?” The gnome asked as he handed Gnarshm his book of cartography.

Gnarshm began to flip through the pages slowly. Iscreem krept back forward towards the gnoll and asked “Gnarshm do you remember me? Do you remember any of us? Anything?”

“I remember…….I remember………” Gnarshm pointed towards the kobold warrior. “I remember Ice Cream!”

“Well that’s close enough. He remembers me did you hear that? Iscreem said.

Gnarshm continued on while occasionally flipping through his book. Looking back up to the party he said…”And you all are…..Greenhat……Crumm….Twiggy…Ruby…Elvira……and…….Sammy!” The party rejoiced at Gnarshm recovering his memory.

Once Gnarshm was back on his feet, the party was ready to continue onwards. Ruby had found a small room with an old steel wheel that jet out and upwards in the room’s center. The party all gathered around the wheel when the door to the room loudly shut from behind Iscreem who had been the last to enter the room. “Why did you shut the door?” Greenhat asked.

“I didn’t. It just shut on its own.” The kobold replied. “What does the wheel do?”

“I guess there’s only one way to find out.” Ruby replied as she slowly began to turn the wheel in a clockwise direction until it could turn no more.

The party waited for a few moments but nothing happened. “Well I guess it didn’t do anything at all.” Ruby said. The party then left the room and to their surprise, they were no longer in the dark passages but rather at a nicely lit marbled stone adorned intersection where the party could go either north, south, east or west, and the room they had just exited was no longer there at all.

“Which way do we go?” Greenhat inquired.

Gnarshm pulled out his book of maps and pointed westward. “Let’s go down the westward passage.” The party followed Gnarshm down the marble stone path which twisted and turned until the party reached a door laden with amethyst jewels. “Well I think we have found the door to one of the time lord’s lairs.

Elvira inserted the purple key and pushed the door open.

lvl4purpleunlock

The Ancient Traveler -RoQIV

The old gnome raised his torch so the burning light shone upon the moldy stone wall, revealing a series of elvish runes that had been carved and chiseled from the dungeon wall some ages ago. “Can you see it now? What does it say?” the gnome inquired.

Elvira proceeded to interpret the timeworn runes. “These letters are an archaic elvish, but what I can read from it…it either says ‘Welcome to the Halls of Medicine’, or ‘You’ve entered the Maze of Mysteries’. Ermm…Yes. I think it’s the latter. Maze of Mysteries. I’m sure of it.”

mazeofmysteries

“Great. Another Maze. Just what we need.” Sammy chimed in.

“Mazes shmazes. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m going in to take a look around.” Iscreem said as he wandered a bit ahead.

“Don’t go too far. I told Twiggy to meet us here by the entrance.” Ruby warned.

“I’m tired of all this waiting around. I wants to go exploring! Who’s with me?” Iscreem asked as he looked back at the party.

“I’ll go.” Elvira stepped forward eagerly.

The old green hatted gnome took his currently lit torch and used it to set another ablaze, then handed the new light to Ruby. “Here. You and Sammy stand guard by the entrance and wait for Twiggy and Crumm to return with Gnarshm. I will accompany Iscreem and Elvira further into the maze. We’ll try to locate the Time Lord’s lair.” Greenhat said.

Ruby and Sammy watched as the gnome, kobold, and elf headed off into the labyrinth beyond. The light of Greenhat’s torch grew more dim and faint as the trio continued on into the dark maze.

Iscreem had a natural enthusiasm for blindly racing through twisting passages, often without a care as to where he was going or even where he had been. This perturbed Greenhat to no end. “Slow down you blasted kobold! You’ll get us lost!” the gnome shouted.

Even Elvira moved quickly on foot. Greenhat began to regret opting to travel onward with the two younger adventurers, but then he noticed that both Iscreem and Elvira stopped in their tracks ahead of an entrance to the room ahead. When the old gnome reached the doorway he peered into the room to see why the other two had been so reluctant to continue onward.

The clashing of heavy weapons striking metal armor and the shouts of battle echoed throughout the room beyond. A group of three very large menacing ogres surrounded a seemingly elderly looking man with pale white hair, wearing a set of scale armor. The man held his ground wielding a short metal blade, but was outnumbered three to one, and the ogres took turns clobbering him with their large clubs. At each hit, the old man is knocked off his feet, stumbling to the ground at the glee of the ogre’s that surround him.

After each hit, the elderly man gets back up and attempts to swing back at his aggressors but the trio of ogres take turns swatting him back to the floor. The three brutes seem to enjoy pummeling at the man but are not content on just beating him. One of the ogres waves a wand in the air while chanting a spell. The ground beneath the man begins to erupt in fire, scorching the aged man’s feet.   The ogres laugh maniacally.

Not liking the events he was seeing unfold before his eyes, Greenhat mutters some words to his companions. “This is evil. We must put an end to this atrocity.”

Frightened at the sheer size of the hulking ogres, Iscreem replied quickly. “Whoa, hold on there green fellow. This isn’t our fight. Besides, the old man is doing alright on his own. No need for us to get involved.”

An ogre took another swing and clubbed the elderly man, denting his armor and sending him careening across the room. The man’s face was now bloodied and his body limp, as the ogres moved in for the kill.

ogremage

Iscreem heard the whizzing of a dagger shoot past his ear as it struck one of the ogre’s squarely in the back as it let out a horrifying scream and tumbled to the ground in an earthquaking rumble. The other two ogre brutes quickly turned to see what had taken down their partner in crime and set their eyes on Elvira, Iscreem and Greenhat. The ogres now have a new group of foes to flex their muscles on.

Iscreem turned to Elvira and gave her a horrifying glance. “What have you done?!” the kobold screamed.

“I had to do something. They were going to kill him!” the elf replied.

“Better him than us!” Iscreem said.

“Look out! They are on to us!” Greenhat shouted as he dodged a swing from an ogre’s club which smashed into the stone wall sending bits of stone debris scattering onto the cold floor.

The second ogre waved his wand sending a flash of fire forward searing Iscreem. The fire was scaldingly hot and burned the kobold’s flesh. Iscreem let out a yelp of pain.

Another dagger flew through the air striking one of the ogres in the heart and it too fell to the ground lifelessly.

The last ogre mage yelled furiously and charged at Elvira knocking her down rendering her unconscious. The ogre then turned back towards the kobold warrior who was still dealing with the burns of the ogre’s wand. As the ogre mage approached the wounded kobold, something distracted him. The chanting of the green hatted gnome. Greenhat read aloud the verses of an old scroll. Again and again the gnome chanted the verse until the scroll disintegrated into ash. A black vortex appeared from out of the ashes tearing a hole through the fabric of reality. The vortex swirled venomously as a horrifying and demonic presence enveloped the area and swallowed the ogre whole. Then just as quickly as it appeared, the vortex dissolved into the air and was gone.

Iscreem glanced at Greenhat, and then looked in amazement at the nothingness the vortex left in its wake. “Jeez. I’m glad you’re on my side.” the kobold said.

Elvira regained consciousness and got back on her feet. With the perilous ogres defeated the group greeted the elderly man they had saved from an imminent death.

“Thank you for saving me. It would have certainly been the end of me if you hadn’t stepped in. Your courage is to be commended.”  the old man said.

Iscreem got the feeling the old man’s words were meant more for Elvira and Greenhat than himself. “Hey what’s an ancient creaky old guy like you doing down here in these dungeons anyway? Adventuring is a young person’s game. Good thing we were here to bail you out. You look older than our grandpa gnome here is!” Iscreem rudely mentioned.

Slightly insulted, the elderly man responded. “Hrrummph! Age is just a number, and my number is four hundred and fifty four. Probably allot longer than you’ll live if you keep at it the way you do. I’m an alchemist and I travel about these dungeons in search of ingredients for my potions. It’s the best place to find things like rodent livers, serpent fangs, and otyugh blood. See I’ve found a way to extend life beyond its normal years. Those ogres were trying to steal my age defying brew. Please accept this potion as an offering of my gratitude.” the ancient traveler thanks the party once more and gives an elixir of youth to Greenhat, and then departs.

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