Sunday, January 31, 2010

First, a Word from the Mouther

Because I am just that kind of obsessive personality: I thought I would throw up a quick apology (in the strict classical sense) regarding a mistake I made very very late into our last session on Saturday night.

For better or worse for players, I take a little pride in not pulling punches when death truly is on the line in a game. Above all, I think players should know that that the PCs live in a dangerous world where death is always possible. Even more, I think there is a kind of justice to the rule of the arbitrary dice in these circumstances. My sense is (although I could be wrong about this) that players learn to respect the choice not to fudge or change rolls for no reason other than to benefit the PC in situations where death is a likely result, and, even more, that they can become quite peeved if they perceive that this Rule of the Abritrary isn't uniformly applied to all. If all feel themselves equally subject to the capricious determination of the dice, then, somehow, the rule of the dice seems less capricious and even less arbitrary as if (again, somehow!) a little bit deserved.

At the very end of the final encounter of a long night of gaming, the latest addition to the adventuring party - a plucky female fighter named Drin - acted perhaps a bit rashly and found the tables had turned on her more quickly than she had anticipated. One moment the party found itself victors over 10 skeleton "Ones First Lost" and almost counting their treasure, only to be immediately faced with a terrible Gibbering Mouther. Drin found herself strategically cut off from the rest of the group, opening herself up to at least one attack from this awful creature before she could retreat.

Again, let me emphasize that it was very very late at this point.

But as I rolled the six attack rolls (see my exhibit 1 from the ad&d Monster Manual II above) I mistakenly attributed 3 points of damage to each of the 3 mouths of the mouther that successfully attached themselves to Drin, and then announced to the group that Drin had suffered a total of 9 points of damage that round. Drin's player Julia quickly announced at this point that Drin had died as a result of that damage, having had sustained a wound in the earlier combat and only having had 3 hit points left before the Gibbering Mouther attacked. I don't think I am alone in saying that this came as a complete surprise to me. I had sort of thoughtlessly assumed that Drin might be crippled by the surprise attack, but capable of living to fight another day. And I don't think I was the only one thinking that.

Given how surprised several of us were at the announcement of Drin's sudden death, my realization moments later that I had incorrectly calculated the damage of each of the Mouther's mouths (since each mouth = 1 point damage and not 3 as I had mistakenly assumed, then the correct total was 3 mouths = 3 points damage) no doubt sounded like it must have been too good to be true. Rather than dead, our new adventurer Drin is only knocked unconscious and does indeed live to fight another day. Understandable sidelong glances predictably followed from my correction of my mistake. Could it be the DM so brazenly changed a roll?

And I also suspect that Julia herself is the kind of player who would object soundly to undeserved treatment of behalf of her character. So I also wanted to explain this event and to post the creature's stat block to remove any doubt from all minds. (I'm sure you've all lost sleep over this issue). As you can plainly read above, there is no way that during the first round that the six mouths the mouther used to attack could generate 9 points of damage. At maximum, had all six mouths struck, 6 points of damage could have been done that first round. And, given my error at the time, I would have called this 18 points of damage. Deadly stuff, those Mouthers. But 18 points is pretty steep for a creature of its challenge level (so is 9 points for only 50% hit rate) so I suspect that I would have been tipped off to re-read the stat block either way.

Rest assured, however, that this judgmental DM still blames Drin's very near demise on her own impetuous grab for just a bit more before the night ended. Just wanted to make it clear that he is not responsible for Drin's near-miraculous survival. The Rule of the Arbitrary is still firmly in place.

Thanks for another great night of gaming, everyone. Session summary to follow shortly.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Session 7 Planning - Eime Campaign (Please RSVP)

Date: Saturday, January 30, 2010
Start Time: 6PM
Location: Batman 1970's place

*Please RSVP in the comments as soon as you can. If you need and address or directions, please let Bat know in the comments as well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 6

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Fourth Week of the 10th Moon, between the Day of the Dog and the Day of the Rabbit.

10th Month continues to prove itself cruelest on the Island of Eime. Far from their homes, surrounded by treacherous slavers, secret organizations, and wild goblins that breed like cockroaches in the many cracks of the great Eastern Mountains, the adventuring party that calls itself The Eight moved 24 hours closer to end of their first month on the island. A day earlier they were hired body guards serving a supporting role in a straightforward transportation mission. As the exploration and negotiation this session continued, the party changed its purpose and now found itself acting as the de facto special operations forces for this reclusive and tight-lipped (even if friendly) community of deep-forest homesteaders.

And, perhaps more importantly, the session ended with the adventurers in full flight and retreat into a dangerous and virtually unknown forest well after the sun had set. Such a choice would appear unwise or hasty in all but the most extreme circumstance. The discovery of the party by a devil made of bone whilest they had busied themselves looting its treasure convinced The Eight that such drastic measures were required in this particular instance. The dm humbly agrees with the collective judgement of the party on this matter.

Aron, Gwyd the Silver-Tongued, Corbin the Grey Haired, Finneas Cleg, Agro the Axe, Ayak, and Lilyak the Monk ably proved themselves in their collective defense of the homestead of Jinstown as our session opened. The patriarch of Jinstown - the ever-convivial Pog Jin - provided support to the group with some precious supplies of Eime weaponry (apparently horded by his father's original adventuring gang nearly 4 decades earlier). And The Eight also made good use of the green but motivated townsfolk, including two of Pog Jin's own sons, Markus and Palus, in their careful and well-reasoned pre-assault planning. But it was clearly their deliberate tactical preparations that made their defense of the homestead relatively easy. Despite attempts to draw the PCs out into the open, our adventurers held their position and forced a bottle neck in what seemed to be the first wave of goblin assault. Add to this some strong work with bows fired from positions high in the Great Hall and behind the palisade as well as the clever idea to light the entire battle field so as to negate the goblins' natural advantage and, for the first time since the very first session, not a single PC or NPC in their direct service died during the night.

Through some thoughtful dialog with Pog Jin, the PCs were given access to an ancient scrap of Eime parchment that appeared to be a letter from one "Sister Emmel of the Great Mother Island Elves". This letter, long an incidental part of Mug Jin's cache, describes a withdrawal of the Eime elves to a mountain "retreat" called Lilymar at some unknown point in the past. It also instructs that all available treasure should be brought for safety to Lilymar in its secret location, as well as "all available of your children to feed the One." One result of reading this ancient billet was the successful search by Finneas Cleg for a tapestry in the Jin collection that responded to the needle he had received as a gift from a Weaver in Stonewell. In point of fact, Cleg found two such tapestries in Jinstown (as well as the suggestion of a third) and each responded to the touch of the needle by magically revealing a map hidden in the fine threadwork. Unfortunate as it is for our party, it was not immediately obvious to anyone just what place this map depicts.

When additional waves of the goblin assault failed to materialize, the PCs learned that Steevin Jin - the brother they had left behind them on the trail to Jinstown through the Frowning Forest - had himself been kidnapped by a goblin assault force after The Eight had left his side. As a result of his brother's kidnapping, Pog Jin showed the party fear and worry for the first time. At this time Pog Jin also tried to further secure the aid of our adventurers by digging deeply into his father's weapons cache, and offered to each of them a weapon of absolutely unique construction. Swords that do additional damage and give bonus to attack, spears that wrench flesh and return when thrown, small metalworks that scurry over the body and make themselves at home there...all designs beyond most imaginations of the ordinary people of Emerick. And yet all the members of our party - having only just glimpsed Pog's great book - would feel justified in thinking that these gifts were only drops in a great well that is this man's collection of relics and exotic weaponry - the sum total results of a lifetime spent picking the lowest of the lowest hanging fruit on Eime.

The rest of the session was spent with the party exploring the remains of three now-deserted goblin camps that were discovered just beyond the tree line. In addition to pieces of a letter to the three goblin-kings Onox, Mirt, Onnag by someone calling him/herself "Arnot the Young" that strongly suggest that the collaboration of the various tribes present during this aborted assault were ordered by another party entirely, in effort to gain access to some "Toyalis Tapestries". Also, the exploration of the three camps revealed several goblins corpses (each wearing inferior leather armor with crude blades in red chalk across the chest) piled together with their throats slit and two divergent paths leading away from the goblin camps. It was determined that one path was chiefly marked by the prints of horses stolen from Jinstown and the other marked exclusively by the large majority of retreating goblin foot soldiers.

Some might think it odd, but rather than exploring either of these two options, The Eight took a chance and followed instead the strange and unexpected "purr" of the brass cat they had discovered a week earlier during the exploration of the tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose. Here, deep in the forest, the statue lead them to discover what appeared to the party to be a "piece" or fragment of the Brass Rail highway (a highway that all current inhabitants of the island believe ends miles to the south and west of their current location, by the way). Not sure what to make of their discovery, the party followed it, even going so far as to forego their chance to return to Jinstown before the sun falls.

Stuck somewhere deep within the Frowning Forest, The Eight followed this lost section of the Brass Rail as it lead them to ancient Eime outdoor amphitheater built out of the side of a small rock outcropping in the Frowning Forest. As they approached, the party happened upon a small light in a third floor window, as well as a young woman's scream from the stage area of the theater. After a very quick search of the area (and the evasion of a giant centipede discovered in the basement), our heros made their way through the theater at a quick pace, finding the body of a young women suspended by chains directly above the stage, with several deep-set wounds designed to allow her blood to drip away from her and flow down to a lower, basement level.

Exhibiting a lack of even the slightest of desires to give the recently deceased minimal respect in death, the party left the young woman's still-warm corpse hanging where they discovered her, and sought to finish its search for the third floor light they had seen on their approach. In the process of this search the crew encountered (and defeated) an aging, drunkard magic-user calling himself Lazlo who attempted to shrug off a drug-induced cloudy head. Helping themselves to his property (including a strange tomb bearing the title "Gruumsh's Ineffable Malice"), various members of The Eight expressed interest in a Lazlo's dying comments about "his pet" and decided that the party was sufficiently strong to press on to the lowest level of the theater and finish their survey of the building.

One locked door and one secret stone door under the ampitheater stage later, the members of The Eight set their eyes on what is likely to have been the single largest pile of coin and jewel they had ever seen prior. There it sat, apparently for the taking, and the group hesitated only a moment before rushing forward to take a share. And while each party member was able to quickly fill their pockets and spare bags with precious stones and gold coin, just as soon as they had each taken their share an enormous Bone Devil burst into the area and gave immediate chase and our prudent adventurers turn and fled into the night.

Total XP per PC (not including individual XP bonuses): 989


Thanks again to all who were able to make it. If you were a player in Session 6, it is very important that you take a moment and cast your vote in the comments for the player that you think deserves the bonus xp for the session. In a couple of cases this might make the difference between leveling up or not, so please share your thoughts asap.

Looking forward to the 30th and to a virtual session whenever enough of our players let me know their interested.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

While you wait...

Another great evening lasting well into the morning hours! I promise to have the summary and xp totals for Session 6 posted within 24 hours, but in the meantime I'd like to enlist the help of any interested members of the group on a very short project.

I'd like to coordinate with 1-3 other folks a test of a free and simple software that might be very useful if we ever try an entirely "virtual" session. Called, GameTable, this software is really basic and suits our purposes exactly (at least I think it does).

All that would be required of the needed playtesters would be to download the software and spend no more than an hour some time in the next week or so trying to set up a "game" with my machine as the host.

If you're interested in helping me out, download the software and left me know in the comments.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Session 6 Planning - Eime Campaign (Please RSVP)

Suggested Date: Friday, January 15
Suggested Time: 6PM
Suggested Location: TBD (Suggestions?)

*Please RSVP in the comments as soon as you can.

UPDATE: We are set to play both 1/15 and 1/30 at 6PM. Please update your status in the comments if it should change.

UPDATE 2: Our 1/15 session will be held at the dm's home starting at 6PM.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 5

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Fourth Week of the 10th Moon, between the Day of the Frog and the Day of the Dog.

Barely four days have passed since the party that once called itself "The Eight" left the tricks and traps of the tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose and found themselves in the employ of the Brothers Jin and the collective wives, husbands, and families of the Jinstown Homestead. During this short period of time The Eight faced ambush twice, came in contact with the mysterious cult of Weavers, was hunted by owlbears, chased by dire wires ridden by goblins, and practiced the fine art of prisoner interrogation with both extreme predjudice and with what some might judge a touch of malice aforethought. And, as always, the lives of those who come into the employ of our adventurers continue to be brutally short.

As the evening of the Day of the Dog of the last week of 10th Moon set in, our wayfarers ended their long day of travel apparently under seige inside a lonely and isolated family homestead set deep within the Frowning Forest. Here, in a place the locals call Jinstown, they find themselves besieged by an unknown number of goblins who are hiding just beyond the pallisade of the homestead in the surrounding wilderness. And, most worrisome of all, our adventurers find themselves desperately short of escape routes and potential allies-to-the-rescue.

The path that brought them to this destination started with the decision by the magic users Finneas and Gwyd to leave the Boundless Buckle mine in County Cash and head toward the Frontier Region of south western Eime Island. While most populated areas of the island have been loosely organized into administrative units or "counties" by the ruling families of the Colony Trading Company, the "Heel" or Frontier Region has been largely left alone as it is considered to be too far away from resource or source of trade or commerce to make regular administration economical even if it were potentially profitable. A wild, river valley region, the Frontier sits between the unmapped vistas of the Eastern Mountains and the dark expanse of the Frowning Forest. It has much about it that is untamed and beautiful and precious little about it that could qualify as civilized or settlted. The only two true cities of the region - Gold Run to the north and Threshold to the south - are widely looked upon as dangerous and havens for the worst sorts of scoundrels. And while the continual prospect of a large strike or discovery in the Eastern Mountains draws new blood to the region every month, it remains the case that most of the population of region come here to escape something. Or someone. If there is such a place as the middle of nowhere, "The Heel" is easily located somewhere near its backwater. Or, if you prefer, it is the place where those who are already lost go to remain that way.

Moving on temporarily from the Boundless Buckle on the previous Day of the Mouse, and not wanting to have their faces seen so soon again in Colony Company Town 2, our party sought out the seasonal shanty village of Stonewell in the Frontier Region in search of new partners and hirelings as well as looking for interesting, new employment. During the course of an excited evening of chat and drink with several conversation-starved prospectors, The Eight observed a procession dedicated to the Leper God, along with several other would-be worshippers of new and second-rate deities lining the only road in town, prostilitizing to all who will listen. Finneas Cleg himself was approached by a member of the strange Order of the Weaver and offered a silver needle and brass wire "thread" in fulfilment of some unexplained vision.

Additionally, it was during that evening in Stonewell that our adventurers first became acquainted with the couple of Steevin Jin and his young companion Ila as well as gained three new full share members to their association - Lilyak, a female monk, a stout and steadfast warrior who calls himself Agro the Axe, and a woman fighter, Drin, who displayed a quick wit and deft skill with a sling. After some conversation, Steevin Jin offered The Eight short term employment as protection for a transport of recently captured wild white horses rare but native to the Island. The transport would take no more than four days and leave from the famiy homestead set deep within the Frowning Forest and travel to the city of Threshold at the mouth of the River Fingol.

On the Day of the Cat the party set out north up the River Fingol on an unnamed barge with both Steevin Jin and his young wife on board, as well six oarsmen and Captain Jaan. Ambushed at Misha's Ferry after a full day's journey, The Eight smartly and without hesitation dispatched several attackers using a combination of team work, melee assault, magic, and a final well-aimed cross bow bolt fired at an underwater target by Ayak Akai. Even more, The Eight learned through interrogation that the marauders were a section of the Iron Ring - a mysterious slaver gang composed of small, quasi-independent cells composed of "Hounds" (former slave foot
soldiers), "Reavers" (cell leaders) and "Bosses". Showing a bold and borderline malicious streak, the Halfling Horvan Graveltoes lead a series of escalating interrogations in which flesh was torn and eyes removed in order to attain information to his satisfaction from captives named Erle and Finbar.

In the end, these interrogations showed much about the mettle of our adventurers. From their would-be assailants they learned some odd details about the Reaver of this particular cell of the Iron Ring, a magic user named Goldmir, as well as about recent raids on local homesteads in search of "tapestries" at the order of Goldmir. And at the offer of good pay, a former Two Eye calling himself Milyx joined the party as it set out the next day into the Frowning Forest towards Jinstown. Milyx's tenure with The Eight tied or perhaps even bested a record originally set by the hireling Elbert for the shortest term with the party, with his death coming later that day as the razor-sharp beak of an Owlbear ripped his head from his shoulders.

As the party moved deeper into the Frowning Forest, they emerged into a large clearing extending for several miles to the west and north. Notable, too, was the change in weather, the first change experienced since our adventurers set foot on Eime Island, to a damp, cold, and wet. And, almost immediately upon entering the clearing, the advancing party was set upon by refugees from Steevin Jin's homestead called Horse Meadow. These refugees, mostly women and children with a few surviving men, lead a small wagon train in flight from their homes that were set to torch by a raid of goblins. In response to this news, our adventurers accepted Steevin Jin's request that they head swiftly towards Jinstown in hopes of aiding against any related goblin raids or attacks, leaving Jin himself behind to guide the wagon train.

Finally, no summary of our last session would be complete without mentioning the loss of Teenie Tenbar, the promised fiance of Cleg's faithful adjutant Smutty Booth, to a well placed arrow fired by a bowmen of the Iron Ring. Tenbar had served the party quite well as a hireling, and just how Smutty will take this loss in the long term remains to be seen.

Total XP per PC (not including individual XP bonuses): 533

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 4

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Third Week of 10th Month, between the Day of the Cat and the Day of the Frog.

As the sun set in the western sky of the Island of Eime on the Day of the Frog, a small party of weary adventurers stumbled out of the Boundless Buckle mine, located in a southern county of Eime Island, their soot-covered eyes stinging in the thin ambient amber light. Undoubtedly written across each face was the unmistakable mixed confusion of the bittersweet. As in previous adventures, the body count continues to grow. This time no less than four individuals met their grisly end in the bowels of the Tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose. At least it seems these deaths were not in vain as considerable information and treasure was gathered through the exploration made possible by these sacrifices. And, indeed, given the number of fiendish traps the party encountered this time out, there is little doubt that the death of these few helped to prevent the death of all.

Our adventure began with the return of the party to Colony Company Town 2 in search of Dick Maggoty. Through the course of normal resupplying and carousing, the party learned that fast on the trail of "the man with the bat on his face" was a unnamed but intimidating tatooed man of the secret organization, the "Two Eyes". After much discussion, the group decided that the most likely explanation for this manhunt was a torture-aided "recollection" of the now dismembered Hirelings United clerk who had served the party as a black market contact a week earlier. A consensus was then reached to spread a false story of the party's return to Aleine while actually leaving town and returning to their exploration of the Boundless Buckle hoping to hide their tracks.

The deepening intrigue and deliberations of the early evening was set against the raucous backdrop of the official first day of Beerfest -- the near-universally celebrated fall holiday in which the Lord Govenor of the island orders the Trading Company's private casks opened for the free consumption of all for a period of 48 hours. As revelers drank and sang and pissed themselves and passed out in the streets, our party secured the services of a young and proud axe maiden-for-hire and made preparations for departure. And while many slept the evening away in the common room of Lightfoot Krom's Boarding House, both the monk Pym Sykes and the magic user Finneaus Cleg found the time to sow their oats and carouse and wench with the spifflicated throngs in the street.

In the cool light of the morning Cleg found himself the bleak-eyed but proud owner of an expansive dragon skull tatoo splayed from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. At the same time the usually reserved and always sharp monk Pym found himself the object of wide public derision as a result of the drunken spectacle he was told that he had created the night previous. From the vantage point of the present, this now appears to be a portentous moment. Luck, it seems, had chosen that night to forever desert the monk who lived out an order of self-reliance.

After contracting for the services of a new shield bearer- the betrothed of Smutty Booth, a stout and sturdy female by the name of Teenie Tenbar - the party descended once again into the Agora Hills and reentered the ancient tomb complex with an eye toward exploring the hitherto neglected section to the north. By the end of this adventure, it appears that the entire northern section had been successfully mapped by our party, but at a very steep cost: the deaths of a much beloved "hero" of the party as well as a brand new addition. The quietly wise Pym Sykes lost his life to a freak accident while attempting to help his comrades by taking up the obviously risky job of crossing a 15-foot chasm, hand-over-hand, with only a rope around his waist and a makeshift beam made of rope-lashed staffs and materials available at hand. Against the odds, during his climb both this pole and his fail safe rope snapped and he dropped like a stone into the deep darkness never to be heard from again.

The new addition to the party, its second full-share member who had taken vows within the Order of the Son of the Bat, himself went by the name of Baat. Upon meeting our fellows during their resupply mission to Colony Co. Town 2, Baat found himself immediately adopted and taken in by the party (perhaps as a result of the affinity they had once shared for a brother-monk of his). And while Baat helped the party a great deal during his little time as a full-share member (e.g., he fought bravely against the attack of skeletal raven gravebirds as well as took real personal risk in helping the party recover several important treasures, including the special shields and swords of Odo the Warlover and Roark the Benevolent), it is most likely that his final moments had the largest impact on his fellow adventurers, with his eyes bulging and capillaries bursting and distended by the suffocating force of a single long, quick amphibious tail that belonged to a swift, attacking hawktoad. No doubt burnt into the mind of each surviving party member was this scary image: a reminder that the brave and the strong are no less mortal than the rest. It is also possible that the party's stout fighter, Rand, might have been personally affected by this death, as both he and Baat were suffering the effects the same Grave Fever, contracted through their wounds earned in their struggle against the Gravebirds. This Grave Fever is similar to a more common disease, Mummy Rot. Like the Rot, Grave Fever prevents magical healing and causes wounds to heal at 1/10 the normal rate. Thankfully, such a condition can typically be cured by a Cure Disease spell. If only The Eight could gain access to such a spell....

And if only the party's losses had ended with these tragedies. Instead, our fellows spent the better part of four days finishing a careful exploration, treasure-hunt, and mapping of the northern end of the complex, gaining and then losing two more members from its already thin ranks. First, the party was joined by a female monk and fighting man who went by the name Ayak Akai. These new companions were met acting as couriers for the irrepressable Grover Griswold. The female monk was not destined to be long with the party, however, falling to what presumably must have been her death atop a stone pillar that was in the process of collapsing fast into large, deep pit. Such a death, shocking to the rest of the party as it stood by, was apparently triggered by an impetuous grab for what turned out to be a trapped urn of as-yet unidentified scrolls. Her quick death so soon after joining The Eight in that murderous room of urns, was soon followed by the similarly dramatic death of the green axe maiden, Kaari the Younger.

In the end the adventure yielded many interesting and valuable items, ranging from two exceptionally lightweight shields that can be sacrifised to absorb any single attack roll; a brass sculpture of a cat that purrs when stroked but whose function is unknown; a large collection of ancient beeswax preserve that, oddly enough, seems to still be consumable as well as worth several hundred gold pieces; and a large cloth sack cinched at the top that containing 15 5' by 6' diamond cut glass panes. Each of these panes of the clearest glass delicately etched with the same image: a depiction the story of the goddess Eime intentionally drowning her many children to thwart the ambitions of her older consort, Pelor, the god of white magic. This last item alone has an incredible value, likely to fetch the party something in the area of 2250gp when sold to a collector. Along with these items of note the party also worked together to find an ingenious way to cross a partially collapsed stone bridge, and thus gained access to an enormous mural that mapped out in detail a number of large islands in addition to Eime island proper as well as depicting numerous fantastic locations spread across the Northern seas such as "The Royal Forge and Mint of Maristan the Dim," the "Arcane Repository," and the "Great Emerald Mines".

At the end of the exploration of the Room of Urns, the party also discovered the grisly corpse of Teenie Tenbar's father - Ty Tenbar - at the bottom of a pit trap in the very room that took two of their party's lives. After securing the valuable supply of beeswax from the final accesible urn, and having completed their exploration of the northern section, the remaining party members decided to remove themselves from the Tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose and once again lick their wounds and find a way to regroup.

And, after three weeks on the Island of Eime, those PCs who have been lucky enough to survive from the ocean crossing in the Barbarossa until this day are just beginning to feel the benefits that hard experience brings. Let us hope that they themselves survive to see their experience continue to grow in this cruel, capricious, and bloody new world.

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 3

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Second Week of 10th Month, between the Day of the Weasel and the Day of the Cat.

Following our third session it became clear that the fledgling adventuring consortium that set foot on this land calling itself "The Eight" in light of its number might have to consider changing its name to "The Six". This is because the finger of death touched the party's only trained fighting man, Hakkon, as well as the monk Chauve-Soris - the self-anointed voice of the good whose face was covered by that unmistakable chiroptara.

Our session started out with a strategic retreat and an evening spent building new alliances with the Maggoty family. This involved hiring Old Man Maggoty himself to return to Colony Co. Town 2 and fetch a much anticipated letter as well as the hiring of the young and the suggestible Smutty Booth. The next day was filled with some classic, old school dungeon exploration, including encounters with a six-foot Giant worker ant, another tunnel prawn that practically emerged out of the ceiling, some ancient Eime pictograms, a now-familiar Eime brass column that repeatedly announced the proper name "Sybil the Lachrymose," as well as a room filled with more fine Eime brass columns that called itself "The Room of the Teacher" and offered a lecture on techniques for ocean navigation by starlight.

In addition to these encounters, "The Eight" also found within this tomb complex (now deeply within the Boundless Buckle mine) three seemingly significant features: A six-foot tall, three-foot diameter stone column covered on all sides with hundreds of two-inch holes, their first secret door, and four living tree "Harvester Arrows" that not only inflict minor damage each additional round as the branches grow deeply into the flesh of the victim (1d4 per round until death or ripped from flesh by victim for a one-time penalty of 1d4+1 damage) but also produces a fruit from the dead tissue of a fallen victim which, if eaten, has the ability to restore lost hit points of an unknown amount.

Some careful thinking on the part of the magic user Finneas (and the sacrifice of the partnership's bedrolls) proved essential to saving at least the life of the dwarven warrior Epoc and probably many others besides. At the end of another day of exploration, the party returned to the surface and to the home of Dick Maggoty. Without a guard to raise the alarm, The Eight slept the night away as a threatening team of "elves" took up position and set up an ambush that ultimately took the lives of both Hakkon and the monk Chauve-Soris.

The plucky, deft melee work of the halfling Hawkeye, in conjunction with cooperative efforts of the team's stout Dwarven guards Epoc and Enyd allowed the remaining six party members to survive the assault and to conduct a search of the local farm and surrounding area for Dick Maggoty's wife and daughter. The search yielded no results, not even a body, and the party agreed to head back to the Colony Co. Town and set aside for the time being further exploration of the tomb in a hasty search for Dick Maggoty.

Upon arrival back in town, the Eight Who Are Six learned of the vicious murder and dismemberment of the Hirelings United attendant who had originally secured the hirelings Bone and Elbert for the party, as well as put them in original contact with the indigenous relic collector (and Lord Mayor of the town) Newbold Philo. And while there is no report or sighting of Dick Maggoty, the party concluded the evening by reading the letters that had recently arrived for them from Simi the Magic User from the port city of Aleine. These documents include Simi's signed translation of the party's purloined letter, the letter itself, and a third document addressed to the party directly. Siimi's translation talks of a suspicious guard who is attempting to alert his bosses about the potential betrayl of a joint business relationship by the man who calls himself Grimsby.

The letter addressed to the party directly turned out to be a letter from Grimsby himself wherein he thanks the team for its service, hopes that the full disclosure of the letter will be taken as a sign of his confidence and trust in them, and tells them he has paid their outstanding bill to Simi for his translation and spell-breaking.

In addition, Grimsby bids the party to return as soon as possible to the porty city of Aleine if the new work he has for them: work that promises wealth "beyond anything they can imagine."

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 2

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, Between the Day of the Cat and the Day of the Weasel, the Second Week of 10th Month.

In our second session, the fledgling group of adventurers set about finding work, gathering information, and gambling and arm wrestling in the city of Colony Co. Town 2. In addition, they flirted a bit, drank, negotiated, evaded a few nasty traps (one or two of which they might not even know they narrowly avoided) argued over several moral niceties, as well as began exploring a recently discovered ancient underground complex in the rural southern region of Eime Island called County Cash, where the Brass Rail ends.

After a relaxing and reflective evening in the small Anslem's Inn, the party contracted with the local hirelings' union, Hirelings United, to be joined by two men-at-arms, Elbert and a man who called himself simply "Bone". In addition, the party sponsored a courier to return on their behalf to Aleine and retrieve Davy's blank parchment from Simi the magic user. With a retinue of three hirelings (including the usually quiet and always forgettable Boyyd who had made the trip on the Barbarossa), our party of opportunists spent a second evening in town performing a clandestine job on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Colony Co. Town 2, one Newbold Philo: to secure a large golden bowl on route to the Lord Govenor house in Aleine. During what for others might have been just a routine burglary, our team of vagabonds continued to practice their strategy of "cut-throat realism", executing all possible witnesses among the three soldier/teamsters and female magic user who portered their coveted freight (killing two in their magically-induced sleep, it should be noted).

Under the cover of darkness, the team traded the golden bowl and received the second half of their 500gp payment from Lord Mayor Philo and then immediately returned to their assignment to secure the Boundless Buckle mine for Grimsby and his partners. Although the rest of the trip was largely without event, two native born settlers - Dick Maggoty and Smutty Booth - greeted the arrival of the adventurers with fantastic news: within the mine itself they had found a potential opening into a larger, long-forgotten complex. After little negotiation, the party took it upon themselves to further explore the new discovery of Maggoty and Booth and within a short period found itself face-to-face with some nasty creatures, including 4ft dia. giant spiders and small yet quick climbing Tunnel Prawns.

Their early explorations of this structure within the Boundless Buckle mine has revealed few unambiguous details -- some stones mounted in the wall which seem magically prepared to give off a soft light for eternity; a slogan writ large across the wall of an entry room in an archaic version of Common that read "A Light to Guide Your Way Out of the Eternal Darkness, Dear Sister"; a cloth bag filled with stone mason tools (themselves clearly valuable as historical relics); one door sealed in a thick paste of wax and a second door surrounded at the base by a heavy covering of melted wax; and twin rock columns aligning a door, wrapped in what is coming quickly to be familiar Eime brass, which bend and contort to mimic the faces of those who approach, always bearing a somber and morose continence.

It was during this initial exploration of the mine complex that our party first experienced the pall of death within its own ranks - with Boyyd and Elbert being quick dispatched by a surprisingly accurate and sharp-clawed Tunnel Prawn. For many adventuring parties, the first time death strikes their collective morale dips precipitously. And this is especially true on the Island of Eime, where the thought of untold, easy wealth blinds many an adventurer to the ever-present prospect of death until, as is usually the case, it is too late.

Whether or not the death of two companions so early in their exploration of this new locale will have any real effect on our team and their resolve to further explore the underground complex remains to be seen.. The dm humbly submits that, if past experience is any guide to the future, the chance that "The Eight" retreats rather than plunges forward in pursuit of the potential riches contained within this small mountain in the Agora Hills is highly, highly unlikely.

The Islands of Eime Campaign - Session Summary 1

A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the 9th Moon and the First Week of 10th Moon.

According to documents in the Colony Trading Company House of Records for Aleine County, in the year 640LB, on the Day of the Frog, first week of 10th Moon, a group of eight adventurers disembarked from the aging ship, the Barbarossa, which was recently arrived from the continent of Emerick, and entered the port city of Aleine. Calling themselves an adventuring party, which they referred to as "The Eight", the following eight names were entered into the port registry as known associates, in exchange for several copies of a map of Aleine city and two color copies of the latest available map of the entire Island of Eime produced by the famous "Cosmographer": Epic, a male Dwarven fighter; Enyd, a female Dwarven fighter; "Hawkeye", a Halfling burglar; Chauve-Souris, a Human monk; Rand, a human fighter; Finneas Cleg, a human magic user; Pym Sykes, a human monk; and, last but certainly not least, the silver-tongued Gwyd, a human magic user.The group had arrived in Aleine after having joined fortunes on the deck of the Barbarossa during the long and not uneventful cross-ocean voyage. Of most importance was their agreement to begin working for the aging Grimsby, agreeing to serve as protection after the death of his first guard.

As the weeks at sea wore on, The Eight also accepted a sea nixie's quest and descended to the bottom of the Great Ocean via a magic vortex and bubble chasm, where they found the wreck of the Stutterer's Mill - a former ship belonging to the Colony Trading Co., which lay in two pieces on the sea floor. As they explored the area, the recovered many large oysters while doing battle with two exploding bones skeletons as well as three skeletal former pirates who were captive prisoners on the ship before it sank.In their exploration of the shipwreck, the party was fortunate to have discovered a mysterious helm that seems to increase the acumen of its wearer at least once per day, as well as a ship's manifest detailing a cargo of slaves bound for Colony Company Town 2, as well as two "Malforms" that were to be transported back to the human port city of Palon on the northern coast of Emerick. These "malforms" were to be investigated, according to the manifest, since they were of a "strange" and "as yet unidentified magical nature".

While back on the Barbarossa, the party then faced a crucible: whether or not to follow Grimsby's request and "dispose" of Grimsby's remaining guard, Jonesy. After much moral reflection (and some minor hand-wringing), The Eight decide to throw a weakened Jonesy
overboard while the Barbarossa was still far from land, thus deciding to accept the employment opportunity presented them by Grimsby. Chauve-Souris, a monk of the Order of the Son of the Bat Man, in the end dropped his moral objection to this plan but decided that his own hands would not be stained if he simply refused to be present when the deed was done.After several rounds of inter-group debate and negotiation with Grimsby (fronted by the very able and silver-tongued magic user Gwyd who the others seem to trust to speak for their interest) the party learned from their new employer that he and his partners possessed a claim to a new and as yet untapped mine called the "Boundless Buckle". Grimsby worries that his partners were trying to use magic to remove him as an obstacle to their sole possession of the mine. He also tells The Eight that the law of the land in Eime requires that 1000gp of value be removed from a claim before it can be "officially" registered as belonging to an individual or party. And, if they agree to help him protect the claim from jumpers until he can hire a sufficient force to protect the mine full-time as well as complete the necessary paperwork in Aleine, then he will give them first crack at removing that first 1000gp value from the mine.

The Eight made landfall and, after spending an eventful evening at a rauckous Aleine inn called The Monk and the Duck, pressed on towards the small hills to the south said by Grimsby to be the location of his claim. Their evening in Aleine wasn't entirely without event, however, as several members of the group made a small profit by placing side bets on their very own halfling Hawkeye's chances of surviving a dual of Drunken Daggers. That afternoon and the following morning, the group sold a few of its few treasures, did a little resupplying, and made their way out of Aleine and decided to follow south and east the strange, ancient and strangely beautiful road called by locals "The Brass Rail".