The Party-(Maethylburg Marauders or BBRAKTD! for short)
Amazones is a human monk from the far West, who plans to avenge her family when the time is right. She uses a sling for ranged attacks. However, her most common attack is to use flurry of blows, which allows her to strike twice as fast as a normal fighter. Due to her Ki ability, each of Amazones’s unarmed attacks allows her to strike even creatures that can only be hit by magic weapons and each attack does as much damage as a long sword. She knows acrobatics and has a very keen sense of hearing. Amazones has an adamantine reinforced long staff and a continual light lantern.
Belramos is a half-elven cleric who focuses primarily on healing. He deliberately sacrificed some of his fighting ability when he became a Prestigious Caster in order to make his healing spells more powerful. He uses a crossbow for ranged attacks and a mace in melee combat, but his healing spells are what contribute the most to the party’s success. Belramos has an Amulet of Magic Missile Absorption and an adamatine mace. He also has a lantern of continual light, a scroll of invisibility to undead, a scroll of invisibility to animals, and a magic gem.
Brell is an elven warmage who has innate spell casting ability. He focuses on dealing damage at a distance. Brell has significant knowledge of the arcane, engineering, and spellcraft. Usually, he will shoot his heavy crossbow when a fight breaks out and then cast damage dealing spells like magic missiles, orbs of fire, and burning hands spells until everything is dead. The party relies heavily on Brell’s damage dealing spells. Recently, the party identified a Wand of Empowerment that can increase the damage that Brell’s spells deal. Brell has an adamantine heavy crossbow and a Ring of Spell Absorption set to absorb damage from Magic Missiles. He has a scroll of Tongues, a scroll of Shatter, a book of items (not further identified), and a cloak made of Hellhound fur.
Dez is a halfling rogue who joined the party a little later. She is the party scout. Her ability to find traps, move silently, and do sneak attacks have helped the party on many occasions. Dez has masterwork thieves’ tools, a +1 ring of protection, a continual light lantern, a bag of holding, and a +2 Long Tooth (Rapier).
Ka is a half orc barbarian who is trying to learn about his human side. He wields a greataxe with both hands. Ka can go into a rage twice a day which temporarily increases his strength. Ka struck the killing blow against several ogres with his dwarven Greataxe. He now wields an adamantine Greataxe.
Ryder is a stout female dwarven fighter. She has chopped many a monster with her Dwarven Spearaxe. Her knowledge of stonework and mining has helped the party on several occasions, but mostly she is the main tank for the party. She wears magic black dwarven plate mail that gets more powerful as she gains more experience. She has an adamantine Dwarven Spearaxe.
Threll is an elven archer. He made several magic arrows from magic arrowheads that were found in Castle Caldwell and he has been working on crafting a composite long bow for quite some time. Threll has an adamantine broadblade short sword.
What follows is information about Monsters the party has encountered so far:
Wolves – The party hunted some wild wolves in the woods north of Maethylburg. The wolves were boldly hunting near farms on the outskirts of town and posed a threat. While wolves are known for hunting in packs, this grouped seemed to be more organized. The party surprised two wolves and quickly dispatched them. The party, suspecting that there were more, pretended to be careless and unaware. Wolves attack from the south and their ‘leader’ tried to sneak attack from the east. Amazones spotted this dire wolf. The party killed all of the wolves except for one, that got away. The pelts were sold in town for a small profit. The party never found the wolves’ lair, so they may reappear sometime.
Spiders, Large – When the party started to clear out Castle Caldwell the first monsters that they fought were large (possibly giant) spiders. The party boldly engaged the beasts. Ryder was bitten several times and suffered from weakness due to their poison. The spiders’ webs contained a magic potion that apparently belonged to a previous victim.
Rats, Giant – The party found giant rats and rat tunnels in several locations in the castle. These giant rats always appeared in groups and their bite can cause disease. Ka recovered from a diseased bite while under the ministrations of Belramos who fortunately was able to aid Ka without the use of magic. The main rat lair was in a natural, underground cavern. The rats were noisy, and the party was alerted to their presence from a distance. The final battle with the rats was quite intense. The pack of rats that numbered more than two dozen was being controlled by a single Wererat. Using flaming oil against the rats was quite effective. The rats fought until more than half their number was slain. Brell’s magic and one of Threll’s magic arrows killed the wererat.
Stirges – One of the most dangerous encounters for the party was from a group of stirges. Initially, the party thought that the stirges were giant bats when seen from a distance. The stirges viciously swarmed the party which was almost overwhelmed. Once a stirge gets its beak into flesh it continues to suck blood, like a giant mosquito until killed. It is possible that a stirge might drink its fill and fly away on its own accord, but the party did not wait long enough to find out and killed them all.
Centipedes – The party happened upon a group of giant centipedes whose bite had a similar weakening effect on Ryder as the spider bites did. The centipedes were quickly dispatched.
Wererat-(Lychanthrope/Shapechanger) – The party discovered what appeared to be the lair of the rats in the secret basement of Castle Caldwell. There were about two dozen rats being controlled by a Wererat. The party used fire to help keep the rats at bay, until they managed to kill enough of the rats to break their morale. The party discovered a magic broach on the Wererat that turned about to be an Amulet of Magic Missile Absorption, which Belramos now wears.
Ogres – The party encountered ogres on multiple occasions, but the party never encountered any ogres by themselves. Ogres are not very bright and usually fight with heavy clubs that even stout fighters should avoid. Ka scored several killing blows with his Greataxe. Small weapons, such as daggers and short swords, probably would be less likely to deal significant damage. Inexperienced adventurers should go out of their way (a long way out of their way) to avoid confronting ogres. The ogres did not have much treasure. All of the ogres that the party encountered were working for Zerraptus.
Bears – The party encountered large bears, both singly and in pairs, in the woods to the north of Maethylburg while looking for Zerraptus’s hideout. The bears fought ferociously. The people of Maethyburg valued bear hide and bear meat and paid the party in gold.
Hellhound – Zerraptus may have had a pet hellhound. Brell now wears the hound’s hide as a cloak, thanks to Tomlin’s assistance. The party ambushed one of Zerraptus’s patrols in the woods near the Caves of Chaos. There were a couple of ogres, a magic user, and a hellhound. The party’s surprise attack managed to kill the magic user before he could even cast a single spell. The hellhound which was more than likely Zerraptus’s personal pet or familiar tried to flee by dashing through some burning oil. Hellhounds are at least resistant to fire or perhaps even impervious to fire. Brell killed the fleeing quadruped with a magic missile spell before it could get away.
Giant – The party encountered one giant in their adventures so far. It appeared to be a liaison to Zerraptus. It makes one wonder if Zerraptus was planning to make an alliance with giants. There was no time to question this monster. The party was able surprise the giant in a dead end room in the Caves of Chaos. The giant was quick and, despite being outnumbered by ten-to-one, did quite a bit of damage to several different members of the party before being defeated. The key to the party’s victory appeared to be speed and overwhelming numbers. When one fighter got injured, another fighter moved forward to take his place. It would have been unlikely for any fighter to have survived two consecutive blows from the giant.
Note: Dwarves are particularly adept at fighting giants.
Shriekers – These large mushroom looking noisemakers were in a crevice next to Zerraptus’s quarters. He probably used them as guards because they started making tremendous amounts of noise as soon as the party came near them. Fortunately, the party had already defeated all of the monsters in the area or these creatures would have attracted every monster that was nearby. It was easy for the party to kill the Shriekers, and the silence was much appreciated. Zerraptus probably knew a way to keep the Shriekers from being alarmed.
Berserk Clay Golem – There was a solitary berserk clay golem in one of the tunnels east of New Dwarf City that seemed to have been abandoned by its owner a long time ago. It was extremely quick and tough. It cast a spell that enhanced its speed. The wounds that it inflicted were highly resistant to healing. Belramos spent two days casting healing spells on Ka and Ryder because only about half of his spells worked. The wounds would have healed by natural means, but it probably would have taken about two months. Dez acquired her +2 Long Tooth in the clay golem’s cave.
Wombats – Wombats are giant (about the size of a pony) winged cave dwelling beasts that resemble normal bats in that they appeared to use sonar navigation. However, these wombats would frequently emit a sonic attack that could paralyze humanoids. Plugging your ears with cotton or wax can help decrease the effect, but almost every member of the party (except Amazones and maybe Belramos) suffered from this audio attack. The wombats appeared to have no other special defenses.
Cave Worms – The party encountered at least two cave worms in the tunnels near the Wombats. Amazones heard what sounded like reptile skin moving across rock. There were numerous holes, about 6 to 12 inches in diameter, in the walls as well as on the floor and ceiling where the cave worms were nesting. The party used fire against one of them, while another attacked Brell from the other direction. It missed. The party was able to vacate the area without getting injured thanks to Ryder’s armor. It would have taken a while for the party to lure the cave worms out of their holes. Since the cave worms appeared to stay in their nesting area, the party decided to move on without spending any more time waiting to see if and when the cave worms would attack.