DnD 3.5 - Northern Reaches sandbox game

48 - A Giant Surprise

The party gathered at New Dwarf City. They purchased a +1 Ring of Protection for Ka for 1500 gold. They also purchased KaOtem’s Ointment (5 doses) and gave it to Ryder as back-up healing magic, just in case a situation comes up that is too much for Belramos. The party also obtained two Rings of Virtue that Threll and Dez wear as minor secondary back-up healing. Rings of Virtue allow the wearer to cast the 0-level cleric cantrip Virtue. The party traded the bejeweled crown to pay for most of the items and the potions of Water Breathing that they picked up after a trip into the mountains.

The brave adventurers decided to venture into the mountains northeast of New Dwarf City thinking that they might learn something about Zeraptus. It took several days to hike up to higher elevations. They headed more north than east and went all of the way north to the Huge Crevice where Jaybee more so than Amazones noticed two large lumbering humanoid creatures in the distance (possibly Frost Giants?).

The party headed to higher elevations above the snow line. The cold became an issue. Belramos was protected by his Winter Boots (they Resist Cold and allow him to walk across ice uninhibited). Brell too gained some protection from his Hellhound Cloak. Belramos used cast Protection from Elements on Amazones, Dez, Levee, and Threll. Ka and Ryder had the highest Fortitude saving throws and toughed it out without any additional protection. The party will have to invest in some cold-weather clothing before venturing into the mountains for periods more than a day or two.

The party finally found some tracks in the snow (Ka made several survival checks 19, 27, and 23). Dez snuck ahead to scout and returned with the information that there were two Giants, Hill Giants not Frost Giants, apparently on patrol. The two giants mentioned “Naznora” and “the Dark One” and that they were bored with the patrols because nothing ever happened. The party changed that.

The party made a plan to ambush the Giants. Belramos cast Silence to keep the party’s approach discrete while Levee snuck around to approach from the east. Brell kicked things off with a Fireball doing 53 points of damage to the first Giant and 26 points of damage to the second Giant. Levee used Ghost Sound to provide a distraction. The distraction worked too well. The first Giant was confused and fled heading, apparently toward the Ghost Sound. Brell hit the fleeing Giant with a second Fireball and Levee used Scorching Ray to fell the fleeing Giant. Dez disappeared with a modified Hide Check of 30-something. Ryder Charged the second Giant as the second Giant ran at full speed toward the party. Ka ran forward and missed. Amazones ran forward to get into a flanking position without attacking. Dez moved around behind the Giant ready to Sneak attack when Ryder hit the Giant twice for 23 points of damage. Then Threll shot the Giant with three arrows for 35 points of damage. And Brell burned it with Scorching Ray for 35 points of damage, killing the second Giant.

Feeling that the party had a window of opportunity to surprise another Giant patrol, they set up another ambush and waited. This time Brell was 200’ away from the ambush spot with the party hidden off to the side, about 40 feet away. Brell started the ambush with a Fireball. Levee used Grease on the first Giant. It failed its balance check and fell. Ka eagerly Raged and performed a charging Leap Attack (taking a 7 point penalty to his attack in order to do an additional 21 points of damage), but he missed. Belramos used Prayer which helps allies in a 40-foot radius as well as inhibits enemies (all allies get +1 to attack, damage, saves, and skill check rolls; all enemies get -1 to same rolls). The party quickly defeated the second Giant patrol. They decided to return to New Dwarf City, report to the dwarves what they found, and get ready for an underwater excursion.

Threll left a note for the Saints explaining who the Knights of Maethelburg are. Threll suggested that the Saints and the Knights of Maethelburg join forces in overcoming some the threats in the area around Maethelburg.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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47 - The Arrival
Pick a Card, Any Card

The party was teleported at the end of the last session to an unknown place. Each party member arrived with a stone in their hands, even Dez. The place where they arrived appeared to be another dimension. A Magic Mouth (as identified by an Arcane Knowledge check from Brell) welcomed the party. There were only several directions that the party could go, so they explored.

The party seemed to have discovered a tattoo parlor. The tattoo artist offered to ink a square pattern in the shape of the key that the party used to enter the tower. Each person who gave the artist their teleportation stone received the tattoo; Ka on his chest, Dez on the underside of her right forearm, Levee on her left hand, Ryder on the upper part of her left arm, Brell on the underside of his left forearm, and Belramos on his right calf. Amazones and Threll choose to keep their teleportation stones and not receive tattoos and apparently had to make sure to enter the portal with a person who had the tattoo.

The party found ‘the merchant’ who appeared to be willing to buy most of the party’s items as well as sell whatever items he had available. The party sold items to the merchant for gold including the Fire Giant’s larger than human sized Greatsword (180 gold) and the medusa head (2000 gold). The party also purchased a Necklace of Fireballs (for 3250 gold) and a scroll of Freedom of Movement (for 1250 gold).

The party visited the Library in this plane of existence where the Librarian provided information for a price. The party spent 450 gold pieces to learn several things. The teleportation portals leaving this dimension are activated by proximity of a person with a teleportation tattoo. The tattoo that the person has affects the destination. The portal stays active until the last person with a teleportation tattoo near the portal goes through. The party obtained a more precise location of the Temple of Ythog Nthlei (DM will provide a map at a later point in time) where the party can go to stop the coming of the demon in the west by the coast by the Big Water. The party was already aware that the demon has been preparing to perform a once every 100-year ceremony to try to reenter the world.
After visiting the Library, the party decided to attempt to return to their own world by passing through a portal. Ryder passed through the portal with Amazones, Deze went through alone, Brell passed through the portal with Threll, Levee went through alone, and finally Belramos and Ka passed through the portal together.

The party arrived at a room where they had the opportunity to pay 100 gold per character level to the ‘Dealer’ in order to draw from a Deck of Many Things. Ka drew the “Key” card from the large deck; he received a map to a magic weapon that he can use, a ‘sword of wounding’ located in Silver Lake. Dez drew the “Sun” card that awarded her 5000 experience points and an amulet that grants immunity to poison. Finally, Levee drew the “Ruin” card and lost all wealth in her possession to include everything she owned except magic items. The party purchased some new clothes for her in New Dwarf City. The remaining party members declined the option to draw from the deck. The party went through another portal and arrived back to their home world.

The party was teleported into a cave near the Y-intersection between Maethelburg and New Dwarf City where the road splits to the west toward the Lonely Tower. After the party arrived, the portal closed behind them with no trace.

The party ended up splitting up into three groups. Ryder and Dez were in New Dwarf City. Dez was leveling up to 8th level because of the card she drew from the Deck of Many Things. Ryder and Ka spoke with the dwarves to learn about what had happened in the party’s absence and had the dwarven alchemists start making some potions of Water Breathing for the quest to follow Ka’s map. Amazones and Threll reported to the elves in the Great Forest about the party’s adventures in the tower and stayed with the elves for a short while where Druid Berrymoore helped Threll with his craft skill and enhanced Amazones’s staff so that Amazones can cast an additional spell each day. The Druid said that the teleportation stones were part of a relic, but that no one had ever opted to not get the tattoo. Belramos, Brell, and Levee went back to the Lonely Tower to confirm that they can easily reenter the Lonely Tower and use their teleportation tattoos, earning quest completion experience for learning how to use the teleportation magic.

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46 - Fire Giant Ghun, Nasty Killer Fish, and a Shocking Round Room
"GH" can make an "F" sound, you know, as in 'Ghost'.

The party realized they were are not able to rest in this tower dimension and decided to press on quickly instead of thoroughly exploring the entire complex. They found stairs leading up to another level.

The party immediately realized that the next level was the Fire Level. A quick reconnoiter let the party know that there was a Fire Giant at the other end of the room and that there was no direct route to get to the Fire Giant. Belramos used Endure Elements on many of the characters. Brell entered first and used Ice Storm to both injure (39 points of damage due to the monster’s vulnerability to cold) and blind the Fire Giant. Not even one boulder hit any of the characters although a couple landed in the lava. Brell’s Spells have proven to be quite useful in both damaging opponents and protecting the party. Ka and Amazones moved first to quickly get around the lava to engage the Fire Giant. Ryder, Dez, and Threll moved around the lava as well, but more slowly. Levee used Magic Missile to injure the Fire Giant (6 points of damage) and Brell used Ice Storm again. As Ka got to the center of the room surprisingly he fell up in what turned out to be a reverse gravity field. Ka did manage to catch himself before falling through the hole in the ceiling and fell back on the floor after crawling on the ceiling to get out of the reverse gravity field. Amazones advanced and took a beating from the Fire Giant, despite her best defensive armor class of 31. As Amazones retreated Dez and Ka advanced to flanking positions when Levee and Brell both blasted the Fire Giant with Magic Missiles (for 9 and 23 points of damage) killing it. Loot from the Fire Giant included a ring of Feather Falling that Levee now wears and a bejeweled crown.

The Water Level was tricky to negotiate. Amazones was dangled on a rope up through the hole in the ceiling due to the reverse gravity field. She saw mostly water below and a small island when a couple of the nasty fish jumped up out of the water and bite her. Using the ring of Feather Falling and rope with the party’s help, in particular Ka and Ryder, Brell managed to land close to the island, get on land, and use Ice Storm to kill most of the nasty killer fish. The party used the Fire Giant’s corpse to secure the end of the rope in the Fire Level and let everyone safely go up through hole and get to the island on the Water Level.
Threll took point in going from the island across the reef to the metal thing sticking out of the water to the south. Threll swam down, opened the hatch and crawled through to find gravity reverse again.

This new level was the final stage. Threll went back to inform the party. Ryder and Ka went through first into a round room that was divided into 8 pie sections with a gem floating off of the floor in the center of the room. Ryder got shocked by what appeared to be electricity, but made a successful saving throw and suffered no significant damage. As Brell and Dez entered, Ka got shocked and also made a successful saving throw. Levee, Belramos, Amazones, and Threll followed into the room in that order. Dez got shocked and failed her saving throw; she collapsed, lifeless. Ryder grabbed for the gem and found that it was protected by some sort of force field, so she hit it with her axe doing 13 points of damage. The field did not come down and Ryder took 13 points of damage. Ka Raged and made a successful Leap Attack against the gem doing 39 points of damage. Ka also took 39 points of damage, but it was enough to destroy the force field. Now that the field was down the party members were able to grab the stone, which teleported them away. The next round the stone kept reappearing as each character grabbed it. Belramos tried to heal Dez, but she was beyond his healing power. Ka grabbed Dez and grabbed the stone, but ended up teleporting away without Dez. Belramos and Threll picked up Dez’s body and threw it onto the teleportation gem. Dez’s body was teleported away. The remaining characters grabbed the gem and teleported away in turn.

The shock in the round room had stopped Dez’s heart, but in transit to the other extra dimensional space, Dez used her “Luck Coin” to reroll her saving throw vs Death. Dez succeeded on her second save and appeared on the other side with her life, but barely conscious.

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45 - Sphynx Surprise
There Are Too Many Garden Gnomes Here

The party figured out that the keys would fit together to make a square, just like the pattern on the fancy doors. The party returned to Maethelburg to rest, recover, and prepare to use the keys to open the large fancy doors. Devlin’s Grandpa said that the other adventuring party in the area, the Saints, had a similar design on a piece of skin (possibly meaning a tattoo?). He said that the key was related to teleportation magic. The party decided to refer to themselves to the Knights of Maethelburg when leaving a note for the Saints.

Devlin’s Grandpa cautioned the party that there have been more appearances of demons in the area, since the party faced Laxtana. He said that Demons are immune to lightning and that good aligned weapons injure Demons normally.

Brell used “negotiation techniques” (a roll of a modified 21) to get a better deal on selling the loot from the tower and for purchasing a few scrolls so that Levee could copy a few new spells into her spellbook in addition to her normal new spells for gaining a level. She learned Invisibility, Rope Trick, Shield, Detect Secret Doors, and Protection from Evil.

The party returned to the tower and used the assembled key to open the door. Inside there were chairs. The door magically sealed behind the party as soon as they entered. Except for the chairs the room was completely empty. Most of the party sat down and all were teleported to a huge fog-filled room.

This turned out to be the Air Level of the tower. After a quick listen check, they headed what might be interpreted as west. Two Sphynxes attacked sluggishly (they had very poor initiative rolls) from the north. Amazones moved quickly around to flank and, for the first time ever, successfully used her Stunning Fist ability against the first Sphynx. Dex quickly stabbed the first Sphynx for 19 and 24 points of damage and Rdyer hit it with her axe for 20 points of damage. Brell and Levee unleashed ranged damage spells while Threll fired his bow. The first Sphynx died quickly while Ka went toe-to-toe with the second Sphynx exchanging blows. As Amazones and Dez moved to flank the second Sphynx, Ryder shifted from the first Sphynx to the second Sphynx as well and scored two critical hits doing 30 and 36 points of damage: “Chop, Chop!!”

The party searched around and found the Sphynxes’ layer. They initially left most of the coins so as not to be encumbered, but later came back for them. The party searched around and found some the edge of the room that turned out to probably measure more than 100 feet in diameter. The wall were made of the same material as the doors and the teleportation room that brought them here; a stone-like substance that is as smooth as glass and as hard as steal. The party found a set of stairs leading up.

The party explored around the Earth Level and started following the sound of what sounded like a woman singing. Seeing extremely detailed stoned statues, the party became suspicious that it might be a medusa. Also, Jaybee warned Amazones of danger as she started to approach the cloaked woman. The party coordinated their efforts; Brell cast True Strike. Brell, Threll, and Dez ended resisted the Medusa’s Gaze Attack. Brell and Threll were able to kill the Medusa in the first round before anyone else had a chance to get turned to stone. This was very fortunate, because carrying around a stone statue of Ka and/or Ryder would have been problematic at best. Ryder used Amazones’s steal mirror to cut off the Medusa’s head. The party put the head in a small sack and later sold it for 2,000 gold pieces. The party also found a dagger, a potion, a longsword, and perhaps thousands of coins.

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44 - Like Real Wizard's Chess Only It Hurts More
I Sure Hope You Are Not Allergic to Bugbears

The third tower continuing in a clock-wise direction found the party pacing through a Wizard’s Wall. A Wizard’s Wall is a wall of force that is most easily passed through at a run, just like Platform 9 and 3/4 in Harry Potter. Ka went through first by himself. Immediately upon passing through the wall Gnolls appeared and attacked. Ka was doing OK, but Levee went through and found herself engaged by two Gnolls. She was down to just a few hit points, but still managed to kill a Gnoll with a Magic Missile spell. Most of the party ran through the wall as a group. The Gnolls had apparently been summoned by magic that was triggered by the characters passing through the Wizard’s Wall.

The characters proceeded. They came to the end of a hallway with 5 alcoves. Levee, Brell, Ryder, and Threll entered four of the alcoves. All four alcoves shifted at once and the characters were deposited in a 40-foot by 40-foot room with 5-foot squares of various colors; gray, blue, green, and yellow, while the squares that the characters found themselves on glowed white. There was a statue of a tall man at the other end of the room. The statue was wearing a crown. His left hand was on the hilt of a longsword, and his right arm was outstretched, palm facing down. Threll moved first, diagonally and got shocked. Ryder moved one square and did not get hurt. Brell moved two squares and got zapped. Levee moved one square and got zapped. Then the party figured out that in order to move safely across the room they had to move in a pattern consistent with how chess pieces could move for the squares that they started on; Threll as a knight, Ryder as a king, Brell as a Bishop, and Levee as a knight. Threll went back through the alcove and returned with the remaining five characters Amazones, Belramos, Ka, and Dez.

After everyone made it through, Dez searched the statue and found a secret compartment, but the party could not figure out how to get it open, until they decided to turn the hand so that the palm was facing up. The secret compartment opened to reveal the third flat metal key.

The party continued to the last tower to the southeast. They came to a room where monsters appeared spontaneously including at least a Giant Spider, a Giant Spitting Snake, a Giant Lizard, and a Hell Hound. Threll scored his first critical hit against an enemy which happened to be the Giant Spitting Snake doing 32 points of damage. Threll got webbed by the Giant Spider and could not get out for a round or two. Ka was bitten and poisoned by that Giant Spider. Dez hid and moved around to flank and scored a Sneak Attack for 29 points of damage. Ryder scored a critical hit doing 31 points of damage. Brell and Levee cast Magic Missile spells.

After recovering from that fight, the party proceeded to a large room with what appeared to be 16 statues of Bugbears and a large sarcophagus at the north end. Dez entered the room which apparently triggered several of the Bugbears to be released from their suspended animation. Ka entered the room as well to help Dez, which triggered more Bugbears to come out of animation. After a few rounds of fighting Dez was able to kill a couple of Bugbears and retreat to the hallway which triggered more of the Bugbears to be released from their suspended animation. Amazones and Belramos stayed in the hallway to assist just in case anyone fell or needed help. Ryder held the front line at the entrance of the room while Levee put a Grease slick just in front of Ryder to throw the advancing Bugbears off balance. Brell used a Fireball which killed several Bugbears and made Ryder think that the roof might collapse. Then Brell used Sleet Storm to cover most of the room with ice which slowed the approach of the Bugbears as Ryder kept chopping and Threll kept shooting arrows at any Bugbears he could see. Levee killed at least one Bugbear with Magic Missile. It was one of the longest fights that the party has engaged in; Ka’s Rage almost ended before the fight was over. And Threll fumbled (rolled a natural 1) and broke his bow.

They used Amazones’s crowbar to open the coffin to find the fourth metal key and some treasure.

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43 - Crystal Ball Gone Wild
And an Umber Hulk

The party explored the northwest tower. They descended and found a series of halls and rooms similar to the first tower.

The party found a crystal sphere floating in the center of a room. It had four words “IXAM”, “ALRASTIL”, “PENTUKO”, and “MYRG” written on it. Reading the words summoned a Dire Ape, a Giant Frost Frog, a Minotaur, and an Owlbear. These monsters immediately attacked the party. The Frost Frog did the most damage as it emitted a blast of cold in an area around its body that did minor damage to about half of the party. After vanquishing those monsters from the crystal sphere, the party proceeded.

The party came to a rectangular room with tunnels on the north end and a large chest with thousands of coins in it. As Dez started searching (and gathering) the coins, the ground rumbled. Dez and Ka started to head back toward the hallway that the party had arrived from. Amazones watched the tunnels to make sure nothing was coming from that direction. An Umber Hulk started to approach from the south. The Umber Hulk’s gaze caused Ryder go become confused and she swung at Belramos, but fortunately she missed. Threll resisted the gaze attack and yelled a warning to the party “Don’t look at its eyes!” Ka took this advice to heart and closed his eyes and started to swing in the monster’s direction. Ka did not hit the Umber Hulk even once. Brell quickly used Sleet Storm. While Sleet Storm did a little damage to the monster, it blocked the monster’s gaze attack and limited the monster’s movement. Levee used Magic Missile and Threll shot arrows into it. Amazones saw the monster was getting close to the edge of the Sleet Storm, so she advanced and used her staff to push the monster and keep it from exiting the area of the Sleet Strom (She rolled a modified 18, but the Umber Hulk must have slipped on the ice because it rolled a 4 which gave it a modified 12). The party managed to kill the Umber Hulk with arrows and spells before it could make it out of the Sleet Storm.
The key was located in the chest among the thousands of coins.

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42 - Enter Stage Maethelburg, Ms. Levee O. Sah
Oh the Manticores!

After returning to Maethelburg, the party learned that Tomlin is wanted by the Maethelburg authorities. The reason is still unknown.

The female elf Levee O. Sah joined the party. Her home was destroyed by Zeraptus and she hopes to develop her magic skills and one day make Zeraptus pay.
The party proceeded to the Lonely Tower and used the totem amulets from Druid Berrymoore to get past the Owlbears.

The ominous Lonely Tower was a small keep that has started to crumble due to the passage of time. Its four towers at the corners of the keep were in great disrepair; at least the portions visible above ground appeared to be falling apart. There was a large pit at the center of the keep that radiated strong magic. The party kept a safe distance, even though they did not know what a safe distance might be.

The party entered the southwest tower. They descended because going up was not an option in any of the towers.

They came upon a room with two piles of rubble. Two Manticores suddenly appeared atop the piles of rubble and started slinging their tail spikes. Dez snuck by the two Manticores with a modified hide roll of 33. Amazones moved (Tumble check modified 20) around behind the Manticores to get into a flanking position. Threll fired his bow, Ryder chopped with her Urgrosh, Ka swung his Greataxe, Levee cast Magic Missile, and Brell used Flaming Sphere. The Flaming Sphere burned off some of the tail spikes of the second Manticore before going into the Manticore nest. Ka still managed to find 30 Manticore tail spikes along with a ruined potion and a scroll, as well as a suit of +1 Chainmail.

There was also a strange metal key that sort of looked like a flattened spoon. The party found one of these in each of the four towers. The key in this tower was guarded by the Manticores.

The party proceeded down a long tunnel. They opened the door at the end of the tunnel to find a large boulder rolling toward them, just like Indiana Jones. Dez and Amazones dove out of the way. Ryder almost dodged (Reflex save 13) and Brell cast Gust of Wind to try to slow the boulder. It turned out that the boulder was an illusion.
The eventually the party came upon a big fancy door. They came upon four big fancy doors over the next several adventures; one in each tower.

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41 - Owlbear Totems

The party returned to the Rangers’ headquarters and ended up turning over the magic sword over to Captain Alfairia with the intent that the Captain ensure that the sword get returned to its rightful owner.

Having completed Druid Berrymore’s assignment, the party returned to the Great Forest where they received medallions that would let them get past the owlbears guarding the (Dark) Lonely Tower.

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Visited Druid Berrymore

The party returned to the Rangers’ headquarters and ended up turning over the magic sword over to Captain Alfairia with the intent that the Captain ensure that the sword get returned to its rightful owner.

Having completed Druid Berrymore’s assignment, the party returned to the Great Forest where they received medallions that would let them get past the owlbears guarding the (Dark) Lonely Tower.

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S1a - The Saints - The Party so far.

Dark Fox -

Falkor -

Jarlaxl -

Kari -

Knom -

Krewd -

Oromis -

Panian -

Belatrix -

Adara -

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