Curse of Kalarel

9th Game
Glubgar special

Another Christmas game complete and I think a successful test of using a projector for the play mat. I think this will speed up play in general and avoid the many situations we’ve previously had where I just end up drawing a square room. I will make sure the PC running it doesn’t run out of battery halfway through the final fight next time. This also allows me to have fun building maps in the time between games

The last time we played our heroes(?) had managed to gain a 23 Letsbe Avenue. Their faithful Butler Wadsworth suggested that they shouldn’t make the journey to Candlekeep on Glubgar eve – they should probably take it easy this evening and go to the pub. On the way there they met up with Iaini who sheepishly explained that he couldn’t find the half-orc village so had headed to Jewelspar with the hope of meeting up with them. They continued pubward and had a rowdy time where Brúnhelga got very drunk.
On the way back home they took a shortcut through the park where a strange portal opened up. A jolly looking man wearing red leapt from this portal, hotly pursued by two little christmas elfs. The elves were beating him up. When challenged by the party the elfs shed their skins and revealed themselves as doppelgangers. The party dispatched them handily.
The red clothed man identified himself as Nicholas the Gift Giver and explained that his workshop had been taken over – he needed their help to clear it out. The party wanted to sleep on it and essentially told him they weren’t interested. After a bunch of cajoling (including the promise of 2,000 GP) they finally (and with somewhat bad grace) agreed to help, however they demanded payment up front. Nicholas only had 3.50 gold pieces on him, but that was enough to secure their aid.
In Nicholas’ workshop he explained that the factory had been taken over by the evil GangerD’op (king of the Doppelgangers) for some nefarious purpose. The issue is that the path to Nicholas’ throne room had a security system designed by the The Lunar Puzzlemaker and GangerD’op had modified it. Nicholas equipped them with a rod that would go “ping” when a doppelganger was within 100 feet and sent them off.
In the first room they saw four sub rooms around the area. It was obvious there were people in each room and the rod was pinging. Rather than help the innocent elfs that were there they opted to just move to the next room.
After battling through a few rooms (including fighting evil duplicates of themselves) they found themselves in the throne room of Nicholas. Sitting on the throne was the evil GangerD’op (king of the doppelgangers!) who explained that his evil scheme involved psychically imprinting on the toys that were being delivered that evening. This would allow him to duplicate anyone who came into contact with them (without having to meet the person first). He planned to use this to manipulate himself into power.
At the beginning of the fight he cut off his arm and dropped it in a pool of water. As the water bubbled it spawned lesser doppelgangers that attacked our heroes and healed GangerD’op. Fortunately Drogo realised something was amiss with the pool so partially froze it with a spell. Then Brúnhelga jumped into the pool. She decided to sully the water by shitting in it. (there wasn’t really anything I could do – I made her roll a constitution check to see if she could shit on command and she got a 20). So shit she did and managed to sully the water enough that even fewer doppelgangers could spawn. Cut off from the help he was expecting, GangerD’op was defeated in short order. Before he died he screamed that he had stored part of his body (his “magnum dong”) somewhere else and he would re-grow from that. Magical Armchair had not heard the last of GangerD’op (king of the doppelgangers!).
They enjoyed a nice Glubgar feast with Nicholas (the blancmange was out of this world) and received their payment of 250 gold pieces each. Drogo started looking around for things to steal and Brúnhelga started looking for things to burn so Nicholas teleported them back to their house.
Upon returning to the house (Brúnhelga was still covered in shit) Wadsworth informed them that Mythos had absconded with Drogos broom of flying – apparently he had been talking to Errol Nottingood and had flown off for some dragon related business.
Wadsworth then announced that Drogo and Brúnhelga had two visitors: Gruffjaw Rockhitter and Paen Glimmertail respectively.

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8th Game

Just realised I forgot to post the game synopsis the other night:

In the wake of the Farnham Debacle all the members of the party walked out of town in silence until they got to a T-junction in the road where they tried to decide where they were going to go now.
They realised that they should probably try to help Sheldon, so set off for Jewelspar (the capital city of Hoff, the continent that they are on).

It was an uneventful journey. When they arrived, they went straight to the new hospital Bobblethwaites Health Emporium. There they met Doctor Beat who is a progressive physician attempting to further the field of non-magical healing. He confirmed that it appeared magical had a detrimental affect on waking up Sheldon Lon and said that he needed to run more tests. Drogo elected to stay the night to keep watch over Sheldon while the rest of the party would secure lodgings in town.
The party identified two local Inns that they could stay the night in: The Sussex Arms and the Prince of Whales. They elected for the latter. After meeting the barmaid Loocat Mahboobs they spent some time in the bar and heard some rumours about various other locations (reports of oddness in Mistyvale, there appears to be bandit trouble on the road to Candlekeep). They also met an odd gentleman with a squinting eye who tried to draw them into a conversation about ghosts. They ignored him. In the hospital Drogo kept the patients entertained and passed the night without incident.
The next morning they returned to the hospital but were told they needed to wait until the afternoon for the test results. As such they had a bit of free time in town.
Drogo and Mythos went to seek out any more information on the dragons of the realm and found themselves in the headquarters of the Dragon Fanciers Club (the home of Errol Nottingood). They had a frustrating conversation with him but did glean some info; there are 3 known dragon dens in the world: a bronze, a silver and a gold. They got the exact location of the Bronze lair and a vague location for the others.
(Side note – I really enjoyed this conversation; Aris played it very well. It was perfectly in tone when Errol was explaining different types of dragons and Aris came back with “Yes I know. I am a draconic sorceror”).
Melhalvir went looking for a magic item shop and came across the shop Blumpkins Magical Items, ran by Nicholas Blumpkin. He was looking to buy a more magical arcane focus in the form of a quarterstaff, but could not afford the cost (he haggled the price to 180 GP). A small nervous twitchy man in the shop offered to pay the rest of the cost if Melhalvir would take a cursed scroll from him. Mel told him to fuck off basically.
Brúnhelga went back to the pub where the guy tried to get them talking about ghosts before tried to strike up a conversation again. She hit him to make him go away.

Having had a wonderful shopping experience our plucky heroes went back to get information from the hospital. After paging Doctor Beat they learned that Sheldon appeared to have inhaled some spores from a previously unknown herb. This herb had the odd property of putting the inhalee into a magical sleep that is powered by that persons magic. Doctor Beat stated that he’d need to see the original plant to have a chance of coming up with an antidote. However he’d also expect the sleep to wear off of Sheldon in about a tendays (provided he wasn’t infused with any more magic).

Our heroes decided that since they need him to help with research at Candlekeep and it will take about 10 days to get there they would just travel to the great library and bring him along. However before they set out they decided to have some dinner (our break for chilli).

During dinner at the Prince of Whales they finally gave in and started talking to the chap who wanted to talk about ghosts. Turned out he had acquired a haunted house that was completely resistant to attempts to remove the ghosts (he’d hired several parties of adventurers to slay the ghosts but the ghosts would always return the next day). The house was costing him 2 gold pieces per tenday and he couldn’t afford to keep it, so he pressed the key into their palm and ran away. The party decided to investigate.
The house was actually in a quite nice part of town: 23 Letsbe Avenue. At the door they were greeted by a butler called Wadsworth who invited them in saying that they were expected. It was the house from Cluedo and they had to complete a trial of some form for the murdered inhabitants:
Paladin Vert (they talked him out of attacking them)
Colonel Mustard (they finally helped him understand something from a military mission he’d been on)
Mrs Peacock (who was a thief who stole money from Brúnhelga but they managed to steal it back)
Mrs White (a judge who lamented a previous case where a guilty man had gone free bcause of her hubris)
Professor Plum (who was trying to understand a fiendish riddle that I suspect Aris had heard previously)
Miss Scarlett (who tricked them into freeing her from a cage, then kissed Melhalvir to death. He got better)
Having put the ghosts to rest it transpired that the previous owner of the house (Mr Body) had murdered the other people in an effort to become a lich. Wadsworth had been forced to help in this endeavor but at the last moment had trapped the new lich within a room in the house. The lich had then cast powerful magic to trap all the murdered souls in the house. However it seems the lich had overstreched himself as when they opened the chamber in which it was resting they found an 8 inch high not-very-powerful-any-more undead angry man. Brúnhelga tried to squish it with her mace but missed, then Melhalvir swatted it with a magic missile.

Wadsworth proclaimed them owners of the house and pledged to butle for them as long as needed.

The plan is probably to move on to Candlekeep next, but who knows? After all, it is Glubgar eve and there is magic in the air…

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7th Game
Actually started posting notes again. Also this was at Mikes house

So that game went well and not entirely as I’d expected.

Upon arriving at the church they found that there was one group of orcs trying to bash in the front door, while a smaller group of goblins were trying to set fire to the back door. Brúnhelga bravely strode up and blinded the most powerful guy at the back door, then Mythos (from inside the church) blew the doors open, knocking the enemies back and allowed the rest of the party to mop them up. Having gained entrance, our heroes decided to not just make for the keep with the townsfolk who had been trapped inside – they were going to teach their enemies a lesson. Melhalvir hatched a plan to open the front door just as the orcs were striking it with a battering ram; the unexpected lack of resistance allowed the party to get the drop on the enemies and wipe them out before they had a chance to react.
Meanwhile Brúnhelga had decided to stand guard at the back gate (she refused to enter the church) and terrified the townsfolk into not leaving – a good choice as it turned out there was another group of enemies patrolling who would have carved the townsfolk up very quickly. Upon spotting them she alerted the rest of the party who were able to rush over and our heroes were able to take care of the enemies quickly.
After some tense words between the Cleric of the church (Paen Glimmertail) and Brúnhelga the party returned to the keep with the unconscious Sheldon Lon (the sage they had gone there to talk to) in tow. Some investigation revealed that he was in a magical sleep; one that seemed to be fueled by the magic of the person it had been applied to; a fact borne out by his slumber appearing to deepen when approached by Melhalvir or Mythos.
Before they could investigate further a cry went up from outside. A bronze dragon was heading to the keep! However as it flew in an enormous bugbear sent an arrow flying towards it that burst in a cloud of smoke. When the dragon flew through the smoke, it suddenly dipped in the air as if there was something wrong. It turned and fled (while Gruffjaw AKA uncle Erny muttered ‘Malnazek! No!’).
All of this was disconcerting to Mythos who had specifically traveled to FarnHam as he had heard tales of a dragon in the area. His elation (and rock hard erection) turned to sadness and then rage when it was hurt.
The bugbear revealed his name was Zaark and that he was done with his attack on the town. He had some prisoners that he didn’t want; a pregnant woman, one teenage boy and two children. He challenged the keeps greatest warrior to single combat for the prisoners lives. Mythos was fuming and would have accepted, but he had used many spell slots. A young human named Tom Margath volunteered to fight as it was his sister and nephews that the bugbear had captured. It was agreed that he was weak-sauce though and that Iaini was the greatest warrior there so he bravely accepted the challenge. Brúnhelga decided that this wasn’t her fight and stayed in the keep to get a manicure.
As a sign of good faith, Zaark released the 3 children but kept the woman and the fight began. Iaini seemed to be holding his own. Then it all degraded into what will be known as ‘ The Farnham Debacle’.
Mythos was still fully enraged about the attack on the dragon and waded into the fight, casting spells. Zaark screamed for his minions to kill the prisoners. Unfortunately the children had stayed near the arena to see what happened in the fight and were cut down. Melhalvir reacted as everything had gone to hell and joined in the battle against the enemies nearby. Drogo valiantly raced in, saving the woman and her brother (Tom was watching the fight and was about to rush in). Unfortunately everything happened too fast for Gruffjaw to know who did what and he verbally assaulted the entire party. Drogo (understandably as he’d done nothing but save innocents) did not react well to this and responded in kind. Melhalvir had had enough of being accused of wrongdoing so prepared his arcane powers to do battle with the defenders of FarnHam also. An argument raged between Mythos and Gruffjaw. Brúnhelga had finished her manicure by this time and seeing what was about to enfold proclaimed that she would stand by the defenders of FarnHam. Battle lines were drawn up, initiative was rolled… … but the fight didn’t happen. Our heroes agreed to leave town with the unconscious Sheldon.
As this is another town where the heroes are not welcome any more, they left town. We decided the ending music should be the theme tune to the littlest hobo.

Couple of things:
- I should have made the party roll an insight check as to whether they thought Zaark was being honest about letting the people go (if you’d rolled high enough you would have known for sure that he was going to deal honestly)
- The woman Drogo rescued should have died – I should have stated that the enemies guarding her had readied an action (they didn’t manage to kill her because it wasn’t their turn when Mythos waded into the fight. As I hadn’t said they had readied an action I didn’t think it was fair for them to be able to just cut her down)
- I should have put waaaaay more minis out for that final fight; in reality the circle would have been heavily surrounded by people but I didn’t think anyone would actually involve themselves in a way that couldn’t be talked out of. Again it wouldn’t have seemed fair to pop a bunch more people into existence after the fight broke out
- I think we should make a couple of changes to some of the characters traits – things like Mythos should have more words around how much he loves dragons, Melhalvirs should mention how he doesn’t like being judged (I’m thinking something like how Marty McFly cannot take someone calling him chicken).
- I think I’m going to go back to the old style character sheets. The new ones make it easier for me to build characters (so I will keep them separately) but I think that there’s too much information on them that is difficult to find when playing. The older ones were faster for actual play.

Oh also for better or worse you guys did complete the quest in FarnHam, so you all get another 100 quest completion experience points each. Oddly enough this is the right amount to bump Aris and Iain to level 4 (so we don’t have to stop the next game half way to level you guys). I’ll probably get you to roll some dice the next time I see you for your level up hit points. We can also chat about anything else you get for leveling up.

Anyway – a good game (even if it wasn’t what I planned – this is actually a good thing :P). See y’all soon and we can work out when to do it again.

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6th Game
Still no notes on facebook. Argh. Why did I stop doing them for a while? Probably first game of the stuff I came up with

I suck. Mike must have levelled because I was giving him options for his new spells.
Basically the party got kicked out of Winterhaven. Everyone was getting angrier and angrier around them, They felt that the tattoos were to blame somehow.

They meandered around the map for a bit and went to a small fishing village. There tehy bought a pig called Oinker, but left it with the farmer under strict instructions that it could not be eaten. They took a boat closer to the town that they knew a wise sage named Sheldon Lon was in. When they got there they found the town was under siege and did a couple of quests to help with that. I think at the end they had secured a hidden route out of the castle and were heading towards the church where Sheldon was resting…

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5th Game
A Christmas special! That I also didn't send a summary of

I thought I’d written some notes for this. Oh well. I believe it was Dave, Aris, Clare and Iain (Mike was ill),

It was our first Christmas game! And basically a DnD themed version of “A Christmas Carol”. People fought. Clare burnt the door to an inn when Dave couldn’t pick the lock. Everyone got some magical toys. Dave is the only person to use his magical toy (a flying broomstick).

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4th game
Or "the one where apparently Graham didn't write anything down for it"

Yeah. Apparently I didn’t write anything for this one. The guys beat Kalarel. I think this one just had Clare, Mike and Dave? This must have been the one where they beat Kalarel.
When Kalarel died he got sucked into the portal to the Shadowfell and ominously said “time is but a door, death is but a window; I’ll be back”.
Then everyone got a tattoo. Those that succeeded a saving roll got to choose where it is.

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3rd Game
Still in the Keep on the Shadowfell but now using 5th edition rules

The tale of the game on Saturday.

An atmosphere of despair had fallen over Winterhaven, causing the towns inhabitants to lock themselves indoors. Apart from Valthruun the Prescient the Prescient, who had been imploring our heroes daily to return to the keep and prevent Kalarel from opening the portal to the Shadowfell. The days were growing darker, tensions were rising. This didn’t seem to affect our heroes though, nestled as they were in the comfort of the local tavern.

After contemplating some petty larceny, our noble heroes decided to question their goblin companion (Splug) on any more details about the keep. Alas, it seems that he somewhat oversold his knowledge of the complex and didn’t really know where they should focus their exploration efforts next. Undeterred they set out for the keep again, pausing only for Mythos to intimidate some local bullys, preventing them from beating up Valthruun the Prescient. (they managed to resolve it fairly peacefully, Mythos manifesting deadly arcane power notwithstanding).

Upon arriving at the keep, Melhalvir discovered that his hawk familiar was a perfect scouting tool, using it to map out a little maze. On the floor of this maze they found some glowing arcane symbols. Alas none of their knowledge was up to the task of finding out what these did so in the spirit of discovery Brúnhelga forcibly threw Splug onto one of them. This terrified him, and alerted a group of zombies, which they did battle with. After dispatching them, Drogo attempted to jump over the next rune only to fall flat on his face, alerting another group of zombies. With all that finished, they decided to cut to the chase and headed straight for the second level of the keep. During this exploration they discovered another note (on a skeleton) which read:
Vanifer.
I know of your work for the elemental eye. You may send your petty supplicants and I will hear your offer. Know that if it displeases me your messenger shall pay the ultimate price.
Kalarel.
“And life fails in the dark”

At the second level they were challenged at a guard post and Brúnhelga correctly surmised that the correct passphrase was “and life fails in the dark”, allowing them to catch the guardians slightly off guard (unfortunately Drogos attempts to convince them of their purpose tipped them off). As a result, they had a slight advantage in their next fight and managed to easily succeed against the nest of Kobolds and two deathjump spiders which prevented from getting to the weaker back row of the party.

After battling another arcane horror, they found themselves accosted by a deadly gelatinous cube! Quite deadly, as Drogo got too close to examine it and was fully enveloped in it’s acidic body.

Reader, he died inside the cube.

Fortunately Brúnhelga was able to revive him and after escaping he did not cower in fear, but lead a mighty charge against it, slaying it. He cast off the nickname ‘The Coward’ to become… ‘Drogo the Hasty’.
(*read in Gandalfs voice “Drogo… yes… that was what they called me. That was Drogo the Coward. I am Drogo the Hasty”)

The party then had enough experience to level up, and we decided to call it a night.

Luke will be happy to know that Brúnhelga collected:8 Zombie scalps, 2 spider venom sacs, 1 hobgoblin scalp, 1 skull, 3 kobold scalps and some goo from a gibbering mouther in one of Drogos waterskins.

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2nd Game
Still Keep on the Shadowfell, still 4th edition rules

Hi everyone.

Another successful game.

Our fearless party of Asbestana, Brúnhelga, Trallian and Drogo (also Splug) began by trying to gain more information. Asbestana cast her incredibly perceptive eye over the note found on the Elf that was killed in the graveyard and was able to determine that the passphrase mentioned (“in the ground, some magic was found”) was written by a different hand to rest of the note. Having done that, it became important to check out the pub. They asked around about the name Kalarel (the person who sent the note ordering the players deaths to the Elf). Valthruun the Prescient the prescient had heard of the name in relation to death cults, but didn’t know any more information. This didn’t stop our plucky heroes however – they decided to intimidate him into revealing more information. Unfortunately they didn’t get any more info, and the rest of the village became angered at the sight of 4 heavily armed thugs threatening an old man. They smoothed things over by buying a round of drinks for everyone in the tavern.

They decided to investigate the nearby temple for more information. Drogo determined that the best path of attack was to climb onto the roof (Whilst the rest of the team hid in the bushes) and look for a way in up there. Unfortunately he slipped and fell and a guard spotted him. He was unable to convince the guard that he was just there to fix the roof. The guard decided to let him go (he is one of the heroes who have been helping the town) as long as he stays away from the temple. Our intrepid adventurers then sent Asbestana to try the front door, which Drogo managed to unlock. Drogo then bravely hid in the bushes whilst Asbestana rifled through the temple for more information. She found an old book that had been updated somewhat recently; it detailed that the keep once belonged to an ancient empire that has long since fallen. It was built on top of a shadow rift, which is said to drive people near it mad. It went on to detail the last known commander of the keep – sir Keegan. According to the book, Keegan went mad and slaughtered the inhabitants of the keep (starting with his wife and child) before the towns garrison were finally able to slay him. Since then the keep fell into ruin quite literally when an earthquake caused the above ground parts of it to collapse. Asbestana (being a noble adventuring sort) decided to pocket the book and the team left for the keep (with Splug in tow).

Back in the keep, our heroes were trying to determine the location of a secret door (hinted at by Splug) when they accidentally stumbled into an excavation site guarded by some goblins and drakes. A fierce battle ensued where Asbestana proved her worth by killing most of her foes and Drogo earned a new nickname ‘Drogo the coward’. Splug showed great valour by leaping onto a drakes back and riding it around sticking it with the little dagger the adventurers had given him. After the battle, Trailian was struck by his gruesome compulsion and took several Drakes teeth, paws and goblin skins. He thought the skins may come in handy. In the mess around the site, our heroes discovered some gold and a +1 holy symbol. At this point Melhalvir the wizard turned up to help.

Whilst trying to determine what was down another path, the adventurers found the original secret door they had been looking for. This led to the bedchamber of Balgrom the Fat (the goblin in charge of the first level of the keep) where they found him sleeping. Drogo and Trailian essentially murdered him before he could wake. Then they skinned him. And Drogo put on his skin like a suit. Drogo was able to succesfully fool some goblins into thinking he was their leader, but eventually the disguise fell through and another battle began. Upon completion, the team discovered more gold and a +1 wand. At this point, Asbestana and Trailian had to leave to recuperate.

The remaining adventurers decided to investigate the dank cavernous area. After occasionally hearing some noises they were accosted by giant rats dropping on their heads. They dispatched them with ease, when they came upon a strange creature known as an ochre jelly. This proved a fearsome battle as when they had based it enough it split into two! The fight ended when Splug landed a killing blow on the second jelly. After this they investigated an old door that had a note on it reading “STAY OUT. REALLY”. Splug was fearful of the door, so our heroes determined it was best to return to town. In order to allow Splug to move more freely through the town, our adventurers skinned the rats and fashioned a thick coat for him to wear, thus hiding his creepy goblin appearance. They arrived back in winterfell.

Sigh.

In town they bullied Valthruun the Prescient some more. He had more information; apparently Kalarel has been the name of the head of a death cult dedicated to Orcus (demon prince of the undead) over many generations (it’s almost a title). He stated if there is news of Kalarel this is incredibly bad and someone must stop him. Drogo tried to convice Valthruun the Prescient that they had already defeated the death cult, but Valthruun the Prescient didn’t seem to believe him. He said he would believe it when he had his (Kalarels) head. Apparently unfazed by the terrifying looming dread, our plucky band of noble adventurers then attempted to steal 2 potions of healing from the local shop. Their bungled attempts to trick him only led to him calling the town guard to get them to leave. As an attempted peace offering, they bought a potion of healing (but he still kicked them out). Brúnhelga suggested they burn down the shop. They then attempted to gain access to the siege supplies, but were unable to pick the lock on the door. Brúnhelga suggested they burn down the siege supplies. They then went back to pub and attempted to repair their relationship with the shopkeeper by sending over some ale. It was sent back. They then sent some ale and a wench. Both were returned. Finally they had Splug take some ale over. He returned without the ale. They weren’t sure who drank it though.

Thus ended the second session of the campaign.

What will happen next time on… Dungeons and Dragons! (cue ending music to Quantum Leap)

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First Game
4th edition, Keep on the Shadowfell

Hi Chaps.

Very good game tonight – Clare and I enjoyed it immensely.

I think that I learned a few things; certainly about how to build a character. For one, I think I was being a bit generous with letting people make stealth checks (looking at you Luke :P). It turns out that you take a large penalty if you move more than 2 squares. Also I should have been making the monsters actively check for stealth (rather than using passive perception).
It also would probably be better to let people roll up their own characters. I thought I would be able to keep track of everything that people can do. It turns out I can’t. For example, I completely forgot about Iain being able to mark enemies that he hits (this gives them a -2 to hit anything that isn’t him and also lets him get a free attack against them if they do hit someone else). As such I will be sharing a link to download the character creator I used – you can all re-roll your guys how you’d like. Having said that, I still think it was best for me to make the characters for the first game, as at least you know how the game works and can make informed decisions on what you’d like your abilities to be. Feel free to ask about anything you don’t understand or want help with. Having said that, I don’t expect everyone to want to do it manually; If people don’t change their dudes I probably will (I figure as long as some people change and have a better idea of what they can do I’m more likely to be able to keep track of the others).

Just to enter it into the record, this is where we are:
The party (whos name I forget – did we actually come up with something in the end?) consisted of:
Trailian Duskshadow (Luke) – Goblin scalp collector extraordinaire and somewhat overpowered Elven Rogue. He mostly forgot about his ability to re-roll missed attacks. Ended the adventure with 9 scalps, 1 javelin, a cold poker and 938 gold
Drogo (Dave) – Halfling rogue. Master trap finder (by triggering them). Unable to beat a fully unconscious goblin to death (or at all). Party translator (as he speaks goblin). Forgot to use his second chance power to (once per encounter) force an enemy to re-roll an attack. Unfortunately, one of the party that intended to be mostly melee.
Melhalvir (Mike) – Human Wizard and master of psychological warfare. A penchant for terrifying enemies (even out of hiding) by tossing body parts around. Master of the flaming ball of fire. I’m sorry I tried to kill you in the graveyard.
Thirmod Dragonhammer (Chris) – Master of ongoing damage and being knocked on his arse. Saviour of Drogo (he’s the only one who took the time to help him out of the rat pit). Another person that I unfortunately decided should be mainly melee. Slowcoach. Makes inspiring speeches to himself allot. Took a short sword as a trophy.
Iaini (Iain) – suicidal human fighter. Winner of the “most graffiti on his character sheet” trophy. Brutaliser of zombie dogs. Thrower of hammers (even though many were at the ground in front of him). Once again, someone I made with too much focus on melee. Didn’t die in the graveyard.
Brúnhelga (Clare) – healing powerhouse. Ties with Drogo for the “most unable to beat a sleeping enemy to death” award. Kept many party members alive. Gained the eternal love and friendship of Splug, the drunken goblin. Saved quite a few peoples bacon by exploding a bunch of skeletons in the graveyard. Beware her deadly lance! (of faith)

Splug (honourary member) – Goblin rescued from the torture chamber in the dungeon of Shadowfell Keep. He was thrown in prison because he kept on tricking the other goblins out of their beer rations. He took a real shine to Brúnhelga when she rescued him from said prison. Has claimed to have extensive knowledge of the keep (which nobody’s insight checks can deny).

The story as we saw it:
The group arrived to investigate the dungeons under Shadowfell Keep after hearing rumours of cultists of Orcus (who is the demon prince of the undead) operating in the area. Sages in town had told them that “a door has opened… and it’s dark beyond that door!”. They fear that something terrible may occur. They entered the keep and Drogo immediately fell into a hole in the ground where he was set upon by a swarm of rats. After a pitched battle (and timely rescue from the rat pit by Thirmod), the party split to investigate the area.
Trailian, Thirmod, Melhalvir and Iaini fought a small battle against a minor nest of goblins and won (aided by Melhalvir telepathically throwing the heads of his enemies around). Drogo and Brúnhelga spent 5 minutes trying to beat a sleeping goblin to death (and failing).
The party then searched further into the keep and – after politely knocking at the door of the goblin chief – stormed the torture chamber. Another battle ensued where the poor goblins totally failed in their attempts to trick the adventurers into some traps. The drunken goblin Splug was then rescued from his imprisonment by the fair Brúnhelga whom he fell instantly in love with.
Upon seeing the party attempt what he deemed to be a foolish frontal assault on Balgrom (the fat), leader of the goblins, he told them he could lead them to a secret path into Balgroms lair.
The party decided that they should return and make this assault refreshed, so dragged Splug back to Winterhaven. Unfortunately, when they arrived there, the gates were barred – undead had been rising in the nearby cemetery. As he “didn’t want to deal with this bullshit” Trailian managed to convince the township that the party had already dealt with this threat. In the morning however the parties conscience got the better of them (Thirmod said something along the lines of “if the undead do attack and kill all these guys, who will pay us?”) the party decided to investigate the issue, leaving Trailian to guard Splug in town.
The party adventured to the graveyard, where they were set upon by many undead (most of whom they dispatched with ease). Melhalvir was dealt some mortal wounds, but was able to recover, due to Brúnhelgas holy magic. Iaini was struck down, but was managed to recover after being tended to by Brúnhelga after the enemies were dispatched.
It was in the graveyard that a former ally, Ninaran (an elf from Winterhaven) was exposed as being a traitor. After being stuck the fatal blow (and constantly going on about how somebody called Kalarel was going to kick their arses), the party found a note on her corpse saying:

I received your report on the adventurers. Next time you see
them, put an end to their meddling. Mix the blood of ten people
with the elixir my messenger brings. Then trace the following
pattern on the ground of a graveyard and pour the liquid into
the lines. That should supply you with a force to thwart them.
I’m very close to completion; see that I’m not interrupted. As you
already know, if you do come to the second level of the keep, the
pass phrase is “From the ground, some magic was found.”
—Kalarel
The party returned to Winterhaven to find that Trailian hadn’t been idle when they were away; in addition to polishing his collection of goblin scalps (how does someone even do that? That guy is a bit creepy) he’d managed to thwart an assassination attempt against Splug (fortunately gaining the same amount of experience that the rest of the party had accrued in the graveyard). Apparently the assassin had been sent by Balrog as he was afraid Splug would give up vital information…


(Trailian has 10 goblin scalps now)

What will happen next time on… Dungeons and Dragons (cue Skyrim music)

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