Posts Tagged ‘Popinjay’

Getting to Know the Rescued Captives

Monday, December 21st, 2015

After their third adventure at Losnoth, the party returned to Breathy Footsore’s inn near the citadel of Elwood the Blue.


Days #2-17 through #2-22 (Waterday, 17th Thawmist, through Waterday, 2nd Dewsnap): Once back at Breathy’s inn, most of the party stayed in their two cabins, with the women, Falafela, Opalent, and their guests, Flenda and Gwenette, staying in the nicer of the two cabins, while Lightstep, Vandin, and Vox shared the more run-down cabin with Persis and Tureg. Since the party didn’t totally trust the two brothers they rescued, Jorgio and Fredo bunked upstairs in the dormitory at Breathy’s inn. On 18th Thawmist, Elwood interviewed the party, and was interested to hear about the large stone idol in the sacrifice room. Pangborn left Elwood’s citadel on the next supply wagon that returned to Popinjay so he could give his personal report to Hawkmoon. Tureg slowly regained his strength, and by the 2nd Dewsnap he was in pretty good shape once again.

While the party was resting in order for Tureg to heal, Flenda and Gwenette filled in the party as to how they came to be captured by the orcs. Gwenette did most of the speaking. “We come from a village about 15 miles north of Losnoth. That village is named Crystal Shores, and it is on the south shore of a lake named Crystal Lake which is just south of the Marshes of Rust. The lake is not that large, but is a wide spot in the south branch of the River Bushkill that flows to the River Trollhraun, which itself flows to the Winedark Sea. Flenda and I decided to go berry and herb and mushroom gathering in the nearby Alder Thicket, which are some thick woods to the southeast of our village. Some folks call it a jungle. Anyway, it was a nice spring day a couple of weeks ago, and although my sister and I are skilled in the use of swords and such, we decided there would be no danger to us, so we took no weapons with us. Hah! That was our mistake. We wandered into the woods around mid-morning, when suddenly we were surrounded by eight orcs. We were astonished to see them in the daylight, but seeing as we had a thick canopy of tree leaves over us, the light was not strong and so it bothered not the orcs. We were quickly bound and marched through the woods to the south, then made a camp at the edge of the forest until dusk.”

Gwenette continued, “When it got dark enough the orcs blindfolded us, then marched us to the west. They probably thought we wouldn’t know which way we were headed, but since we were out of the trees it had to be to the west as the other three directions would have all been still in the trees. Finally, we were marched up a hill covered with rock rubble, then down into the dungeon. Although still blindfolded, we could tell we were underground as footsteps echoed off of the hard rock walls in the corridors. After a number of turns, we were finally shoved into the room in which you found me.”

Both girls then spoke of the long hours and days spent in the room, when finally a party of orcs came and fetched Flenda, after having first given her the white silk gown and white slippers to wear. They marched her off to the sacrificial chamber, tied her down, and were preparing a ritual sacrifice. Flenda then said, “I was trying to uphold my heritage of being descended from a tribe of fierce warriors, and tried to maintain my silence, but when it looked like I was well and truly doomed, I let out a yell like I was trying to summon any nearby kin to my aid. Then a miracle happened as the next thing I knew some unknown party was laying into the orcs and felling them about. Then a tall elven princess, at least I thought she was a princess, cut the ropes that bound me to the altar. But aarrggghhh! The orcs were already all slain. Oh, but I wanted to pay them back dearly! But at least I got the ears as a trophy from one of them!” Flenda chuckled as she mentioned gathering the ears.

During this period of resting, Flenda took time to carefully preserve those orc ears, drying them in the sun, even salting them from a supply of salt she obtained from one of Breathy Footsore’s daughters, Shannowy. Flenda also begged a new set of clothing from Shannowy, as Flenda did not want to go around wearing the white gown she was rescued in all of the time as she did not get to recover her own garments from Losnoth when she was rescued. Flenda also got some leather from a soldier at Elwood’s citadel, and she fashioned a belt to wear. And on the belt she fastened those orc ears by poking holes in the tops of the ears and tying them to the belt with some leather cord.

All the while, while waiting for Tureg to heal, Flenda and Gwenette were chafing at the bit to return to their home, but Elwood wisely talked them out of trying to travel alone, mentioning the known hunting leopards in the area, not to mention that if they had been captured by orcs in the wilderness once, they could be captured the same way again. The sisters did mention they were unarmed the first time, but were now armed with swords and wouldn’t be easily taken the next time. The party was willing to escort the girls to their home, of course, but did not want to leave Tureg behind.

Fredo and Jorgio talked a little about themselves, too. They said they had been taken under similar circumstances, although their village, Jungala (pronounced with a long “u”), was about 10 miles to the southeast of Losnoth, as far as they could reckon. Their village was right on the verge of a more southern part of the Alder Thicket, and the two brothers had gone into the woods to check on some animal traps as they were both apprentice fur-trappers. They had also been suddenly surrounded by about nine or ten orcs, bound, and marched to the dungeon at Losnoth. They had been armed with daggers, but quickly realized the folly it would have been to match their two daggers against five times as many swords. While the brothers were both keen to send word to their village of their whereabouts, they did seem content to pass the days near Breathy’s in the company of Flenda and Gwenette, in particular. In didn’t take too much talking by Elwood to convince the brothers to not try to venture home by themselves either, but rather to wait until the other members of the party could escort them to their home.

While the party was taking this break, the month changed from Thawmist to Dewsnap. Using Balozkinar’s Corrected Commoners Calendar, each month has exactly 20 days, divided into four weeks of five days each. The days of the week are, in order, Airday, Waterday, Earthday, Fireday, and Spiritday. The calendar allows for no “week-ends” as are known in some other areas. Also, at the end of the year is an End of Year Festival of usually five days, although it will have six days during a leap year. Then the New Year begins on the Vernal Equinox, when spring starts. Thawmist and Dewsnap are two of the spring months, followed by Flowerbloom and Sweetrain.

— The Dungeon Master

Third Time at Losnoth: Will it be a Charm?

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Just in case someone just stumbled upon this blog, you should know that the stories related are all fantasy. They are the adventures of a bunch of fictional characters in the role-playing game of Dungeons & Dragons. Just so you know. And now, on with the latest adventure installment….


Day #2-16 (Airday, 16th Thawmist, 4333 BCCC): Once again, Falafela, Lightstep, Opalent, Vandin Lakesplitter, Vox the Just, and Persis and Tureg, departed their cabins next to Breathy Footsore’s inn and headed to the northeast towards the ruins of Losnoth. This time, though, they had an extra human in the party, the cleric Pangborn, who had been sent from Hawkmoon’s citadel near Popinjay to get a first-hand account of what was at Losnoth. Pangborn came well equipped, wearing chainmail and carrying a small shield. He was armed with a footman’s mace and a sling, and had many accoutrements such as a backpack, a wineskin (containing water), a hooded lantern, five flasks of oil, a rope, and belladonna, garlic, and wolvesbane. Pangborn appeared to be quite young, and it appeared that none of his equipment had been used in any previous fights. But the party was glad to have another body along, if only to use as a “meatshield” for their magic-user Opalent.

After the 10-mile hike, the party arrived at the ruins of Losnoth. The party quickly ascended the steep 60-foot high hill and then descended the south stairwell into the dungeon, which was the same stairwell they had used during their previous visit seven days ago. They did also note in passing that the stairwell they had used during their first visit was still blocked off with rocks as it was during their most recent visit.

This time they moved quickly through the foyer with the two orc warrior statues on guard at the bottom of the stairs and opened the door in the wall on the far side of the foyer. Inside that door was a 20’ x 20’ room that had two wooden doors on the far side wall. It seemed to have been a waiting room of some sort at one time as it had two padded sofas in it. The cushions looked to have at one time been covered with a rich, red fabric, but now they were badly worn and soiled. On the left side wall hung the remnants of a picture frame, but whatever picture it may have once contained was long gone.

The party continued their explorations by opening the door on the left on the far wall. They found it be to a cloakroom off the waiting room. There were rows of pegs along all of its walls, and indeed there were still four old, tattered, black cloaks hanging on four of the pegs. A quick examination of the cloaks revealed them to be quite useless; they looked as if they would rip even more if anyone tried to use them to haul any coins, for example. They were left in place.

The party then checked out the worn and stained red fabric cushions on the sofas in the waiting room. Falafela, in particular, checked every inch of the cushions, pressing her hands on the cushions trying to determine if any items were hidden within the cushions. Nothing was found.

The party then opened the door to the right, and found more hallways on the other side. After a 10-foot straight part, the hall went to the left and to the right. Scouting quickly to the left showed that the hall turned to its left, then dead-ended after 10 more feet. So the party then went to the right. Immediately upon turning right, the hall came to a four-way intersection. Dead-ahead and to the right were dead-ends after 10 feet, but there was a real hallway to the left. Taking that hallway, the party had to turn 90 degrees to the left after 20 feet, then after another 10 feet of travel they entered a five-way intersection. It was a sort of X-shaped intersection, and their hallway entered the X between two of the X’s legs.

Investigating that five-way intersection, the group found that the two left-side hallways each dead-ended after ten feet. The far diagonal right-side hallway went about 20 feet and then there was a stone stairway leading up. But after only about 10 feet up, large rocks and boulders that had been dumped down from above blocked all the rest of the way on those stairs. The party briefly discussed if this was the initial stairs they had descended upon their first visit to Losnoth, but quickly discarded the idea as the original stairway had a pit trap at its bottom, and then the hall from those original stairs led directly into the dining hall. The party also wondered how many other stairways might exist to the surface, and how many of them were blocked off.

The party then had no choice but to take the near right-side passage that bent sharply back from the hallway they had entered the intersection from. That hallway went straight for about 20 feet, then made a gentle curve to the left. There was then a door in their path, but it was partly open. Peeking through the door and shining a torch, they recognized that they were back in the dining hall. They also realized they were entering the dining hall from the same door a party of orcs used to battle the adventurers during their last visit to Losnoth. Realizing that, they made sure to watch their back trail to ensure no orcs snuck up on them.

They then took the right side passage out of the dining hall, which was in the middle of the hourglass shaped narrow part of the room (the now blocked stairway they originally used to enter Losnoth was to their left), and sent Falafela to take a peek down the hallway to their right. The party knew that the left hallway led to the trophy room that they had visited before, so they did not go in that direction. Falafela crept carefully down the hall, then found the hall turned to the left and widened to about 20 feet in width. Edging her way along about 30 feet of wall, keeping her back glued to the wall, she could see into a large, circular chamber with a domed ceiling. The chamber may have been as much as 100 feet in diameter, and the center of the domed ceiling seemed about 25 feet high. The chamber also seemed to be dimly illuminated by some sort of artificial light. Falafela saw several orcs with their backs to her, and the orcs were looking at a large stone idol that was in a sitting position. That idol also had an open mouth and large fangs within that mouth, with what looked like dried bloodstains around the mouth. There was a fuming brazier between the altar and the idol. Falafela edged her way back to her companions and was going to suggest the party should go a different direction when the party heard a human female scream coming from the circular chamber. It was then evident that the orcs were planning a sacrifice.

The party then went into battle mode, sneaking up on the pre-occupied orcs. Although the party had to maneuver around some wooden benches between them and the orcs, fortunately the orcs all had their attention focused on their intended victim who was tied to a blood-stained stone altar. The orcs were also making a fair amount of noise with some sort of a ritual chant. Suddenly Persis, Tureg, Vandin, and Vox struck surprise blows to the rear rank of orcs. At the same time, Opalent launched her Magic Missile spell that severely wounded an orc in the front row, although not felling it. Then the melee was on. Lightstep and Pangborn also entered the fray before it was all over. Tureg was wounded and knocked unconscious by the orcs, but Falafela dragged him out of harm’s way and bound his wounds. Also during the melee, Opalent ran around the orcs and cut the captive’s rope bonds. Just about the time the captive was freed, the last of the nine orcs took a permanent nap. The captive was clothed in a white silk gown with small white cloth slippers, and she revealed her name was Flenda. Before she thanked the party for saving her, though, she quickly picked up a sword from one of the fallen orcs and cut both its ears off! She was furious she hadn’t been able to join in the battle to kill some of the orcs who were about to kill her! She also then donned a set of scale mail armor from one of the dead orcs.

With Tureg sorely wounded, the party was ready to leave the dungeon in order to get the fallen Tureg back to Elwood’s citadel as soon as possible, but Flenda announced she wasn’t going to leave the dungeon until she found her imprisoned sister, Gwenette. So, the party agreed to help find and free the sister. While Falafela, Persis, and Vox stayed with Tureg in the center of the chamber, the others followed Flenda towards where Flenda believed her sister was being held. The party took a wide hallway out of the sacrificial chamber just past the idol’s right ear, then quickly turned left and then back to the right. Flenda led the party down this corridor that had three stone columns down its centerline to an orc barracks room where there were eight orcs sleeping in four bunk beds. The party still wanted to leave, but Flenda shushed the party and boldly entered the room and started slitting the throats of the sleeping orcs with her prize sword. Then Opalent joined in the slaughter with her dagger, and soon the eight orcs would dream no more. Lightstep and Vandin were too short to reach the orcs sleeping in the top bunks, not to mention that they were not armed with any edged weapons, so they would have had difficulty in silently slaying sleeping orcs, so they didn’t join in the dispatching of the orcs. Afterwards Vandin marveled at how bloodthirsty was Flenda!

There were two doors showing on the far wall of the barracks room, and the right-hand door was padlocked. The party quickly found some keys hanging on the wall between a pair of bunk beds, and they found one of the keys unlocked that padlock. When they opened the door, however, instead of finding Gwenette, they found a pair of human brothers, Jorgio and Fredo. The brothers quickly availed themselves of two orc short swords and leather armor. Once again, the party was ready to depart, but Flenda would have none of it. She was sure there was a secret door along one wall, so finally Vandin and Pangborn with their hammer and mace, respectively, soon bashed in the secret door, thus freeing Gwenette to reunite her with her sister Flenda. Gwenette also took a set of leather armor and a short sword and scabbard from a peg on the wall that was between two bunk beds.

Now the party decided it truly was time to depart, with haste. They quickly retraced their steps to the sacrificial chamber where, to their relief, they found all of their compatriots waiting for them. Jorgio and Fredo graciously offered to carry the unconscious Tureg out of the dungeon. Once out of the dungeon, the party retraced their path the long 10 miles back to Elwood’s citadel.

Experience points: Monsters killed: 17 orcs (10 XP each, plus 1 XP per HP) = 17 * 10 + 93 HP = 263 XP. These are divided into two batches. The first 9 orcs were dispatched by the original party members only, so only those party members will claim credit for their 136 experience points. The second group of 8 orcs was dispatched with the help of Flenda, so she will share in the 127 experience points along with all original party members except Tureg (who was unconcious at the time).

The party didn’t find any treasure on this trip. They had barely entered the dungeon when they got involved in the melee with the orcs in the sacrificial chamber. However, since the party did the right thing in rescuing the prisoners, especially by rescuing Flenda just before she was to meet her fate, the wise and benevolent dungeon master awarded 25 XP per victim rescued, making a total of 100 XP. These points are only divided amongst the original party members.

The party did also retrieve four short swords and scabbards (worth 8 GP each, or 32 GP total), a set of scale mail (worth 45 GP), and three sets of leather armor (worth 5 GP each, or 15 GP total). The total worth of salvaged weapons and armor was thus 92 GP. That total also gets added to experience. However, the scale mail and one short sword that was claimed by Flenda will get split among the original party plus Flenda (53 GP worth), while the remaining 29 GP value for 3 sets of leather armor and 3 short swords will get divided amongst all of the original party members except Tureg (who was unconsicous by this time), but adding in Flenda, Fredo, Jorgio, and Gwenette.

Total experience points = 263 + 100 + 92 = 455. This was divided by a complicated formula, and when all was said and done, these were the awarded XP: Falafela 67 XP; Lightstep 67; Opalent 67; Vandin 67; Vox 74 (includes his 10% bonus for high strength); Pangborn 37 (includes a 10% bonus for high wisdom); Persis 33; Tureg 22; Flenda 15; Fredo 2; Gwenette 2; Jorgio 2.

Total accumulated experience points: Lightstep 486; Vandin Lakesplitter 457; Falafela 447; Opalent 447; Persis 223; Tureg 212; Vox the Just 178; Pangborn 37; Flenda 15; Fredo 2; Gwenette 2; Jorgio 2.

— The Dungeon Master

PS Originally, the Dungeon Master forgot to calculate in the value of the weapons and armor retrieved from the dungeon, but now those values have been added in and experience point (XP) values adjusted.

Another Rest Period at Breathy’s

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Days #2-10 through #2-15 (Spiritday, 10th Thawmist, through Spiritday, 15th Thawmist, 4333 BCCC): Since their recent return from Losnoth, the party of Falafela, Lightstep, Opalent, Vandin Lakesplitter, Vox the Just, along with their dwarf pals Persis and Tureg, rested in the two cabins near Breathy’s inn near the citadel of Elwood the Blue. They put in orders through Elwood for the supply wagon from Popinjay to bring them some wineskins, as Falafela, Vandin, and Vox lacked any means of carrying water. Lightstep also ordered and received a sling and 12 sling bullets. This message was delivered to Popinjay by the regular messenger service between Elwood and Popinjay. When the weekly supply wagon arrived at Elwood’s citadel from Popinjay, a human cleric, Pangborn, arrived along with the ordered merchandise. Pangborn had been sent by Hawkmoon to get some first-hand experience with what was going on at Losnoth.

Also while at the cabins, the halflings Falafela and Lightstep, with help from Breathy’s daughters Gertrude and Shannowy, shortened their black cloaks that were brought back from Losnoth, as adult-length cloaks would have been too long for those two halflings.

During this interlude, a bit of game “housekeeping” took place. The characters all rolled dice for age, height, and weight, which caused some adjustments to their basic characteristics. The age rolls were as from pages 12 and 13 of the 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. Height and weight were determined from the tables on page 102 of that same DM Guide.

The Dungeon Master's venerable, well-used DM Guide

The Dungeon Master’s venerable, well-used DM Guide

  • Falafela is 44 years old (mature halfling, add 1 point each of strength and wisdom), 2’8” and 40 lbs.
  • Lightstep is 27 (young adult halfling, subtract 1 point of wisdom, add 1 point of constitution), 3’1”, 55 lbs.
  • Opalent is 167 (young adult elf, subtract 1 point of wisdom, add 1 point of constitution), 6’1”, 115 lbs.
  • Vandin is 50 (young adult dwarf, subtract 1 point of wisdom, add 1 point of constitution), 3’4”, 120 lbs.
  • Vox is 17 (young adult human, subtract 1 point of wisdom, add 1 point of constitution), 5’7”, 160 lbs.

I suppose I should explain the notation of such as “Day #2-10” etc. A long time ago (i.e., around 1980) when I DM’ed for Dungeons & Dragons, I kept a sort of journal of what days the adventurers were active. And especially because there were more than one group of adventurers, I needed to keep the chronology to keep straight what happened when. If one group went into a dungeon on day 3 and found some particular treasure and removed it from the dungeon, a different party visiting that dungeon on day 6 would not be able to find that same treasure. Back then I just called the days “day 1” or “day 5”, etc, so when I started the new campaign in 2015 I decided to preface the day numbers with “Year 2”, hence now the days are known as “Day #2-10”, and so forth.

— The Dungeon Master

Resting up at the Inn of Breathy Footsore

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Here is more of the continuing saga of some new Dungeons & Dragons adventurers.


Days #2-2 through #2-8 (Waterday, 2nd Thawmist through Earthday, 8th Thawmist, 4333 BCCC): The adventurers Falafela, Lightstep, Opalent, and Vandin Lakesplitter, after their harrowing adventure at Losnoth, rested at the inn of Breathy Footsore. The inn has a sign that just said “EAT” and was about 100 yards north of the citadel of Elwood the Blue. There was a 20-foot by 20-foot barn just to the north of the inn, and about 50 yards to the west of the inn were two small cabins. Breathy, a widower, lives at his small inn/tavern with his two daughters, Gertrude and Shannowy. Gertrude is 16, and a stocky brunette. She favors her father. Shannowy is slim, blonde, and 17 years old. Breathy also employs a cook, Petey One-eye, a fighter who lost his left eye in a battle about 10 years previous. Petey wears a pirate-style patch over his missing eye. Breathy himself is overweight and is going bald, but has a jolly disposition. He is always short of breath, and any sort of physical exertion would probably give him a heart attack. He did offer a discount to the party if they helped out by chopping firewood and fetching water from the well, and able-bodied members of the party took advantage of that discount.

When the party arose the day after getting back from Losnoth (on 2nd Thawmist), they met a human fighter, Vox the Just, during breakfast at the inn. Vox seemed keen on joining the party for a share of any treasure found.

After breakfast on 2nd Thawmist, Opalent, Falafela and Lightstep went to speak with Elwood at his citadel. Elwood’s citadel was constructed of cut limestone and was arranged in the shape of a 6-pointed star, a little more than 100 feet from one point to its diagonally opposite point. There were two wooden gates, one on the north side and another to the south. In the center of the citadel was the keep, a circular tower 30 feet in diameter and about 35 feet tall. The party were escorted into the tower, and up a circular stone staircase to the third level, noting that the ground floor of the tower contained quite an armory. The 2nd floor contained sleeping quarters for Elwood’s troops. All of Elwood’s guards wore medium-blue tunics emblazoned with a yellow, olde-English style “E” over their armor. Their shields were also decorated in the same manner.

Elwood knew the party had been at Losnoth, and asked what they had encountered there. He asked how many orcs they had encountered, in particular. After hearing the party’s story, and how they lost three of their party, he offered some troops to help dig graves for the fallen near the inn. Elwood then told the party why he was at this particular citadel. He related that his post was to guard against any hostile infiltrations, particularly orcs, from the north or east. This was to help protect the villages of Finsbury Fields and Popinjay to the west. He mentioned that he usually gets messages from Popinjay every few days, and a supply wagon makes a journey from Popinjay to Elwood’s citadel about once a week or so. Elwood said he has been asked to do more active patrolling, but he says he didn’t have nearly enough men to send out strong patrols and also protect the citadel. In particular, Elwood said he would like to send a strong force to clean out Losnoth once and for all, but he couldn’t afford to lose any men in attempting that task, so he dared not risk it.

Elwood also mentioned that he was looking for his long lost brother, Jacob the Blue. He asked if the party ever came across him to try to bring Jacob back to Elwood, or at least to try to send word or where they may have encountered Jacob. Elwood described Jacob as being about three inches shorter and 50 pounds heavier than himself, and having dark, wavy hair.

In the next several following days, while Vandin (in particular) and the others were regaining their strength, they spoke more with Breathy. Breathy mentioned how the party could stay at the two cabins instead of just sleeping in the cots in his dormitory-style room in the upstairs of his inn. The party did do just that. Of the two cabins, each was only about 10-feet by 12-feet in size. Each had a 4’ x 4’ table with 4 chairs, a small fireplace, and a few old iron cooking pots and utensils, but no beds. One of the cabins was sort of run down, but the other was in pretty good shape, although unoccupied. Breathy mentioned that the cabins were both occupied until a few weeks ago, but the occupants just up and left in the middle of the night. Breathy said he also used to keep some pigs in the pigpen behind one of the cabins, but the pigs all vanished on a different night. Breathy also related that business had really dropped off lately, and there weren’t many travelers coming by his place. He was thinking of just letting the inn go and moving back to Popinjay.

Toward the end of the party’s rest period, Elwood mentioned that his lookouts had noticed four humans (it appeared) heading east. Those travelers were about two miles north of Elwood’s citadel when they were spotted. Elwood thought the party would want to know about those others.

So, the party finished out the week in the two cabins, letting the two females, Falafela and Opalent, have the nicer of the two cabins, while Vandin, Lightstep, Narvet, Persis and Tureg stayed in the lesser cabin. Vox continued to bunk at the inn for now. Falafela also cut down the high, hard boots to better fit her halfling size.

–The Dungeon Master