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AD&D Adventure Thread - Session III
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TOPIC: AD&D Adventure Thread - Session III
#14915
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session III 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Some Things Best Not Forgotten… – Session 3

Link to previous sessions:

Session 1: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1164
Session 2: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1196

Notable NPC’s:

Kaleeda – Human, Level 8/6, Ranger/Druid: Kaleeda is a loner who found the hidden valley eleven years earlier. A former ranger he came to increasingly hate daily contact with humanoids preferring that of nature. Eventually he became a druid. He currently lives on an island in the northern most lake of the valley. He rides a mega-raptor named D’uval, is accompanied by a giant monitor lizard companion, and has a trained pack of normal velociraptors that he hunts with. The island itself is Kaleeda’s safe haven and is patrolled by another trained raptor force to keep it free of the valley’s other denizens.

************************************************************************

Start

Day 3 in the valley starts with the party heading north, continuing to pole up river eventually entering a large lake. A quick decision is made to follow the western bank of the lake. The necromancer coaxes his owl to take a quick fly up to look for the landmark described by Geolain. The bird quickly darts up and then back down conveying that he did not see the described rock formation, but he did see a thin stream of smoke about 10 miles ahead. The party makes good time, finding where the river continues out of the northern bank of the lake which they pole up for approximately ½ mile before beaching for the night. The night passes “peacefully” although a massive roar is heard in the distance.

The party breaks camp on the fourth day, continuing their cruise of the river. About mid-day Adenoid, sailor extraordinaire, detects that the river is beginning to narrow and get shallower. He correctly deduces that (X volume of water) x (-Y depth + -Z width) = possible severe white water ahead. At this point the party is already beginning to increase speed. Two of the three rafts successfully beach with the front one, containing Adenoid, Larial and Merkatrig, being caught in the current. One more desperate attempt is made to break the rivers grip- Larial and Adenoid push against a pole to little avail until Merkatrig helps at which point she almost single-handedly poles the raft into the bank. Side comments of her apparent strength go unrecognized by her.

Reforming on the ground they decide to follow the river, as much as possible, both to keep their bearing and as defensive terrain as not much will be leaping from the river at them. However, before leaving an odd creature- part reptile and part bird- is spotted staring intently at the party. It eventually hops down and wanders around the rafts, party members, pokes into packs, and so on. Melianthe tries talking to it in Draconic but gets no reply.

Just as the bird goes to fly away Larial throws a stone at it- and hits for a critical! The bird is knocked off its feet before getting up screeching and mantling its wings at Larial. At this point every party member points at Larial and says “Remember WE didn’t do that”, before it takes wing and flies downriver. When asked why he threw a rock his reply was simply he found it rude to be stared at.

Within an hour from leaving their rafts the party has climbed an escarpment. Looking down they can see a small canyon of jagged rocks and foaming rapids. Adenoid, the most experienced sailor, simply says, “Bloody hell- we’d of come out of that as chum.”

Also from this vantage point they can make out that they are actually on top of a vast plateau. About a half mile ahead can be seen the spray being kicked up from a massive waterfall that the rapids empty into. The cliff edge the waterfall goes over extends east and west as far as can be seen with the valley floor being beyond this cliff. However, down in the lower portion of the valley they can also see the glint of the river continuing north with another lake farther out. From the shimmer of this lake a barely visible thread of smoke rises maybe four to five miles ahead.

The party eventually gets to the waterfall, finding out that the cliff face is approximately 250 feet to the valley floor. They search a little ways to the west for a path down but find none. Going back to the waterfall they use their flying carpet to shuttle people to the floor. Luke is the last to go as he maintains anti-air duty, bow knocked, in case any of the visible, winged reptiles riding thermals decide to swoop in for a snack. However, nothing untoward happens, and after the party reaches the bottom they decide to camp for the night by the waterfall primarily for defensive reasons.

Bright and early the next day the party heads out. A large, heavy beast can be heard crashing through the jungle on their side of the river but the sound quickly fades away. A little after lunch they come across a 20 foot wide tributary of the river blocking their path. Plans are quickly made. The monk, with a ring of jumping on, does a running broad jump and easily clears the river. Quickly passing a rope back to the other side it is tied off and the party enters the warm, rapidly flowing water using the rope as a handhold.

Everything seems fine until Luke, the last one in line, enters the water. He gets about 10 feet in when he begins to feel something biting him. A school of flat, silver fish begins to swarm him. Armor has little effect as they are small enough to wriggle in between, around and over ones armor. He begins to frantically pull himself across as the fish tear into him. Five feet short of the opposite bank the pain becomes too much and he lets go of the rope, thrashing and flailing as they roil around him. The monk heedlessly dives in and successfully grapples Luke, pulling him onto shore even though the fish begin feeding on him.

The fish can now be seen to have wicked teeth and even out of the water they continue to snap at anything living that comes near them. Luke quickly tears his armor off to get the last of the fish out. Hundreds of small bites and tears adorn his body which Adenoid quickly heals. Luke dons his armor, checks his equipment, and they party continues up river, but not before noticing a, high up in a tree, what appears to be the same bird from the day before looking down on them.

About 30 minutes later the party feels the ground begin to vibrate. From behind can be heard something massive crashing through the jungle. A quick glance back shows treetops swaying in a line that comes closer to them. Quickly positioning themselves behind trees and rocks they brace for what is bearing down on them.

With a mighty roar a Tyrannosaurus Rex (come on- if my party knew it was coming you all had to also!) crashes into view. Ruthan and Adenoid decide this would be a good time to hide and make like dryads (i.e. becoming one with a tree). Merkatrig fades into the shadows while Luke rapid fires four arrows into the beast. Melianthe attempts to cast Enervate, a constitution draining spell, but the T-Rex’s fortitude is too great.

The T-Rex sniffs and huffs the air before turning to face Luke. With a roar the T-Rex charges the hapless archer. Before reaching him both Krunk and Larial, who held their actions, spring into action against the T-Rex. Larial does a quick flurry of blows with little effect. Krunk swings her axe- connecting with a massive critical for the first hit! A massive wound appears on the reptile’s right flank spraying blood in a wide swath and hampering its movement.

In retaliation the giant lizard attacks the closest target that caused it the most pain- Krunk. Bending swiftly it strikes, snatching Krunk into his jaws and lifting the half-orc off the ground.

The following turn the bard and cleric pop out of hiding, singing and moving towards the injured, respectively. Luke tries for an eye-shot but misses, the arrow bouncing off the massive, armored head while Melianthe zings it with a lightning bolt. Krunk, held by the legs, manages to sit-up and, in a berserk rage, buries the axe into that same massive head killing the creature! With barely a sound the T-Rex topples over with both Krunk and the lizard hitting the ground with a thunderous, crashing boom.

As the party is giving each other a high-five and making Brontosaurus burger jokes they are startled by the appearance of a SECOND T-Rex, much bigger then the first, which had stealthily approached from the opposite direction of the first. The T-Rex’s had set-up a typical pack predator tactic of “bush beater” and “ambusher”, but in this case the prey refused to run so the ambusher came to them.

With a quick snap at the closest target, Melianthe, the big lizard misses! The necro responds by backpedaling and casting Spirit Wall, one side of which has a terror effect. The wailing and ghostly sounds do indeed cause the T-Rex to panic and run into the jungle. The necro tells the party they have to run, quickly, as the terror portion only last a few seconds- so everyone hauls up river as fast as they can.

About 30 seconds later a massively angry roar splits the air. The party can hear the beast running up behind them before they feel the ground tremble. Again taking up positions they brace for impact. Heaving into view Melianthe casts Burning Blood- which does not affect the massive beast again due to its fortitude. Krunk quickly runs into hand-to-massive claw range and scores a hit. The archer takes his time and scores a direct hit on the creatures left eye! Not to be outdone the bard connects with a poisoned crossbow bolt while Adenoid runs up and does a Finger of Death touch attack, both of which have no effect, while Merkatrig slashes the T-Rex’s right side with both dagger and sword.

However, Larial, who in a future incarnation is destined to be in the Pro-Bull Riders Association, runs up and jumps on the creature’s tail with the expectation of doing a Legolas ala LoTR. Instead the angry creature begins spinning around, whipping its tail to and fro which causes everyone within 15 feet to make a reflex save to get out of the way. Most make it but Larial fails to hold on and is sent flying 30 feet through trees, bushes and undergrowth before coming to a stop slightly battered and bleeding.

Before the party can get set for a second round of combat an odd whistle pierces the air. Within seconds six huge velociraptors race from the jungle and appear to rush the party. Before they can react the raptors have sped through the party and jumped on the T-Rex! At this point the party sees these raptors are wearing hide armor. Then a “Hey ho!” breaks over the roar of battle as a mega-raptor with a wild looking human wielding a spear on it jumps over the party, stabs the T-Rex with the spear and then disappears into the jungle!

“What the hell was that?”, Luke says rather succinctly.

The T-Rex, now heavily torn and bleeding, turns to run. As a parting gift for playing Melianthe hits it with a lightning bolt- killing it! As it drops to the ground the raptors clinging to it jump away then quickly gathering around the body. However they do not eat, instead they stand alertly looking at the jungle where the human rides into view. With a quick command word the raptors tear into the carcass while the human stops in front of the party and jumps down from his mount.

“Greetings and welcome. I am Kaleeda, protector of this blessed slice of nature.” The human is fit and trim, scimitar at his hip, bow across his back and carrying a short spear decorated with feathers. For armor he is wearing a chainmail vest except the links are made entirely of wood! Thick leather leggings, boots, and a stylized raptor helmet, also made of wood, round out his dress. Tribal tattoos adorn his arm while the left side of his face has stylized ivy curling around his eye and down his cheek. Slipping out of the jungle a giant monitor lizard, with a collar on, sidles up to Kaleeda.

“You’re last name isn’t scope, is it?” quips Adenoid.

Kaleeda replies no and asks why he thinks that. Adenoid simply replies that he thought he might be a “Kaleeda Scope” (i.e. kaleidoscope- feel free to groan as we all did). Kaleeda then proceeds to shake everyone’s hands but when he gets to Larial he blindsides the monk with a punch to the jaw! Everyone reaches for weapons while both the mega-raptor and normal raptors swivel their heads towards the party.

Kaleeda points to a bruise on the left side of his face and says, “The next time you throw a rock at a bird you may want to reconsider your actions as it may be more then you think. The action of hurting a creature that was non-offensive to you I find as a gross violation to the path of nature.” The monk apologizes but it is apparent this is too little, too late as Kaleeda then ignores him. As the party does not react to his striking Larial the raptors go back to what they were doing.

Kaleeda then offers the party a safe place to stay for the night as well as dinner at his compound on an island out on the second lake. The party accepts. With a different whistle the raptor pack, monitor lizard, and D’uval, the mega-raptors name, instantly break off feeding and gather around Kaleeda. Mounting D’uval the druid says to follow him. While walking along the river bank Krunk falls back and asks the cleric to detect his alignment. The best Adenoid can do is cast a Detect Evil which comes back negative- whatever he is Kaleeda is not evil. This puts Krunk’s mind, as small as it is, to rest.

Reaching a stretch of beach on the lake they can make out the island about a mile offshore. Kaleeda apologizes for a lack of boats as he and the raptors just normally swim it. The cleric casts water walk on himself, two others get on the flying carpet, Merkatrig climbs behind Kaleeda, and the rest, tentively, grab the necks of the raptors. Entering the water they rapidly swim/walk/fly to the island.

The party enters a small cleared area near the island shore. An approximately 2 acre area is walled off from the island proper (which is rather large). Inside this compound is a small 3 room, stone house with a thatched roof. A well tended garden is behind the house while along one fence side a number of cages hold birds that vaguely look like chickens. A deep pit near the house houses a salt pit containing pickled meats. Next to the pit is a meat rack and smoker.

Kaleeda quickly explains that the party should not go past the fence line. In order to keep the island clear of predators a force of raptors patrols the island (different from his hunting pack). This force is trained to attack and kill anything outside the fence except for him or the other trained raptors. The patrol force does not enter the fenced area unless called by Kaleeda.

While Kaleeda prepares dinner the party engages him in conversation and learns the following:

- Kaleeda used to be a ranger in the employ of a duke. He not only patrolled his area but actively fought both orcs and human raiders that threatened the duke’s lands. However, over time, and especially after he received spells as a ranger, he found that he preferred the peace that came with worshipping nature. During a routine exploration he stumbled upon the cleft and valley. Deciding this was his answer to a restless soul he stayed in the valley, turning from his ranger ways to that of a druid. He has been here eleven years.

- In his years here only one other party has ever come through. Someone named McEwen, a “Professor Lindenbrook”, and a few others including a duck mysteriously appeared about 6 years ago. Just as mysteriously they disappeared a few days later- he found no evidence they were eaten so assumes that nature decided their fate one way or the other.

- When asked about the raptors he says he trains them just as a falconer trains birds of prey. Only the biggest and most intelligent become part of his hunting pack. There are untamed raptors on the mainland. His mount, D’uval, appears to be a freak of nature as he was hatched from what appeared to be a normal raptor egg.

- When asked about a statue he knows instantly what the party is talking about. Kaleeda says that up in one of the northwestern branches there is a statue and ruined obelisks near the valley wall. No animal goes there and even he stays away from it- there is something “wrong” about the artifact. He volunteers to take the party there the next day which they gratefully accept.

With that dinner is finished. Kaleeda and the party carry on small talk for a bit more before bedding down for the night. While they have to sleep outside, as there is no room inside, Kaleeda again states they are completely safe. The party takes him at his word and is soon fast asleep (though the owl keeps an eye out… just in case…).

End of Session 3

T-Rex 1 attacks Luke while Krunk and Larial move to intercept


T-Rex 1 down, while the party high-fives each other T-Rex 2 tries to eat the necro


After running a short distance the party braces for impact as a thoroughly angry T-Rex 2 crashes towards them


T-Rex 2 and the party battle it out


"WHat the hell was that?" as raptors stream by and pounce on T-Rex 2


The party meets Kaleeda and a whole passle of teeth and claws wrapped in scales
Blackhawk1
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"If one does what God does enough times one will become as God is"
Hannibal Lector, "Manhunter"
 
#14916
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session III 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
I'm not sure about this, but I think I understand what the yellowish-green guy is saying in the last pic;

"Lunch Break!"

Hope your team is real good at diplomacy, because if not, that crew will make a short snack out of them, regardless of HOW BAD they be!

In other topics, did you do the colors on the raptors? Because while I have NO idea about accuracy (after several million years, who DOES?), but the paint job looks GREAT!
And you already know my opinion of the rest of the figs.

See ya!

Jim
jkratzer
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Jim Kratzer, a/k/a The Mad Yank
Proud Vietnam Veteran, LOUD VFW Lifer
insane GM
 
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