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The Annals of Golth the Northman
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TOPIC: The Annals of Golth the Northman
#27997
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  


Here's my character's journal of our misadventures in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. He's an Avalonian wizard who keeps an accurate "unbiased" account of what has transpired since the death of Gorin Grimbeard.

The Meeting of the Two Strangers & the Fate of Golth The Northman

Attending Heroes:

-Golth the Northman
-Korgan, Son of Keegan
-Falconfrost the Half Elf
-Alundelm the Woodstalker

So I begin my chronicle, having fled my homeland for fear of my life. I am no longer safe in Valon after the events on our ship, The Frozen Tide, off the Isles Of Pokrantil. Our captain's delving into the ruins of Malikarr must’ve stirred some unknown ancient horror, for he returned to the ship changed, as though he were a different man. Many of the delver’s did not return from the ruins but the other’s who did were struck mute and could only stare empty eyed and open mouthed at some unseen horror. The captain acted as if possessed. He was hell bent that all of us were to return to the towered city to restock, then fulfill our contracts sailing deep into the southlands in search of an undersea channel to the Underworld. He ranted about great power hidden there and slaughtered the three sailors who opposed him, so I waited until we were near the city to leap into the frigid waters and swim ashore. I found a Skandik ship in port that was leaving that eve, and signed on with them. I have no longing to seek the Underworld before my natural time.

Fortune, it seems, was with me. After several weeks at sea with the Sea Wolves and a half dozen different ports we picked up two passengers, Korgan, a Tharbrian and Falconfrost, a half elf. The two spoke of an expedition to an ancient tower upon the Peak of Lemur Mountain in the middle of the Altanian wild. In my studies I was told this place was once the tower of a mad wizard and it’s rumored he held many great arcane secrets. Having no longing to return to my homeland I agreed to join them for an equal share of treasure and glory.

The ship stopped over in the Skandik city of Kauran, and the three of us headed into port. Along the water we came across an elf the two knew named Alundelm, who was fleeing from some horror of the ancient world. He spoke quickly of apes, a wizard, a black stone, druids, a massive hoofed and tentacled tree beast and of the slaying of a dwarf named Grimbeard. I know not what he spoke of, but the other two took the news that the dwarf had perished grievously, and we returned to the docks to find quick passage out of Kauran to Zothay. Fortunately the Skandik ship was continuing its course to Zothay, so we all signed on for the journey. Also on the ship was a dwarf, by the name of Ragnar Sigbisson, whom the others knew. He held a map of our destination and was the financer of the mission to the tower.

Along the way Alundelm told us more details of his journeys, as we passed an island that he had been ship wrecked on. Tales of a mad wizard with a wand of baleful polymorph that turned men into ape slaves, as well as a giant dragon turtle and good willed sea elves. He told in detail the demise of the dwarf Gorin Grimbeard who was swallowed in the belly of the great tentacled Tree-mother whose stone they were to acquire for the mad wizard. The elf had been separated from the rest of his group and their whereabouts were unknown.

After an uneventful passage to Zothay the captain relieved us of our rowing duties and paid us our take. We stepped onto the docks of Zothay, absorbing the alien sights and sounds of these foreign lands. Many breed of men walked the streets of Zothay, Antillians, Altanians, Tharbrians and Skandiks alike. We gathered what supplies we could afford and set out across the swamps to the west of the city, making for the ancient road that would lead us south beyond the elven city of Onhir to the mountains.

Our pace was slow through the fetid swamps and only an hour into our journey we spotted a massive slug, devouring some sort of carrion. It turned its attention to us and dragged itself forward, firing a massive gout of searing slime at Korgan. The Tharbrian was hit full in the face but withstood the burning goo. Alundelm was quickly by his side, reading magic from a scroll I could not understand. The elf was a nature shaper, a druid of the earthen realm. Ragnar stood and watched as Falconfrost and Korgan hacked away at the gooey slug. Again the slug squirted its deadly slime and both Korgan and I were struck. Fortunately for Korgan the elf’s magic protected him, but I was seared across my shoulder and arm. With two massive slices of his flashing blade Korgan hewed the slug in two. Never have I seen a man land such fearsome blows with such reckless swings. The Tharbrian is to be respected for his prowess.

We continued our slow progress through the swamp and near darkness were ambushed by a gang of lizard men. The savage creatures charged forward and were met by the Korgan and Falconfrost. Both of my new companions showed their merit again by swiftly striking down the crude reptile men. Alundelm conjured a ball of flame that rolled into the lizard men, roasting their scaly flesh. I did my part by taking down 2 of the lizard men with my crossbow. Again Ragnar only stood and watched us fight off the ambush, so I am beginning to think we are bodyguards to him.

After the sortie with the lizard men we pressed on to get out of the swamp and found a decent place to rest for the night. The following day we reached the elven city of Onhir on the great southern road. There we purchased supplies and a mule to bear them, who the elves had named Autumn Mist. Again we set out, this time into the plains and jungle that dominate this region.

During our journey that day Korgan was caught off guard by a group of skunks, and was sprayed with their stench. That evening we found a decent campsite and no sooner had we laid out our sleeping rolls did we hear crashing in the wooded area to the south. A huge dinosaur, of which I’ve only ever heard of in stories, bounded out of the forest, intent to make us it’s supper.

I made myself invisible to the tyrannosaur as it snapped at our mule. Fortunately Autumn Mist slipped away from the razor sharp jaws and ran baying towards the road. I conjured a wolf behind the beast, but seconds later the massive jaws of the t-rex bit clear through the wolf’s head and it disappeared back to the Great Glacier from whence it came. Korgan drew his blade and charged the roaring monstrosity, slashing deeply into it. Falconfrost loosed a barrage of arrows on the tyrannosaur, filling it with feathered shafts.

The tyrannosaur snapped down on Korgan and swept him up in its jaws. The Tharbrian thrashed and fought to escape, but the dinosaur was too strong. Fortunately for him Falconfrost dropped his bow and ran to the Tharbrian’s aid, swinging his great sword in a fierce charge. The half-elf cunningly struck the dinosaur across the soft flesh of its underbelly. His swordsmanship is truly legendary. I conjured a badger of the great glacier, whose claws raked at the tyrannosaur. Falconfrost set in again twice with his great sword and with a spattering of blood the tyrannosaur went down.

We dragged Korgan out from under the body of the beast then moved on to find another camping site, as the smell of the tyrannosaur would draw more predators. Our rest was undisturbed although I had no time to prepare any scrolls.

The beasts and plants of this realm are hardy and powerful, as are my companions. Korgan, son of Keegan, the Tharbrian, is a menace with the hand and a half sword. Alundelm, the elf, shapes the elements and calls upon allies of the wild, while Falconfrost, the half elf, is deadly with both bow and blade. I feel as though in time my sorcery will be a fine match to their strengths.
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#27998
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  
The Overland Journey To Lemur Mountain

Attending Heroes:

-Golth the Northman
-Korgan, Son of Keegan
-Falconfrost the Half Elf
-Alundelm the Woodstalker
-Cyatris the Wanderer
-Charles “Scab” Mclure
-Bruse the Piper
-Thormm Hammerfist

As we were striking camp we heard the sounds of several booted feet upon the old path. We readied ourselves for a band of brigands, but I was relieved when Falconfrost called out to them, “About time you all caught up with us.” This was the rest of their motley crew. Among them a Tharbrian piper, Bruse, a dwarf warrior, Thormm Hammerfist, a dwarven female shamen, Cyatris and a Tharbrian priest, Charles “Scab” Mclure.

Suddenly 3 man-sized lizards scuttled out from around a knoll. All of us were amazed to see the myriad of colors reflecting off the strange lizards’ hide. Cyatris was so much amazed that she forgot herself and stood and stared, unable to tear her eyes off the patterns.

Mclure and I steadily fired our crossbows, while Bruse fired his short bow at the rainbow colored lizards. The warriors strode forward, eager to prove their supremacy. Quickly the lizards fell to the blades of Korgan and Falconfrost. Thormm’s hammer smashed down on another and all went still.

The lizards were dead and we were contemplating if their rainbow hides were of any worth when we heard more snapping twigs coming from the south. Bounding out of the underbrush were 2 dinosaurs, larger than horses, with sharp talons on their hind legs. They sped towards the rear of the party and we readied ourselves.

As the dinosaurs closed with us Cyatris was nearly caught unawares, but she ducked behind Korgan and Falconfrost as they adjusted their positions and prepared to attack. Bruse piped up a song to inspire us. I felt my spirits lift and fired a bolt into one of the beasts. The dinosaurs reached us and the warriors laid into them with their weapons. Neither deinonychus’ went down and they raked at Falconfrost and Korgan with their talons. Thormm surged forward and smashed a scaled head with his hammer. Scab fired another bolt into one. The beasts tore into Korgan again, and the Tharbrian withstood the onslaught. With a concentrated flash of steel our warriors slaughtered the two beasts, one run through, and the other beheaded.

Alundelm skinned the lizards as they are worth at least 400 coins apiece. With the clear skies of the morning we could see off in the distance the hulking shape of Lemur Mountain. We could see a mass of jungle stretching out underfoot of the great Yeti.

The clouds gathered as we pressed into the jungle. After several hours of sweaty toil through the thick underbrush we stumbled upon a bid for territory between a tyrannosaur and a huge scorpion. The beasts of this realm are truly colossal and awe inspiring.

I reacted quickly and made myself vanish, for a bite from either would surely slay me. The tyrannosaur bore straight down on Ragnar and scooped him up in its maw. The scorpion lashed out at Korgan with its stinger and speared him in the chest. Then it crushed him in its claw, lifting him high into the air. Alundelm conjured flames to his hand and hurled a fistful at the scorpion, charring its carapace. Cyatris followed the elf’s lead, conjured her own flame, and hurled it at the scorpion. Meanwhile Falconfrost was tearing into the Tyrannosaur with his great sword, carving gouges in its hide. I heard Scab calling down celestial hippogriffs that tore our enemies to shreds. As they flashed in to existence, they did just that, each tearing into one of our opponents. Thormm hurled a hammer at the tyrannosaur and broke a few of its ribs. Korgan shook himself free of the scorpion’s grasp and immediately dealt it a brutal slash with his sword.

I called an ice wolf from the Desolate Tundra to aid Korgan against the scorpion and it bit onto the scorpion’s hind leg. Twice did Korgan, son of Keegan, swing his bastard blade high and twice did he strike through the tough shell of the scorpion. It shuddered from the deep slashes and collapsed. Falconfrost continued his assault on the tyrannosaur, and dealt it another grievous wound as it swallowed down Ragnar. Our sole guide and map bearer. The elf and dwarf druids hurled their fireballs at the dinosaur, and Thormm drew and hurled another hammer. Scab’s hippogriffs tore into the massive reptile and Scab fired his crossbow into its eye. No more did the powerful beast fight.

We all realized that Ragnar had the map to the tower on the mountain and leapt up onto the dinosaur and hacked into its gullet to find him. Sadly the dwarf was dead, and the map ruined. A small pyre was erected and Bruse took on the dwarf’s short sword, to further it’s glory, for it is Trollhammer, a dwarvish blade of the second circle of power. Cyatris took on his crossbow, for it is magical as well, although how powerful we are not sure.

We left the dwarf’s pyre and carried on through the jungle. After hours of traveling we were all surprised as a huge muscle bound saber tooth tiger leapt from the ferns and impaled Scab on its huge fangs. Gouts of his blood drenched the ground and he was swept into its mouth and torn up by all the beast’s claws. I’ve heard stories of smilodons, but have never met a man who has faced one and lived.

Thormm hurled a hammer into the fray, but smashed Scab with it, instead of the smilodon. He should’ve known better than to throw into the melee. Mclure slipped out of the saber tooth’s grasp and stepped back. Scab is truly a powerful cleric, for he withstood wounds that would’ve killed a giant and lived to tell of it.

Brave Falconfrost leapt forward to defend Scab and dealt the smilodon a massive gouge with his great sword. In retribution the saber tooth lashed out with all its claws and all but one struck the half elf. Falconfrost withstood the attack but was swept up in its claws. Alundelm was quickly there with an adept healing hand and closed most of the half elf’s wounds although he was still in the smilodon’s grasp.

Korgan leveled a whopping wound with his bastard sword but still the saber tooth held Falonfrost. I called out “Get out of its grasp and I’ll roast it for our dinner!” The half-elf replied, “I’m trying!” With a stroke of genius Bruse muttered some arcane words and Falconfrost’s clothes were suddenly drenched in magic oil, making them slick. The half-elf wriggled easily out of the saber tooth’s grasp and I blasted it with an arc of blistering flames. The saber tooth bounded out off into the underbrush and disappeared. We tried to follow and slay it, but it eluded us. It is said that smilodons are very cunning and hard to kill because of their great athleticism.

It was nearing sundown, so we traveled an hour longer and made camp. As we unrolled our bedrolls and sparked a fire I passed around my last skin of Avalonian juniper berry wine that was harvested on the coldest day of last winter.

By the last light of the sun on the horizon we again heard noises from the jungle. A group of ape-men had crept up to our camp, intent on giving us a beating, then eating us.

I reacted quickly, firing a bolt into one of the primates. Alundelm conjured a ball of fire and sent it sizzling into another. The warriors spread out to receive the charge of the beast-men. Mclure called a mystic weapon of faith that slashed into an ape-man. The ape-men charged and the warriors attacked. Korgan hacked one down while Thormm smashed one’s skull. Alundelm redirected his ball of fire onto another ape-man and infused Korgan with the strength of a great elm. The Tharbrian swung his sword deftly and cut down his opponent. The crude beasts were all slain save one, which threw up its arms and howled, “Surrender.” We knocked him over the head and bound him for questioning.

We were breaking camp when the flutter of thick wings cut the muggy air and we saw through the clouds a legendary monster. It had three heads, the first dragon-like, the second that of a lion and the third that of a goat. It had leathery wings like that of a dragon, the hindquarters of a goat and the torso of a lion

The dragon’s head of the chimera blew out a cone of fire that engulfed us, and I barely managed to cover my face from the licking flame. I vanished into thin air and backed off from the fearsome monster. Alundelm called down a bolt of lightning from the thick cloudy sky and it blasted the chimera squarely. Scab uttered a most sacred prayer that filled us all with power and demoralized the three headed monstrosity. Cyatris fired Ragnar’s crossbow and caught the Chimera in the goat’s neck while Falconfrost dealt the beast a solid slash across its flank with his great sword.

I called forth the timber wolf of the northern wastes and it tore into the lion’s head.
Scab summoned his deity’s sacred weapon and it struck the chimera as Alundelm called down another bolt that scorched the ground around it. Korgan wound up a mighty swing with his enchanted blade and smote the creature through the back and into the heart. It went still and we gathered ourselves in the morning light.

Someone would have to set up a base camp at the foot of the mountain, so Bruse and I were elected, as we were both new recruits to the party. We set up the camp and proceeded to guard the supplies while the rest set out for Lemur Mountain.
dudebird
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#27999
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  
The Peak of Lemur Mountain

Attending Heroes:

-Golth the Northman
-Korgan, Son of Keegan
-Alundelm the Woodstalker
-Cyatris the Wanderer
-Holy Man Charles “Scab” Mclure
-Bruse Briarburndt the Piper
-Thormm Hammerfist

The group returned from their first expedition to the Peak of Lemur Mountain with fascinating tales of a ruined city and a massive steel tower. They spoke of an unholy altar to some malevolent alien entity in the ruined city, from which a formless writhing mass of mouths & tentacles had attacked Korgan. They also told us of sighting a titanic hairy beast, walking upright carrying a huge snake for it’s dinner.

We required supplies before mounting another expedition, so we made for civilization. With the inflated prices of the shrewd elven merchants in Onhir, we decided to try our luck in Anatal, to the west into the mountains. Bruse had heard once that a renowned elven smith works mithril and other rare minerals there. Thormm resolutely demanded we make for Kolda, a dwarven keep a further journey to the south. He spoke of a great dwarven smith also able to work the rare metals of the earth. As Anatal was closer and it was rumored only dwarves were permitted in Kolda we settled on Anatal.

We traveled to Onhir, then to Anatal. Along the way Alundelm spotted a far off herd of horses, and slowly approached them. One took interest and cantered closer to him. He spoke to it, and soon enough it was whinnying as he rubbed its coat. It left its herd and followed the druid. The elf said its name was Eklarn and that it would be his faithful follower.

Upon our second day of marching we were nearing the town when we heard the scuff of hob nailed boots on stone and saw two burly two-headed giants before us.

Alundelm wasted no time and called upon the clouds above to strike down a bolt upon one of the brutes. I too wasted no time and cloaked myself in illusion, concealing myself from the bastards. The giants charged in, bashing with their uprooted sapling clubs. Their blows clanged off Korgan’s breastplate and Thormm’s shield. They fought as though each of their scowling snarling faces commanded an arm. Korgan swung two reckless swings and both thudded off the notched tree trunk club of the giant as the twang of Scab’s crossbow ended with a thud as it found its mark in the fray. Cyatris conjured a ball of flame that rolled forward and burned the greasy flesh of one of them.

The giants circled us, one finding Bruse with a debilitating bash in the head. He reeled from the blow and I thought the Tharbrian was going to fall, but he held his footing. A blinding flash of light shot out from Scab’s palm and burnt the shoulder of the giant in retribution. I called forth a timber wolf from the Wilderland Mountains and it tore a deep gash in the calf of the ettin and tried unsuccessfully to up end the giant. A big club blindsided Thormm and smashed him. Alundelm softened the earth about the one giant’s feet, and the brute sunk into the muck.

Thormm swung his hammer and pounded the knee of his adversary, and all could hear the shattering of the bones and ligaments as the giant let out a howl. I saw the sacred blade of Sinakad lash out from thin air and cut a grievous wound about the throat and face of a giant. Korgan swung a mighty blow into the flank of the giant and it toppled over, bleeding and dying.

Thormm was bashed again by a great club, but again stood strong. That dwarf is hardy and good when there is killing to be done.

I called down a badger from the Frozen Tundra and my animals laid into the ettins, biting and clawing the last of the brutes. Bruse seized the opportunity and lunged low under the club of the giant and brought Trollhammer up into its throat and jaw. The blade went deep, to the hilt, and burst from the top of its skull. The giant toppled over and the battle was won.

The giants were carrying little goods, so we took up their trail and followed it to a shallow cave, where we found a large locked chest. We smashed it open and saw the glitter of steel and silver. Atop the pile of goods was a large steel shield of elven make with a silver hippogriff motif on it. Under it was an ivory wand with intricate carvings of webs and a lump of incense wrapped in silver foil. All of the relics gave off magic auras, so we were pleased with our bounty.

As I am a wizard I thought it fitting that I take the wand, although Bruse expressed an interest in it too. Thormm took up the shield and we passed on the incense to Scab. We shouldered our packs and continued on the road to Anatal.

At the gates of Anatal we were greeted by a score of elven guards, led by an armored paladin. He looked us over thoroughly and asked us of our business. We informed them of our intentions to visit the smith and re-supply. They took our weapons and armor and locked them in a lockbox in the barracks.

A guard guided us to the smithy and we saw the old elven smith Aenion, hammering out a slim sword with a big silver hammer. He put down his hammer and turned his attention to us. We inquired of his store of mithril, but were disappointed when he told us that he only had the skills to work it, and not a steady supply. Our interest was peaked when he told us that he has the power to enchant arms and armor, but our resources were not sufficient to afford his services. We thanked him for his time and headed to the inn that houses most visitors in Anatal.

We were relieved when the inn keep brought out flagons of ale, and thick legs of mutton. I inquired about wine fortified with brandy and to my great surprise the inn keep brought out a flask of good brandy from Tarsh, near my homeland. Just a taste dragged my mind back to the towered city, but my thoughts soon turned black and doom filled my heart. My mind squirmed with fear, and the fear became all encompassing.

A local elvish bard Applemoon Silvercreek was patronizing the inn, and he piped up a song in his thin soprano, which quickly dragged my thoughts back to Anatal. I glanced over and saw a tear rolling down Thormm’s cheek. I’d never have thought the hardened dwarf would cry to a song sung by an elf. Over my glass of good strong wine I saw Korgan too was flushed and wiping at his eyes. Our warriors are turning soft in the halls of the elves.

Later we told the bard of our slaying the two-headed giants, and he praised us, for they had been terrorizing the countryside for months. He said he’d compose a song in our honor, for it was a great deed to slay the man-eaters.

The following day we had a sage discern the magic of the shield, wand and incense. The shield was of the first circle of power, while the wand was crafted by followers of Yezud, the Spider God, and will bind enemies in webs. The incense will, when used by a priest, lend great power to all the priest’s spells, making them work to maximum effect. Truly great trophies we won from the two-headed giants!

With our business in Anatal concluded and our stores of the inn keeps fine larder loaded snugly on Eklarn’s saddle-packs we headed out on the road to Lemur Mountain. Our journey was uneventful and we struck out from our base camp, leaving Eklarn with the others at the foot of the great mountain.

After hearing of the unholy altar I was most interested in delving into the strange stone ruins. We made for the ancient temple and entered the dark stone building. I could see a dagger of some foreign metal I’ve never seen before laying upon a massive stone altar. They said that Korgan had approached the altar and the writhing form had materialized from nothing.

From the safety of the entrance Alundelm conjured a monkey on the altar. No sooner had it appeared did we see a roiling malign form of eyes and maws materialize and consume the unsuspecting chimp. Its flesh was absorbed into the horror and its maw joined the others. My blood went cold as I realized the dire peril we were in, as I’m sure the others did too.

Alundelm called a ball of fire that rolled into the horrid form, and charred its writhing flesh. Cyatris followed her mentor’s example and another burning sphere rolled onto the form. I aimed a ray of scorching heat at the horror, but averted the attack when one of my comrades nearly stepped in the way. Mclure invoked holy words and a beam of light flashed out from his palm and burnt the abomination.

Bruse said words of magic and suddenly there were four of him circling about. Korgan dashed forward, and closed with the horror, while Thormm slowly trotted forward. Alundelm’s hand suddenly came alight with flames, and he hurled a ball at the thing, charring its coalescing flesh.

Bruse began reciting a long ode about our great bravery upon the dark flagstones of the temple. The horrid abomination lurched forward, and a tentacled pseudo-pod lashed out and wrapped around Korgan’s arm. He twitched and shuddered as his mind was nearly rent from his body. All could see his face contort in agony as he tried to hold onto his sanity and resist the urge to dissolve into the roiling mass of mouths and eyes.

Finally Thormm had reached the monstrosity and hammered down on it twice. The undulating form was partially crushed and our hope was bolstered. Scab dashed to Korgan’s aide, and cast a restoring spell upon the Tharbrian, who was being quickly driven mad by the touch of the alien horror.

Korgan managed to draw upon all his will to regain his sanity, which was no doubt helped by the guiding hand of Mclure. As Korgan regained control over his writhing and wriggling body Mclure called down the sacred blade of Sinakad and it slashed twice through the unwholesome undulating flesh. As it did the fleshy mass of maws seemingly dissolved and disappeared.

The dark stone temple was quiet and we slowly took a closer look at the altar and the strange looking dagger. The knife was of ceremonial design and made of star-metal, one of the rarest metals in all the Wilderlands. I took it, for no one uses daggers but I. Nothing else could be made of the alien altar and horrid temple, so we planned to assault the tower itself, and it’s massive guardian, the hairy beast.

Brus looked at my Star Metal dagger and sprinkled ground pearl dust upon it. “It’s of the second circle of power,” he told me. A grin split my face. This was a weapon I could use well.

We rested and recovered our spells then made for the colossal steel tower. Our plan was to send Korgan into the lair of the beast guised in my illusions as well as a curtain of silence, which would allow him to survey the interior of the tower as well.

We put our strategy into motion and Korgan made his way invisibly into the shimmering tower. We could all hear the massive beast breathing somewhere inside the walls, but the sound ceased, presumably when Korgan reached it.

Suddenly the lumbering ape burst from the entrance of the tower. It sniffed at the air, searching out Korgan by its sense of smell, and snatched up the invisible Tharbrian. I bent the laws of time to my will, and all of us were swift as Stirges. Scab ceased his spell of silence on Korgan, and all could hear the howling of the huge primate. Thormm, aided by my spell quickly closed the distance between him and the ape, but could not get close enough to hammer it.

I saw the ape squeeze Korgan in its grasp, then hurl the still invisible Tharbrian to the ground. Scab invoked a most sacred prayer to Sinakad, and Alundelm called down a bolt of lightning from the clear mountain sky. Cyatris conjured a fistful of flames and hurled a ball as Bruse began piping a proud song of battle. Thormm finally closed with the hulking ape and hammered it a glancing blow to the shin.

The ape struck out and swept up Thormm in its huge claw. It lashed out wildly with its other claw into thin air, and we saw blood spill on the ground from the invisible Korgan. The ape bit down with its huge mandible on Thormm, biting the dwarf soundly.

I invoked my magic and an arc of searing heat fired from my palm and into the beast. Scab called the sacred blade of Sinakad and it slashed into the hulk. Bruse incanted the words of illusion and several mirrored images of the Tharbrian appeared. Alundelm called down another bolt and the ape shook as the electricity tore through him. Thormm tried to wriggle out of the ape’s grasp, but was held fast. Cyatris again hurled a ball of fire into the fray, but she missed through the traffic. We heard Korgan;s voice near Mclure, asking for the healer to aid him.

The ape hurled Thormm to the ground and clawed and bit the dwarf. He was bleeding from gruesome wounds but still fighting. The dwarf is thick as a brick.

I saw an opportunity to loose a ball of fire at the ape and took it. The bead of fire burst into a sphere of fire safely away from my comrades and engulfed the ape. Its face and chest were scorched soundly. Sinakad’s blade lashed out twice, and both times struck through the tough hide of the ape. I saw Scab cast a spell and reach out to touch the invisible Korgan. Thormm leveled two debilitating bashes to the groin of the colossus, and all of us but Cyatris clutched at our own manhood as the dwarf was spattered in blood. The ape let out a thunderous roar of pain and clutched at its groin.

The multiple Bruse’s dashed forward with lightning speed and dealt the ape a slash across the thigh with Trollhammer. No sooner had he attacked did the Tharbrian speed away from the huge beast. Cyatris hurled another ball of flame and it charred the belly of the ape. Alundelm pointed again and a bolt struck down from the clear sky and the ape twitched in pain. The still invisible Korgan moved to close with the ape, but could not attack.

The ape howled and smashed down at Thormm. The dwarf brought up his shield just in time and he was spared being crushed beneath a claw. Its second claw caught him with a glancing wound to the shoulder and its bite scraped off his armor.

I loosed a volley of shimmering missiles that sought out the ape and battered it thrice. Scab’s blade of faith cut the ape and the healer moved to Thormm’s side to heal the dwarf, who by then was bleeding profusely. Undeterred the dwarf leveled two more strokes with his hammer at the exposed loins of the ape. The first smashed the thigh-bone of the ape and the second shattered the pelvis, toppling the huge beast.

The dwarf took a tusk of the huge ape, after so thoroughly robbing it of its manhood. All in all our troupe was pleased with our performance, and I was glad for my focus upon the bending of time, for it aided us to great effect. We had defeated the guardian of the Tower of Azog, but were depleted of magics, so we returned to our camp to rest and recover our strength.
dudebird
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#28000
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  
This was the halloween themed session Blair ran. There was some really good laughs this session...


The Days of the Dead

Attending Heroes:

-Golth the Northman
-Korgan, Son of Keegan
-Bruse Briarburndt the Swordsman
-Thormm Hammerfist
-Riek, Altanian Skunk Tribesman

After our great victory over the huge ape at the mouth of the Tower we returned to our base camp to recover. Over the fire Brus mentioned that he had heard of the mad wizard Azog in his travels and shared his knowledge with us. The wizard possessed a stone called the Eye of Azog, which draws colossal power from the stars, and the darkness between them. It is this Eye, which I hope to find in the Tower, for I am greatly interested in the properties of space and learning to bend them to my will.

After a rest and some chopping we loaded ourselves with firewood and hauled ourselves up the mountainside. By the time we reached the vale where the Tower overlooks the ruined city it was nearing nightfall, so we set up camp.

We heard noises from further down the mountain and saw a crudely armed Altanian lurking near our camp. He waved over peacefully, and approached us. There were strands of black and white hide braided into his chain shirt and hair.

His name was Riek, and he lived up to his namesake. He stunk to high heaven. His people, the skunk tribe, had been slaughtered by tyrannosaurs. His spirit animal had brought him to this region and led him to us. I thought of the stench of skunk that still clung to Korgan and thought it likely the strange barbarian had been attracted by it. Seeing as he was the first “civilized” man we had encountered up on the peak we let him join us, for extra muscle is always handy, and Riek had plenty of that.

As the sun set it occurred to all of us that it was Samhain, the days of the dead. The moon was full and the barren mountaintop was ominously quiet.

Midway through the evening I spotted two orange lights slowly coming towards us. As the lights neared our campfire we could see the shambling form of an embalmed corpse, long dead, risen on that horrid night. At the sight of the mummy Korgan, Bruse and Thormm froze in fear, leaving me alone with the newcomer Riek to fight the abomination.

I spoke and a ray of heat surged from my palm and burnt the defiled flesh of the mummy. It’s tattered death shrouds caught fire and its whole body immolated. Its orange glowing eyes locked on me and it charged. Its heavy fist slammed into my head and I reeled from the blow but held my footing. An icy coldness spread from my face, running down my neck all the way to my feet. Riek began gibbering and howling and swung his ax in a mighty attack, hacking deep into the toughened body of the mummy.

Again Riek swung his blade, but this time missed the undead horror. The mummy turned and swung its bejeweled fist at the Altanian. It struck him full in the chest and I heard the air push out of his lungs.

Finally the rest of our companions shook of their fear. Brus cast his mirroring illusion on himself, while Thormm stepped low under a swat from the mummy and brought his hammer crashing into its teeth and jaw.

The mummy shifted its weight and lunged at Thormm, but the dwarf brought up his shield just in time, the fist clanging off the hippogriff etching. I summoned a badger of the Icy Tundra and it appeared, clawing and biting, but its attacks were of no use.

Again the mummy attacked, this time swatting at Korgan, and striking him despite his quickness. In return the Tharbrian swung his hand and a half sword high and brought it down into shoulder and chest of the mummy. As he yanked the blade free Riek lunged forward with his ax and drove its edge through the ribs of the mummy. The orange glow subsided and the mummy slumped to the cold ground.

We searched through the embalming wrap and found a score and a half of strange square platinum pieces, as well as a scroll case. My interest was peaked, so I read the magic on the three scrolls that was inside it. They were all the same spell, a charm of the third circle that will make a mundane weapon into a powerful magic weapon. They will be useful at some point or another.

We returned to the campfire and settled into our bedrolls. Thormm passed around a small cask of dwarven ale. Said the batch was called Sloppy Goblin, and that it came from the Southlands near his home. We got pissed, slept, ate and broke camp.

That morning the three of us whom the mummy had struck felt the cold touch of death overcome us. The soft flesh of my face was withering away, and Riek’s chest showed the decay as well. I remembered what I had learned in my homeland of the horrid embalmed mummies of the southlands. It was mummy rot, a horrible withering disease, only curable by powerful divine magic. Our thoughts went to our friend Charles Mclure, so we headed down the mountain again to the base camp to seek him.

We arrived at the base camp and Scab was there, praying to his sacred lord. He said he could break the curse then remove the disease of the mummy. With his healing touch we were all cured, so we thanked him, then began the long ascent to the top of the mountain again.

As we again mounted the peak in the early evening we decided this time to do some delving into the tower. Far off in the distance I saw silhouetted by the moon a human form riding a flying broomstick surrounded by a swarm of bats. Other said they heard cackling on the wind, but I heard none of the sort. Strange omens indeed…

At the foot of the tower we saw bodies. There were three, and they were children. It seemed one wore a death shroud, but as we approached we noticed two holes cut for eyes in the linen. Another seemed to be made of metal, but as we touched him we felt the normal cold of death, not metal. The last had fur and a set of fangs. They each had a sack, full with all sorts of sweet meats, cocoa delicacies from the south and orange baked cakes. It was odd that these children had come so far out into the wild Barbarian Altanis, but we thought nothing of it and dug into the delicacies.

After gorging on the treats we passed into the steel tower of Azog. We found the ape’s lair and continued through it, to a large 100ft vertical shaft. We climbed the rungs on the eastern side that led up the sheer smooth metal.

We came up on a large landing that turned down a corridor. We followed it to a wall of metal, with a blinking light embedded in the wall next to it. Thormm piped up, “Korgan, I’ll give you a coin if you press the lighted panel.” With that the Tharbrian pushed upon it, and the wall split into two sections and slid away into the wall.

As it did sparks and flashes erupted from the chamber beyond. We all gaped as a large blast exploded in a corner of the room, illuminating the ghastly scene of carnage. Bits of bodies everywhere, organs flung about as though part of a horrid experiment.

Suddenly a shape lunged upward from a table in the corner. To our horror we saw the stitched together form of a giant man, proportions so hideously wrong that I knew immediately what we faced.

I knew my fire would slow that weird fuck down. BOOM! I blasted the whole corner. I felt empowered and we all gawked as the thing slowed to a snail’s pace. A smile crept over my face. The fire’s good, but so too will be the ice.

Korgan stepped right in, as always, hacking twice into the abomination. Thormm ducked in and bashed it with his hammer. Brus began reciting an ode, and we were better for it. I bent time and sped all of us through the backdoors of its secrets. Thormm swung twice and both times smashed into the breast of the monster. Korgan was struck by the huge misshapen hand and it nearly knocked him over.

I tried my volley of ice arrows, but they dissipated as they struck his chest. Brus leapt into the fray and slammed Trollhammer up through the Monster’s throat into its skull. It toppled to the bloody floor.

I wonder whose creation this monster was. We found some beautiful tomes of anatomy, that could fetch fourteen hundred coins, but I think I will keep them for my research. The necromantic arts and the secrets of unlife lie in tomes such as these.

There were also several large gourds, mostly cracked and rotted, except one. Korgan cut it open and black ooze spilled out of it, and gathered in a big puddle on the floor. Korgan backed off. The goo surged forward and seared the Tharbrian’s legs. I cloaked myself in illusion and stepped toward the door.

I heard Brus intone a poem about our power, as I started to summon a timber wolf. Thormm swung his hammer at the goo and as he did the whole head of the hammer dissolved. Korgan pulled out a mace and struck, but as he did the head of the mace dissolved in the muck. We were neck deep in shit.

My wolf appeared and couldn’t hurt the slime. We all fled down the corridor away from the ooze until we reached the vertical shaft. None of us had ever seen anything like that.

We returned to the lower level and climbed the rungs leading up the western side of the shaft. After ascending 200ft we came to a landing that led onto a corridor, which we followed.

Another of the lighted panels and the sliding metal doors, and we saw a large room filled with all sorts of metal machinery. Upon a massive steel platform was a vaguely human shaped colossus of iron. It had two arms of metal that ended with shafts. As the door opened a metallic sound emitted from it, but none of us understood what that meant.

Thormm piped up again, ““Korgan, I’ll give you a coin if you go in there.” The Tharbrian stepped in, and the metal hulk let out the same strange sound. Korgan stepped back and let me take my turn. I was still wearing my guise of invisibility so I stepped in.

Again it let out a sound and lifted its right arm up. A blast erupted from the arm and a wave of heat surged out at us. We were spared the flames by several feet, and were glad. All the other bits of metal about the room were melted.

The metal hulk clanged forward on its iron legs, and smashed Korgan with its smoking right arm. I appeared and blasted it in the chest with a scorching ray. Thormm pulled out a longsword and chopped into the metal plates and wire. I cast shocking grasp, and waited for an opportunity to get close to the hulk.

Korgan swung two wild swings but both were reckless. Tiny metal insects seemed to be repairing the wires and armor plates of the weird metal body. Another beam of light erupted from its other arm, and small colored balls of fire shot in groups of twos and threes, none hitting us. It was a strange sight, there in the steel tower of Lemur.

Brus sped forward with magic speed and struck a solid blow with Trollhammer. Thormm slashed it again. I gave up on shocking it and instead blasted it with fire. Riek leapt from the hall into the room, and swung wildly. Again the Altanian attacked, but again he missed.

Both of the metal arms came swinging down. The first on Riek and smashed him in the skull. He reeled, but stayed standing. The second came down on Korgan and clobbered him as well. Both men were nearly dead.

I had exhausted my spells so I tossed a flask of alchemist’s fire on the colossus. Korgan swung and finally connected with the behemoth. Brus dashed to Korgan’s side and healed some of his wounds, while Thormm’s attack was repelled.

I drew out the Wand of Yezud and loosed his sticky webs on the hulk. To my surprise tiny swarms of spiders came scuttling out of the wand all over my arm and fired their sticky webs at my target. I had not yet used that trophy. I laughed as the burning alchemists fire ignited the webs and scorched the massive metal man. A good combination indeed, webs and fire…

Riek leapt away from the battle just in time. The burning colossus swung again, once at Thormm once at Korgan. Both were hammered hard, but stood standing. Brus dashed through the fray and slashed again with Trollhammer. The tiny metal bugs kept on re-forming the metal and wire that we had scorched or slashed or smashed.

Brus came again to Korgan’s aide, healing his Tharbrian brethren. Thormm meanwhile had struck it again. The hulk shuffled up and smashed Brus with its smoking arm.

In a concentrated attack both Korgan and Thormm pressed our adversary. The dwarf struck first soundly, then the Tharbrian cut clear through the center of the hulk and it clanged to the floor.

There in that workshop were wondrous magic creations; a hammer like none of us had ever seen, made of blue Star Metal, Adamantine, rarest in all the Wild Lands, a ring of star metal formed to resemble a shock, a thin clear spindle of crystal, and a sack made of strange clothe, unlike anything we’d ever seen.

Feeling we had won our share of bounty for the day we returned to our camp and discerned what magic properties the items held.

The hammer was of the first circle of power and went to Thormm, rightfully so. The ring would protect its wearer from lightning and Brus was not as hardy as I, so he took it. The crystal could sustain a man so he need not eat or drink. Korgan took that as his trophy. I took the sack, which could hold far more than it seemed. We thought we were tricked, for our haul in the Tower had been great.

We rested and returned to climb higher up the massive monolith on the Mountain. More sets of rungs led further up another vertical shaft, so we took the northern side. Again we found a landing and corridor and followed it to an open door.

This time Thormm took his turn and stepped first into the glistening metal chamber. He walked past a pile of rubble and froze in his tracks.

The dwarf backpedaled out of the chamber and I readied a ray of heat to blast whatever the dwarf was so afraid of. Then it came around the corner.

Its face was that of a squid, horrid and piercing was its gaze. My hands shook at the sight of it and my ray of fire fizzled as it touched the purple mottled flesh of the creature. It, in turn, wriggled its tentacled maw at us. My mind erupted with fire and I could do nothing. My magic Star Metal dagger fell from my grasp.

I remember its inky mind washing over mine and thinking it was a better friend to I than my companions. We tied up the rest of them then suddenly everything went black…
dudebird
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#28001
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  
The Brain Eater, the Vulture Demon and Thormm’s Fate



Attending Heroes:

-Golth the Northman
-Korgan the Cutter
-Alundelm the Zoo Keeper
-Cyatris the Dwarven Wanderer
-Holy Man Charles “Scab” Mclure
-Brus the Blade
-Dwarven Champion Thormm Hammerfist
-Zarmodius Black-Tongue, Dunael Wizard of the Mermist Swamp

As I learned later from Scab, the whole morning of our plight he had had visions sent from his lord Sinakad, the great savior of those who are trapped. He’d seen visions of his companions under great darkness and evil and of the ancient temple on the mountaintop throbbing with malevolent power. As he and the two druids reached the pinnacle of Lemur Mountain Scab saw a beacon of light upon the dark alien stone temple and they made their way there.

As they approached we were awoken from unconciousness by bright light and heard the sounds of the brain eater intoning blasphemous rites. We were laid upon the altar where we had slain the writhing mass of tentacles. A black mass was swirling beyond the altar, swallowing the light in the room, turning it into a kaleidoscopic darkness. We were neck deep in #@%%.



The brain eater turned his attention to the light of Sinakad that poured in the ornate archway, so Brus, Korgan, Thormm and I struggled with our bonds. We could hear the sounds of our brethren, hurling spells ineffectively at the brain eater. Brus was first to snap his bonds, Korgan cursed and snarled as he tried again and again. Thormm split his bonds and soon had cut through mine.



Our friends had driven the Squidman back into the temple, and I saw the sacred light from Mclure’s hand burn out as it struck.



The mind flayer turned toward us, it’s tentacles wriggling and writhing. They were like fire in my mind. Thousands of worms squirmed and thrashed about in my head. I nearly choked on my tongue as my fingers went taut and white.

Through the squirming and writhing worms in my skull I vaguely remember flashes of Trollhammer in Brus’ hand, and Sinakad’s Sacred Blade, and the Mindeater vanishing into inky darkness. The twisting kaleidoscopic blackness before the altar grew deeper and hotter.



In an instant the fascinating light focused and a massive scaly vulture headed horror stood before us. It called out in common tongue that sounded perverted by its malevolence “I’ll slaughter some of you and take the rest back to the demon-lands.”

All hell broke loose. I was still reeling and trying to tear the worms from my skull. Others told me later that the demon had bent space and appeared next to Alundelm, licked the still stunned elf who was clutching at his skull as I was.



When I came to my senses I was on the ground at the foot of the demon. I tried my invisibility trick, but couldn’t remember the right words under pressure. I cursed and rolled backwards, hoping I could catch the vulture demon off guard. My gambit paid off and I fled toward Scab, whose spiritual weapon was slashing away.



Korgan was in the thick of it, and was torn by a claw in the belly and a talon across the shoulder. Three hippogriffs were circling the demon, but all of them were covered in a dense layer of fungus that grew out of all of their orifices.



I knew time was of the essence, so I sped us all up. I was glad I did when Korgan leveled three whopping blows seconds later. Scab called a sacred lion from his lord’s realm, and Brus bolstered our spirits with talk of great feasts and celebrations.



The demon leapt back and with a quick gesture brought forth five kaleidoscopic images of himself. Thormm swung twice and shattered two of the images. Trollhammer found its mark as Brus sprung forward and stabbed the demon. Korgan leveled three more attacks, two of which shattered images, the last finding it’s mark. Scab’s lion tried to no avail to up end the demon.



Alundelm had finally come to, and had summoned a large owl and a satyr. The demon took a lead from the elf and incanted unholy words, calling on his brethren to aid him. We must’ve been under Sinakad’s keeping that day, for no others heeded his call.



Thormm’s hammer glanced off the scales of the demon and it screeched and laughed. Alundelm’s beasts had it surrounded, so it stepped through its door through space and appeared outside the temple. Korgan, all covered in the moldy spores of the demon chased after it.

I launched a fireball outside, but the flames didn’t even hurt the vrock. Alundelm’s beasts followed and he called a bat to help him as well, but none could hurt the demon. The demon made mirrors of itself again, and we cursed.



Before anyone knew the demon had bent space and appeared next to Scab and I, with his cosmic kaleidoscopic selves circling about him. Spores shot out from his hideous scales, and they latched onto all of our exposed skin. The spores immediately took root and started growing, letting off a sulfurous smell. Alundelm’s Roadshow of Nature’s Beasts came surging forward, each clawing or biting the images that circled about.



Thormm and Korgan came dashing forward just as the demon let out an ear-shattering screech. All of our company but the two druids were left staggering. The demon took the moment to glamer up more mirrors about it.



When I came to I remembered the wand, and called the spinners of Yezud to bind the demon in their webs. It worked, but the demon was cunning. He delicately invoked his step through space right out of the webs and right next to me.

I was @%%!**. I got the hell outta there, calling “rally around Scab, let’s make our last stand.” It was do or die.





Alundelm’s wild circus surged forward, taking out the last couple images, but none hurting the demon. Thormm finally reached the demon but his attack was batted aside by a claw. Brus slashed with Trollhammer, but the blade didn’t even break its skin. It was grim.

Then it got worse. The demon leapt at Mclure, our last hope, and tore open his guts with three gruesome talons. The Tharbrian went down, grasping his ram’s head symbol. Our light had gone out.



It was then Alundelm felt brave. His bestiary attacked to no avail. He dashed forward and attacked with Beytnorn’s Thorn, but it was pointless. Our foe was beyond us.

The demon lashed out at Thormm now, biting clawing, raking, smashing him, but the dwarf weathered it. Such a pummeling he took that dark day on Lemur Mountain.

Korgan attacked but barely cut the thing with his greatsword. Thormm tried again to smash it, but was repelled. My tricks were all used up, so I began to prepare for the worst. I cloaked myself in illusion and dashed over to Mclure to see if he was breathing yet.

My heart was lifted when I felt the healer’s faint pulse, and I hurriedly dug through a pouch to find a potion to heal his wounds. I turned about in time to see the demon lash out with a talon at Thormm and behead the brave Hammerfist dwarf. I was almost sick. The massive vulture of death whirled upon Korgan and smote him as well. The Tharbrian was pounded by its claws, but he stood.



Korgan the Cutter knew he must slay the thing. He loosed an onslaught of whirling chops, cutting the demon over its thigh and belly. Again he attacked and gouged at the beak of the demon.

With a piercing shriek the demon used its space door and disappeared, leaving us, the battered and dead, in that lonely alien place.

One of ours had fallen, and Mclure had been close. Never had any of us seen such a foe. A Vrock from the demon-lands, near Thormm’s home, had slain him and sent him on his way to Rosmerta’s side.

We bound up the dwarf and bore his body back to our camp. Our spirits were black and no one said much. The next morning wasn’t much better. There was mention of a temple to Rosmerta in Chacban, to the north, so we decided to honor our fallen friend and take his remains there.

The gloom of the morning persisted through the day as we headed along the roadside. As we neared Onhir we overtook a strange looking man. He was robed in simple garb, and bore a stave. Sigils traced in mud were about his face. I took him for a shaman, but soon learned he was a Dunael wizard from the Mermist Swamp.

His name was Zarmodius Black-Tongue. He took immediate note of my nature and addressed me, offering to join us for a time to share lore, adventure and treasure. I saw an opportunity to learn from the Swamp Wizard, so I agreed. He is not yet as learned as I, but his repetoire is cunning. I will learn much from him.

We passed through Onhir and continued toward Anatal. A massive jungle cat thought to eat us on the way, but Zarmodius and I burnt the hell out of it. Alundelm had tried to talk to the thing and it had pounced on him, dragging him down bleeding and dying. Korgan came to the elf’s aid and with two slashes had split the tiger’s skull.

We made Anatal before dark and arranged lodgings. The elven songsmith Applemoon Silvercreek was still there, and when he saw that we bore Thormm’s body he promised to compose a requiem for the brave dwarf. When the elf performed the song Cyatris and I could not hold back tears. The dwarf will be missed sorely.

Zarmodius and I took time to scribe scrolls, while Brus asked around about our road ahead. The fastest route to Chacban was down the Rivers Angor and Laer, through the Lagoldurma Jungle. We were told to steer clear of a band of brigands called the Raft-Reavers who ply the river-ways, and the crazed cultists of Gungli-Mar, who are cannibalistic masked headhunters.

We tracked down a flat-bottomed riverboat heading our way, so we paid the captain and tagged along. After a day on the river we saw a small hippopotamus splashing about near the shore.



As we got closer we felt the ship lurch, and suddenly it was overturned, spilling all of us into the deep river. My head went under but I deftly swam ashore, as swimming is second nature to my people.

When I reached the shore I saw a massive hippo sow swallow two of the crew whole then chomp down on Brus’ head. The Tharbrian wrenched free just before his skull was crushed. The hippo must’ve had a taste for Tharbrians, for Korgan was bit twice as well.





I summoned a bison from the Frozen Wastes, and it gored the hippo sow across its flank. Alundelm called down lightning and the Swamp Wizard fired off two green magic bolts. Brus, Cyatris and Alundelm softened the hippo with missiles while the bison halted its progress toward us.



The bison gored the hippo, then two more of Zarmodius’ missiles struck. I blasted fire into the face of the sow and scorched clear through its head. It fell to the mud thrashing and writhing.

The riverboat crew was dead, the sun was going down, and we could see the village of Halafic in the distance. We dove into the murky water and found the strong box of the captain. When we broke it open we found three sapphires and a thousand gold coins.

In the thickening night I was separated from the others, which I later learned would trigger a series of grim and fell turns for them. I would only catch up with my comrades far to the west, at the Gate-Castle Of The Black Sun, near Little Kor.
dudebird
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#28002
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 10 Months ago  
This was a great Read. I wish my players would take the time to do this. Very Nice. I felt like I was in the game and had played for weeks in this game. Really nice.

-Shadox
Shadox
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We Search our whole life never finding what we were searching for...
Over 143 Sets (Expanding), 300+ Loose Pieces (Expanding), 11,000 plastic figures (Expanding), 1,000 metal figures (350 actually painted)
 
#28003
The Annals of Golth the Northman 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
This was a great Read. I wish my players would take the time to do this. Very Nice. I felt like I was in the game and had played for weeks in this game. Really nice.

-Shadox

Thanks a lot.

We all feel it adds a to the game. You remember every part. I even pass out a session summary quiz to players in my game, so that NPCs, places, people, and most importantly good "one liners" get remembered.

I've been doing it steadily for a while. Check out another of the player's in my game's journal in this thread...

www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?pid=29139#p29139
dudebird
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