THE NINE ALIGNMENTS

Alignments have always been a headache for me in D&D. However, this method seems to be effective for determining alignment in playing characters. The information from this article exists already, so I am not introducing anything new. The information is in the SRD for D&D 3.5 but I’m just adding some of my thoughts. And since the words associated with each alignment are easily understood, it sometimes helps the players define their characters easily. Alignments have their place in D&D … so let’s find a way to make them useful to advance role-playing.

Remember that in Original 1977 D&D, the first five alignments are the standard alignments for player characters. The three evil alignments along with True Neutral are intended for monsters and villains.

Sign Post

The nine distinct alignments define all the possible combinations of the lawful–chaotic axis with the good–evil axis. Each alignment description below depicts a typical character of that alignment. Remember that individuals vary from this norm, and that a given character may act more or less in accord with his or her alignment from day to day. Use these descriptions as guidelines to promote role-playing, not as scripts to punish players and pigeonhole characters.

Just remember that when you’re discussing alignment, you are talking about A+B not just A. It’s a mash up of a character’s view of society (A) plus his/her moral code (B.) So if a character tends to follow the law to the best of his/her ability within society, that makes the character Lawful. That’s A. Then if the character’s moral code tends to lend towards doing “Good” things then that makes the character Good. That’s B. So adding A+B comes out to what we call Lawful Good.

So if I described my character as a “Rebel With A Cause” instead Chaotic Good, does that help bring my character a bit more to life?

Continue reading “THE NINE ALIGNMENTS”

NEXUS: THE END

dndlogodndTHE NEXUS CAMPAIGN


 I am Gardain Glimmerstone, a faithful servant of Dumathoin, Dwarven God of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. I was sent on the Nexus Expedition to act as a healer. Our mission was simple. We were to enter a planar gateway, and to secure resources in a newly discovered domain. We had done this sort of mission several times before. We made landing in Nexus with an Expeditionary Force of 4000 souls. We attempted to the secure the city and within a day’s time the majority of our Company was wiped out. Now, those of us who remain struggle to survive in this odd, unfamiliar landscape. We continued to follow orders, exploring the domain and securing resources.  After a year’s time, the planar gateway was scheduled to reopen and return us home.

By our count … we have three days.

Gardain's Logbook
Gardain’s Logbook

Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. Preparation for Extraction.

Ψ I have prayed for guidance from my god, Dumathoin, the Keeper of Deep Secrets, and he has told us that we have two days to prepare for extraction before the gate opens to return us home. However, by my calculations, and the calculations of my advisors, we have three days. Again, the lack of night and the strange passing of time makes it difficult to manage time properly. We all agreed that we would prepare for the Gate to reopen in two days which seemed to be the most logical course at this point.

We placed members of our Company in each key location, leaving them with enough manpower to gather supplies and prepare for extraction when the Gate opened. The Druid remained in charge of the Water Node and  Ant Farm, the Barbarian remained at the Mines, the Human Ranger was put in charge of the Hive, the Assassin remained at Highmark with our wounded and the Mindflayer ship, and the Paladin took charge of the Fire Node.

We agreed that finding a place equidistant to each of the key locations. Our Elven Ranger took on his task with his natural talent of understanding landscape and navigation. He chose a spot within a large cluster of stones featuring a large flat area to place the amulet and inscribe the proper sigils for the Gate.

As preparations were being made by my comrades, I continued to seek guidance in prayer, using a small choice of spells to ease my mind. Preparations were progressing well, and I spoke with our wizards to find out more about the amulet that was the focus for the Gate’s return. While inspecting the amulet, I realized that it did not seem right. I conferred with my companion, the Elven Mage, to confirm my doubts.

This was not the amulet. It was an ensorcered copy. Apparently Krell had given me a decoy and kept the other for himself. In discussing this with the others we all agreed that Krell had been affected time and again by forces we did not understand on this Plane. He had suffered some kind of psychic attack when he was crystalized at the beginning of the expedition, and then he had brokered a deal with a powerful Dragonic spectre to get us an advantage in the mine.

We all decided to return to the Mines to confront Krell and recover, at all costs, the amulet. The amulet was the key to our departure from this accursed Plane.

Arriving at the Mines, we were confronted by Gnoll guards. Two of them strung their bows, preparing the fire on us while two others fled probably to warn the main village. Our clever Elven Mage cast a spell that held the four Gnolls fast within webbing. We killed three of the mangy creatures, and I invoked the power of Dumathoin to dominate the remaining Gnoll. I ordered it to take us to Krell, and it obeyed.

We found that the Gnolls had disabled Dray’s work on the door that sealed them in and were now occupying the Dwarven village. The forges were hard at work, Gnolls manning them. The entire operation was being overseen by a large Mountain Troll named Grock.

 We confronted Grock. We introduced ourselves, somewhat aggressively, as the Masters of the Mine. The Elven Ranger berated him for a time, intimidating the Troll and revealing that Krell had only recently put the monster in charge of the Forges. We explained that the Gnoll guards were ineffective and so we had killed them. Grock responded by killing the Gnoll that had led us this far, and then agreed to take us into the “Outer Dark” to find Krell.

Grock took us into the deeper caverns where we had met the undead host. He explained that he would go no further and departed. My comrades searched the area for clues and treasure, while I pulled out the small silver wand and attempted to make mental contact with Krell. I was successful, and saw a grassy field with Krell and a woman in an embrace. The woman looked at me, and said forcefully “He doesn’t want to talk to you now!” An suddenly the contact between myself and the Barbarian was severed.

I awoke on my knees with my comrades surrounding me. I explained what I had tried to do and the outcome. This served to further settle in our minds that the Barbarian was a traitor, willing or not, and would have to be dealt with appropriately. His deals with Evil had overcome him. He would need to be purged of its influence.

Moving on, we travelled through the caverns we finally returned to the place where we encountered the Ropers. We continued to explore these deeper tunnels, being wary of danger but keeping in mind that time was an issue.

At one point, we arrived in a forest of giant mushrooms. I immediately recognized it as a colony farm of Myconids, or fungus men. They are a race of intelligent fungi that live in remote reaches underground, far away from others. They are cautious creatures that deplore violence, with the exception of those who join adventuring parties and stray from home. 

MYCONID
MYCONID

I informed my comrades that we would not be harmed by the Myconids if we did not disturb their territory and continued of directly. Everyone agreed to keep moving. We could see the small white creatures moving throughout the area watching us, but they made no attempt to hinder us. However, we did notice that a few began to follow us, probably watching for any violation to their farm or colony, but they remained afar off.

I started to keep an eye on the giant mushrooms around us, expecting to see at least one Shrieker. I had no idea if this Plane had Drow, but if these things were the slaves of creatures akin to Drow, or even Lizardfolk, many times they will plant Shriekers within the Mushroom forests.

A shrieker is a stationary fungus that emits a loud noise to attract prey or when disturbed. Shriekers live in dark, subterranean places, often in the company of violet fungi, whose poison they are immune, working together to attract and kill prey. However, I saw none as we moved through the fungi forest. However, I did notice a strange mushroom the size of an oak tree decorated with exotic colors and jewels.

Again, I warned my companions to keep moving as we needed to recover the amulet as soon as possible. I looked closer at the odd mushroom and only by the grace of the Three Gods I was able to discern the danger of it. It was, of course, a Dryad and its anchor.

Dryads are linked and bound to a single, special plant that serves as a source of its power. Shy, intelligent, and resolute, dryads are as elusive as they are alluring—they avoid physical combat and are rarely seen unless they wish to be and usually not for reasons beyond devouring a wayward adventurer or charming them to do their bidding.

I felt the creature’s influence as I meet its gaze. Even at this distance, I felt the power that the Fey employed. I resisted by sheer force of stubborn Dwarven will, and moved along behind my Elven friends, giving the Fey a scowl as I left.

Clearly the Mushroom Men and the Dryad had a partnership. I would have to remember to issue orders that this place not be touched when the Recovery Team came to plunder resources.

After what seemed like several hours of exploration, we came to a gigantic cavern. It reminded me of the tales of Drow cities in the Underdark. It was a huge domed cavern with a lake, and a mass of rocks at its middle. I could see a tower one those rocks, and I peered with my eyeglass to get a better look.

Amazingly, we were joined by our companion the Human Knight. He had used his well trained steed to catch up to us and explained that he was there to show his support against Krell and his traitorous actions. We welcomed him back into the Company and continued on after a very short rest.

Meanwhile, I whispered a prayer to Dumathoin, calling forth divine magic that would act as a Death Ward. I had used the spell many times on Krell in the past, but now it would serve to protect me from him. Surely, this dark tower was where the Barbarian now called his home.

I could see there was a large tower with flickering lights within and a dock below. I could see men and skeletons moving back and forth on the dock, gathering together supplies. I reported this to my companions, but then a frightening roar filled the cavern as a small pack of albino cave apes rushed from somewhere at the back of the cavern.

My companions immediately engaged them, although the Elven Mage pointed out that there were things moving in the water coming from the center of the lake where the tower stood. One of the Elves, I’m not sure which one thinking back now, informed me that magic had been cast that would not only allow us to breathe under the water, but also walk on it as if it were solid stone. Amazed, I stepped out and found that I did not sink.

While my companions battled with the apes, I focused my attention of whatever it was that was coming at us on the flank from the water. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but I assumed that this was a coordinated attack. As I continued to peer at the murky water, I was finally able to make our that it was Lizardfolk riding giant reptile steeds. There were two steeds, and four Lizardfolk.

I have no love for Lizardfolk.

I heard a gust of flames, and a bright light coming from the corner of my eye. I glanced towards my nearby comrades to see that they were making short work of the apes. To my surprise, I saw that the monsters were now encircled in a magic Wall of Flames. Shaking my head with a small smile, I realized that the advantage of stealth would no longer be on our side. I shouted to my companions that we were being flanked from the water.

I called on Dumathoin again, blasting a burning flame of radiant sunlight from my fingertip at the first giant steed. It burned the creature’s flesh and caused to to cry out. I hefted my mace and rushed forward, only half hearing the Ranger shouting out that I should not hurt the animals. Rolling my eyes a bit, I raised my Illithid-steel mace and smashed it into the shoulder of one of the oncoming Lizardfolk.

 It didn’t take long to defeat the Lizardfolk once my comrades joined in. The Elven Ranger used an enthralling power to befriend the two giant lizard steeds. We contined to the tower as quickly as we could, only to find that they were mustering a defense with a shaman and his pet Behir.

We were able to hide under the water from the larger force that left the tower courtyard looking for us. Our Elven Mage used a combination of Invisibility and Flight to scout on the area for us. When they were far enough away, we entered the courtyard using Dimension Door spells.

While our Ranger and Knight used through ranged weapons to drop foe after foe with expertly placed shots, the Mage and I rained down death on the Gnolls and the Behir with the best destructive spells we had in our repertoire. Fireballs and Ice Storms rained down on the enemy. The Gnolls fell quickly, but the Behir was more complicated an enemy.

The behir is a serpentine monster that are about 40 feet long and weighs about 4,000 pounds. It can fold its limbs close to its long, narrow body and slither in snake fashion if it desires but more often it appears to be a huge dragon-like centipede. The coloration of behirs ranges from ultramarine to deep blue with bands of gray-brown. The two large horns curving back over the head look dangerous but are actually used for preening the creature’s scales, not for fighting. It usually attempts to consume its enemies by swallowing them whole. But worst of all, it can breathe bolts of lighting much like a blue dragon.

The monster’s lightning wounded each of us, and before I knew it the Knight was bitten and held within its crunching maw, and the Ranger was ensnared in it’s constricting tail. With the Gnolls defeated, it did not take long for the Behir to fall to our joint efforts. I was pleased to see that although all of us took some damage from the battle, none of us were seriously injured.

We could see a bright blue light glimmering at the top of the dark tower, and heard chanting coming from above. As I called on my god’s might to open another Dimension Door that would transport us to the top of the tower, the Mage flew upwards to the top to see what was happening.

The top of the tower was flat allowing for the ritual that was taking place. Using the wands that allow us to communicate telepathically, the Mage explained that there was an altar with several cultists surrounding it. A leader was in the process of lifting up a hammer to shatter the amulet which was laying on the altar. Off to the side was a throne where Krell sat, transfixed. He was cut in several places allowing his blood to flow freely along grooves that filled the sigils and runes around the altar.

I knew right away it was a blood ritual, and I was fearful that we were too late. And then the top of the tower flared with magical flame and an explosion rocked the entire rocky outcropping holding the tower in place. We all looked up to see that the Mage had dropped a Fireball on the top of the tower. We all laughed, and stepped through the Dimension Door.

We appeared on the tower to find that the cultist were still recovering from the blast of the Fireball. The Ranger dived forward and recovered the amulet, tossing it to me. I put the amulet on, and began chanting a prayer to Dumathoin to destroy these heathen clerics. I called on one of my most potent offensive spells, creating a Blade Barrier.

I pointed my finger at the altar, calling forth an immobile, vertical curtain of whirling blades shaped of pure force to spring into existence. The blades bit and slashed into each of the cultists, soon leaving them in pieces on their own altar. Once they were all dead, I dismissed the barrier.

We all took stock of the situation, and I handed the amulet over to the Mage for verification that it was the true amulet that we sought. Using his magic, he was able to confirm it easily. We all looked over at the same time to see Krell stand up from the throne, groggy but conscious.

The Barbarian stood there near the throne and seemed confused. I walked forward, and extended my hand to him. He took it, shaking lightly. He was severely injured, cut in several places for the blood ritual. It was obvious that he had suffered during the dark ritual.

“What happened,” he said weakly. “Where am I?”

I sighed, and reached up to pat him lightly on the shoulder. “You have no memory of what happened?”

He told me no. He didn’t remember anything that happened. I looked to my companions. It was likely that the Barbarian was telling the truth. He had been the instrument of some greater Evil. A witless pawn.

I turned back to him. I sighed again. “I wish I could believe you,” I said. And then in a sudden move, I shoved him with all my might. Surprised, and weakened, the Barbarian could not stop himself from being shoved off the edge of the tower.

I watched as he fell, and saw the splash as he hit the murky water of the lake below. “I don’t want to talk to you anymore,” I said as I walked to join my comrades.

We returned to the surface and returned to the spot that had been chosen for the Gate. All things ended well, you see, as the gate did finally open for us. Our people strode through the glimmering Gateway and we gave them our reports. I also gave them my other logbook containing information for each site, the resources there, and instructions for gathering goods.

Finally, the mission was over. As I walked through the Gateway to return home, I knew in the pit of my being that I was a different person. I had not been affected by the blue crystal or sold my soul to a powerful Evil being, however the mission had still warped me through and through. I had been affected by this mysterious world. And I hoped never to return to the godforsaken place.

Ω

NEXUS: THE ECSTASY OF BETRAYAL

dndlogodndTHE NEXUS CAMPAIGN


 

Gardain's Logbook
Gardain’s Logbook

I am Gardain Glimmerstone, a faithful servant of Dumathoin, Dwarven God of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. I was sent on the Nexus Expedition to act as a healer. Our mission was simple. We were to enter a planar gateway, and to secure resources in a newly discovered domain. We had done this sort of mission several times before. We made landing in Nexus with an Expeditionary Force of 4000 souls. We attempted to the secure the city and within a day’s time the majority of our Company was wiped out. Now, those of us who remain struggle to survive in this odd, unfamiliar landscape. We continued to follow orders, exploring the domain and securing resources. After a year’s time, the planar gateway was scheduled to reopen and return us home.

 


UNDEAD LEGION
UNDEAD LEGION

ψ  NEXUS EXPEDITION, THE MINES, ONE WEEK UNTIL EXTRACTION

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Dwarf Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Elf Mage
  3. Krell: Human Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Human Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Human Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Elf Ranger
  7. Falion: Human Paladin
  8. Dray: Dwarf Assassin

I awoke early and began my prayers to Dumathoin. Afterwards, I ate some of my rations along with some of the dried meat and fruits were had gathered during the mission. I talked with the Company about our next move. The majority wished to take action against the Vampire Lord and his undead legion. I was not against this idea as I did not enjoy the idea of aligning with those creatures in the first place. However, one must do what one must do to survive.

Krell asked me to look at one of his plunders from the pillar mine room. It was a large blue diamond. It was nearly perfect, although it seemed to have a unique flaw within its core. Staring deeper, I saw that it glowed with a dim blue light. Suddenly, I could feel the hairs on my neck stand on end. This gem held Charming magic. Luckily, my Dwarven Logic allowed me to resist it’s allure. I told Krell that it was magical and dangerous. He grunted, and grabbed the gem from my hand. I attempted to react by swatting the diamond from the Human’s grip but failed. I explained my suspicions about the gem to Dray. The blue light seemed too much like the light from the tower that turned our Company into cyrstal. This was no coincidence. It was somehow linked.

I turned my thoughts to the planning at hand. We sent word to Thoven and Fanrael to join us for the raid into the Vampire’s Lair. Falion and Eilora would remain with a small detachment to secure the Ant Farm. The six of us gathered in a small circle. Thoven would lead the Ship’s Labor Golems through the Skull Gate Golem using the Amulet given to us by the Vampire. Meanwhile, the rest of us would Teleport into the chamber and take the undead by surprise. We would call on the Fire Elemental to slay the Skull Gate Golem. Thoven and the Golems would arrive from the other side of the conflict, hopefully helping to flank the enemy. With any luck, we would destroy the Vampire. With its demise, we hoped the army would be defeated as well. 

I called on Dumathoin’s divine might to Death Ward Krell, Dray, and Aeranthalus. Fanrael cast magical spells to make us Invisible, and then Teleported us into the Vampire’s Lair. At that point, Fanrael triggered his spell to make us move with complete Silence. Everyone slipped into vantage points, selecting targets. When time was of the essence, I rushed forward towards the dias where the Vampire sat on his throne. My actions broke the spells of Silence and Invisibility as I raised my Hammer in one hand, and my holy symbol in the other, crying out to Dumathoin, condemning the vile creatures before me. I hoped that my prayers would be answered, Turning the Undead from me.

The Vampire cried out in anger at our betrayal. He was not Turned, but the Death Knight, Dread Wight, and Lich were affected by the sudden revelation of Dumathoin’s wrath. The Lich and Wight fled, while the Death Knight retreated into the gathered legion of Skeletons and Zombies. I stood my ground as my companions launched their attacks. Thankfully, Fanrael’s magic was able to hold the Vampire enthralled for a moment with Telekinesis. I watched from the corner of my eye as Krell leapt out of hiding and his eyes flared a brilliant blue color. Suddenly, somehow, he took control of a large percentage of the undead legion. Skeletons and Zombies fell on each other with rusty blades and tearing claws. They dog-piled the Death Knight, crushing them in their massive wake.

Thoven was there, at the back of the chamber, raining arrows into the bodies of the undead. The Golems were smashing a path through the Zombies and Skeletons. My attention was drawn back to the Vampire when I heard Krell scream.

Krell lunged forward, smashing his massive maul into the Vampire’s body again and again. The barbarian was in a rage, snarling andf grunting like a beast. Blood smeared his body. Although I was momentarily dazed by Krell’s actions, I had sense enough to raise my shield and move out of the way as Dray charged in on his Ant Mount. Like a Human knight on a horse, he raised his lance towards the Vampire. The creature was too fast though, and managed to avoid the crushing blow by turning into a swirling mist. I saw the mist float towards the ceiling, and raised my holy symbol again. Searing radiant light shot from my gem as I called out to my God. I watched as the light burned though the mist, consuming the vampire. I watched, and the creature evaporated before my eyes.

I turned to see that my comrades had defeated the Death Knight. Dray sliced the creature’s hand from its body, causing its monstrous sword to fall to the ground.With that, the battle was over. With their masters defeated, the lesser undead stood still. They had no further commands to follow.

It seemed, at least for the time being, we had won the day. We were alive. Our enemies were defeated.

We had tasted the ecstasy of betrayal.

ψ

dndfighter

NEXUS CAMPAIGN

NEXUS: TEMPLE OF THE FIRE GOD

dndlogodnd

Read more about the NEXUS campaign here.


Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.


Gardain Glimmerstone
Gardain Glimmerstone

Ψ Nexus Expedition, The Mines, One Week Until Extraction

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Dwarf Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Elf Mage
  3. Krell: Human Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Human Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Human Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Elf Ranger
  7. Falion: Human Paladin
  8. Dray: Dwarf Assassin

 

Our encounter with the Ropers left me exhausted in mind, body, and spirit. Dray woke me after about an hour of sleep. I roused myself, and took stock of the Company. They had made good use of the healing potions I provided to them earlier in the expedition. After eating two of the “Good Berries” provided by Aeranthalus, I packed my things and was ready to continue our exploration of these pillar mine caves.

I found that Krell had spent the better part of the hour collecting gems from pillars. Dray had watched him as I asked. Actually, the barbarians greed had led to the discovery of a diamond which Dray provided to me. I had mentioned to him that I needed a large uncut diamond for a ritual to resurrect the dead. I feared that this would be needed before long with our ill luck on this expedition.

Before long, Krell returned from his gem hunting in haste. It took only seconds for us to realize why he was running. We saw two large tentacles slither down the corridor into the room behind him. Obviously, Krell had discovered a huge Roper, perhaps the mother of the others we previously encountered.

Krell, the Barbarian
Krell, the Barbarian

Our battle with the huge Roper went better than with the others. I believe intense fear fueled our actions. Dray and Aeranthalus riddled the monster with poisoned arrows. Krell and I worked in tandem. I placed a Death Ward upon him, and then he acted as a human shield to get me within range of the Roper. I cast two Fireballs at the thing, searing and burning its flesh. It was impossible to miss due to its size. In the end, Krell lunged at the thing and smashed it with his maul until it was dead. The entire melee was fast and furious.

 Krell gutted the huge creature, discovering a few minor magical items which I discerned with divine power to Detect Magic. To my dismay, Krell uncovered the skeletal remains of two more Dwarves. As it was my duty, I would lay them to rest as well.

We found another dias, much like the one with the water elemental near the Ant Farm. Our Elves comrades were able to determine that this was a sacred device to a fire elemental. Summoning it, I watched as my companions struck a deal with the Elemental creature. It would provide us with a boon in exchange for the sacrifice of the undead creatures. Additionally, the fire elemental would strike at our command to destroy the bone golem that served the vampire and its legions.

In the end, we had aligned ourselves with yet another creature in order to betray the vampire were struck a bargain with only hours ago. It was the course of action that our Company wanted to take, and so I supported them. As they finished there deal, the elemental revealed that these pedestals can be used to move from location to location. If we could discover more about the platforms, we could move from the water temple near the Ant Farm to the fire temple here in the Mines. Also, the elemental revealed the location of a third temple, that of magma in a volcano on a nearby island.

As my companions prepared to camp for the night, I began my burial rituals for the remains of the two Dwarves. Two more souls welcomed to the halls of Dumathoin, and the kingdom of Moradin. After my duties were fulfilled, I layed down to get some much needed rest.

One more week. Dumathoin help us, just for one more week.

DnD_Background_Cavern

 

 

 

 

 

NEXUS: ROPERS IN THE DARKNESS

dndlogodnd

Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.


dndbookexalteddeeds


COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Dwarf Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Elf Mage
  3. Krell: Human Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Human Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Human Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Elf Ranger
  7. Falion: Human Paladin
  8. Dray: Dwarf Assassin

Ψ  Nexus Expedition, The Mines. One Week Before Gate Opens.

We came to this plane on a mission for our homeland. we were to secure resources. in my opinion, this mission has been a failure. we have experienced unexpected outcomes at every turn. now, we have managed to strike a deal with a vampire lord to deliver him an impossible amount of minthril in two weeks time. why we continue to entangle ourselves with this realm, I have no idea. Perhaps my comrades have decided that the gate home with certainly not open for us. Perhaps they have decided that we are trapped in this Domain. I refuse to give up hope. We have a week until the planar gate opens to return us home. We simply must secure what resources we can within a week’s time.

After some discussion, we decided to continue exploring the Mines. There was a series of caves that had not yet been delved. We checked in with Eilora Arroway at the Ant Farm using the odd magical wands which allow us to communicate telepathically. All appeared well at the Farm.

As my companions discussed what they wanted to do with exploring the caves, I closed my eyes and whispered prayers to Dumathoin to keep us all safe. I opened my eyes and gazed at my holy symbol. It was a large emerald, etched with a design of a cut, faceted gem inside of a mountain. It seemed to be somehow faded. I carefully kissed the gem, and continued my prayers. Before long, I sensed that there was not as much activity around me. I opened my eyes to see Dray standing patiently for me to end my meditations. He informed me that the Company was ready to proceed.

Fanrael Malwesal and Thoven Serpenthelm returned to the ship. They planned to report on our progress and make sure that all was well. Hopefully the odd ship with Kobolds and Urd had not returned.

We entered the cave cautiously, knowing that the Gnolls and Bugbears had warned us of the Ropers in this network of caves. Dray, Thoven, and Aeranthalus entered first, using their stealth to scout the area. After about twenty minutes passed, they returned to inform us that it was a large pillar mine room. There were two small and one medium Roper nearby which were feeding on vermin.

ROPER
ROPER

 Dray had formulated a plan. Aeranthalus called in a large rat. I am unsure if it was by magic or simple Elven wiles. Dray afixed a small container of paralysis poison on the rat. Then Aeranthanlus persuaded the rat to enter the caves. We all watched at the mouth of the cave as the rat moved siftly forward to be grappled by the larger Roper of the three, and devoured. Within moments, the Roper became sluggish and then fell unmoving to the floor of the cave. The other two Ropers seemed to think this was strange and became more animated and alert.

Our Company sprang into action. Dray and Krell rushed into the chamber, hiding behind pillars. Aranthalas entered the room next, but the Ropers took notice of him almost immediately. The creatures hurled themselves forward. I moved to intercept, pulling the Elf backwards. “Cover your eyes,” I shouted in the Common language. I brandished my holy symbol and called on Dumathoin to shine shine the Radiance of Dawn. Light flared throughout the dark cavern, and the Ropers were seared by the might of the Dwarf God.

My companions had become accustomed to me taking this course of action. Creatures of darkness hate the light. Krell fell on the larger Roper, and smashed it again and again with his huge maul. Dray sprinkled the smaller Ropers with arrows while Aranthalas slashed repeatedly at the creature’s long tentacles.

dndroper1
A roper hunts by standing very still and imitating a bit of rock. This tactic often allows it to attack with surprise. When prey comes within reach, it lashes out with its strands. In melee, it bites adjacent opponents with its powerful maw.

Krell was in a rage. He finished smashing the larger Roper. Covered in its blood, he turned to watch as Dray and I were entangled by the frenzied Ropers. Aranthalas gashed deeply into one of the tentacles holding Dray. I watched fearly as the creature started to reel me in towards its shark-like maw. I called on divine power to Inflect Critical Wounds. Although I was entangled, I was able to touch the tentacle. Large oozing sores opened all over the Roper’s body, causing it to roar in pain. I glanced over in time to see Krell grab a tentacle of the other Roper and pull it roughly to the ground. Although the barbarian continued to slam his maul into the Roper’s frame, it still managed to pull Dray into its maw and swallow him whole.

I cried out for Dray, but then focused on my own impending doom. The Roper dragged me close, and bit me with it’s slobbering maw. It’s teeth grinded on my armor, and then shoved me fully into it’s horrible mouth. I found myself within the creature, no longer tangled in it’s tentacle. It continued to move, but I pointed my holy symbol upwards, and cried out for Dumathoin. A beam of pure, searing light shot from the gem and burned the creature from the inside out. Within moments, it collapsed and I was able to force myself out of the Roper. I found that Dray had survived as well, suffering as I did, wounds that could be healed in time.

When the Ropers were gutted, we discovered the corpse of a Dwarf. He was long dead, but his backpack revealed a book that detailed information about his quest in these caves. While Aranthalas read the book, I prepared the Dwarf’s remains and laid him to rest. Dray assisted me. During this time, I called on Dumathoin to use the ability to Speak With Dead. I spoke with the spirit of the Dwarf, finding that he was a Scribe. It took about an hour to lay the Scribe’s body to rest. Afterwards, I took stock of my Funeral Kits. I was down to four. I had layed too many Dwarves to rest on this mission.

I settled down to make camp with the rest of the Company. I talked briefly with Aranthalas about the Scribe’s book, finding that it held some details that would help us while exploring these remaining caves. Also, I found that Krell had been moving throughout the cavern, fishing gems out of the pillars. His actions were those of greed, but he was a mindless Human brute. I asked Dray to keep an eye on him so that the criminal didn’t bring the entire ceiling down on us while we slept. After tending to my wounds and inspecting the damage to me armor, I laid my head down on my shield, propping my sleeping bag under my head like a pillow. I closed me eyes, seeking a little rest. Sleep. It had been so long since I had peaceful sleep.

Roper_for_Total_Party_Kill_by_GreenAirplane
A roper stands some 9 feet tall and tapers from 3 or 4 feet in diameter at the base to 1 foot across at the top. It weighs 2,200 pounds. A roper’s coloration and temperature change to match the features of the surrounding cave.

 

 

 

 

 

NEXUS: TERRIBLE LIE

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Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.

Gardain Glimmerstone
GARDAIN GLITTERSTONE

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Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. The Mines. The Undead Legion.

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
  3. Krell: Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Ranger
  7. Falion: Paladin
  8. Dray: Assassin

Ψ   After recovering from the battle with the Roper, we decided to follow the strange undead creäture made of skulls and bones. It changed shape, into a vague sphere, rolling away from us in the cavern and then down a wide corridor. Following it, I discerned that this was a naturally occurring tunnel, and that we were proceeding slowly down, thus deeper into the mine and the caverns associated with it. We followed it for some time, and then watched as it came to a halt in another cavern. It started to change shape again, creating a barrier, and a passage. The passage seemed like a gauntlet, filled with snapping jawbones, grasping claws, and clattering tibiae. Beyond the barrier, we could see a gathering of undead as if they were holding court. Legions of undead creatures stood in front of a daïs and throne where a vampire lord sat glittering with silver. Flanking him was a wispy wraith woman and a dark death knight with glimmering eyes.

Proceeding to the gathering,  I softly prayed to Dumathoin to protect me from evil. I felt my god’s power fill me with warmth, shielding me from the dread of the undead legions. I prayed this spell twice more, bestowing the same protection to Krell and Fanrael. Krell because his ability to fight might be needed before we escaped this lingering doom, and Fanreal because he was gripped in magical fear emitted by the Death Knight. We realized that we had been lured into a trap, and I finally discerned that the Vampire Lord must have drawn us in with some kind of charm or enthrallment. Now, here in the middle of hundreds of skeletons, zombies, and worse … we were not in the tactic position to attack and slay the vampire. Quickly, our tactic turned to survival.

In the end, we struck a deal with the vampire. We agreed that we would deliver an impossible amount of Minthril to the Vampire Lord as a trade for the life of the Dwarf Lord that leads the Dwarfs who were enslaved in the mine.This, we lied, would be accomplished in 14 days from now. With that, we were permitted to leave.

And now, we are trapped in a forgotten pocket dimension unsure if our employers will be coming back to open the gate to allow us to go home. We have struck a deal with Spire to wipe out a Bugbear encampment. We have captured an Ant Farm. And now … we have struck a deal with a Vampire Lord based on a terrible lie.

Dumathoin help us. It just keeps getting worse.

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The Nexus Campaign Page

NEXUS: Cave of the Ropers

NEXUS: DEEPER DELVE

dndlogodnd

Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.

Gardain Glimmerstone
GARDAIN GLITTERSTONE

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Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. The Mines. Expedition to the Undead Barrier.

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
  3. Krell: Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Ranger
  7. Falion: Paladin
  8. Dray: Assassin

Ψ   After a much needed rest, I met with the rest of the Company outside the Mines. They reported that an unidentified skiff was encountered upon their arrival, but that it rabbited after a brief skirmish. Leaving the Dwarven Ship in Aeranthalus’s command, the rest of the Company followed me into the Mines. I explained recent events with the Gnolls, Dwarves, and the Vampire.

We agreed to explore deeper into the mines to locate the Barrier of Skulls and Bones talked about by the Dwarves. Our Ranger guide, Thoven, used his potent Nature magic to obscure us with a Hunter’s Veil so that any foes would be unable to see our approach. Our expedition led us to a large cavern, the ceiling lost in darkness and our way forward blocked by the macabre wall literally composed of the skeletal remains of different kinds of creatures, writing and chittering with life beyond death.

Staring at the strange undead creature, I decided that I would call upon the power of Dumathoin to Turn the monstrosity from our presence. I touched my holy symbol, and saw Krell toss a rock at the Undead Barrier. It hit solidly, and knocked a jawbone from one of the skulls. I stared at him, frowning fiercely. 

Using a combination of arcane magic, and channeled power from Dumathoin, we were able to force the Undead Barrier back away from us. However, when Dumathoin’s Light filled the cavern, it pierced the magical darkness concealing the ceiling of the cavern. There, lurking on the ceiling, we saw a huge Roper. It was the largest I had ever seen!  A Roper typicality stands some 9 feet tall and tapers from 3 or 4 feet in diameter at the base to 1 foot across at the top. This one was easily 22 feet long!

dndroper1

Most encounters with a roper begin when it fires strong, sticky strands. The creature can have up to six strands at once, and they can strike up to 50 feet away. A roper hunts by standing very still and imitating a bit of rock. This tactic often allows it to attack with surprise. When prey comes within reach, it lashes out with its strands. In melee, it reels in its prey and devours them with its powerful maw. Still stunned, I managed to shout to my companions. 

“FIRE!” I shouted. “BURN IT WITH FIRE!”

ψ

Roper_for_Total_Party_Kill_by_GreenAirplane

ψ  The battle with the gigantic Roper remains a blur to me. I still cannot tell you exactly what happened. I remember only being in shock, and mouthing prayers to my god to help me best serve my Companions. I remember seeing that Thoven and Eilora were grappled right away, and being reeled into the creature’s snapping mouth filled with rows of shark teeth. Krell was lashing out in a rage, cutting at the tentacle strands. I lost sight of Dray, hoping that the assassin would be able to somehow find a vital point on  the titanic monster. Fanrael was chanting in his spidery magic language, unleashing arcane fury –  but eventually he was grappled by the sticky tentacles as well!  I called out to Dumathoin, praying that my Companions would be filled with a Beacon of Hope in this frightening moment of time. Finally, I loaded my atlatl and hurled one of the Illithid-metal javelins to pierce the monster’s eye. Then, I prayed to Dumathoin to heat the metal javelin, searing the monster with the glowing red heat of the metal.  In the end, Dray saved us all. He waited for the most effective moment, and tossed one of his posion bottles into the Roper’s maw. Within moments, the creature was poisoned, and unconscious. With a few precise thrusts, Dray slayed the monster. 

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CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK: DND NEXT PLAYTEST

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NEXUS: THE MINES

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Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.

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dndbookexalteddeeds

Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. The Mines. 

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
  3. Krell: Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Ranger
  7. Falion: Paladin
  8. Dray: Assassin

Ψ   It took some time to secure the Ant Farm, but it was worth it. Although we were unable to secure the city, we now have something to show for our efforts. I have asked Thoven and Eilora to oversee the Farm for now, assuming that their skills will prove fruitful. Krell and his golem warriors have worked at exploring the rest of the Farm complex. Aeranthalus and Falion have been in charge of the ship, making sure that everything remains organized and disciplined.  Meanwhile, I have decided to explore the Mine we spotted while sailing towards Spire. I have decided to ask one of my Kith, to go with me. Dray is a devout follower of Dumathoin, and makes his living as an assassin. I will need his expertise on this expedition.

dray
Dray, Dwarven Assassin

Dray and I used the skiff to sail along the mountains back towards Spire. Along the way we spied packs of Elk being tracked by hunting parties of Trolls. Whenever the Trolls would see our skiff, they would shy away and hide. Along the way, Dray took notes and mapped the area as best he could to add to the information collected previously by Aeranthalus. 

The Mine entrance was partially covered by snow and ice.
The Mine entrance was partly covered by snow and ice.

We arrived at the Mine, and Dray scouted ahead while I positioned the skiff out of easy sight. When I joined my companion, he pointed out fresh footprints near the Mine. Clearly, we were not lucky enough to find the Mine abandoned. It make matters worse, Dray showed me a tuft of hair that he’d found near the Mine opening: Gnoll fur. So the Mine was not only inhabited but likely a den to foul Gnolls. Wonderful.

“Gnolls,” I whispered to Dray as we slowly entered the Mine. “They are hyena-headed creatures that wander in loose tribes. Most have dirty yellow or reddish-brown fur.  The beasts are about 7-1/2 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds.”  I paused, and smiled at Dray. “That stink – that is them. Wet dog mixed with skunk.”

“Priests and their tale-telling. Bah.” Dray didn’t say much more about it. He just gave me a look like he wasn’t concerned. He hurried on ahead of me to continue scouting, using his expert stealth to our best advantage. I followed him to a wye junction where he pointed out a Gnoll guarding a door. I waited while Dray dealt with the guard, and then bypassed the mechanisms locking the door. 

Beyond the door we discovered a Gnoll village where we liberated several Dwarven slaves from captivity. It took great cunning, stealth, and a good measure of grace from Dumathoin to get the job done. We set a trap for them, and ambushed them outside of the village. After rescuing the Dwarves, they explained to us that several more of their kin where being forced to work the forges nearby. They also told us that their leader was being held captive in the village. To top things of, they explained how a Vampire was the Master of the entire mine which apparently had ben converted into a Temple to worship him. 

Gnolls
Gnolls

Discussing the issue, I sent word through the Silver Wand to Fanrael to bring the Spire Loot Ship to the mines. I explained that we had some Dwarf refugees to pick up, but I did not mention the Vampire … for now. After that task was done, Dray and I talked about our next course of action. While we talked, I noticed that one of the Dwarves was pale and sickly looking … enough to suggest that he might have had contact with the Vampire or some of its thralls. We decided to keep a close eye on that one.

Once we had Company back together, I promised myself to hunt down the Vampire. It would take more than Dray and myself to destroy such a foul beast.

We decided to march to the Forges. I called on Dumathoin to raise two of the Gnolls from the dead. They stirred and slowly lifted their frames, staring at me with hungry, dead eyes. These two zombies led the way to the Forges, hopefully giving the impression that they were still acting as guards to the Dwarf slaves. We followed behind the zombies, Dray and I keeping the sickly Dwarf near us. The other Dwarves followed trailed behind us. Before long, Dray split from the group and moved on ahead, using his speed and stealth to his advantage.

The Battle at the Forges went as expected. We managed to get very close before the Gnolls suspected anything. Once they became curious of their companions failing to acknowledge their calls, we were close enough to spring into action. I sent the two Zombie Gnolls our enemies. The creatures lumbered forward, hungry for the flesh of their former compatriots. Meanwhile, Dray struck from behind, his rapier and dagger striking throats and piercing brainpans. Calling upon Dumathoin, I channeled a gout of flame to consume the Gnolls nearest me. In the end, we rescued several more of the Mountain Dwarves. But their loyalty was powerful. All of them asked about their leader that was still being held in the village. It was obvious that we would have to mount an attack to free him.

I explained to the Mountain Dwarves that I was exhausted from channeling the might of Dumathoin. I would need to rest, and then pray to recover. They took us to a safe place where we could rest, and even offered us some food and drink. It wasn’t long before I was thoughtfully in prayer, and then later … blissfully asleep.

I awoke to the chattering of the Mountain Dwarves. I startled awake, assuming that the next watch of Gnolls had arrived early from the village! Clutching my mace, I stepped out to see some of the Dwarves helping Dray to sit down. The Assasin was in terrible shape, bloody and beaten. It was clear that he had gone off by himself to try to rescue the Mountain Dwarf Elder. 

I grabbed my Healing Kit, and walked towards Dray. “Well,” I said gruffly. “Seems like you’ve had some fun while I slept. Go on then, tell your story…” I sat down, opening my Kit while Dray began to tell his tale of slaying the Gnoll King.

Gardain Glimmerstone

NEXUS: THE HIVE

dndlogodnd

 Gardain Glimmerstone is a a cleric of Dumathoin, god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. He is a member of The City State of Nexus Expeditionary Force sent by the Elders to secure a newly discovered land. He volunteered for the trip to Nexus to accompany the Dwarves assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. Since arriving, the expedition has gone terribly wrong. Forced to abandon Highport, the remaining members of the Nexus Expeditionary Force struggle simply to survive in this alien landscape. He continues to pray to Dumathoin that there is a way to heal his injured comrades and escape this wretched plane to return to Nexus.

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
  3. Krell: Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Ranger
  7. Falion: Paladin

Gardain Glimmerstone

dndbookexalteddeeds

Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date.  THE HIVE.

Ψ  I rendezvoused with the ship as planned, and sent our faithful Paladin to escort the Bugbears bacl to the ship. We told them the story that we wished to keep them safe. However, I plan to learn as much as I can from them before taking them back to their village. Assuming that we still wipe out the village, they will be the key to gaining the Bugbear’s trust before we spring our trap. In any case, I met with the Company and explained our situation with the Farm. I suggested that we destroy the hornet hive, secure the Farm, and then use it as a bargaining chip with Spire to conclude our business.

Our Ranger and Druid spent some time harvesting the carcasses of the hornets to make an Anti-Venom. It was an excellent idea that I had not considered. During this time, Krell and his golems loaded the Honey Mead from the two outbuildings into the ship. We could save some for ourselves, and sell the rest to Spire. I was content knowing that Fanrael was supervising Krell, so I spent the time in prayer. I asked Dumathoin to reveal to me the location of the Queen Hornet, and after several minutes of prayer, I knew the exact location of the creature. This was important because our Ranger and Druid suggested that if we killed the Queen, it would drive the other hornets into disarray and chaos making our incursion easier.

Entering the Hive, we sent Thoven the Ranger ahead of us as a scout. He led us to a small cavern that containing a ruined dais, several barrels, and a pool of water. While my companions investigated in their own ways, I raised my holy symbol and called upon the wisdom of Dumathoin. I felt a surge of power enter my body. I was relieved, knowing that The Lightbringer had not forsaken us in this foreign Plane of Existence. I looked around the cave, seeing that the dais and water both glowed with enchantments. Life magic charmed the water, and Nature magic throbbed from the dais. I explained that the water had healing properties, but I would not come to the conclusion that it was the “Life Water” talked about in Spire until later.

Krell used his golems to begin loading barrels of the Healing Waters into the ship. Again, we could keep most of this elixir and use the well as an additional bargaining chip with Spire. While Fanrael supervised the loading, I used a simple Mending cantrip on the dais to repair the damage done to it. After using about ten Mending cantrips, the dais I found that it was restored. I called Eilora over to inspect it, remembering that it was enchanted with a domain of magic much like that of Druidcraft. For the rest of the time, I inspected the cavern walls, ceiling, and floor drawing on my Stonecunning and experience with mining to learn what I could about this cave and the Farm.

In time, we learned that the pool of Healing Water was not natural and that it was linked to the Plane of Elemental Water. There are places in the Planes where two Planes intersect, creating “cracks” between the Planes like this one. After some discussion, we decided to attempt to contact the water spirit that the Druid believed to inhabit the pool. As the others continued to talk about our options, I observed the bowl on the top of the dais. As I thought, the stone has noticeable traces of blood within its pores. At some point, blood had been an offering to these water spirits.

I ordered Krell to cut himself and pour his blood into the bowl on the top of the dais. The barbarian did not hesitate, and as the berserker’s blood was consumed by the dais, the pool of water began to churn, bubble, and turn red. Within moments, a fearsome creatures appeared, and demanded to know why we had summoned it. Krell and Eilora communicated with the creature, explaining that we had restored it’s altar and were seeking to destroy the hornets that had taken over the Farm. The creature extended a boon to all those who wished to accept it, and demanded that they kill the Bugbears and Hornets now living in these tunnels. I refused the boon, understanding that such things are not wise to accept. However, my comrades who claimed the boon seemed to be strengthen and resolved to complete our mission.

Our scout lead us away from the Chamber of the Pool, and down another long tunnel that ended in a series of pens stabling several Ants. It was obvious that the creatures were starving due to their Bugbear masters abandoning them once the hornets arrived at the Farm. While my comrades searched the area for anything of value, I called about the mercy of Dumathoin to provide these starving creatures with food and water. I pulled a morsel of meat and a small amount of water from my adventuring kit. Power surged through my fingers, and I watched as the small bits of food and water began to multiply almost like baking bread raising in an oven. I fed the Ants, and found that there was food left over that I was able to give them even more for later. Krell took one of the Ants as a steed, and we departed the stables, heading for the Hive.

Thoven led us to the Hive. After a few moments of observing it from afar, we talked in hushed tones as to our plan. A forward assault would be hopeless. We would have to be clever about this, using magic to attack from a distance while Krell advanced to the Queen and assassinated her. Our plan completed, we began our preparations. Thoven cast a spell that he learned to help in hunting. It essentially made us all unable to be detected by the hornets. We moved towards the Hive, stopping within about 100 feet. The buzzing was outlandish, both annoying and harmonic at the same time.

I called again on the power of Dumathoin, enchanting Krell powerful magics. I looked at the barbarian sternly, explaining to him what powers my god had bestowed upon him. “Essentially, the hornets cannot attack you without exerting great mental resolve, probably something that an insect is unable to do. Also, the power of Death has been Warded from you for a time, thus you cannot die. If you would receive grave wounds, you will still have a sliver of life within you to avoid your death.” I paused, watching the brute smile. “Lastly, my god has granted you invincibility against the energy of magical flame. Our magic – assuming it is fire-based – will not harm you.” I paused again, seeing that Krell was on the edge of his war frenzy. “So go now, Krell …. smash.”  I watched at the criminal dashed off towards the Hive, shivering a bit and thanking Dumathoin that the barbarian was on our side.

As Krell rushed at the Hive towards where I had located the Queen, we unleashed the fury of Hell on the Queen Hornet and her Hive. Thoven fired several arrows, one of which passed dangerously close to Krell’s head. Lightning flashed down summoned by the Eilora with her Druid magic. Fanrael spoke spidery words of Elven magic, summoning fireballs that burned and exploded. And I called upon the Sacred Flame of Dumathoin, adding my own fireballs to the fray. Weakened and injured, the Queen tried to defend itself while attempting to coordinate her Hive to attack us. She began to release her attack pheromone to mobilize the entire nest to attack. However, Krell arrived and cut her efforts short.

I watched Krell, and found that I could not look away. The brutish man leapt on the huge Queen, and smashed his gigantic maul into its thorax several times. After opening a crack in the Queen’s shell, he literally tore the insect open, crawled inside of it, and killed it from within. It was an amazing feat, one that I hope to never witness again.

Krell, the Barbarian
Krell, the Barbarian

It did not take long for us to kill the rest of the nest without the organization of the Queen. The hornets frenzied, and we used the disorganized chaos within the hive to rain down spells and arrows until they were all dead. Afterwards, Krell emerged from the nest, nearly unharmed. With the hornets killed, and the nest destroyed, all that remained was for Krell and his golems to transfer items of value from the nest to the ship again. I watched my comrades working together to accomplish the task, and for the first time in awhile allowed myself to feel confident.

The original mission had failed. We were not able to secure the city of Highpoint. Our Force had been decimated by the Blue Light, including our Lord Commander. But when things looked grim, we were able to glom the Mindflayer vessel, and travel to Spire. Although our mission has provided us with twists and turns that we did not expect, it would seem that we are finding a way to survive in this cursed land. All we can hope is that our luck continues to hold.  May Dumathoin watch over us.

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