Snuggle Nook

Rama
Stagnant

The quietness of the tavern was disturbed by the low growl of a little dog, just as soon as the tavern door swung open, letting in a gust of chilly autumn air, and casting a silhoutte of a shadow upon the hardwood floor.

The place had only a few regulars in, along with the staff, and all eyes turned to peer upon the strange newcomer. An old man, with a tatty cloak wrapped about him stood before the patrons of the Eagle’s Wing tavern in Stockton. The dog barked at the old guy, before the rotund landlord Ken Runesmith said “Quiet boy! Quiet lad!” The hound settled down reluctantly, curling up beside the fire but still casting a watchful eye upon the old man, everyso-often. A storm was brewing outside, but for now, all.was stagnant in the Eagle’s Wing. Aye. It was as still as the sleeping hound…

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Pub Con Primer

Beyond the Misty Mountains, the Gnomish nations renew hostilities, a spring offensive. Zemiah “The Messiah” Pangelli and Garag Tog lead their armies onto glory. Descending on the helpless Hobbits of Berenshire and sweeping through the once peaceful hillside, the army marches forth, devastating weaker nations in its wake.

From the south, the army joins forces with elements of the infamous McFinnigan racket, which surround the once proud country of Gaerdal Ironhand’s Home. Josef and Matahar escape the assassination attempt, and are now exiled in the Kingdom of Calaf.

With the Daemon-King undefeated in the East, Seamus recalls his army to aid his allies of Pangellia, in the war that threatens to destroy the Faerie Forest, ravage the Pixie Plain, and bring Gaerdal Ironhand’s home to an end.

The guardians of balance, the gods of Krynn do not look favourably upon the cataclysmic events which shake the world of Tadisaga. A new fellowship is formed from beyond the stars, Snuggle-Nook’s last desperate hope to save the shires from destruction, and falling under the yoke of oppression. This group of unlikely heroes are made up of strange alien cultures from the cosmos.

A dracon, giff, lizardman, orc, apeman, aardvarkian, darkman, grunge-elf, half-orc and ogre are Tadisaga’s only hope for survival. Aboard the Freebooter Falcon they head unwittingly towards Snuggle-Nook. Their quest is to foil a royal regicide about to take place at the court of Reginauld. As Seamus’ ship the Santa Maria IV speeds back to commit the heinous act of assassination, these newcomers are charged with foiling the insidious plot to oust the Faerie-Queen. If this event can be stopped, before the next full-moon, then the grisly fate of the world may be avoided…

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Shortersesh

Grift-meister’s campaign log. Snuggle-Nook. 18th of July 2012.

Valraven Yumi The Human Monk, “Hannibal” the Giff Berserker, (both level one) and Anorpheus Voltaire (played by ‘Dougy’, Maxen’s usual character: level two) went into the Faerie Forest towards the Earth-Daemon, which looked like The Thing from the Fantastic Five, only much more Gargantuan. Alas, the Thing moved-in, missing Hannibal by miles. The Berserker nutted him with a head-but, no effect. The magick Battle-Axe+2 that Hannibal had hacked a chunk out of the Earth-Deamon. Anorpheus played his lyre, calming the posse. Valraven moved in with the magick Long-Sword+1, 4 vs. Deamons taking another bite out of the magickally animated Earth-Creature. Valraven fumbled badly, attacking Hannibal but missing narrowly. The Earth-Daemon cained Anorpheus for some, knocking the maestro backwards. Hannibal waded in there with his Battle-Axe2, and after repeated exchanges, the Giff Berserker put the giant elemental down.

Meanwhile Anorpheus had evaded the foray and scrambled through the thorns towards the elementalist, the controller. After singing a song of gentleness and peace, he bade the wizard to leave the Daemon-Kings service and join these freelance adventurers. After smoking some sweet leaf, some hobbit pipe-weed together, the two chilled out, on the flex, in some other dimension.

Pressing on the trio came to a steep embankment, a ravine that ran for miles in either direction. North and south. Valraven spotted a bridge in the distance, it was guarded by a knot of knights, astride barding-clad warhorses. The summoner and bard took off at this point. The knights asked the remaining two heroes a riddle, the guys failed to answer correctly, Hannibal reached for his axe, Valraven began to meditate, but in a flash they were whisked away to another dimension, or was it a dream? Along a river-boat somewhere amongst the stars, within the Cosmos, the Rock.

MVP: Hannibal
Valraven levelled-up to level two monk.

Max-out.

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Pub Con on the 20th

Of the many men to and froe, comings and goings, arrivals and partings of Snugglewood, a see-change shift in the mystic winds happened once again. Since the time of Garag’s rage, Ironhand’s anger, and a half-a-dozen other discordant contentious characters, the Nook turns slowly on its axis now, as it hath done before.

When Tadisaga the heavenly sphere revolves with diminished in speed, decelerates, the effect is that the world recovers. A temporal repose of healing natures wounds. That divine reflection undergrowth begins to creep out of the ground and reclaim the land for its own.

So, only annually does time shift at a normal, regular pace; and that time, that place, dwelt in the house of Aphrodite. Not a house of ill repute, nor a constellation, but an amicable ale-house, where gamers meet to throw dice, play cards, and tell stories about the fire. A meeting of minds in a social setting where bards play and storytellers recount countless tales, real and imagined, to eager audiences, who re-live these stories, most of which are only passed by word of mouth. Sometimes they be lost to the ether, sometimes written down and recorded for posterity, but most times are much like an ice-sculpture: appreciated for the moment, before melting from memory, fading slowly, until the story seeps into the ground.

A shady character crept into the ale-house of Aphrodite in the reign of Augustus Decimus, in the morning. This bard was incognito, a surprise, and the highlight of his year was to tell his own tale, and to hear another. At half-past he would begin, and not finish until the last carriage home.

Maxen is headed to a Convention this year…

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Shortsesh

Grift-Meister’s Game-Log for a short session, Thorsday the 12th of June, 2012 Common Era

    The Posse.

Valraven Yumi (Human Monk from Chi-Kung)
Reaper (Dracon Fighter from outer space)

The hobbit Maxen sat nestled beneath the earth-mound that was his hobbit-hole, snug away in a nook, cranny, underneath the soil, smoking awhile, having a little tipple. The fire had gone out, and the home began to get cold, the rain came down the chimney, extinguishing the once bright hearth. He peered down upon the leaves in his tea-cup, only to scry a scene, of a dracon warrior and a monk from Chi-Kung, strolling about the city of Orphalese. This city-scene was only in their dreams, and they soon woke, to the silence of the wood. Having slept under a canopy of trees within the heart of the forest: Murkwood.

They awoke and gave the order to march towards the village the scouts had spotted a day earlier. The dracon and monk moved swiftly, up ahead with the scouts to investigate the wooded hamlet. Upon arrival at the tree-top village, they came upon a gruesome scene of dead wood-elves, strewn about the place, carved up like Sunday lunch. Reaper the dracon decided to investigate the stone statue of the elves, he narrowly avoided a poisoned-dagger trap which clicked and sprung-out towards him.

The posse moved on, passing by a stagnant pool above which flew a cloud of hovering insects. Floating about the pool was a wooden box sticking through the weeds. Reaper decided to wade into the pool to retrieve the crate. The dracon was bitten by dozens of insects as he waded knee-deep in the muddy pool. After discovering that the crate was full of useless bones, Reaper the dracon began to feel dizzy. Sitting down beside the waters edge, his temperature rose and he was trembling with fever. The mozzy bites meant he had contracted a virulent form of malaria. He failed his saving throw, had to purge his honour and use a mulligan (a fate-point) to re-roll. He made his second throw, thus didn’t die. He was in the ‘Great Honour’ window, so didn’t lose all his equipment.

(Note: Maxen’s house rule, all players are permitted one fate-point per session, but unless your character has Great Honour, they have some grizzly fate befall them. Usually just losing all the equipment they have on them suffices.)

Anyway. The Posse came to a wide clearing in the forest. At the centre of which was a large boulder splattered with dried blood. They decided to wait awhile, to allow Reaper to recover from his bout of malaria. Half an hour later, they saw some figures walk into the clearing. Two dwarves had their hands in fetters, and were bound by a pole at the neck, being pushed towards the centre stone by a group of hobgoblins. One of the dwarves is cut free and was forced to his knees; his head was being pushed down on to the boulder as another hobgoblin began to size up the dwarf’s neck with an executioner’s axe. With only ten warriors, the two protagonists interruped the execution.

An arrow flew true from Reaper’s longbow, striking the axe-wielding hobgoblin in the chest, making him falter. The troops charged in, surprising their opponents. One scored a critical hit, downing a hobgoblin, another fumbled badly, losing his footing, some of the others scored hits, wounding their foes. Valraven ran away (of the ten quirks he has, one of them is multiple-personality disorder: coward.)

The hobgoblins fought back, taking chunks out of the warriors. It wasn’t long before Valraven was paralysed by the Amber Guard, and the eleven archers cut down the dozen or so remaining hobgoblins. The dwarves were saved and joined the ranks of the army, and the Posse continued down the trail, but not after discovering a war-banner, secreted away by the dwarves. The white standard sported a red-dragon within a golden circle. Adopting it as the army’s sigil, the two hundred or so strong battalion marched onwards.

The two protagonists came across some clay statues of women, they decided to ignore them and press on.

After a walking through the undergrowth, they came to a large glen. The ground began to tremble, an earth-daemon appeared, clearing the treetops. Reaper fired his bow: no effect. The ten warrior-scouts closed in, their weapons doing no damage to the elemental-spirit. Valraven ran away again, refusing to let go of the magick sword he had found (the only thing that could affect the earth-daemon). Valraven ran away again. This meant all ten men were massacred, and the session came to an end.

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Orphalese

Grift-Meister’s Game-Log (Maxen the Saxon)

The Snuggle-Nook Sessions

Advanced Fighting Fantasy: GameBook #36 “Armies of Death” by Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone

(and Gary Gygax of course, not forgetting Dave Arneson, naturally; also thanking the K&Co. (Hard8) for bringing the game to light, giving it a breath of life with the system, the Knights of the Dinner-Table)

It’s hazy, late, it’s been awhile; since we’ve played some robus [Role-Play]. Anyway. The Hobbit sat in the shire, beside a fire, the hearth, in a little cottage, set into the hillside with circular windows beneath which thick red velvet curtains. For the starry sky with many clouds drifting between the moon, the Færie-Forest lit up with scores of star-bugs and sprites, dancing about in the distance. Beyond the Pixie-Plain, the Shire. Berenshire.

He and his old-man were taking a rest for the moment, Berenger Baggins, and Morris Baggins, rested from within the cosy hearth of the hill-side cottage, in the countryside, in the village, of Snuggle-Nook. Smoking some Hobbit-Pipe-weed together peacefully, discussing the nuances of the nature, the forest, the face of a flower reflecting the face of the divine.

In the next Hobbit-hole along in the village, was occupied by a shadowy character, Paco Jay Meadri, a wizard, also Maud Reginauld, who chose to holiday there as it is a quiet place to live. To every-so often retreat to the Villa (for it was a very large Hobbit-Hole in-fact, the old mayors place. Naturally, the would-be queen of a Neighbouring Kingdom, would have the finest accommodation in Berenshire. At least one the two dark-elves could stand up in.

Meanwhile, beyond the realm lay the city of Orphalese. Sæmus O’Finnigan discovered news of a dangerous threat to the East. The Dæmon King. A storm was brewing in the east, and a character far more dreaded and feared than the truly evil McFinnigan Racket. This could not stand. So, the Leprechaun “Merchant-Prince, Grand Wizard” of Reginauld-O’Finniga, set out on a Quest, with his companion Ermine, an elven Rogue-Wizard {a level 3/4 Mage-Thief} [played by Valraven Yumi, who also had his henchman with him: Gar, the Half-Orc Berserker, level one]

Needless to say, none of the original crew were here. Except for…

    The First-Sesh’ (Originators) played a couple of months ago.

Sæmus O’Finnigan (Leprechaun Rogue/Wizard, Grand-Wizard of O’Finniga)
Valraven (Ermine the elven Rogue/Wizard)
N.P.C. Henchman (Half-Orc Berserker, from Chi-Kung)

Maximus the Hobbit alone is beside his imagined fireside, with only a burning of a lamp, deep within nights shadowy clutches. In a haze, blazed… Meanwhile, Back On the Flex…

Devilspawn shrouded Snuggle-Nook in the Orient. From Achæa to Al’Quar Tur the Dæmon-Lords grew in strength. An army of the Shadow. Of the dark Potentates that dominate the east, is one such Dæmon-King, who’s name is not pronounceable, but who’s reputation is dreaded. Already annexing much of the former colonies of Stone: Dardanians, Achæans, and Ægyptians, all fall under the yoke of darkened oppression. The Shadow-Demons.

Not to be out-done in infamy, Sæmus O’ Finnigan and his companion Gar (a half-orc berserker, ran by Valraven Yumi) amass an army to face this new threat. Recruiting many warriors, and taking his entourage, Sæmus manages to find over one-hundred warriors (A mixture of Keltoi: Eire, Ecossæ, Kernow, and Cymræg), more than two score wood-elves and hill-dwarves alike, and finally his elite Amber Guard from the Elfæ-Isle. Sprites, Pixies, Fæ-kin, flying along with their dread sovereign. Silent and invisible.

Speaking to a Captain Bardolf, aboard the Flying Falcon, the Merchant-Prince negotiates a fee for the crossing. Handing the Capt’n five-hundred sceattæ (gold-pieces) Sæmus reluctantly agreed to pay the full-fee. His men aboard, Capt’n Bardolf shouts the order to cast-off from the Port of Noir Sable. The Santa Maria IV sets sail, the motley crew splice the main brace, clamber the rigging, and hoist the sails, which unfurl into favourable winds. The calm blue ocean, studded with what seems like a million zircons, and the early-morning sun reflects off the waves. She sliced through them and headed eastward toward there destination: the city-port of Orphalese.

The voyage was underway, and it wasn’t long before they’d lost sight of land, and cut across the ocean. T’was an uneventful journey. Before long the lookout in the crows nest shouted, “Land ho!”. Soon they were setting a course along the river that ran either side of the continent of Al’ Qaratur. They spotted a barrel overboard, and Gar dived into retrieve it unthinkingly (he had not any swimming abilities) and made a Swim: Doggie-Paddle untrained skill-check. He just about managed not to drown, after being recovered by one of the crew, more able to negotiate the flowing tidal river’s waters. A rope was thrown down, and both man and half-orc were hoisted up, along with the barrel. Upon opening it, the team found it contained only rotten apples, but at the bottom of which, lay an old eroded treasure. Unidentified.

As she rounded the river, the Santa Maria the fourth suddenly came under attack. A large fireball fired from a catapult came hurtling through the air towards them, striking the genoa sail and cinging the beams about it. The crew frantically lowered buckets and put the fire out professionally, calmly, as Bardolf barked orders to do so. A score of tribesmen paddled out towards the ship in canoes. River Raiders. Another fireball flew through the air, only narrowly missing the ship.

Sæmus ordered the fifty or so wood-elf archers to the starboard side. They immediately began peppering the oncoming invaders. Several arrows found there mark, and a few raiders slumped in their canoes, and drifted downstream. Ermine cast a Magick-Missile of Skewering at one of the tribesman. Naturally, the iridescent bolt of light-green energy honed-in on its intended target, slamming into a pilot, and putting another river raider out of action.

Sæmus let rip with a Lightning Bolt which spells electricity burned a further three canoes and crew, the trio of tribesmen smouldering and racked with lightning, tipped downstream, floating to the bottom of the river Krall.

Having the initiative, Ermine gave a knowing look to the leprechaun, who passed an unspoken signal to Gar, the half-orc henchman. [notes were passing] Ermine then cast Proteus’ Uncontrollable Fits of Laughter just beyond the rear starboard side of the ship, tactically, that the river-raiders may drift into the spells area of effect. His plan worked, two wounded tribesmen entered the zone, laughing so hard they fell out of their canoes, sinking to the base of the eddies.

Gar the half-orc took Capt’n Bardolf by surprize, hoisting him in a bear-hug and throwing him overboard. He shouted in broken Anglyn (common) “Keep sailing! Maintain course!” to the crew, who were now surrounded by a hundred and eighty odd warriors, brandishing their weapons threateningly. The remaining fifty elves fired another volley or two, taking out another few river raiders, away from Capt’n Bardolfs whereabouts. Bardolf was flailing about in the water, being lynched by river raiders, who then all drifted into the Proteus spell, and began to drown, giggling as their lungs all filled with water. A dozen upturned canoes now drifted downstream.

Another Lightning Bolt from the Leprechaun put a few more raiders out of action, and the tenacious pirates retreated. The catapult launched from the shore, another missile of Achæan fire spilled over the ship’s prow, and landed harmlessly on the other side of the ship. Ermine returned fire with a Fireball: Sidewinder Factor 1, which fell short of the mark. However Sæmus’ Fireball found it’s mark, thus destroying the enemy catapult. A cheer went up from all the army, and soon enough the river patrol was out of sight. The crew were not taken prisoner, nor worse, but told they must now serve the Merchant-Wizard Sæmus. They did so with little choice, under duress…

Sæmus and his army sailed upstream for another hour when the look-out in the crows-nest raised the alarm. A man lying a across a log, facedownwards, motionless. His limbs were trailing in the water. Ordering a warrior to dive into the water, the soldier did so, and swam over to the log. “He’s dead,” shouted the warrior, “and there’s an Orc’s knife sticking out of his chest.” Hauling them up on-deck, they picked clean the corpse of the only treasure: a golden key hanging from about the dead-mans neck. Letting the corpse overboard, it drifted downstream with the tide. Inscribed on the key was a number in Achæan, reading “222”. Possibly someone’s house-key, who knows?

A few more miles further upriver, the posse came across a bearded old man with raggedy hair, standing on the north bank. He was dressed in animal furs and was waving his arms at the people on-board the Santa Maria the fourth. Sæmus and Ermine decided to investigate, and ordered the ship be brought alongside the fellow. They soon found out what the raggedy man wanted. As the ship drew close to the shoreline, nine other men emerged from the bushes. Though tough-looking, they did not raise their weapons. The one who waved drops his axe and shouted, “Greeting stranger! I and my band of Northmen hath heard of your quest to slay the Dæmon-King of the East. We wish to join your army, for one-hundred sceattæ.” (G.p.)

As the posse set sail once more, the leader walked over to the two protagonists; despite his ice-blue eyed stare, the man appeared trustworthy. “My name is Ælias.” he says with a warm smile, and offers up a strong handshake. “Would you accept a gift, a token of our appreciation?” Sæmus agreed graciously, Ælias reached inside his fur-coat and produced a large curved tooth, attached to a leather cord. “This, is the tooth of a Yeti.” continued Ælias, his chest swelling with pride. “If you wear it, you will never be attacked by Lycanthropes. It is my wish that you should have it, as you are prepared to risk you and your armies life, to save Tadisaga from the fate of the Dæmon-King.” Ælias placed the charm about the little leprechaun’s neck, who proceeded to share the details, all he knew about the dreaded Dæmon-King, and their quest to rid the world of his tyranny.

“It is becoming dark, perhaps we should drop anchor soon?” asked Stumpy, second-in command (the N.P.C. lieutenant). “Indeed.” replied the leprechaun-regent. Instead of sleeping on-deck, Sæmus gave the order to moor-up by the riverside, leaving a score of warriors to guard the ship, and taking the crew, the Dænor warriors, and all two hundred or so remaining soldiers with them, to seek dry land on which to rest, in the long grass.

During the night was peaceful, but come early morning, the army was set upon by a swarm of black Stirges. The Amber Guard took to the skies, but not before Sæmus let-rip with a Fireball spell, and Ermine cast a Magick-Missile of Skewering. A half-a-dozen of the piercing swarm were destroyed, and as many of the army were stung, and fell foul of the mortal wounds, caused by the Stirges. They left the place of ill-fortune, and left the bodies of their fallen comrades in arms in the tall grass.

Casting off straight away from the accursed sleeping place, the Santa Maria set off once again. A couple of hours into the morning voyage, the tranquillity of the river trip was abruptly disturbed by another yell from the crow’s nest. “Pirates! River Pirates!” The lookout pointed directly upriver, and turned to the leader for guidance. The oncoming vessel was bearing down on them at full-speed. The pirate vessel was bounty from Dænor, and the sturdy Drakhaar ship could easily outrun their frigate, so said Ælias. This vessel had a large iron ramming-spike protruding from the bow; double rows of oars extended from both sides. As the Santa Maria the fourth turned about and headed for the north bank, the two score and ten wood-elf archers lined up and peppered the enemy with arrows. Sæmus showered the ship with spells, as did Ermine. It wasn’t long before the Dænor Drakhaar rowed off downstream. The crew and army cast-off of the north shore, and continued upstream to Orphalese.

It was late in the day when the red-roofed houses of Orphalese came into view. Stumpy led the men ashore, just down-river a way from the city, and began to setup camp outside the city walls. Only Sæmus and Ermine took a row-boat within the city limits, and moored up on a small jetty. Heading for the nearest tavern. As the two walked down the narrow streets betwixt olde wooden houses, Sæmus spotted a golden ring lying in the gutter. Ermine ignored it. Our leprechaun went to retrieve it from the ground. He felt a tap on his shoulder, and peering up he was confronted by a brute of a man, looking angrily down at him. An ugly scar ran across his face, and the bald-headed barbarian brandished a battle-axe, he throws and accusing glance at the Rogue-Wizard, pointing a finger into the little man’s face and growled, “That’s my ring. Give me it back, or else…”

The leprechaun noticed that his sausage-like stubby fingers were far too large for the signet, he was obviously lying. Ermine cast Proteus’ Uncontrollable Fits of Laughter and the bully began to crack-up with the giggles. In the confusion Sæmus hit the brute with a Phantasmal Fireball. The barbarian falls about screaming and laughing simultaneously as he failed his save versus illusion, and soon passes out. Sæmus relieved him of his belt pouch, only to see two city guards come strolling over to the scene. The leprechaun tried to explain that he was innocent, to which the guards were highly skeptical. Finally he gave up the pouch in exchange for his liberty, and the pixie-kin kept hold of the gold-ring, which had engraved on it Stonæ numerals marked “XXXXV”.

Some time later, after re-grouping, the two saw a crooked wooden sign hanging over the door of an olde wooden building. A fading painting of a Green Dragon was represented, and from the sounds emanating from within, this looked to be a tavern or inn of some sort. Climbing some well-worn wooden steps, and pushing open the heavy oaken door, the two peer upon a rogues gallery drinking in dingy darkness. Even though t’were daylight, the tavern interior is dark, and candles burned flicking light about the walls, as the small grubby windows let in virtually none of the suns rays.

The tavern is bustling with life, none of it looking too savoury. Groups of cloaked vagabonds are huddled together in shadowy corners, while boisterous rogues, much the worse for drink, sit in the midst of it all, insulting all who pass by; including the harassed barmaids trying to squeeze between the tables carrying trays loaded with tankards.

The sole drink on offer was a cloudy looking yellowish liquid that smelled feintly of apples, if only just. Dubbed ‘Devils Brew’ by the yokel half-ogre landlord, he poured two tankards worth. Sæmus bubbled, but Ermine manage to keep his down. Sneering, the landlord throws down the gauntlet so to speak, “The drinks are on me if you can do that a second time.” pointing at Ermine. The wood-elf accepted gladly, putting his lips to the second tankard, draining it without stopping. His eyes began to water, as he stood up to walk over to one of the tables, he began to lose his vision, and his motor-functions. Losing his footing Ermine fell to the cold stoney floor, the leprechaun tried to help him up as all the onlooking rogues laughed heartily at the lightweight Elfærie-kin could n’er hold their drink. They left in hurry before anything worse could happen.

After passing another row of olde wooden houses, the pair came across a curious shop. Nothing was displayed in the window except straw and an empty cage, about the size of a birdcage. Brown paint flaked off the window-frame and door, above which was a sign that read: "Petshop – normal and unnatural’. They entered and tried to belittle the shopkeeper, who bade them leave. Going back out on to the street, our two protagonists met an another two people, unkempt looking fellows, who asked them what they were doing in Orphalese. Sæmus and Ermine said they were here on business, visiting an associate of theirs. The two street-urchins bade them tell him whereabouts, that they may be able to help guide them there. Our two heroes blagged it, offering a false address of some random street name. Oh, that’s just off the street where we live. Another shabby-looking man arrived, and bid them come home with them. Rounding a corner into a dead-end alleyway, the three men stopped and turned about suddenly, the tallest one spoke, “There is no street of that name in Orphalese. Let’s get the strangers lads, I’ll bet they’re brimming with coin!”

The fight was a short one. Flying above them, a Lightning Bolt and a Fireball later, the footpads were toast. Even Ermine managed to tag one with his Magick-Missile of Skewering. The coins that weren’t melted in the onslaught were pilfered, and a glass phial was discovered, smashed, leaking out a greenish liquid onto the cobblestone streets. Sæmus and Ermine left in short order.

Both Rogue-Wizards came across another shop. T’was an emporium full of old things, curios, boxes, tins, tools, pottery, carvings and cups were all heaped in a haphazard-like fashion. T’was a pile of a window display. The pawnbrokers sign sported the words “Crack-converters”, somewhat weatherbeaten and worse for wear. Entering inside, the shop was owned by a jovial old lady by the name of “Bonny”. The walls were lined with shelves, from the floor to the ceiling; all crammed with olde objects, collected over the many years she had been custodian of this emporium. Most of the things were covered in a thick layer of dust, and only a few caught the eye of our adventurers. The pair bought a brass owl, a copper lantern, an ivory chest, and a green vase.

Elf and leprechaun arrived at another building down the street, an old converted barn, sporting large wooden doors at the front. Some sort of commotion was happening inside, hearing cheering and shouting emanating from within the building. A man barred their way saying, “Pie-eating competition, five groats to spectate,” (that’s five copper-pieces.) “and ten sceattæ to enter the competition against Gut-buster, if you think you’re ’ard enough to beat him.”

Ermine stepped upto the plate, paying the entrance fee to partake, while Sæmus Slipped Away Into Shadows then snuck back in, silently, invisible. After witnessing Gut-buster best a half-orc, he had a five minute rest, then took on the new challenger: Ermine; who beat the Gut-buster by a whole fish-pie. Emptying his final bowl, he burped in triumph. Offering his reward up to people who were willing to join him in their fight against the Dæmon-King, a dagger flew out from the crowd. Ermine dodged the spinning blade, and before he could trace from where it had came, the assassin had fled, out of sight. The elf managed to recruit another ten warriors before left, and handed them a note, telling them to wait outside the city limits with Stumpy.

After leaving the converted barn, the two heroes headed down a side alley. Treading on an iron grate, which suddenly flew open, Ermine stumbled upon two Sewer Goblins. One round of hand-to-hand, and a Phantasmal Fireball later, the two were brown-bread. The ambush failed to scratch the two mage-thieves, who searched the nearby barrels rather than venturing down beneath the city.

The first couple of barrels were empty, and the third had a piece of old sack-cloth covering it; before they could even touch it however a man’s voice shouted from inside, “Go away! Leave me alone! Can’t anybody get a decent siesta these days?” They decided to pull back the sacking, and a small man became visible. He wore filthy green clothes, and was curled up inside the barrel. He glared up at them with an angry expression written all over his face. He had angular features and an odd-shaped hat on his head which was held in place by his pointy ears. “I’m warning you.” Then, out of nowhere, a spring-trap was released plastering the two of them in rotten fruit. They decided to attack the fellow leprechaun…

Here endeth the session.

    The Second-Sesh’ (New Player) played on the 9th of July, 2012

Valraven (Human Monk, from Chi-Kung)
Reaper (Dracon Warrior, from outer-space)

Falling from the sky, some time ago, a lone Dracon warrior dropped down in a fiery comet unto Tadisaga (Snuggle-Nook).

By chance he happened to cross-paths with another stranger, equally as baffled about why the two were here, on a busy street corner, in Orphalese.

This quarter had a distinctly oldey-worldy look about it, mediæval style houses and buildings loomed down upon the hustling city street. Beside the monk and dracon was a sign, blowing about in the wind. Upon this sigil was inscribed “Maxy’s Mercenaries.” A wooden-beamed slanting stone-building, whitewashed sides of warped mortar, sporting an old tile roof.

A large neon sign, pink, flashing in coloured lights to a big arrow-shape that read “Level One Adventurers this Way” then blinked out of existence as quickly as it had come in.
Deciding to follow, they walked into the front-room, where another two warriors dueled with wooden swords, a practice fight, a mock battle, the two combatants pulling their punches.

A half-a dozen or so blokes look on, jeering, and stood on a pedestal, above them all, was a striking blonde woman, Maxy. Adorned in leathers, she barks instructions to the two fighters. “Ar-RET!”

The cacophony continued, as her words fell of deaf-ears. She sighed, and shrugged, rolled her eyeballs and thought “boys will be boys”.

The fight was coming to its final stages. The unarmoured Achæn warrior lashed out and struck the elf, who retaliated, and took a piece out of matey-boy. Boom! Another hit, and the Achæn contender ate the floor.

“Stop!” said Maxy. The room was instantly silenced, and all eyes were cast on the two new-comers. She continued.

“Take a break, all of you, while I see what these two… intruders want.”

She walked over to the two and said, “I’m Max and these are my boys. Do you want to hire some N.P.C. warriors perchance? 200 gold-pieces.”

The two adventurers parlayed that instead of giving her two hundred sceattæ (G.p.), or as she had suggested, fight her, but instead, those two should battle it out, as have never before met, neither in life, nor the arena.

Max eyed the strangers warily, but could see that they were genuine, so she thought this a good suggestion, and so the two were jeered as they began to start an honour-duel.

Valraven’s character has ten character flaws, put a hundred and ten of his build points (almost all of them) into one Martial Arts Special Maneouver: Distance death which he has at 81%. Anyway, the main point being, of the decimal quirks Valraven has, one of them is a Warrior-Book flaw: “Flashbacks”. (My favourite!) we even randomized the particular conditions under which the flashback happened, and it was when the monk was fighting as a captured slave once, in a gladiatorial arena. Any form of ritual combat or fighting in front of a large audience can trigger the flashbacks, where the character stands inert, trancing out, tripping out for a round. Anyhow, back to the game.

Valraven makes his Willpower roll(s) throughout and manages to stay on the flex, without tripping out. He actually rolled a critical success one round on a save versus Paralyzation flex rule. Back to cases:
The monk wins the initiative by one mere segment, and tries for a Choke Hold Maneouver, but Reaper manages to just about fight him off. Retaliating was futile.

Reaper went in with the claws again, n’owt doin’. Valraven takes a knock in Honour as he delivers his lethal Distance Death Martial Arts Maneouver. He made it. The dracon was not bested by a Paralysing Touch, he made his save.

Then, again Valraven tried for another Choke-Hold. It worked! As the dracon flailed and failed to stave off the monks series of attacks, he was out for the count.

The monk was declared the winner, by the warrioress, who honoured the agreement, leasing out her champion (Ardwyn the wood-elven warrior) to Valraven (who can have but one N.P.C. henchman, due to his horrendous Charisma score. He burned it off, and as Conan says, Charisma is always a bit of a dump stat, rinse those points while you can. Especially that since the latest rules errata, included in the PHB, state that characters cannot pump stats with BuildPts.)

Anyhow, they parted ways amicably, and went on with the adventure, to defeat the evil Dæmon King of the East. Though they both be only level one fighters. Valraven’s soul was linked to that of Gar (the character he ran last session) who was in the service of the O’Finnigan army, that are camped outside the city walls. Beyond the limits. Anyhow…

The door opened into a small cosy room, with low oak beams. Opposite is a warm fire burning in a hearth, near which sits an old man. Above him is a painting of a sailing-boat. The aged man sits in a comfy chair, beside which is a little table. Upon it sits a small silver chalice, half-filled with ruby-red wine.

The palava went something like, “would you like a room for the evening? If so it is two schillings each, per night.” (That’s Silver-Pieces in Snuggle-Nook)

Valraven gave him a scaettæ (a Gold Piece) which the old-boy was most happy with. He regaled them with stories of his adventures upon the ocean waves, voyages to far off lands, all over dinner, with wine, and of course, the warm aroma of chollie, wispy tendrils of smoke.

Reaper wanted to hear more of the old-mans stories to start with, and Valraven seemed stoic and not particularly interested. The old sea-dog recounted his tale, sharing pictures painted about his voyage that had been drawn by three different artists, all members of the crew from the vessel the Santa Maria. The dracon asked to rest, and took the room-key up to where he was to stay, and bade the old man goodnight. Valraven however had a renewed interest in the sea-dogs tale, and bade him share his history with him this night.

After recounting adventures of being attacked by a giant Kraken at sea, twice. A myriad of trips back and forth, whence the Crew bested the isle of the cyclops’. Who smashed her in pieces, and only after vanquishing the giants was she able to make repair. As recent as two months ago, she was on river-patrol, down the River Krall. But that, was another story…

The old sailor said, “Now what about you young monk? What’s your story?”

Valraven spoke of his quest, brought to him through a phantom spirit guide, one of his ancestors, who told him he must bring about the downfall of the Dark-Lord Dæmon King of the East. The old man had heard of this brewing storm, this ascending evil, the darkness the shrouds the East. On this side of the sea, everyone knew of the Dæmon-King, and through providence, the old man had in his possession he had a sword, that was said could harm this foe. (essentially a +1 Magickal Long-sword, +4 against Dæmons). He offered it in exchange for Valravens sword. The monk didn’t have a sword, only his fists, which were as good as. Valraven suggested Ardwyn (the N.P.C. wood-elf) traded blades, he did so for the Quest.

Anyway, the team got a good nights rest, had green ham and eggs in the morning, and set off on their Quest, saying farewell to the old sea-captain. Thanking the old-boy for his kindness in giving him the Dæmon-Slayer sword. Ardwyn and Reaper should’ve swapped blades really, seeing as he was specialist in longsword fighting, but Valraven kept guard of the magickal weapon.

The following morning, Ardwyn the wood-elf awoke gently, rubbed his eyes and blurred back into the waking world. He had dreamt of being back in the Berenshire, with the elven Wizard, and the Færie-Queen Maud. The Bagginses had been round for tea. Right now he was in an unfamiliar place. The street buzzed with activity, the throng of city-crowds speaking a strange language, Achæn. Ardwyn went over to the basin, had a wash, dried his face and hands, then immediately lit up a pipe of the shires finest. He returned momentarily in his mind, nostalgically, to the cosy circular hill-side cottage in the country. The shire.

Gathering himself, getting dressed, he straightened his hair, and went down to meet the others. The old-man was there, as was Valraven the second, and the Reaper. After parting ways amicably, and moving out onto the busy city streets, cobblestone roads in a windey haphazard alleyways, the bearded left, found their way to the gates, and rejoined the army camped outside.

Sæmus was nowhere in sight, most likely invisible some-place, flying about, getting upto no good. Stumpy the lieutenant had been left instructions to relinquish command to the most capable seeming (player) character that comes along. Valraven seemed to exert more dominance, pressure on the soldiers, and they reluctantly followed his lead[ership].

They decided to cross the River Krall. Marching eastwards the army arrived at a wooden bridge, crossed, and began heading south. Crossing the Pagan-Plains, by late-afternoon, the band of two-hundred or so warriors had put many miles behind them. Giving the order to halt the two ordered their men to drink at a watering hold. Valraven tested the waters as well. Over a hundred soldiers fell ill from the bad-water. The Dæmon-King’s spies had been here first and poisoned the well; however Valraven was unharmed.

Deciding to wait until the men had recovered, rather than pressing on, the two commanders discussed their next course of action. Something drew them to confront the Dæmon-King, for their scouts reported his whereabouts, towards east, beyond Murkwood.

Crossing one of the tributaries of the river, the army marched onwards. The daylight dwindled as they approached the dark-looking forest, under a thick canopy of trees that vaulted towards the heavens with creeping tendrils of branches. High up in the sky, the web of spindly branches rocked lazily in the wind, besides the breeze not a sound was heard from the depths of the dark shadowy wood.

A whisper of uncertainty ran through the ranks of their army. Shouting the order to march, Reaper led the way, Valraven by his side, Ardwyn, and the battalion. The sound of shrieking monkeys broke the silence all about them. After a half an hour, the reconnaissance patrol reported a group of wooden huts disguised by the overgrowth had been discovered. The team decided to take their army with them to investigate…

Here endeth the session.

Experience Point Award Breakdown:

Valraven (Human Monk, from Chi-Kung)
+ 500 (for the Most Valuable-Player [M.V.P.] Award)
+ 50 (for Clever Ideas)
+ 100 (for an idea that saved the team, listening to the old sea-dog.)
+ 150 (for roleplaying his character well)
____
800 Experience Points in total

+1, 250 from the last session = 2, 050
Valraven would have earned another 60 points for the Most-Damage Dealt in a single hit, but due to a Underground Home-Grown House-Rule by Dungeon Master Maxen the Saxon, which specifies:

No-one, is to be awarded experience points for hurting, harming, or damaging another other player character, in the team, the posse, the Underground Home-Brew Crew.

Reaper (Dracon Warrior, from outer-space)
+ 50 (for Clever Ideas)
+ 50 (for an idea that saved the team, listening to the old sea-dog a short while.)
+ 150 (for roleplaying his character well)
____
250 Experience Points in total

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Second Futuristic Session
New Planet

Mephistopheles and Zeriul were the welcoming reception for two new recruits to the Occīsus Excubiae: a Knightemplar Marīnus Medic and a Ange Sanguine jumpack close-attack Star Soldier. Boarding their new ship – the Vittoria, an ancient, haunted vessel – the team were sent to investigate a recently reactivated beacon signal on the planet Marus: which was thought to be anbdonded millenia ago. The two week voyage was spooky yet uneventful. Upon arrival in the planets orbit, the Marīnus descended in the dropship, everybody was okay, except for the Ange Sanguine, who bubbled then promptly passed out for the duration of the descent.

Our team spread out, de-bused with no sign of life on this frozen world. Mounting the anti-grav’ land-rover, the team kept pace with the Ange Sanguine who sped along on his jumpack. Mephistopheles was still shaken by his lapse toward insanity, acting strange, weird, throughout the whole jaunt. After a little deliberation, the team decided to head straight for the primary objective: the beacon. Parking the anti-grav’ transport, and proceeding on foot, the team moved up.

A blip on their motion-scanners indicated life, human, as soon as the blip appeared, it had gone. Mephistopheles found some tracks, footprints. Being ever assailed by the traumatic images of his bad-trip through the fabric of reality – not two weeks afore – meant he assumed the tracks to be those of hereticultists: their was no evidence for this save Mephistopheles own delusions.

The blip appeared again, then left as soon as it had done so. Mephistopheles had his finger on the hair-pin trigger, scanning the skyline for signs of movement: what he expected to find, daemonic activity. They returned to the anti-grav’ transport, and sped on to the secondary target: the penal colony.

En route they met someone, an old ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ mechanist. After gleaning information of the machinists plight, they locked him up, the Marīnus being under orders to do so. This being a penal colony and all. The team investigated a cave complex, only the Ange Sanguine could not fit through the entrance with his jumpack. The three witnessed a corrupting sight. They had stumbled upon a shrine to the dark-gods of Kaos. “I told you this place was infested with dark-forces, I knew it, the moment we found those tracks back there.”, said Mephistopheles.

Upon proceeding further in to the complex, the crew found a reinforced steel door. The power suddenly came on. While deciding where to set the charges to blow the door, Mephistopheles just placed one in the centre, activated it, then shouted “Run!” The team wisely did so, the door came apart, and from the smoky debris was some movement. The motion-scanners confirmed it, a wave of life-signs, headed this way.

Surely it was some Kaostar Soldiers. Zerial tore in to them with his powered arm, the mechanical appendage tore up a Kaostar Soldier in one foul swoop. The Medic let-rip with his blasterifle, taking another one down. The Kaostar troops fought back, chattering railgun fire stitched lines of bullets in to the Techno-Marīnus Zeriul, who was grazed. The Ange Sanguine lept in to the fray slicing a Kaostar Soldier in two with his chainsaw’d. Mephistopheles swung wildly at them with his psychic blade, his sword going wide of the mark. More blasterifle fire from Knightemplar Medic took down another Kaostar warrior. More retaliation, they moved in close now. The Knightemplar took a wicked looking blade, which pierced his armour, wounding him, if only slightly. The same happened to Mephistopheles. The fighting was fierce. Our Ange Sanguine waded in there with his chainsaw’d, his opponent meeting his deathly fate. Mephistopheles having a little more success this time, his psychic sword finding its mark, however he only wounded his Kaostar enemy.

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In to the future
Futuristic Robus

Mephisto’ Kryten was born on the planet Finovgorod. As a young child, as with the ancient tradition of Keltoi-Norsemen, his father bade him stand alone ‘gainst a charging sangliyay. A ferocious tusked wilder-beast that roamed the frozen, still, snow-capped mountains of Finovgor’. At the tender age of ten, the young boy Mephistopheles showed no fear in the presence of the Eaorldomen, but felt very, very afraid. Turning terror in to courage, fright in to fearlessness, the boy of only just double-figures took his mortifying rite of passage – to become a man, a young fang.

His father – Kevian Kryten – had noted in his only son a lack of warrior-prowess. In its place, was his mothers soft sensibilities and spiritual side. Thinking something lacking in Mephisto’s heart, passion for the hunt, Kevian took the boy to see the Seer, the high-priest Edred Thorsson. Edred the master Rune-smith told the worried father that a mutation in the gene-seed had ever skipped a generation. T’was the Kryten clan destiny to be both blessed, and cursed, with dark visions.

While out hunting for fish, Mephistopheles encountered a mighty Kraken, slaying the gorgon with much pride, honour, and satisfying his family honour through doing so. In the following formative years Mephistopheles trained to be a vēnātor rāvusor before being apprenticed to the Rune-master Thorsson. The Lupīnus Chapter of the Star Soldiers were posted far and wide, and Mephistopheles served a tough decade fighting his own inner daemons, those of the void, and many a foe: ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ troopers transgressing to lawless heretics, incursions against primitive worlds infested with fierce creatures, and battles ’gainst fearsome greekskins, armed and dangerous. Eventually the watchful eye of the imperātor hand-picked Mephistopheles to join the Occīsus Excubiae.

On the planet Illioch he arrived to begin his inauguration along with Zeriul, a member of the Chapter: the Obsidian Spectres. The two recruits were sent deep beneath the spiral city, to observe a xenomorph named only as ‘Species 659’ down in violet zone. The lifthrust descent was fast, industrial portal opened with the sound of scraping steel, grating and wire mesh clad the corridors’ sides. The two proceeded with caution. Μephistopheles lent Zeriul his blast-pistol, the Techno-Marīnus spied a terminal to access. Requiring genetic authorisation, the Techno-Marīnus was nearly shocked with thousands of volts as his hand drew back from the computereader. Trying another method, Zeriul hacked in to the system, managing to access research files and the camerarray.

Zerial observed the adjacent prison cell after briefly gathering information on two files regarding xenomorphs. He could see no-one in the empty cell. After switching to different filters, infa-red, ultra-violet, thermal, et cetera. Then he caught a glimpse of a terrible beast, as soon as he had spied it, t’was gone. Mephistopheles pointed his blasterifle against the plastiglass cell window, lest it threaten them. As Zeriul the Techno-Marīnus scanned through the various frequencies, he would occasionally catch a brief glimpse of it again, until it disappeared. The Star Soldier of the Obsidian Spectres (that is, the Techno-Marīnus: Zeriul) suggested the pair should split up, and patrol the area. Mephistopheles replied “Nay, this is not a good idea. We are but two marīnus and this area is probably teeming with xenomorphs.” After some deliberation, the two agreed to compromise. Mephistopheles took the first patrol, leaving Zerial to continue scanning various frequencies, for signs of hostile alien life forms.

Wishing to remain as quiet as possible, Mephistopheles tried to silence the growling suit of armour that had been granted to him in the initiation, while joining the Occīsus Excubiae in solemnity. The defiant living armour gave a low sinister growl. By force of his psychic will, Mephistopheles tried again. The armour howled with renewed vigour. Annoyed now, Mephistopheles began removing his regimental adornments from the suit of powered protective suit. Beginning with his teutonicross, a badge of honour won by single-handedly besting a kraken, back on Finovgor’. The suit was not at all content, and fought Mephistopheles with his mind.

Meanwhile, Zerial wrote a program to log any successful attempts to locate the correct frequency, that he might spy on the xenomorph. He bade the computerminal to relay any successes back to his communications relay pad. Zeriul also tried to manipulate the sentry guns, without any success. As this was happening, Mephistopheles was further in to the complex, stowing away all other regimental adornments to his armour – furs, teeth, all except his pelt. The armour fought him tooth and nail, mentally. Suddenly, a flash of pain brought Mephistopheles back to reality. By his leg was a small xenomorph, trying to bite through his protective suit with some success. Mephistopheles brought his psychic sword down upon the things head, which exploded in flames.

Taking the only charred remain of the creatures carapace, he picked it up, and attached the trophy where once lay a large tusk. The living suit seemed to approve, and when the vēnātor lupus had put his helm back on, flashing spectrums of light appeared on the vidisplay, movement, more xenomorphs were closing in, fast, on his location. Mephistopheles then re-attached the teutonicross badge from the kraken kill. He radioed in, telling Zeriul to come to his position, for he was heading back to the computerminal. Sure enough, the Star Soldiers were back in formation. Then, an almighty crash sounded as the door between them had some invisible creature attempting to liberate itself from the prison cell. The cell door would not last much longer. To make matters worse, a swarm of smaller xenomorphs were closing in…

Between the two Marīnus lay an angry invisible beast, nearly free from its incarceration, as another huge crashing sound matched a massive lump appearing in the reinforced cell door. The swarm had arrived, Zeriul let-rip with his twin burst-fire pistols. Two of the tiny xenomorphs exploded in flames as the shells connected, finding there intended targets. Mephistopheles hacked at the swarm with his psychic sword, slicing another in flame. The xenomorphs retaliated, spraying acidic liquid over Mephistopheles’ helm, he tried to use his psychic senses to seek out his enemies. This had no success, so he took his helm off.

T’was then, that the invisible xenomorph escaped. It swiped at Mephistopheles, who retaliated with his psychic sword. The crackling energy of the blade met a hardened limb, the xenomorph parried the strike with ease. Mephistopheles dashed past the alien, heading for the lift. Across the communicator, command said that the lifturbo-drop was heading down. More shots rang out as Zeriul suppressed the xenomorphs. “Come on brother!” shouted Mephistopheles across the comm’-net. His keen lupusenses sensed smoke: fire. A roaring crescendo of the lifturbo could be heard. “Get back here and out of the way! I’m about to try and call the avenging angel, to purify these abominable monstrosities.” Zeriul reluctantly did so, squeezing off a few more bursts of his blast-pistols, which went wide of the mark.

Mephistopheles focused, deep in meditation, stirring energy of the void, chanting litany in an attempt to summon the avenging angel…

“Sint mihi dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Yawey! Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Pan-faunus, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistopheles, quod tumeraris: per Yawey, Gehennam, et consecratam aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus Mephistopheles!"

Something had gone awry… His usual darkened flame lit in the void-space and his mind turned to tearing the fabric of astral space. A portal was opened in the swirling eye of random stars, dæmons tormented the Rune-smith, horrific faces terrified the lupīnus vēnātor. A sea of dæmonic beasts plagued the psychics mind. The avenging angel appeared yet only ethereally, having no effect on the oncoming swarm. The two Marīnus entered the lifturbo upon its crashing arrival. Claws and spores struck out at the Star Soldiers, who were only just able to slam shut the door, and ascend to the upper level. A huge explosion sounded where they had just been.

The debriefing did not go so well, as Zeriul defied orders hacking in to the computerminal. Mephistopheles tried to justify his own advice against the action, yet defended his comrades course. The two Marīnus were dressed down, but told that they passed their first test. The two were told they would be considered for a command position some time in the future. They were given the use of a battle-frigate, complete with dropship, a land-rover tank, and introduced to a third-eye psychic navigator teamember. The next mission: Planet Marus.

Meanwhile … on another, distant planet, somewhere on the outer edge of the cosmos; the Chapter of the lupīnus vēnātor dropped down, descended upon its fecundity. T’was a planet known as L.V.426, named after the species of xenomorph that was known to inhabit the sphere: the xoats. These creatures, the very same that lay prisoner within the bowls of Illioch. A fledgling tribe also climbed the trees of this planet: the Wild-Elfæn Folk of the Forest. Staying to the tree-tops, and being silently watchful of the native species on L.V. 426, the two cultures had lived in relative harmony, ignorance on the part of the gene-brood tyrasaurs, and careful observation by the Wild-Fæ.

Now that the Marīnus lupīnus vēnātor had landed, was a grave concern for species L.V.426 and the Wild-Elfæn Folk alike. A Way-Watcher and a Spell-Singer envoy were sent to communicate with the hive-mind patriarch – both species having forseen their inevitable downfall. Both the alien hive-mind and the normally peaceful tribe of the Elfæn Folk took the only course of action possible for their collective survival. Drawing on an ancient alliance, that betwixt xoats and wood-elves, meant that this coalition was one that had withstood the test of time. Deep rooted harmony had existed once, many moons ago, before the xoats had turned to the dark-side, become more insidious, incongruous, than once they had been, millenia ago, on the olde worlde.

This union of xoats and forest folk had another victory on the planet of Pandora. The distant relatives of the forest people and that of the Na’vi’hœ. Another attempt had been made to annex and exploit the mineral obtanium from planet Pandora. The news of which had travelled throughout the stars, the legendary turuk’maktœh, last shadow-rider [Jacob Suhlee] inspired the xoats and forest people that a victory could be won, against the seemingly invincible forces of humanity.

In the months that followed, preparations were made for the lupīnus vēnātor to guard other regular soldiers of the ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ who, in turn, were to protect the civilian contractors: miners, engineers, and scientists. Huge obtanium deposits were found below the planets surface, penciled-in for exploitation by the ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ. Both Carnivœx seers and Elfæn warlocks had foreseen the planets’ plight. Immediate action needed to be taken lest the planets people and resources be violated by mans insatiable greed, need to conquor, over all other forms of life.

The fact that their were many more Wild-Elf kin than xenomorphs meant that – for most part – species L.V.426’s feral-nature could be tamed, in accordance with the Patriarchs’ wishes. However, this proved to be a risky engagement because the xenomorphs’ reversion to instinct, the beast within them, may not be always tamed by the hive-minds will. The difficulty would be to keep the hive-mind close to one another, lest the id be let loose, the rage of instability wrecking havoc over the battle-field. The forest folk would defend them from the relative sanctuary of the trees and from the skies. Wild-riders on giant-eagles, massive hawks, descending from the heavens.

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Seas of Snuggle-Nook
The Third Generation of Tadisaga

Grift-Meister Maxen the Saxon’s Campaign Log, written at 9:22 post-meridian.

Snuggle-Nook: The Third Legacy

The challenge was set. In the bustling port of NoirSable (BlackSand) our two hero protagonists: Paco Jay Meadri the Black-Elven Death-Mage (effectively a level five Drow-Elf Exterminator) and Hagrin the Dwarven Acrobat (also level five, played by Berenger/Morris) set off to work their passage on the ship the Sweet Mary Jane VI under the watchful eye of captain Salek. He had a wager with captain Barbarussa, of the Banshee. The bet was to see who could plunder the most treasure in-betwixt here and the eastern orient: Nippon. In the fifty days it would take, the captain who would had accumulated the most loot won the 5,000 sceattae (G.p) wager, would take the prize.

After casting off, the wind was fair, the weather agreeable, and the two ships slunk out of the bay of NoirSable, the Santa Maria IV tacking off in the direction of Cytherea, a desolate place, with sand-dunes and a Persian spice about the place. On the second day of the voyage, captain Salek took ill, and passed away, bought the farm, was sent to Davey Jones’ locker, arr! Scurvy took the old sea-dog. Hagrin was appointed to be the new captain, and the ship set sail, mourning the loss of its already skeleton crew (only eleven).

Among the crew was Orioll the Ranger, from Kalaf; who advised they not attack the village by an oasis, once the crows nest had spotted land. They left only two crewmen and skirted around the town, once dropping anchor and rowing ashore, taking plenty of food and water into the desert.

They waited for days, with no returns. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Alas, just before they were about to consider heading back to the ship, a caravan appeared. A dozen lizardmen, three of them riding reptilian Cold-Ones, guarded a bunch of booty they had found. Secreted from behind the dunes on either side, Orioll suggested he strike out-front, blocking any escape from that side. They attacked…

Orioll failed his move-silently and his hide-in-shadows checks, the lizardmen knew something was up, and it nearly spoilt the surprise until wham! Orioll let a lone fire-arrow fly from his longbow, it struck the lizardman leader in the head, which exploded in a burst of flames when he failed his threshold of pain check. (We have these new dice which have hit-location on, neat eh?) Paco-Jay began casting, then cancelled the spell, causing an automatic mishap! One of his relatives flipped-out (temporarily) and also his nose turned black, permanently! (He was a Black-elf anyway, so it made little change, just from matt to gloss) Anyhow, seeing their chief’s head explode gave the lizardmen pause for though. One failed morale check later, and they froze. Hagrin parleyed, and eventually took all of the booty off of them (several hundred coins and nine unidentified cut gem-stones) The lizardmen were bound, then taken to the village.

After debating the fate of the reptilian raiders, it was (eventually) decided that they be given a local trial, rather than sending them to the captial of Regino-Finniga. The townsfolk gave the scaly raiders a kangaroo court, and had them all strung up, one by one. String ’em up. Arr!

The crew celebrated a victory, and managed to recruit a half-a-dozen locals to add to the skeletal staff they had already. Returning to the Santa Maria IV (the Sweet Mary Jane the Fourth) the Underground Homegrown Crew (U.H.C.) weighed anchor and set off to their next destination: Kalaf-Port.

The six-day journey was uneventful, save for a spot of rain. The U.H.C. arrived in the bustling, grotty seaport, and headed straight for the prize-fighting tent. Hagrind decided to step up to the plate, entering a deadly combat with a lumbering Akh-Ogre. The ‘boxing’ gloves were covered in lethal spikes. The bet of 500 sceattae (G.p) could be doubled up on winning a successful bout.

The announcer shouted, “In the red corner, challenging the unde_feated_ *champ*ion, the dread-pirate capt’n HhhaaaaaAAAAAGWIN! In the blue corner, the Ogre in a toga, Kalafs own unbeatable reigning champion, Rocha Dervishaan! Seconds out!” ding ding! “Rooouuuuund ONE!”

Both Hagwin and Rocha sized up to each other, the ogre towering over the dwarf. Circling one another, the big-guy landed a right-cross on Hagwin, a spiked fist mauling his face. Undeterred, the dwarf moved in against his opponent, jumping up and planting a rabbit-punch on the big-guys chest. It barley scratched the Akh-ogre who returned the favour with a wild hay-maker that missed its mark. Once more the big-guy landed a solid blow on Hagwin, knocking the air out of his chest. Again, our Acrobat protagonist was unfettered, and decided upon a different course of attack. Hagwin threw a feint then ran and jumped up the ring-side corner pole, vaulted off it then came down hard on Rocha, landing a downwards spiked fist across Rochas jaw, sending him spinning to the sand., but still on one knee.

Rocha seemed unscathed and landed an uppercut on the Acrobat, who flipped backwards, and tumbled toward the ogre aggressively. Bam! He knocked the big-guy for six. Rocha shook it off, and laid in to the little feller. The whole time this was happening, Paco-Jay Meadri in the crowd awaited the signal. It was then that the acknowledgement was received and the Death-mage discreetly cast Disable Hand on Rocha, who’s right hand was messed up, bad.
Hagwin pressed the advantage, laying in to the ogre, flipping about, using a combination of leaping and spinning to plant bombs on Rocha, who was down to half his health by this time.

Rocha retaliated, beating the little guy down to a fraction of hit-points. Paco-Jay started casting, this time he cast amuch longer spell, blatantly, in full-view of the crowd (who didn’t care, they were all crims) the Black-Elf Death-mage cast Animate Dead on the ogres dead right-hand. Like ‘Ash’ out of Evil Dead II the possessed hand struck the big-guy for a whopping fifteen points of damage. Getting a taste of his own medicine, the ogre waded in, throwing a wild hay-maker that only clipped the little dwarf, scratching him a little graze. ’Ash’s right-hand again lumped the big-guy for another shed-load of damage, taking Rocha down to only three hit-points!

Orioll advised a merciful ending by recommending Paco-Jay try and control the Animated hand. Factoring-in the Death-mages’ Intellect, Wisdom, Charisma and Level, Mr. Meadri managed to make the meagre 32% chance of controlling the possessed palm. The fist punched only the dirt, and it seemed as though the ogre hit the ground in a rage, mad for losing the fight by a whisker. All onlookers new something dodgy had gone on, but nobody cared. The announcer called out the result, and the U.H.C. were five-hundred sceattae up.

The crew revelled in victory a while, and Hagwin asked Orioll if they knew somewhere he could be healed; seeing as the Ranger was local and all. Orioll said he would take them to La Fortesa, the capital of Kalaf. It wasn’t too far, into the mountains, and they reached the keep in no time. After a brief introduction to Pep Prim “Slim” the court-wizard, and the regent of the nation: Guilfré El Sedere, they proceeded to the temple, to visit Thomas of Notley. The Patriarch of Kalaf, and chief holy-man of Luvia. Good Thomas healed him up, and offered to accompany the U.H.C. on their quest, in place of Orioll. The U.H.C. accepted graciously, honoured.

Between the wharfs and the town, lay a long sandy stretch to which the U.H.C. strolled down to check out the scene. To see wagwan (what’s going on). Alas, the Dark-One races were taking place, and Paco-Jay entered his very own Dark-One, the captured beast from the caravan raiders.

In the heat of betting, Hagwin realised their was no insurance policy in place, as he tried to get some assurance for his bet. He petitioned the regent (the paladin, Guifré El Sedere) who approved his notion for setting up an insurance at the races. Paco-Jay’s Dark-One Sabir managed to race ahead of the pack. I roleplayed this quite well, imitating a racing commentator “…and it’s Red-Ballon coming up on third, closely followed by…” my voice rose in a constant crescendo, an outpor of commentry until “…and it’s Awkspeed now, over-taking, and is it? Is it? Yes! It’s Awkspeed who came in first, tearing the hapless goblin captive to pieces.” They lost their bet (all except Maggy McFinnigan, who had just arrived, and bet on all three with the highest odds.) Of course, Hagwin made a small sum through his insurance policy. He then stayed here, in Kalaf, and told the crew of the Santa Maria IV that he would catch them up in a small schooner, and to send word of which way they had gone.

The U.H.C. now met an old creditor, who had to settle a bad-debt with one of Hagwins illegitimate half-siblings. They bet the boat, lost the dice roll, and sabres were drawn. Hagwin tumbled off the side of the room and plunged his rapier right in to Jaimil the debtors side. At the same time, Maggy cast Phantasmal Fireball at one of the goons, who failed his disbelieve saving throw, and was took him down on a failed Threshold of Pain check. Then, Thomas of Notley used his Stirring Oration (Rousing Speech skill) and passed his check easily. “Calm yourselves brothers of Kalaf, no more blood shall be spilt over meagre debts which could be so easily written off, lest ye all perish at one another’s hand!” The speech did the trick. Everyone downed arms, and the Santa Maria IV was safely in the U.H.C.‘s hands once again. The other clientèle went back to their hookahs and dice-games, just another altercation in this city of crims’ and scum. N’owt outta the ordinary in this part of the world, the un-tamed wild-lands, the sandy streets filled with scum: Port Kalaf. A nation long since neglected, for nearly a year now. Maggy McFinnigan decided to stay here a while, and let Paco-Jay and Thomas of Notley go it alone from here in on.

Alas, returning to the Sweet Mary IV they (the U.H.C.) heard from the harbour-master that there is a very wealthy temple occupied by the priests of the dead, up-river which flows through Azure. They happened upon the mysterious temple, which was nestled in a cosy dell, surrounded by undergrowth. The megalithic stones towered, arching into the air, flanked by dressed stone, long since covered with creepers and vines. The gothic, pointed architecture of this unholy place gave the area a shuddering atmosphere. To boot, lay the bones of deceased visitors which adorned the crypt-like eeriness of this place of death. The crew refused to go ashore, in fear. Thomas was eventually persuaded to follow Paco-Jay, who two made up the landing party.

Entirely devoid of any signs of life, the duo made their way down the stairs, into the bowels of these elements. Adventurers, ever alert, on guard. It wasn’t to be, a giant leech surprised them! (Only having a 1% chance of being detected, see H.o.B.) Alas, Thomas of Notley was struck unawares! He lost half his hit-points in one hit, and had to pass his save vs. death to avoid dying through massive damage (he lost over 50 hit-points in one go!) and didn’t manage to contract the deadly disease the giant leech inflicts when it attacks.

Paco-Jay saw he was outmatched and wisely decided to cast Wraithform putting the Death-mage well out of harms’ way, his insubstantial form being transported to the ethereal plane of existence. Then. Thomas cast Cause Nasty Wounds taking an attack of opportunity (heroic spell casting) which the giant-leech missed, and wham! he took the big blood-sucker down a peg or forty! Nice work. Paco-Jay gazed on, unable to intervene, his arrow flying straight through the beast. Alas, the giant-leech attacked again, and once more Thomas didn’t contract the disease. The Zealot of Luvia then cast another Cause Nasty Wounds this time getting three penetration rolls! (Open ended damage) the leech didn’t care, and this time its attack of opportunity hit, but Thomas kept his concentration. Not bad at all. Though, he did however contract the fatal blood disease. Paco-Jay told him to halt. Thomas disobeyed orders, knowing he only had so long to live, returned to the ship, and prepared and cast Cure Disease (after dispatching the leech of course with a final spell).

“Why did you disobey a direct order Thomas?!” ranted Paco-Jay. “Because I knew if I didn’t get medical treatment soon, I was going to die. It was time-critical. I had no time to explain, and you wouldn’t understand priestly magick, wizard. Also, I accompany you to spread the word of justice, of Luvia, not because you are my captain; you are the captain of this crew, and no-one else.” The level eight priest originally was going to stay on-board the ship, but Paco-Jay managed to persuade him to come ashore again, after he had almost-fully healed himself.

They continued down the corridor, entering a mausoleum. Inside was an undead guardian, who asked in a wraithly voice, “Which way is the prevailing wind blowing on Enrakai?” “South” answered Paco-Jay. Uh-er! Wrong! “Go away, mere mortal” said the undead guardian after cursing the Death-mage. Who bleated like a noob asking “How was I supposed to know that?!” A voice opened up in the clouds, “If you had paid attention to the flavour text at the start, you would have had the correct answer.” Paco-Jay accepted that, and they moved on.

The duo entered a heavily buttressed hall, where stood a disgusting statue of some foul deity, and two black-robed acolytes who drew their dirks saying, “We shall hasten your journey to perpetual night.” Thomas had the initiative and downed an acolyte in a single blow with his Mace+1 then Paco-Jay cracked t’other over his head with his stout quaterstaff, knocking the chaotic priest to his knees. He showed him mercy after a failed morale check and attack of opportunity which put the dark-acolyte on a few precious hit-points.

“Why did you attack us?” “We were just doing our job.” “Your job?! Who do you work for?” “The ministry of correction.” “and what exactly do you do at this ‘ministry of correction’ of which you speak?” “We change people, correct them.” “How exactly?” “We change them from being alive people … to being dead people.” Paco-Jay raised his eyebrows uttering “I should have known.” then Paco-Jay said, “Why should we spare you?” “I would join you, I was sick of this place anyway.” At that point Thomas said to Paco-Jay, “Cover your eyes.” “Why?” “Just cover them.” Paco kept one eye open, Thomas noticed. “Here take this Paco-Jay, you will close your eyes, or regret it, for you are a non-believer.” handing him a blind-fold. Thomas of Notley then asked the captive acolyte sternly, “Are you willing to mend your ways, and turn to the light? To believe in Luvia, as I do?” “Yes.” replied the acolyte. “You had better…” and with that, Thomas slammed his light-banner down. A flash of light, a thunderous sound boomed throughout the chamber, rattling the very walls, with the sound echoing loudly throughout the corridors of the crypt.

Paco-Jay took off the blindfold. To Thomas’ amazement, neither of them were blinded. The acolyte reall did have faith! The acolyte, who’s name was Reggie, said in his south-east accent (thieves’ cant’ of the Anglyn capital.) “Told you squire! I been meanin’ to get outta the death game for a while now, being here is no fun. I’ll be your apprentice, willingly, faithfully. I wanted to turn o’er a new leaf for ages now, here’s me chance guv’nor.” So Reggie took off his black robes, replacing them with a set of white ones he’d been saving for an occasion just such as this. Though Chaotic-Good, he now followed a better religion: Lawful-Good Luvia.

Reggie spoke, “Beware o’ tha’ statue, I ‘eard the uvvers talkin’ ‘bout it, it’s dangerous it is. Mark my words.” Paco-Jay stepped boldly up to the statue, trying to remove the ruby tongue which immediately tried to paralyse him and retracted into a whirlwind of spinning blades inside it. Paco-Jay made his saving throw easily. He was against the idea of taking the statue intially, but was persuaded to do so as its value would count towards the quest amount. The two priests of Luvia carried it out, after burning the body of the dead acolyte.

Once back on-ship, they sailed up-river to Azure. After scouting out the best place to sell the statue, Paco-Jay decided on flogging it at the temple dedicated to the demi-god Arethusa. Though they only sold it for two-thirds of the price that the bazaar would have paid, it was out of the way of converting people. (I found this odd, as Paco-Jay is a Death-mage, surely he would want people worshipping that sort of religion.) Alas, Paco-Jay was no fool. He immediately set about sending out an intelligence network of scouts, to learn the whereabouts of the statue, within the temple of Arethusa. Alas, at nightfall, they set about recovering the precious, deadly work of art.

Thomas of Notley cast Darkness and Silence 15’ Radius and they broke in via the back, in the dead of night. After scouting out the church, they managed to source the whereabouts of the stolen statue. Reggie and Thomas began to load it back up the stair from down below in the catacombs where it was hidden. A voice came from the top of the stairs. The three (Reggie, Thom’ and Paco) all hid as best they could, until an audible thunk could be heard. Fortunately the crew had followed them, and the teams’ navigator had coshed the priest on the back of the head, knocking him out cold. The Arethusa worshipper fell down the stairs. The crew made it away clean, and cast off, until the next time.

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Welcome to Snuggle Nook!
The Tadisaga

Here’s the place to catch-up with what’s been happening with our gaming group. We have a couple of GM’s and run an underground (that is – not part of the H.M.A. “pay to play” scam) home-grown (named so because we have many house-rules and the H.M.A. doesn’t like that!) crew. We run Hack-Master and W.F.R.P.

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