Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jonathan’s Internal Reflection.

So the past few encounters have gone much better since the conversation with Delian. We are working much better as a group. I like fighting along side Braddoc. And I like him more than the others. I’ll always have a soft spot for Dwarfs.

Why do my friends keep insisting that I play a support role as the healer? What do I need to do to prove that I can hold my own in battle? Surely they must hear my battle cries to Dol Dorn and see the fear in my enemy’s eyes. Sure I’ve made a few rookie mistakes but I’ve dropped my share of evil villains so far.

Bite my lip for now and keep things to myself. Lead by example, Jonathon. Remember your teachings.

By the grace and glory and Dol Dorn, I will face our next challenge with strength and conviction. I will show once and for all that I am a warrior worthy of respect.

My the host be with us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The merchant prince Aubreck Drallion once stood among Sharn richest, non-dragonmarked house men. His ships sailed the sea, daring prate raids, aquatic monsters, and storm-tossed oceans to carry goods across the world. Aubreck's trade fleet was among the largest and most properous of its kind aside from House Lyrandar.

Yet perhaps Aubreck's success came too fast and too easily. While his profits eventually plateaued, he ambition kept expanding. when his contacts in the southern jungles reported that he could monopolize trade in several spices and rare herbs by offering a cache of magical items to a powerful native shaman, he leapt at the chance. he sold off many of his assets to purchase the required items and loaded them aboard Emperor of the Waves, the foremost ship in his fleet. his entire fortunes sailed with the great ship.

But fate was cruel, and the Emperor of the Waves disappeared. a sotrm separated the ship from here escort, leaving her final location unknown. Devastated by the financial loss, Aubreck became a simple merchant. He never again regained his glory, and many potential business partners saw his disastrous failure as a sign of hubris and even divine retribution.

Four days ago, the derelict Emperor of the Waves was spotted off the coast. Aubreck is poor, but he can still afford to hire a ship, a few men-at-arms, and a party of inexperienced adventurers to venture out to sea and discover the secret of the vessel's fate. Aubreck believes that he can restore his former glory if he can recover the magic items that sailed with the Emperor. All he needs are a few brave souls for adventure.

Ethan's Journal - Excerpts

15 Rhaan, 998 YK

We are returning to Sharn. The group seems much more at ease, though there is a gloom about us. Our last battle went better. We feld a pack of Kobolds. Sterling directed our efforts like a General. We centred the battle around Braddoc and the Kobolds fell. Our only shortfall was the death of yet another innocent. Hirelle, and worse a member of the Clifftop guild. Master Dourstone will no doubt be upset with us for failing to protect him. I feel that we need to do more to protect others that are drawn into these conflicts, but I grasp at straws as to how this can be accomplished.

I still notice Jonathon giving me odd looks due to my fighting tactics. Six take him, but his looks of disapproval make me feel shameful. Often I wish that I wore heavy armour like Delian, Braddoc, and Jonathon. That I had the skill at arms to weild a longsword with proficiency. I feel life would be easier, that I might be better accepted by the others. Yet, I know that I'm good at what I do. Perhaps, that's the scariest part. I'm able to take my foes down with calculated, well timed blows. By placing my enemy off balance I exploit his weakness. It might not be honourable, but I learned my lesson years ago about honourable combat. I'm surprised that some of those that I fight with who have survived the war still fight with honour. From stories I've heard the last war was anything but honourable.

18 Sypheros, 998 YK

Olladra has blessed me! A member of the Clifftop Guild! This is beyond my greatest dreams. I shall to work hard to prove that Master Dourstone made the right choice to bestow such a great honour upon me. I have decided to leave my apartment in lower ward and use the lodging provided in the guildhouse. It isn't ideal, but it is safer and will provide greater opportunities for me.

Greatest of all is the adventure I am now on! We are sailing out to find a wreck and lost treasure. This is as close to Xen'drik as I'm likely to get. The salt breeze on my skin is fantastic. My natural balance and acrobatic training is paying off. Where some of the others having been off balance I find the motion of the ship natural. Almost soothing. It was funny as the other day I saw Braddoc bent over the aft railing. His face ashen as he let loose his guts! I must confess that I had a good laugh at his plight. I suppose he'd prefer mountain halls to the open seas.

I notice too that the others feel ill at ease. We have been warned that we might be attacked at any time by Shaughin who live in these waters. We were also warned against wearing heavy armour lest we get tossed over board and sink like stones. Their constant pacing and brooding due to lack of activity is depressing and so I spend my time on the deck, removed from the others. I feel free, and it feels good.

One more thing have I noticed. That is Larien. She seems distant, pre-occupied by her thoughts. She doesn't have her bow at her side all the time and when she does she holds like it is an alien object. I worry for her, but don't know what I can do to help. Perhaps it is just being at sea. She is a full blooded Valerain elf. I suppose she'd rather be astride a horse than at sea. Perhaps dwarves and elves have more in common than I thought.


Tiefling of mystery. You've encountered him once on the road from Crawar where he dispatched a fellow Clifftop guild member and stole an unknown item. Seems to wield extremely powerful magic and serves someone he calls "Master".

Recap #4 - Meet a Tiefling and Return to Sharn

8-9 Rhaan
Along with the newly freed townsfolk you commandeer a wagon and head back to Black Pit. The reunion was joyous if not subdued. The former slaves were whisked off to rooms in the inn and tended to by the serving girls.

After a hot meal and bath the party talked to Joseph and Earnin about a course of action. They learned where Crawar was located and which roads to take in order to assist the unsuspecting traveller. Earnin also settled up with the group with the remaining 100 gp reward with instructions to present it to Ragnolin upon their return.

In the meantime the supply wagon for Orile showed up. It did not take long for the wagon drivers to hightail it to safety once they realized that their contacts were no longer in charge. The party left the supplies to the townsfolk and decided to head South to the Kings Road that led to Crawar the next morning.

9-13 Rhaan
The party travelled the roads looking for the lone traveller. No one met the description until about noon on 13 Rhaan.

As the party was approaching a swampy fork in the road they heard the sounds of a pursuit coming towards them. Larien hid off in the rocks and shrubs off the road while the rest of the party waited to see what approached them. It took only seconds for an exhausted looking man to round the corner and head straight toward them calling "My name is Hirelle! I plead with you to assist me!" In pursuit were a large number of kobolds. Sterling quickly gave the order to close with the enemy in order to stem the tide of blades closing in on their prey.

The battle was fierce.

Kobold slingers attacked the group with their special shot while a pack of minions swarmed Braddoc and Jonathan. Meanwhile two dragonshields protected a wiley wyrmpriest who tossed energy orbs and his dragon breath to great effect.

Then something odd occured. Through the middle of the battle a tiefling rode by on his horse. He avoided the combat but slowed long enough to see what was happening before galloping off down the southwest fork. Thinking he was not an immmediate threat the party finished dispatching the kobolds. That was when the tiefling's plan came into fruition.

He had rode through the swamp just south of the battle and come up behind the human who was now collapsing on his feet. Pulling a scroll from his pouch he proceeded to somehow hold the entire party in place as helpless bystanders. He dismounted.

"A fine chase it was Hirelle but you are caught. Even your newfound friends can not help you now. Hand over that which my Master desires and you may live another day to serve him."

Hirelle spat. "You know I can do no such thing. It would betray my employer and the rest of Khorvaire."

The tiefling paused. "Then here you shall die." As quick as the eye could see he brought his longsword from behind his back and dealt a fatal blow to Hirelle.

At this time several of the party members started to regain their faculties. Larien took a mighty shot that lodged into the sword arm of their adversary.

As the teifling smirked and deliberately looked Larien up and down he said, "Lay down your arms so that you do not meet the same fate as your comrade. My Master may have use of your talents one day."

Delian charged forward but was unable to strike true. The tiefling answered with a flick of his wrist and Delian seemed to glow with arcane energy before he fell in a heap beside Hirelle's corpse.

Wisely realizing that they were outmatched in sheer power, Sterling quickly ordered the party to stand down. The tiefling reached down, picked up a sack that had fallen from Hirelle's pack and, mounting his horse, galloped off to the south.

The party quickly tended to Delian's wounds and then settled in on the side of the road to decide what to do. A log book in Hirelle's pack indicated that he was actually a member of the Clifftop Adventurer's Guild and was, in fact, enroute to Sharn! Requiring some guidance they used Orile's message ring to contact Ragnolin. A short time after burying Hirelle's corpse they received instruction from their guild leader. They were to return to Sharn as soon as they could. There was nothing more they could do to assist in the matter.

17 Sypheros
A little more than a month passes and the party finally trudges into the guildhouse. With a wave, Ragnolin has the bartender bring a round of drinks for the group as he ushers them into one of the private tables. After recounting your escapades to him, Ragnolin he has some news of his own: each one of the group has been offered membership into the guild if they so choose to join! Otherwise they can continue working at the guildhouse in their previous capacity. Needless to say each one of you gladly accepted memberhip. You are now full-fledged members and can now accept any work that is available to be had.

22 Sypheros
A man by the name of Aubreck came into the guildhouse today. He was looking for a few handy sorts willing to help get a small chest from a ship that he lost a few years back. It seems his ship - The Emporer of the Seas - went missing in a terrible storm. Because of it he lost almost everything he owned. However, it was sighted just a few days ago. It lies about a weeks sailing journey from Sharn. Your job is to board the ship, retrieve the blue chest, and return it to him. He gives each of you 100 gold up front with the promise of another 100 gold each should you be successful. He has a ship ready to leave in the morning.

30 Sypheros
A group of sturdy dwarves manning a ship known as The Soul of Winter has successfully ferried your group to The Emporer. The Soul stays 500 feet from the derelict ship and you are rowed to your destination in a small boat. That boat waits about 100 feet away should you get into trouble.

Upon boarding the deck you note that it is empty of life. There are dried blood stains around, the masts have been sheered off, and the rudder is broken. The ship lists slightly to port. It is hard to say how much longer the Emporer will be afloat at all.

Heading towards the stern you enter a large room that has been turned into an altar of sorts. Debris is everywhere - even choking a stairway that used to lead below deck. When two of the team enter the room a Monstrous Centipede Hive-Lord bursts from the debris and attacks. Spitting poison and biting the group it attempts to defeat you. However, solid tactics help the adventurer's prevail against the creature.

A quick search reveals a Frost Bastard Sword lying behind the altar. Apparently it was left as an offering of sorts. Delian takes this new weapon as a gift from his gods.

The adventure continues next week.

Larien's Journal - 17 Sypheros

At last I am a member of the guild instead of a slave to it. Now instead of Ragnolin paying me, I'm now paying him. But should I die a glorious death, I shall not need to pay any dues!

I have come to accept the fact that we are letting the warforged be the leader of our party in combat. His tactics are sound, but as a group we are still a bit inexperienced. On the other hand, I'd like to shoot the dimwitted Cleric myself as he has charged first into battle on more than one occasion. It was funny to have the Cleric ask me why I do more damage than he does. I wanted to tell him to spend more time at his church and pray for some skill, but I might need him to heal my ass one day.

I hear the squabbling of these men, and it reminds me of the other full-time bar wenches back at the Guildhouse who constantly bitch and complain. I would tell them to just give it more time to trust and rely on each other as a group as many of us still green to battle. But then some of them started talking about their faith and a silver flame and I lost total interest in the conversation. Such egos in this party. The quiet one, Ethan, seems to be one I can rely on. He is smart in how he deals with the enemy and he often tells me he has my back -- hopefully in a good way.

I am a warrior.
I'm a tactical warrior.
I feel like more of an assassin.
I rely on stealth and slaying my foes from afar.

Can I really have a glorious battle when I rarely face my enemies toe to toe? I suppose there will come a day where I will be face to face with foe -- are these the types of battles my patron ancestor wishes me to engage in? Or can I find glory in how I operate now?

Braddoc has a few words for the group...

Okay guys, just like in Derek's previous post, the following is delivered by Braddoc (the surly, unpleasant, pigheaded dwarf) from his point of view. I'm also ret-conning this a bit to make it fall into a more sensible spot in the story line. Assume my character said this during the most inconvenient and awkward moment possible during the boat ride out to our current location:

If we are to succeed, we have to be able to work together as a team, like soldiers, not a bunch of self-centered heroes. We need to identify the vital gound for each battle. This will determine our success or failure. Sometimes the vital ground is a person or item! We absolutely failed in this when you all rushed ahead to the kobolds instead of helping to defend poor illien (or whatever his name was, no summary has been posted *ahem* so I don't recall his exact name, you all know who I mean!). We had what they wanted, so they would have come to us. Your failure to do this cost a man his life. A leader's job is to make sure this happens and to the adjust the plan as necessary. Leadership doesn't stop when we say go.

Additionally, we all need to know how to fight WITH one another. Any engagement we have should revolve around me. As the toughest SOB in this group of slag, I should be the center of attention of whomever we are fighting. I will move around only to keep their attention, or to gain the attention of any additional opponents. ONLY if there are too many for me to handle should anyone else attempt this, that include the self-righteous and judgemental

And damn it, Jonathan, I like you, but your job is to KEEP ME ALIVE long enough so that they kill or capture whatever we're engaging. And you guys need to do whatever it takes to take out the highest priority enemies, together and fast, before we lose any more innocent people, or the gods forbid, one of us.

If we don't start acting like a team we will all die as heroes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boundless Endurance

While we wait for the weekly summary to be posted, I thought this might be a good time to look into the Boundless Endurance issue we discussed last night. I've checked the forums and there is some debate. This post seems to sum up the most common interpretation.

You gain regeneration when you are bloodied. However, this is a Stance power, which means it lasts until the end of the encounter or until you use a different Stance power.

In other words, until the end of the encounter or until you use another Stance power, any time you drop below half hit points you gain regeneration 2 + Con bonus. When you stop being bloodied, you stop regenerating. If you are later bloodied again, you start regenerating again.

I particularly liked this post.

You are under the effect of the power until you change your stance or the encounter ends. However, you only regenerate when you are bloodied.

So it would go like this while the power is active:

Start of turn: Are you bloodied? Yes, then regenerate 2+Con Mod; No, then no effect this turn. Rinse and repeat.

Here are the most useful forums that had postings on the subject.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Braddoc Stoneshield

Braddoc Stoneshield

Dwarf Fighter - Level 2

Init +1 = +1 (1/2 Level)

STR 16 +3
CON 18 +4
DEX 10
INT 12 +1
WIS 12 +1
CHA 10

Hipoints = 44
Bloodied = 22
Healing Surge = 11
Surges/Day = 13

AC = 20 = 11 +7 (Scale Armour) +2 (Large Shield)
Fort = 17 = 11 + 4 (Abil) + 2 (Class)
Ref = 12 = 11 + 1 (Abil)
Will = 12 = 11 + 1 (Abil)

Acrobatics +1
Arcana +2
Athletics +2
Bluff +1
Diplomacy +1
Dungeoneering + 4
Endurance +12
Heal +7
History +2
Insight +2
Intimidate +6
Nature +2
Religion +3
Stealth +1
Streetwise +1
Thievery +1

Race Features:
* +2 Con, +2 Str
* +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Endurance
* +2 Saving throws against Poison
* Dwarven Resiliency
* Dwarven Weapon Proficiency
* Encumbered Speed
* Stand Your Ground

Class Features:
* Combat Challenge - Marked if attacked by me. They are -2 to att unless they att me.
* Combat SUperiority - + Wis Mod to Att of Opp, Target stops moving
* Fighter Weapon Talent - +1 to Att with 1 handed weapons

* Dwarven Weapon Trg
* Toughness

At-Will Powers
* Covering Attack
* Cleave

Encounter Powers
* Covering Attack

Daily Powers
* Comeback Strike

Utility Power
* Boundless Endurance

Attack: +1 Vicious Battleaxe: + 9
* +1 (1/2 Level) +3 (Str) +1 (Class) +2 (Prof) +2 (Feat)

Damage: 1D10 + 7 (+1D12 on crit)
* +3 (Abil) +2 (Feat) +1 (Class) +1 (+1 Wpn)