Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Seventh Circle of Hell!

Thinking back at what Alron has been through, the title of this post seems rather appropriate.

It was fixed a long time ago, but for most of the time, the tip of Alron's nose was gone. The miniature has a very small base, and thus any nudge of the table would send him toppling over (you'd think he'd avoid that more with an 18 Dexterity! heh). One time he tipped over, the paint on the tip of his nose flaked off, and he stayed that way for a long time.

Alright, so, now on to what he's been through...

- Captured by evil cultists and tortured by one of their orcs.
- Contracted Lycanthropy from some wereboars that attacked him.
- Spent weeks trying to get back home after who knows how long running around as a wearboar.
- Captured by elves for trespassing on their lands, who were then going to put him to death for being a lycanthrope (he admitted it, and wanted help from them, but they were going to kill him instead. Oh, so very nice).
- Escaped with a band of werewolves, then had to escape from them (they're EVIL!).
- Captured by ogre CHILDREN, then dragged back to their lair when Mom showed up. Escaped, taking several other prisoners with me, but lost them when he changed into a wereboar that night. Never found out what happened to them. I hope Steve didn't have Alron kill them.
- somewhere in there, got captured by orcs, that tied him up to a post to bake in the sun for days, demeaning him the whole while, and then put him to work in their mines for what seemed like weeks, or longer. He eventually was rescued by a force of elves that decimated the orcs.
- after helping him to get back to full health, they asked him to help them recover prisoners from a large humanoid army. He took on the job, and didn't do a very good job of it at all, but it turned out that he was mostly just a distraction anyways, to divert attention away from the main elven force that was descending upon the army. Didn't feel really great about that one. Although he did meet a beautiful human Paladin named Amanda, that was working with the elves. I'm not sure who Steve had in mind when he described her... black hair and green eyes. I wonder if it was one of the heavy-metal babes he was listening to at the time. Lee Aaron, maybe? Hmm... nah, she has brown hair and brown eyes. Oh well. She gave Alron a magic sword in return for his help.
- He made it back to where he first turned into a wereboar and found that all his stuff was gone, except for his magical plate armor, which probably too heavy to lift for whatever lucky local happened upon his equipment.
- Finally got back to Saltmarsh, and met up with the group again. Was attacked shortly after by cultists, and was blinded by a spell. Actually, I'm unsure of the chronology of this one... this might have happened before the lycanthropy thing. Well, had priests remove the blindness and the lycanthropy. That was finally over.
- Next, was tested by the gods, having to fight a Drider archer, then a drow with a funky floating mirror-shield, both of whom he bested, and got a nifty magic bow, with a bunch of special arrows (like fireball, and lightning bolt, and stinking cloud... it was very Green Arrow), and got to keep that funky floating mirror-shield. All of this in preparation for a big quest. I don't think we ever found out exactly what the full quest was... might have been something about the big army of humanoids he helped the elves with... some "evil from up north" or something like that.
- Started on the quest, we needed to return to the cultist lair in the Caves of Chaos to deal with them. Jumped through a portal to escape a massive demon the lead cultist summoned, Alron got trapped on some alternate plane (where he unfortunately lost all his special arrows), and when he escaped, by finally finding an exit portal by looking through the back side of that mirror-shield, he ended up around 500 years into the future. (This was planned, as a way to get him into Steve's university campaign)

Things calmed down a bit then. Alron saved a fellow Ranger, named Richard, from some ruffians, and hooked up with Richard's group. I'm fairly certain that this group had already been playing 2nd edition AD&D. Alron was a 1st edition Ranger. I converted him to 2nd edition, but thinking back, I should have asked Steve to just keep him as a 1st edition ranger. It would have made sense, as an evolution of the class over 500 years, that he and Richard would go about things differently. Would have made them each a bit more unique in the group.

Oh, I'll tell you a story about a particularly good experience. The group was contracted by someone... can't remember who... to go into this Paladin's house and retrieve the Paladin's Holy Avenger. I assume it was for a good reason, since I can't remember specifically who was sending us. We had to beware, though, since along with the Paladin's sword, there was an "Unholy Avenger" there too... an Anti-Paladin's sword. They were identical, so we had to take the right one. We agreed and proceeded into the house. It was a fairly straight forwards dungeon crawl... I don't even remember what kind of enemies we had to deal with... there might have been a beholder, but I might be thinking of something else. I'm not sure.

The real "fun" started when we entered this L shaped room. At the bottom right corner of the L there was a strange bubble protruding from the wall. It was very curious. Before any of us could slap a hand over her mouth, Francis' girlfriend piped up with "I burst the bubble!". She was playing a... gnome jester... halfling equally-useless-character... I don't know at that point... but regardless, she whipped out a dagger and stabbed the bubble. A sudden wind blew us all back, and then just as suddenly reversed and started sucking inwards, into a black void beyond the wall. We managed to secure everyone so that noone would go tumbling off into the void, when this giant demonic hand came reaching through the hole in the wall, and it grabbed several of the party, who were currently trying to work their way up a rope towards the anchor crew, so we could get out of there. Alron was one of the fortunate ones to have been flung back against the wall opposite the bubble, so he was far enough away to have avoided getting grabbed.

He secured himself with a rope, and then rushed up to the hand, pulling out his sword to attack it, hacking at the fingers and then wrist, trying to get it to release the others. As he continued to wrack up damage on the hand, those grabbed were able to start escaping, one at a time, so he kept hacking at it. At one point, a fire began to crawl up the creature's arm, towards the hand, threatening to burn those inside the hand if it reached them, but Alron's sword, at that time, was a +3 Frost Brand Longsword, a sword that was capable of generating intense cold, and could extinguish fires if thrust into them. So, just before the fire reached his friends, he thrust the sword into the fire and it went out! Yay!

The celebration died on everyone's lips as the second last person escaped, and it was only our half-elf cleric, Sarek (yeah, I mentioned before about "original") who was stuck in the hand's grip. One more strike by me would sever the hand and save him, but I didn't do enough damage and the hand pulled him through the hole. As the hand withdrew, Sarek tumbled through the void, and Alron took out his bow, quickly tying a rope to one of his arrows and firing it at Sarek, aiming it for just between his body and his arm, so he could grab the rope. I rolled a 20! Then the celebration started up! Sarek grabbed ahold of the rope and we pulled him back in, getting everyone away from the hole and then out of the room.


Of course, the whole house was messed up at this point. Bursting the bubble made the whole place possessed, with funky stuff happening all over the place. Richard and Alron had to join up to close the bubble to fix the place again.

This is getting long now, so I'll continue again next time...

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