Friday, July 10, 2009

"Boared"... or, "Were, were you??"

Ah puns. Aren't they great? What? They aren't? Really? Well, okay.

Anyway, this was fairly early on in Alron's "career of pain". We'd finished the Saltmarsh trilogy, and the town counsel awarded us with a house on the outskirts of town. It was someplace we could use as a base of operations.

Steve drew up some basic floorplans, but it was really nothing fancy, so we started making plans. Dig out the basement to make a study/laboratory for Merlin (Francis' magicuser), get furniture, artwork, etc. So, Alron took Conan (Jeff's barbarian) and an npc character, and we went to the next city over, to find a crew to do the digging.

On the way, we were camping, and the camp was attacked by these animals. We didn't have the opportunity to light a torch or anything, so we just defended ourselves by the moonlight, and killed the creatures. In the morning, we woke up to find out that the three creatures were gone, and in their place were three human bodies! Oh crap, they were lycanthropes.

Alron had taken quite a bit of damage, so I was fearful of him contracting the disease, so I had him go to the local church in town, to get them to case a cure disease on him. Well, the priests there wanted to have proof he'd contracted it, before they would cast the spell... I think Alron didn't have the gold available, and they said that they'd cast it for free, to rid him of the evil, but they wanted proof of it first.

Not really wanting to wait, he found another church outside the city, but it turned out to be an evil temple. I had him just tell the priest there that he was going to leave, and the priest agreed it was for the best, and that was that. heh.

So, I waited. Next night, Alron went out into the woods (this was probably not the best idea, but I wanted to avoid bloodshed), took off his armor and weapons, and waited... and yup, he transformed into a were-something. I thought it was a wolf at the time.

So, Alron wakes up the next morning, and he's not in the same place that he started... understandable... let's just have a look aroun.... wait a second... these are the same kind of trees that were in the forest I was in... these grow further north. Oh crap. He's covered in dirt and mud, completely naked otherwise, aaaaand suddenly he's got several elves with bows challenging him.

Well, I had him explain that he wasn't sure how he got here, and he didn't even really know where "here" was. The elves weren't impressed, and took him prisoner. Tossing some clothes onto him, they took him to their village, and in front of their elders. They questioned him, and it came down to it that I thought maybe they could help Alron... so I had him say that he suspected that he was a werewolf.

Wrong answer.

Ten elves with bows were on him in a moment, all pointing arrows at his head. Hooooboy.

Without letting him say another word they took him away and threw him into a dark cell with a bunch of others... humans and a dwarf. One of the humans approached and asked him why he was there. He figured it would be good for some cred, and as a warning, so he said he was a lycanthrope. Noone else seemed to understand, but the human talking to him did. He asked what kind. Alron said "wolf", but the man scoffed, saying that he didn't have it in him.

I was confused by that, but there was little time to debate the issue. Elves came and dragged him and one of the others out of the room, over to what looked to be a temple. They were dragged inside, and strung up by their feet. A cleric began to chant and was going to sacrfice them with a special knife. He stabbed the other, but with them swinging freely, the knife didn't penetrate too deep. Just then, the door burst open, and it was the human he talked to, and the dwarf. There was a prison break. They attacked the cleric and cut down Alron and the other, and everything after was a blurr as they escaped the village.

Well, Alron stuck around for a bit, but left very quickly upon seeing how they acted... thoroughly evil... and it appeared that all of them were werewolves, a roaming pack of them. After escaping, he started to make his way south again... but not before finding out that it wasn't were-wolves that attacked him that night, but were-boars!

That's right. He was a were-boar.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You take the bad with the good...

I was playing Alron, the Archer/Ranger. The rest of the group, as a reminder, was Sarek, the half-elf cleric, played by Mike... Richard, the human ranger, played by Jonathan... Milamber, the human magicuser, played by Francis... Zoroaster, the half-elf fighter/magicuser, played by Joe... and a halfling... I dunno... jester or something... played by Francis' girlfriend, Jen.

So, our group was setting up camp for the night, and someone was casting a few spells off in order to memorize something else for the next day, and detect magic was cast. A tree nearby registered as magical! Curious, we had Sarek cast dispel magic on it. The success of the dispel was dependent on difference in level between the caster who cast the magic spell you're attempting to dispel, and the caster casting the dispel magic. You apply that difference to a die roll, and roll. First attempt, it didn't work... so, we stayed there, Sarek taking that spell as many times as he could (three, I think), and casting it time after time, failing each time, until around 4 days later, he FINALLY rolled low enough to get it! The tree suddenly transformed into a beautiful elven princess!

She told us that she had been put under a polymorph spell by a jealous suitor who would not let her marry someone else. Since the half-elf cleric had saved her, she was in his debt, and if we would escort her to her home, she would arrange for a great reward, part of which was her hand in marriage to the cleric.

So, we're traveling to her home when we encounter an evil cleric. He cast Fear on the party, and several of us fail our saves, including Alron, and the princess. So, I couldn't do anything as my character is running as fast as he can to get away. The halfling, who made her save, is worried about the princess, that she might run into somewhere dangerous, or run into a tree, or fall down and hurt herself... so, she picks up a rock, and throws it at the princess, trying to knock her unconscious. She rolls a 20, scoring a critical hit, and kills the princess (she only had like 6 hit points or so).

In 1st edition AD&D, elves cannot be raised with a Raise Dead spell (which I believe Sarek had access to) because they have spirits, not souls, so that was that... the whole reward/hand-in-marriage thing, all up in smoke because of this.

The real kicker, Jen decided to lie about it. The whole exchange between her and the princess took place in private, in another room, so none of us knew what happened. She told Steve she had her halfling run around, trying to make it look like there were a whole bunch of enemies that had run in and run out again. When Alron got back from his run, and we'd dealt with the cleric and his minions, we went gathering everyone up. We found the princess dead, and the halfling nearby. She told us that goblins had attacked while we were dealing with the cleric, and they killed the princess. We had two rangers in the group, though, so we searched the area, checking out all the tracks that were around, and found that all the tracks were halfling, made by the SAME halfling, and the rock-wound in the princess' head, and the rock lying there... when goblins tend to use swords and spears... yeah... it was kind of like medieval CSI. heh.

If I remember correctly, we took the body of the princess back to her people, and we gave up the halfling as her killer. I believe Steve did something with that, something the rest of us weren't privvy to, probably some kind of spell put on her by the elven wizards, and the halfling was allowed to continue on with us. I was never sure if anything came of whatever "punishment" she received. She certainly wasn't saying anything. Probably for the best. heh.