Shielding Alliance

sudden fortune

One of the advantages of playing a wet behind the ears 18 year old is that it is natural for him to be foolish and naive, which covers for the guy behind the character sheet being foolish and naive as well.

OOG: I’ve never had this much gold in a campaign, and don’t even know where to look for a list of cool stuff.

In game: Florent has never seen this much gold before, and doesn’t even know where to look for a list of cool stuff. He is thrilled with his new armor, and his new and improved flail which already is working out well. (He hasn’t hit a companion in at least a couple days.) Being an impressionable young lad, he can be swayed by arguments, as well as the church of Helm. His main goal is to live out his new vocation as a protector of Helm and root out this evil. He would gladly give up the rest of his share for a good cause, or an item that would help the team. If the group cannot agree on an item, he heard someone mention a pearl of power that could restore a spell once a day, which sounded great. Other than that he is likely to be foolish with his gold. A wiser young lad would send funds home to his folks to help them out and help him save. Florent may instead try to use his gold to make up for his poor charisma and lack of charm with the ladies. Or he might be swayed by his new found faith and give it all to the church.

OOG: I am going with the ignorance is bliss route. Florent can be talked into just about anything. (In fact, his new armor seems to be sending him some dark thoughts and vibes, but that just might be the puberty hormones.) He is not attached to the staff of Striking, and probably is rather afraid of it, so unless the group wants him to keep it in times of need, he’ll hand it over. As a character, Florent is balancing a high wisdom with the foolishness of youth and an over active sex drive. Right now ignorance/youth is winning. In fact there were a couple sweet looking lanterns he had his eye on…

As Chris the gamer, I want the process to be fair and agreeable. I think it makes sense for us to agree on a process in general, and vote if needed. But when it gets down to actual picking out items, talking about big purchases, and advanced planning I think we should do that in character. Otherwise it feels too much like metagaming. As far as roleplaying this out we can at least start over e-mail and gear up for Sunday.

Florent exclaims: “Mon Dieu, look at all this gold. OOO LA LA, I am tres rich. Um, Sulmia, do you ave any sisters, by chance?”

Pertinax on the loot divisdion

“Back in Elversult we believe that a strong army is one where everyone is capable and no one is indispensable. For if too much power is concentrated on one individual, and that individual falls, the fight is lost.

At the same time each one of us will learn, with experience, how to improve oneself. As such I suggest we divide the gold and allow each one to spend his share as he sees fit. If certain people wish to enter into an agreement and pool their resources I wish you the wisdom to make the arrangement work.

Florent, if you do not want the staff then it appears to me that the decision is made. It should be sold for gold.

I myself, fancy a headband of clarity or intellect to boost my not-insignificant understanding of the arcane gestures and words by which with Art I liberate the power of the Weave. I also need gold to procure the inks and materials to write the new arcanist formulas that we find in my Faerin-parma.”

OOG:I like option 3. If option 3 wins I’ll take my share of the gold, thank you very much.

how to split the wealth

Let me see if I understand what you are saying in practical terms. You don’t want to vote on the Staff right now but would rather deal with it in-character on Sunday. Same with whether to buy the prayer beads and whether to pool resources and buy expensive items for one character at a time in lieu of dividing the gold and each character buying his own, less powerful, equipment.

“Non. Pardon Moi. Let me say you this. I no want the staff, unless the group wants me to keep it for strategy or something. I have never heard of prayer beads. Perhaps the church of ‘Elm will teach me of these things when I rise as a cleric. As for how we divide the loot, say me what the options are and what we could get. For me, I am appy with my new armor and flail, and no need anything else. I give money to another player to buy something, or if we divide I spend some and I give rest away.”

OOG: I agree that table game time is precious, and wouldn’t want to spend an extended session on dialogue without rolling the dice a few times. My suggestion is that we move the discussion along in character through e-mail role play. That way we can have decided what we want to do and move on by Sunday. Hopefully the role playing e-mail will keep us from meta-gaming.

In case Florent speak is unclear, he has the flexibilty of ignorance. If we decide to split the loot, he will buy some things and give the rest away. If we pool the money, he’ll give his share away and maybe next time he’ll know what he wants. Option 3 would be to split the money, and then those who want to spend it can, and those who want to pool it can with a smaller side pot.

Now that I’ve come up with the idea, my vote is for option 3. And just so ignorance is not an excuse for laziness, I’ll start looking at the DM’s guide for cool stuff Florent might want to buy in the future.

Ssss ...sss... ssssoo?

Obviously still chilled from his plunge in the dark watery hole, Treveylan speaks to the party

(while rubbing his arms and legs and stamping around), “ you w..w.want me to go back in to s..s..s..see if there is a tunnel u..u..under the water?? I..I.. I will if you n..n..need me to.

If there is nothing more down there.. we might have to leave and go on to Nulb (Spelling probably wrong??)... b..b..but we should settle the deal with the M..m..moneychanger before long. He was kind enough to reduce his c..c..comission. we should probably give him an idea of what we are looking to trade for the necklace and the rest of the gear in B..B..Baldur’s Gate.

How much gear are we u..u..unloading again?? I know the necklace and the, as well as the t..t..tea set. But we have to f..f..figure out what we are getting rid of and how much we each have to sp..sp..spend. (He is obviously frustrated with his speech and is trying hard not to stammer) I..I… would like a nice pack to store more gear to make travelling easier… and I we need some magical light sources… b..b..but what else do you all think you may wa..wa..want??”

He is rubbing his arms and legs furiously, striding as best he can around the room (staying clear of the watery hole)... And a look of amazement comes across his face… “I think we should gut this monstrous lobster to see if it has eaten anything useful that is still inta..inta..intact.”

Just so we don’t keep the islander hanging in suspense, Pertinax survived yet another forray to the moathouse/boathouse.

After much discussion about how to cash in our our bounty, and a possible road trip to Balder’s gate, we decided it would be worth paying Melub the moneychanger his 12% commission instead of making the sales trip ourselves. After storing the goods with Melub we returned to the den of evil one last time to enter the dreaded sub/ sub basement. Turns out it was a short trip to a deep pool. After dispatching a giant craw dad we searched for loot and possible secret doors. An exuberant Turtle knocked part of the treasure into the depths while scooping up a jeweled pendant. Treveylan did the polar bear swim to get a scroll case. We ended the session there, with the between sessions task of coming up with a wish list from Baldur’s gate and agreeing how to spend our bling bling.

More on the bling bling to follow.

gnolls. :P

23rd Florent exclaims: “The Protector be praised.” He looks at his tower shield to see if the massive ringing blows the huge dog creature rained down upon him have left dents. “Did you see how I crushed that big one? Per’aps my flail is no broken afterall.” As the adrenaline wears off he begins to lean heavily on his shield. “I am thinking that we could use a rest. Is there a defendable room we could make a camp of sorts in? In the mean time, I will stand guard while some of you search the bodies and the room.”

“Aye, that was fine work by all of ye… exceptionally good job Sulmea with your bow. Furnock, way to get in-between their defenses and knock them down a few notches. Florent… it seems you are much mightier than you had thought, you just needed to have faith in yerself and yer god. Way to defend the party Turtle… brilliant work staving off these beasts. And of course, Pertinax, way to slow them down with your spells and peppering them with your shots…,” he seems very happy that you have all done so well.

However, he seems equally dismayed. “I’m sorry I was a foul shot and could do nothing to help any of ye… ,” he grimaces as he kicks a downed gnoll’s head, “Perhaps I was not meant to be an adventurer… perhaps me father was right… if’n ye do not want me around any more, I would understand. I seem to be of little use to ye right now,” he steps away from everyone slightly, obviously upset with himself and his lack of ability in battle.

Furnock: Weel I’m glad those dog faced buggers are gone (looks down at his arm and sword that are coated in knoll entrails and begins making pitiful attempts to clean his blade using a gnoll’s jerkin) I don’t fancy stay’n here too much longer. Lets just check fer the shine and get outta ‘ere ‘for we have anymore buggers crawling up our backsides aye? I could do with some healing and a spot o’ kip. We all done weel no use frett’n over who’n done what. we got loot to fence and ‘ventur’n to do, aye?

(Florent turns to look at the rogue to see if his hand gestures will further explain his words.)

“Pardon moi, Furnock, but I you are tres difficile to understand. It sounds like both you and Sulmia are natives of ‘Ommlett, no? Since we are in lower level of the boathouse, I no think there be much shine from sun. And why you want to build fence with loot? I think we should sell eet, no?” Turning to the country girl with teenage awkwardness and blushing, “Madamoiselle, if you have bugs on your backside I can help you with these, uh, as a cleric, of course.” Embarrassed, he quickly changes the subject and turns to the rest of the group, “So do we look for place to rest ere in moathouse, or go back to village now?”

While others search for loot, Florent cuts the tunic with the flaming eye off the bug bear to compare it with the cloaks previously found. He also remembers how seriously the abbot of the temple of Helm turned when he saw the cloak, and thinks it is of import.

OOG: Luke, I like the money hungry gambler personality. And don’t change your dialogue because Florent is slow to translate, that’s part of the fun.

mystery solved.

[In Game] Florent hisses:  What the hell were those undead monstrosities?  He tries to keep his voice down, but has to speak loudly enough to be heard over the cacophony of his armor and huge shield.  Any tips on how to avoid getting touched and paralyzed by them again?  He winces as he rubs his wounded and somewhat healed ribs.

Treveylyn; “It seems like they are a stronger form of the undead we fought earlier… but then that is only a guess. You may want to inquire about undead when we head back town. Perhaps the brothers of Helm can enlighten you better than any of us could. Back in the ‘Shae I know the priests were called to clear out the zombies, ghouls, and the likes. I do not have much knowledge of them unfortunately.

But if you want advice on not getting paralyzed again… I say pray to Helm that he protects you… or on a more realistic rationale… do not run right up to them. Try not to get surrounded… I know easier said then done. Perhaps let them come to us while we use ranged attacks to knock down a few of them at a time and then when it is feasible to rush in… we do it together.”

when last we left off

Since the Stones are taking the week off, and we’re playing Sunday following a week off, I thought it would be helpful to refresh the story and do some e-role playing heading into Sunday. I don’t have my notes with me at work, but here’s what I remember about where we left off:

We’re still in the ogre lair room. Dead ogre minus his head is on the floor. Two freed human prisoners are huddled together, along with an unconscious gnome. The ex-cons are members of the Seven Suns merchant company that had been ambushed by bandits. They thought they had been imprisoned about a week. In addition to loading up the loot found in the ogre chest, Florent grabbed a bunch of the glass beads the ogre had collected. He asked Pertinax about light spells and similarities between divine magic and his art. Pertinax prepared a long reply, but it vanished before it could be communicated. Perhaps a dispel magic or silence charm? Turtle had been doing an inventory of the stocked goods and weapons to carry back to Hommlett. Kegs of brandy and other more valuable goods are being sorted and prepared for transport.

I believe we’d talked about making a stretcher to help us carry the unconscious gnome, and if he’s light, some of the goods. Any other SOPs for departure planning? Questions for the prisoners to ask on the trek back? Plans of action upon our return to town?

The big mystery at the keep remains the blood stain trail leading to the secret door in the pillar that led to a descending staircase. I am guessing that will be our next place to explore, or in Florent’s case, to stumble blindly into while clanking and scraping along.

getting ahead

Turtle asks: “So who’s good with an axe?”

With a pronounced countenance of disgust Pertinax says: “Cut the head? That’s barbaric. Let the record reflect that I am opposed in principle to the idea of civilized people cutting heads as trophies or proof. But if you wish to proceed I will not actively oppose your efforts.”

Treveylan walks over to Turtle, takes the axe from her, “Here let me do it… ” He rests his foot on the ogre’s chin to push the head back exposing the soft flesh of the neck, doubles up his grip on the handle… and cleaves directly into the esophagus, directly above the shoulders with all his might….”

“Aye tis nasty work… but a good way to get your frustration out…, ” he smiles amidst the blood spattering, as he proceeds to work to remove the head.

(still picking ogre guts off her shield spikes, Turtle snorts, grabbing the head by its hair and stuffs it into a sack) “Objection noted. Let this ‘record’ reflect that I do not care.” (sinching the sack) “Let it also reflect that no one voiced any objections to my suggestion about gutting frogs, which was a fruitful idea, and those same instincts apply here.” (spitting on the decapitated body) “I’m sure the rest of us barbarians appreciate you for not ‘actively opposing’ our efforts, whatever the Nine Hells that means.” (tying the sack to her belt) “Shall we skip the morality harague and finish our rescue? Even though we’re already, a-head.”

(smiles and whistles a tune somewhat off-key)

“Oy Turtle don’t be starting no arguments… let it go… he has said his opinion on the matter… you have said yours… let it be… You’re both right,” Treveylan says, trying to diffuse the situation before it gets worse. “We each have our own opinions, our own methods, our own beliefs… let us not fight amongst each other, we are here to help others… THAT is what WE are here for…,” stating the point clearly and directly.

So we take the ogre head. I guess it can’t hurt.” Florent smiles as he catches the irony of his statement, and with his typical awkward social grace says, “Get it. Can’t hurt, ‘cause he’s dead, so it won’t hurt, and you can never have enough evidence…” Uhhhh, anyway. My swings have been a bit errant lately. If you want the head to be recognizable after decapitation, perhaps sawing it off would be a better idea. We’re not in a rush.”

Turning to the half-elf: “I agree that the church of the defender should know of this threat as well. In fact, I have been feeling a growing closeness to Helm these past few days. I will need to confirm this with the abbot, but I believe I have been chosen by Helm to join the ranks of the holy protectors. So we will have a ‘in’ with the brothers now.”

Looking to the prisoners: “I think we have learned more than you give us credit for, Treveylan. We know that this is an organized operation, with enough financial backing to stock pile large amounts of goods and gear. We know they are powerful enough to enlist an ogre to guard the prisoners, and more impressive, they are strong enough to keep the ogre from killing and eating the prisoners for more than a week. Given the proximity of the zombies, we can also guess that they must have some power over the undead, unless we happened to be here at the exact time of their rising and revolt. Who knows what else the freed prisoners will be able to tell us on the walk back to Homlette. If Helm answers my prayers, I will offering them healing and comfort. I will tend to your wounds, Fernoc, as well as my own, of course.” Florent rubs his sore shoulder with a grimace.

“What else have we learned?”

“Having said that, failing at making that ogre fall asleep made me think of the Eleventh Markovian Principle of Weave Regression. Now I get it! I believe using this algorithm will permit me to memorize more of the words and gestures of power that allow me to call upon the weave. I am pleased.”

Florent: “I have no idea what you just said. I am guessing it was something to do with magic, though, and I want to talk with you about that. I understand that your Art and divine magic draw on different energies, but are not some of the results similar? Take a spell that creates light, for example. If Helm answers my prayers I am learning that I can create light the same way you can through study.” Florent holds out a handful of glass beads from the ogre chest. “I was thinking these would be good items to use as a focus for the light spells. What other ways could we collaborate, do you think?”

“When we get back, and after we tell Rufus and Vern of our findings, we should celebrate. I wish we had more appropriate liquor than this brandy but it will do.”

“I do agree that removing the head of this ogre may seem barbaric, Pertinax, but consider how we are viewed currently in the village… very few actually wish to do business with us… those that do, gouge us at each turn. We are outcasts regardless of our actions, and while the people distrust us… without undeniable proof they will think we are nothing more than troublesome instigators… perhaps their minds have already considered that we are the problem and not the solution… What we do may not prove anything to these people… but if we allow the Brothers of Helm to tell the village, as well as Burn and Rufus… our merit may hold more sway…,” he looks about as he speaks calmly and tries to ensure that his point is clear.

“When we get back to town, I would like to get rid of this crossbow… perhaps pick up a nice Longbow… perhaps a composite bow…,” his eyes waver, seemingly recalling a memory… when he speaks suddenly, “A fool I am !! Had I realized it then, would I have been more effective now… A brilliant man, quite smart… I had only wished he had made it clearer than he did…,” Treveylan laughs warmly and fully, obviously enthralled by his realization.

He moves about gathering ammunition and gear for the trip back to the village…. Occasionally Treveylan picks up a different weapon, measures it weight and balance… practices a few moves with each… he looks as if he is trying to remember offensive and defensive attacks, moves…

'elm be praised

””Might bit of smashing. You pups might get me a guildhouse before we’re done.”

(Turtle turns and frowns at his term, clearly not happy) OOG: did his accent get Britisher?

“Mes Amis, my friends, we ave done good today. Each doing our part we quickly killed the ogre, a formidable foe. We have rescued les prisoners, who would ave faced a orrible death. And quelle surpris, we will no be limping back into town, but returning as heroes!” Standing over the falled ogre, Florent’s eyes are wide and his chest (and ego) is swelling. He clutches the pent of Helm given to him and offers silent prayers of gratitude. “I think I should tell the Temple of ‘Elm abbot about this danger to the community. The church of protectors needs to know and be prepared. I can elp carry a few more things back aussi, as well as one end of the litter. Who else do we need to speak to, and what should we do next?”

OOG: Any direct bartering we can do( ie: brandy to innkeeper, weapons/armor to Brother Smith) will probably be better than going through Walmart trader, Raymoss. Perhaps the Temple of Helm would be willing to strike up a trade system, and perhaps the Lords of the under construction keep.

“Sure’n we be bringin a head back to town… dat we be startin problems wit da people, more so den we ave now… p’raps we bring da head to the brudders of da church…. dey be da defenders, dey can tell the people… tis probably a better ting for some of derr own to tell em… but aye dinnaye tink we bring da head directly into town…

As fer a sharp knife…. hell t’wasn’t derr a good sized axe in one dem rooms?? Dat would cleave the head pretty easily…

Furder, I wouldn’t be selling any of the ammunition… as you never know when we may need it… I would rather we kept that for ourselves… both the bolts and dem arrows. Maybe there is a place we can procure to store our gear and findings?? p’raps a safe room… of sorts”

I will carry what I can to help y’all… it will be a slow trip back to town… but we need to take as much as we can now…”

Florent replies: “Is an ogre that unusual in this area that it would raise the alarm? Pour moi, the amount of weapos and supplies is more disconcerting than one ogre. Plus, the freed prisoners can both attest to our claims, and give creedece to the danger. Obviously the bandit problem is more organized and bigger than we’d been led to believe.”

OOG: When reading text from Florent, please add the obnoxious French accent with the ‘h’ and stressed ‘r’s. I am giving up on writing with a french accent, so it will be up to you to add it, si vous plait ;)

Good point Chris: from now on imagine an Irish Brogue when I write…

“As for an ogre bein unusual in the area… probably not… but one held captive or living in an alleged deserted keep… that might be a problem. Further, we have no idea what we are facing… this is the only seemingly intelligent, and I say that lightly, being we have run across… that was not a monstrous animal or undead being…

What is he doing in this place?? Underground?? In a formerly civilized building?? No idea… but I think the brothers of the church should be made aware, and they should be the ones to talk to the people. They won’t believe us… no matter what we tell them, I fear…

I agree the magnitude of the armory is a problem… but we still have no conclusive proof of anything… other than we have found a cache of weaponry and some oddities in an alleged empty building…

loot, glorious loot

“It would > seeem only a fitting > tribute to your actions so far, good sir.”

The elf cleans chuncks of rotting flesh of his fine elven steel with a grimace of disgust. “Agreed. I think he deserves the torch-holder.”


The human rogue runs his hand through scorched hair and weighs the baton in his hand. “Not exactly a replacement for the sweet steel that goo ate through, but it’s better than putting it my coffin as a parting gift.” He looks to the rest of you. “Might bit of smashing. You pups might get me a guildhouse before we’re done.” He turns to Florent. “Your the one seeking guidance, foreigner. Where in Perdition would those abominations have come from? Something like that sits for ages in defence, or do they have to be called?”


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