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Subject: Rappan Athuk Campaign [IC] Thread – Ch. 1, Zelkor's Ferry rss

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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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It had been several weeks since Ornis returned to Holt from the dungeons of Quasqueton. He found that he a become a changed man. A thirst for danger and excitement had been awakened inside him, as well as a longing for power.

Among the documents discovered in the great wizard Zelligar’s abandoned laboratory, Ornis found papers detailing the legends of the great underground stronghold of Rappan Athuk and the story of the wizard Zelkor’s crusade against the dark forces of Orcus.

He then knew that the mysterious Rappan Athuk would be his next challenge. Through careful inquiries, he discovered the approximate location of the fabled Dungeon of Graves lay far to the east, near the coast of the Great Sea. With his loyal body man Eurig by his side, he set off on a new adventure.

Ornis was accompanied by the stout Hondo, slayer of the great Greezzy, the Hobgoblin Champion—as well as a newcomer, the strange Villus, who was ready for anything.

Along the way to the coast, the group encountered others heading in the same direction. These were fellow adventurers also seeking glory in the depths of Rappan Athuk. Each with their own reasons for facing danger and death head on.

First was the earnest Jayni, cleric of Thyr, who had heard the stories of Bofred the Pious—a high priest of her order—who was lost in the dungeons of Rappan Athuk.

Next were Adon and Taraq, two rough-and-tumble scrappers who appeared ready to take on all comers.

Then the growing party of heroes was joined by Morval and Yaargen, another magic-user and dwarf warrior respectively. Their additional capabilities were welcomed by the others.

Surely this group of adventurers would make a strong showing against the forces of darkness?

After a further week of travel, the group entered a land empty of people and settlements. The road became more difficult and the weather turned foul. Ahead of them, according to Ornis, was the riverside community of Zelkor’s Ferry—the last bastion of humanity before the abandoned wilds surrounding Rappan Athuk. There they could find shelter and hopefully directions to their ultimate destination.

It was late in the day. Following a meager track on the south side of a river, the party came upon the milestone—an ancient and lichen covered stone, half-concealed by bracken and bramble. Upon it the number “50” was etched, indicating another fifty miles to the coast. The group then knew that the Ferry was near, a few miles further on the track.

After fording a small stream, the adventurers next discovered a statue overlooking the path. The worn sculpture was carved from a black stone into the shape of a great winged demon with the ugly head of a ram. Its outstretched arm pointed to the southwest, where a barely visible footpath left the main track.

As the hour was late, the party pressed on in order to find shelter at the Ferry for the night. After two more miles of march, the group finally arrived at the gates of Zelkor’s Ferry.

To call this place a town or village would be generous. It is more of a fortified trading post, with only a low stone curtain and a few huddled buildings on a spit of land jutting into the river junction. Here, one could hire the ferry to transport travelers across the river on their journey to the coast.

At the gates, the party is greeted by two bowmen who guard the entrance to their small community. The closed gate is decorated by numerous skulls of small humanoids, perhaps kobolds, in an effort to discourage attack. The first guard, a whiskered man who nervously fingers his bow string, addresses your group.

“Halt. Who are you? And why are you here?”
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Eddie Drood
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Adon smiles at the guards wearily, and says:

"I am Adon, and we are travelers, of course. Tired of the road and looking forward to resting somewhere besides underneath a bush! Please let us in, before I miss the next round at the pub."
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Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Morval smoothes out his beard and adds, "Indeed! Sir, I commend your watchfulness, you are a credit to your profession. I assure you, we bring with us only our need and will leave nothing behind us but our coin. Now that you've done your duty, how about lowering that bow and letting us in?".
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eddie_drood wrote:
Adon smiles at the guards wearily, and says:

"I am Adon, and we are travelers, of course. Tired of the road and looking forward to resting somewhere besides underneath a bush! Please let us in, before I miss the next round at the pub."

Yaargen finishes Adon's Sentence with a small drum roll, and smiles a bearded smile to the city guard, pointing to Adon and speaking in a high pitched voice for a dwarf "Im with him"

Yaargen awaits the usual smurk, and halfeaten laugh, that always accompanies when new people hear his highpitched tongue.
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Sarah Reed
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Jayni's face neutral, she speaks in a quiet, but steady voice, "I am Jayni, a cleric of Thyr, and I am on a holy quest. We need shelter and food for the night before we resume our journey in the morn."
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Damon Baume
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Quote:
Halt. Who are you? And why are you here?

Ornis scanned the faces that surrounded him.

Who are they and what do they want indeed. Hondo proved his utility in the caverns of Quasqueton and I know I trust him and his axe but these others are an unknown quantity.

By all the gods Vilius turns my stomach every time I look at him but his strength is self-evident... though there is a dangerous gleam to his eye whenever I catch him looking at me - I had best tread carefully with that one!


Quote:
I am Adon, and we are travelers, of course. Tired of the road and looking forward to resting somewhere besides underneath a bush! Please let us in, before I miss the next round at the pub.

Hmmm, now this one is interesting. I can see in him a kindred spirit. One who is not weighed down by the chains of mediocrity. One who is clearly after greater things then the mire of the nameless masses forgotten by the pages of history. I think that he and I could forge a bond most beneficial to the both of us. Mayhap one day the names of Ornis and Adon will be spoken in the same revered and feared tones as Zelligar and Zogahn!

Quote:
Indeed! Sir, I commend your watchfulness, you are a credit to your profession. I assure you, we bring with us only our need and will leave nothing behind us but our coin. Now that you've done your duty, how about lowering that bow and letting us in?

Morval! that fool seems to barely merit to be called a practitioner of the arcane. He appears to be barely able to perform the most basic of cantrips the way he bumbles about- I don't think I have much competition there, though best not judge a book by its cover.

Quote:
I'm with him

The high-pitched voice broke into his thoughts

Bah! That dwarf and his infernal drum! Why did I not have the foresight to send him on his way when when he wished to join us? He may not last too long anyway...

Quote:
I am Jayni, a cleric of Thyr, and I am on a holy quest. We need shelter and food for the night before we resume our journey in the morn.

The priest will no doubt come in handy even though she is the pawn of some higher power that will relish the sacrifice of her for some 'greater good'- the deluded fool!

Finally, he glances towards Taraq.

This one could be useful...his eyes have the dead look of one who has no compunction in sliding cold steel between your shoulder blades. His sword arm will be a boon and if I am any judge of character i think he has more nefarious skills at his disposal...

So this is the lot I have cast my die with...for better or worse.


With impatience Ornis faces the guard:

Old man open this gate! The evening grows long and we have been on the road many an hour! I am Ornis Estrald and we pose no threat to this...'village' but have gold to spend for lodging and food before we move on in the morning as she said. So stand down and let us enter.


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C P
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As always, Villus thought it best to let others do the talking. He stayed to the side and instinctively kept the wrecked side of his face turned away from the guards, trying to resist scratching his filthy hair.

And here it was: another roadblock. A minor one, yes, but having to talk one's way into a town was not his idea of excitement. He did not even look forward to the night's rest. Had the others wanted to, he would have pressed on through the night to get to Rappan Athuk.

Many of the others talked of riches, and he was pretty sure that Ornis hoped to further increase his power there. But Villus wanted action. Others dreamed of the gold, he dreamed of the danger. Ornis and Hondo had sheepishly told him that they had lost two fighters in their last quest, as if that would be something that would make him turn down the mission. No. He jumped at the chance. He welcomed battle. He welcomed violence and blood. And, by Gods, when it came, he would welcome Death. It was all better then slowly dying in a town full of people who hated and avoided him.

He patiently waited for the guards to do their little authoritative dance before they finally let them in, all the while he fantasized about sending his trident through one of their necks and lifting him off the ground.

In his thoughts, before he had realized it, Villus had bitten three of his fingernails down to the quick.
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Tom
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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The second guard steps forward and intercedes in the interrogation. “Let them through. They are another band of ‘heroes’ off to meet their doom. Let them spend their final few coins in Bristleback’s before they throw themselves into the abyss. Enter, friends.”

The gate to Zelkor’s Ferry is opened to you. Inside, the small community is bordered on three sides by the river junction. Your party makes a quick perusal of the collection of buildings to see what resources are available should you need to return here for provisioning.

Right near the gate is Bristleback’s Inn. A cracked wooden sign displays an image of a wild boar, the symbol of Odo Bristleback the innkeeper. Here you will be able to find shelter and sustenance for the night.

Opposite the inn is a blacksmith.

Further along you find the guard’s barracks and a horse stable.

There is a trading post near the ferry dock. Here, Rasmus Pye sells and barters any goods that come to the Ferry. Behind his post is a small hut whose sign advertises services as a gemcutter.

Finally, secluded from the rest of the buildings, is a house with closed shutters. The small sign on the door reads “Ulman Dark.”

Once inside the inn, the party is able to rest their weary feet and treat themselves to something more substantial than trail rations. With you in the inn are a few of the locals, plus other travelers and traders. From mingling and sharing a few drinks, you are able to glean some information about Rappan Athuk.

You are told that the main entrance to Rappan Athuk lies many miles to the east, near the coast, but to go there would be certain death for novice adventurers. At least none that the locals have seen depart in that direction have ever returned.

However, the older patrons of the inn tell you that there are several other ways into the lower depths of Rappan Athuk. Only a few miles to the southwest of Zelkor’s Ferry is a cave entrance known locally as the ‘Mouth of Doom.’ It is said this cave connects to the main underground complex and that it is not as deadly as the dungeons closer to the coast. At least a few adventurers have returned from the ‘Mouth’ in recent years carrying with them great treasures.

As the evening progresses, the party members are able to pry a few additional scraps of wisdom from the locals.

[Each player can roll 1d100 for a rumor concerning Rappan Athuk, plus an additional 1d10 for a rumor related to the local area.]
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Damon Baume
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1d100 = (71) = 71
1d10 = (7) = 7
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  • 552293. sapper_D
  • 1d100 =
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  • Sun Jun 1, 2014 1:06 pm
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  • 552294. sapper_D
  • 1d10 =
  • (7) =
  • 7
  • Sun Jun 1, 2014 1:06 pm
Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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1d100 = (83) = 83
1d10 = (1) = 1

Later that evening, away from the ears of the town's folk, Morval says "Gentleman, and Lady, I think this 'Mouth of Doom' bears further investigation. We might want to try to find other entrances as well, though we'll need to be careful about where they lead. I want to see the festering wound that is Rappan Athuk closed and healed, but something tells me many stronger than we have tried the same. We must be wise and wary and wait 'til we may overwhelm wights and wraiths when we wage war.".
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  • 552296. Spirit of 70
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  • Sun Jun 1, 2014 1:23 pm
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C P
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1d100 = (43) = 43
1d10 = (4) = 4

Villus almost imperceptibly shook his head. Here was the new conjurer already speaking of wariness. So this was how it was going to be.

Already getting bored of the conversation, he turned his head to see who else was in the inn's tavern besides his party.
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  • 552299. CPiz
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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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sapper_D wrote:
sapper_D previously rolled 1d100 = (71) = 71
sapper_D previously rolled 1d10 = (7) = 7
“We have seen adventurers come through here, both weak and mighty. All of them who seek the lower depths of Rappan Athuk are never seen again!”

“The innkeeper Odo is a buyer of animal pelts. A hunter that came through last month sold him a bearskin for fifty gold!"
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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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Spirit of 70 wrote:
Spirit of 70 previously rolled 1d100 = (83) = 83
Spirit of 70 previously rolled 1d10 = (1) = 1
“There is a graveyard far to the east, where all the intruders to Rappan Athuk end up buried.”

“Whatever you do, for Mitra’s sake, do not go down any wells!”
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Adon nods quietly as Morval speaks.
"Yes, that seems reasonable. Plus who knows what waits in the wilds around it? Still we must be cautious. How many locals survive by stealing from adventurers?

Adon listens to the locals, and tries to pick up what he can...

Rumors... 1d100 = (91) = 91
And more rumors... 1d10 = (8) = 8
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  • 552309. eddie_drood
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  • 552310. eddie_drood
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  • Sun Jun 1, 2014 2:36 pm
Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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CPiz wrote:
CPiz previously rolled 1d100 = (43) = 43
CPiz previously rolled 1d10 = (4) = 4
“Beware the blackguard known as Ian the All-Seeing, who lives somewhere in the hills. He is insane and collects the eyes of all who cross his path. He has thousands now, which he can control, make move about, and see things with."

“Under the Mouth of Doom there are riches still to be found. But in one or two places the air is bad. Don’t sleep in those places if you want to see the light of day again.”

CPiz wrote:
Already getting bored of the conversation, he turned his head to see who else was in the inn's tavern besides his party.
Apart from the gossiping old men and tiresome traders, your party appears to be the most formidable in the room.
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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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eddie_drood wrote:
Adon listens to the locals, and tries to pick up what he can...

eddie_drood previously rolled 1d100 = (91) = 91 (Rumors...)
eddie_drood previously rolled 1d10 = (8) = 8 (And more rumors...)
“I’ve heard of adventurers who wander the wilds all the way to the coast, and they never find the secret ways into Rappan Athuk. Why bother?”

“Don’t listen to him, the fool! Underneath the Mouth of Doom there is a tunnel—longer than any you have ever seen—it runs for miles to the east where it connects to the main underground complex. That is your way in! If I were younger, I’d be going with you.”
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Hondo, Dwarf Fighter


1d100 = (20) = 20
1d10 = (6) = 6

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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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badgermaniac wrote:
badgermaniac previously rolled 1d100 = (20) = 20
badgermaniac previously rolled 1d10 = (6) = 6
“Aye, there is a long passage, but it’s made of solid white stone and is cursed. Those who walk its length never reach the end alive.”

“If you intend to head to the Mouth of Doom, be wary of the hyena-men. They have been seen in the hills south of here.”
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1d100 = (50) = 50
1d10 = (6) = 6

Jayni dispassionately sips on her drink and only interjects into the conversation to say, "I care not what entrance we take, as long as we go. Thyr will guide me on this journey to the destination I seek."
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Yaargen idly drums at the table, as he has a tendency to do, when he is a bit nervous or spooked, taking comfort in the sharp rhytm. He looks around and turns to Jayni. "Thyr is your guide? did you know the other cleric Thyr was guide for up here?"
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Tom
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As Gygax intended.
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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SilvaShado wrote:
SilvaShado previously rolled 1d100 = (50) = 50
SilvaShado previously rolled 1d10 = (6) = 6
“If you stray too far to the east, you must beware the wrath of the fire dragon that dwells there.”

“The hyena-men live within the Mouth of Doom, as well. They ambush travelers and take their gold back underground. They fear neither man nor woman, and worship nowt but their hideous hyena god.”
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Tom
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“It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? he answered, action; what next? action; what next again? action.”
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Chris_lib wrote:
Chris_lib previously rolled 1d100 = (20) = 20 (1d100 =)
Chris_lib previously rolled 1d10 = (8) = 8 (1d10 =)
“I heard the story about the white corridor as well. It is filled with the bones of those who tried to follow its course.”

“The tunnel under the Mouth of Doom is a different one, however. It is a highway for the wicked on their journey to the underworld.”
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Jayni shakes her head slowly. "Thyr is my god and he has never led me astray. I did not know Bofred personally, but he is legendary and very important in my order. I am here to either rescue him or bring back his holy symbol for proper burial and to honor his unerring service to Thyr."
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Hondo, Dwarf Fighter
"Well, good to know that such good news lies in every direction! Where do I sign up?" Hondo sits back and takes a big chug of ale.
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Ornis listened dispassionately to the conversations that floated about the smoky tavern, mentally cataloguing all the information contained within and weighing up their veracity.

He addressed the group after careful deliberation:

From all that we have gathered so far it seems to me that this so called 'Mouth of Doom' is where we should begin. Past adventurers have successfully returned from there, so I believe it is the 'lesser of two evils' and possibly our safest entry point into Rappan Athuk, although it is clear that the predominate danger is these hyena-men.

I propose that we set out first light tomorrow for this entrance. But first we will need directions to find it ourselves, or we will need to engage a guide to lead us there.

What are your thoughts in this matter, if you have any?
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