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TOPIC: Tales of the Mud Road discussion

Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 2 weeks ago #3878

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Oops, should only have been +2 to hit giants (size 5). Ain't hindsight a bitch. :p

* and -2 to hit you guys.

EDIT: Also, there is a monstrous ability called Swat that allows a giant creature to ignore the first 4 points of the size difference when attacking a smaller enemy.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 2 weeks ago #3879

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Tales from the Mud Road #6a

The gates to the inner keep groaned open on rusty hinges and a ragged half dozen prisoners staggered into the courtyard.

“Save us!” the captives cried, “Set us free!”

“Do not be deceived!” Lord Koss intoned from the battlements, “Look passed the forms they wear to the corruption within! Slay these wretches and prove yourselves worthy of joining the Hornbreakers!”

The heroes hesitate. The men and women emerging from the inner keep appear harmless. A young woman grabs Yi’s hand and looks up into his cool blue eyes. Her fingers tighten around his wrist. Yi grimaces and glances down. He notices that the prisoner has sprouted long, claw-like fingernails. She notices YI noticing her long, claw-like fingernails and snarls, spitting a gout of fiery bile into his face!

The rest of the 'captives' drop the act, shedding the veneer of humanity like an old coat that no longer fits. A half dozen winged, bat-like demons take to the air. One immediately attempts to break through Theobaldus’ magic and is reduced to ash by the invisible barrier. While preventing the demons from escaping the courtyard, the barrier also suppresses Davernoch's powers. Theobaldus shrugs apologetically as the other wizard hurls abuse.

The party slay the demons. Lord Koss explains that shortly after the heroes released Zolob, a portal to the demon realm appeared in the dungeon of the castle. The Hornbbreakers want the party to close the gate, by venturing into the demon realm and destroying the glyph that is keeping it open. The heroes are not enthused with this idea and become increasingly uncooperative as they realise they are being railroaded into doing something they don’t want to do.

“The fate of the mortal realm is at stake!” Lord Koss roars over their whinging.

Grudgingly, the party wander over to the portal, a flaming sphincter hanging in the centre of the dungeon. The heroes hop through and emerge in a trackless desert of powdered bone, illuminated by the baleful light of three malevolent red stars. A black carriage stands idle, attended by a pair of short, hooded figures. As the party approach, the nearest figure throws back his cowl, revealing the maimed face of Bertin Noakes, brain matter glistening within the gruesome bullet wound Dane left in his skull. The other figure is his brother Halfred. Sturdy iron manacles around their wrists and ankles glow angrily, as though just removed from the forge. The smell of cooking flesh perfumes the still air.

“We meet again,” Bertin grins savagely, “After you murdered my brother and I, our souls found their way here and were claimed by a new master. He is expecting you.”

Not without trepidation, the heroes board the black carriage and are conveyed across the bone plain to a tower raised of bloodied stone. The party climb the tower, eventually reaching a circular chamber at the top. Waiting to greet them is a huge, slug-like entity that the heroes remember from the hidden ziggurat in Gnarlroot Marsh; Zolob the Slovenous, in the flesh.

“When you released me and stole the Heart of Sloth, I anticipated you and the Hornbreakers would cross paths,” Zolob explained, his deep voice thick with mucus, “I opened a portal to the mortal realm, knowing they would send you through, to prove your worth, or something equally inane. Fear not, I desire only to express my gratitude. You may find it hard to believe, but we are allies. I too wish to prevent the demon king emerging from his icy gaol. Were Mingrollath to return, I would be bound to his service once more. I much prefer to be the master of my own fate.”

Zolob gestures a slimy tentacle at the satchel hanging from Davernoch’s bony shoulder.

“By now, I imagine you know the importance of the stone you carry. The other six are hidden across the mortal realm. You could spend your lifetime looking and not find another. I can help you….”
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 2 weeks ago #3880

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Tales from the Mud Road #6b

Zolob grants each of the heroes a vision, determined by the sin they are most susceptible to.

Dane, Yi and Davernoch all see the Heart of Wrath, set into the pommel of a sword carried by towering warrior encased in Fazian armour. The warrior presides over a feast, at his side sits a woman in a red dress, her features hidden behind a scarlet veil. Although he cannot see her face, Dane suspects the woman in red could be Xiao.

Xiao sees the Heart of Pride, sealed within a stone tower atop a stormy cliff top. The ground surrounding the lonely edifice is littered with hundreds of dead birds. The vision shifts to a wild-eyed old man, cackling at nothing as he stares at the wall of his tiny cell. Two brutish guardsmen appear and drag the prisoner towards a hangman’s scaffold erected atop a distinctive slab of jet black rock.

Dravis sees a fellow dwarf, climbing a mountain of gold. At the pinnacle of the glimmering hoard rests the Heart of Greed. The treasure melts into a lattice of golden chains, ensnaring a huge, winged shadow. The beast rears up and exhales a burst of flame across the dwarven figure. In the heartbeat before the stranger’s flesh melts from his bones, Dravis recognises the other dwarf is his father!

The visions fade and the heroes realise they are still in Zolob’s demesne.

“While I hope you will succeed in your quest, I must take precautions in the event that you fail. If I must explain myself to the Demon King, it cannot appear that I allowed you to leave this tower without a fight.”

Zolob waves his tentacles toward the Noakes brothers. The halflings cry out as their bodies warp and grow into two hideous, hunchbacked giants! Zolob casts Sloth upon the party, then melts into a puddle of steaming goo. Both giants wield their flaming chains as a weapon. Halfred swings his chain in a wide arc, hitting anyone within range, whereas Bertin’s murderous intent is focused exclusively on Dane. Despite their strength, crippling size modifiers on their Fighting rolls prevent the Noakes brothers from threatening the party*. The heroes slay the two halflings for the second (and hopefully last) time, then smash the glyph controlling the portal to the mortal realm.

The demon realm collapses, ejecting the party back into the dungeon below Hornbreaker Hold. The portal is sealed. Lord Koss and Theobaldus gratefully welcome the heroes to the Hornbreakers. The party are still sulking and demand to be sent home. Theobaldus teleports the heroes back to Knightsbridge.

More downtime stuff! Dane manages his new business and breaks even. Dravis returns to work and helps Maybrecht build a prototype flying machine fuelled by snail oil. Davernoch encourages the other heroes to record their visions and deduces the locations of three other heart fragments.

The Heart of Wrath is in Fazia, possibly in the possession of Warlord Hong Li, whose marriage proposal Xiao fled her homeland in order to avoid.

The Heart of Pride is inside a tower overlooking the sea, but Davernoch is not sure where. Perhaps the old man from Xiao’s vision can lead them to it, but it seems he is a prisoner within Gallowstone Prison, on a lonely island north of Scurth.

The Heart of Greed is somewhere within the dwarven city of Khar.

Driven by Dravis’s concern for his father, the heroes decide to seek the Heart of Greed and prepare to travel north, into the mountainous territory of the dwarves.

TBC

* I realised after the session that I should only have applied -2 size modifier (instead of -4) and there is a new monstrous ability in SWADE which allows larger enemies to threaten smaller targets. Do not overlook this rule!


Quest Log

PRIMARY

Recover the Heart of Wrath.

Recover the Heart of Pride.

Recover the Heart of Greed.

SECONDARY

Find and rescue Bravis.
> Bravis will join the Hornbreakers and forge special items for the party.

Evade the deadly Joka clan.
> Reward: Xiao gets to stay free and single.

Find all four fragments of the pirate lord's treasure map.
> Reward: A legendary treasure!
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 1 week ago #3890

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Tales from the Mud Road #7a

When Sheriff Truman learns the heroes are bound for Khar, he asks them to escort a quartet of dwarven prisoners to the mountain and deliver them into the custody of Marshall Lawstone. The captives are the surviving members of the Blackpowder Boys, all of whom have outstanding warrants in the dwarven capital.

Dravis takes Professor Maybrecht’s prototype jet pack for a short test flight. He quickly gets the hang of piloting the device and asks to borrow it. Maybrecht must decline, he is concerned that the jet pack might;
a: fall into the hands of a rival inventor, or
b: explode.

Dravis decides he is prepared to take that risk and if the Professor won’t give it to him willing, then he will have to steal it! Dravis recruits Dane and Elfie into his scheme. Dravis persuades his mentor to join him for a drink at The Ogre’s Head, meanwhile his accomplices try - and fail - to break into the Professor’s workshop. The pair are spotted bumbling with the lock and must flee before the Sheriff’s men get a look at their faces.

The next morning, the party leave Knightsbridge and head north into the wooded foothills of the dwarven kingdom. Dane decides that the Blackpowder Boys shan’t be getting their day in court and attempts to execute them in a ditch. Elfie puts a stop to that nonsense. Somehow, he manages to keep the prisoners alive for the next five days.

The party reach the base of Mount Krammerlug, the largest of several volcanic peaks upon which the dwarves have made their home. A cable car - powered by golems running tirelessly in a huge wheel - presents the option of travelling to Khar in comfort and style. The tickets are a little pricey, but everyone buys one - except for Yi. Yi decides that he alone will lead the prisoners along the treacherous mountain path, despite warnings that the way is, like, super dangerous.

Yi leads the Blackpowder Boys into the mountains. The road is narrow and the drop to either side soon becomes dizzying. The four dwarves are shackled together and Yi forgot to ask for the key before the rest of the party boarded the skyrail. Suddenly, five particularly vindictive earth elementals attack! Yi heroically shoves the bound captives forward to cover his own escape back down the mountain. None of the dwarves survive.

Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes ascend the mountain in luxury. A beardless dwarven waitress serves chilled beverages from a silver tray as the passengers enjoy the awe-inspiring view from the windows of the gently swaying gondola. Davernoch spots a hooded woman standing alone at the rail and introduces himself. The woman seems distracted, distant and not particularly interested in making new friends. Dane wanders over and turns on the old Longshore charm. Her lip curls in contempt and she moves to the other side of the car. Dane decides to put some points into Persuasion before he tries seducing anyone else.

The gondola enters Khar, a city built inside the crust of an active volcano. Little sunlight reaches the dwarven halls, but the streets are illuminated by enormous lava lamps that direct the flow of magma around the city. Dravis warns the others that non-dwarves are restricted to certain parts of the city and cannot wander or carry weapons without a permit. Ownership of weird science devices (like Yi’s gauntlets) by non-dwarves is treated as heresy by the priests of Joreas and anyone violating the law could find themselves toiling in the prison mines beneath the city.

Dravis heads into the citadel to find his childhood friend Emenra, now a sergeant in the dwarven militia. Their reunion is clouded by tragic tidings; Dravis’ family home has burnt down and three crispy black bodies were uncovered amidst the ashes. The bodies were taken to the temple for their last rites. Dravis explains that he is travelling with a group of non-dwarves who might find the militia inhospitable if they cannot secure the correct permits. Emenra suggests that Marshall Lawstone could solve that problem, after the party deliver the prisoners they were escorting from Knightsbridge.

F*ck.
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 1 week ago #3891

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Tales from the Mud Road #7b

Marshall Lawstone glowers at the bloodied manacles Yi has just dumped across his desk, all that remains of the Blackpowder Boys; Rambo, Rocky, Rosco & Kevin.

“Sheriff Truman assured me you were capable warriors,” he growls, “His confidence and recommendation were the only reasons I agreed to get civilians involved in this matter. Perhaps this is what happens when I trust the judgement of a non-dwarf.

“Count yourselves lucky that I’m not locking you in the dungeon. You could have staged the attack to release those gangsters. Frankly, it’s not worth the paperwork. Wrap up your business in Khar and get gone, before I change my mind.”

“About those permits…” Dravis interjects.

Marshall Lawstone slams his office door in the other dwarf’s face.

The party secure lodgings at the Hop & Helm. Dane talks to the proprietor about featuring Longshore Special Brew as a guest ale. Since they don’t have the correct paperwork to carry their weapons openly, the heroes chuck everything into the bag of holding so they can still smuggle them around. Davenoch collapses into a jumble of loose bones and allows himself to be packed up also.

The heroes visit the Temple of Joreas, a grand stone building built in the shape of a cog. A massive chimney emerges from the roof, towering over the rest of the city. Dravis explains that twice daily - once at dawn and again at dusk - a pillar of fire rises from the heart of the mountain to rekindle the sacred forge.

Dravis introduces himself and is escorted to the morgue, where the three charred corpses of his family await. The bodies are barbecued beyond recognition, but could be his parents and younger sister. Dravis reaches into his jerkin and withdraws a small sapphire attached to a simple copper chain around his neck. He and his father fashioned this clan crystal together when Dravis was still struggling with the fundamentals of his craft. The stone was attuned to his father’s blood, so that Dravis would always be able to find his way home. One by one, Dravis holds the clan crystal over the crispy cadavers. The crystal does not react. These are not the bodies of his family! Despite his traditional dwarven stoicism, Dravis allows himself a small victory jig.

“What are you doing?”

Dravis turns to find a masked inquisitor watching him from the doorway. His innards form an icy knot at the sight of that stern, iron visage. It suddenly dawns on Dravis that someone has gone to great lengths to convince him that his family are dead. What kind of conspiracy has he stumbled into and how was his father involved? The inquisitor is still waiting for an answer.

“I was so overwhelmed with emotion - sad emotion(!) - that I just had to let it out.” Dravis explains.

“I see.” the inquisitor answers, “You would do well to remember that overt, public demonstrations of emotion are not the dwarven way. The cremation of your kin will take place at dusk, you are welcome to attend.”

Dravis will be there. He hopes the plotters behind his father’s disappearance will reveal themselves at the ceremony. The rest of the party also attend. High Priest Khevoli Smelthart leads the congregation in a hymn to Joreas as the three bodies are consumed by the roaring pillar of flame. Dravis thinks back to his vision in the demon realm, the fire he saw immolate his father was the breath of some vast, winged nightmare. Whatever could it mean?!
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Tales of the Mud Road discussion 4 months 1 week ago #3892

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Tales from the Mud Road #7c

The ceremony ends, but the heroes are no closer to understanding what is going on. They decide to return to the Hop & Helm and reassess their strategy. Davernoch is still inside the bag of holding.

On the way, the party duck into a dark alley to avoid getting stopped and searched by another patrol of racist dwarves. They avoid the patrol, but find themselves sandwiched between two groups of dwarven thugs.

“Good evening!” Dravis calls out.

“Not for you.” the ringleader growls.

The heroes are outnumbered and unarmed. Dravis tips out the bag of holding, spilling weapons and Davernoch’s bones into the street. The skeletal mage immediately begins piecing himself back together. Yi engages with three ruffians, assuming a defensive stance to hold them back while the rest of the party arm themselves (quite literally, in Davernoch’s case). Other thugs curse as they cannot get a clean shot with their own men in the way. One less scrupulous fellow lights a blackpowder grenade and rolls it into the alley. It detonates at Dane’s feet, incapacitating the smuggler and blasting him into the air. Dane’s landing is softened by a pile of garbage, but he is out of the fight.

Davernoch finishes reconstructing himself, casts one power and is incapacitated by a lucky blow.

Things are looking grim for the heroes. A whistle sounds in an adjacent street and the thugs flee! Moments later, a militia patrol appear in the mouth of the alley, muskets levelled at the party.

“Do you have a permit for those weapons?”

TBC


Quest Log

PRIMARY

Recover the Heart of Wrath.

Recover the Heart of Pride.

Recover the Heart of Greed.

SECONDARY

Find and rescue Bravis.
> Bravis will join the Hornbreakers and forge special items for the party.

Evade the deadly Joka clan.
> Reward: Xiao gets to stay free and single.

Find all four fragments of the pirate lord's treasure map.
> Reward: A legendary treasure!
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Steboacha - Thu 17 Oct - 19:58

Sorry, I'm not going to make it tonight. I'm not feeling up to it.

rhodsey - Thu 17 Oct - 09:10

Hi Expanse peeps think I will miss tonight as well. Been ropey all week (hence no write up yet) and an early night will help.

Sant - Thu 17 Oct - 07:05

Sorry guys. Not going be there tonight.

Steboacha - Thu 10 Oct - 19:20

Running a bit late sorry.

Timbo - Thu 10 Oct - 10:17

Hi guys. I've got a bug, so not going to be able to make it tonight.

Steboacha - Thu 3 Oct - 20:25

Sorry gonna be after 9 now.

Steboacha - Thu 3 Oct - 19:42

Running late, hope to make around 8:30.

Richie Rich - Thu 3 Oct - 19:28

Hi guys - still stuck at work I’m afraid (frown face) so won’t get there tonight

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