Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Battle Rages!

An army of white elves from Velenheim have descended upon the castle!  Their mages prepare great spells to bring the skeleton army besieging the castle under their thrall!  But the skeleton army has completed their terrible Spider Skull Walker Golems and have fought their way into the castle!  The courtyard is a battlefield!  Enter and face:

d50, roll two or three times depending on how far away from you your goal is

1. d4+3 white elf soldiers
2. d4+4 castle soldiers
3. d8+2 skeleton spikers and d4+1 skeleton archers
4. d4+3 white elf soldiers and 1 wizard
5. 1 white elf wizard and d6+6 zombies
6. d8+2 skeleton spikers and d4+1 death knights
7. d4+1 death knights
8. d4+1 death knights and d8+2 skeleton spikers and d4 blood hogs
9. a giant skeleton
10. a giant skeleton with d6+1 archers riding in its chest
11. an eye of fear and flame casts fireball
12. Belaeg the Destroyer, a white elf sorcerer, casts Nassim's Skull Ocean
13. a white elf wizard casts summon monster
14. d6+6 white elf zombies and a giant zombie
15. d4+2 white elf knights riding on white raptors
16. d4+2 raptor knights and 2d6 white elf polar she-barbarians
17. 2d20 lunatic party guests
18. 2d20 lunatic party guests and 1 centipede demon
19. d3+1 centipede demons
20. d4+1 white elf wizards borne on a palanquin by 12 ghouls
21. a giant dinosaur bearing a Priest of Lazareth the Unattainable and 2d4+4 archers

22. an archbishop of Belm protected by three assassin nuns
23. the captain of the guard and 2d6+4 soldiers
24. a white elf wizard casts ice storm
25. a frost giant
26. d4+1 white elf priests of Lazareth the Unattainable, d4+1 white elf paladins, and 2d12 skeletons under their thrall
27. Belaeg the Destroyer casts earthquake
28. Yavandir the Moon Prince and his retinue
29. a flailceratops
30. d4+1 skeleton pipers and d4+1 spelletons and d4+4 regenerating skeletons
31. 2d12 regenerating skeletons
32. d4+3 death knights and 1 eye of fear and flame
33. Belaeg the Destroyer and his retinue
34. Ionor and Valkanen, Heralds of Lazareth, and their retinue
35. 2d12 regenerating skeletons and 1 eye of fear and flame
36. a Skull Spider Walker Golem
37. a Skull Spider Walker Golem and d4+1 death knights
38. a giant dinosaur bearing d4+1 white elf wizards, accompanied by d4+2 raptor knights
39. a white elf necromancer and d6+2 ghouls and d4+2 giant ghouls
40. a frost giant accompanied by d8+4 raptor knights
41. 2d6+2 skeleton spikers and d4+1 skeleton pipers
42. a skeleton plague caller
43. a disintegrate ray strafes d6+1 targets
44. d4+3 white elf soldiers and 1 priest of Lazareth the Unattainable
45. d6+7 ghouls
46. 1 white elf wizard and 2d12 skeletons in his thrall
47. 2d6 bone brides
48. The Maneaters
49. a white elf wizard casts acid fog
50. a vampire and 6 vampire monkeys


There is a complicated set-up.

So Nick as Dirtface the Barbarian, Shayne as Ignacio the Druid, Thomson as Sad Ed the Bard in the body of the Damnation Prophet, and Henry as Johann the Jotund the Paladin of Belm leave the dungeon to get some magic items identified without realizing that their time is up, and battle is upon them.  They look down on the field of battle from the windows of the tower they've been exploring.

"This is fucked up," says Thomson, as Sad Ed.  They page Ningauble of the Eyeless Face on their holographic projector ring and his flickering torso impatiently tells them that he's in the royal palace, barricaded in a room.  He's like, "Dudes, we have got to get out of here.  I will teleport you away to my stronghold in Quallmar at the center of the Swamp of Monsters if you swear to serve me for a year and a day.  But I still want the Impenetrable Emerald, which the King in Green wears upon his chest."

They are like, "Don't worry Ningauble, we've got this."

They wade into battle, heading toward the royal palace where the lord of the castle is chained up by their nemesis, the witch Dread.  She wants to summon Namtar the Incomprehensible, Demon of Centipedes, into his body.  They want to kill her.  They want to kill the lord of the castle, who killed Shayne's parents.  They want to kill the King in Green, who gains his power by communing with the slab where Namtar is imprisoned.  They want to kill the skeleton army.

And they are wily and powerful.  They rescue the archbishop of Belm from being run down by ten raptor knights.  They cleave their way through white elves and skeletons.  They fight the Maneaters, two grotesque scorpion tailed gargoyles which serve the resident archlich, and defeat one by feeding it a potion of shrink and then a potion of opposition which causes it to vomit a friendly, female maneater with pendulous tits.  They save the cathedral of Belm from a Spider Skull Walker Golem.  They say, "We have to kill that damn witch," and begin to fight their way to the royal palace.

We have been playing for eight hours.  I am leaving in two days.  Everything feels very surreal and we are all giddy.  All the monsters are making bad jokes and talking in stoner voices.

Then Belaeg the Destroyer casts Nassim's skull ocean, causing an ocean of skulls to pour through the courtyard.  Skulls swallow everyone.  All sounds are overwhelmed by the clattering of skulls.  White elves and skeletons alike are crushed.  Silence. 

They start to run across the ocean to the palace.  And through the skulls come bursting the flailceratops.

I say, 'Damn, where are the stats for that thing?'  Oh yeah, Vornheim.  Flip flip.  16 HD, 3d12 damage to everyone in front of it, holy shit.  Roll, roll.  "Okay, the flailceratops charges and swings its flail head, you all take 26 damage."

Thomson: "I have 6 hitpoints."  Henry: "I have 12."

So Shayne casts a spell which makes the flailceratops move through air as if its in water.  It's doggy-paddling in the air.  Nick and Thomson drink a potion which allows them to eat metal.  They bite the chain off.  The flail head goes floating slowly toward the battlements.  The flailceratops rolls 1s.  It begins to float away, helplessly.  They gut it and it thuds onto the skull ocean and its blood goes seeping down into the skulls.

Okay.  So they make it into the palace.  Everyone is feeling very desperate.  It's almost 2 am. 

They get to Ningauble and finally their items are identified.  They have:

a scroll of 1000 hogs, which is beyond their level to cast
a magic ring containing an imprisoned demon, which will perform one task and then disappear; it's a random demon - when it's summoned you roll on this table
a smoking, twisted, and blackened magic dagger, which can be used to incarnate Namtar into the lord's body
an assortment of magic weapons - a mallet, a sword, something else
a handful of hps between them

I roll to see how the battle is going.  "Looks like the skeleton army is fighting off the white elves, you guys."

"We got this," they say.

So holy shit.  Get this.  This is what happened:

They go to the Chapel of Scorn where the witch Dread has Lord Unwerth chained up, naked, covered in magic sigils, ready to receive the spirit of Namtar.  They say, "Hey, we got you this dagger, just like we said we would."

Dread: "Indeed you are mighty warriors.  Thank you for your service."

So she plunges the dagger into Unwerth's chest.  He swells to eight times his normal size and his flesh splits apart and out comes pouring the centipede demon, which has five featureless human heads which begin to speak the sins of everyone present.  Dread crows in triumph, and Nick twists his ring and says the magic word.

So we roll on the Demon Attribute Table.  Hmmmmmmmm, okay, so, it has, uh . . .  it's in the shape of a head, and it has, uhhhh . . .  roll, roll . . . eight extra eyes, and its body is composed of, hmm, moths, and its job is to spread disease . . .

Shayne: "How is it supposed to do that?"

It has one power . . .

Nick: "Shit."

Which is that if anyone inflicts damage on an innocent within 30', the demon is healed and must serve the inflicter of that damage . . .

"This is the worst demon.  Hey demon, kill that guy."

So this giant blue head with ten eyes composed of moths goes flapping at Namtar's body, harmlessly.  And then Ningauble of the Eyeless Face steps out from behind the door and casts 1000 hogs.  A distant rumbling.  Cracks form.  A hog bursts through the flagstones.  Dread goes, "What?"  And so then the thousand hogs come pouring through the floor.  Dread goes down.  More hogs come.  They try to trample Namtar but he is immune to normal attacks.  He is surrounded by blue demon moths.  He screams, and a wave of bloodied, shrieking hogs goes flying at the wall.  Hogs are impaled on the swords which hang from the ceiling by chains.  I remember that both these demons cause insanity and fear on sight.  The hogs go insane.  Nick and Thomson go insane.  Namtar bursts through the wall, surrounded by wave upon wave of lunatic hogs moving in inscrutable patterns containing unknown meaning, and the entire battle looks upon him.  Roll, roll.  The white elves go insane.  The skeletons begin to slaughter the now shrieking, cowering white elves.

Collectively: "What have we done we have to get out of here."

So Shayne turns into a giant bat and flies them all to safety.  They camp in a sewage pipe that protrudes from the cliff beneath the castle, and in the morning find that (roll, roll) the white elves lost the battle.  All the white elves have been slain.  Everyone in the castle has been slain.  No one has a spell to cure Nick and Thomson of their insanity.  The King in Green has been divested of his power.  The skeleton army, victorious, has moved on.  And Belm, God of Snow and Stone, has forsaken Johann the Jotund, who helped to summon not one but two demons.

"Belm sucks anyway," says Henry.

Two days later I hop on the plane.  I don't live in Philadelphia anymore.  As a parting gift, Nick gives me a  laptop he had lying around. "I'll mail you a webcam when you get to California," he says.  My players are the best players.


Here are the stats for the skeletons.

The Spider Skull Walker Golems

HP 100
AC 14
Move 25', Climb 25'
2 claws +10 1d10+2 and grab
Mounted in its forehead are the skulls of four powerful sorcerers, which power the golem and shoot 4 lasers per round from their mouths as a free action

1. Fire Laser, 2d6 damage
2. Telekinesis Laser, as grapple Strength 22
3. Repulsion Laser, knocks back opponent 2d10x5 feet
4. Disintegrate Laser, 3d8 damage

The spider skull walker golems always contain d4+1 spelletons and 2d4 archers.

Spelletons: HD 4, ac 12 or 8.  Has 1d4 random spells: 1. Soul Arrow 2d4+3 damage to 1d6 targets; 2. Dance! 1d6 targets for d4 rounds; 3. Shriek Uncontrollably, causing d10 damage to all within 20 feet and pushing them back d4x5 feet; 4. Set Aflame - 2d6 damage and you're on fire

Frost giants are sixty feet tall, 15 HD, and wield giant 3-headed flails spouting poisoned incense which leave a stinking cloud.

White elf wizards wear white robes, their hair is elaborately coiffed and piled, their lips and fingers are dyed blue.  White elf priests wield singing longswords, wear their filthy hair in braids, their teeth are cracked, and their hands must be bloodied.

Belaeg the Destroyer is a ninth level wizard atop a dead triceratops accompanied by 6 archers and 2d6+6 zombies.

Ionor and Valkonen, The Heralds of Lazareth, are a ninth level cleric and paladin, mounted on white horses, protected by 6 knights.

Yavandir the Moon Prince is a twelfth level fighter atop a white horse, protected by 4 paladins, a fifth level wizard, and two giant undead trolls.