Saturday, September 25, 2021

Training Day

The following is from GameDoc's session notes from our private social media.  It got pretty tense last time, but we're in the saddle again without so much touch-and-go.  And by saddle, I mean a 'big' saddle on a BIG lizard.

You can even listen to his recap over on the Arcane Alienist Podcast, right this very minute!

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

Training Day

After the party’s defeat of the goblins and hobgoblins, the kobolds agree to leave the dwarves’ mine and relocate to the caves previously occupied by the goblins until their queen is located. Hagle, the sole surviving kobold that accompanied the party in their fight with the goblins, elects to stay with the group as Roderick’s retainer.

Returning to the Keep and the Canopies, the party is greeted as heroes. They take a week of rest so that Celestina can research a new spell under the guidance of the archwizard Olivaire and Harald can attempt to tame the captured tuatara as a mount. Both are successful in their endeavors. Meanwhile, the rest of the group secured their own (normal) mounts - horses for the humans and ponies for Dolly and Hagle. 

Training Day

The party has amassed too much coinage to carry around. The clerics are granted the privilege of storing their gold and spare equipment at the chapel. The others elect to use the guildhall bank, except for the ever suspicious Jessup, who converts his coins to gems to keep with him at all times.

At the end of the week, the grateful dwarves host a feast to honor the party with strong ale, heaps of food, and raucous music. They all want to dance with Dolly. Marevek, tue castellan’s advisor is also present. He offers condolences for the loss of Dewey and Urgash, and offers the party a new mission.

Several days ago, the castellan sent a group of scouts up the road in preparation for a march on the orcs, but none returned. A few of their horses wandered back to the keep a couple of days later. He would like to employ the party to investigate.

Filthy Harald and Monch on the Forest Trail.

The next day, the party sets out to the dwarves’ mine and leaves their mounts for safekeeping. They then proceeded to the spot on the tradeway where the orc attacks have occurred. Coming to a stretch of road lined with boulders and low bluffs on either side, Hedemar and Roderick cautiously move forward while the rest of the group splits up and scales the bluff on either side.

To the west, Dolly, Jessup, and Harald encounter six orc archers laying in wait and preparing to shoot at Hedemar and Roderick below. To the east, Celestina and two of the retainers find no orcs but can see what is about to unfold.

As the eastern group opens fire at the orcs, two more feral orcs rush from hiding at the roadside and attack Hedemar. Hedemar realizes these are ghouls and unsuccessfully attempts to turn them. They fall upon him and one manages to scrape him with a claw, leaving him paralyzed.

Dolly closes in for close combat while the rest of the eastern located group support her with ranged attacks. They make easy work of the orcs. The other group descends to the road to aid Hedemar and Roderick. Celestina managed to paralyze one ghoul with a wand, but the other resists and turns on her, paralyzing her with a bite. Her retainer, Dominique, is also paralyzed. 

The rest of the party joins in and manages to kill the ghouls before anyone else succumbs. The ghouls turn out to be undead orcs. Celestina reports that ghouls are dead bodies possessed by a demon, much like gnolls are possessed, mutated animals. Chaos rears its head once again. 

The other ambushers turn out to be human bandits who have divided themselves as orcs using orcish war masks and face paint. This revelation leaves the party wondering what exactly is going on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

The following is GameDoc's session notes, posted in our private social media.  You can listen to this session's rundown on the Arcane Alienist as well!


We find the party where the last session ended, in a room full of discarded armor and weapons apparently taken from the various foresters and merchants the goblinoids have killed or captured. They have also located a secret passage that the fleeing hobgoblins must have used to escape. 

Dolly notices a dwarf-sized suit of plate armor and quickly dons it, and then the party proceeds down the passage with their kobold allies bribing up the rear. At the end of the passage is another concealed door, but it’s location is easy to deduce.

Harald and Roderick kick the door open to find a room full of hobgoblins, already on alert. The hobgoblins crowd the doorway and form ranks, as do the warriors and clerics of the party. Harald is mortally wounded, but Hedemar is able to get off a healing spell to revive him and get him back into the fight.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 1

After a few exchanges of melee, two hobgoblins are killed and others begin to lose morale and flee. The party takes the room. There are two doors on the north end. Roderick spreads lamp oil on the floor in front of them and the party waits for the hobgoblins to respond as the kobolds crowd in to help.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 2

One door opens to reveal four hobgoblin archers. Their volley kills two kobolds but fails to harm any of the party members. Two of the other kobolds abandon the group and flee back the way the party came. The party returns fire but the hobgoblins remain. The second door opens and two more hobgoblins appear. Both groups of hobgoblins draw swords and advance towards the party merging into a single unit. Hedemar ignites the oil and all six hobgoblins die a fiery death. 

However, three more hobgoblins appear in the second doorway, two archers and a spellcaster standing behind them who begins an incantation. Celestina begins to cast her sleep spell. Hedemar takes down one archer with a sling, clearing up Durgash to fire  a pistol at the spellcaster. The spellcaster survives, but her spell is disrupted. Celestina’s spell goes off and the remaining hobgoblins fall asleep. The last remaining kobold, Hagle, rushes in a coup-de-gras the sleeping hobgoblins.

The party advances to the next room to find only two hobgoblins remain. One of them is Bhyth, the captain of the goblinoid warband. He surrenders and is persuaded to lead the party safely back outside. He is also compelled to explain what the goblins are doing. He reiterated that they are effectively mercenaries and we’re deployed by their archfey patron, the Troll King. The will of the Troll King is communicated to the hobgoblin’s seer, the spellcaster that now lies dead.

The goblinoids were to run the humans, dwarves, and the like out of the area and press the kobolds and any prisoners they obtained into service in the sulfur mine or burning charcoal. The kobolds also gather guano from another cave in the area. It’s clear now that the goblinoids are manufacturing gunpowder. As to the kobold queen, she is not here. Byth suggests they check with the orcs plaguing the tradeway, as there is an active exchange of prisoners between them and the goblinoids.

Bhyth takes them down a side passage where they encounter another hobgoblin, standing guard to the entrance of a side chamber. Behind him on the wall has been painted an image of a fire with a large “X” over it. A goblin is heard yelling from the room for whomever is out there to douse their torches. This is the goblin “booyahg” (sorcerer), Gnurk. Gnurk comes out to investigate and managed to fire off a magic missile spell before Bhyth can order him to stand down. 

The party takes Gnurk into custody as well. In the room, they discover three barrels of gunpowder and several of the individual ingredients- guano (being manufactured into saltpeter), charcoal, and sulphur. Byth tells them that they make the powder, but the bugbears collect it and take it elsewhere for storage.

Future down true passage they re-enter the goblins’ area of the caves. Bhyth reveals there are probably 20 or so goblins still about. They encounter and capture four more goblins. With an ever growing number of prisoners, they party binds them all together, chain gang style. 

Byth calls ahead “Bree-yark! Bree-yark!” and explains that it’s the goblin call to surrender. Harald suspects he’s lying. As they round a corner, Durgash spots a group of goblin archers lying in wait beyond what the humans can see in the darkened caves. Bhyth again orders the to surrender, but is met with mocking laughter.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 3

A burly goblin emerges from the darkness. This is Ihazz, the boss goblin. She finds it amusing that Bhyth got himself captured. However, when Harald demands the goblins surrender, she agrees and motions for one of the goblins to drop its bow and move forward. This proves to be a ruse as she orders the others to shoot while their ally has the party’s attention. Durgash is mortally wounded by goblin arrows, but the party has expanded its healing resources and he dies.

As Ihazz and the goblins close in for melee, Bhyth and the other captives begin attempting to free themselves. The party retainers close in on Bhyth and eventually force him to surrender agains. Roderick and Hagle the kobold kill the remaining hobgoblins several goblins before they can escape. Dolly, Harald, and Hedemar engage the goblins and soon rout them, killing some and causing others to flee.

In a last ditch effort to save himself, Byth reveals they still have human prisoners and will lead the party to them. He takes them to one final chamber, deep in the cave complex. Inside are two hobgoblins who immediately surrender. There are five human captives, a merchant couple captured on the road, along with their two guards, and a captured forester. There is also a gnoll in a cage. Hedemar explains that gnolls are basically mutated animals possessed by a demon. Harald executes the gnoll with his firearms and turns to kill the hobgoblins.

There have already been disagreements as to disposition of the prisoners, but now it turns heated. Harald wants to execute the three hobgoblins for their crimes. The clerics, Hedamar and Roderick, argue that they’re defenseless and defeated and that killing them now crosses the line. Harald views this as a military operation, citing everyone’s willingness to kill indiscriminately up to this point, but the others disagree. Harald threatens to shoot Roderick if he doesn't get out of the way. 

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 4

Celestina suggests allowing the kobold, Hagle, to decide their fates since of all present, his people have been the most aggrieved. Everyone agrees to this and Hagle condemns them to death, but asks Harald to perform the deed. Harald shoots the hobgoblins and storms off in anger at his comrades.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Assault on the Goblin Lair

** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

The following was posted by GameDoc on our private social media.  Check out the Arcane Alienist Podcast and listen to the session here!

Assault on the Goblin Lair

As the party retreats into the forest to regroup, the come across a small band of kobolds kicking and stabbing at a dead bugbear – the bugbear they had driven off only a few moments earlier. The kobolds explain that they were out foraging when they heard the bugbear crashing through the forest, so they hid and ambushed it. After some discussion, they agree to meet the part back at the same spot the next day and try and help them get into the goblins’ lair.

Settling in back at the Canopies, the various retainers discover that all the weapons they’ve taken from goblinoids are made of bronze, not steel. This leads to the realization that as fey-descended creatures, they cannot abide the touch of iron. 

The next day, the kobolds are there as promised. They party again approaches the upper entrance to the lair while the kobolds distract the goblins guarding the lower entrance. The kobolds wind up picking off the goblins with slings while the party is able to overcome the hobgoblins guarding the upper entrance. The kobolds agree to bring up the rear as they party explores the caves within.

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 1
When in doubt, just run at 'em.  They never expect you to just run at 'em.

Forging ahead, they discover a dining hall where several hobgoblins oversee a large brood of juvenile goblins. The hobgoblins move to attack and all but two are slain. It seems the party has learned how to better use positioning and coordinated attacks! The two survivors are concerned for their young and agree to a binding pact that if they can leave with the juveniles unharmed, they will make no attempts to harm any of the party again. They explain that the curse of the Troll King befalls any who violate such a pact. 

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 2
The retainer pool consists mostly of kobolds.

Doubling back, the party discovers a guard post and again combat quickly turns in their favor. One hobgoblin loses its nerve and surrenders, but the kobolds, seeking revenge for their enslavement, fall on it and kill it anyway. Roderick chastises them, much to their confusion. Two more guards surrender an offer to tell the party how to find their captain’s hidden chambers but are also clearly stalling and speaking a little too loudly. A second wave of guards appears but seeing they are outnumbered, retreat. The party follows them into the next room to find an armory of steel armor and weapons, unusable by the goblins, but no hobgoblins at all. Dolly and Hedegar also locate a hidden door and a secret passage the hobgoblins must have used to escape. 

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 3
Secret doors lead to secret prizes.

What lies beyond the passage… riches and glory, or certain death?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Woodland / Grassland Hills

Woodland Hills All Finished!

 I consider hills to be one of the cornerstones of the tabletop.  Whenever I build a new table, these are one of the first things I count for terrain.  Of course, I'm old school so these hills are 'free-placed' rather than built into any tabletop.  Modular hills - they are ubiquitous, and every table needs some modular hills.

Woodland Hills 1

Continuing with the motif of updating the hills from the old club.  Obviously, these were concerned with functionality over aesthetics.  All of these were cut from standard styrofoam, probably cribbed from packaging.  They were then treated like I normally do them - covered in pva to create a hard shell and then spraypainted.  This makes them very sturdy - the big one on the bottom right is almost 25 years old.

Woodland Hills 2

The edge-old dilemma of storing these kind of hills is the 'chipping' that will occur as they are tossed around over the decades.  Every time I redo these, this is the #1 thing that must be fixed every single time.  Luckily, I ran across a method I would have never thought of to fix this - or at least heavily mitigate it.

Woodland Hills 5

And thus I found - the wet toilet paper method.

Woodland Hills 3

The idea apparently is used quite a bit across the terrain-o-sphere, but I got the idea to use it here at the edges of my chipping styro-hills because of the apparent strength granted.  The methodology is simple:  using watered-down PVA glue, you apply a rim of 'wet' toilet paper and let it dry.  This not only hardens the edges of the styrofoam, but also can be spray-painted.

Woodland Hills 4

Make sure to get up under there.  Don't worry - it dries flat.  The reason you can see under the rims in some of the pics is because of my tables slight warpage in the center.  

Hey, it's old too.

Woodland Hills 6

Once they were dried, I painted them up with some acrylic.

Woodland Hills 7

I almost called it done here.  

Woodland Hills 9 - Battletech!

Yet, I decided to go ahead and apply some flock before I took pics of the table in my dimly lit dungeon.

Woodland Hills 10 - Star Wars Miniatures

There's a special mix of flocking material including sand and talus, but it's mostly different colored flocks.

Woodland Hills 11 - Dungeons & Dragons

So yeah...I should probably replace my tables or build a new one.  That bend in the middle really grinds my gears, but oh well.  Maybe I should just resurface it.