The Order of the Shrub

...and another one is found.

Melisandra sends a message via magic that she has found someone to help the party on their quest: a tiefling warlock that sold his soul to the devil and wants to do good deeds to try to win his soul back. He was teleported in.

The warlock, rogue and sorcerer dealt with some zombies led by the most incompetent wight archer ever. Then they avoided encountering an Ettin (the rogue stole some of his potions while invisible), avoided stealing the eye-emeralds of a big black elephant statue that warned of a curse to those that disturbed the rest of the priest associated with it, and finally encountered a black pudding (which a cloud of daggers carved into two black puddings). And the Warlocks cool staff of the python helped with providing an extra emergency fighter.

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And another one is lost . . . .

The party is joined by the Warlock, who says she has found out something about the egg and asks the paladin to bring it out. Then she attacks it with an Eldritch Blast, laughing evilly and saying the Great Old Ones will not be denied (the egg gets a hairline fracture).

Combat ensues (good use of a bard’s entangle helps). The warlock is taken out (but breathing) but then, oddly a brain with feet appears near her and she stops breathing, and the brain tries a psychic attack on the rogue (the paladin was rendered unconscious by the warlock already). The rogue resists and the party takes out the evil brain. They conclude that the warlock had been previously murdered by the evil brain, who served the dark masters that the warlock used to be devoted to (Go bardic knowledge!). As a clue, the owl was nowhere to be seen during the entire encounter.

Anyhow, after that hard battle they had an easy one later on vs. some zombies.

And the rogue’s sop post-battle is to loot the bodies and set them on fire. ;)

[FWIW, the warlock’s player had to leave town, and wanted the character to die horribly. How could I refuse?]

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"Give me the baby!"

The party was joined by the sorcerer and then the rogue spotted a wizard flying to them. The party scattered (wisely) and the wizard demanded the baby (for he wanted to sacrifice it for great power). Combat ensued, and due to spells and some fantastically lucky javelin shots (a critical hit with an attack at disadvantage!) the wizard fell. The wild mage’s magic transferred the gift of flight to the rogue, who spotted a well-hidded hut and found the wizard’s treasure, along with a stolen spell book and potion of gaseous form. The rogue returned to the party (flight wore off) and then they rested in the hut. They found evidence that this wizard was intending to make a deal with Asmodeous after stealing the spellbook from his master, a “goody-goody”.

Ok, the party splits because the rogue wants to return the spellbook for his own reward. He stealthily goes towards the blue tower that Red Feather spotted earlier, gets an audience (and sapphire reward, but realizes that the wizardess was the mother of the baby the party had so tells her (in the hope of a bigger reward?).

Meanwhile, the party goes after the rogue and encounters the dead (or rather undead) wizard, this time in the form of the flaming skull! They deal with it and the sorcerer suggests that they pour holy water on it to stop it coming back, so they do so.

A tearful family reunion between mother and child, the mother becomes the patron of the party, they are told of the egg, the sorcerer wants to know of this people and melisandra and her husband aurial found out that the sorcerer came from the distant past and is in effect the ancestor of all currently living humans (and half-humans). But they warn him to keep this a secret for unscrupulous types might try to use him as a living spell component to control the human race.

So the party now thinks it would be faster to get air ship and drop in on Skartos that way. We shall see.

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Three men and a baby

Ok, the paladin, rogue and bard were left to their own devices back in the prime material plane and started looking for a place to bury excess treasure. The first place (a tree with vultures on it) was a bad idea, and they got attacked by the giant vultures and the tree started moving to them too! The rogue tricked them by throwing a gem and saying it was very valuable and the party ran away while the vultures fought over it.

Then the party ran further away, found a different tree (safe this time) and buried some of the excess treasure. They then rested and during the paladin’s watch he was tempted by “Fan” the imp (a devil) to join team evil, by killing a baby with a ceremonial dagger. The paladin refused and the imp departed . . . leaving the baby and the dagger behind.

So now the party has a cute eladrin girl to take care of (white hair, green orbs for eyes, past the weaning stage).

Then the party was met by an aarakocra scout and made peaceful contact, but the scout, Red Feather, got attacked by two gargoyles. Combat ensued. Spells were cast effectively. a sword was made sacred and magical. Gargoyles were destroyed. Wealth was found. Scout was healed (and grateful!). The baby actually teleported to safety (not far, but far enough).

So back at the Aarakocra village our party were heroes. They revealed the egg’s existence to the village (and the rogue, although the latter is dubious) and the villagers touched the egg (but none disappeared). The villagers had no magic workers, and were impressed enough that Red Feather asked to serve the paladin as a squire (and brother Blue Feather and sister Yellow Feather also want to serve the paladin, albeit not as combatants). Well, as least there are people to take care of the baby.

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In which the party SWATs away evil

Careful planning pays off! The paladin notes that a medium sized red dragon was flying into a cave, and they planned out how to handle it. With the rogue hiding above, the spellcasters behind cover at various distances from the cave and each other (to minimize breath weapon damage) and the paladin in front to be the distraction/bait (after taking a potion of fire resistance). They were ready, even when the red dragon had an ogre friend. It wasn’t even close. The ogre didn’t get a chance to do anything at all. Well done by the party!

Then in the cave they found some treasure (including potions of water breathing and acid resistance, and 5 coloured dragon head statuettes worth 25 gp each). And then noticed there was an extra party member – a barbed devil asking the warlock for the earring. The warlock wasn’t going for it and combat ensued, but the barbed devil was soon dealt with.

The party figured out that there was a planar gate in the cave that the devil took advantage of. They used it to briefly access the plane of modrons (giving the rogue a door in his head to become lawful if he wants) and then the plane of Celestia, where the met some angels including the paladin’s husband, got a map of where they wish to go, met the paladin’s young son, gave up the warlock’s earring to the angels, and generally rested. They plan to return and resume their adventure, but have some healing potions and holy water now.

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Hello new friend!

Well the reincarnation didn’t work as planned. The elf ranger’s body transposed with a distant tribesman in furs. This tribesman had a vision of the world ending and that encouraged the party to open up about the egg. The tribesman touched the egg. The rogue, kinda skeptical, did not, at least not yet.

The old lady convinced the tribesman to help destroy the altar in the maze so that she could seal it away from the abyss.

In they go! The rogue now knew there were sliding walls and the party used that to their advantage. They got to the center: a 25’ by 25’ room, 5’ lower than the rest of the maze, with an altar in the middle, a weird head on hands thing on the ceiling, and lots of fiends in the, oh lets call it a mosh pits.

The party wisely slew the weird thing before it could do anything weird. Combat ensued. The demons died in droves (they were minor demons). The tribesman revealed cool sorcerer powers (like excluding people from his thundering wave, making that spell much more useful!)

Then a red scaly minotaur appeared! It charged the wounded paladin, wounding him even more. The bard made it flee, and it came back to breathe fire on the party! But they eventually killed it. They hacked at the demon head on the altar, smashed five gems in that head to free the first five souls ever imprisoned here, and then the paladin used the angel feather of his husband to destroy the altar.

Then the party left. and the old lady was grateful, and pulled off one last ritual to destroy the maze and seal the area from the abyss. At peace, she finally allowed herself to die at the age of 121, 100 years after starting her mission to prevent the minotaurs from leaving.

So score one for the party! Baphomet failed!

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I am a killer dm!

Once again, the party entered the maze (ranger, bard, paladin, rogue). They were attacked by bats, some in swarms, and some demon bats that scared the paladin and could turn invisible! But the rangers half-dragon hawk had blindsight and made short work of them.

Then the party tried to destroy another demon mouth but the noise attracted more attention . . . a minotaur and a minotaur skeleton! The rogue ran away into a dead end (where the bats came from) and found a specially inscribed circle (he was standing in it – voices tried to tempt him to declare for Baphomet, but he did not). He failed to find secret doors and ran back tot he combat. Meanwhile the minotaur hit a part of the the wall and a section moved, making the passage suddenly wide enough to charge! The minotaur gored the ranger, and later the rogue. The fight was a very near thing but the party was victorious although alas the ranger’s life was lost. The party brought the ranger’s body out, hoping that the old priestess could do something to help.

She (of course) started chanting her ritual. There was a glow from the purple gem stones . . .

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oops forgot to post!

As I recall, the party went into the maze and found a bowling alley with a half orc berzerker setting up the pins for a lazy minotaur, complaining about the “old B****” keeping them imprisoned. There was a combat.

Then the party tried to destoy a demon mouth statue thing on a wall and it made a lot of noise doing that with an axe so they got attacked by vulture demon (vrock). Hilarity ensued.

The party left, healed and returned!

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A-Maze-ing

A new character (a airship sailor, a foul-mouthed human) joins the party but is initially distrustful. The party almost bonds over being attacked by an earth elemental and the warlock tracks a magical trail up the path. On the left is a shrine to all the gods, maintained by a very old woman who offered a ritual to bless them – which took three hours and named, well, all the gods. The bard noticed that Zarus was not mentioned and later the priestess said that Zarus was not a god.

Her shrine was hallowed, but across from her was a desecrated maze dedicated to a demon known as Baphomet. The party agreed to go in (and found their weapons were magical in the maze, due to the old lady’s blessing). They found some orcs (including an Eye of Gruumsh) and found a lot of purple gems everywhere. It turns out that these were trapping the souls of people sacrificed by minotaur servants of Baphomet in this ridiculously huge maze. Smashing the gems released the soul. Taking the gems to the old priestess (who is senile, but still knows her ritual) lets her release the souls while preserving the gems, but takes three hours per gem.

Anyhow the sailor is learning to trust the party, but is not a fan of the paladin. No one has told the rogue about the egg yet.

Oh and the cat threw up IRL. He doesn’t take loud crowds well and the stress got to him. He is better now.

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A death in the party.

The party went further into the cave and the dwarf discovered a pivoting stone door. They went beyond to a passage and a larger cavern, with two 10’ figures wrapped in the ninja black pajamas. They fought silently but then were destroyed (ogre zombies!). Then there was a passage beyond, well-webbed and spidered, and the party found two ettercaps! That was a harder fight. They found another passage going further down and the dwarf discovered it was of drow manufacture. The party declined to go down that long passage and wanted to go overland.

Outside the cave, they found precious stones spelling out thanks in a language no one knew but the bard had comprehend languages. The elemental’s gratitude. That said the horses were missing and had to be located, fed and watered.

Finally the party went through the mountains (overland). But they encountered a large airship, crewed by giants and ogres. A few ogres came down for a food party.

Lord Amor di Cosmos valiantly (especially for him!) fought the ogres and tried to cut the rope ladder that they were using to descend. He was felled by the ogres (and javelins from above). Alas, he died, for good this time.

But the party killed the ogres and the airship beat a retreat. But as they were leaving, a humanoid figure raced down the ladder, jumping the last few feet to land in a cloud of dust. Who is this mysterious new character? Find out when Pete lets the rest of us know, because it is his new character!

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