Mesa Old School Gaming

The End of the 50 Gold Piece Company
We openly assaulted the Temple of Orcus and died like dogs

We finally got all the players together, including the DM, who flew back from Connecticut, and wrapped up the campaign in the own particular idiom of the the 50 GP Co.: We raided the temple to free the Horned One who knew where to find the key was that could free us from the Geas spell that the Lich placed on us. The Horned One was responsible for killing several party members which began the Arden campaign, now the party had to rescue him to save themselves.

We knew the temple was guarded by 10 giant bull skeletons (with magical fire in their rib cages) and put all of our proverbial eggs in an Invisibility to Undead spell. Unfortunately, two human acolytes and 4 skeletal ogres also were on duty so we were immediately discovered. One priest was killed by Saphrax arrows, but the dwarves chose not to fire and preserve their spell “protection”. The Horned One was suspended 40’ above the floor, and the plan was to cast Web beneath him, and then use Knock to undo the shackles. Abeneer was able to cast the web spell, but then the surviving priest shouted “DEFEND!”, and fled the room. The Bulls started to attack, fired Fireballs (!) into the party midst, killing Abeneer and Roger instantly, who failed their Saves.

Gabe was able to use Spiritual Hammer to destroy the pin holding the chain which suspended the HO. He dropped, but his innate Magical Resistance negated the Web spells effect and he fell to the ground and his death (the DM rolled 12 hp damage on 2d6). Brecon used his Boots of Striding and Springing to leap into the web and heal him before he died. In the meantime, the surviving party fled the temple only to be attacked by a Manticore, which killed Saphrax. Gabe fell from a fireball, but Harlech dragged him from the line of fire(balls), and revived him with a potion of extra healing that Gabe possessed.

Brecon lost initiative and was charged by 5 or so bulls and the wounds he received brought his HP total to 0 (unconscious but not dead). Harlech and Gabe then charged in to do something (?), but gabe took another fireball and died, then Harlech was charged by bulls adn he too was reduced to 0 HP. The end.

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Round 2 Then Round 3
Bad and Good Luck

After seeing his friend Gabe die an ignominious death at the hands of the evil two-headed giant, Harlech jumped into the gladiator pit to avenge and recover the remains (quite a bit of baiting by the DM helped too). Facing 50-50 odds against the giant, Harlech fought poorly. He not only lost initiative, he consistently rolled 10s. Not only did he miss, he missed every attack for several rounds. Stranger still, there were 3 tied initiatives in a row, where no one hit anyone. Despite the poor rolls, he whittled the ettin down to 20 hp, but Harlech was whittled down to nothing, and the ettin threw the body of the impetuous dwarf on the pile of victims in the pit.

Brecon lept in the pit next (c’mon you knew if one dwarf went first, then the other would follow!!!). First attacking the ettin at range with arrows, the ettin closed, but could not strike the dwarven fighter/cleric’s superior AC. Brecon struck back and discovered that the +2 axe of giant slaying not only became +4, but did double damage against the giant because it was now in the hands of a dwarf. With luck on his side Brecon steadily wore down the brute, and before long the Pit had a new champion.

Claiming the champion’s prize, Brecon Animated the remains of the dead and ordered them to carry the loot, and the bodies of his friends. He inadvertently scored points with the crowd by so doing. He made swift work of a challenger, an enormous ogre, but there were no more takers after Brecon chopped off the creatures head an lobbed it into the stands. When the arena cleared, he spoke to the pale dwarven bishop of Orcus, and cut a deal to have him raise his fallen comrades in exchange for the location of the horned one.

Two days later the remnant of the 50 Gold Piece Co. went to the Temple of Orcus, used a talisman to pass through the undead guards, and discovered the zombie of one of the original party members: Pog the Halfling cleric of Baccus pouring wine for the bishop. The evil cleric had put the information to good use, located the Horned one, captured him and Pog’s zombie. The Bishop cast Raise Dead on Gabe and Harlech (David you still have to roll the resurrection survival roll for Gable), and Roger was able to convince the Bishop to raise Pog if we killed the traitorous mercenary captain Grin. The party went to location of the hideout, but an Identify spell could not locate the Falcon Key. It looks like the party now has to rescue the BBEG, the Horned One, who they have been trying to destroy for 3 game months.

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and now for the main event….. Lets get Ready to Rumble!!!!
Idle Hands, Curious Cats, and Boys Will Be Boys

The Party escapes the sewer and regroups just in time to hide from the approaching sound of hooves. Hidden in a building they see the cloaked rider on a skeletal horse Roger saw before followed by a pack of hungry ghouls.

Slipping upstairs they shimmy into the next building under a silence spell and evade the dire horseman. They try to make their escape but quickly turn around once the encounter a courtyard with a large statue wrapped in chains, with even more chains connected to the neighboring buildings with bodies, weapons, and other junk hanging from them.

Turning tail they then find an ramshakled inn and hole up long enough for the wizard and cleric to rest and regain spells. They then use identify to see the rod Safrax liberated is a Rod of Cancellation. Abby wants to keep the rod and renege on the deal with the Witch Alim but Gabe insists they need the potions of Suepr Heroism and Speed to defeat the Horned One.

After debate they return to Alim and to make the trade. Along the way they encounter a patrol of a dozen Orcs but Abby quickly incinerates them with Fireball.

The party makes it to Alim’s and trades for the aforementioned potions, leather +2, some much needed wizards scrolls, and a couple of extra healing potions.

Abby then fails to learn the spell “Write” with an epic roll of 00 on the percentiles. This put a wrinkle in the plan to quickly move scroll spells to the spell book.

With Abby hard at work hand copying the spells Alim mentions that tonight is the full moon and on such nights the Church of Orcus hosts gladiatorial games in the arena. This night is considered a night of truce and several orc tribes and many of Grin’s Mercenaries attend. Gabe and Safrax seem interested so Alim allows them to tag along with her and her body guards. Roger stays behind with Abby.

The show is filled with pageantry and several tribes and monsters are present to watch the blood shed. The pale dwarf who leads the Church of Orcus leads the ceremonies flanked closely by Hilsur the mage in his silver mask.

The first events are mostly slaves fighting beast and orcs fighting eachother to the death, but after 80 minutes are so the Pale Bishop calls for volunteers to fight the champion of the arena, a huge ettin armed with trident and war hammer.

Safrax and Gabe seem content to watch until Hilsur brings out the prize for defeating the ettin, a floating disc filled with gold, amour, and arms, belonging to those who have fallen to the ettin in past matches.

When the DM says that a character that wins gets to take full experience for the ettin and full experience for the treasure Gabe seems interested. He thinks with his spells, the potion of super heroism, and the potion of speed he can take the giant two headed monster. Safrax itching to see the fight encourages him, they both realize Abby will be upset they used the potions but the temptation is too much.

Gabe announces he volunteers and then consumes the heroism potion and jumps in the ring.

The battle begins and all goes well for the cleric. He gets a couple of protection spells up before the dual wielding brute gets within melee range, he then even avoids a few blows. He casts bestow curse and this drops the creatures constitution to 3, but then the ettin goes on a roll and starts smashing the cleric. The next two curse spells are saved against by the ettin and this forces the battered and desperate cleric to drink the potion of speed while under the effect of the potion of super heroism.

The DM declares he needs to roll on the 1e DMG potion mixing table and gets a 98 ! this let both potions work and the speed potion works at 150% giving him 5 attacks every two rounds.

Luck seems to turn as the ettin starts rolling bad again and Gabe uses his speed and attacks to keep his distance. This forces the ettin to charge in, raising its ac. But the reigning champion gets hot again and pounds the cleric of light, and his three counter attacks don’t even add up to enough to hit the creature.

Gabe battered manages to withdraw and heal himself and reenters the battle strong but is having a hard time hitting the brute. The crowd is booing the shameful cleric, deluding the honor of hand to hand combat with spells and magic, but this only drives him harder.

All looks lost when Gabe suddenly hits with thee quick attacks bring the ettin down to only 26 HP left. Gabe moves away hoping to survive another round and use the potion of Extra Healing on his belt, but the ettin charges in both mouths frothing. It uses the trident to pins gabe to the ground droping him to one HP. The dm throws his trusted blue d20 and it comes up an 18. The hammer slams down crushing the brave cleric.

The ettin screams in triumph as the crowd roars. It lifts the dying corpse into the air and finishes Gabe off by pulling him in two. The ettin throws the two parts on to the magic disk and Safrax watches in disbelief

The Pale Bishop calls for other challengers…….Ones brave enough not to soil the rules of the arena with spells and magic.

Will anyone be man enough to face the ettin in single combat to win not only glory but gold and a trusted friends body????

Looking at you Harleck…………

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A Simple Side Quest
There are worse things than sewage in sewers..

The party was able to return to Alim, who told the party where to find the Horned One, and offered magic items if a stolen Jade Rod was returned to her. The party made a wish list then walked to the last known location of the rod: a sewer in the middle of town.

The thief of the Jade Rod was dead in the lair of three otyughs. The dwarves took on two, but the largest charged the middle of the party. It thrashed Roger, fought off Saphrax and struck down Abeneer, eventually throwing the bodies at the dwarves. While the rest of the party fell in a pile, Saphrax crept up to the dead thief and recovered the Jade Rod, Bracers AC 3, and a potion of extra-healing. Somehow, Brecon revived Harlech before he was struck down, and miraculously the otyugh didn’t notice (meaning the DM rolled a “20” on its check, thus sparing 4 of the 5 party members).

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Not Good

Saphrax was able to take the goodies, raise a portcullis to the bay outside, and swim through the sewage to safety. Harlech used a Potion to revive Abeneer, who lauched two fireballs at Momma Otyugh. The Fire Mage’s magic staggered the beast, but did not kill it. The ambulatory party members slung the less fortunate half of the party and fled up the tunnel.

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Shadow Boxing
The d4 O'Death almost TPK'd Us

After tip-toeing through the rubble, the party encountered a goblin in the employ of the Half Orc Alim the witch. After haggling with one of the dwarves about the fee, Abeneer intervened with a Charm Person spell, and sealed the deal. Leading us through a portal hidden by an illusion, Abeneer’s new buddy led us through Lakehaven’s underground to the goblin den with a strange tent set up in the middle.

After offering our Water Walk Scroll, which was simple kept, a large handful of gold got us in the front door (flap?). The interior was an extradimensional space larger than the exterior, and it was filled with silk pillows, fresh food, thrist-quenching drink, and fragrant incense. Also Alim and a few super huge ogres. After some chit-chat, we got down to business. We told Alim that we were after the Horned one. She balked at that, but said she could help us if we did her a favor (well actually two favors….). She requested that we take a Peryton Egg to the old Shadow temple, adn perform a rite. Abeneer refused at first on the grounds that the temple had been reconsecrated to the The Nine. It took us a while to beat him down, but he gave in. Alim gave us two potions to pour into urns inside the temple which would close the door to the shadow realm. Oh yeah, Alim wanted us to pay for the Peryton egg, but was willing to wave the gold for a night with our fearless leader GABE, who swiftly agreed to service the non-human witch abomination. Okaaayyy…

Before Gabe smited evil The party paid Alim more gold to contact the lost Roger via spel., he was instructed to meet them in the rubble, but before he could get there he ran afoul of three Orcs. No where to run with his stubby little legs he charged and threw daggers. The ensuing combat went bad at first but lucky rolls by ol’Rog came through in the end and all three Orcs were defeated. Of course no one was around to see it sooooo…

Goblin-boy led us to the temple. We tried a side door, but it was covered in Glyphs and we didn’t want to try our luck. We went in the front but cast Protection from Evil on each character to protect us from possible shadows. We ran in the room full speed, but for our short legged party it was not fast enough. Slow Shadows started pouring out of the urns (due to the DM’s d4 O’Death rolling 4s for both urns). Abeneer passed off the potions, brecon was able to pour one in, but Rodger had a harder time, and had to break his Protection spell to do it. Roger was knocked down, but Brecon was able to save him with a CLW. Harlech went on the offensive as his Protection spell was wearing off, and ended up with 3 shadows attached. Abeneer delayed the ritual for a couple of rounds, but when he started it, the party simply waited until he finished; Harlech continued to take damage in the hopes that the ritual would dispell the shadows.

As luck would have it, the shadows remained, and Abeneer ran toward the party (instead of running away and saving himself). The party slowly made its way to the door carrying roger, while Abeneer conveniently made it to the exit before collapsing unconscious for his wounds. The party was able to barrel it’s way to daylight, dragging Abeneer. Poor Harlech was left behind with about a dozen shadows trailing him. He fell about 10 feet from the exit, but his momentum carried him through the door with -7 HP.

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So close, so, so close…

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Find a Happy Place
Baby we were born to run

The party decided to follow a rumor and try to contact Alim an information broker in the Warehouse District hoping to get information about Lakehaven or the location of the Horned One and the Key. The party found a scrap of paper in the Secret Tunnel to Lakehaven and identified the location on the town map, and as luck would have it, it was on the way…

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The bait.

The party scampered and weaved south, but spotted some posts decorated with skulls-obviously marks of a territory of orcs. The party cast a Silence 15’ spell and ran like hell. They were spotted, but they didn’t know it, because they couldn’t hear the alarm. Crossing another broad street, the party skidded to a halt at a strange grassy courtyard with a huge pile of bones. By now the spell wore off, and the alarms could be heard. Ducking into a building, it could be noted that bones were sliding off the pile. Harlech was in a “spirited” mood and fired a quarrel into the bones.

A dire wind swirled around the disturbed bones, and the disarticulated bones collected themselves by magic into a large bone-golem-like monster with 7 arms. In full panic, Brecon considered casting Darkness and Silence and slipping into a catatonic state of denial, but as luck would have it, the bone creature charged a party of pursuing orcs instead.

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After the boner..(the mini is just a marker showing the parties’ location on the town map).

Deciding to stick to alleys, the party avoided an obvious trap. A single dead body lay in a courtyard surrounded by ominous mist-shrouded buildings. Next, our heroes were waylaid by 3 Displacer Beasts and a Troll while passing through a stable. Saphrax was severely wounded, but survived because Gabe got back from his camping trip, and let the baddies beat on him instead (Gabe the player not Gabe the Character XD). Still feeling spunky, Harlech sipped a vial of potion , and after failing his saving throw, he survived with 1 HP left (poison, of course).

Presuming they were in yet another Territory of orcs the party kept moving. Noting movement in a building, Roger the Dodger was dispatched to check it out. Sneaking up on a 2-orc guard post, the brave halfling attempted a backstab. Missing wildly, the cowardly halfling JUMPED OUT THE WINDOW, tumbled on the ground, and fled into the mists. After recovering from their shock the orcs sounded the alarm. Arrows were exchanged, and the rest of the group decide to make a run for their goal, the location on the map fragment, yet again abandoning Roger to his own resources. The party ran past the guard post taking arrows, then rounded a corner onto a street that led into the heart of the orc territory. Orcs were pouring out of the buildings, and two Hill Giants could (not) be seen looking around from their position at the temple.

The party stopped in their tracks, turned around, ran past the guard post AGAIN, taking arrows AGAIN, but were able to run the long way around the area without being caught. The session ended with the party crossing the broad street to the East gate, and desperately hiding in rubble next to the lake, hoping a Silence 15’ spell and the lake mists would conceal them from approaching footsteps.

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Up on the roof-tops....
Well at least the dogs couldn't get us....

Fleeing into the City of Lakehaven and out of the secret tunnel away from the Dark Sitter the party hoped to evade orc reinforcements. The party decided to hide-out in a deserted building and hopefully rest and recover spells. the party holed-up on the third floor of an old tavern, and Roger wisely went “scouting”. It wasn’t long before the braying of dogs indicated that the orcs would find them. Some of the party thought it would be a good idea to destroy the stairs to delay the pursuers, which it did…for about half a round. :( The 50 Gold Co. decided to take to the rooftops 3 stories above the town and take their chances, leaving Roger to fend for himself. Anyhow, a massive force of orcs surrounded us, quickly found ways up to the roof, and started pelting the characters with volleys of arrows at range. Saphrax was able to rescue Gabe by dropping him in a roof hole and the rest of the party followed. Abeneer dropped virtually instantly, but Brecon picked him on the way.

While the party waited for the onslaught of orcs inside a building, the sounds of eerie hoofs could be heard approaching on the road below. The orcs retreated presumably because the mysterious Rider was something they didn’t want to deal with. The party then moved, and was able to evade the orcs and the rider, and find a building in a part of town away from the pursuing orcs territory (and in someone elses presumably), and finally healed and rested.

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Big and little things
Orcs are tough to bluff

After driving the Dark Sitter off with a Fireball, Gabe cast Slow Poison on himself to help with his bite from the previous session, and Abeneer cast another Fireball as the arachnid ascended into the darkness above in shadowform. The Fireball drew the creature’s attention and it descended down to the bridge again. It was revealed that the broken bridge segments were illusions, but not until after Saphrax leaped across. The Sitter cast a spell that blinded everyone, and the party kept fighting it, and a few lucky blows drove it back. it then cast Scare which caused the party to flee down the bridge from it. The only two remaining characters were Rodger and the poisoned Brecon. Remembering his potion of Dimunition, Roger magnanimously decided to try to carry the dwarf by using the potion. Dumping the entire contents on the unconscious warrior priest, he was reduced to 5% of his previous size, a total of 3 inches tall, and Roger easily carried him off.

The party found themselves in a large room, with a few cobwebs in the ceiling. Noting a large shape in the webs with a glint of metal in it, Harlech set the webs on fire with a thrown torch. the large shape turned out to be an elven mage named Yonda, who nearly fell to his death (after being burned of course).

The party proceeded on until they found a small complex of rooms, which turned out to be a building within Lakehaven. Deciding to stay the night at this location, the party was discovered by a party of orcs. A brief combat ensued, but not until after one escaped into the fog of the town. the party decided to collect their wounded (including Gabe who collapsed during his watch after his Slow Poison spell wore off), and find a new hideout in the town.

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Dark-Sitting-Ducks
Wool pajamas? I'm not wearing any pajamas...

After putting out their still smoldering clothes, the party retired to a defensible position for the night. During the middle watch, Gabe detected something sneaking up on the party. He confronted Jim’s new character, a dual-wielding Ranger badass. Tensions were high and there was almost some player v player combat, but the half-orc ranger agreed to a Know Alignment spell.

The next day, the party wound its way down to a huge 180’ wide waterfilled chamber at approximately the level of Lakehaven, our target. Gabe cast Water Walk to investigate the room and find a way across. He was attacked by a spider, and ran back to the water-level entrance realizing that no one could help him.

Dark sitter

The party wound back around and ended on a bridge through the same room, but this time 70’ above the water below. Halfway across, a trap was sprung. large blocks broke the bridge on either side of the party, and the party was trapped. A giant spiderlike creature, the Dark Sitter, descended from above with other minion spiders, and wreaked havoc on the party with its disorienting gaze and magical bite with various poisons: Roger was knocked down to -1 hp quickly, Abeneer saved him then disrobed —thankfully still invisible! Harlech simply wandered off from the party, and Gabe and Brecon were paralyzed. A couple of Fireballs drove off the Dark Sitter and fried the minions, leaving the party stranded on the bridge.
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Another Big Dustup
"Hey, weren't there more of us?"

The party made a tomb for Falca in the giant’s chamber. A cairn was mounded over his body and a tombstone chiseled with dwarf runes which read “Here lies Falca Breks Goldenhair, the mighty leader of the 50 Gold Piece Company. May he rest in peace.” The entrance to the chamber was stacked with stones and a Stone Shape spell was cast to seal it.

The party rested up and went though the barricaded iron door. The passage beyond was dusty, and after some quick exploration of the area, we discovered a room with very life-like statues within. Expecting a Medusa, Harlech crept in with his shield blocking his eyes to inspect the first one. A large spider fell on his back, and another dropped behind him. He was bitten, but saved vs. the deadly venom. The party smashed the spiders in short order, and burned the web. After some more exploring, the party realized that they were above the level of Lakehaven, and needed to find a way down. Circling back around, the party re-examined an iron door they previously passed by.

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The Statue Room

Listening at the door, the party heard murmuring voice. “Its my treasure, I shouldn’t have killed him, but it’s my treasure!” Opening the door, the party saw the well-decomposed body of a halfling with a well-preserved sword under its body. Entering the room to get a better look, the iron door closed behind them, trapping Harlech, Abeneer, and Gabe in the room; and Brecon and Roger on the other side of the door in the corridor. A wispy vapor formed over the corpse, it took a ghostly shape and rushed at the party. Panicking, Abeneer dropped a fireball in the confined room which burned the other two characters as well as the wraith. After a harrowing battle, the ghost was destroyed with only Abeneer being touched for a minor effect.

The corpse was checked, but most of the gear had been destroyed by the fireball. Magic leather armor, a hat, probably hat of disguise, and a treasure map. The rest of the party gave the twitchy mage the stink eye-big time.

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