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DM Nel
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My current campaign is The Broken World. http://danddmyway.blogspot.com
My current campaign is The Broken World. http://danddmyway.blogspot.com

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Started building my SotDL Beastiary in Roll20, since the new character sheet is so cool and allows for an NPC version of the sheet. Its a fair bit of work, but will be worth it in the long run.

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BRIGHT

This Netflix movie is getting a lot of bad press, but I watched it over the weekend and enjoyed it. It is basically what if the real world had orcs, elves, dwarves, fairies, and magic. It’s worth a viewing. I liked it mostly because it reminded me of a D20 Modern setting I had wanted to run back in the day, but never got a chance to, called Urban Arcana.

AT-WILL SPELLS OUT OF COMBAT

How do you all handle at-will spells out of combat? Do you consider them to be an unlimited resource, meaning a spellcaster could theoretically cast an at-will spell every 6 seconds all day long, or do you impose a limit on how much an at-will spell could be used outside of combat before it's "tapped out" or the caster is too fatigued?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Said it before & I’ll say it again; we need a SotDL podcast.

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OLD SKOOL CAMPAIGN DIARY: PRISONERS OF THE MOAT HOUSE

- Anton Loyalar: Oeridian Paladin of Heironeous
- Coppyr: Halfing Monk
- Eli Pendar: Flannish Cleric of Pholtus
- Tharn: Dwarf barbarian of the Fireforge clan

The heroes search the area the zombies were inhabiting and find a couple of storerooms that have been in recent use, filled with fresh supplies, weapons and armor. They search more of the area and find a torture chamber with blood drippings that seem to lead to a wall. Eli finds a secret door and a passage behind the wall. Before investigating that, they proceed through a large door through a room to another large door and find an ogre within. The ogre threatens them until they don the cultist cloaks they found in one of the storerooms. They try to get the now confused ogre to open the door leading out of his room, but he refuses saying the Master told him to open the door for no one but him. The heroes get tired of dealing with the simple-minded oaf and attack, killing him and taking the key that he had tied to his…body.

Behind the door they find a prison with two cages. Within one is the wizard Spugnois and a gnome. In the other is an emaciated, bearded human man. They let the prisoners out and find that they have all been tortured and are in no shape to travel. They do learn that the bearded one is Sir Thomas Tabert, one of the knights that was assigned to guard Prince Thrommel and went missing at the same time the prince did.

The heroes decide to explore the hidden passage, fearing a wounded person may have been dragged in there. Within they find tunnels that lead to an ancient crypt, and within are several ghouls gnawing on bones. Anton’s light gives the group away and the ghouls attack, greatly desiring fresh meat. The heroes fight in the cramped tunnel believing it to protect them from being surrounded by the ghouls, but the creatures surprise them by climbing the walls and ceiling to get to them. But the heroes are still able to defeat the creatures. They explore the crypt, but find nothing but old caskets and another tunnel. They follow the tunnel which leads to the ghoul’s nest, where they find several valuables.

Returning to the prison, they decide to take the prisoners out of the moat house and back to Hommlet to get them proper care. They take Sir Thomas to Burne and the mage takes the man and tells Rufus to summon Canon Terjon immediately. He urges the heroes to continue to clear out the moathouse.

The heroes take the other wounded ones back to the Welcome Wench.

Session ends.

After Session Cinematic Interlude

The occurs after the heroes leave the moat house dungeons. During this interlude, your character's actions are on DM auto-pilot. You will resume control after these events unfold.

Zert moves through the hallway, passing the bandits and mercenaries that have been recruited by the master over the last several months. Humans, thankfully, not the demi-human scum that are quartered in the other part of their hide-out. Zert’s destination is his master’s chambers and when he arrives at the door, he looks himself over to ensure he is presentable. Lareth is a stickler for appearances and Zert learned the hard way that if he did not present himself properly the master would be more difficult to deal with than he already was. “The master;” Zert hated calling him that, but Lareth insisted. Zert’s true loyalty was to a higher being, a MUCH higher being, but Lareth was in charge here, as deemed by the one closer to his TRUE master, so he has to go with it.

A slight rap on the door and a soft voice from behind it beckons the warrior in.

The well-lit chamber was well furnished, much more so than the soldier’s quarters or any other part of the dungeon. The master stood before his mirror, where he normally stood, admiring himself. He was tall, slender in build, but Zert knew that this belied the master’s strength. His long, white hair flowed down his back in stark contrast to his purple silk shirt. The master’s skin was very dark, almost perfectly black, as was typical of his kind.

“Well?”

Zert straightened himself and looked at the master’s reflection where he was being gazed upon by the unnerving lavender eyes. “I just returned from the ogre’s room and found him dead. The zombies have been destroyed as well and it appears the group responsible also went into the crypt and killed the ghouls. This is a formidable group, master.

“Tell me something that isn’t obvious, fool! Of course they are formidable; how else could they have survived the assassin and still not be deterred by his attack. This group is different. Driven. My pets report that they have a fledgling knight, a priest of the light, a dishonored dwarf and an off-world halfling, all of no small skill. We we will need to stop underestimating them. Alert the agents in Hommlet to enact Phase Two tonight.”

“Tonight, Master? But, we’re not ready, we haven’t collected nearly enough for the Temple…”

“TONIGHT, Zert. I have tolerated their interference long enough. The Mistress, and her children, demand retribution.”

Zert sees a big, ugly black spider crawl over the master’s shoulder and stare at him with its multiple bulbous eyes. He could see movement all over the room’s shadowy corners, on the ceiling and walls, and under the bed’s covers, as more the creatures lingered near their THEIR master. Zert gulped nervously.

“And I will have my revenge. Irichi was one of my favorite pets. They will pay for murdering her.”

Zert responds, “Yes, master.”

“And Zert,” Lareth adds, “alert the guards in the event these fools survive the night.

Zert waited a moment to see if there were any further instructions, but only silence followed. “Very well, master, we will enact Phase Two as you command.” And with that, Zert gently shakes a spider off his boot and backs out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Lareth continues to admire himself in the mirror, but even more importantly, he admires the image of his Mistress, which appears to him in the same glass, silently summoned by her servant.

“What is your report, Lareth of Alzierarkakhan, son of Mahreen?” Her voice was as smooth as a spider’s silk and just hearing it in his mind sent shivers of excitement through his being.

“Mistress Lolth, I am proceeding ahead of schedule. The fools at the Temple are taking too long and our operations here are being jeopardized by overzealous adventurers. It is only a matter of time before they convince the Vicount to take action.”

The smooth voice responds, “I trust your judgment Lareth, my beautiful servant, my Favored One. You serve me as no other. Ensure the Old One understands that my interests will not be delayed due to the incompetence of his minions.”

“I shall, Mistress Lolth.” Her image dissipates and Lareth is left with only his countenance remaining in the mirror.



Terjon hastens his step behind the tall, burly Rufus. He doesn’t like the warrior, but he recognized the stability that he and the insufferable Burne brings to Hommlet. Rufus interrupted a service that the Canon was holding, which irriated him to no end. The people of this town needed his guidance if they were to continue to hold to the Path of St. Cuthbert, and continue feeding his offering coffers. But the matter seemed of great importance, as Burne and Rufus dislike Terjon as much as he them, so to summon him thusly was unusual.

The two waded through the townfolk undergoing militia training and proceed up the path to Burne and Rufus' tower, entering and climbing the steps the meeting room. Therein they find Burne and the individual that Rufus mentioned that needed Terjon’s attentions. In addition, others from the council were in the room.

“I was under the impression that I was to tend to an injured man, not that we were having a council meeting.”

Burne was at the meeting table with the others, including the village elder that leads the council. He responds to Terjon, gesturing to the man on a cot being tended to by Burne’s servants. “You are, but the man in question is of significance to all of us. This is Sir Thomas Tabert, one of the men abducted with Prince Thrommel.”

Terjon raises an eyebrow, nods and then goes to the injured man to administer St Cuthbert’s blessings of healing upon him. When he’s finished he returns to the council, who are talking amongst themselves, and says, “Tabert’s condition is poor, but he’ll live provided he gets rest and food and water.” The priest joins the others at the table. “So, does he know where the prince is?”

Rufus says, “No, unfortunately he says he’s been moved around to various outposts and is blindfolded every time, so he doesn’t know where he’s been. He does, however, believe that the old Temple of Elemental Evil is reoccupied and is in the process of rebuilding its forces. If that’s truly the case then we need to inform the Vicount immediately. If Prince Thrommel is being held anywhere, it’s the most likely place.”

Burne shakes his head at that. “I was there when the coalition of priests and mages locked the place down. Powerful rituals were used to places wards on the temple to ensure that nobody could ever enter, or leave that structure. There is no way that anyone could have re-entered, short of divine intervention.”

“Unless they burrowed their way in,” Oster states matter-of-factly. They’ve had a decade. We should have finished them off when we had the chance.”

The elf druid Jaroo adds, “That is something that had not been considered. The temple may be warded, but the grounds were not. It would not be difficult to burrow below the temple. Although they still may not be able to enter, they could potentially draw power from it from below…”

The large man named Otis speaks up. “We were fools not to hunt down every last one of them. We were satisfied with locking up their demon and trapping her inside the temple. But the true threat was with whoever managed to make contact with the elemental princes and summon her to begin with. We should have known this would come back to haunt us.”

The room burst out in discussion, with those defending and others condemning the decisions made and the actions taken during the Battle of Emridy Meadows and the following Seige of the Temple of Elemental Evil. Burne smacked his staff against the side of the table to bring the meeting back to order. “Regardless of what could or should have been done, the issue is the present and future, not the past. We have a chance to find and save Prince Thrommel and to shut down this cult once and for all. I suggest we contact the Vicount and begin planning…”

Burne stopped short when he heard a gurgled shout from the other side of the room. Sir Thomas Tabert was sitting up and with his left hand he strangled one of Burne’s servants who was attempting to feed him. Dead, the servant is tossed to the side and Tabert stands. His stance is awkward, as though he were not in control of his actions, and indeed, Burne and Terjon could see the tell-tale signs of possession in the knight’s eyes, which were completely black. Everyone at the table rose quickly, and those who were armed drew their weapons, while those with magical skill called to mind their magic. A tense silence overtook the room for a moment until Terjon broke it by shouting, “Begone demon, lest I call upon St Cuthbert to cast you back into the Abyss to answer to your unholy masters!”

The awkwardly standing knight cocked his head to one side and opened his mouth much wider than was possible. The cracking of bone and sinew was heard as his jaw distended and a horrid voice, clearly not that of Sir Thomas, issued forth. “My patience has borne fruit for many of the architects’ of the demise of my plans sit here now in my view. You were indeed foolish not to seek out my many minions, but doing so would have been an impossibility, for they are legion and growing. But, know this now, fools; I work not alone in this endeavor, but have powerful allies and together we shall restore the might of the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the Elder Elemental Eye shall rise to destroy your Cuthbert and the other so-called gods he surrounds himself with. A new order shall rise, and we shall reshape this world in Our image!”

No sooner than the last word was spoken than Burne let loose with a spell designed to hold the possessed knight in a grip of magical force to allow Terjon to perform an exorcism. But the knight gestured off-handedly and the spell dissipates. Terjon raises his holy symbol and fills the room with the brilliance of his faith. The knight hisses and vomits forth a flood of spiders, which hit Terjon, knocking him off his feet and distracting him as he tries to free himself from the bites of the thousands of spiders carpeting him. The warriors move to act, but before they can get to the knight, he raises his head upward, emitting an awful, unearthly moan.

Outside the tower, the people of Hommlet that are out and about hear the moan and look over to Burne’s tower. Above it, a mass of black clouds billow forth from a singular point and extend outward to blanket the tower in their black shadow. From the clouds a powerful bolt of green lightning bursts forth and strikes the structure, causing the stone and wood to explode violently outward in a brilliant flash. Momentarily stunned, the people shake off the flash from their vision and look back to the tower to see it has become a smoking ruin. The black clouds collapse upon themselves once again and the evening sky resumes it’s cool, autumn clarity.
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