Friday, 29 May 2015

Chapter 1b – Onwards & Downwards

Chapter 1b – Onwards & Downwards

Lantern lit, the dwarf led the way. The elf, the rearguard pushed the reluctant gagged

goblin along, a dagger at her throat.
A room ahead and the adrenaline flowed faster through all of them.
“Ready then?” whispered the dwarf and on the elf's nod, she forced open the door and strode in a pace or two.
A cluster of goblins stopped in mid-conversation turned round and looked aghast at the intrusion and the familiar sound of their old enemy's rough accent molesting their ancient tongue -
“Ho! Goblin friends, tell us where you hid the treasure you stole and we'll spare your green hides”
But their hands were forced. Their goblin captive, morale rising on seeing his tribal brethren took his chance and he made a bolt for the room. If he could get past that dwarf he was away.
But the unarmoured and lightly armed Elf was no slouch in martial skill. Although surprised by the breakaway, the elf pounced forward like a cobra striking in time to force his dagger forward and up into the goblin's neck, A spurt of blood later, the bound and gagged prisoner fell to the floor.
Whether this was what started it or not was irrelevant.
A flurry of drawn weapons and the green-skinned band rushed across the hard-tamped floor at the intruders.
“You're soul will rest with your ancestors tonight, short fat one” the leader spat at the dwarf
And in an instant there was the age-old ring of goblin sword and dwarven axe clashing their intentions mid-air. Today may be the latest chapter in an endless line of hatred-fuelled mortal combats, but the tale of goblin versus dwarf had no beginning and was never going to end.
Perhaps I should have dressed for fighting, thought the elf, rather than magic, still, their work to done with a blade here. Forward she strode to back up her comrade, dagger in hand. Four Goblins versus the two of us? This isn't going to be easy.
The dwarf had her axe-blade slicing flesh immediately. Her swing caught the front goblin square in the chest.
“We just want the treasure and we'll let you out alive. Why don't you tell us about the treasure?”
But she wasn't waiting for an answer as her axe flew once again to bite through another goblin's helmet into flesh and bone beneath.
Two down.
The elf hadn't been too slack either. Her dagger had drawn blood from a pierce through the goblin's bone & leather armour but she rued the lack of length in her steel.
Her goblin adversary didn't lack skill, either and the edge struck home.
The elf didn't take much of a hit but it was enough to ground her and she slumped to the ground.

“Two against one now” laughed the big goblin “time for you to beg for mercy”
But the dwarf knew her only way out of this was with the edge of her axe.
And so it flew again and felled another one.
“You're alone now, green one. Save yourself, where's the treasure you stole?”
“you'll never see it, dwarf, nice taste my steel as I avenge my fallen brothers”
And so it, was.
Time and again strike met parry and axe met shield as the enemies fought toward exhaustion.
It was the goblin that tired first, though. Or maybe just the dwarf was too good.
But fate's wheel of fortune stopped with arrow pointed in favour of the dwarven axe.
After the tumult of battle, the sudden stillness of victory was a sharp contrast.
The dwarf took no time for pride and satisfaction. She gathered her wits and moved over towards the elf. She was unconscious, but still alive.
Next, over to the goblins to ransack their bodies. Now, that felt like satisfaction, some coin to ease her tired limbs, some gold to prove that she was the winner.
She flung the elf over her shoulder, and headed up the stairs and out.
One more effort at getting the other goblin captive to talk of treasure, but nothing forthcame.
And now the choices. If she left the captive, then he would live to fight her another day. She had her hands full carrying the elf, so she couldn't really take the prisoner with her – too risky. And she wasn't the type to readily go slitting prisoners throats. But, then again, that was the best of the bad choice. So, reluctantly, she executed the goblin.
She was tired and the elf was heavy.
She arranged a cure for him and left her a few coins as her share.
The elf complained bitterly at the deal
Well, that's about right for him - bloody elves and their magic.

She turned and walked off into the evening.
Was all this what she'd wanted from adventure?
A satisfying clink from her pouch reassured her.
Yes, a lesson learned there, she thought – gold favours she who favours herself

The Spellcaster's Codex

After a series of complaints,
I have re-designed the Magician's Tome into the Spellcaster's Codex.
More portable but less robust.

The Spellcaster's Codex

The Spellcaster's Codex is essentially a book, consisting of one quire (8 pages, 16 sides) of vellum folded together.

The folded vellum is cut to form the 8-page, 16 side booklet.
The books are fairly thin, about A4 and take a whole hide of goat or sheep to make.
The book is then usually put inside a leather cover, although velvet-covered wood is sometimes used.
This book is then inserted into a leather cover and tied up with thongs or reed.

Lightweight and portable

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Thrilly the Dwarf

From the Dwarven caverns of Northern Êr'ryk, there came a hero.....Thrilly
Player John's portrait of his Dwarf Frontman

Chapter 2d – Unseasonable Wet

Chapter 2d – Unseasonable Wet

Everybody clear what they're up to?” said Jade
I'm dropping down” she said.
you two are on my line” she nodded to Thrilly and Sir Baltimore
you're on Guard Duty”. She pointed to Goldylox.
...and you're on my safety line” she nodded to Dexter, the priest and Norm the spellcaster.
I'm supporting” said Leggyass, the other spellcaster.
What can go wrong?” she laughed, checking the knots in the ropes one more time.

They lowered Jade down through the well-hole and she half-abseiled, half-clambered downwards calling out distances as she went.

To start with, her support team struggled with the lowering job. Luckily, Jade was nimble enough to support some of her weight herself and the support crew and lifeline kicked in too. However, this shuffling around was enough to prove that the old rope remaining at the well when they arrived was useless.

A lantern had been lowered some way down on another rope, probably just short of 50 foot down.

Jade called up what was happening:

the well chimney drops down about 50 feet, then it enters a chamber ..... there's a stream underneath .....running north to south, I think”
Ok Pull me up for a bit”

This wasn't part of the plan but they did so anyway.

At the top, they had a little huddle and discussed what they'd do next.

Jade was going to dive into the water, still on the rope.

The river's in spring spate” she said “deeper than it could have been”

The rope-haulers would feel a series of changes of strains. The team at the top couldn't see what was going on down the well chimney, so they were relying on Jade calling up to them.

Dexter was reassuring “We've got the hang of this”

Goldylox was staying cool on Guard Duty, but Jade was at pains to point out that, should anything happen, they get her up as quick as possible.

And off she went again.

There was a few tugs and strains on the rope as she flapped about a bit, re-arranging herself as the well chimney changed into the river chamber. A big splash, as a brick fell into the river.

I'm all right” she said “just clearing the way”
She appeared to be fumbling around for a while, clinging to the wall. But a confident shout told a diffeent story.
Right, going in”

The rope tensed and untensed as she splooshed into the water, the current picking up the slack for a while.

After a disconcerting pause, that seemed lijke an age to the rope-haulers, Jade resurfaced and pulled herself up the rope a little.

I can feel something in the water. But it's going to be tricky. I'm going in again”
Sure thing” shouted down Norm “Take care”

Once more she splashed into the current. It was freezing. The rope slackened and unslackened and pulled and heaved. With the weight of someone on the end versus the current and the friction on the chimney walls, the rope-haulers had to be on their toes.

Then a call from the bottom “Woo Hoo! Pull me up”

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Player Spoiler - Goblin Gully

Please don't look at this if you're playing in this Campaign

Goblin Gully was a straight steal from this site
Took the map, the monsters the lot
Bit of a top-dressing just to give it my own flavour and off we went.


The Mighty River Marsoot forms in the Hills of Arrantto and soon gathers enough flow and power to be a major transport route for the Northern Kingdoms trading with the southern twin cities of Grocken & Tamshaw.
But to get there it must flow through the Thraxian Boglands – a notoriously treacherous sump of a place. Here the unwary travel in danger and the dangerous prey on the unwary traveller.
It's not always been like that, though. Before the Seventh Age, Thraxe was once a thriving realm, exploiting rich local natural resources and trading willingly with allies near and far.
Yet despite its wealth, there were those in Thraxe who sought more gold, more riches, more power. The greed of these few is said to be the catalyst for the downfall of the whole nation. For soon after this mysterious period, a massive swamp formed in and around Thraxe and swifter than was natural, the realm sunk down and disappeared.
Recently, however, parts of the old country have been unaccountably re-appearing above ground. Thraxe disappeared with no feasible explanation and no explanation exists for the reappearance either.
All that most people know, is that Thraxe had a lot of wealth and most of it is likely to be still there....
Its been a long, cold hungry winter.
Bereft of luck and short on money, you have been blown far from your homeland in search of honour, gold and glory.
You enter the village of Poggollo, south east of the Thraxian Boglands, just south of the Derch Hills, east of the Dysanian Steppe and to the north of the Twin Cities.
The old kingdom of Thraxia lies to the north.
The lure of lazy lucre just round the corner...


Welcome to the Game Blog of Gav Melville.

On 15th May 2015, I sat in the DM's chair for the first time in a long while.
I ran OD&D, as an "Out-Of-The-Box" system.
It went reasonably well. 
I'll be using this site to write up what happened.