Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day of the Dead Pt3 (Death in the Dark)

Miss Adventure went first. She and Gildrid decided to put Otto between them, in case he decided to take off again. Shoe reached the bottom of the stairs first. The ceiling was low. Not low enough tall Gildrid had to stoop, but low enough swinging a sword could be difficult. Eight alcoves lined the walls, four to each side. Four were empty, and four contained silent figures in tattered armor. In the center was a low sarcophagus. On it's lid was a simple relief carving of a great warrior grasping a sword to his chest.
As all three reached the landing, the four figures in the alcoves sprang to life. Or, un-life. Four zombies, similar to the ones they had fought in the hills shambled forward. Gildrid drew his bow. Snap! "Dang!", he yelled as the spring snapped.
Otto, to the surprise of Gildrid and Miss Adventure charged the closest zombie. He swung high, forgetting the height of the ceiling. Clang! Snap!. His battleaxe snapped against the ceiling. While he stood cursing, a zombie swung at him, but missed,
Miss Adventure charged past and clove the leg off another undead. It dropped to the floor but still attacked her. Gildrid cast aside his bow, and drew his sword.
In the ensuing fight. Otto fell back to the door and cowered, uncertain whether to run for the horses or stay and help, brandishing his meager dagger. Gildrid and Miss Adventure hacked and stabbed, finishing the four zombies but sustaining a few wounds of their own. In the struggle the lid of the sarcophagus had been knocked loose. With the combined strength of all three adventurers, the lid finally slid off and hit the floor.
Inside, a long dead warrior lay. His skin was gray and desiccated, his armor tarnished with age.
There was a flash of bronze, and an arm shot forth grasping Gildrid's throat. The elf dropped his sword and tried to struggle free form the dead warrior's grasp. The creature rose from his tomb, eyes glowing a malevolent red. His jaw opened, but no lips moved as he spoke.
"Who dares enter the tomb of Goroth the mighty, slayer of kings?"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day of Dead Pt2 (the Tomb)

Gildrid drew back and released an arrow. It hit the lead zombie with an audible "thunk". The creature rasped, but trudged on. Miss Adventure pulled her short free of its scabbard, let loose a high pitched battle
cry and charged forward. Her blade missed and her momentum carried her forward into the second zombie, knocking them both down in a pile. The monster clawed at her, and snapped with yellowed, broken teeth. The rest of the zombies sensed a closer prey and began to surround the halfling.
Otto and Gildrid now drew their weapons and charged. Gildrid's blade cleaved deep into the skull of the zombie he had already pierced with an arrow. Black gore erupted from it's shattered skull as it dropped motionless to the ground.
Otto swung wildly with a battleaxe. He missed, and the zombie he swung at, turned to thrust back at him with a bronze tipped spear. Otto gave a yelp, and ran for the horses.
"Get back here you jerk!" came a muffled cry from between two zombies. Miss Adventure was sandwiched between snapping jaws and clawing fingers. She was jabbing repeatedly at the zombie she was intertwined with on the ground, while trying to keep another at arms length.
While Otto tried to unstake the horses, Gildrid dispatched the zombie with the spear. The creature beneath Miss Adventure finally ceased moving and another well placed thrust from Gildrid finished the final zombie.
"Thanks a lot, Otto, " Miss Adventure yelled as she pushed a limp zombie from atop her.
"Hey, I just thought we might need the horses if things went bad." the thief replied.
Gildrid searched through the rotting corpses, swatting away flies and trying not to gag on the stench. He found only scraps of rotting clothes and dented bronze armor.
"They came from that way" Miss Adventure said as she pointed over the hill. "That's where we should go."
They gathered the skittish horses and road up the hill and over. In the valley below stood a group of standing stones. The horses were reluctant to go much further, so they tied them to one of the closer stones.
Centered amid the tall stone obelisks was a low slab. A set of stairs led to a dark entrance beneath it.
As the party moved closer, they could see the flat stone door that had once enclosed the tomb, was now pushed to the side. Miss Adventure wordlessly lit a torch, started down the stairs...
(Side note: I recently had an incident where our garage freezer went out and it was weeks before we noticed. The stench was overwhelming when I open it. Within minutes of throwing the meat away, thousands of lies covered the garbage bag. So I realized two things Hollywood zombie films haven't got right yet. One, you'd smell the undead way before you saw them, and that's if secondly you didn't hear the constant droning of flies. Zombies should be covered in the little buggers.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day of the Dead (A New Adventure)

It was the beginning of summer when Otto the Thief arrived in Wall. As is custom, he made his arrival known to the local Thieve's Guild. Of course, operating in a city without consent from the locals would have been a death sentence otherwise. He paid his dues, and went to where the local footpads and gutter snipes assured him he could find an expedition Beyond the Wall. A tavern known as the Hole.
He found self described adventurers aplenty, but none who had actually gone Beyond the Wall. None except for two. Otto found them arguing very animatedly with each other, One was a female halfling standing on a stool , shaking a piece of cheese, almost like a weapon at her tormentor. He was an elf. Tall and lank, as is their kind, with blond hair and new scar still healing on his cheek.
They became quiet when Otto approached. "Were they up for an expedition?", Otto asked. "Yes" was the reply. They had been rotting in this awful heat, running low on gold and the good graces of the Hole's management with their constant bickering. They were Miss Adventure and Gildrid the Elf.
The next morning was hot. The iron fittings on the great gates were hot to the touch. The Wall itself simmered in the heat. No wind blew Beyond the Wall. The grass of the hills surrounding the Old Road were yellowing and dry. The travelled slowly, trying to save their horses if need arose for a quick getaway. They sweated in their armor. They had nearly finished all their water when they reached the dryad Newly's tree.
Otto and Gildrid rested in the tree's shade, while Miss Adventure sought out Newly. "Newly", she called. "Newly, you have a new friend". The little dryad appeared, looking little more than a child. 
"A new friend?" she asked. When Miss Adventure gestured towards Otto, Newly made a face like she ate something bad. "I don't like the looks of him. Are you sure he's my friend?"
Otto scowled.
The dryad melted into the tree, almost disappearing except now her face was knot in
the tree's bark. 
"Newly, have any more bad men been around?" the halfling asked, referring to their last meeting, which had involved flight from some bandits. 
"No" was her reply. But a party of goblins had passed nearby on their way towards Wall. They hadn't returned. 
"Ask her if she knows about any treasure around", Gildrid said.
"Shut up, dufus, I do the talking around here!" Miss Adventure yelled back. She turned and gave her brightest smile. "Newly, from atop your glorious tree, can you see any places? Any places that might be of interest to us. Temples? Graveyards?"
The dryad brightened. "Oh yes!" she seemed exited when she thought she was helping. "To the north, there are standing stones. Does mean anything?"
"Perfect" Miss Adventure said as she picked up her pack. "Newly, is there any way we can pay you back for the help you've given us.?"
Before she could answer Gildrid spoke up. " I have some gold..."
Miss Adventure rolled her eyes. "Gold? Really? What's a dryad gonna do with gold, dummy? Gawd, you're elf. You're supposed to know this stuff."
"Actually," Newly spoke up. "The monsters. The ones that killed the men who destroyed my forest. They took something. Seeds. I need them to replant my trees. They're magic. The monsters went north long ago, but maybe you can still find them."
"Done." Miss Adventure said. They had mounted their weary horses and were headed north along the road. Soon, the sun was beating down again. Otto was listing in his saddle, and Gildrid was trying to get the last drops of water from his water skin. Tilting back the skin, he looked up and saw a lone buzzard circling above. That's when the horses stopped and an awful smell reached them. "Is that you?" Gildrid looked towards Miss Adventure waving hand in front of his face. He got a smile from Otto and a scowl form the halfling.
They were in a low defile between hills. Turning to pinpoint the smell Otto was the first to spot four figures cresting a hill, headed straight for them. Whoever they were, they weren't in a hurry.  The shambled down the hill with a strange gait.
The party gathered their horses and tied them to a stake hastily pounded into the ground. They realized the stench was coming from the strangers. That, and a horde of flies that followed them.
Gildrid drew his bow. "I may not know much about dryads, but I know zombies when I see them..."

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Gray Fenns

As the name suggests, the Gray Fenns is a vast colorless bog. The very pigment of things has been drained along with any form of life. No birds sing, frogs croak. Stunted, broken trees dot the landscape. A cloud of despair hangs over the Fenns, palatable to any who dare enter. Deep within heart of the Gray Fenns a faint glow resonates, a huge willow-the-wisp leading travellers to their doom. But, through it all, a great power fills the air. And where such places exist, so do the prospects for adventure and glory.
picture to follow

Friday, June 4, 2010

Character Profile: Gruffydd

 Unlike most of the adventurers who come to Wall, Gruffydd Stoneseat's past is no secret. He is the son of an infamous dwarven family of rogues and thieves. Embarrassed by his family and their less than noble occupations, Gruffydd left his home and ventured forth to make his own name,and restore his family name to honor and glory.
But, for all his good intentions he is still a callous, insensitive, jealous, and somewhat dirty young dwarf looking for his way in a very dangerous world. Despite this, he is well-spoken, driven, and at times verges on the brilliant. His ability to go on when others cannot, has
made him a valuable traveling companion. Gruffydd's weapon of choice is a large stone hammer he has boastingly named Spinecrusher. He has a love of exotic animals, but hates goblinoids and all their relations. He is cheap, and is ever playing the martyr, using his embarrassment for his family as a stone to be borne and shown to all to see.

Gruffydd is played by Lead Addict, fellow lifelong gamer and bestest friend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Character Profile: Gildrid

The elf known as Gildrid hails form The-Great-Woods-By-The-Sea, far to the south. LIke most elves his age, he has reached the time in life called Wundensheiv . This elven term refers to growing boredom with sedentary life amongst the great woods, and a need go out into the greater world. Gildrid arrived in wall with Mellion, a distant cousin (despite the fact that all elves refer to each other as "cousin", Mellion and Gildrid really are related closely by blood).
While adventuring, Gildrid has proven to be a fearless fighter, willing to step into danger, usually with a little more forethought than his cousin. He has a strange relationship with the halfling Miss Adventure. They keep up an almost constant banter, bordering sometimes on the hurtful. But, if either one is in danger, they are the first the help the other.
Another odd affectation is Gildrid's gruesome collection of trophies. Every monster slain adds a new trinket to his collection, giant spider legs, fangs, etc. Some of these trophies have been sold off to great profit at Professor Nodd's.
Whatever his sometimes odd behoavior, Gildrid has proven himself time and time again to his party.
(Note: Gildrid is played by my 9 year-old son, brother in real life to Miss Adventure)