Monday, October 30, 2006

Chronicles from Eberron--The Tale of Harrigan the Horrible (Chapter 4)

Having arrived in the city of Stormreach, Harrigan and his companions head deep into the jungles of Xen'drik in search of Khyber dragonshards. Their search leads them to the ruins of a giantish citadel, where Harrigan has a brush with death...

Aye, I knew it wasn't goin' to be a good day. It'd been one o' those weeks.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'd enjoyed my time in Stormreach. The gnome, Johnny and I had lived it up like nobody's business. Even got meself a new tattoo--a series o' Giantish runes that run across me chest. It'd been a great week. However, once we had to get down to business, life was the sort that'd curl yer beard.

We started out headin' towards an outpost in the midst o' the jungle called Last Chance--great place to call it, thinks me--when we were jumped by more of the damned dinos that we fought earlier. Only problems were that these ones were big--real big. We're talkin' big enough to crack your mine's walls big. That, and the fact that I was busy tryin' to teach the damned gnome some more o' the Common tongue. That's rough enough by itself, but havin' to leap into battle in the midst of it....ugh.

We leapt into the midst o' things, with Jackie already in after 'em and Lil singin' to her heart's content. Damned fool girl. She'll get us all killed if she keeps enterin' combat with a song, rather than a sharp blade or a good spell. I pulled off a Tremor spell which knocked the dinos on their asses, but all she did was sing.

Now, honestly. Ye tell me, what do ye do with someone like that? She sings. Sings! We're fightin' for our lives and what does she do? Sings. Damned addlecoved berks. The gnome was nearly bitten in half, Khin was fallin' all over himself with panic, and Johnny was overheatin' in his armor, and she's singin'. Go figure.

The little shifter did manage to pump off a spell herself--one that managed to actually do some mage to the damned things. She'll be worth her luster someday, no doubt--it's just that for now, she's a pain in the ass.

At any rate, we managed to make it to Last Chance somewhat intact, and I started the next day with a fine Dwarven Breakfast. There's nothin' on or under good earth like startin' out knowin' that five animals had to die to feed ye in the morning.

However, good breakfast or now, I knew the day wasn't goin' well. For one, we started out trackin' the shards by havin' the gnome read the map. Yeah, the gnome.

Yes, the gnome can't read. Aye, we must be as barmy as a power near the Spire. We somehow arrived at some old ruins of a statue sayin' "Beware of Sharataz, fire giant sorcerer. Continue and face my wrath."

Aye, I know more than my share about giants. I know how powerful they were, back in the day when they fought the Demons, the Quori and the damned drow without half the time needed for a good ale. I also know that a fair piece of their power--their items and the like--can be found in their ruins. That said, roamin' around fire giant tombs isn't my idea of a day of work. However, that's where the shards were, so we headed towards the entrance.

We also had one minor problem--the aforementioned damned drow. A party of four of 'em were headin' down the mountain straight for us. That's when Jackie came up with a bright idea. The mountain was barely a pile o' loose rock, so he asked me about settin' up another Tremor right near 'em. So, I made with the earthshakin' and ran like a scared cave boar.

The ensuin' avalance buried the drow, gettin' 'em out of our hair once and for all. Three of 'em were dead when we arrived, and the last was barely clingin' to life. I fixed that with my new spell--somethin' I picked up in Adar called Crystalline Memories.

Basic premise is this--I reach into someone's mind and basically start turnin' their brain to crystal. If I manage to pull it off, I can pull it out o' their skull and into my hand, then use it to see what they've been thinkin'. Needless to say, it's a nasty little spell.

Basically, we got a bit of info from him about where the shards were--in the midst of a field right past ol' Sharataz' tomb. We headed into the cave and went from there.

Only problem was--by the Hells, I say that a lot in this thing--we weren't alone. Damned little spidery things, like bugs or such, were infestin' the place. I wanted to hang onto my spells for a tick, knowing the Sharataz's tomb probably wasn't unguarded, so I settled on a Fist o' Stone and drew that crystal sword that I picked up in Aundair.

Now, I can hold my own in a fight--there are damned louts in Karrnath that'll tell ye the same--but that gnome? That's a fair fellhammer right there. He ripped the little buggers up like flint under a mithril hammer.

It was the next bit that really fired me beard...lit'rally. In order to get to Sharataz's tomb, we had to cross the ruins of this old bridge across a volcanic outlet. I've crossed so many bridges in my life like that, that you'd figure it'd just be walkin'.

No. No such luck.

I fell in. The lava. I fell in the damned lava. I don't know why or how--I guess I just slipped--but I fell in the damned lava and damned near sank.

I don't know who pulled me out--I've never felt pain like that in me life, so I wasn't focusin' on who's hand I grabbed up. All I could do was howl.

Johnny jumped up and chanted some words. I couldn't even make 'em out, but once he did, his hand started radiatin' somethin' powerful and all the pain was suddenly gone. Th' burnt flesh, the charring....all gone. He cured me.

I couldn't even breathe by that point. I had no idea of what to do or say. He just nodded at me and we moved on.

After a little bit of argument, we decided upon gettin' the shards first, before seein' what old Sharataz had left behind for us. We headed around the back, towards the shard-field. Khin and Johnny started out trying to lasso the things, with only a little bit of luck. Frustrated already, I wasn't about to wait around for them to mess around with it. A few castings of Mage Hand did the trick, and we had an armload of Khyber shards to show for it.

From there, we headed on in. Sharataz's tomb was strangely deserted, which made me all the more nervous. Right in the middle, though, there was something crazy going on. A massive staff, made of hardened black and red lava, sat up on a pedastal right in front of a massive gravesite.

Jackie checked the thing for traps, but even he wasn't confident in his work. He pulled out a retractable pole, ready to knock the staff down, but I had a better idea and less patience than to put up with his crap. I pulled out an Earthen Grasp and had it toss me the staff. Immediately, two wacky things happened: the ground around the tomb started rumblin', and the staff got smaller in my hands--small enough for me to wield and use.

Well, wouldn't ya know it, ol' Sharataz wasn't quite dead yet. Seemed to have some fight in him yet, because he rose on out of the grave and went on the assault.

I'll spare ye the details, but suffice to say that puttin' down ol' Sharataz wasn't pretty. Jackie, Khin, and the gnome charged on in, takin' more than their share of pain. Johnny hung back and let loose with a Searing Light spell. Again, the damned bard sung. We were lucky to survive that last Earthbolt killed the damned thing. I can thank the fine fellas of House Kundarak for that one--it was the Empowering Rod I bought from them that let me take out Sharataz.

To say the least, I kept the staff. There was a fair amount of loot to go around, within Sharataz's grave, which was fine for the rest. Right now, I'm still tryin' to figure out all the things that it can do. Thusfar, it can light itself on fire, can cast Fireball, Wall of Fire, can change rock to mud, and can summon elementals. Not too bad--not typically my cup of tea, but it's been all right so far.

Supposedly--at least accordin' to the inscriptions on that pedastal--there are three other weapons that the giants had out at the same time. I, for one, don't care too much. We've already got a job to take care of, and I'd rather focus on the meanwhile, though, I'm goin' to just get myself a drink. It's been far too long of a journey as it is.

Monday, October 23, 2006

From Harrigan Grimgem's Scrollcase...

While I was perusing through Harrigan "The Horrible" Grimgem's journal, I came across a few folded sheets tucked into the binding. Lo, and behold! They were spells of Harrigan's own devising, which this world had ne'er seen before. I was quick to scribe copies of them, myself, and add them to my apprentices' spellbook.

I publish their details here, so that other spellcasters may benefit from Harrigan's own brand of....ingenuity? That's definitely not the right word for this maniac, but a fine spellcaster he appears to be. Now, it's time for me to finish that staff...

Create Chasm
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One 10 ft. diameter pit.
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None or Reflex negates (see text)
Spell Resistance: No

As you suddenly separate your clasped hands and chant the final words to the incantation, a deep, jagged chasm appears beneath your chosen foe. Their screams echo deeply…at least until they hit the bottom with a satisfying squish.

At the conclusion of this spell, you create a deep chasm in the earth. This chasm is completely permanent and real in every way. The chasm is a rough circle, 10 feet in diameter, with a depth equal to 10 ft. per caster level (max 150 ft at 15th level). If any space affected by this spell is occupied by a creature that can fit down the chasm (Large or smaller), that creature must make a Reflex save or fall into the chasm. Falling creatures take damage as normal for falling.
You may only cast this spell when on the earth itself, or on the ground floor of a building. If cast on a surface above the earth or on a floor above the ground level, this spell fails to function.

Greater Shatter
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./2 levels)
Area or Target: 20-ft.-radius spread; or one solid object or one creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates (object); Will negates (object) or Fortitude half; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

As you grasp the stone within your hand, an inaudible noise erupts from your throat. This sound ripples across your target, shattering it into thousands of tiny pieces.

Greater Shatter creates a loud, ringing noise that breaks objects; sunders a single solid object; or damages a crystalline, metallic, or stone creature.
Used as an area attack, greater shatter destroys nonmagical objects of stone, ceramics, metal, or glass. All such objects within a 20-foot radius of the point of origin are smashed into dozens of pieces by the spell. Objects weighing more than 5 pounds per your level are not affected, but all other objects of the appropriate composition are shattered.
Alternatively, you can target greater shatter against a single solid object, regardless of composition, weighing up to 10 pounds per caster level. This can be used to destroy magical items made of metal, ceramic, stone, or glass. If the item fails a Will saving throw, it takes 1d6 points of damage per level of the caster (maximum 10d6).
Targeted against a crystalline, metallic, or stone creature (of any weight), greater shatter deals 1d6 points of sonic damage per caster level (maximum 10d6), with a Fortitude save for half damage.
Arcane Material Component: A shard of rock, chipped away with a hammer.

Conjure Lava Rift
Conjuration [Earth] [Fire]
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area or Target: 10 ft. diameter miniature volcano
Duration: 1 round / 3 levels
Saving Throw: Reflex (half) or none. See text.
Spell Resistance: none

As you gesture, the ground itself heaves forth in a shower of molten rock shards, spraying your foes with liquid hot magma.

You create a 10 foot diameter cracked rift in the earth which sprays forth hot lava. This area affected by this spell is treated as rough terrain and costs two squares of movement for each square moved. Any creature within the area of the rift or in an adjoining square must make a Reflex save or take 1d6 damage/caster level (maximum 10d6, Reflex half).
If a creature takes damage from the magma, they take half of that damage again on the following round as the magma continues to burn. After the second round of damage, no further damage is accrued.
When the duration of this spell expires, the ground is returned to its normal shape, with no evidence that the lava rift was brought into existence. This spell may only be cast on ground level—whether in a building or on the ground itself—or while underground.

Volcanic Gout
Evocation [Earth] [Fire]
Level: Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Area or Target: 60 ft. cone.
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex (half)
Spell Resistance: Yes

With only a few words, you spray forth a superheated blast of stone and lava from your mouth.

You spray a cone full of rock and superheated lava from your mouth. This gout deals 4d6 bludgeoning damage and 8d6 fire damage.
If you cast this spell a second time before the end of your next turn, the damage is increased to 5d6 bludgeoning damage and 10d6 fire damage.

If you learn this spell as a sorcerer, you gain fire resistance 3. This fire resistance stacks with all other fire resistance, whether from a natural ability, a spell, or a magical item.

(This material is designed for use with the Dungeons and Dragons v. 3.5 roleplaying game and complies with the System Reference Document. This material is meant for personal use only, and may be republished only for personal use and not for profit.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chronicles from Eberron--The Tale of Harrigan the Horrible (Chapter 3)

After their initial success in finding the Professor, Harrigan and his companions make their way towards Adar via airship, but not without some rather fortunate delays....

Aye, so we finally set out on the thrice-damned airship towards Adar. I hate airships. Can't stand the bloody things. Make me sicker than damned elven wine. I was bent over the side of the ship, pullin' from me flask just to stay alive.

That's when Jackie pointed out somethin' a bit alarmin'. Giant rocks, falling from the sky, straight towards the ship. I whipped out a two spells of Shatter and broke up some, sending shards of rock across the deck. However, I couldn't stop the other three, and one struck the ship. We started makin' for the life-rings, and I grabbed a rope and leapt off, hanging on--just in case.

Turns out that the ship only took cosmetic damage, and we were able to sit down without much trouble. Thing was that the shattered shards on the ship were dragonshards. Honest to damned gods Siberys dragonshards! We got hit right in the middle of a damned storm of 'em!!

We set down right on top of where we thought one landed, and I sight beheld me that I'd never seen before. A dragonshard--a single, bloody dragonshard--the size of a damned wheelbarrow. One. Just one. I damned near pissed myself. As Khin said, "It just falls into your lap...literally!"

Immediately, we set about decidin' what to do. We had to do a bit of re-negotiatin' with the Prof, mainly because of the wealth of this thing. We figured out an arrangement, and started to diggin'. Jackie, Sparkles and I broke out the prospectin' tools, while Lil gave us some moral support. Lazy shifter. Khin and Johnny headed out, though....apparently, Khin saw another shard drop not too far away.

After doin' some figurin', we managed on a way to move the shard itself. Turns out that the little gnome, ADHD and all, could push it, if we managed to get it up on some rollers. Some trees from the local copse fit the bill, and Lil got around to choppin' 'em up.

Only one problem emerged. Well, actually three of 'em. Dinos. Big nasty lizards with bigger nasty teeth. Immediately, we leapt into action. I cut in with an Earthbolt, and Jackie whipped out his sword and dagger. Lil started casting some helpful spells and Johnny drew his mace, ready to charge on out.

I tell ye what--say what ye want about the damned gnome, but the bastard can fight. He took out one of those lizards by himself--no help whatsoever. Another one, which I caught with a second Earthbolt, Johnny finished off with a half mace-slam, half body-tackle.

The problem, though, was not so much the lizards, but rather what they meant. Apparently, the dinos were the mounts of some halflings in the area. Damned cannibal halflings. I hate the buggers. The Prof and his bodyguard, the Kalashtar, held them off from wreckin' the ship, but we knew we needed to get out of there. I started pokin' the gnome till he got nice and pissed off, then Enlarged him, so he could push the rock. Just as we figured, he had no problem rollin' it right into the ship's cargo hold.

We also managed to pull some smaller shards from the second shard-fall, including one the size of a dinner-plate. I pulled out my scrapin' pan and grabbed up some dragonshard dust, as well.

With that, we needed to figure on where to go next. Sharn was quite a ways away, and we didn't want to head to Adar with such a risky thing as this giant shard. So, we decided to head a bit the Mror Holds and House Kundarak.

Now, I'd never been to Mror and the Ironroot Mountains. However, I knew it as my home, because all good dwarves know it as home. We docked, and immediately set out about gettin' an appointment.

The secretary at the Kundarak house was quite the eyeful, and she was more than helpful in settin' up a meetin'. I wouldn't mind meetin' up with her again, if ya know what I mean!
We were set up for 1pm the next day, with a Kundarak official.

Well, in the meanwhile, we grabbed some grub and drink and brought it back to party with the shard. Turns out that Jackie used to be quite the drinker--go figure. It's not surprising that he's as nuts as he is. A man goin' without drink for as long as he had before last night would be that nuts!

Well, once the Kundarak fella arrived the next day, his jaw dropped further'n mine did when I first laid eyes on it. He immediately went to go grab his superior, who had eyes wider'n a deep cave owl.

He tried to offer us an awful deal for the shard--35% of the wealth. We tried bargainin' with him, but he wouldn't have it. So, instead, I offered him somethin' better: the dinner-plate sized shard. He took that, and we split the big one's worth 7 ways---naturally, the Prof got his equal share.

We spent about a week or so in Mror, livin' the high life and waitin' for our profits to roll in. And that they did. We managed a total of 250,000 gil, selling between universities, The Twelve, and some other private buyers. Split 7 ways, that was over 35k a piece! And the fame....oh, the fame. Definitely, our names were probably on someone's list by now....

We made quite a few purchases around Mror before we left. Lil grabbed up a new enchanted lute, Jackie had his rapier enchanted, and the gnome got a pair of boots. I, meself, ended up with some new enchantments on me bracers, as well as a few other trinkets. I even had an ever-wand of Kelgore's Fire Bolt created, so I'd never run out.

With our last night in Mror, we lived it up. I's surprised that none o' the pipsqueaks were hungover the next day, as we traveled over the ocean towards Sarlona.

Well, we arrived pretty easily and only had one major problem as we arrived at the Prof's "sanctuary". Apparently, some Giant-age warforged were still bein' used by the Inspired, to try to hunt down ol' Proffy's friends. Needless to say, this was a bit weird, since the giants were on Xen'drik, not on Sarlona. Go figure.

When we arrived, we already had our task laid out before us. Head to Xen'drik and figure out what the hell was goin' on with the damned ancient warforged. And, as always, do our prospectin' thing. Turns out that the prof needs all three types of shards--Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber--to complete his device.

Y'know, as I mentioned to Johnny, I'm startin' to worry about this here device that Proffy is buildin'. He's talkin' now about transportation by moving places closer to the world and such...that has me just a touch worried. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have the Nine Hells right next door to me. Just seems like some o' that fire and brimstone that Johnny talks about might have some merit to it sometimes--especially if this thing falls into the wrong hands.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Chronicles from Eberron--The Tale of Harrigan the Horrible (Chapter 2.5)

This ballad was found with Harrigan's possessions by my friend in Khorvaire. I'm unsure what to make of it thusfar. To say the least, it speaks volumes on the dwarven lifestyle....

I like axes, sharp and ready.
I like wenches...with frosty brews.
I like drinkin' with lusty ladies.
I like eatin' my stew with ye...

I like diggin' in the granite.
I like breakin'...orcish skulls.
I bleed lava and shite out emeralds,
I drink hard ales in just one pull.

'Cause I'm all....all dwarven!

I mine mithril, and adamantine.
I eat roast pork, potatoes too.
I crush goblins, with my hammer.
I eat Illithid, deep fried in brew.

'Cause I'm all....all dwarven!

I like axes, ale and wenches...
I break elf-skulls and screw my whores.
I eat rubies with my beef stew,
but I come home and fight with you!

'Cause I'm all....all dwarven!
'Cause I'm all....all dwarven!
(Repeat ad nauseum)

(Sung to the tune of Free Fallin' by Tom Petty. All copyrighted material is the property of their owners and is used only as parody here.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Chronicles of Eberron--The Tale of Harrigan the Horrible (Chapter 2)

The dwarf's tale takes a strange turn, as he and his friends board a lightning rail towards Korth, the capital of Karrnath. Needless to say, his allies are a strange lot...

Aye, so we got on board the rail towards Korth. It's typically a 24 hour trip, all in all, but we ran into the usual problem--lightning storms. Right across th' border between Aundair and Karrnath, there's a big pile of storms that just sit there. So, we had to wait for the lightnin' to die down so we could slip through.

While we were there, the stewards broke out the wine, and gave us the first class treatment. Aye, while Lil and Johnny started in on the wine, Khin, Sparkles, and I broke in on the Broken Temples. I can't say much fer their mixin' ability, but a drink's a drink.

One problem, though--some ol' wench passed out while drinkin' the wine, and so did Johnny. Needless to say, after hearin' about the sleeping drug that the Inspired have been slippin' into drinks, I was a bit concerned. Jackie immediately skitter'd off to investigate...or drink more, I wasn't sure.

At any rate, right while Johnny (freshly revived thanks to some anti-toxin I had on me) started talkin' religion with Khin, myself, and Sparkles, Jackie crashed into the winery and shattered most o' the bottles. Damned fine waste of wine, if you ask me. The waiters were pissed off, but that's their problem.

I tried helpin' Jackie up, but he kept brushin' me off. Damned fool.

Lil, who apparently went with the ol' woman when she passed out, came back three sheets to the wind, ravin' about some out-of-body experiences that the woman'd been havin'. I'd have wrote it off, had Johnny not claimed the same thing once she mentioned it.

From there, things got a bit weird. Jackie locked himself in the bathroom with three o' the waiters, doin' gods-know-what to 'em in there. All I know is that "a man" needs to be a little more subtle with his advances.
He called in Johnny at one point, which got me a little confused, but the gnome mighta said it best--"butt sex." What they do is their business, but hey....I'm not interested.

In the meanwhile, Lil and I put on quite the duet of a great dwarven ballad: "Ale, Wenches, and Axes". Great rendition, and I sang like a rock bat. Also, we took some time to teach the gnome some more alphabet. At least he's up to E now.

Eventually, I did decide to investigate, only to see a grisly sight. Jacko'd offed two o' the buggers already, and was pryin' some answers out of the last one. All I could do was take a piss, grab a mop, and start cleanin' up the mess.

Turns out that the Inspired have been all over the lightning rails, handin' out their pretty poisons. However, there were two more still flittin' about, and I wasn't about to leave Jacko to his own devices. That is, as long as he kept his devices in his pants.

After comin' out and explainin' the situation to the rest of the group, Jackie told us about the last two. I joined him, like I said, along with Johnny, while all the gnome could ask was "How was the butt sex?" Damned if I couldn't breathe from laughing for the next 10 minutes. Crazy illiterate bastard. Crazier sex-addled berk.

Johnny, Jackie and myself took care of the last two. One of 'em managed a cheap shot on Jackie, using a shard o' crystal, but I lit it up with good ol' Kelgore's Fire Bolt, and sent it back into his buddy's chest. No more Inspired on that train!

We managed to hide the bodies and our evidence well enough that they weren't a problem for us anymore. The next day, we pulled into Korth, happier and well-rested.

Khin and I immediately headed for the nearest military office, where our contact ended up: some bee-eatin' Sergeant Toric Dunderline. That damned bastard wasn't keepin' the right records on his imported least, that's what I told him. Damned fool believed me, too...he sent us in the right direction of our missin' professor: the Red Steed Inn.

At the Red Steed, Khin and I pulled rank again, claimin' to be arresting the good Professor and his kidnapper. We ended up settin' up an ambush for the buggers, as they weren't there. However, their room was on the second floor, which made some problems for me.

So, while Lil and Khin stood guard, Sparkles and I grabbed me shovels and headed outside with one o' the professor's empty footlockers. We filled 'er up with good loose earth and pulled it back, just inside o' the door.

Eventually, the kidnapper made his way upstairs, leavin' the prof to the tender mercies of Lil and Khin. As soon as that door opened, I pulled an Earthen Grasp out and kept him still while Jackie-o knocked him on the noggin.

Turns out that the professor, while kidnapped at first....sort of, wanted to be kidnapped. The kidnapper was takin' him to some place called Adar, where the prof would be safe to continue his work. Crotchety old bastard was pissed at us for even looking at his plans, but he lived, once we cut him a deal.

Basic thing is this--after headin' to Adar for a tick, we're gonna head to Xendrik, deep in the south. Anythin' we find there is ours--he pays for our travel and all our expenses. Only thing we gotta worry about is findin' him some Dragonshards. Easier said than done, but when ye have a great prospector like myself on yer side, shards are easy ta find! Them Thrashshk half-orc claim jumpers won't know what hit 'em!