Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sunstone

Among the most revered residents of the Slipstream are the followers of the Maker. Their temple located on the fragment Theophilia is a haven for those seeking silent meditation. Races from across Slipstream gather here seeking a sense of peace.

But don't be fooled by outward appearances. The Theophilians are no pushovers; they are protected by the Temple Knights, holy warriors of great skill and mystic abilities. Not only do they keep the peace on the fragment; they also protect the Theophilians prized possession - the Sunstone.

The Sunstone, a large crystal imbued with latent mystical energy, is a rare prize in the universe of the Slipstream. As long as one can remember it has resided at the Temple of the Maker. The Theophilians believe that the Sunstone assists them in their meditations; it also seems to boost their mystic powers. Outsiders believe that one can tap into its mystical energy and access a bountiful supply of power. For this reason, the evil Queen Anathraxa desires the Sunstone.


  • This is an introduction to a new campaign I am starting, based on the Savage Worlds RPG setting Slipstream. Of course, I cannot leave well enough alone and have added my own twist to the setting, as described above.
  • I have some ideas not only for RPG sessions but also for skirmishes, mass battles, etc. I plan to experument with the Freeform Universal (FU) rules, tweaking it to fulfill my needs. Stay tuned for upcoming reports!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Battle for the Bridge

Last time, our heroes boarded the derelict and made their way to the door of the bridge.

They burst in, and find themselves confronted by 3 Dominion robots, including a hulking overlord robot.

Shots ring out but no one is hit.

Until the guard robot blasts Kate at close range. She collapses!

Kip destroys the guard.

And comes to Kate's side. He blasts another robot but is severely wounded.

Kip pulls Kate off the bridge and closes the door, In the adjoining corridor, he administers a stimpack. Kate groggily comes to her feet and our heroes retreat. But the robot overlord bursts through the door and blasts Kip!

Kate backs away and shoots the overlord. It is damaged but still pursues her.

Until it gets close enough to strike with its stunsword. Kate crumples to the ground.

Much later, our heroes awaken, and discover that they are imprisoned.

What do their captors have in store? Find out next time!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Destroy the Derelict

A Kate and Kip Adventure
While battles rage on Zirconia, spaceships slug it out in orbit above the planet. During one of these battles, the Federation ship Nebula was crippled, and the crew abandoned ship. However, the auto-destruct failed to engage. So Kate and Kip are sent to the ship to finish the job.

Kate and Kip enter through one of the airlocks. Oh no! Dominion robots have boarded!

Kip takes out a robot.

More robots advance but our heroes shoot them down.

The last robot shoots and wounds Kate. Kip zaps it.

After taking a stimpack, Kate is at full strength. The proceed through Nebula's winding corridors.

Kate trades shots with a robot.

And she destroys it. Another robot rushes Kip and tries to grapple him.

But Kate takes it out.

Our heroes advance deeper into the corridors and encounter another robot.

Kip eliminates it.

Kate shoots another robot in the hallway. Look out! A master robot shoots, wounding Kip.

The master robot rushes forward and slashes Kip with its laser sword. Kip retreats, and zaps his attacker.

After taking stimpacks, Kip and Kate arrive at the door to the bridge.

What will they find on the bridge? Find out next time!

Game Note: It's been a while since the last adventure of Kip and Kate. I was off work this morning and did not feel like setting up a miniature game or 4AD scenario. I decided to run a virtual scenario instead. I rolled randomly to find their mission, and robots came up as the enemy again. That's serendipitous because I have a campaign against the robots going on.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Skull Cave

In our last installment, our heroes have been searching the forest for the orc reavers who stole the three rings from the Northport abbey. The have just stumbled upon . . .
the Skull Cave!
Source: http://imgur.com/LZ1jO
They enter the cave through the gaping maw and descend a set of stairs into the bowels of the earth, At the bottom of the stairs, a winding corridor (1) leads them further into the lair.

Map of the adventure
They round a corner and encounter four giant centipedes. The creatures turn, and appear ready to attack the party. Instead of readying his bow, Rikk the ranger brings his hand to his mouth and makes a strange hissing noise. It startles the centipedes and they flee.

Game Note; The ranger is an unofficial class found in Uncanny Against Darkness. One of the powers of a ranger is to scare animals away.

At the end of the corridor is a door. They open it and enter a room (2). Two orcs are standing guard. Once they see the party, they charge. Wielding two wicked choppers, one swings at Khamen, who ducks and then plunges his dagger into the orc's chest. It collapses to the ground. Rikk takes out the other with a well-placed arrow.

In the next corridor (3), five worgs are sleeping on the floor. As soon as the door opens, the leap up and charge. Rikk kills one with an arrow. Khamen and Candorra are able to fend off attacks. The three heroes slay 3 more of the beasts. The last one flees.

Our heroes enter the next room (4) and spy a towering orc. A reaver boss!
Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/63/de/24/63de2410aa1cca422a138c0715c37cbe.jpg
"I know you, ranger!" the orc growls. "This is the last time you'll bother me!" With that, he launches himself at Rikk. The ranger manages to dodge the blows as he unsheathes his sword. Candorra rushes to Rikk's aid. Her blade flicks out and slashes the orc. It yells in rage and strikes at her. The orc's weapon hits, biting through her armor and drawing blood. Candorra stumbles backward.

Meanwhile, Khamen sneaks up behind the orc. His magic dagger pierces the orc's flesh. The monster lashes out behind him, and strikes Rikk with a mighty blow. But now Candorra has an opening and she strikes.

With Rikk temporarily down, the orc rushes and grabs Khamen by the throat. His powerful muscles clamp down, crushing Khamen's windpipe. In desperation, Khamen plunges his dagger into the orc's arm. It releases Khamen and swings. Khamen dodges, Candorra and Rikk rush forward and stab. Their blades bite deep, and the reaver collapses.

The party searches the room and finds the first of the three rings! Just two more to go.

Will our heroes find the remaining rings? Can they win them back?
Find out next time!

Game Notes
  • I am currently playing The Three Rings, a Four Against Darkness module.
  • Because 3R seemed very random, I have modified it a bit. I turned the adventure into 3 hex crawls. The boss of each crawl will hold one of the rings. 
  • In 3Ryou can come across dungeons, which are mapped out using standard 4AD rules. When I rolled a lair during the hex crawl, I declared that the boss of the lair would be the first hex crawl boss. I used my modified encounter charts instead of the standard 4AD rules. Here is how they look for this dungeon:
  • I got lucky and found the boss in the fourth room.
  • Next up - the second hex crawl!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Oak and the Skull

Part 2 of the Adventure of the Three Rings

Our heroes have been scouring the woods for the orc reavers who raided the abbey of Northport and made off with three sacred rings. After coming to a fork in the road, the party chose the left-hand path and began traversing northward.

North >

Soon they came upon an old oak (1) next to the path. A welter of tracks surrounded the oak.

"Perhaps they hid a ring in the oak." Khamen suggested.

"Be careful of old oaks," Rikk cautioned. "They can't be trusted."

"What could happen?" scoffed Khamen as he stuck his hand into a knot in the tree. He groped around and gave a cry of surprise. Then he pulled out his hand, holding a small bag. Unfortunately, it only included a few coins and no ring.

Game Note: I actually rolled a ring but decreed that it was too early to find one.

The party continued north, running foul of a swarm of bees, a magical whirlwind, and a forest fire (2-4). After surviving these hazards, our party rested in a clearing (5). Their break was short, for soon after they heard growling from the woods. Seven hungry wolves sauntered into the clearing.

Candorra jumped up and with a word and a gesture cast a fireball at the wolves. Two were burnt to a crisp and the others fled.

"Careful with that." Rikk warned. "Don't want to start another forest fire."

"Yes." Khamen agreed. "We'd be out of the pan and into the fire." Candorra just groaned.

Further along the path our heroes met a merchant and his guards (6). They perused his wares but he did not have anything of value to them.

Continuing north, they entered a patch of human-sized mushrooms (7). Suddenly, a fungoid-like creature attacked.

"A fungus ogre!" cried Rikk.

"Lets find another way!" suggested Khamen as he retreated down the path. His comrades agreed as they fled from the creature.

Their encounter turned out to be fortuitous. As they returned along the way they came they spied a hidden path that veered west. This path led to a huge boulder, about 20' high, that was shaped like a skull (8). Its jaw was opened wide. Looking into its gaping mouth, they saw a cave leading into the bowels of the earth. Around this entrance, Rikk could see orc tracks.

"A skull cave - fitting lair for an orc reaver." Candorra commented.

Khamen nodded in agreement. "This must be the way. Let's go in." At this, the party filed into the lair.

What will they discover inside? Find out next time!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wandering in the Woods

Part 1 of the Adventure of the Three Rings (A Four Against Darkness module)

Candorra bowed before the Lord of Northport and presented the missive from the Holy Temple in Scotsile. As the lord's minister reached for a it, a commotion broke out from the entrance to the Great Hall. All eyes turned as a young novice burst rushed past the guards, panic in his voice."

"They're gone! They're gone!" he cried.

The guards tried to restrain the youth but the lord motioned for them to let him approach.

"Calm yourself." the lord commanded. The novice took a breath.

"Better. Now explain yourself."

The youth told a tale a woe. Orc reavers had attacked the abbey, which lay several miles to the east. They had killed the prior and several of the monks. They ransacked the place, even stealing the abbey's three sacred rings, and then fled into the Borderland Forest.

"This is dread news." The lord agreed. He then called for volunteers to hunt down the orcs and recover the rings/

"They're just some jewelry" Khamen thought, as he tried to remain inconspicuous. He had no desire to be traipsing into the wilds in search of murderous orcs.

"Wonderful!" the lord pronounced. "Our visitors from the Temple have volunteered."

Khamen jumped in surprise. He then turned, and to his dismay saw that Candorra had raised her hand. He responded with an audible groan of despair.

"What was that?" the lord queried.

Candorra shot an angry glance at Khamen then turned to the lord. She replied "He is just visibly upset by the injustice of it all."

The lord nodded in satisfaction. Khamen was visibly upset, but by what he saw as a different injustice.

Episode One

A few days later Khamen and Candorra were in the forest, tracking down the orcs. They were accompanied by a one of the lord's rangers, Rikk, who was well versed in the forest's perils.

Game Note: For Rikk, I used the unofficial ranger class found in the fan-made supplement Uncanny Against Darkness.

As they followed the orcs' trail, they were plagued by a swarm of bees and a whirlwind, which broke Rikk's bow. Candorra lent him her bow and they continued. Then they were fortunate to come across a young woodsman. He had seen the orcs, hiding in the trees as they passed. He agreed to show the party where they went. As our heroes continued, they passed a shrine and met an herbalist, acquiring some wolfsbane from the the latter,

Deeper into the forest they went. After a while, they could feel the earth shaking.

"Earthquake!?" Khamen pondered.

"Worse!" replied the woodsman. "Quick, hide!"

The party hid in some bushes. Moments later, a giant passed by along the path. As it passed, the giant dropped a body from his gnarled grip. The body plopped to the ground and lay still. They could still hear the giant's footsteps as Khamen snuck into the path and checked the body. It was a dead orc, probably one of the reavers. Unfortunately, it did not carry one of the rings.

The party continued. They discovered fresh orc tracks, fled from a forest fire, and passed an empty cabin. Then in clearing ahead they spotted a pile of skulls. Rikk advanced to investigate their grisly discovery. They heard a shriek from the sky above as a griffin swooped upon Rikk. It slashed him with its talons. Blood oozed from his wounds as he released an arrow, penetrating deep into the beast's chest. It howled in rage as it swung back to attack Rikk again. It rended the ranger once again. By now Khamen and Candorra had rushed into the clearing and entered the fray. Khamen struck then dodged as the griffin tuned on him. As it did so, Rikk managed to get off a shot, The arrow pierced the beast's heart and it fell dead at their feet.

In the pile of skulls they found a magical mace and a potion of healing. They used the potion to cure Rikk's profusely bleeding wounds.

They continued into the forest and came across a fork in the road. There were three paths they could take. Rikk surveyed the ground, looking for tracks. After a few minutes he announced his verdict.

"They split up into three groups, each taking a different path."

After some consultation, they decided to proceed along the path to the left.

What will the find along this path? Find out next time!

Game Note: After a series of adventures, I am no nearer to the rings than the first time. I plan to modify the module a little, turning it into 3 hex crawls. The boss of each hex crawl will be one of the reavers with a ring.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Crypt of Count Valod

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure

After their adventure on the island of Sarpedon, Khamen and Candorra hopped on a ship back to their home. Stopping for provisions at a little town on the coast, they witnessed a funeral procession. However, there was no body or casket, just an effigy of the deceased, a young girl. When Khamen asked what happened, the locals just scowled, said "the Count took her," and gestured to a menacing castle overlooking the town. After some pressing they were told that the Count was a "vampyr." It took some prompting from Candorra but they decided to investigate.

Here is a reproduction of the map that they drew:

They entered the foreboding castle through the front gate. In the foyer (2) a trapdoor suddenly opened under Candorra's feet. With a deft leap, she vaulted clear of the gaping pit. The next room (5) was empty; they searched and found a clue. In the next room (6), several corpses animated and shambled toward our heroes. Candorra minced them in seconds.

Opening the door into a kitchen (9), our heroes were confronted by a coven of witches toiling over a cauldron. The lead witch called out "Kill them!" Then she launched a lightning bolt at Candorra. The elf could not dodge and was singed by the electric shock. She responded by pulling out her sleep wand; 3 of the witches succumbed. Khamen and Candorra then defeated the remaining witches without further wounds.

After driving off some vampire bats (8), our heroes reached a dead end. They backtracked to the empty room then exited through the western door (4). This room was being used as a den for a pack of wolves. They immediately attacked but the party drove them off. Then the party had to backtrack again. fighting more wolves along the way until they entered a room (1) with four young women. Seeing our heroes, the women bared their fangs - they were vampires! One swooped upon Khamen; he dodged then stabbed it. Candorra took out two more and the last fled. After a couple more rooms they finally found the stairs (3) to the crypts below.

"Looks like we took the scenic tour." Khamen quipped, much to Candorra's dismay.

They passed along a musty corridor. Large mushrooms grew from the floor. Suddenly they erupted, spouting spores throughout the passage. Khamen and Candorra covered their faces and rushed forward.

Note: I treated the cloud of spores as a poison gas trap.

Suddenly a malevolent presence appeared before them.

"Welcome to my castle." announced Count Valod. "I trust you shall stay for dinner."

Candorra wasted no time. She cast a lightning bolt. It struck the Cont in the chest, knocking him back and singing him. In a blink of an eye he pounced on Candorra. She eluded her grasp and struck the Count repeatedly. Howling in pain, he turned into a bat and flew away!

"He got away! Now what?" said Khamen.

"Destroy his sarcophagus. He won't be able to return to this castle!"

The heroes dismantled the sarcophagus. Later, they would bring a priest to the castle to bless the ground of the crypt. This would seal the vampire's fate.

Game Notes

  • For this adventure, I decided that the final boss would be a vampire. I then chose encounters that would give a gothic feel. The party missed (did not roll) some of the more interesting encounters, such as a laboratory, a Frankenstein monster, and a werewolf.
  • I finally was able to get Candorra to level 3. Now my heroes can take on the published adventure Three Rings.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Part 2 of a Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Using Four Against Darkness

After their meeting with the medusa, our heroes departed from the grove to seek the sorcerer.. They ran into a range of impassable mountains so they took a detour. They came to another grove with an altar in it. Khamen approached the altar and was immediately struck by a sense of ennui. He knew that his defense would suffer.

After a little while the woods cleared and the party traveled through rolling hill. At the top of the hill several beautiful ladies lounged upon the grass. Khamen called out a friendly greeting but the women responded angrily. They donned bronze helmets, took up spears and shields, and charged in a phalanx at our heroes.

"Amazon warrior women!" warned Candorra. She stepped forward with her bow and started shooting. Two of the warriors dropped dead. But the phalanx quickly overran their position. Their spears darted out, stabbing Candorra repeatedly. Badly wounded, she tried to retreat but they followed doggedly. Wynne stepped forward and blocked the pursuit. She took a wound but managed to overcome a warrior. A seesaw battle then ensued, with all of our heroes taking wounds. Finally, the Amazons were overcome. Wynne healed Candorra then bandaged herself and Khamen.

They continued their journey, winding through hill and dale. At one point they ran into a nest of snakes, but the creatures fled. Finally, they came across a ruined temple. A man was lounging upon the portico. He rose and greeted the party.

"I know why you are here. The medusa has sent you to capture me, but you will be the ones in chains!"

He began to mutter an incantation while waving his hands about. Suddenly, Candorra remembered the wand she found on the bridge. She pulled it out and unleashed its power. A blast hit the sorcerer; he looked stunned. Then he collapsed to the ground.

Wynne checked him out. "Asleep!"

They bound and gagged him, then returned to the medusa. While standing behind him she had the party hold his head and pry open his eyelids.

The medusa spoke: "In a minute, I will stand before you so you can see your handiwork. Of course, it will be the last thing you see as you turn into stone. There is but one way to save yourself - remove the curse!"

"If you turn me to stone then you will remain that way forever!" the sorcerer replied.

"If you won't remove the curse I will stay this way forever anyway. At least I will have my revenge!"

She moved closer to the sorcerer and began to sidle around him. As she did she kept speaking to him. He could hear his doom approach. Finally he cried out "Alright, I'll do it! Just stop!"

"Make it quick!"

The sorcerer uttered a spell. Suddenly, the hideous medusa transformed into a beautiful lady.

A few days later the party was aboard a ship headed for home. They had the Rod in their possession, along with a sizable chest filled with gold. The former medusa, a lady named Melodia, elected to remain on the island. She was herself a powerful sorceress and would be able to keep the sorcerer imprisoned so he could not curse any one else.

Game Notes

  • I ran this adventure as a hex-crawl rather than a dungeon crawl.
  • Because the boss was from Greek myth I crafted a Greek-themed adventure.
  • I've been trying to level Candorra up so that I can play the next published adventure (Three Rings). Alas, she botched her experience roll! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grove of the Gorgon

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Using Four Against Darkness

Once again Khamen was summoned before the Preceptor and offered another mission. This time, he and Candorra would sail to the southern island of Sarpedon. Rumor had it that the Holy Rod of Leonidas, another lost relic, was located there, in a grove guarded by a medusa.

This time our heroes were accompanied by Sister Wynne, a priestess of the Holy Temple (whose earlier adventures have been recorded previously).

Our heroes landed on the rocky shore of Sarpedon. Cliffs rose from the beach, with a pathway cutting through them leading into the island's interior,

Suddenly, with a screech, five bird-like creatures swooped upon the party. Two of them dove upon Candorra, rending her flesh with their sharp talons. Swinging wildly with her sword, she struck down her attackers. Khamen and Wynne took care of the rest. Their way was open.

As the path climbed through rocky terrain, they could hear the rumble of water in the distance. Then they came upon a bridge that crossed a gorge. A raging river ran through the gorge fall below. A gate blocked the river. It was fastened with a rope tied in an intricate knot. An old man sat beside the gate.

As they approached, the gatekeeper rose and greeted them.

"You may only pass this way if you can solve the riddle of the knot. Otherwise, the gate shall remain closed and there is no other way."

Candorra approached the gate and inspected the knot. She tried to untie it but failed. Wynne also could not unravel it. Khamen approached, pulled out his magic dagger, and with a single stroke cut the knot in half. The gate swung open as the gatekeeper's mouth dropped in surprise. Khamen's companions gave him a look.

Khamen shrugged. "I read about something similar once."

"Well, it worked." Candorra replied. "Let's go."

As she advanced, she noticed something lying upon the bridge. It was a wand. She pocketed it, and promptly forgot about it.

After traveling a ways, the party entered a forest. The sound of pipes seemed to emanate from the trees. Khamen and Wynne began to get drowsy.

"Let's take a short break." Khamen urged as he plopped upon the grass. Wynne joined him. Candorra urged them to rise, but they paid her no heed. Suddenly, a bunch of half-man half-goat creatures popped out and began to shower the party with arrows. Candorra pulled out her bow and responded. The satyrs could not match her elven marksmanship, and soon they were routed.

The path now led our heroes into a secluded grove. At the far side was an altar with a rod upon it. The Holy Rod! But where was the guardian?

As they stepped into the grove, a figure appeared from behind a tree. It turned to face them.

"Avert your eyes! Look upon the ground!" Wynne commanded.

She and Khamen looked away, but Candorra hesitated. She then got a full view of the guardian's face. It was a terrifying sight - with the malformed features framed by a mane of writhing snakes! Candorra emitted a cry of horror, then she froze in place. Khamen glanced at her, then stared in horror as she petrified before his eyes. In seconds, a stone statue stood where his friend once was.

Wynne was not the least bit fazed. She stepped over to Candorra, laid a hand on her stony shoulder, and said a prayer. The rock began to crumble and flake off. In but a moment, Candorra was restored.

Wynne challenged the medusa. "Begone vile creature! Your evil has no power over us!"

The medusa hissed. "Fool! I am not evil; just cursed."

"If you are not evil, then step aside and let us claim the Holy Rod of Leonidas." Wynne demanded.

"Nay, Sister. I cannot do that. Part of my curse is to remain here and guard the Rod. I cannot let you have it . . . unless the curse is broken."

"And how do we do that?" asked Khamen.

The medusa's hideous visage broke into a smile. "You must bring me the sorcerer that cursed me. Alive."

Will our heroes capture the sorcerer and recover the Rod?
Find out next time!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Castle of the Chaos Lord

Another Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Using Four Against Darkness

After their adventure of the sunken temple, Khamen and Candorra returned home for some relaxation. Alas, it was not to be. As soon as they reported to the Temple, the Preceptor offered them another job. A chaos lord had established himself in a castle in far-off Ehrlich. The source of his powers seemed to be a magical wand that he always carried. Steal the wand and his power would be broken.

They journeyed to the castle. Fortunately, the guards were very lax, and our heroes were able to sneak in through the front gate. The found themselves in a corridor (1) with an intersection.

As they approached the intersection, they could hear voices. Khamen signaled that they should hide. They pressed flat against the walls of the corridor as three robed figures approached from the right.

Khamen and Candorra try to avod detection
 Candorra tried to edge away from the passage, but kicked a pebble.

"What was that?" the cultist asked as he peered around the corner. Spying Candorra, he yelled and charged. Khamen slipped behind the attacker and stabbed him. But the next cultist struck Khamen. He stumbled back. The remaining enemies attacked, but both the heroes parried and then struck down their foes.

After the fight, Khamen turned to Candorra and said " I really thought you were good at this."

Candorra looked at him quizzically then he put a finger to his lips, indicating that she needed to be silent. She just rolled her eyes.

They turned right at the intersection and entered a room (2), where they were attacked by skeletons. After a short battle, they were victorious. They returned through the corridor (1), fending off some vampire bats.

The next room (3) featured a caged area, with seats outside the cage. Concerned that there might be prisoners, the duo crept down to the cage and opened the gate. As the hinges creaked, a looming bull-headed figure arose from the shadows.

"Close the gate!" Khamen yelled as the minotaur charged. Candorra slammed it shut just in time.

Leaving the minotaur's cell, they were wandering down another corridor (4) when they felt a sudden chill. They turned and saw an apparition pass through the wall behind them, cross the corridor, and then disappear through the opposite wall. Our heroes stood a moment, their hearts seemingly stopped. Then they shook off their fear and proceeded.

They wandered through a few more rooms and corridors (6-8), only facing some vampire bats. Then they opened a door to a small room (9). At one end was an altar of a hideous demon. A figure knelt before the altar. Lying next to him was what appeared to be a stick. Khamen realized that it was the Chaos Lord and his wand!

Trying to steal from the Chaos Lord
Candorra stood in the doorway, an arrow nocked in her bow. Silently, Khamen crept up to the wand. The Chaos Lord appeared deep in thought and oblivious to their presence. Khamen reached for the wand, gripped it, and started to slide it away.

"STOP!" a piercing cry called out. Khamen looked up. The idol was alive, screaming a warning to his worshiper.

The Chaos Lord turned, lashing out with a flaming sword that seemed to come out from nowhere. Khamen ducked, and the blow passes harmlessly over his head. Candorra released her arrow; it struck the Chaos Lord, knocking him back. Khamen backed away.

The Chaos Lord pursued Khamen, slashing at him futilely. Candorra drew her sword and rushed into battle. However, the Chaos Lord finally connected, and Khamen fell wounded. The Chaos Lord rushed to finish him. Khamen rolled and slashed his enemy's ankles. Howling in rage, the Chaos Lord forgot about Candorra. She slipped behind him and drove here sword into his vitals. The Chaos Lord collapsed.

"Let's get out of here!" Candorra urged.

Khamen reached down and grabbed the wand. Then they rushed back through the castle. However, the death of the Chaos Lord must have triggered some kind of warning. As they fled, they had to fight their way out against a horde of skeletons. They made it out, though. 

Shortly thereafter, they were riding back to the Temple.

"Well that was a near-run thing." Khamen commented.

"It could have been better. I thought you were good at this." Candorra replied.

"What do you mean?"

Candorra merely put her finger to her lips.

"It wasn't my fault! How was I to know that the idol would come to life!"

Candorra just repeated her gesture. Khamen rolled his eyes.

Once they returned to the Temple, they reported to the Preceptor and delivered the wand to him.

"Although much good it will do you," Khamen commented. "Candorra killed him."

"Actually," the priest stated, "you killed him Khamen."

"No, it was Candorra. She stabbed him through the heart."

The priest held up the wand. "Ah, but if he had this, no blow from Candorra, nor any other hero, would have been mortal. Your, ah, recovery, sealed his fate."

Game Notes:
  • I want to play the Three Rings adventure from Ganesha Games but my characters are not high enough level yet. I decided to try to level them up with an original adventure.
  • For this adventure, I used my own encounter tables. I rolled the final boss first, then choose encounters that would fit the theme.
  • I rolled for rooms as per the normal Four Against Darkness rules, although I reduced the size of the dungeon. I also ruled that the Chaos Lord would only be encountered in the back quarter of the map.
  • I'm moving along with the 6 x 6 Challenge! Here is another completed 4AD adventure.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Sunken Temple

Part 2 of Dark Waters
(A Khamen and Candorra Adventure using Four Against Darkness)

This post accounts my play-through of the Four Against Darkness module, Dark Waters. If you plan to play this module you may not want to read further.

Although they captured the corsair captain, our party of heroes failed to recover the idol of Telzany, the Shark God. Khamen and Candorra reported to the local Temple. The Preceptor shook his head in frustration.

"We must recover the idol. With it, the deep demons can summon Telzany itself."

Khamen looked perplexed. "What are these deep demons? And can they really summon a "god?"

"The deep demons are green-skinned, fish-faced humanoids. They live under water. And Telzany is real, but it is no god. It is a true demon, a powerful entity from the infernal regions. We cannot let them summon it!"


The Temple arranged for a boat to take the party to the location of a sunken temple known to be used by the deep demons.The Temple priests cast blessings upon the party, allowing them to breathe and act underwater. Our heroes were joined by Gerard, a young warrior on loan from the local coast guard.. Together, they leapt into the water and dove to the ocean floor and headed to the temple.

The Sunken Temple
As they entered the first room (1), they ran into 4 deep demon guards. After a short fight, where Candorra and Gerard took wounds, the deep demons were defeated.

After passing through an empty corridor (2), they entered a room (3) littered with the corpses of drowned sailors

"Likely sacrifices to Telzany." Gerard explained.

Suddenly, 4 of the corpses jumped up and shambled toward the party.

Our heroes about the engage the zombies
Khamen, Flint, Candorra, and Gerard (L to R)
Khamen and Flint managed to kill two of the zombies. Another went after Gerard. He tried to strike it down as it lunged, but he missed. He froze in fright. Armed with a bow, Candorra shot the undead horror. Then another attacked him but once again Candorra saved him.

"I guess I'm not cut out for this." Gerard apologized after the fight. "Perhaps I should return to the surface and let real heroes finish the quest."

"Nonsense Gerard.' Candorra replied. "The mark of a real hero is to continue forth into danger, despite our fears, because it is the right thing to do."

Somewhat encouraged, Gerard agreed to continue.

Returning through the corridor (2), they were attacked by 2 giant octopi. The creatures entangled the party with their tentacles. Khamen and Flint managed to free their weapon hands and strike down the cephalopods.

In the next room (4), the party was attacked by 7 fish-men. Three rushed Gerard. This time he did not flinch, but instead managed to deftly block the attacks and strike down 2 of his assailants. The rest easily defeated the rest of the enemy.

"Well done, Gerard." Candorra said. "We'll make a hero of you yet." Gerard smiled at the praise.

After passing through an empty room (5) they entered a darkened sanctum. Eight deep demons clustered around an altar, muttering incantations. The idol of Telzany sat upon the altar. Khamen quietly signaled to his comrades to sneak up on the enemy, When in position, they struck. Three of the deep demons fell. Others spun around, pulled out wicked daggers, and attacked. The head cultist continued to invoke Telzany. With a sudden eruption of steam from the idol, a huge, fanged creature with claws and tentacles appeared!

"Telzany!" Gerard cried in terror. He felt a sudden urge to flee, but then he remembered Candorra's words - real heroes continue into danger despite their fears. He gulped back his horror and turned his attention to the enemy. He hacked down a pair of deep demons then turned on Telzany. Flint and Candorra, who struck down the demons attacking them, joined him.

Meanwhile, Khamen was locked in a fight with one of the cultists. He was able to avoid getting wounded but could not land the final blow. Now Telzany began lashing out with its claws and tentacles, slicing and battering the heroes. They also landed blows, but Telzany appeared unfazed.

It struck again with its talons, raking deep wounds in Flint's and Candorra's flesh. Bleeding profusely, both backed out of the fight. Candorra downed a healing potion but Flint had no such option. Khamen finally finished off his foe and took a position on the front line. Despite his fears, Gerard joined him and used his shield to protect him and his comrades.

Telzany began to focus on Khamen and Gerard. They took numerous wounds - now Khamen had to back out of the fight to heal. Flint and Candorra looked at each other. A fatalistic determination overcame them. With a cry, they charged back into battle. Freshly healed, Khamen joined them, doing his best to defend his wounded comrades. Together, they hacked and slashed at their enemy until viscous, black blood oozed from Telzany.

Yet Telzany refused to surrender. Instead, it decided to punish Khamen's temerity. It grasped him in its claws, drew him to its face, and bit hard with its shark-like jaws. Khamen screamed in pain. Flint tried to free his friend, but the demon grabbed him with the other claw. It began banging the two against each other until they were nearly unconscious, then flung them to the floor as it laughed in apparent triumph.

Righteous rage filled Gerard's breast. He yelled at the top of his lungs and charged at the demon. Distracted by its torture of Khamen and Flint, it reacted too late. Gerard smashed it with his shield, causing Telzany to stumble backward. Gerard ducked under the claws and tentacles, then drove his sword deep into the monster's torso. Telzany screamed in rage and pain. Then, as if dissolving in the ocean's water, Telzany disappeared.

Gerard slumped to the floor, exhausted. Candorra came over, checking his wounds.

"A hero indeed!" she whispered to him.


A week after their epic battle, Flint and Khamen sat at a table in the local tavern in port town of Telzany's Cove. The Temple had destroyed the idol so that Telzany could never be summoned again. Gerard was the toast of the town; some of the townspeople even wanted to make him commander of the coast guard. Khamen and Flint were having one last celebration before they departed.

"And what now, my friend?" asked Khamen.

Flint guffawed. "The Temple has made me an honest man!"

Khamen eyed him quizzically. "Really?"

"With the reward, and the, um . . . souvenirs from the sunken temple, I can buy my own ship. The life of an honest merchant for me!"

"Honest merchant, now there's an oxymoron." laughed Khamen.

Flint snickered in return. "Perhaps, perhaps, but it's a start to respectability. But what about you?"

"I think I may keep working for the Temple."

"An honest Khamen. Now there's an oxymoron!" retorted Flint.

"I'm serious."

"And this has nothing to do with the elf lady?" Flint asked.

"No." Khamen stated. Then he grew philosophical. "Not that at all. It's that . . . All my life I've been struggling, to make ends meet, to get ahead. Over that time, I developed certain . . . skills. But what did it all mean. What was the point? For the first time, I see the point. I feel like I have a role to play in the greater scheme of things. And ironically, those skills I developed for my own gain, I can now use for . . . something greater."

Flint nodded and took a pull from his flagon. "Well, you're a better man than I, Khamen. I wish you well."

"And the same to you, Flint."

With that, they shook hands and parted, Khamen heading back to the Temple, and his next adventure.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Into the Corsair's Hideout

Part 1 of Dark Waters
(A Khamen and Candorra Adventure using Four Against Darkness)

This post accounts my play-through of the Four Against Darkness module, Dark Waters. If you plan to play this module you may not want to read further.

After arriving at Telzany's Cove, Khamen and his companions visited the Atlis Coast Guard headquarters. There, they learned that a band of corsairs had a hideout nestled in the cliffs and rocks several miles south of the city. The difficult terrain has made it impossible for the Coast Guard to approach, but perhaps a small party could do it. The authorities offered a large reward if the party could capture the captain of the corsairs.

After agreeing, a Coast Guardgave them a small boat. They sailed to the cove then rowed in to the entrance, avoiding some dangerous rocks. Entering the caverns, they ran into a guard room with bandits and dogs. They reached for their swords but Flint intervened.

"Where's your captain?"

"What?" their leader responded.

"We're here with a proposal for your captain. A lucrative deal. Lead us to him, and you may all benefit." said Flint.

"Find him yourself," the head guard responded, pointing the way deeper into the caverns. The guards let the party pass.

Game Note: As I mentioned before, I am not tracking gold. When I roll "bribe" (as I did with the guards), I then make a persuasion roll. Success means that they party can pass.

The party moved deeper into the caverns. Entering a room, they ran into a bunch of goblins.

A schematic of the party's run-in with goblins.
The party consists of Khamen, Candorra, and Flint (in rear)
Three goblins attacked Khamen but he dodged and ducked the blows. Candorra and Flint killed two of the goblins each. The goblins continued to attack, though. Khamen and Flint avoid blows and then Candorra and Flint took out the last two.

The party continued deeper into the caverns. They opened a door and entered a room filled with garbage. Suddenly, a green slime lashed out at them. Khamen was hit, but then they withdrew from the room. After going further, they found a secret exit from the caverns.

The companions backtracked and finally found the captain. He was at the edge of an underground lake, conversing with a green-skinned creature. The creature grabbed a golden idol from his hands and dove into the lake. The captain turned and gasped in surprise, for the party had snuck up to him and attacked. Candorra's blade bit into the captain's arm. He roared in pain but swung in return. His counter struck home, and Candorra staggered away. The captain chased after her, deflecting attacks from the others and stabbed her two more times. Flint stepped forward, blocking the captain. This gave Candorra time to drink a healing potion. She then murmured an incantation. Lightning flashed from her fingertips and struck the captain. He collapsed.

After administering aid, they tied and gagged the captain and began carrying him through the caverns. But they ran into 3 corsairs. When they saw their captain tied up, they charged. With his rapier and dagger whirling, Flint took out 2 of the enemy. The last attacked Khamen but he parried the blow. Candorra came over and struck down the last one.

The party made it safely to the secret exit, which led down a ladder. Khamen went first, and ensured that the way was clear. Then they used a rope to lower the captain. Candorra went next and then Flint followed. As he made his way down the ladder, a rung gave way. He fell to the bottom and sprained his ankle. Despite his injury, the party made their way back to their boat and sailed back to Telzany's Cove. Flint's eyes grew wide as they handed him his share of the reward.

But what of the idol? Find out in part 2!

Game Note: The module consists of 2 parts. First is a pre-generated dungeon, which I describe in this post. The second is a random dungeon. I haven't played that part yet.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Search for the Shark God Statue

Introduction to Dark Waters
(A Khamen and Candorra Adventure using Four Against Darkness)

Note: Pardon the long-winded intro. The actual game report will begin in the next installment. If you skip this intro you won't be missing much.

Khamen sat at a table in the rear of the tavern, enjoying the spoils of his last adventure. He sipped his ale and watched the drunken revelry of the patrons. The tavern door opened, and a gust of frigid winter air blew through the crowd. Even in the back, Khamen could feel its icy blast. The revelers shouted for the newcomer to close the door. Apologetically, an old man in pilgrim's robes entered. He seemed out of place in this nest of debauchery, but the patrons did not notice. Khamen watched him warily.

The old man made a beeline for Khamen's table. As he approached, Khamen recognized him. Different robes, but the same walk. It was the Temple priest who sent him into the Rat God's temple.

"May I sit?" the old priest asked.

Khamen hesitated, then nodded. "Although it will avail you little." he added.

"We shall see. It is all as the Maker wills it."

"Does He will you a drink?" Khamen asked sarcastically. "No. I suppose not."

The priest smiled and nodded. "It is for another reason I come, but I'm sure you can figure that out."

"Another job?"

The priest nodded and began to speak. Khamen cut him off.

"Not interested."

"Not even for 100 gold?"

Khamen looked up from his drink. "200." he demanded.

"Done," stated the priest, putting out his hand. Khamen grasped the proffered hand and shook.

And thus Khamen found himself once more in the employ of the Temple. As he stood at the taffrail of the ship, he pondered the events of the last few weeks. His employer was sending him to the Sea of Storms, to the south of Talmatia, in search of a relic of the pagan Shark God, stolen from a merchant ship traversing those perilous seas.. It sounded like a difficult assignment, but at least it was in a warmer climate.

Note: And so Khamen took up the quest presented in the Four Against Darkness module called Dark Waters.

Candorra accompanied him again. The Temple still did not entirely trust him. Besides, she was useful; he would never have escaped the Rat God's lair without her. This time, however, they had another companion, They met him on the docks of Talmatia as they searched for a ship to take them to Telzany's Cove, a port on the southern continent. From there, they hoped to track the relic. As they made their way through the bustle of the quayside crowds, Khamen felt a hand brush against his belt - the telltale sign of a pickpocket. Khamen quickly turned and grabbed the offending hand as he surreptitiously unsheathed his dagger.

"I would let go of that purse if I were you." Khamen snarled.

"I don't know what. . . Khamen, is that you?"

Khamen stared at the pickpocket. "Flint?"

"It IS you, Khamen!" the man named Flint responded. "It is good to see you. How long as it been? 10 years? We should share an ale and catch up!"

"Yes, we should." Khamen agreed. "But first you should return my purse."

"Of course, old friend! You'll need it because you're buying!" Flint laughed as he returned the purse.

They soon learned what Flint had been up to. A little thieving, a little smuggling, a little piracy. Flint loved to talk, Khamen recollected. For his part, Khamen revealed little. He just mentioned that he was on a retrieval job for a wealthy client.

"The Shark Idol, perhaps?" Flint pried.

Khamen's eyes widened for a brief moment before he regained control. Flint just laughed, for he knew his guess was correct.

"Then ye'll be needin' someone to guide you through these dark waters. And I know just the one to do the job."

Candorra demurred at first, but Khamen reassured her that they could trust Flint, or at least as far as thieves go. Besides, it would be more hazardous to leave him, and his knowledge of their goal, behind. And thus, they hired Flint to join their party.

What happens next? Stay tuned for our next installment.

Note: I originally was going to run just Khamen and Candorra through the adventure. Then I saw that the module introduced a new character class - the swashbuckler. I just had to try out a swashbuckler character. And so Flint was created.