Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/gglewwe/www/tomb/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/gglewwe/www/tomb/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/gglewwe/www/tomb/wp-includes/theme.php on line 507

South Tower and Basement

March 28th, 2012


The South Tower Gears

March 28th, 2012

We resumed with the party moving down the corridor past the secret door, fighting a few more kobolds and searching another room to the left.  It contained a desk with a number of papers and books.  Some of these books have symbols in them similar to the ones on the hilt of the magic sword carried by Boxer.  Continuing on, they come to a locked iron door.  Sapper uses the chime to open it and inside they find a large room with a staircase made of junk that ascends up into a hole in the ceiling.  Going up the stairs, they find themselves inside the tower, and see that it is completely hollow, with massively thick walls and 4 huge grates in the floor.  The hole that they emerged from actually came up between two of the louvers of one grate.  Exploring the room reveals that another grate across the way has another hole with another junky staircase.  They go down to find a similar room with another locked iron door.  They return to the kobold lair and clear out the room where the weasel was thought to come from.  This room has a raised dias and more decrepit crates and barrels, and a couple of quickly-dispatched kobolds.  The party is taunted by a kobold voice that comes from a hole in the wall.  They explore down another passage, and trigger a trap, then decide to retreat and head back to Hexen for a rest.

Upon their return to the orphanage, they discover that Nan has disappeared.  They search the orphanage and ask around, but are unable to find any clues.  Boxer goes to work for Ty and learns that the city passes are documents with an arcane mark, that Ty obtains each day for his runners.  He makes the requested deliveries and gets some gold pieces for his work.  He asks about how to get passes and is rebuffed by a nervous and uncomfortable Ty.

Returning to the lair again, they proceed through the tower to the second iron door.  Sapper uses the chime once again and the door reveals a long hallway.  This hall is described as having very fine craftsmanship and when they step into it, the hallway ceiling lights up for its length. (It goes dark a minute or so after no one steps in it).  The hallway ends in a dark room, and also has some kind of massive hatch on the right side.  The hatch is not a door and it is not hidden, but there is no obvious way to open it.  It looks like it is a huge slab that will slide vertically to open.

The room at the end of the hall is huge - similar in size to the tower.  4 large pipe systems extend up to the ceiling, and are in the same position as the tower grates would be - if they were above this room.  The room itself is filled with boxes, pipes, equipment of some kind and is very dark, damp and cluttered.  In the center of the room is a column of sorts, made of gears and pipes that extend from floor to ceiling.  You find a control panel there with levers and a special lever that appears to use the magic of Boxer’s sword as a power source.  This was determined by noticing similar symbols on the panel and the sword hilt.  When the sword is inserted and levered down, the system responds to the 4 levers being pulled.  At first try, things do move, but Fargen realizes that no action is taking place.  He examines the 4 pipe structures around the room and deducts that they are missing key parts.  The party searches the room for a while, but does not find the missing pieces, but they do get the impression that they are not alone.  They are not molested as they search, and they finally decide to go back to the kobold passages to search there.  On the way back, they find that 2 of the larger gear parts have been used in the construction of the stairs and they continue past to maintain the stair integrity.  Going back to the section where the weasel came from, they follow an unmapped passage, spring a trap and get into a fight with more kobolds, a pit and some doors.  Grunt spends some quality time at the bottom of the pit and the party digs out the last of the kobold resistance.  They find the 2 remaining gears to fix the machine…


The Kobolds’ Lair

March 6th, 2012

Cam manages to finally out-grapple the net, but not before the door opens next to Sapper and 2 kobolds begin to pummel him.  The alarm continues to sound for quite a while, as the party roots out a number of kobolds, destroys some crates and barrels, and springs some traps.


Once they clear the portcullis, they are faced with a north/south corridor. Sapper heads north, Fargen south. Fargen deals with a blood-letting weasel and Sapper almost gets pulled through a secret door by a troglodyte. More of the lair waits to be discovered, and you know of at least one creature still lives, as the door that the weasel came from has been closed.
However, this effort has not gone un-rewarded. A significant amount of coin, and a couple of nice weapons have been found, and you think that the passages may lead under the city wall in the direction you want to travel.

You take a moment to catch your breath and decide what to do next…

Feb 15 - Jonas and the Tower

February 21st, 2012

The party is resting in the crypt when they hear a voice from the roof outside.  They meet Ulp the pelican and after finishing their beauty rest, head off to the swamp to meet up with Jonas.  They find Jonas and G’nar and help them wipe out a column of humanoid skeletons that has made it almost all the way across the swamp from the dead plains.

<Welcome to Level 2>

Jonas tells them about Nan’s great cycles in plain language, here is the info:

  • Once every age, the planes align and divine energy is pumped into the Prime Material Plane
  • The central tower of Hexen is like a lightning rod for this energy
  • If nothing is done, all of the gods materialize on this plane and fight, causing massive destruction
  • Hexen can be “configured”  to act as a filter for this divine energy and only allow certain deities to materialize
  • Jonas says that the 6 outer towers should be symmetrical and tasks the party with adjusting the South Tower to match the rest

He gives the party equipment to help them on their journey, and tells them to seek the Plains Druid (to the West) as the next step.  He then returns to the swamp to keep an increasing number of undead from reaching the bog.

Equipment list:

  • Sapper: “Keys to the City” - Chime of Opening and Arcane Thieves Tools
  • Boxer:  ”Secure Storage” - Stone of Alarm and Hewards Handy Haversack
    • Both elves get a masterwork shortbow + quiver and Boxer gets 5 Flame and 5 Frost arrows
  • Cam: “The Carrot and the Stick” - Ring of Mystic Healing and a Piercing&Thumping Morningstar (+1)
  • Fargen: “Feet and Fists” - Rapidstrike Bracers and Cobra Straps
  • Grunt: “Leaping Liz-Orcs” - Boots of Striding and Springing

With this knowledge (and stuff), you head back to town and proceed to catch up with Ty Hold and then try to find a way into the Tower.  Ty is evasive about getting passes through the barricade, but does say that he will have a job tomorrow for Boxer.  (You are also able to sell the skeleton scimitars to a guy in the slums for normal prices).

Next you head to the South Tower to investigate:


  • Each tower is about 600′ across, and about 40′ high.  The city wall is about 25′ high and there is a ladder from the wall catwalk up to the tower.
  • There are no doors or entrances at ground level (except for the pass-through/gate of the Brown Gate)
  • There is a long shallow staircase that leads to the top of the tower, with a guard shack at the head and foot
  • A wooden barracks sits atop the tower along with a couple of guard towers at the edge.  These structures are obviously more recent than the tower itself.
  •  Based upon Fargen’s inspection, he thinks the walls of these towers could be as much as 10′ thick.

With no entry available from the inside, the party heads outside the gates and around towards the lake.  This is a very rocky area, and holds little interest for most boggers.  You find a cave, which leads to an underground passage.  Exploring cautiously, Grunt springs a narrowing corridor trap and wriggles out.  Backtracking, Sapper tries a door and looses a net, which catches Cam and sounds an alarm…

Search for Jonas

February 9th, 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

1st Session

February 2nd, 2012

You begin your day by meeting with Nan.  She tells you that you are coming up to the time when you will move on from the orphanage and then asks you to perform a service for her.  She describes a small crypt in the bog to the east-south-east of the city.  The crypt is an ancient marker and she takes or sends a small tribute each year.  This year, she has asked if you would take it for her.  You all agree and accept the small basket of herbs and rare flowers from her garden.  You set forth quickly from the Brown Gate and proceed to head deeper into the bog than you have ever been.

Some time passes and you move beyond your known areas.  Cam and Boxer lead the group and stumble upon a clutch of snakes.  The snakes strike out at the party and bite 3 of your group before they are struck down.  Cam and Fargen are poisoned and lose some of their vitality.  Sapper keeps a few of the snake heads to try and sell.

After more travel, you reach the area that you expect to find the crypt, have some lunch, and begin to search.

Time passes as you search and the party spots, and then handily dispatches a lone Lizardfolk.  You guess that he must have been ousted from his tribe and living alone by the way that he recklessly charged you, with little regard for his life.  You search his corpse and find some gold and surprisingly, a  large blue sapphire.  Sapper judges it to be quite valuable.

Not long after, Fargen spots some stonework and the party finds the crypt.  It is a well crafted stone structure, 15′x10′ with a locked stone door and a small alcove on the wall next to the door with a basin.  Boxer places the tribute in the basin while Sapper picks the lock.  He stands back to let Boxer open the door, and be pierced by multiple darts from a trap within the building.   Exploration of the crypt reveals a stone coffin with a well-made, pivoting lid.  Inside, you discover an equipment cache:  some clothes, a couple of quarterstaves, some food, some gold, and a pouch with some magic berries.  Sapper detects their faint aura, but is not able to discern more.  He helps himself to some of the food, the better quality staff, the gold and the berries and then re-locks the door.

At that moment, the party becomes aware that they are being watched.  Battle quickly commences with 4 troglodytes.  The fight is fierce and stinky and ends with 4 dead enemies, 1 unconscious dog and a weary group.  A couple of javelins and more gold is found and taken.  Sapper and Boxer both clearly heard one of the Troglodytes say,”It must be them, they just were inside.  Get them!”  But no survivors were available to answer questions about this statement.

The journey home takes longer than expected, but is uneventful and your group enters Hexen just after nightfall.  Ian meets you as you arrive home, makes arrangements for healing care and tells you that you may report to Nan in the morning.  He is surprised by the news that you were attacked by troglodytes, as he knows them only to be cave or mountain dwellers.

More Background

February 1st, 2012

The City of Hexen, a central tower surrounded by a circular wall with 6 gates.

  • North is cultivated farmland,
  • East is bog and swamp,
  • South is Lake Nor,
  • West is Forest.

The royal tower is immediately surrounded by “the Gardens”, an enclave of nobles who occupy what used to be the castle keep.  The only remaining walls of this inner keep are to the south and they separate the Gardens from the Slums, which take up most of the South/southeast area of the city.

Southwest of the Gardens are the fishing docks, and to the West, the trading docks.  North are the markets, Northeast are the grain and storage houses, and between the Gardens and the East Tower is Knight’s Rest - the military barracks.

The Six towers (in Clockwise order from the North):

  • The North Tower - overlooking where the Forest meets farmland
  • The East Tower - overlooking where farmland turns to bog
  • The Brown Gate - overlooking the bogs and swamps to the southeast [main entry/egress point for residents of the Slums]
  • The South Tower - overlooking where swamp melds with Lake Nor
  • The Crows Tower - Divides the Fishing docks from the Trading docks overlooking Lake Nor
  • The West Tower - overlooking the north shore of Lake Nor and the woods

There are 3 city gates as well:

  • The Brown Gate (serves double-duty)
  • The Bounty Gate - between North and East towers, it provides access for the farmers and their harvests
  • The Market Gate - opens to the Wood Road, between West and North towers.

The Bog Wall:
The bog wall is a remnant of the original keep wall, surrounding the Castle Tower.  It has been maintained as a secondary defensive measure against intrusion from the Bog.  It also serves to keep the residents of the Slums from mingling with those of the Gardens.
Lake Nor:
A large lake fed from the River Timely to the West and emptying South to the River Going.  The lake is very large and requires a day of sailing to cross.  Fishing is plentiful, but there are hazards to beware.
River Timely:
Flows from the West, it is a source of trade for the city.  Along with the Wood Road, a barge system has been established that links with Crossroads - A smaller city to the West that is a centerpoint where many cultures/races interact.  Barges come down the river, are unloaded and repaired, then loaded up onto huge horse-drawn wagon trains for a breakneck race back to Crossroads.
the Wood Road:
Used for the transport of barges back to Crossroads.  This road has the river on one side and dense woods on the other.  At times, it is a dark tunnel with trees fully surrounding it.  Travelers of this road are cautioned to avoid the barge-trains (which will not slow down, stop, or even swerve to miss you), and to keep an eye out for wild elves or other creatures from the depths of the forest.
The Bog:
SouthEast of the city, Lake Nor encroaches on the land, forming bogs, marshes and swamps.  These wetlands are scavenged for valuable flora and fauna.  They extend a great distance away from the city and are inhabited by aquatic humanoids, swamp creatures and undead.  “Farming” the Bog is the existence of the majority of Slum residents, and a few have thrived by taking advantage with brute force or sly cunning.
Knight’s Rest:
This is the current military barracks for soldiers and most clerics.  Not too long ago, residences in Knight’s Rest were reserved for citizens who had served the King and honorably released. The proper military was housed in The Keep.  However, rising members of the nobility usurped that area and renamed it The Garden, pushing all military persons to Knight’s Rest.  This has caused friction between the military and nobility, with many of the common caste believing that these nobles have turned the King away from them.
The Forest:
West of Hexen is the great Forest, home to Wood Elves and Wild Elves.  The Wood elves are private folk, and are rarely seen in Hexen, but it does happen.  They prefer to trade at the Crossroads.
The Wild Elves are enemies of the people of Hexen and have fought many conflicts over the years.  They see the farmland as a defilement of forestland.  The Wild Elves and Wood Elves have a “we don’t like each other, but don’t want to start a war” relationship.  There are, of course, other creatures inhabiting the woods.
To the North are acres upon acres of farmland bordered on the west by the woods, on the north side by hills and on the east by the bog.  Many farmers and soldiers trod out each day and back each night.  There are a few outposts strung out around the perimeter, with small garrisons of soldiers.
You are a group of young(relatively) ruffians living in the slums.  2 Elf brothers have attracted a Cleric of Pelor who’s father lives in Knight’s rest, some muscle in the form of a Half-Orc and a Dwarf newly accepted by the Order of Gradatim.   You have lived to this point by foraging in the closest part of the Bog and “foraging” among the residents of the Hexen.  Your gang does have some competition in this area, as some newcomers to Hexen have started encroaching on your turf.  Some foreign noble’s offspring seek to cause you trouble when they are able.  You currently reside in the Orphanage.  It is a large building in the Slums which seems to magically attract youth from great distances away.  Most of these youths are sent on to the military, temples or the Order, as a result of the Orphanage being funded by the City.

The Orphanage is run by an ancient female elf who everyone calls Nan.  She is assisted by Brother Ian, an older, half-elf Brother of Gradatim.  He handles the daily operations, supplies, maintenance and discipline.  Priestesses of Pelor and Heironeous are also on the staff.  The building is U-shaped, with the girls/boys dorms as the arms and joined by a hall plus some rooms in the center.  Between the arms is a well maintained garden and Nan’s residence.  Each of you (including Cam) have spent some time with Nan and have gained insight into different areas of knowledge.

Bog Hunting

February 1st, 2012

Menial labor in Hexen pays around 1sp per day of work.  Some residents of the Slums choose to scavenge in the Bog instead for valuable materials they can sell back in town.  There are risks, but the possibility of 2~5sp (or the rare case of something worth gold) per day of work is appealing.  Things they look for:

  • Physical materials (stuff to make torches, ropes, etc…)
  • Alchemical materials (spell components, tanglefoot ingredients, etc…)
  • Game
  • Medicinal materials

Currently, one man controls the flow of materials from the Bog to the rest of Hexen.  Ty Hold owns and runs The Magazine.  He is a former quatermaster and seems to run things fairly.  He purchases the Boggers haul, sorts it, and then resells & delivers it to the artisans, wizards and the like.  The Magazine is located just north of the South Tower, next to the Bog Wall.

    Map of the area around Hexen

    February 1st, 2012


    Each Hex is 3 Miles across and ~1.5 miles a side

    - Plains, Road or Light Forest take 1 hour to cross

    - Woods and Hills take 1.5 hours

    - Bog, Jungle & Mountains take 2 hours

    - Swamp takes 2.5 hours

    - It takes 4 hours to scavenge/search a hex of Bog

    Dark green is Forest

    Yellow is Plains/Farm

    Light green is Bog/Swamp

    Blue is Water

    Multicolored is Foothills or Mountains

    Following the Wood Road East leads to Crossroads.  The Wood Road dead-ends there into a ~North/South Road.

    The city of Hexen

    February 1st, 2012

    Each Hex of this map is  590′ wide, 295′ on a side.

    It takes anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours to walk from one side to the opposite side.

    Click on image for larger version: