Campaign for the Roll for Initiative AD&D game over Skype - Hogsend

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Okänd's Journal: entry 003
...It's been a while since being able to establish a journal entry. After our encounter with the animated dead we pressed on further through the caverns beneath the Baron's Manor and within minutes would come upon our companion Malas Song. Entangled in the roots of a violent tree-like monster, pale and all but dead. We attempted to save him but it was too late. Through some means, he entered a final journal account with a horrific ending. We stuck to our favorite method of destruction and torched the base of the roots.

Paces to the south we came upon a room full of statues and a throne. Comically, one of Malas' chickens found us again, entered the room and activated some sort of plate that released one of the statues from its magical stone containment. An ancient? A golem? No, the man introduced himself as Japher Sceaph. He explained to us that he had turned into a statue two years previously which could be the doing of some known wizard who acts as a sort of arms dealer with any buyer.

Eventually we found the proper path to the ring at the revolving gem door. We met many puzzling illusions of lava, a massive underground lake, and lengthly halls with duplicating rooms. I heard someone activate the Lake Crossing mechanism as we came upon 3 rooms filled with substances im very unfamiliar with. Two were sticky and acidic and one was benign. As we made our way through two Agents of Nergal met our friend Gnewton Gnorlock's oil trap to hold them back at the doorway. As Gnewt went back to lay down some acid he was struck with a throwing axe and lost consciousness and a lot of blood. Japher and I led a surprise attack on them from a one-way door as Red and Brother Franc met them head on. Quickly they fell and we learned their true identity through their deities sign on their breast. The plot thickens... Who are these two working for as worshipers of Nergal?

Descending further, our final dilemma to getting the ring was a mathematical riddle of numbered stones above a large pit of lava. Rosier Rasher with his exquisite, genius level intelligence figured out the puzzle in no time. We crossed swiftly and grabbed the Baron's ring exiting through some sort of teleportation room which led out into a Temple of Anu in service. After many political dealings and inquisition of true identities, we made our way to where we left the Baron coming up with a horseman named Ort. Japher and Ort had some fishy dealings off to the side away from the party. Whatever Japher said to him was enough to get him out of our hair... but at what cost? It soon became clear that this very special ring was in fact the proper ring as the Baron told his identity. It was now time to confront the Doppelgänger.

At the Baron's courtyard, along with a large group of townsfolk, Ort summoned the False Baron and some of his entourage. Japher quickly stabbed Ort in the back dropping him like a bag of innards with a sword he found in a dream-like state we all experienced (It's very hard to remember but it felt like a dream of immense mental powers). As the entourage rushed, the Real Baron held high his signet ring of truth and declared his name. The False Baron laughed and met the Real Baron's challenge to try on the ring to reveal to the town he is indeed their true authority. To his surprise, his own confidence, and ego foiled his plan as the words he spit out were that he was a Doppelgänger. The ring of truth worked amazingly. In madness the Doppelgänger gazed in at Japher and transformed into a replica of him, Charging forward, focusing on Japher, he ran into a hammer from Brother Franc as I ripped him into a headlock and strangle hold. Brother Franc, with one more blow crushed his spine as he withered back into his original, ugly biological form. In moments he started to harden into something resembling stone. A very interesting phenomena.

The Baron thanked us offering us a feast and reward. Unscathed, I need little rest... except from all the politics of city and church. Until further adventures are met...

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II: The Second and Perhaps the Last
Not wasting much time we left the mud pits, now with a shiny new sword. Needless to say we went the only other way we could find. Then we came across a peculiar portal. I took the other fine chicken I had and coaxed it inside before the gnome pushed one of the mysterious gems with my spear. The small area spun at extreme speed, breaking my personal hand crafted spear that I had spent a week on. Then we heard the chicken from the other side and knew it was safe.

Following the same path as the chicken we ended in a long hallway, which led into a room of poorly maintained furniture and bat droppings. After I notice the bats squirm I begin to prepare to speak with the critters and convince them we are gods. I did not get the chances to complete my prayer as the bats swarmed the room. In the next minute or so a torch is thrown and the room ignites. I decide to stay on the other side. I bravely fend of some bats before fleeing back through the weird portal.

Back in the "museum room" I meditated on his failure until the magic used came in the front entrance, looking a bit wet and mottled. I greet him and after about ten minutes we here the others shouting. Our pair decides to meet up and search the burned bat room for secret doors. One is found in what is the north wall. It lead to another room in the generic fifty by fifty size. My eyes glance the room and lay on the elk skin carpet. What overzealous, uncaring hunter would kill to such an excess. It must be burned or the beast will never rest. The others had none of it, instead they directed me to burn it the other room. Picky people.

I spend a good amount of time making sure the skin is burned, and toss the ashes into the small indoor stream so that they may return to nature. Upon returning to the room where the others had been I find nothing. "Are you here?" I question loudly. No answer. I repeat it again. No answer. I rush towards the door, noting the buck head I will surely have to destroy later. Then I slow down. Being alone is dangerous, and I should have known better then to even continue, but I did. I came across a room with eight statues and a mighty throne, I was tempted to sit, yet thoughts of the eight beings coming to life and ripping me to shreds prevailed.

I continues down the only clear path and found myself in a large natural caver, with tree roots hanging from the ceiling. I studied some footprints, but these suggested that people fled from this area. The I saw the body, untouched by and scavenger beasts, which was my second warning. I slowly crept towards it armed after I had tossed my torch closer. As I approached a vine of some sort snagged my arm. I tried my best in struggling about and even managed to grab the torch. It was for naught, my last view was of the large tree mass above me, with a glimpse of my cloak as it was pulled over my shoulder. The cloak I wore was red, I don't think I ever noticed that before.
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Okänd's Journal: entry 002
...We came upon the secret entrance to the keeps catacombs which was embedded within a tree outside of Hogsend. It was quiet very shortly as the first room seemed to be a taxonomic diorama of some freakish bird-men. That would be the last moment of peace in this labyrinth of the unknown. Ahead of to the North we encountered men made of mud who protected their spring with monstrous tenacity. Our strange Druid would toss about his chickens to test out these watered areas but would seem philosophically confused later as he left to burn a fur rug - we've yet to see him since. Brother Franc near suffocated due to smothering of muck and mud but would survive. As we exited the pool, the Mud Men would relax themselves back into the water as if nothing happened... Back to the initial room, we decided to traverse West. An interesting door with colored buttons, would act like a wheel and push us into a new direction (The poor Baron never seemed to tell us of any of this in his state of being). We've yet to figure out exactly how this machine works throughly. Possibly the Gnome, Mr. Gnorlock has seem some familiar engineering in his past... From there the pyromania would begin. A room of bats? On fire. Beyond the room, Rosier the magic wielder would trigger a mechanism that released a small river sending him out of the entire structure. As the fire of the bat room calmed, we began to search the room and I discovered a secret door leading into a well furnished room. This is where poor Malas Song would last be seen as he left to burn an elk rug. More fiddling from the wizard would teleport us all entirely out of the room into a new exit machine. Our depth seemed to be the same as where we vanished from, and would lead North into a cavernous dark chamber. To lighten up the situation I tossed a torch towards numerous boxes we could hardly make out. It turned out to be a mistake as a horde of skeletons erupted from their caskets, driven by evil and marching forward. Through the confusion of fight or flight, Brother Franc begin to turn them through his calling to Thor but as its told, two remaining would get wicked blows in upon Red Haus sending him down into unconsciousness. He's been healed and stabilized but is awaiting in a coma...
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Bold Action!
After my new companions pulled me out of the mud and I came to, we decided to venture onward. We came into a weird steel chamber that fit only one person but had three gemstones. When one of the gemstones was touched, the chamber would close and take that person elsewhere in these odd family catacombs of the Baron's. These northern folk have weird customs that I will never understand! I'm beginning to wonder what other arcane and evil practices this Baron is tied into.

After we all make it to what I can say the other side of this chamber by pressing the red button, we come across a filthy room with furniture that has long rotted and dung all over it. I ask the Ranger what kind of dung it is and he says it it bat dung. I immediately look up to see a score or two of the nasty critters and they get agitated by our presence. Just them they swarm us and the party leaves to the other side except for the druid unknown to me. Big Red's torch goes out from the bats so I had to make a decsision. Do we run from bats or do I put the torch to some action? I choose action! The room then goes in flame and the bats flee to the other side of the room where the party ran. That corridor leads outside and the bats flee.

The rest of the group is annoyed by me and think I am crazy and Thor knows they are probably right. But I wasnt gonna be defeated by stupid bats! While waiting for the flames to die down and reunite with the druid, the "highly intellegent" magic user springs a trap down the corridor and water rushes down and whisks him into the outdoors. I shouldn't pick on him, it sounds like something that would happen to me to. We help the gnome in the party and resident trap expert to better understand what happened. He discoveres that the mage is alright and the fire is dying down in the bat room.We go back to the bat room and meet up with the druid.I black out from the smoke but we'll just gloss over that for now. The Gnome discovers a secret door. Now tell me how we would have found that if I didn't burn out the bats!

We go through a small corridor and emerge into a room just like the bat room but this time the furniture is kept up nice. Theres a bearskin rug on the floor which sends the druid into a rage as he snatches it up and goes back to the bat room and burns it. Then I point out that he wont like the dear head in the corner of the room. Then someone pulls both antlers and we are whisked away into another room.By the gods these damn northerners and their cursed magic tricks!And now we are without our druid friend its his own treehugging fault!
Theres more chambers like that steel one we originally encountered and now I had enough! I stormed in and touched a purple button.

We end up in this large cavern with wooden boxes. Our ranger throws a torch into the room and the boxes ignite revealing them to be coffins and the inhabitants are none too pleased. The party is tripping over eachother to get to the chamber to leave, I will not! I will stay and take a stand against the unholy powers and cover the rest of the party. I am fortunate for two things. First, for the bravery of Red covering me and second, for Thor's grace as I turn these foul skeletons with Thor's might. Unfortunately I can't get all of them at once and red goes down. I turn the last of them that attacked Red and heal Red before he dies with Thor's blessings. Red has Thor to thank for his life. Thor favors strong and brave warriors such as him! If there were more Reds in this world, the giants would be sent back to hel where they belong!
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Okänd's Journal: entry 001
...How I became caught up in this mess of seemingly potential lunatics is truly chaotic indeed... While searching through Hogsend's bazaar for seasonal gear and clothing to further hone my skills in the wild, I was abruptly knocked to the ground by a raving, half-naked man. He managed to swipe my bow and quiver as I hit the ground. A trail of other men passed by as I got up to give chase. The mysterious man, stunned and heavily blunted across the arm by a mace from one of the chasers, took the force from the pommel of my dagger to his face. As gore cascaded, he fell. It reminded me of my time as a youth in the slave camp where I received my pervasive facial scars from abusive captors before my eventual escape.

I pinned the man's shoulders down as he came to from concussion. He pleaded with us to listen to his story. As I recall, the man, Baron Von Hogsend, was awoken in his sleep only to look himself in the eye as his Other stabbed him in the chest with a dagger taking his life. His man of the cloth raised him from death through necromantic powers i can hardly fathom. The plan backfired in tragedy. Emerging to life as the magic flowed through must have caused him to react as if he had never died at all. The Baron, in a seamless fear, grabbed his friends mace and proceeded to pulverize him to death near the river where the ritual took place.

That brings the story back around to the present. The Baron's pleas and monetary offering have brought this strange group together with the motive to help a man in power as an act of Good (A few may have other motives, as one Tiny Man was vulturing the corpse of the Baron's priest). We've been instructed to enter and traverse the catacombs through a hidden forest entrance where he stores a sigil that can verify his identity to us, the people of Hogsend and his bureaucrats. Potentially this could snuff out his mirrored killer as an impostor.

The Baron believes his killer to be the nefarious Doppelgänger which has transmuted into his form. For what purpose we're not sure. A drive for corrupting power?... I've only heard legend of the Doppelgänger from hearsay... stories of their extraordinary sensory reading of thought and imagination. How their flesh, instead of moving into the processes of putrefaction after passing, turns as hard as stone. Some even theorize that they are descendants of the human... but asexual. A true marvel, yet extremely dangerous. If encountered, could It possibly leave the Baron's form and become one of us?... The party should stay together at all times.

For wildness,
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