Simon Tan
Philippines
Quezon City
Metro Manila
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For what has happened to these four since, check out this geeklist.

With the holidays over, things are going back to normal, which means I'll not get to play this game as often as the past two weeks. This is okay, given that I am still waiting on Hook Mountain Massacre, as well as wanting to savor the moment without burning out. In the meantime, there are zombies invading Sandpoint... what is up with this town?

Here's what our adventurers have so far...

VALEROS (Strength +1, Charisma +1, Assist +1)
1x Bastard Sword +1
1x Battleaxe
1x Dogslicer +1
1x Mace
1x Short Sword +1
1x Starknife
1x Chain Mail
1x Elven Breastplate
1x Shield of Fire Resistance
1x Codex
1x Mattock
1x Sage
1x Sheriff Hemlock
1x Blessing of Gorum
2x Blessing of the Gods

MERISIEL (Dexterity +1, Wisdom +1, Backstab +1)
1x Dagger +1
1x Heavy Crossbow
1x Returning Throwing Axe +1
1x Chain Mail
1x Amulet of Life
1x Bracers of Protection
1x Caltrops
1x Codex
1x Crowbar
1x Masterwork Tools
1x Shalelu Andosana
1x Troubadour
1x Blessing of Calistria
1x Blessing of Erastil
2x Blessing of the Gods

EZREN (Intelligence +1, Constitution +1, Recharge +1)
1x Dagger +1
1x Acid Arrow
1x Augury
1x Charm Person
1x Force Missile
1x Invisibility
2x Lightning Touch
1x Scorching Ray
1x Strength
1x Crowbar
1x Sihedron Medallion
1x Token of Remembrance
1x Crow
1x Cyrdak Drokkus
1x Toad

KYRA (Wisdom +1, Strength +1, Heal +1)
1x Dogslicer
1x Flaming Mace +1
1x Cure
1x Holy Light
1x Inflict
1x Mending
1x Magic Half-Plate
1x Wooden Shield
1x Token of Remembrance
1x Father Zantus
1x Blessing of Iomedae
1x Blessing of Irori
1x Blessing of Pharasma
1x Blessing of Shelyn
2x Blessing of the Gods

***

1. Valeros happened to be in the General Store when the trouble started. While checking out merchandise, a Goblin Snake appeared. Valeros avoided the bite (with a natural 8) and responded with a Bastard Sword +1. (2 + 4 + modifiers is more than... Enough is enough! I've had it with these ******* snakes on this *******... plane?) The snake happens to be the pet of a malevolent Enchanter, who blasts Valeros (knocking out Sage) in retaliation. Unfazed, he sends the master after her pet with the same weapon. (4 + 9 + modifiers) She tries to harm Valeros by exploding in flames, but thankfully the Shield of Fire Resistance worked as advertised. I am assuming this is permissible as this is after the encounter, and thus after the check. Please let me know if I goofed up here.

The shopkeeper tries to placate Valeros with some Chain Mail on the house, but Valeros humbly declines. (Natural 2 versus a check of 3. Oh, come on.)

2. Merisiel sneaks into the Mill after following some strange creatures. A light appears, revealing a Goblin Pyro about to burn the mill down. The layout of the mill makes combat difficult, but Merisiel eventually makes the goblin catch her Returning Throwing Axe +1 with his head. (Recharge weapon and recharge Shalelu to Merisiel's ability gives more than enough dice... 4 + 6 + 6 + 7 + modifiers...) Merisiel gets a few light burns in putting out the fire the pyro started. (Discard Codex.)

3. Ezren is researching his past experiences at the Old Light. He learns how to Detect Evil,(with a natural 4 for just the right number) when he hears the chittering of several Diseased Rats. Ezren puts them out of their misery with Lightning Touch. (2 + 4 + 7 + modifiers; pass the recharge check.)

The Toad croaks at the approach of a strange character. "Impressive," remarks Dr. Habe, "you dealt with the poor rats effectively. Perhaps, a bit harsh." Ezren tries to catch the "good" doctor, but a Goblin Commando intercepts Ezren. (Discard Crowbar to damage.) By the time Ezren deals with the goblin by firing an Acid Arrow to the face, (2 + 3 + 11 + modifiers; fail the recharge check with a natural 1.) Dr. Habe has escaped.

4. There seems to be a lot of Desecrated Vaults around Sandpoint, and Kyra is exploring yet another one. A Goblin Dog is hounding Kyra, to the point where the cleric Inflicts the mutt with holy fleas. (3 + 9 + modifiers; also fails the recharge check with a natural 1.)

5. Back at the General Store, Valeros meets an Acolyte who he woos with science charisma and diplomacy. Valeros then finds a Quartestaff being given away as it is taking up room; why Valeros would get this weapon and not the chain mail is beyond reason, but that is what happens. Charged by the gods, (discarding Blessing of the Gods) Valeros finds an interesting item: a War Razor +1. With Kyra praying for Valeros, (discard Blessing of Iomedae) he negotiates with the shopkeeper to give him the weapon. (Rolled a 0 + 1, then after a few seconds remembered that the 0 is actually a 10.)

6. Merisiel stops short of an Ambush. Using her Masterwork Tools, she manages to rig a makeshift grappling hook and escape to the roof of the mill. She finds some Darts on the way down, and pockets them before other creatures catch wind of her presence.

7. Ezren takes a break from finding Dr. Habe to relearn the secrets of Mirror Image. He bumps into the doctor again, who sends a Plague Zombie to stop Ezren. With Merisiel praying (Bury Blessing of the Gods, emulating a Blessing of Lamashtu!) blasts the rotting corpse apart with a Force Missile. (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 12 + modifiers... still have no faith in Force Missile. At least I pass the recharge check...) Ezren then casts Charm Person, hoping to catch the doctor. Instead, he catches Mayor Kendra Deverin, who happened to be out for a walk. (At this time, amidst these troubles... seriously?) The Crow calls Ezren's attention to a Wand of Force Missile... that has expired last week. (With modifiers, I needed to roll a 4... and I roll a 3.)

8. Deeper in the Desecrated Vault, Kyra finds a Ring of Protection that still works. (Rolled a natural 3 + 3 Fortitude.) She then uses the Token of Remembrance to recharge Inflict.

9. Valeros finds a Cape of Escape... or so we think as the cape escapes Valeros' notice. (It is at this point that I realize that I don't have anything in hand that I want to banish... time to move elsewhere, I guess.)

10. Merisiel hits the jackpot: she finds a Large Chest that she unlocks with a little prayer. (discard Blessing of the Gods) Inside she finds three weapons; a Shortbow, a Warhammer, and a Short Sword +1. Meanwhile, the Troubadour alerts Merisiel to trouble approaching in the form of... a Rat Swarm. (Well, if you're a halfling, the rats do seem larger.) With careful sniping from the Short Bow (and discarding the Warhammer to her backstab ability) the rats are made short work of.

11. That hulking shadow could not be Dr. Habe... no it is a Zombie Giant. Kyra's prayer (discarding Blessing of Irori) guides Ezren's Lightning Touch and obliterates the hulk. (3 + 4 + 10 +12 + modifiers... ouch. I also pass the recharge check.)

12. Kyra is surprised by a Tickwood Boar charging her, (Fail the Wisdom check with a natural 1.) but she manages to turn the boar to bacon with her Flaming Mace +1. (6 + 6 + modifiers.)

13. Valeros exits the General Store and finds himself at the Village House, where he gains the Blessing of Torag. (Natural 6.) He then bumps into a Burglar, who was an "acquaintance" of Merisiel's during the attack on Sandpoint. After exchanging greetings, the thief joins Valeros. (Natural 4 + modifiers.)

14. Merisiel didn't gain the Blessing of Abadar. (Natural 2 + modifiers equals... one short.)

15. Ezren meets Dr. Habe once again, but he disappears with a smoke bomb. Inspection reveals that the doctor carelessly dropped a Treasure Map, which he easily deciphers (natural 9) as it is just a straight line ten meters away. It leads right to Dr. Habe, but Ezren needed to use his knowledge of Detect Evil to find him. With nowhere to run, Dr. Habe surrenders... no. Ezren is so furious with the roundabout chase that he kicks Dr. Habe off the Old Light and into the sea... but not before pumping him of information. (Examining Habe's Sanatorium reveals Speed, a Goblin Warchanter, and a Standard Bearer.) With this, (and a natural 12) the Old Light is secure once more.

16. Halfway through, and only one location to show for. Kyra comes face to face with a Mercenary that is made short work of by her Dogslicer. (Discarding the weapon for two more dice yields a 1 + 4 + 5 + modifiers.) A quick prayer (discarding Blessing of Shelyn) reveals a Cloak of Elvenkind trapped on the other side of an impervious glass case. Kyra abandons it and moves on, but not before casting Cure (for 3 + 1) on herself.

17. Valeros accidentally knocks over a bottle of Holy Water.

18. Ever the opportunist, Merisiel swipes a Wooden Shield. A prayer to Erastil helps her find the bound Soldier who owns it. He lets her keep the shield, then leaves. (I know it's a long shot, but rolling a 5 versus a check of 6 still hurts.)

19. Ezren goes to the Desecrated Vault and casts an Augury for monsters. He finds a Blessing of the Gods, a Giant Gecko, and Caizarlu Zerren! (Oh, and Ezren fails the recharge check with a natural 1.) Ezren then encounters the Giant Gecko, and slaughters it with his Dagger +1. (Discarding the weapon for two dice yields 3 + 4 + 4.) Ezren then uses the Token of Remembrance on Augury.

20. Knowing where the villain is, Kyra heads to Habe's Sanatorium to block off the necromancer's possible escape route. She finds the scroll of Speed that Ezren talked about, but also found a book labeled "Learning Arcane Spells for Dummies" beside it. (Yes, she rolled a natural 6.)

21. Valeros finds a Cultist stirring up trouble, but even with his Bastard Sword +1 he almost fails to apprehend the creature. (2 + 2 + 1 Strength + 3 Melee + 1 Magic... just enough.) With the Blessing of Gorum, Valeros then finds out that the Cultist has brought a Zombie Minion with him! He slaughters the Zombie Minion with the same Bastard Sword + 1, but the creature just shambles away to... the Desecrated Vault. (D'oh! Also, I banish the War Razor +1 to close the Village House. So sad...)

22. Merisiel also finds a Zombie Minion shambling in the Mill. She takes it out with an unsporting shot from her Heavy Crossbow. (Recharge Short Sword +1 for one more dice, which gives me 2 + 5 + 6 + modifiers.) Merisiel couldn't secure the Mill, (rolled a natural 3) but she catches a glimpse of the zombie shambling towards the General Store. (It is then that I figure that I probably will not win this scenario.)

23. Ezren finds the Blessing of the Gods, which invigorates him to continue. With it, he finds the Zombie Minion that came from the village house. He torches it with a Scorching Ray, (1 + 6 + 12 + modifiers) but the vault's evil taint revives it (Natural 1... Khaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn! *ahem* At least I recharge the spell.)

24. Kyra overcomes the horrors of Habe's Sanatorium. (Natural 5 + 1 Wisdom for just the right number; she gets Cure for her troubles.) Despite Ezren's warning, Kyra is still entranced by the Goblin Warchanter. (Natural 1... no surprise at this point.) Ezren helps by casting Strength, (which he recharges with a 10) which allows Kyra to pummel the horrible singer. (With a natural 6.)

25. Valeros goes to the General Store to catch a Zombie Minion, but instead runs into the wererat Pidget Tergelson during a full moon. (Blessing of the Gods on top of the discard pile means I need to beat a check of 13.) With all his might, Valeros slays the wererat. (Discarding weapon for two dice gives me 1 + 3 + 8 + modifiers.) A Blessing of the Gods secures the General Store, and the shopkeeper takes out five items as he cleans up shop. Thanking Valeros, the gives him... a Potion of Healing! (*cue Handel's Messiah*)

26. Merisiel clears the Mill, kicking a Potion of Vision on her way out. (Natural 3 versus a check of 4.) She recharges the Blessing of Calistra (First time both that and the top card on the blessings discard pile matched for me.) to ensure that the Mill is secure.

27. Ezren finds the Zombie Minion once more. However, tired and depleted of offensive spells, he casts Invisibilty to evade the undead minion.

28. Kyra finds the Standard Bearer, who she helps out but couldn't convince to join her. (Oh, she makes the start of turn roll.)

29. With all but two locations closed and the villain's position known, a chance appears. Valeros rushes to the Desecrated Vault. There, he finds the Zombie Minion that just wouldn't die. With all his might, Valeros swings with his Dogslicer + 1 and rends the creature into bits. (Roll a 2 + 5 + 6 + modifiers for combat, then roll a 4 to make sure it stays dead.) Kyra then bestows a Blessing of Shelyn on Valeros for him to cleanse the vault...

1 + 1 + 3! One short! Khaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn!

30. Minutes before dawn, Merisiel heads to the Desecrated Vault. They finally figure out why the zombies are so hard to beat -- it turns out that there is actually a Zombie Horde in the vault! Ezren fries the Zombie Minion with a Lightning Touch, (1 + 1 + 5 + modifiers for enough; then a natural 1 comes up to ensure that Zombie Minion, and the barrier, is undefeated. At least he makes the recharge check.) Kyra obliterates her Zombie Minion with Holy Light. Valeros defeats his with a Battleaxe. (1 + 3 + 4 + modifiers, then rolls a 5 for the zombie to stay down.) Merisiel takes hers out with a shot from her Heavy Crossbow (6 + 9 + modifiers... and it stays down with a natural 3.)

There's still one more chance... Shalelu Andosana peeks ahead after the carnage... it's Caizarlu Zerren! The silent necromancer beckons the adventurers with a withered finger, then points it towards them as more Zombie Minions attack! Meanwhile, Kyra prays (discarding a Blessing of Pharasma) to temporarily close the Sanatorium.

Valeros defeats his Zombie Minion with a Short Sword +1. (6 + 6 + 7 + modifiers.) Merisiel takes hers down with a Heavy Crossbow and Valeros' help. (2 + 2 + 9 + modifiers.) Ezren nukes his with a Force Missile. (3 + 4 + 11) Caizarlu is stunned by the carnage, and prepares to flee when Merisiel attacks her from behind with a shot from her Heavy Crossbow and Valeros' help...

2 + 8 + 12 + modifiers! However, Caizarlu regenerates with a natural 2, and the duo attack again.

3 + 6 + 8 + modifiers... and Caizarlu stays down with a natural 5! The necromancer bites the dust, and as the sun rises, the undead uprising is over.

Meanwhile, in Habe's Sanatorium, Grayst Sevilla escapes unscathed. How they managed to turn the good doctor Habe over to the dark side remains a mystery, but the forces of evil are not yet finished.

***

I hope the remaining scenarios are not as tense as this. I can accept defeat, but my poor heart might not be able to accept all this excitement. This one captures the flavor of undead constantly rising, but the dice were brutal today.

Stay tuned...
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