The Hardy Party
The Hardy Party
The Hardy Party is primarily interested in doing good in the Barony of Aldane and its surroundings, funding itself by dispatching and plundering evil beings. Doing the greater good comes first, order is enforced on a case by case basis.
Darsis, CG, male elf, 3rd level fighter / 4th level thief
“Gimme” Gimgamesh, NE, male human, 4th level thief
Minigan the Magnificent, LN(E), male wee elf, 4th level mage
Quillan, Battlepriest of Baubdaworgad, male half-orc, 3rd level fighter / 3rd level priest
Crunch Hamfist, CG, male ogre, 4th level fighter
Daeceos Volfblüd, LG, male half-elf, 4th level ranger
Szera Catshade, CG, female human, 4th level burglar
Base of Operations
The Hardy Party Inn (formerly the Waycomb Inn) located in Waycomb in the Barony of Aldane. The Inn is currently deserted and lies in the ruins of Waycomb.
The Hardy Party Inn (60 gp) was purchased from its fleeing owner, Busby.
10 gems (e/ 10 gp base)
20 gems (e/ 50 gp base)
34 gems (e/ 100 gp base)
5 gems (e/ 500 gp base)
Within the bag of holding (70 cu. ft. 500 lbs.) carried by Daeceos: 3 changes of clothes for the entire party, 3 block and tackle, 2 grappling hooks, 1 lb. of wax, 4 bull’s eye lanterns, 3 weeks horse feed, 10 flasks of lantern oil, 3 flasks of greek fire, 500’ of silk line, 50 large sacks, 1 large tent, thieves picks and tools, 9 wineskins filled with water from the Healing Pool, a club, a two handed sword, a long sword, a broad sword, 12 darts, powder and shot for 100 shots, 15 daggers, a hand ax, 5 spears
Within the Tomb of Sakatha in the Brigand’s Cellar the party has secreted (in three of the barrels of drink):
2 gold candlesticks
Plate Mail +1
Within the Tomb of Sakatha in the Brigand’s Armory the party has secreted:
The Hardy Party was formed shortly before John Aldane, fifth Baron of Aldane recruited adventurers to rid the village of Waycomb of the evil brigands and worse coming from the Great Marsh. This multiple evil was plaguing the southern reaches of the Barony and waylaying the merchants from the Southlands. Baron Aldane had already dispatched 30 men at arms under Thorsh Brumen to stop the brigands of Waycomb, these men disappeared, their fate unknown. As a result, the Baron turned to adventurers approved by his high priest, Briac Tannon. While the Hardy Party (for so they were inadvertently christened by Briac) were laying their plans and interrogating the ransacked merchants, a evil priest called Mordrin struck, slaying Szera and Minigan. The warriors Crunch and Daeceos pursued the foul penitent, but could not find him (a bespelled conveyance was suspected). Briac returned life to the slain party members at the expense of a quest spell cast upon the party. Their plans discovered by Mordrin, the party decide to rush southward and destroy the outlaws. Baron Aldane suggested that they visit his wizardly friend, Master Periack.
Before leaving the Barony seat of Vendare, the Hardy Party stopped at Master Periack’s shack. After a brusque magical entry, the master wizard offered assistance if they could subdue his pet, Feydou. The adventurers agreed and were spirited into a another part of the magical quasi-dimension holding the wizard’s living quarters. They faced and subdued Feydou, a great hound that spat fire. The mage rewarded them with several powerful magics and sent them on their way.
On the road, halfway between Arth and Newcombe, the group came upon a band of five ogres molesting a refugee family from the South. They charged bravely into combat and slew the great marauders. Later, in Newcomb they were beset upon by a great pack of mangy wolves, some fifteen in number. Szera was gravely injured but she was tended to by Daeceos under the protective mass of Crunch. Clearly, the Barony of Aldane was in jeopardy from a great evil.
The next days travel was uneventful and as night fell they came upon the Safehaven Inn. The inn keeper, one Dermal, welcomed the adventures and said he had five of his six rooms left. Unsuspecting, the Hardy Party took four of these rooms. In the middle of the night, Minigan was awakened by someone shoving a snake under his door! He rapidly dispatched it with a well timed magical bolt and rushed to awaken his comrades (after first checking the room for more poisonous critters). His warnings roused Daeceos who found a great spider upon his chest, he flicked it from the sheets and destroyed it with his mighty blade.
Upon regrouping and questioning Dermal, they discovered that their fellow boarder had been none other the evil Mordrin. Szera also discovered a magical dagger in Mordrin’s room. After setting a watch and an uneventful remainder of the night, the Hardy Party continued on their journey southward. The journey was uninteresting, although Minigan discovered several herbal narcotics and paralytics which he formulated into solutions for his darts. At the close of the day’s travel they came upon the Robin Redbreast Inn, owned by Will Brightboy. At the Robin they questioned the local farmers, the innkeeper and a local bard, Pluck, about Mordrin. Pluck offered to sing a song about the Barony of Aldane’s past. Interestingly, Will’s talk and Pluck’s song lent several clues to the evil of the Great Marsh. Rumor had it that the Waycomb farmers were worshipping a demon and that a great evil dwelt in the swamp. Additionally, a winged menace plucked men from the streets of Waycomb during the night. Pluck’s song told of the foundation of the Barony of Aldane, by John Aldane’s ancestor the first Baron. This Baron had fought a “great lizard king” named Sakatha whose “powers were in a ring” and dwelt or was laid to rest in a vast tomb in the Great Marsh. Sakatha was slain by the first Baron of Aldane to establish the Barony, the lizard king’s body was interred in his tomb waiting once more to rise. Pluck laughed it off as a fairy tale, but Will and the farmers were more superstitious about its meaning. At the Robin Redbreast Inn, Minigan divined the magic nature of the Mordrin’s dagger and also detected that someone or something was magically watching the group.
The following morn, the Hardy Party reached the bridge over the Ardo and as they crossed the bridge, were attacked by more than twenty lizard men swarming the bridge. Knowing they could not face such numbers, Daeceos ordered a charge through the reptilian humanoids blocking the bridge. Daeceos, Minigan and the great Crunch broke through, but Szera fell from her horse. Daeceos wheeled his steed, Marn, and made to pick up his fallen comrade. As she tried to climb up behind the ranger, she was grabbed by a lizard man. As the man-serpent clawed at her shoulders and hair, Daeceos slew the creature and rode way with the injured Szera. The party fled the bridge and the half-hearted lizard man pursuit. A half league past the bridge, they came upon a great oak tree destroyed by lightning. Beneath its twisted boughs lay a beaten man in the blue and yellow of the Baron. Upon hailing the man, it was learned that this was Thorsh Brumen who had escaped the clutches of the brigands. He also said that a few of his men remained captives of Mordrin and the outlaws, who were holed up in a copse of trees behind the Waycomb Inn. He asked that they save his men, but that he must return a report to his master.
At Waycomb, the party came upon a shack identical to Master Periack’s shack in Vendare. The adventures knocked upon its door and were admitted to the Master’s presence. He gave them a glowing and humming potion for their most powerful warrior and inspected the dagger found by Szera (it was pronounced cursed and confiscated by the wizard). After that they were whisked from the shack and it vanished.
The Hardy Party continued to the Waycomb Inn and ran into Busby, the departing innkeeper. Busby said that he was the last one in Waycomb except for a crazy old hermit living at the edge of the Great Marsh. Szera then connived Busby into selling the inn to the party before leaving. This gave them a good base of operations for exploring the Great Marsh and would be a valuable investment once they reopened up the trade route to the South. That night, the group set off across the meadow to the copse that was the reported to be the hideout of the bandits. As they crossed the field a great draconic shape crossed the moon and dived to attack. The ebony wyrm attacked with a stream of acid, badly burning Daeceos. Crunch quaffed the glowing potion of Periack (a.k.a. the Potion of the Godly Heroism) and surged with fighting power. Along with the spellfire of Minigan and the blades of Daeceos and Szera, Crunch slew the young black dragon attacking them.
They party espied two warriors near the copse, who fled upon the demise of the night-scaled creature. The party gave chase, but the two suspected brigands eluded the group and fled into the Great Marsh, near the hermit’s hut. The party made a cursory search of the copse and could find no signs of the bandits. They returned to their inn to rest and plan for entering the Great Marsh, the realm of Sakatha, his children and worse.
The following morning the Hardy Party began to strip the black dragon’s corpse. As they were doing this, three adventurers from the Southlands approached. The three adventurers turned out be Darsis, Quillan and “Gimme”, all of who volunteered to join the party and dispatch Sakatha. Daeceos and Quillan went to question the hermit, an elderly mad man named Old Stevyn. They coerced him into leading the party through the swamp and to Sakatha’s tomb. Szera Catshade volunteered to stay behind to watch the inn and the horses.
It took two days to slog through the Great Marsh. The first day was one of great hardship as the mighty Crunch was attacked by a huge swamp python. Only the quick wits of Minigan saved the noble ogre, the miniscule mage stabbed the constricting serpent with a paralytic dart. Crunch then ate the snake’s head. That night, during “Gimme’s” watch, foul undead attacked from the boggy depths. These ghoulish swamp dwellers were quickly dispatched by the fearsome battle skills of Daeceos, Darsis and Crunch, although Minigan and Quillan almost died during the battle due to wounds from giant leaches! The following day’s travel brought the party to the Tomb of the Great Lizard King.
The tomb was a great platform of crafted rock with broken columns and an ornate wall built into the side of vast earthen mound. The mound was surrounded by a deep pool of brackish water. Unwilling to risk the potential creatures dwelling in the waters near the tomb, Minigan bespelled Daeceos with a jump spell, and the ranger leapt to the platform with a rope attached to his belt. He tied three skiffs to the line and the party hauled them back to their side. While the party punted across, Daeceos uncovered the remains of one of the Baron of Aldane’s men, floating in the water with a crossbow bolt in his back. Meanwhile, the rest of the Hardy Party neared the tomb, but as they did the skiff with Crunch and Minigan was attacked by the tendrils of a sentient water plant. As the accursed vegtable ate their boat, the huge ogre and the minuscule magician leapt to other craft. However, Crunch’s great bulk foundered the skiff with Darsis and “Gimme” in it. These three swam madly for the tomb, escaping the plant-thing. In the chaos, Old Stevyn slipped back into the swamp and vanished in its mists.
The party decide to investigate the wall, but as they approached they noticed the wall undulating as if it were alive. Small holes appeared and crossbow bolts flew from it. As the party scattered for cover, Daeceos and Quillan rushed the crossbowmen behind the curtain of shells. Daecos cleaved the line holding the shells, dropping the curtain, and proceeded to dispatch the cowardly bandits. He was quickly joined by his companions and the group decimated the ambushers.
The curtain and the bandits had guarded a temple to an unnamable lizard demon. A great edifice to the dark god was built into the mound, a blood stained altar before it. Guarding each side of the evil icon were two mosaics, one of the baneful lizard god (Sakatha ?), the other of lizard men slaughtering mortal men. On the left of the altar a foul pool of old blood lay stinking, while opposite to it was a pool of crystal clear water. Both sides of the temple had a wall full of dark, forbidding, holes.
The party spread out, haphazardly, to investigate the temple. Daecos and Darsis found that tentacled arms sprang from the holes, some unknown and damned creature from a best forgotten age. “Gimme” checked the demon statue, uncovering a secret door behind it. A slot for a fitted gem sat in the mouth of the demon, but whether or not it was related to the door was not known. Crunch, Quillan and Minigan checked the pools, discovering first that the foul pool’s blood like liquid could eat through both steel and stone, while the clear pool had remarkable healing properties. The party then tackled the secret door, in the end settling for Crunch beating the statue to rubble and Quillan pouring a small amount of the corrosive blood like substance down the tube in the base of the former statue. The door opened, but the mechanism for locking it was destroyed.
Within the mound, behind the secret door, the party discovered the lair of the black wyrm that they had slain near Waycomb. The party collected the dragon’s hoard, discovering several magical items, including a long sword, plate mail, a ring, and some ornate shoes. A stairway left the room, dropping down below the level of the swamp. The party took the stairs and came upon a recently abandoned guard post, near closed doors. Daeceos opened the doors and was struck by several arrows, his quick glimpse in showed at least a score of warriors, their lieutenants and a mage. The Hardy Party acted with alacrity and ambushed the erstwhile ambushers, as Minigan centered a magical area of darkness in the next chamber and the rest of the party hurled flasks of Greek fire into the chamber. They then held a rope across the bottom hoping to trip up any attackers blundering through the door. A great many screams and moans of pain came from that room, followed shortly by a noxious gas which incapacitated several of the party.
The standing members dragged their retching comrades up the stairs and back into the dragon’s lair. As the bandits pursued the party, pushing the stinking cloud before them into the guard post and up the stairs, they were met with flaming flasks of Greek fire from “Gimme” and Quillan. The cloud and the bandits vanished back into the other room. The recuperated party proceeded down the stairs, finding bandit archers in wait. Darsis, covered by Quillan’s shield, hurled another flask of ancient napalm at the archers, igniting them in a ball of flame. Darsis, Quillan, Daeceos and Crunch slipped into the guard post and peaked around the corner into the next chamber: a great number of swordsmen and spearman lay in wait, as well as their leader and a mage.
Formulating a quick plan, the party charged in. Darsis and Crunch were covering the flanks, the elf heading for the swordsmen while Crunch engaged the spearmen. Coming straight down the middle were Quillan and Daeceos, to pick off the leader and the mage. “Gimme” and Minigan acted as artillery support with magic, darts and arrows. Minigan dropped the mage with a single bolt of mystical energy as the two groups closed. Daeceos spun back upon the bandit leader as Quillan valiantly met the rogue with blade and shield. Meanwhile, Crunch obliterated the spearwall and Darsis danced a bladed waltz of death. “Gimme” and Minigan harried the bandits and the battle was quickly won, although the party suffered a great many wounds.
The party took two prisoners and found additional magics, including more magical armor, a sword, a ring, some potions and scrolls. The party barricaded the doors of the chamber and transferred the dragon’s hoard to a debris pile in the corner of the room. The party rested, regained their spells and settled in for the night. The following day the party investigated more of the tomb, finding the quarters of the bandit mage and his spell book. A mysterious note in the mage’s study revealed more about the tomb:
Past the doors you cannot find,
Down the steps you cannot climb,
And across the River of Nothingness
You’ll find your way.
Beware the marksman and his prey.
Shun the royal brides!
Then find the place I lie in eternal feast!
Past the glories I despise;
The light of vengeance fills my eye.
Treasure I gave my servant dragon,
Guardian loyal of this, my reborn feeding lair.
They also uncovered the bandits’ armory and food stores. While investigating, Darsis activated a magical trap, vanishing only to be replaced by a demon. The party lead by Crunch and Daeceos rapidly dispatched the planar denizen, and found Darsis trapped in a small cell behind the door. Later in the day, the party found the bandits barracks, catching them unawares. An additional captive was taken. Crunch and Daeceos questioned the three prisoners while the rest of the party barricaded off the armory and kitchens, forming an easily defensible spot. They also transferred the dragon’s coin hoard and the magical plate mail into three barrels hidden in the cellar.
The three prisoners told roughly the same story: (1) that they lived in mortal fear of Sakatha, (2) some guards held a post a few passage ways over, and (3) beyond that dwelt some evil clerics lead by a scarred and scraggly haired man (Mordrin ?). The party left the prisoners well secured in one of the barracks, sealed the door and returned behind their barricade. The party rested for two days before proceeding back into the dungeon.
On the third day the party came upon three events of note. First a small room, with a strange malleable floor. Foot prints formed in and then slowly vanished. A sword stroke was quickly healed over. They also found the guards mentioned by their prisoners, ambushing them during a dice game. The party uncovered a magical bastard sword and chain mail. They also found three tubes of Rustdust which which made any metal object dissolve (Daeceos discovered this much to his detriment during the battle, when all the metal goods on him melted away). Finally they came upon a door with “DO NOT OPEN”. Being adventurers, the party promptly investigated the door. As Darsis examined it, he became stuck to it as two arms extended from its surface to pummel him. Crunch and Daeceos attacked the door, as Darsis madly stabbed it with a dagger. But when Daecos brought forth the magical bastard sword its curse caused him to go berserk. Flailing wildly with the blade, Daeceos attacked Darsis. Fortunately, Quillan pummeled him into unconsciousness. Darsis, freed from the door, suggested that they pour Rustdust, on the accursed blade. One application later and the blade melted away. Behind the door, several jars of a mysterious healing ointment were uncovered.