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Monthly Archives: April 2010


Dandelion pushed the door to the north open and shambled on down a long, long dark hallway. She still had the torch she had taken from intersection.

The hall continued for at least 200 feet, and then made a 90 degree turn to the right. Some 50 feet ahead of her, she saw a lighted doorway.

Something glinted at her feet. Looking down, she saw two gold pieces. She picked them up and put them in the sack. Then continued walking.

She listened carefully, but heard nothing as she approached the room ahead of her. Looking inside she saw a large, mostly empty, rectangular room, some 200 feet long by 50 feet wide. She was standing at the western door.

Inside the room were several comfy chairs of varous sizes, some even large enough for ogres.

Standing up against the north wall was a very large strange box. It had a handle on one side that looked like it could be pulled. It had 3 little windows in the center and shown behind one window was a sword; behind the middle window was a lightning bolt, and behind the third window was a gem. The box appeared to be made of brightly polished brass and was decoreated with flowers in an intaglio pattern–except that these flowers were grinning skulls. There was a slot just to one side of the windows that seemed just the right size to take a gold piece. Dandelion had never seen anything like it before.

Dandelion found a strange machine.

Hanging in the center of the room was a bell with a cord hanging all the way down to the floor.

There were doors to the east, south, and west. What did Dandelion do?

[Did she:

  1. ring the bell?
  2. sit down in a comfy chair and see what would happen?
  3. try to pull the handle of the strange machine?
  4. put a coin in the slot and pull the handle of the strange machine?
  5. ignore everything and exit through the south door?
  6. ignore everything and exit through the east door?]

[Trollhalla members were wondering what Dandelion’s attribute statistics were. Here they are:

STR  - 45
CON  - 33
INT  - 72
WIZ  - 51
LK   - 29
DEX  - 60
CHR  - 15
SPD  - 17
Adds - 103

As you can see, she is remarkably smart for an ogre, and not as much of a basher as she ought to be for an adventure like this.]
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Dandelion stood looking at the moonstone necklace for a long time. It had obviously been crafted for an Ogre, and it would have fit on her quite nicely, but a little voice kept telling her that the last person to wear it had died. She looked at the writing on the back of the gold plate–it seemed similar to the writing on the key, and the parchment–all full of strange curves and triangular dots. It was not quite like anything she’d ever seen before, but the more she looked at it, the more she felt it had to be some older form of Elvish. After all, the corpse on the stairway could easily have been elfin.

Shaking off such thoughts–what good did they do, she stuffed the moonstone necklace in her sack with the key and parchment, and looked around for an exit. Closer examination showed that the heavy stone doors that closed all three entrances were meant to pivot outwards, not inwards, and had no locking mechanism.

She remembered the door before she demolished it, and it had no outward handle or knob. Whoever built this room meant for it to be opened only from the inside. Very strange.

She could walk out through the northern or western doors simply by pushing kind of hard and swinging them open.

[What did Dandelion do:

  1. go south through broken door and turn left?
  2. go south through broken door and go straight into cave full of straw?
  3. go south through broken door and turn right?
  4. open door to west and go that way?
  5. open door to north and go that way?]

 

Dandelion couldn’t get the door open. And she had a crowbar in her hand.

A few inches of stone was not going to stop a determined ogre. So she broke the door down,tossing the chips of stone and rubble into the corridor behind her.

When she had a large enough hole in the door, she looked inside. It was very dark in there, but she could tell some large bulk was lying on the floor.

She went back to the intersection and took one of the torches placed there. Then she returned to the room, enlarged the hole, kicked the rest of the broken door out of the way, and stepped inside.

She was in a roughly pentagonal chamber about 30 feet across. To the north was another stone door, and alwo to the west. On the floor in the center of the room was painted a big red star with the points of the star reaching the corners of the room. Inside the inner pentagon was a huge skeleton–just about Dandelion’s size. Llying amidst the shattered rib bones was a massive golden breastplate inset with 7 jewels. Closer examination showed they were all milky blue moonstones and that the breastplate had originally hung down from the corpse’s neck.

 

“Um,” said Dandelion. “That looks a lot like an ogre skeleton. Nice bit of jewelry, but . . . I wonder why it was left behind when whoever killed it looted the body.” She examined the breastplate necklace more carefully. On the back of the gold were several lines of writing in a language she did not understand. She couldn’t tell for sure, but this was just the kind of thing that almost always had enchantments involved.

Some mice scurried away from where they’d been gnawing on the foot bones when Dandelion stomped into the room.

[What did Dandlion do next?

Did she:

  1. take the moonstone necklace and wear it?
  2. take the moonstone necklace and put it in her sack?
  3. leave it and chase mice?]

Dandelion shambled out of the hay cave carrying her mighty club in one hand, and crowbar and sack of elfin berries in the other, straight through the intersection and about another 50 feet down the corridor till it was blocked off by a stone door.

She stopped and put her ear up to the stone. Not a sound did she hear. She rapped on the door with the crowbar. Not a sound did she hear other than her own banging and few high-pitched squeaks.

She pushed against the door, not seeing any handle or knob. It remained closed. “Locked,” she thought, “or maybe just heavy.”

[(It almost seems a shame to ask the next question but . . . ) Did Dandelion:

  1. break and enter the room?
  2. turn back and return to the hay cave?
  3. turn back and go right at intersection?
  4. turn back and go left at intersection?]

Note from Ken: I realize that these segments of Dandy’s adventure are ridiculously short right now. That can be a consequence of online gaming. Decision points are close together. One reason I’m giving you these shorties is that I’m getting very cool renders from Greywulf, and I don’t want to use them all at once. Spread them out–increase the pleasure. I promise that these adventures will get more substantial as time goes on.


“I wonder if those uruks left anything interesting behind,” said Dandelion to herself. And she began to efficiently search the cave.

15 minutes later she had moved all the hay around, and found the needle in the haystack. Only it wasn’t a needle–It was a nice steel crowbar. Still, it wasn’t nearly as nice a weapon as her own trusty club.

“Now what?” she asked herself.

[Two questions to vote on:

Take the crowbar or leave it behind?

and:

  1. build up the campfire (with some hay) and sit down to wait for the uruks to return?
  2. return to intersection and turn left to continue exploring?
  3. return to intersection and go straight ahead to the stone door she saw?
  4. return to intersection and turn right to follow the uruks?]

Dandelion advanced on the Uruks and began to speak in a non-threatening manner, that is, the club was not cocked and ready to swing, she was smiling, and one hand was empty.

Their initial expressions of alarm changed to confusion.

“So I was out picking elfinberries, they taste like elves, y’know, and they’re not so good for danishes or tarts but mix a little gravy in with them and you gots yourself a hearty meal… hey, do you guys live around here? We might be neighbors. I didn’t know I had any neighbors but I suppose if I do I ought to be all neighborly-like and, uh, how does one go about being neighborly-like? You can come over for a cup of mint tea, but I have to warn you, if you’re anything like me, it’ll give you a real head-trip. Wooo! Dancing rainbow city, there. Did you know mint is in the catnip family? Or is catnip in the mint family? I always get those two mixed up.”

Akkr, leader of this group, was first to recover. “What are you doing down here, you crazy ogre lady? We’re not buying any elfinberries today.”

“Oh, I’m not selling cave to cave if that’s what you think,” laughed the ogress. “I’m just exploring. What is this place?”

“This is Moonstone Caves,” answered Blaggr, another of the Uruks. “You think you can just go exploring people’s homes whenever you want to?”

“Yes,” said Dandelion, hefting her club. “Can’t I?”

“It’s fine with me,” chimed in Ugrozz. “I like to do a little exploring myself.”

“I see you guys were eating,” said Dandelion. “Can I have some lunch with you? I’ll share my elfinberries.” She grinned.

“Um, no. We were just finishing. Anyway, we must go on patrol.”

“Yer welcome to the campfire, if you like.”

The uruks began to sidle past her.

“Maybe we’ll see you again. If we do, remember the password for today is “horrible”.”

“Yar, as in Hagor the Horrible.”

“Who’s Hagor the Horrible?” Dandelion asked, but it was too late.

Once the uruks were past her and into the intersection, they set off at a lope in the direction from which Dandelion had come, leaving her alone with a dying campfire in a cave mostly full of hay.

[What did Dandelion do next? Did she:

  1. build up the campfire (with some hay) and sit down to wait for the uruks to return?
  2. search the cave?
  3. return to intersection and turn left to continue exploring?
  4. return to intersection and go straight ahead to the stone door she saw?
  5. return to intersection and turn right to follow the uruks?]

Ken’s comment: That was a perfect example of talking your way through a situation.  Dandelion probably couldn’t handle all four uruks in straight up combat, but she surprised them with a line of patter, made them nervous, and they all left–certainly a win-win situation for all of them. I doubt if a single human adventurer would have come off so well, though.

end


Dandelion stood in the intersection and decided which way to go. She decided these were some of the finest dungeon tunnels she had ever seen–25 feet high, 20 feet wide, nice level floor, smooth walls with some cryptic signs painted on with blood or black ink or something. Which way to go?

The longer she stood there, the more it seemed like there was a glimmer of light coming from the tunnel to the left. She decided to check it out, and ambled off down that tunnel. It was pretty long–she must have walked for a hundred strides before she noticed that she was coming to another intersection. This one had moonstsones set in on all four corners, but they weren’t in her corridor–more like the intersecting one.  Their pearly white radiance brightened the intersection considerably.

She reached the intersection and looked around. To her left was a good-sized cave with a lot of hay on the floor inside it. There was also a campfire, and four uruks sat around it, gnawing on meaty bones and drinking beer from leather jacks.

Ahead of her the corridor vanished off into the darkness. To her right, a short corridor ended with a stony door blocking it off.

(portrait of Dandelion the Ogre)

 

The Uruks clearly weren’t expecting company, but one of them looked up and saw a female ogre standing in the intersection about thirty feet away. She was looking at them. “Um, guys,” he said, in a snarly voice. “There’s an ogress out there in the hall.” The other three jumped up and grabbed for their scimitars.

[What did Dandelion do?:

 

  • Attack! Charge into them, swinging her club, or
  • say, “woops” and run away–if so, which direction, or
  • emit a mighty ogrish bellow and try to frighten them all, or
  • try to strike up a conversation? ]

 OUT OF CONTEXT: I have right now three renders of Dandelion the Ogress by Greywulf that I hope to feature in one of the next few blogs. I like them a lot.  I am also hoping to showcase the art of some other fantasy fan artists here on the web. If you do art, and would like to contribute to Dandelion’s adventure, contact me at: kenstandre@yahoo.com.


Dandelion took a closer look at the corpse. It was just bones, held together with scraps of leather belts and old rusted armor. Had probably been there for years. The bones were pretty well chewed and broken.

There was however a leather pouch that had survived fairly well. She took it and opened it.

Inside were three objects–a key, a vial of liquid, and a parchement. All three had writing on them, and the writing was similar enough that she figured it was all in the same language. Dandelion couldn’t read a word of it. Nonetheless, she tucked the pouch into a pocket in her tunic and continued on down the staris.

100 steps further and the stairs flattened out. She found herself at the intersection of two paths. Glowing moonstones set into the walls at the intersection gave a dim and pearly light.

Should Dandelion go: (1) left, (2) right, (3) straight ahead, or (4) back up the stairs?


Introduction to the second series of T & T  adventure blogs:

      I like to keep the members of Trollhalla amused. To that end, I often run adventures starring one or more of them, but to keep them engaged in the story, I have the character’s actions determined by a popular vote, thus conforming to the old T & T solo routine. At the end of each turn I usually offer all the logical options the character could take. Sometimes players will come up with options not on my list, and sometimes I accommodate them, but not always. Since I am game-mastering a solo adventure, I reserve the right to change the text and make things more interesting. As  you play along with Dandelion in this adventure, try to think of what you’d do in her circumstances. If you send me an email with your modern choice, I will give you a trollish victory point award–worthless to anyone who is not a member of Trollhalla, but good for those of you who are among the Elite. (Kenstandre@yahoo.com) I will make a special offer here. If you are not a member of Trollhalla, but join because you’re reading Dandelion, I will count the tvp that I gave you for responding with Dandelion’s choice as an entry bonus. Now let’s get to the game.     –Ken St. Andre, April 7, 2010

Khenn Arrth via Trollwalla

The Adventures of Dandelion the Ogre in the Moonstone Caves now begin. Ye narrator reserves the right to make things more interesting as he goes along. That was my original comment. As I edit these blogs, I may fictionalize them even more than I did originally. One member of the Elite has criticised me for putting nothing new in the Goblin Quest adventure. I didn’t think I had to because it was about 5 years old, and very few of today’s readers would have seen the original. Well, ok you nameless but critical Ork, I thought the original of Dandelion in the Moonstone Caves was pretty well ficitonalized at the time, but let’s see if I can enhance it a bit more.


The Adventures of Dandelion the Ogre in the Moonstone Caves
Khenn Arrth via Trollmail
Mon, 12 Dec 2005 05:50:01 -0800–[this is the date these adventures started. However, such dates are irrelevant to the content, so you won’t see any more of them.]

as decided by the members of Trollhalla.

One day as Dandelion the Ogre wandered through the ancient forest. clad only in her lion-skin tunic and carrying only her warclub (12d6) and a bag to stuff things into, she came upon some ancient ruins, much overgrown with bushes and flowers. As the bushes were in bloom, she gathered half a sackful of elfinberries, yum taste like elves, before she found the pit with stairs leading down into the darkness.

Looking into the  dark stairway, Dandelion absent-mindedly fingered the lion’s teeth necklace strong on a wire around her thick neck. The sun was terribly bright that day, and the sweat was rolling off her thick hide. It looked cool enough inside the  pit.

Darkness doesn’t scare ogres, and she decided to investigate. Down, down, spiralling down she went and her eyes adjusted slowly to the darkness until the entrance was just a spot of light far behind her. There was something on the stairs ahead of her, but it was just a heap that didn’t move.

She came closer and determined that it was a body, the body of a man or an elf in ancient worn-out armor Apparently it had been trying to get out, but had died almost in sight of the exit.

“Aw,” said Dandelion. “Poor thing.”  She stopped and took a good look at the body.

Did Dandelion:

  1. pick up the body and carry it back upstairs for burial in the forest, or
  2. kick it to one side and continue on down the stairs, or
  3. search the body?

Save Boozer or not?

Well the adventuring Boozer pushed his luck too far. You should all know these are no wimpy Disney elves you face in Trollworld–they are mean, cruel, capable of warring against Trolls and Dragons on their own ground.

But one of our members has written a kind of trollgod ex machina rescue for Boozer. The question you must now all answer is: do we want to make it part of the offical Goblin quest archive or not?

Khenn Arrth said…

What a bunch of softies you all are! By a vote of 16 to 7, Boozer returns to the land of the living. We have Grimtongue to thank for this remarkable saving roll, made without benefit of dice of any sort.

Goblin Quest–Epilogue

Although abandoned by all, the corpse of Boozer lay on the forest floor as a curious sight to at least one other. She lightly stepped from the ancient tree that was her home. Her steps sounded like the rustle of autumn leaves and her touch was like the softness of spider silk. The goblin was more than a curiosity to her. She ran her fingers slowly across the thick brow of the goblin — leaving a trail of soft sparkling dew behind. Instantly, the horns that had marred the trog’s head began to crack. Slowly, they turned to dark ash and were caught away in the gentle breeze that seemed to constantly issue from wherever the young woman stood.

The corners of her mouth raised up in a slight smile. “They never suited you anyway,” she whispered to the body with wry affection.

She began to walk slowly around the corpse. Her bare feet left no trace of her steps–not even disturbing the dry leaves in her wake. As she continued her sensuous walk, each arrow that pierced the body of the goblin began to withdraw and the wounds sealed over with new skin. One by one the arrows would fall to the ground and, where they settled, they turned green, sprouted leaves and wild berries. As she completed her first full circle and all of the arrows had turned into vines, she stopped. Reaching down, she touched the gnarled black stick that Boozer had been following like a compass. Tracing its outline with her fingers, again she left a silky trail of dew on the surface of the rod. For a moment nothing happened, but then slowly the dew sunk into the gnarled wood.

“Nor did this,” she spoke, as if continuing her thought, but more with a tone of hatred for those that had given the goblin such dark objects. Suddenly, the rod’s deep black changed to the light reddish tan of Hickory bark and several long thin leaves uncurled from the tip.

Stepping back to look at her handiwork, the young nature sprite smiled her approval. “One last thing,” she thought to herself. Each of her cures were unique and needed to be tailored to the creature being healed or they did not work. This was a particularly interesting case and it required much thought for a proper waking.

Slowly, she leaned down to the goblin’s ear. “Boo-ooo-zzz-er,” she gently whispered to the goblin as if to charm him back to life. “Boo-ooo-zzz-er,” again she called but a little louder this time. Standing with a smile, she ungraciously kicked the goblin in the backside as hard as she could. “Wake up you lazy ass!” she screamed and suddenly the goblin began to breathe.

She smiled with pride. “Nice to know I haven’t lost my touch,” she thought to herself. Before Boozer could roll over and see what was going on, there was a flash of light as if it were the glare from the setting sun and Boozer found himself back on the trail leading home. Boozer thought for an instant he had heard a voice whisper that the hickory stick was what he was looking for. As he examined the new rod, curiously, it began to tug his hand in the direction of his ham-beetle that he had stored in his stack.

Urglosh said…

Trollwalla

Softies indeed! Back in the days of yore, there were no lucky trail-side resurrections! But I am glad Boozer lives to fight another day – this is quite fun.

Khenn Arrth said…

Don’t get the wrong idea. It was an adventure–a tale that was told. We’re not setting up a permanent campaign against the elves. That’s Dungeons and Dragons thinking. Time to move on to another, totally different adventure.

That was a fairly short adventure. The next one I plan to run here is roughly 5 times as long, and could last well into summer. For tvp tell me in a comment whether I should do it or not. Be honest. I can take criticism. I take it, and I leave it.

The Goblin Quest Adventure is now officially ended.