Author Topic: AP: The Dark Temple of Orcus  (Read 1413 times)

PixelScum

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AP: The Dark Temple of Orcus
« on: August 11, 2012, 08:51:13 AM »
This game was started mostly as a way to introduce some friends into the game and get them excited for release. I kind of cheaped out by using a pre-existing module (more specifically a dungeon) and anyone who knows it can figure out what it is.

The Cast

Diomedes the Paladin. Very forceful dude who goes out of his way to enforce law on others. Very very dead (See: Session 2.)

Leonna the Cleric. Soft and pleasant priestess who tends to hang back and stay out of the line of fire.

Barrel the Thief. Rogue, fool, vagabond, general absconder of valuable goods. Barrel loves what he loves, and he loves Money. He shows up in Session 2 as a new recruit.

Halek the Ranger. A trailblazer of some repute, ill and otherwise. Halek's eyes can see through the darkest shadows and his arrows can strike through to the deepest of hearts. Foes beware his smile for a true predator lurks behind those eyes. He shows up partway in Session 2 as Barrel runs off to get a trailblazing friend of his.


Session 1
Me: You have finally arrived at the small walled town of Adrick which straddles the Seafangs (a rocky coastal region with very few places a ship can land safely.) A mysterious myth has brought you here, referring to an ancient war and an even more ancient temple dedicated to the dark lord Orcus. For that reason you've traveled far from the western reaches of the Varheidt to...investigate.
The guards stop you at the gates and demand your names and business. You come in search for adventure, riches, and most importantly..glory. Surely someone in the town knows where to find the dark temple.
***Leonna sits quietly, and looks to Diomedes to answer first.
***Diomedes steps forward, head held high, and booms over in a deep, baritone voice. "You have Captain Diomedes."
***Leonna adds in a much softer, soothing tone. "And I am Winter, attendant to the Captain."
Diomedes: "And my business is not your concern." he continues, revealing the holy symbol from under his robe
Me(Guard): "Ah, religious business. Fair do. I must request that you don't start fights in our town if at all possible, self-defense is permitted."
Diomedes: "Request accepted." he responds, then looks over to Leonna and nods towards the gate. Afterwards, he begins moving again.
***Leonna pats the cart-horse reassuringly on the flank, spurring him into slow movement, the wooden cart with the gear clattering lightly over the street.
Me: The town is pretty much your bog standard town, there's two taverns (the Ankheg's Breakfast whose sign features a fat ankheg, and the Priest's Indiscretion which has a sign of a drunk priest) with an Inn complete with stable and a small marketplace. While mostly residential you can see the town hall looming over most of the town and a tower at the far end.
Leonna: "Where should we start?" Leonna asks, anxiousness and determination mixing in her voice.
Diomedes: "For the sake of humor, let us visit the Priest's Indiscretion tavern. There, we can lay the groundwork of our quest."
***Leonna takes a good look at the sign hanging above the Indiscretion, a mockery of the unfaithful, or a mockery of the faithful? Her face contorts a little, and she looks quickly to the cart-horse.
Leonna: "I think Pillimi is hungry. Why don't you check out the tavern, and I'll see if I can find something for him. Someone should watch the cart anyway, this is a bigger city than it looks."
Diomedes: "We can pay someone to take care of the horse at the inn."
***Leonna reluctantly agrees, and drops the horse off at the stable and -- after setting up the room and stowing their gear -- the wagon  before returning.
Me: So you find yourselves walking through the tavern door, already having secured a room / rooms at the inn to discover a very rowdy sort of place with a large firepit -- with a huge boar roasting in it -- in the center of the room, the dwarf barkeep stands behind a fairly large oaken bar nursing a tankard which is most assuredly full of some kind of alcoholic beverage, dwarfs do that you know. The inn is a busy place full of various races, some looking particularly tough and some that don't, there are very few places to sit in fact. Despite the crowdedness of the room you can see the servers picking their way through the room and setting down impressively good-looking meals and enormous tankards as well as an enthusiastic arm-wrestling match in the back of the common room.
***Leonna stays quiet, her arms hangling loosely at her sides as she looks around hesitantly.
***Diomedes pushes someone out of the way with one finger, which is enough to throw the man off balance, and makes his way towards the barkeep.
Me: The man -- already drunk enough to lack balance in the first place -- crashes to the wood flooring of that part of the tavern, drawing loud laughter from his companions as he pulls himself up onto his chair.
Diomedes: "Salutations, good dwarf." he attempts to keep his voice low. "I presume you know of the myth concerning a war, and a temple belonging to a dark lord."
***Diomedes sits at the bar as he speaks. After realizing Leonna is missing, he turns around and motions her to make her way over to him.
Me: The dwarf detaches the tankard from his chest and sets it onto the bar, pulling his shirt back down.
***Leonna is entranced by the severed head of what appears to be a centaur with horns mounted on the wall. When she realizes Diomedes is signaling her over to the bar, she quickly cuts through the din, hurriedly walking over to him.
Me(Dwarf): "So ye're an adventurer eh? Aye, I ken th'myth well and ye aren't not th'only ones t'enquire about it ye aren't."
Diomedes: "Can you... write us all you know about it."
Me(Dwarf): "Ye'r a strange one, I ken ye kin ask th'sage, Malodor-Maldorius if'n y'will. He ken a sight more o' th'highlands'n'th'coasts m'lad."
***Diomedes blinks once and opens his mouth, but no sound comes out. However after a brief pause, he continues. "And where is this sage?"
Me(Dwarf): "Th'tower o'course m'lad. Mayhaps ye'd like one o'me lads t'lead y'there? Fer a coin'o'two o'course."
Diomedes: "Do they share your speech pattern?"
Me(Dwarf): "Nary a man in 'is life kin speak th'tongue lad, mayhaps one o'yer heeland coos, ne'er th'men."
Diomedes: "Good, then. Have one of your boys lead us to the tower." he pushes a few coins on the table
Leonna: "I think that means this sage is human. Could be good news for us, it's hard to get information when it needs to be repeated a couple times."
Me(Dwarf and Stinkeye): He nods and slams on the bar with both hands, "Stinkeye!" The two of you can hear a loud crashing from the kitchen and a fairly short kid crawls out covered in booze, giving the barkeep the stinkeye, 'Wot?"
Me(Dwarf and Stinkeye): "Ye're t'lead these two t'th'tower lad, and hurry home. I'll pay ye if'n y'don't screw up." "Ok."
Me(Stinkeye): Stinkeye pulls himself to standing position and walks over to the two of you and sticks out his hand, "Glad to meet you folks. The name's Calorn, but me friends call me Stinkeye."
***Leonna graciously takes his hand, offering a bow of her head along with the handshake. "Good to meet you, Stinkeye. I am Acolyte Winter, and this is Captain Diomedes. We need to speak with the sage, is there any way we could meet him today?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Sure, the tower doubles as the Hall of Archives for Adrick, anyone can visit him."
Leonna: "That sounds great. We'll need a moment to grab some gear from our room, then where should we meet you?"
Me(Stinkeye): "I'll be waitin' at the fountain."
***Diomedes silently nods, then turns around and begins to leave.
***Leonna walks near Diomedes through the streets. "I'm not sure what it means..." she mutters, flexing the fingers on her right hand. "But I've had pains in my hand all day. Perhaps it's a sign."
Leonna: "Let's not worry about that, though. Come on, I still need to get my mail on, and I'd rather not keep that child waiting."
Diomedes: "I'm certain it is. It's saying you need to pick up a weapon and starting to fight for what you believe in."
Me: And so the party gears up and finds themselves walking out of the inn with a bit more confidence in their lives.
Me: The inn is not far from the tavern and you get your gear and arrive at the fountain, the kid is balancing on the edge of the fountain with one leg in front of the other.
***Diomedes moves up to the kid. "We are ready, now."
Me(Stinkeye): He steps off, "You'll need to do something before we start though. As we're walking you need to think about knowledge positively, it's the only way."
***Leonna puts her weight on the staff and readjusts the clothing under her chainmail, then nods along.
Leonna: "What do you mean, child?"
Me(Stinkeye): "It's en-enn-uh..spelled!"
Leonna: "Ah, so it's like a game?" She patronizes the child a bit, and sends a knowing nod in Diomedes' direction.
Me(Stinkeye): "You can't get to the tower without it."
***Diomedes crosses his arms and looks at the child. "And how do we do that?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Just think!"
***Diomedes raises his eyebrows and shifts his mouth, but decides against saying anything else and ultimately just closes his eyes
Diomedes(OOC): I think about knowledge bringing discipline and improvement of self and all that good stuff
Leonna: "Alright, we've got our brains all warmed up. Lead on, Commander!" She playfully orders the child onwards.
Leonna(OOC): Leonna will focus on the idea that knowledge (good knowledge, that is) deserves to be known and spread across the land, for all are worthy to hear.
Me: You guys find yourselves walking through twisty alleys -- all alike -- with your guide, who seems to innately know exactly where to go until you finally - after what seems like a half an hour of walking -- reach the door of the tower, a very large iron double door with a dragon's head as the design.
Diomedes: "May I?" he joins Leonna's game and asks the child for permission to knock.
Me(Stinkeye): He shrugs, "You can just walk in if you'd like."
***Diomedes nods, then attempts to open the door.
Me: The door opens easily, revealing a vast hall full of tall shelves, scattered everywhere. You can see the shelves rising into the darkness, maze-like almost. Nearby is a floating blue light near a librarian's desk, with the apparent librarian -- a young girl it seems -- sleeping, loudly.
Diomedes: "Is that.. the sage?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Nope, that's just Ardelle."
***Leonna walks up to the desk, and studies the girl a moment, before using the round head of her staff to knock gently on the desk. "Hell-oooo?"
Me(Ardelle): She jerks her head upright and blinks at Leonna after rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, "What?"
Leonna: "Oh, hello. We'd like an audience with the sage, if you please."
Me(Ardelle): She says, She waves vaguely, "He's in Marfas History section." and lays her head back down.
***Diomedes shifts through the hall and puts his massive hand on the girls back, gently shaking her. "Can you show us where that is?"
***Leonna shifts her staff to the other hand, flexing her right hand, and attempting to crack the knuckles, using her chainmail as leverage.
Me(Ardelle): She grimaces, "Keep going down the main aisle until you see a scroll case, then take a left at the first bookcases."
***Diomedes thanks her and releases the weight off the girl's back. He nods to Leonna, and starts moving in that direction.
Me: After a few twists and turns between monolithic shelves and odd areas of almost natural-looking book-crafted terrain you discover the sage himself. He is a tall man wearing spectacles of some sort who looks younger than you'd expected. he's currently examining a tome that reads "Herb Lore of the Walden."
***Diomedes clears his throat, trying to get the man's attention
Me(The Sage): Without looking up, "Hm?"
Diomedes: "A rather... aphonic dwarf send us to you after we inquired about a certain myth. We're interested in this ancient war and tower, which revolves around a character named Orcus."
Me(The Sage): He looks up and says, "Oh?"
Diomedes: "You heard me."
Me(The Sage): "Yes yes" he says impatiently. As he slides a bookmark shaped like a griffon's claw into the thick tome he asks, "Why in the gods' names would you be looking for that now?"
***Diomedes clears his throat again, then, as with the guard, reveals the holy symbol from under his cloak.
Me(The Sage): "I see. What do you want to know?"
Diomedes: "What is there to know about this myth."
Me(The Sage): "Well I suppose since you're here you already know it's somewhere in the area, so I'll tell you what I know. It was built somewhere to the north of town -- where, no one remembers. Every so often we have folk arrive at the town and sally forth to find the temple, and apparently they find it. Or at least we assume so. Very few return alive and the few that do are usually witless, raving about horrific things and terrifying events. A few things we've heard are written upon a scroll in my study if you wish to see them."
Diomedes: "Indeed, we do."
Leonna: "Yes, if you have written accounts, their review may give us helpful insight. Thank you, lord sage."
Me: After inspecting the archives you glean the following:
1. Deep within the temple there is said to be a place where the light of the noonday sun still shines; this place is abhorred by the foul creatures that live within the caves and caverns.
2. A great library, once the property of the followers of Orcus, lies forgotten in a hidden area within the temple. Though it contains works of great evil, it also holds books that could be of great value to sages and adventurers as well.
3. Though some brigands attack caravans that pass through the area, others specialize in taking on adventurers exiting the temple and lairs, weakened but fat with loot.
4. Deep in the temple lies a vast cavern with monsters of gigantic size. An immeasurably huge beholder has been seen crunching up the rest of the occupants.
5. A great oracle can be found beyond a great cavern. He can tell all to anyone willing to pay his price.
6. Further notes reveal that a great deal of adventurers have explored the forests on the western side of the northern road though the coasts are by no means untravelled.
Diomedes: "It seems like we will need help for this journey, Leonna."
Leonna: "I was just thinking the same." No she wasn't, she was trying to figure out just how big of a Beholder the one mentioned is. She shudders a bit before nodding with renewed vigor. "Yes, let's look around town and see if we can find some other brave travelers."
Diomedes: "If we mount a campaign against the demons that lurk in there can end in tragedy. We need outstanding adventurers. Fighters to form the backbone of our crusade, expert guides and trapsmiths that make sure we survive the foes that don't fight with swords."
Leonna: "You know what we seek, I'll leave it to you to procure these fighters."
End of Session 1

All things aside the game went pretty smoothly, everyone immediately got the rules and it just came off great, though this session wasn't very crunchy. The next session however..had a bit more AND a player death. Though this was mostly due to the player not wanting to play their character anymore and wanting to try something new.

PixelScum

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Re: AP: The Dark Temple of Orcus
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 08:52:21 AM »
Posting the second session in a second post due to size limits:


Session 2
Diomedes(OOC): I imagine me and Leonna are sitting at a table, holding papers and pens, and a row of people are in front of us, waiting to be interviewed for a spot in the party
Me: And so it shall be.
Diomedes: "Tell me, what's your opinion on cleaving and smiting."
***Barrel pipes up from the back. "Best to avoid it. Much more easy to stick a knife in a back than in the front"
***Diomedes writes something on the paper, then continues speaking. "Are you selective about those backs?"
Barrel: "Tend to let other people decide that"
Diomedes: "How good are you at picking locks and disarming traps?"
***Barrel chuckles. "What, you want a resume? I can get a door open, yeah, and make sure there ain't no spikes underneath it too"
Diomedes: "How do you feel about the prospect of risking your life in a godless dungeon filled by unseen horrors for a supposed treasure and renown."
Barrel: "The hell is this damn interview? Would I be here if I didn't?"
Diomedes: "Standard procedure."
Diomedes: "The Guild requires parties to fill in these sheets with individual information, down to estimation of their abilities in numbers."
***Diomedes pushes a paper to Barrel and hands him the pen. "Feel free to add your backstory, alignment, deity of choice, height and weight of items."
Barrel: "What, like a confidence vote? Why don't you just show them a locked door and a back and see what happens?"
Diomedes: "Well, the score on your sheet says that you'll handle it perfectly. I was merely asking you for the sake of conversation."
***Diomedes claps his hands and orders the rest of the crowd to go away, as the auditions are over.
Diomedes: "Now." he pushes the paper off the table, and presents the scrolls from the Sage. "This is what we know about this dungeon."
***Barrel's sheet tells you that he's the eldest son of a foreign king, Lawful Good, worships whatever god you are a paladin of, and uses daggers and bows.
Diomedes: "I see, prince. Well, I hope you can handle the hardships of battle because Beholders' eyes are not made for coddling."
Barrel: "I could write that I was a Beholder tamer. Would that be better?"
Diomedes: "I'm afraid not. Unless your guiding spirit whines really badly to the all mighty master of our fates."
Barrel: "Alright. How many people are you thinking of taking into this big behold dungeon thing, then?"
Diomedes: "Just the three of us. Bigger companies tend to get trimmed fast."
Diomedes: "We can begin our arduous journey tomorrow. Present yourself and the items you wish to bring with you in front of the inn, at dawn."
Diomedes: "Now, as it is tradition with princes and priestess, feel free to get to know Leonna better and tell your sins in her confessional, if you know what I mean."
Barrel: "Got everything I need here. Staying at the inn, too. Do I get any advance on pay for preparation?"
Barrel: "Lockpicks ain't cheap, you know"
Diomedes: "I don't know, she handles the logistics." Diomedes reveals his sheet, and points at an 8 corresponding to his INT score
Barrel: "Alight. Hey, Leonna, was it?"
***Leonna sighs, and retrieves a coin purse. She takes out a couple of coins and places them gently into Barrel's hand.
Leonna: "Preparation is important, but so is the tithe. I will restore Kaerdus' holdings with what we find inside."
Barrel: "Whoa, whoa. That tithe comes out of your cut, not mine"
Leonna: "It is your advance, so it comes from your pay. Do not argue, be grateful instead. For our piety will ensure our flesh stays intact through the journey."
Barrel: "Alright, whatever. Long as I get my full share of the dungeon loot, you can pay out whatever you like from the advance. See you back here at dawn, then"
***Leonna grimaces as the thief retreats, and holds the coin purse a little higher, a meek jingling the only sound from within.
Diomedes: "Indeed. Time to rest, for an arduous journey awaits us." he arranges the papers and puts them in a glossary. "Which means you have to get some hours of sleep between praying." he comments to Leonna
Leonna: "Kaerdus has supported us through most of this journey already, I hope I can repay him properly with the spoils of this trip. Yes, I'll try to. You as well."
Diomedes: "Don't worry, he'll offend me at some point, then I'll be legally allowed to beat him up."
Me: And so, the night is spent in both preparation, rest, and prayer. The three of you awaken from your sleep and meet up at the fountain.
Barrel: "Hello"
Diomedes: "That was a short night."
Barrel: "So, how are we getting there, wherever 'there' is?"
Diomedes: "I haven't the faintest idea. The dungeon is a myth, just as it is this mysterious character Orcus."
Barrel: "So, you've signed me up to loot a dungeon that you don't know the whereabouts of. I'm pretty sure 'exploring for days on end' takes a bigger chunk of the pay than I was anticipating"
Diomedes: "The Sage's scrolls were painfully lacking in concrete information, as they tend to."
Diomedes: "Hrm. Do you think you can pull double duty as the Ranger?"
Barrel: "Uh. You think you can pull double pay as me as the ranger?"
Diomedes: "I can pull a double beating on you if Leonna were to tell me what she knows about you, according to your sheet."
Diomedes: "Now, let's follow the thread we have. The parchments mention a trail through the woods."
Barrel: "yeah, nah. you never said that last line, and i never said this one. plus, it never says that the incriminating evidence leonna knows about me is that i stole something from you, does it"
Diomedes: "I guess no- you stole something from me?"
Barrel: "Anyway, I'm not doing more than my contract states without a larger percentage"
Diomedes: "How the hell does that even work, we just met when you gave the sheet. Unless you're that kind of thief. Bastard."
Diomedes: "I doubt you can do it, anyway."
Barrel: "Without a map or concrete direction, I'm taking an extra 5% cut for not telling me how little you knew about this place. It's guild sanctioned, I was half expecting a damn layout map"
Diomedes: "To be honest, I was half expecting you to know the area already. Or at least know someone who knows it."
Barrel: "Yeah, I can find someone who does. It'll cost more than you have though, unless you want me to try and, uh, get a map by some other means"
Barrel: "Goddamn, you guys are the worst prepared adventuring group I've ever come across. Paladin and a Cleric; figures"
Barrel: "Are you going to find some cash, or am I going to have to find out the area some other way?"
Diomedes: "Fine, go procure that map in what way you wish. Just don't do it in front of me."
Me: You guys are now up one map of the area.
Barrel: "Got the map. Let's go, times'a'wasting"
Diomedes: "Not even going to ask." he looks at the map and compares it to the notes on the scrolls
Me: The road leads north to a larger city that goes across a deep ravine, the coast itself is east of the road and from the shore you can see numerous islands, some fairly distinctive as well. To the west is the forest of hope where the wild edge river crosses multiple times. Further along the road, past two more bridges are the dragonmarsh lowlands and near the coast the horsefly swamp, hills scattered about about everywhere.
Barrel: "Alright. Tell you what, I was going to hold onto this because it'll split the profits further, but gods know we can use it. I have a ranger pal, he's helped me out before and I owe him a couple of favours. He could trailblaze for us, if you're willing to take another cut"
Diomedes: "I am not bound by monetary gain, so any help is wanted."
Me: The lot of you set up camp while Barrel barrels off to find his friend, who's home is in the nearby forest. The pair of them return an hour later.
Halek: "Er yes hello everyone I am the ranger jolly good isn't it okay moving swiftly on~"
Halek(OOC): for the record i am a scraggly looking bastard having spent most of my life in the forest and I have a bastard looking hawk following me around
Diomedes: "So. Did you know swords can't harm me?"
***Leonna sticks her staff into the top of the hill, mounting all her strength to raise herself to the top and take a look around. For a moment, the bright and clear sky distracts her, and she takes a moment to revel in the beauty (and neatness) of nature.
***Diomedes takes out a knife and stabs himself in the head. He does not flinch, no blood comes out, but the knife is firmly lodged in his skull.
Me: as the four of you travel across the roads you find your journey rather acceptible, in fact it's fairly easy going. Every so often you'll pass knights and at one point you even find a small merchant's caravan, who're fairly willing to sell you some food on the cheap (negating the expenditure of a ration, which means you only spend one.) Eventually however, it comes time to make camp, you're roughly halfway to the second bridge.
***Barrel steals Diomedes' knife out of his face
Diomedes: "I saw that."
Diomedes: "It is time, now."
Diomedes: "Ranger, help me lay out the camp."
***Halek helps to lay out the camp
***Barrel camps to help out the lay
***Leonna camps to lay out the help
Diomedes: "Now that we're all layed out, camped and helped, let us rest."
Me: so regardless of the preparations, you guys spend your night in relative ease...until you're awoken by vicious roars and the smashing of logs and various other things.
Diomedes: "FIENDS!"
***Diomedes jumps out of his bedroll and assumes battle position. The armor materializes itself on him and the halberd flies into his hand. "FAILURES! FOES!"
***Barrel is nowhere to be seen
***Halek is startled out of sleep and immediately rolls into a combat stance, left hand reaching for his bow while his right finds his quiver, both laid next to his bedroll.
Me: You are awakened by a pack of WORGS. ANGRY AND SLAVERING MAWS WITH GLOWING CRIMSON EYES BRANDISHING TEETH AND CLAWS THE LENGTH OF SWORDS.
Me: A FIGURE HIGH IN THE SKY, CASTING A SHADOW IN FRONT OF THE MOON OF PURE DARKNESS, LAUGHING WICKEDLY!
***Barrel readies his bow from his very convenient perch in a nearby tree.
Me: the worgs stop gnashing and smashing things and wait silently
***Halek now has his bow at the ready and aims it at the nearest animal
***Halek calls up at the dude: "These yours?"
Me(THIS IS A VAMPIRE): It cackles and says in a vaguely masculine voice, "And what if they are?"
Halek: "Make them go away please?"
Me: The worgs look hurt, positivel-ahaha who am i kidding they look like they're going to eat you dead. Even so the floating creature gestures as it descends to the ground, causing the beasts to at least step back a bit.
Diomedes: "What do you want, ominious one?"
***Barrel is torn between telling the others not to do anything stupid, and giving away his position.
Me: From this angle you can see that the creature is not a creature at all, but a pale man with long dark hair in the heaviest of armor, carrying an ornate scabbard all done in a motif of black, gold, and crimson.
***Leonna beholds the figure descending into their midst, and lowers her head, closing her eyes tightly and fumbling with something inside her robe, muttering to herself.
Me(TOTALLY A VAMPIRE): "Oh, I noticed the camp and took a look, you folk don't seem like too much of a danger." he says, smiling widely and revealing razor sharp fangs.
Halek: "Given that you can control worgs and fly about I'll not get offended by that."
Diomedes(OOC): Is this guy evil?
***Diomedes puts his fingers at his forehead and closes his eyes for a few moments
Me(OOC): Nah.
Me(VAMPIRE): "Well to be fair there was a heavily armed merchant caravan far to the north of here, heading toward the city of Sere, I imagine you wouldn't put up more of a fight than they did. THOUGH, I could be wrong. It's happened before. I mean would YOU believe in sparkling vampires?"
Halek: "Right. In that case I imagine we wouldn't be worth the trouble of killing, eh? Still, if you want to stay and chat, we can get a fire going and tell ghost stories."
***Diomedes charges like a battering ram holding an axe on a long stick and screaming holy obscenities!
Me(Vampire): Diomedes pushes through the worgs with ease only to clash weapons with the vampire himself, who with a deft twist of his wrist disarms Diomedes and sends him sprawling backward with another laugh, "Oh? You wish to duel, do you?" His blade gleams black in the light of the full moon.
***Barrel attempts to throw his voice. "Hey guys who is this guy who just ran at him. Do you know him? Who even is it?"
Diomedes: "I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!"
***Barrel preps a mundane Expeditious Retreat
Diomedes: "YES, FOUL CREATURE! I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL! AS PER THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES THAT YOUR OPPONENT DO NOT POSSESS!"
***Diomedes rolls over and picks up his weapon, then gets back on his feet.
Me(Vampire): He blasts Diomedes with black energy just before he steps within reach, sending the man staggering. The moonlight illuminates the vampire's face and reveals an expression of raw joy.
***Barrel having returned to the camp to watch, taps Halek on the back. "Shall we?"
Diomedes: "COWARD! FOOL!"
Diomedes: "FAILURE!"
Diomedes: "IT IS BUT A MINOR WOUND!"
Me: He is HEWN AT MIGHTILY BY DIOMEDES, HOWEVER HIS ARMOR ABSORBS MOST OF THE IMPACT AND HE LAUGHS! He is enjoying this way too much.
***Barrel notches an arrow, calls out "Sorry, nothing personal. You've apparently gone mad!" and lets it fly at Diomedes.
***Halek takes off his sunglasses in disbelief
Diomedes: "I HAVE SLAIN MANY HARDER FOES!"
Me: An arrow hurtles toward and strikes Diomedes' back, driving him to his knees as the bloodloss finally becomes too much for him.
Diomedes: "WHAT?"
Me: Diomedes' body strikes the ground with a crack, laying still for a few moments as the rest of the group stares in shock. The vampire stands over the body with an amused expression and half-gestures at the body. Suddenly Diomedes' eyes glow red.
Me: What once was a mighty paladin pulls himself up from the ground, staring vacantly at the party and his new master with eyes like orbs of magma, his flesh quickly discolouring into what resembles coal-rubbed silk.
Me(Vampire): "Good, good. Anyone else?"
Barrel: "I think the arrow in the back probably helped answer that? I'm so sorry for our former friend. He had a case of Paladin."
Me(Vampire): "Eh well, he'll walk it off. Probably."
***Barrel jumps down from the tree. "I'm guessing from holding back the wargs that you weren't quite set on butchering us in our sleep."
Me(Vampire): "Not particularly no. Unless you guys happen to be sparkling vampires, then maybe."
Barrel: "I'm hoping you had enough fun with that, then. I'd prefer not to end up a thrall, all considered."
Me(Vampire): "Oh well yes. He was at least hilarious and let's face it. You can't have too many dead paladins really."
Barrel: "That's pretty ironic. I mean, he was half of the people paying me, but I guess that means I won't have to argue about morality anymore".
Me(Vampire): "I imagine that just means he doesn't get his share, doesn't it?"
Barrel: "Uh. Unless you'd like to loan him to us, then yeah, I think he's probably not part of the group anymore."
Me(Vampire): "It's not like he could protest." He looks at ex-diomedes, ex-diomedes looks back, jaw slack.
Me(Vampire): "See?"
Ex-Diomedes: "Battle.. brothers..."
Me:Shortly after the Vampire bids the rest of the group farewell and flies off to a heretofore unnoticed set of ruins fairly far toward the eastern coast, his pet zombiedin plodding after in his wake.

End of Session 2

This was a pretty sweet session actually. While short it did show off how combat worked and how deadly it was, as well as one of my favorite mechanics -- perilous journeys.
Right now we're still trying to set up another session but the Paladin is still quibbling about what character he wants to play and one of the other players is having some scheduling changes that need to be ironed down so we can all set aside another evening.