Philo's Crossing

Upcoming Session

Is long past. We’ll get to more updates one of these days.

Searching for the Dragon
  1. Party waits for mail-orders to arrive:

    Steve orders a Ring of Blinking, and a Rogue’s Vest.

    Mike orders a Helm of Wisdom +6.

    -Party is updated on legacy weapon research done by the academy

  2. Alex rejoins with a new character:

  3. Ian researches a new spell:

    Animal-Companion Pocket:(description pending)

  4. Party airwalks through the surrounding terrain, searching for a dragon lair:

    -After a quick search, the party spots a cave entrance from a mountain peak, and investigates. Inside they find a frost-giant stronghold. Some frost giants are fought, along with a few white-painted berserking kobolds. Session ends about half-way through yet another dungeon.

Tomb of Horrors (3)

  • Party finishes “Tomb of Horrors”.
  • - Legacy weapon Frostrazor is found.
  • Party returns to town
  • - Preparations are made to hunt the white dragon seen at the end of the siege.

Tomb of Horrors:

- Demilich-construch traps Alex’s soul, and is subsequently destroyed with a Sphere of Annihilation. – New character in the works…

- Party portal-jumps, and ends up at the dungeon entrance, naked. Their equipment is retrieved, minus one “couch-phylactery” after returning to the end of the dungeon.

- Ian looses 21/2 fingers from Sphere of Annihilation. (-2 to (melee weapon) attacks, str/dex-related skill checks)

Back to town:

- Dave micro-manages Fly, and Rary’s Mnemonic Enhancer spells to hasten the trip back to town. All told, party was in the field for 25 days: 15 town-to-dungeon, 8 in-dungeon, 2 back-to-town.

- Dave is fatigued, due to thin-air at this high altitude.

- More slasher-murders have been reported, party seems uninterested.

- Steve wants to buy a Ring of Blinking, and a Portable Hole, neither of which is available. The ring is available through mail-order, after a one month waiting period, and there is a 21/2 year waiting list on Portable Holes.

Tomb of Horrors (2)
Party continues Tomb of Horrors:
  • Dave joins game
  • Party makes it 3/4 through Tomb of Horrors
  • A lich is fought, and its phylactery (in the form of an ornate embroidered couch) is taken.
    The couch has been carried along on a Tenser’s Floating Disc, the party intends to destroy it as they leave the dungeon. The lich observes them, and assists an undead opponent of the party, but must teleport away after taking heavy damage, having been unexpectedly seen through Steve’s True-sight.

  • Session ends at Midday on the 6th day in, there is talk of camping in the “pillar room”.
Searching the glacier/ Tomb of Horrors (1)

Session begins immediately after last session’s battle with Frost Giants in the ruined encampment/trading post. Party decides to hunt down the remaining Frost Giants seen in the distance on the glacier; Ian wild-shapes into an eagle to scout the giants’ positions, and leads the party around a crevasse or two. Party engages the first group of four, taking heavy damage, but surviving. They then head toward the second group, who clearly noticed them, and is heading for higher ground. Once in a defensible position, they begin hurling ice-boulders at the party, which are avoided handily. Party closes the distance, and makes short-work of three giants.

It is clear that the giants are searching for something, and the party begins searching the encampment for whatever that may be. They soon find a door, partially covered in ice. The door is covered by a grid of iron tiles, each is either stamped with a single letter or blank:

Door puzzle

Each tile is a button that, when pushed, deals 3D6 electrical damage (shocking Grasp Lvl 3 caster(Search/Disable Device DC 26). There is one button that is not trapped, that being the “s” in “curse” in the center of the grid (changing the word to “cure”). That button causes the buttons to separate, revealing a keyhole (Open Lock DC 26).

After a little thought, and only one triggering of the trap, the party figured out the puzzle and opened the door. They then followed a tunnel which led to a partially-collapsed chamber, leading to the beginning of The Tomb Of Horrors

The session ended with the party 1/3 to 1/2 way through the module.
Seige aftermath

-Party spends 2 months downtime in the city. The harshest part of winter is now passing. Average temperatures range in the “Extreme Cold” range during the day, to “Unearthly Cold” at night, with a little overlap. The cold is due primarily to altitude and wind. (temp. figures from “Frostburn” D&D 3.5 book)

-Party then leaves in search of the White, and Half-Dragons encountered at the end of the siege.

  1. Mike: The collector who hired the party has been found dead, a dagger planted firmly in his forehead. Mike and Ian head to the estate, with the intent of raising the collector. Attempts at speaking with the dead fail and Mike decides to try raising him anyway. Among the numerous foppish aristocrats arguing about inheritances is one willing to provide the necessary diamond for the ‘Raise Dead’ spell. Mike attempts the spell, and the collector refuses to return to life, preferring his afterlife. The aristocrat who offered the diamond is quite displeased when he discovers that his mother’s wedding-ring has been destroyed “for no good purpose”, and demands payment. Mike refuses, and after a brief standoff with numerous aristocrats uneasily drawing swords and calling for guards (which Mike outranks), Mike and Ian leave. On their way out, Ian remembers the journals with information on the legacy weapons from White Plume Mountain that were sold to the collector. Deciding it to be too dangerous to return asking for items, Steve is asked to retrieve them. He does so the following night in short-order, with no difficulty whatsoever.

  2. Ian: After the death of his animal companion in White Plume Mountain, Ian decides to leave town in search of another. He heads down to the treeline in search of a dire-timberwolf and returns successful after 5 weeks.

  3. Steve: Requisitions the creation/modification of several magic-items, mail-ordering them through (unnamed ‘direct-mail’ company), requiring 6-8 weeks for pickup/delivery. Refugees from the crashed airship leave with his pickup, which also carries items from Mike and Ian. Steve sneaks and steals the journals from the collector’s estate, and brings them to the academy for study. Party then learns of the rituals to unlock the legacy weapons’ abilities and of an additional Legacy Weapon, Frostrazor, that was never found in White Plume Mountain. Frostrazor’s rituals involve a white dragon…

  4. City: The military is very interested in obtaining the lost legacy weapons. Engineers have started working on the non-operational windmill.

After their items return and after Ian returns with his new Dire-Wolf companion (Muffins), the party leaves toward the west in search of the half-dragon fought in the siege. Scrying attempts have all failed on the half-dragon, but one did succeed on the White dragon, who made it clear that it knew it was being scryed. They have a map in their possession showing the location of an old trading encampment to the west, presumed abandoned/destroyed many years ago. They decide this to be a good starting point.

After a few random-encounters the party makes it across a huge glacier to the encampment, everything long-since covered in ice. They notice a number of depressions in the ice, presumably holes dug in search of…something. As they get closer to the encampment, they notice newer pits and eventually, Frost Giants roaming the encampment. After a group of three is defeated, the party notices three other groups of indeterminate number roaming the glacier in the distance…

-Mike is pushing it with his alignment (Lawful Good)

  1. Guard has been alerted to his actions
  2. Aristocracy in the city will have “indifferent” attitude toward Mike, at best

  • I just today discovered this neat little website. Here’s some background:
  • Philo’s Crossing was introduced as a small city-state high in the (as yet unnamed) mountains, strategically located between a high cliff face, a small river, and next to a deep lake that drains into a natural portal to the elemental plane of water several hundred feet below the surface. The city was founded by Philo Gnomehands, whom the lake is named after, after he discovered a rich adamantium deposit easily accessed through a short natural cave. In the two-hundred years since, the city has slowly built-up, and mining operations have been taken over by the “Glittergold Mining Company”, a large gnomish-operated mining organization. The city has remained relatively small, due to the hostility of the local terrain, which is difficult even by airship, especially in the winter months.
  • Party was introduced (at 3rd level) as militia members/recent graduates of the military, arcane or divine academies. The city has been under siege by a combined force of goblins and kobolds for a number of weeks. The siege was timed perfectly to begin in the days after the last supply ship for the fall left; another is not expected until the spring, due to dangerous winter wind currents at this altitude. Communications to the outside world have been inexplicably cut-off, rendering calls for help to allies, or the ‘Glittergold Mining Company’, who’s headquarters are located several hundred miles away, useless. The city is not large enough for an airport, and thus has no airships at its disposal. Incoming airships anchor in the large open plateau across the river from the main gates, where now sits the large siege force, outnumbering the city’s defenders by several orders of magnitude. What has primarily held them back thus far, is the deep lake, the narrow bridge across the river, and most importantly, the solid adamantium wall that stretches from the cliff face, around the city, and extends some way into Gnomehands lake.
  • Party joins defense of the city, and is recruited by one of the (as yet unnamed) lieutenants for a number of covert outside-the-walls missions:
  • Scout Towers: Several towers were built on the banks of the lake and river, limiting the mentioned “outside the walls” activities.
    —>Party determined this to be their first goal; they requisitioned a small boat, and took it out across the lake under cover of night. They then traveled along the shore, and destroyed the towers, one by one, until all four were down. In the last, they discovered a (magical) thin crystal rod on the corpse of a goblin. This rod, after some investigation, was found to be connected to the loss of communications detailed below.
  • Foul Water: The city’s main water source, Gnomehands Lake, and the river feeding it, were found to be tainted. Sickness was quickly spreading through the city, and a sense of panic was beginning to rise.
    —>Party solved problem by traveling upriver and discovering/removing/burning various corpses that were being dumped by the siege-force to foul the river. Party also began collecting snow as it fell, and encouraged townsfolk to do the same.
  • Communications: Among the myriad mundane magic items in this magic-rich environment, are crystals used in a way analogous to radio communications. Since the beginning of the siege, no incoming, or outgoing communications seemed to work. The party’s first clue to solving this problem was the discovery of the crystal rod discovered in the ‘scout-tower’ mission mentioned above. this rod, after some investigation was found to dampen divination within a certain range equal to double the distance between it and its sister-rod, this effect persisting for several hours, even if the rods are brought closer together for a time. As these items draw closer together, both will resonate and glow with increasing strength. They can be destroyed by smashing the two together, releasing a large explosion.
    —>Party split into a diversionary force, and the single stealthy character. The diversionary force joined with the militia in a strike against the siege-force while the stealthy character infiltrated the main camp, carrying the first, and searching for the second rod. While the army and the defenders skirmished, the stealthy character located a ring of tents where the second rod appeared to be kept, snuck in and fought with a group of Blues (goblins), and managed to strike his rod against the other, held in the hand of one of the Blues. A quick escape via ‘Fly’ scroll brought him to safety, as the skirmishers withdrew within the city walls.
  • Generators: On a ledge high above the city lie several windmills that power the forges in the city below. without these windmills, the forges cannot attain the high temperatures necessary to work the adamantium from the nearby mines. The forges have been unpowered since the beginning of the siege, and since the path to them involves a steep switchback along a path outside the walls, nobody has been able to check on them.
    —>Party again snuck outside the walls, under cover of darkness, through a tunnel long ago dug for flooding relief, and up the switchback. After dealing with high winds, and cold hazards, they came upon the windmills, eliminated a number of goblin and white-painted kobold guards, and discovered that the windmill machinery was heavily iced-over. Party repaired all but one mill, and returned to town to find that the forges were up and running again.
  • Supply Depot: As the party was climbing down the above switchback, they saw the enemy’s heavily guarded supply depot. Destroying/raiding this was named as one of their prime objectives.
    —>One party member was contacted by the thief’s guild with an offer from a team of gray dwarves passing through the area. The dwarves happened to be proficient in demolitions, and were willing to assist, so long as they were allowed the fun of blowing up some goblins and kobolds. The party took this offer, and again snuck out through the tunnel into the enemy’s camp. After some scouting, the party attacked the depot, while the dwarves snuck around and set explosive charges. These charges were detonated as the party retreated back to the city.

    Supply Depot: As the party was climbing down the above switchback, they saw the enemy’s heavily guarded supply depot. Destroying/raiding this was named as one of their prime objectives.
    —>*One party member was contacted by the thief’s guild with an offer from a team of gray dwarves passing through the area.* The dwarves happened to be proficient in demolitions, and were willing to assist, so long as they were allowed the fun of blowing up some goblins and kobolds. The party took this offer, and again snuck out through the tunnel into the enemy’s camp. After some scouting, the party attacked the depot, while the dwarves snuck around and set explosive charges. These charges were detonated as the party retreated back to the city.

    These Grey Dwarves were actually scouting-out the adamantium mine, and checking its defenses. They happened to notice the army, and decided to take part in the fun of the slaughter.
Beginnings Part 2
  • During, and after completing their missions, party takes part in a few actions against the siege-force, encounters worgs and riders, fights white-painted berserking kobolds and deals with atmospheric effects of winter in the high mountains.

  • Party is contacted by an art collector and is hired-on to find three stolen magical weapons suspected to be hidden away in nearby White Plume Mountain I will not post adventure details, as it is copyrighted. Party travels through the mines, a bit into the upper “Underdark”, across a treacherous glacier and into the valley containing White Plume Mountain. A couple sessions, and two characters down, they exit, successful in their goal; Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor in hand.

  • Party returns to Philo’s Crossing via recently acquired Fly spells, and cashes in on the ridiculous amount of treasure acquired in their foray. They learn that Glittergold Mining Company has sent airship support that is due any day. They also learn of a number of gruesome murders that have been occurring in the nighttime back-alleys, the bodies of the victims flayed open, and often missing several internal organs. The victims are all human, but that is their only connection. The party saw a body killed in the same way as these victims some time before they left for White Plume Mountain, but attributed it to the kobold insurgents they saw poking it as they approached.

  • Preparations were made for the imminent battle, and supplies were bought. Since nobody in the party can effectively use the weapons gained from White Plume Mountain, they were given to three promising sergeants for use in the upcoming battle. When the airship was near, the party (one of which is a lieutenant in the militia) sat in with the military commanders as they planned to have the airship (bomber) make a bombing run the next dawn, after which the city’s defenders would rush the siege-force. The plan was implemented, and a large battle ensued.

  • About half-way through a marathon battle, the party sees a speck in the sky, which quickly reveals itself to be a large white dragon, who promptly engages with the airship, which has been making occasional bombing runs since the beginning of the battle. Shortly after the party engages with an albino half-dragon kobold who seems to be commanding the army, the dragon crashes the airship, and heads their way. The siege-force however, has been all but routed, and as the dragon approaches the party, they defeat the commander. The dragon creates a bank of Solid Fog, and snatches up the commander as it flies overhead. The party notices a trident clutched in the dragon’s other foot as it escapes to the north. As the party returns triumphant to the city they learn that two of the promising sergeants given the magical weapons were killed, and Blackrazor, and Wave have gone missing.


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