Godless Zombies

The Rocks' Descent
So many rocks, so many zombies

After the warforged had been subdued, everyone turned their attention to gathering the fallen and still falling skyrocks. Oak appeared fully able to move around, and could tell where the nearest rocks were at any given time.

The fog still clung heavily, restricting vision, but the unmistakable sound of large groups of zombies carried through, as the mysterious rocks of different sizes (from handspan to full human armspan in width) continued to fall.

These zombies gathered together quite closely, grabbing at any who came nearby. Many sported sharp teeth that dug deep during their death throes, puncturing Skip’s leg twice. Some of these creatures had flowing viscera, entangling intestines around Oak and others to drag them in closer and squish messily.

Among the falling skyrocks appeared a large cloud of shimmering energy, washing over parts of the battlefield, which seemed to help Oak greatly and slightly impair the zombies caught in it.

Some zombies did get to some of the skyrocks, bursting into flashes of energy upon reaching their goals. No one knows what causes this to happen, but there are theories.

As the battle raged on, Anders spotted a warforged lurking by the broken wagon, staying out of the fight. After cleaning up the last of the zombies and gathering up numerous skyrocks, most of which end up in the bag of holding Archie carries, the party returns to the wagon to check on the unconscious warforged hostage and Kraas. Both appear bruised but alive, although the wagon has been ransacked and there are warforged tracks leading further east.

Anders tracks them for a while, with help from Livia, but is pulled back by Oak’s orders, so the gang can regroup and bring Kraas back to Copperforge to install him as mayor properly. The warforged have escaped for now, though without their comrade held hostage.

Scouring over the debris of the wagon and the remains of the combatants, you find:
Belt of Raging Endurance

The amber glow spreading from this behemoth-hide belt swirls into the spirit aura of your rage, shielding you until the glow flares red.

Waist Slot
Property

You gain 1 healing surge.

Power Encounter (Immediate Interrupt)

Trigger: An enemy hits you and causes damage.

Effect: You gain resist 15 against that attack, but you also take 10 damage at the end of your next turn.

Guardian Shield Level

Activate the power of this shield to defend an ally from attack.

Arms Slot: Any shield
Power Daily (Immediate Interrupt)

You can use this power when an adjacent ally is hit by an attack. You are hit by the attack instead. The ally is unaffected by the attack. You then gain resistance to all damage equal to half the damage dealt by the attack (if any) until the start of your next turn.

Boots of Sand and Sea

These wax-coated coverings help you glide over the earth when you are lightly encumbered, and might save you when the current runs deep.

Feet Slot 5,000 gp

Property

Gain a +1 item bonus to speed while wearing light armor or no armor.
Power Encounter (Free Action)

Gain a +5 power bonus to an Athletics check to swim.

Amulet of Protection +3

This light blue amulet increases your defenses.

Enhancement Bonus: Fortitude, Reflex, and WillNeck Slot

Rogue’s Belt

No one can hold you, no chains can restrain you, and no bars can contain you while you wear this slick belt.

Waist Slot 9,000 gp

Property

You can attempt to escape a grab or restraints as a minor action.

Ring of Uncanny Judgment

This ring resembles the scales of justice bent in a circle, and it broadens your judgment of your surroundings.

Ring Slot 17,000 gp

Properties

You gain a +2 item bonus to Insight checks.
When you mark an enemy, you automatically know the distance and direction to that enemy at all times while the mark persists.

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The Warforged's Wagon
More fun than a barrel of animated tools

The party heads east following after the warforged who have taken Content Not Found: Kraas and seem to have a metallic horse with them. The tracks become erratic, and less controlled, suggesting that the horse does not stay under their complete control.

As the hours pass, the weather becomes foggier, and a storm begins to close in. Not a rainstorm, but another massive fall of skyrocks, seeming to end up right on top of the party. The large group of zombies is still in pursuit, now masked by the fog but surely spurred on by the storm. The warforged party, from the tracks, seems to double back.

Soon after the first skyrocks fall to the ground the warforged appear, attempting to gather up the rocks in their wagon. Visibility is poor, and discussion with the warforged soon turns to fighting, as they show no interest in giving back Kraas or the goods they stole from town.

The battle is chaotic: strange flying tools aggressively protect the warforged, and Oak goes down from being struck directly by a three-foot long skyrock. Content Not Found: Tharaszap flies around gathering skyrocks, and a half-orc climbs from the inside of the wagon to take control of the big metal horse, riding it away and over some of the warforged. This woman seems to have a wolf with her, who shows the ability to teleport after being struck by a skyrock directly in the shoulder.

Magic from inside the wagon continues to aid the warforged and attack the party, but numbers prevail and the warforged are overwhelmed. One tries to escape but cannot outrun Molasar and Anders. The last warforged surrenders, knowing it has no chance of escape.

What was in that wagon?
Why were they fleeing east?
What made them turn around?
Who is this woman on the horse?

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Something in the Lake
The Lake's God (?)

All right guys, unfortunately (or fortunately) for you, this is Dan who was taking notes this session, and I tend towards an extremely silly stream-of-consciousness style when doing so. So, with that in mind….


We are escorting a couple to the lake in the past so that their kid can get baptized! He knows the way to get there. We find the remains of some falling dragonshards. The elders that we find in the lake village aren’t letting anyone near the lake, including us! OH NOES. Livia remonstrates with them because our party is comprised of Cool Dudes. The elders tell her that the dragonshards are changing the behavior of the people who go to the lake often! Some of them fell into the lake. The makeup of the lakevillage council has changed so now you can’t go to the lake without getting its approval. This confuses the heck out of the rest of the party because we have no idea what the lake does.

So then she explains it! Once you start drinking from it you get at peace with the world, and you also need to keep drinking from it or you get sick. There’s also a prophecied lake-embodiment-avatar person that this village has been searching for.

AND we can also not talk to the council for another day because they do not want to be disturbed until then, and we need to talk to the council to get a lake permit. We nod and smile and walk away and plan to blatantly subvert the council’s desires. Anders goes down to the lake to reconnoiter. He finds a sleeping guard by the lake edge for some reason. AND THEN THE GUARD WAKES UP. He searches around a bit but doesn’t find Anders, and Anders can’t see any sort of magical alert traps or anything. The guard goes and dunks the side of his head in the lake for some reason and walks back up. Then Anders SEES SOMETHING in the lake. It is probably a monster. He also notices a recently dry riverbed that suggests a flood of some kind. The guard goes back to sleep once he reaches his post again.

Meanwhile Livia talks to her family, and they say that the elders are saying “collect the dragonshards, stay away from the lake”. The elders bring back water so people don’t die. Kras reconnoiters the town and sees a lot of sleeping people, and Skip watches the pregnant lady, which isn’t creepy at all. Archie does a tech demo for the villagers. Then someone steals her staff. Muscle Squad Extreme is on the case. We go to the elder’s yurt to try and find it. We intimidate the hell out of this guard. But then it turns out that Livia dated the guard in Lake People Kindergarten or something and she sweet-talks him into letting us in.

The elders are being weird but they offer to take us to the lake that night. Very suspicious.

AND THEN THE LADY GOES INTO LABOR. Anders and Skip go after a couple of people who are running toward the central elder yurt. We stole a moon rock from them! Actually two spiky donuts. And then Skip and Anders go back to the pregnant lady. We delay a whole crapton of people chasing after us as we take the pregnant lady to the lake. There may be some explosions involved.

Then a glowing man comes out of the lake. Anders is going crazy from skyrocks at this point, but he thiiiiiiinks that he may look like an avatar of The Fury. Sort of. Then he possesses Archie. We end up fighting Lake Jesus. Livia is upset by this, and defends Lake Jesus very inconveniently. Skip kicks 20 people at once. Then he also gets possessed and jumps into a lake. Then a bunch of people punch a bunch of other people and we disperse a mob. Then Livia sees a slithery thing where Lake Jesus should be and is totally disillusioned. Then she throws a spear through it. AWESOME. Turns out it is a minor quori, and it explodes and skyrocks fly out. BEST PIÑATA EVER.

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The Mountaintop's Spies
enough counterintelligence for everyone

We began with the party investigating the lair of Glacia, the white dragon who had until recently been commanding a small tribe of kobolds in the lower area of the mountain. Many kobolds were slaughtered, and one big dragon, and now it is time to figure out what is in the hoard!

The columns of ice and rock in the main lair had dragonshards with rituals embedded in them. Archie is able to pick out:

Shrink ritual
Dark Light ritual
Object Reading ritual
Charming ritual (similar to Call of Friendship)
Analyze Portal ritual
Tenser’s Life ritual

There were also some potions stored in the ice, 4 potions of healing, but no sign of a love potion. Statues in the alcoves of the chamber depict various famous wizards, scholars, ritualists and priests. Some of them also have some magical gear on them:

Helm of Exemplary Defense
Cloth of Resist Fire +2

On the floor of the lair are five circles, each slightly green in hue underneath the fine layer of ice. They look to be made of some sort of metal, and embedded in the stone floor. They begin to glow slightly green when Tharaszap comes near. They look identical, are about 9 feet wide, are clearly magical.

Searching about more in the rest of the passageways you found a hidden room behind a large stone slab. Inside were many bones, mostly complete sets, and they had a set of Magic Leather Armor +2. The armor, and some of the remains, include imagery and jewelry depicting a stylized three-fingered claw. There was also a large dragon scale, with a rudimentary map of the lair etched onto it. This included some markings and drawings near the five circles in the main chamber.

In talking with the kobold survivors, you got them in line and following Tharaszap as their new leader. Attempts to use them to aid in wooing Jarred were … unsuccessful. Some of the kobolds were concealing some sort of gossip from you, and through further pressure you discovered that there were a couple of them that grew strange tentacles from their forearms after being in, near or around the portals you had opened.

As you were preparing to leave and head back to town, a pair of people were approaching from Copperforge. One young man you recognized from town, but the other man was older, seemed to be a traveler, and mentioned having come from the Mountaintop. Forest, as he introduced himself, has friends high up in the organization and also knows a thing or two about farming. He’s been tasked with rebuilding the food infrastructure to sustain the people of Copperforge and the Mountaintop. And he’s curious about the whole zombie problem.

He mentions trouble at the Mountaintop, from his recent visit. Apparently sleeper agents made their way in and were able to compromise some of the research and intelligence. They did not have high level access, and by now they have been imprisoned or killed. There were many trials, and a bit of paranoia has set in. Suspicions run high, and no one is sure if the threat is over. It seems that those interrogated spoke of goals relating to “personal godhood” and such things. There was also talk of an Abector, who has yet to be found. They were looking for curious Syberis dragonshards as well.

When you do arrive, everyone has a special session of questioning. Everyone gets some grilling about their whereabouts, contacts, code phrases and priorities by the Internal Security team.

Archie convinces members of the Alchemists to stay put and resist the urge to separate from the larger organization. Skip talks with Dr. Ness and is asked for more information about the special gloves that make doors. He also requests that Skip get more information about this network of teleportation circles, as it could help the rebuilding efforts. Allele’s parents’ colleagues ask about all the new things she’s seen outside, and the new spells she’s mastered. They ask her to look into problems with some dragons up near Bluevine, with a research lab there stuck in some sort of territory dispute. They also accept the strange Shirt Made of Eyes, to be examined more carefully. Anders meets with a senior communications officer, Umald, and is asked to head to Starpeaks Observatory to look into a potential competing intelligence organization. There has been talk of people seeking “divinity within” and that worries folks at the Mountaintop. Probably ought to be stopped. Kraas meets with General Bantin and is tasked with leading the town of Copperforge as its new Mayor, to rally the people, rebuild the defenses and ensure future support for the operations at the Mountaintop. Kraas indicates he is happy to serve, despite this meaning that his career is put on hold and his family will probably not see him for some time.

{insert interlude at the Lake here}

Finally, heading back down the mountain to town, one more stop at the dragon’s lair. Tharaszap wants to explore some more, and decides to venture into one of the five magic circles. She activates it, and then vanishes with a shaaak noise. The rest of the party follows, to be met with loud shouts of “Now, get him!”

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The Dragon's Icecave
Dragon on Dragon on Kobold action

We open with the party trying to negotiate with some Kobolds, who are just not that interested in talking.

During the stalemate and namecalling, the Mithral Dragon Tharaszap lands, with a frustrated Jarred in tow. Apparently Jarred hasn’t gone in for this dragon love things. Tharaszap wants to get a love potion from Glacia to convince him otherwise.

They are also fortified, so instead Anders sneaks in with one set of Door Gloves, and opens up a Door inside the cave complex in a hallway, while getting surprised by rowdy bands of Kobolds running about. The party quickly filters in through the door, into the middle of a big Kobold fight.

Swarms of little kobolds, some protected guards, and a few wild mages fight at the intruders, but all fall before the coordinated attacks.

The two spearguards seem fortified by the white dragon Glacia somehow, and Tharaszap is able to breach their shields and make short work of them, opening up the way to the main, icy cold lair.

While dragon fights dragon, the rest of the party gets many chills and observes the intricate stone carvings of mages and wizards around the vaulted, columned dragon lair. All covered in ice, it also includes a dry fountain and a series of engraved metal circles in the floor. Glacia seems to be trying to protect some rather large dragonshards, but eventually is killed by Tharaszap’s bite.

No love potion is found, though the shards do seem to contain some precious arcane knowledge and instructions. There is a hoard of 2000 gp in precious metal objects and gems, and a potion of healing encased in snow.

One of the statues in the back of the room has a suit of ice that is removable:
Rimewrought Armor
Level 12 Common

Fashioned from blue-tinted steel, this armor is cool to the touch.

Price: 13,000 gp
Armor: Scale, Plate
Enhancement: +3 AC
Property: Resist 10 cold.
Property: Ignore difficult terrain caused by ice or snow.

Another statue holds a rod that looks to be reinforced by the extreme cold
Rod of Runic Resistance
Level 8 Uncommon

The elemental runes on this thick baton mark it as an artificer’s implement. It augments spells that protect against energy.

Price: 3,400 gp
Implement (Rod)
Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d6 damage
Property: Affects artificers only. Resistance granted by your artificer powers that lasts until the end of your next turn instead lasts an extra round (until the end of your turn on the subsequent round).
Power (Daily): Minor Action. Area burst 1 within 10 squares. You and each ally in the burst chooses a damage type—acid, cold, fire, or lightning—and gains resist equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier against that damage type until the end of your next turn.

Of the scales that were shed in the fight, one large pure white scale from Glacia’s back is perfect to form into a shield, heavy with latent magic.
Pincer Shield
Level 8 Uncommon

This shield extends its protection from you to your flanking ally.

Price: 3,400 gp
Item Slot: Arms
Prerequisite: Heavy
Property: While you’re flanking an enemy with an ally, that ally gains a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex.

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The Blacksmith's Daughter
Defenestration for all!

The party heads forth, with three civilians, back to the town of Copperforge and the Mountaintop base.

Along the way (their travel sped greatly by Livia’s knowledge of a dry stream bed) they see a fire off to the West, but it is large and distant, so they continue South.

The town looks more abandoned but the church and blacksmith are still well fortified. The people, under the guidance of a warforged, have gathered many supplies in the church to help fortify.

Since the group investigating the farms has not returned, the party heads to the outskirts of town to follow their tracks and search for food. A commotion at a farm catches their attention, and people start falling out a window.

After fighting some zombies and some dead spirits they manage to save the blacksmith’s daughter and two other townspeople. The house is also in good shape (except for the burned out barn) and has some food stores. The group decided to rest, then investigate the other two farms, before heading back to town with their gathered supplies.

On the bodies of the undead you find:
a burnt bone radiating strange magic:
Death Shroud Ki Focus
Level 9 Uncommon

These winding sheets for the dead appear to be woven with veins of blood. As you study their shining trails, you focus on your ability to ready foes for the grave.

Price: 4,200 gp
Implement (Ki Focus)
Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d6 damage, plus 1d6 damage for each of your shrouds on the target or each shroud you invoked on the target of this attack roll.

Power (Encounter): Free Action. Trigger: You hit a target. Effect: You use assassin’s shroud on the target. This use does not count against the limit of using assassin’s shroud once per turn.

a twisting headpiece of brass and silver
Circlet of Mental Onslaught
Level 11 Uncommon

Your mental attacks strike more true while you wear this slender circlet.

Price: 9,000 gp
Item Slot: Head
Property: Gain a +1 bonus to Will defense.
Power (Daily): Minor Action. Gain a +1 power bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls when making Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma attacks until the end of the encounter.

In the house you find:
a nice pair of chain gloves
Dual-Threat Gauntlets
Level 7 Uncommon

When you and an ally fight together, the power of these gauntlets heightens both your attacks.

Price: 2,600 gp
Item Slot: Hands
Prerequisite: Chainmail, Scale, Plate

Power (Daily): Minor Action. Trigger: Until the end of the encounter, while you’re flanking an enemy, you and the ally flanking with you gain an additional +1 bonus to attack rolls against that enemy.

3 stoppered small flasks
Lesser Elixir of Invisibility
Level 7 Uncommon

When you sip this elixir, your form fades from sight.

Price: 100 gp
Potion

Power (Consumable): Minor Action. Effect: You drink the elixir and become invisible until the end of your next turn. The effect ends if you make an attack roll.

Livia and Kraas got bonus plot points (just entered now) for saving people from falling out windows and for absorbing the brunt of undead onslaught.

The gloves that Allele and Archie have are fueled by healing surges. You can use them as many times a day as you like, but each creation of a door costs one surge. Closing an existing door is a minor action, no surge required.

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The Bunker's Basement
why is it full of zombies?

You decide to explore (of your six ish options) the deep tunnels below the bunker, finding evidence of big fungus and rats. There is nothing substantial moving around down there, but there are remains of some poor soldiers.

You find a dead body carrying:

Brooch of Shielding +2

Item Slot: Neck
Enhancement: +2 Fortitude, Reflex, and Will
Property: Gain resist 10 force.Power (Daily): Immediate Interrupt. Use this power when you are hit by an area, close, or ranged attack. Gain resist to all damage equal to the brooch’s resist force value against that attack.

Mark of the Tembo (now on Skip)

Grizzly Gauntlets
Price: 3,400 gp
Item Slot: Hands
Property: You gain a +3 item bonus to Strength checks to grab a creature and to Athletics checks or Acrobatics checks to escape a grab.

As you leave, there are cries from the Alchemy lab. Zombies and shadow dogs seem to have appeared out of nowhere and started causing a ruckus. You all manage to slay them and suppress the strong teleportation circle, finding some handy books in the alchemy library:

Book of Formulas (five decipherable)

3 Blinding Bombs
Alchemical ItemPower (Consumable): Standard Action. Make an attack: Area burst 1 within 10; +6 vs. Fortitude; on a hit, the target treats all nonadjacent creatures as having concealment until the end of your next turn. Creatures that do not rely on sight to detect other creatures are immune to this effect.

3 Ghoststrike Oil
Alchemical ItemPower (Consumable): Standard Action. Apply ghoststrike oil to your weapon or one piece of ammunition. Make a secondary attack against the next undead creature with resist insubstantial that you hit with the coated weapon or ammunition: +11 vs. Fortitude; on a hit, you ignore the creature’s resist insubstantial when determining damage for the attack.

3 Bloodstinger Poison
Alchemical ItemPower (Consumable • Poison): Standard Action. Apply the bloodstinger poison to your weapon or one piece of ammunition. Make a secondary attack against the next target you hit with the coated weapon or ammunition: +11 vs. Fortitude; on a hit, the target takes ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).

The halfling (or gnome?) bodies appear to come from Zilargo, and one has a salvagable Fireheart Tattoo:
Wondrous Item
Property: When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you gain 5 temporary hit points.

Two daggers, one of which is:
+2 Dagger
Weapon: Any melee
Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d8 damage
Power (Encounter): Free Action. Trigger: You hit with an opportunity attack. Effect: Deal 2d8 extra damage.

Under the main lab was a hidden lower level with a large teleportation circle and a smaller model of that circle that seems to be attuned to each other.

Next steps: Head back to the village, then mountaintop, then lake.

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The Shards' Message
With friends like these

Lots of conversations with the members of the sister base, known as L2.

People seem to recognize Anders and Allele, and think they came here together before.

There is a study, badly damaged, under the bunker’s library/archive that has a scrambled message for Anders.

In the study was a Shadowdancer’s Mask (Daily, free: Reroll a Stealth or Bluff check you dislike, with a +3 power bonus) that goes very well with the Shadowdancer’s Cloak (if wearing both, +2 item bonus to Athletics, Stealth and Thievery).

Picking up the 37 dragonshards bits (with sounds in them) from around the room you also find a Potion Bandolier (retrieving a potion from this belt is a free action) that is stocked with 1 potion of healing, 1 potion of regeneration and 2 potions of life shield.

You have unscrambled most of the message, taken it with you for further study, and may be heading out soon.

The engineers at the bunker want you to find a way to do more extensive field testing with the tank, perhaps after they modify it more. They’re not sure how to move it to another base.

The mountaintop base needs food.

The strange halflings from far away who show up through doors have given you two pairs of gloves to help you find a catch Veyii, a magus of some sort who has spurned Allabar.

And Livia met another Lake person who tells of trouble at the lake and a need to return urgently.

You also got some gloves from a mysterious friend who appears in the magic ‘doors’ occasionally. Two pairs of gloves, both have the same power – Healing Surge (Standard): By drawing a circle on a flat surface with your gloved hands, you can create an opening that connects to the same opening on the other pair of gloves.

Green gloves:
Property: You gain resist 20 to falling damage

Purple gloves:
Property: You may ignore any effect that teleports you

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The Ghosts' Disappearnace
Do you see dead people?

The leftover ghosts all went away (or into the haversack?), the soldiers cleaned up some bodies, and the warforged looking for magic sky rocks were defeated. Still having some planar disturbance problems, food shortage, druid shortage and zombie surplus. Anders had some intense conversations with ghosts, Allele lead them in religious rites, and Livia learned some healing tricks for the mentally diseased.

The interior parts of the box have some interesting runes moving around that Archie can harness. These function as a Long Battle Tattoo (Property: When you hit with a daily attack power, you gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to the number of healing surges you have spent since your last extended rest.) and a Tattoo of Bloodied Chains (Property: The first time you’re bloodied by an attack during an encounter, the enemy that bloodied you is immobilized (save ends).

Searching the remains of the warforged, you find some interesting parts that Archie can repurpose. They had:

  • Couters of Second Chances (Arms, Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you miss with a melee attack. Reroll the attack, and use the second result, even if it’s lower.)
  • Boots of Rapid Motion (Feet, Power (Encounter): Immediate Reaction. Trigger: An effect slows you. Effect: You make a saving throw against the triggering effect. On a save, the effect ends. Power (Daily): Minor Action. You gain a +1 power bonus to speed until the end of the encounter.)
  • Greaves of Fortunate Falling (Feet, Property: When you’re knocked prone (including when you fall unconscious), you can fall into any unoccupied adjacent space instead of your current space. Being prone does not grant enemies combat advantage.)

and 400 gold worth of salvageable metal and rare wood components.

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The Water's Moving!
these ponds stink!

Slimes, ponds, many many ghosts. Some of you got a good chance to wash yourselves. The stories about the water just up and moving around appear to be true… but it’s not clear why.

Some of the magic ponds left behind small nuggets of ice/water/mud (six little nuggets). Acts as a healing potion, allows you to breathe water for the encounter.

One of the jellies was filled with residuum, 3600gp worth of it. Another slimy thing had a ring frozen inside it: The Ring of Walloping – +3 bonus to critical hit damage per plus of your implement or weapon.

Among the bodies, as you sift through parts, you find two suits of enchanted leathers that have survived the carnage: Magic Leather Armor +2 each.

Echoing ghost disease: Archie, Alpha, Skip. current stage: -2 penalty to Will and to all skill checks.

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