Painting – The early Dwarf catches the Worm?

Or vice versa, depending on the size of the worm in question! These are both recently obtained Reaper figures that I painted. I finished the worm about two weeks ago, but I was waiting for some bases to arrive so I could set it up the way that I wanted.


The Reaper Bones “Great Worm” was a fairly easy paint. I’ll use it as a huge Purple Worm for D&D/Pathfinder, making it a slightly smaller version of the standard D&D worm. This approx 70mm high figure has been set on a 75mm base, whereas the “proper” scale would be on a 100mm base and “stand” (should that be ‘tower’) at the same height, if not more. I suppose Goremaw is what I want for a more accurate size, but that would have cost me at least another US$22. In any case, I’m very happy with this and my players don’t want to see it on the game table for a long time!



The dwarven monk is a metal Reaper “Dark Heaven Legends” figure named “Burl Oakfist”. I really like the sculpt/pose, even if I had to glue on the outstretched arm. (I prefer single piece figures.) It was fun to paint, and done expressly to use in my current FalsKrag campaign for one of the players. The brown ink I used to darken the flesh skin tones looks a bit mottled close up under good light – but much more uniform under normal light or typical gaming conditions. There are touches of orange in the beard that haven’t come out in the photography too.

“Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit!”

Having this finished means I now only need an owl to have all the PC’s in my game properly represented. No-one’s actually playing an avian – my wife’s hunter has an owl companion, currently represented by an unpainted Warhammer Quest bat.



FalsKrag Session 6 – The Hall of the Gods

We have been lucky to be able to play a couple of weeks in a row. This was another really good session – lots of fun (at least for me) with the reverse gravity trap, a rather tough combat and a lot of thinking by the players. They have again found something they can’t pass (yet) and located their second black gate. While they didn’t actually try using it, they believe they understand the function now. More player handouts. I wrote these up a long time ago and it was fun to remind myself what was in them. It was good to see one of the players referring to them when they were trying to work out things with the statues.

27th Goodmonth:

Boris remains in Falsford, hoping to find someone who remembers him, and recover lost memories. The group arrives at FalsHold mid-morning and as they approach Lanliss notices movement on the wall between the gatehouse and south-west tower. They skirt around to the south of the hold and climb up into the tower. There are signs that goblins have been dwelling in the tower overnight. A number of bags and boxes appear to have been abandoned in a hurry. Some coins, gems and mundane equipment is found when the tower is searched and tracks of goblins and some bigger humanoids are located. The gatehouse has similar signs – tracks, a still burning fire and tent fabric hung up to dry. Lanliss suspects that some hobgoblins may have joined the goblins. They make a check of all the other towers, but sight no goblins. Three ghouls are destroyed in the north-east tower. They head down to the toll gate, finding the corpse of a recently dead goblin. Vermin appear to have cleared the bodies around the pipe, leaving bones and bloodstains. There are no unusual sounds and the party heads downstairs and across to the chamber with the hole in the floor.

The last door in that room is reinforced and difficult to open. It proves to have a spring trap that Lanliss disarms, only to find the room behind empty of all but dust. Past where the shadows were encountered is a room with a large animated skeleton and a chest. Hardaz charges in to attack and falls up, hitting the ceiling. Lanliss follows, landing safely on the his feet on the ceiling. They attack the skeleton and are then both dumped to the floor. The skeleton is quickly destroyed. Experimentation determines that the centre of the room has a reverse gravity field that activates and deactivates randomly, only effecting living creatures. The chest is empty of all but a single copper piece and a note saying “beat you to the good stuff”. Narrow passageways lead past false doors and rejoin, guarded by a murk. The incorporeal purple humanoid figure drains wisdom from Bacon. The dwarf (with the aid of a magic fang spell) aids Lanliss in defeating it. They heal and find stairs descending.

The next level is brightly lit and as Lanliss leads the way into a long wide hall, he overlooks a trap. For the next minute or so he gives off a foul stench that hinders his actions and those close to him. The hall has multiple passages leading off from it, and wider stairs going down guarded by two skeletons. These are quickly destroyed but two better armed and armoured skeletons are sighted close to the west. As the group moves to engage they also sight four zombies. The zombies are dealt with effectively as the main warriors in the group carefully swap weapons suited to fighting their opponents, but the skeletons are much more difficult opponents. A goblin chained to the wall, frantically strikes a metal shield with a hammer. Doors further to the west are flung open and a skeletal humanoid figure emerges with another two armoured skeletons and complains about the noise interrupting his research. He send his guards forward and fires a set of magical missiles at Merxif, seriously wounding the gnome. Lanliss tumbles around the skeletons to engage the leader, and Hardaz pushes forward to flank. Hardaz resists a fear spell but is still shaken for a moment. The creature rants about killing some of them and using others for experiments. Bacon and Winter bludgeon the skeletons, Merxif channels positive energy, and Hardaz and Lanliss continue to press the undead leader. Seldrel uses grease on the floor to topple skeletons, and then his wand of magic missile. The fight is long, with pretty much everyone wounded. After all are healed they search the two chambers.

Hardaz attempts to get information from the goblin, who seems rather unbalanced. It argues that the dwarf should kill him or release him, so Hardaz strikes him down. Seldrel and Lanliss note the western wall is engraved, scratched and scrawled with short phrases in many languages – they seem to be prayers or requests to many different gods. The zombies had been chipping at a stone column with metal bars. The chamber the leader came from holds a desk with lots of notes, a spell book and a black obsidian door. It looks exactly like the one in the shrine to Iuz. Seldrel happily claims the spell book, and Lanliss and Merxif sort through the notes. Most mention tests the creature was trying on the black gate, trying to activate it, and also references to deities, their symbols and favoured weapons. Another skeleton guards a group of three cells, but not for long. The first cell holds goblins, all three of which immediately try to run past the party to escape. Only one actually makes it. Winter moves out to the hall to try and get a shot at the goblin, but it is too quick. Another cell has a small dwarf-like humanoid in one corner and a eyeless humanoid chained to a wall. Lanliss tries to calm the growling humanoid saying he will release it, but as soon as one hand is free of the manacles it claws at him. He kills it, and the group try to communicate with the quiet prisoner, who resembles a dwarf in shape, though smaller and wrapped almost entirely in dark rags. The humanoid speaks a language none of the group understand, though it does seem to respond to Lanliss speaking common. It is offered a dagger, which it happily accepts and it they allow it to leave. The last cell has two hobgoblins. Lanliss speaks goblin, and they learn that the leader they killed was a Deathlock, named Imsha. The hobgoblins were caught when they were exploring “from above” and used to keep the goblins and other slaves in line. They seem pleased that the Deathlock is dead. Lanliss doesn’t trust them and the sight of Winter readying a bow through the barred window confirms the hobgoblins distrust of the elves. They attack when Hardaz and Lanliss enter the cell, but weakened and without weapons they are knocked out and then killed.

Notes in the Black Gate chamber

Twelve more rooms are off the main hall, and each contains a ten foot high statue of one of the Flanae deities. Most are human, though statues of both Moradin and Corellon are quickly recognised by the party. All are of well carved, painted, and with one exception bright and magical. The statue of Boccob, greater god of magic is pale gray and lacks the vibrancy (and magic aura) of the others. The final room at the end of the hall has a great arch carved with the words “The Hall of the Gods”. Within a great polished granite block states “Prove your knowledge and show your skill, With a touch of the blood, our hands you’ll fill; Direct the magic and choose the right sign, Recognised, named, our gift will be thine.” Some of the deathlock’s notes seem to make sense, particularly in regard to Boccob. The party believes if they can activate a statue they will receive something. Returning to the statue of Corellon, Seldrel names the deity and places a longsword in its open hand. The sword becomes part of the statue and “Corellon” appears engraved on the front of the plinth. Lanliss makes a crescent moon from a silver piece and places it on the plinth, while Seldrel casts expeditious retreat (based on one of the god’s domains being celerity) and drips some blood on the plinth. The statue fades to a gray colour and a wand appears on the plinth. All three elves in the group are blessed by a prayer spell. Seldrel identifies the wand as one of blur. While Seldrel recognises many of the human deities, he doesn’t recall all their powers and domains. Merxif records a detailed description of each of the statues and they decide they will spent time in Falsford researching who each statue represents and what they might need to do to activate them.

Two secret doors are found in this area. One has a circular depression that Lanliss thinks needs something pressed into it. Oddly, Merxif sees the depression as a triangle shape. The second door is opened easily and a dusty, long unused tunnel leads to a pile of stones. The dwarves realise that the stones have been placed to suggest the ceiling has collapsed. They spend a few hours moving the stones to make the passage passable, and continue. After perhaps two hundred feet there is a an rusted and locked iron door. Lanliss fails to picks the lock. The wide stairs down lead into what seems to be a large series of caves. The party decides to return to Falsford. As they exit the keep, the gargoyle dives down and attacks. It calls them thieves and wounds Hardaz. This time, with magical weapons they are able to inflict serious wounds, and Winter shoots it down as it tries to fly away.

FalsKrag Session 5 – Evil Shrines and Undead

Two players couldn’t make this session, one pulling out at last minute. A “new” player (part of our usual gaming group, but hasn’t been free for this campaign until now) took over the monk for the session and I dropped his PC into the game as they were leaving the Keep, literally.

This session had a lot of careful exploration and lots of nasty fights. It’s nice when experienced players don’t know what they are up against. I’ve made a point of not naming creatures, only describing them. (The fast zombies, which are Pathfinder, had one player wondering if they’d just stumbled into juju-zombies or wights!) This game has quite a number of monsters drawn from other D&D sources (not Pathfinder) that my players haven’t encountered before. As such the players are paying attention to knowledge skills.


16th Goodmonth continued…

There is no sign of anything in the main passageway and the group continue west to the next door. The large room behind it has maps of Veluna and the areas to the south and east of the Lorridges. There are also four zombies, that prove to be unusually fast, but not any tougher than normal. A blood trail leads a southern door and they open it and head south a fair distance to a t-junction. There appears to be a large room quite a distance east and a corner close on the west side that turns back north. Thinking that this will link back to the long east-west passage, they move down to the corner where Lanliss sights a ghoul in the first of three small rooms and a zombie in the third. Hardaz and Bacon push forward into the room to avoid being stuck in the passage and find a second ghoul waiting. The ghouls attack the dwarves, one biting Hardaz. The noise draws more zombies who thankfully shamble slowly forwards, allowing more of the party into the first room. Seldrel fires a lightning bolt from a wand through the line of zombies and Merxif positions himself in the doorway and channels positive energy at the undead. Most of them go down. Things are looking good, but then Merxif is struck from behind by a by a zombie with glowing eyes and a short sword. Merxif is almost unconscious but is able to use a wand of cure light wounds and step aside. The group push in to block what Seldrel recognises as a JuJu Zombie – an intelligent undead that appears to have been a rogue in its past life. It holds the corner and can’t be flanked, but Lanliss executes a remarkable tumble past the creature, so that they can have more than one person attack it. The zombie attempts the same thing to pass Lanliss but is blocked. With two of the group steadily hacking at it, and Seldrel casting disrupt undead they destroy it. While some of the group rest and receive healing the others carefully search the three rooms that do connect back to the earlier passageway. An assortment of equipment and coin are recovered – much of it scattered about the rooms amid bloodstains, bones and body parts. Two or three humanoids appear to have died on this level in the last few weeks based on the remains and equipment that the party has found over the last three days.

The group heads east, entering a huge room with four doors. The centre of the chamber is dominated by a great hole in the floor. Earth and stone is pushed up at the rough edges, with cracks and indentations in the ceiling above. Most of the group remain where the passage entered the room, while Lanliss begins to search around the walls and check the doors. The remains of two old corpses (possibly ‘dead’ zombies) and a boot are near one of the doors. Nearly a score of undamaged arrows are scattered along the floor. Seldrel hears for a moment what sounds like distant singing and calls to Lanliss who moves closer to the hole. He is surprised to hear a fragment of elvish song, but not loud enough to distinguish words. Two tiny figures move stealthily into the chamber and attack Winter. Only 8” high, each appears composed of dirt, hair, bone fragments, rubble and cloth. Their bite only inflicts minimal damage, but they prove difficult to hit and harder to damage with mundane weapons. It takes considerable time to destroy them.

After some more rest and healing, the group starts to try the exits. Behind the first door is a room with a statue of a old man holding a key. Seldrel believes the figure to be a human deity, but can’t recall any more detail. They determine the key is a carved part of the statue and note the initials “AS” carved into the plinth. Seldrel recalls that the same were carved alongside the animal panels hiding the secret room on the level above and Merxif digs out a page taken from the Crimson Sage that mentions “AZ? AS?”. Lanliss and Bacon discover that the statue can be rotated, and also the presence of a secret door at the back of the room. It takes both dwarves to swivel the statue to face the secret door – which opens. Revealed is little more than a closet hiding two small skeletons, each with horns. A pair of masterwork daggers are happily claimed and a pouch holds an unusually shaped, magical Zircon gem. They suspect it may be an Ioun stone. Bacon stays in the closet while the others turn the statue again, hoping for a second hidden compartment, but nothing else is revealed. They get him out and return the statue to its original positioning, and try another door.

A small room with another door has messages written on the walls in a number of languages, most of which the group can read – “Warning”, “Keep out” and “Stay back.” Lanliss finds a small secret door in one wall and opens it – a small compartment has hooks on each wall and a magical cloak. While Seldrel examines the cloak he searches and finds another secret door on the opposite side of the box. Moving to push this opens drops the trapdoor in the base of the compartment. Lanliss grabs at the door edges and doesn’t fall. With rope to aid, he climbs down the 30’ pit and finds a skeleton, some coins, and surprisingly a pair of boots and short sword in very good condition. The cloak, sword and boots are all magical. Merxif claims the Robe of Useful Items – he removes a patch the becomes a minor divine scroll and is happy to identify other ”patches” that will become a rowboat, rope, 10’ pole and assorted other things. He is disappointed not to see a wheel-barrow. Lanliss claims the magical weapon – the first the group has obtained. The boots (which reduce falling damage) also go to him. Lanliss is able to jam the trapdoor shut and everyone carefully makes their way through the secret doors to a large irregularly shaped chamber with an altar made mostly from bones and a large shiny black arched door or window. The room is extremely dusty. Dark stains mark the walls, old fragile looking benches are in rows and all is dark except for a faint reddish glow from a large skull at the front of the altar. When Lanliss moves forward to examine it, he triggers a Symbol of Pain. Half of the group are inflicted with wracking pains and they retreat back to the chamber with the hole and wait. Both dwarves have shrugged off the effect and keep guard while Lanliss searches. He finds four small rounded protrusions in a pattern on the west wall of the shrine (which Seldrel thinks is dedicated to Iuz – an evil Demi-god of deceit, pain and oppression) and believes it will open a secret door if three studs are pressed in the right order. He spends considerable times making a list of combinations and trying them to no avail.

The pain subsides for Winter and Seldrel after an hour. Merxif has spent the time in additional discomfit – he’s being bitten and scratched all over, as if his new robe is full of rats, beetles and other vermin. He tries to remove the robe and can’t – he and Seldrel decide the robe is cursed. Once the symbol effect is gone, he at least feels normal again, but is very put out to find that none of the formerly magical patches on the robe now work. Merxif makes a new list of combinations that has multiple presses and hasn’t got far down the list when he gets one that opens the door. Another chapel is revealed; this one with symbols of Incabulous – a greater deity of plague, sickness, and famine. The benches here are worn and the whole chamber smells of smoke and appears to be used regularly. Lanliss finds a hidden compartment in the altar and removes magical scrolls and a potion. A note lists the combination to the secret door, and an odd brass plug or weight is also taken. A side chamber has semi-precious bloodstone bowls and cups. A locked casket contains a few silver and copper coins. The group also finds robes and plenty of candles. Stairs lead up from a third room and this time Lanliss spots the pit trap without activating it. At its bottom is a very bad smelling corpse. Lanliss climbs down and carefully loops rope around one leg so they can pull the body aside. It starts to fall apart anyway, but he is satisfied that it hides nothing of value. The group is then amused to locate a tripwire partway up the stairs and eventually reach a secret door and a lever which opens it. They find themselves emerging from the base of the Hold’s southern wall. On the outside the door is carved to resemble the rocky foundation of the hold and plants appear to have been encouraged to grow around to further hide it. From the outside it a appears that a diamond shaped object must be inserted in a hole to open the door.

The group returns to the shrine to Iuz. A seven foot high arch of small stone blocks is set into the wall. At the top is a mostly translucent square crystal. Within, the surface of the “door” itself is shiny black obsidian with faint veins of fiery orange jacinth. There is no handle and pushing does nothing. The whole radiates a strong conjuration aura. A small hole (1” deep, ½” across) is located on the left side and Merxif suggests the magical zircon may be a key. The 2” long, ½” wide orange cylinder fits perfectly and the crystal at the top suddenly glows orange. Removing and reinserting the gem causes nothing else to happen.

Moving back into the room with the warnings, Lanliss checks the normal door and opens it. A corpse (human male) lies just inside the small room with another door on the other side . Bacon moves in to look at the corpse – noting some scratches, but no obvious sign of death. The body appears to have been lying here for a couple of weeks. A ghostly shape peers out of one wall and Bacon yells an alert. He waits until it moves to him and strikes in a flurry of blows that sweep through the incorporeal thing with no resistance or effect. The shape reaches out to him, and he feels cold and weakened. When a second shadow emerges from another wall, the entire group is yelling different options at each other and they all start to retreat back to the shrine. One shadow follows to the first secret door, then sinks into the stone. Lanliss readies his magical sword; Merxif casts magic weapon on Hardaz’s axe and Winter casts magic fang on the monk. The shadows don’t attack, so after a pause they all head back into the room with the body. The shadows emerge and a fierce combat ensues. Seldrel casts bull strength on Hardaz when he is weakened, then mostly disrupt undead. Merxif strikes with the last of his positive energy bursts. The fight ends with the shadows destroyed and half the group drained of strength. They loot the body and head through the shrines and out of the hold. As they move around the walls, they here a shout and then a loud thump and the sound of things breaking. The noise seems to have come from in or near the corner tower. As they enter it, they see signs that goblins have been in it recently and then up on the second level lie two humanoids, amid copper coins scattered from a large broken wooden box. A half-elf in blue robes lies dead on the floor, and an unconscious, bleeding human lies partially on top of the elf. Both have recent wounds from bladed weapons, but appear to have just fallen from a great height. Merxif heals the human bringing him back to consciousness.

He appears extremely dazed, his memory hazy. He introduces himself as Boris. He recalls being under attack from small creatures, and black smoke. His companion (whose name he doesn’t recall) tried to cast a spell from a scroll and then they were falling. They heal him further and say they are going to Falsford nearby.

He elects to stay with them, claiming items that he says are his, and is not concerned by the group taking the belongings of the half-elf. As they pass the graveyard, Seldrel for a moment sights a middle aged male walking within. They call out to him and move to where Seldrel saw him. There is no sight or sign, neither tracks, nor answers to their calls. They trip to Falsford is thankfully peaceful. They head to the Inn they have frequented and plan to stay in town until all feel fully recovered.

Over the next ten days, they get Merxif’s cursed robe removed, sell off the assortment of treasure they don’t want and identify the magical items they have found. Hardaz comes down with ghoul fever, but shakes it off after a few days. Lanliss is worse. Cackle fever, probably contracted from the corpse in the chapel pit, makes him very confused and Seldrel promptly takes him to Aedrie’s shrine and pays for remove disease. Boris’ memory is no better – neither in regards to where he’s been under Falshold, nor anything about his past, and the brawler joins the group. All are able to spend some time training. (2nd Level)