Author Topic: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)  (Read 1580 times)

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Part Deaux...and hopefully not Doom...



When I last let off many moons ago, I started what I felt was a fairly classic AAR experience. Pool of Radiance was one of the classic games of my younger days, and this time, when I revisited it in 2016, you guys made it a joy to write.

Unfortunately, that AAR fell by the wayside and I left a lot of you hanging. Now I find myself still in a$$-kicking mode when it comes to work, but honestly, I had a great time writing that PoR AAR. So why don't I resurrect it? Simple - it's been too long. On top of that, and most important excuse of all, at the time I transitioned to a new PC and found my save files would not play nice. On top of that, all of the old pictures from that AAR are gone, thanks to Photobucket's legendary screwing of the general populace not too long ago. I lost ALL the pictures. So even if you did want to go back through that to see what the heck I am talking about, well...a LOT is lost in there, now. :(

So that said, as I bide time now, I ask that you please bear with my baby steps in starting this new one. Yes, I know I tend to start these and not finish them. Yes, I realize that is a bad thing. No, I do not want to do this again. I hope that answers most of your questions, even if you didn't care enough to ask them in the first place.

I'm not going to ask for enrollment or names - I already have them from the original first few posts of the above PoR thread. So I'm using those guys as characters, here.

Okay...enough of the chatter. Let's move forward.

Again, bear with me. I might not post in here that frequently, but I will do my best. It's about time I got back to this kind of thing, anyway. I hope you enjoy it.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 09:14:28 PM by bayonetbrant »


Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 07:57:28 PM »
Subscribed!!  :smitten:
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 08:04:36 PM »


We're not using a TANDY 1000 (thank God), so...



Fortunately, this wait time is now much shorter than it was back in the day.



Dun dun DUNNNNNNNN



Yay, it works!

Curse of the Azure Bonds is the second gold box D&D game in a long series of D&D gold box games (four, I think in this one). Admittedly, it was my least favorite of the series, but in the interest of humor and trying to be consistent (with the storyline, not giving up on this halfway through...we ain't even that far into it yet!), I'm going to go with this.

I mean, it's been 25+ years since I've played it. Surely things have improved with age?



Well, maybe not.

I think I messed up with the original lineup and overlooked one or two of you that 'volunteered' your screen name for that last AAR. I went back through and made sure I hit everyone this time.

So here's the list of characters...

BC - Human 5th level Fighter
Sir Slash - Human 5th level Paladin
KyzBP - Human 5th level Cleric
Mirth - Half-elf 4th/4th level Fighter/Magic-User
Barthheart - Human 6th level Thief
BBMike - Human 5th level Magic-User

Yeah yeah, we're Human-heavy here. Take it up with the student unions representing elves, dwarves, and the other fantasy creatures out there. I only made mirthy a Half-Elf because it was required for a dual-class, and I wanted a Fighter/Mage in the party. So there. :P

The party is in dire straights once again. Be prepared for a lot of exposition in the following posts as I set up the story.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 08:20:22 PM »
I'm copying and pasting a lot of content from the game books. If that's copyright infringement, please tell me and I will refrain and edit as necessary. I figure that these materials are so prevalent now on teh Intarwebz that it's not that big a deal, and it helps a lot to frame the story if you, the reader, understands the history.

If you don't care, just keep scrolling to the next few posts.

Ahem...getting into role-playing voice mode, here...

"I am beginning a new journal. My old journal is gone, along with all of the party's equipment. I write here to try to make some
sense out of our spotty memories.

We had all agreed to come south to Tilverton to seek the lost princess, Nacacia of Cormyr. Tilverton is on the border between the Dalelands and Cormyr, and was the last place the princess had been spotted.

Rumor was that King Azoun's youngest daughter, the Princess Nacacia, ran away from the royal household of Cormyr almost a year ago. She fled an arranged marriage and ran off with a cleric from Tilverton named Gharri of Gond.

The latest word was that Nacacia and Gharri had a falling out and that she was seen near ‘Tilverton recently. The king had a large reward out for Nacacia's return. A smart group of adventurers like ourselves


HA

could make some powerful friends if they found the princess and returned her to the king.

Somewhere along the road to Tilverton we were attacked. The brigands must have been invisible, because some of our party went down before we knew what was going on. I vaguely remember dark faces in evil looking helmets firing crossbows into our midst. The crossbow hits were not fatal, but every hit seemed to drop its target. I remember getting hit in the arm. The wound blazed like fire. My head swam, just before l blacked out, I thought that this was a bad end for such experience adventurers.

I mean, we beat Tyranthraxus like a rented 0th-level NPC. We totally pwned him. Maybe I'll eventually get to tell that story...

Anyway, now we awake in Tilverton with our wounds healed. Our equipment is gone, but we have found a stash of coins. One of
our first priorities must be to buy new equipment.


Funny thing! We have 300 friggin' Platinum pieces PER CHARACTER. That's...1,500 Gold pieces.

EACH.

We could build a damn Keep with that kind of coin.

Anyway...back to the backstory...

I overheard a servant mention the date, but I in not sure I believe it. If the servant speaks true it is almost a month since the ambush. Almost anything could have happened in that time.

It seems that almost anything did. Each of us awoke with five azure blue symbols imprinted on our sword arm. The symbols are
not tattoos, they seem to exist below the skin. They occasionally feel like they're moving.




We have devised a plan of attack. Our spell-casters will prepare their spells. We will purchase some new arms and armor. Then we are going out into Tilverton and find out what is going on. Someone must know. And l don l care if we have to roust every sage, priest, and bartender in this town to find out.

These are some random printed notes I have collected. Their information may be important on our journey."

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 08:37:17 PM »




The first thing to do is Encamp and memorize spells.

None of us have one bit of equipment on us. Funny that whomever our little thieves are, they didn't bother to take the king's sum of cash we have stashed. I guess we hid 1800 Platinum under our pillows? Bah.



The memorizin' takes over 8 hours. We're seasoned adventurers now. Because we totally defeated Tyranthraxus. Weren't you around for that? Gee, what a shame...  ::)

With nary but the clothes on our backs and enough money to buy this speck of a town, we ventured groggily out into the hallway, to be immediately accosted by this establishment's owner.



Collective scowls are collectively scowling and less than pleased.

What in the hells of the Demonweb Pits happened to us?



Journal Entry 31
"You were brought in by a group in red robes. They said they'd found you on the road, near death. They paid for your rooms in advance, so you can stay as long as you'd like. You had those tattoos when you came in, but I've never seen anything like them. Filani the sage could help you though, you should go see her, two blocks north."


So we were "found" in the road, dumped into this random Inn, had all our lodging expenses paid in advance.

Were we made the playthings of someone or...some thing?

A quick mental check reveals no issues with the nethers, thank goodness. No wyvern tails or tentacles in our past.

Err...that we know of.



Stepping outside into the bright light, feeling naked despite our clothing as we are completely unarmed, the name of the establishment silently calls its name to passerby.

We wander about a bit, trying to find the arms store "across the way."



Guess that ain't it...



Probably shouldn't go bashing or picking locked doors yet...



Aaaaaand I'm doubting that's an arms shop...



There we go!

Our aimless wanderings have finally found the target of the Innkeeper's vague directions.



A guy that looks like he does LARPing on the weekends and on days he's off from his total drag of a retail job helps us re-arm.



I avoid asking the age-old question, "what the **** is a Glaive-Guisarme?"

This is a question as old as time. I remember asking it when I first played the blue-covered D&D game. And through many iterations and editions after that.

Now, I have NO DOUBT that any one of a few dozen weapons nerds in these forums could answer this question RIGHT off the top of their heads.

So could Google, too, but I don't feel like looking. I'd rather leave this ambiguous for the time being.

Or, maybe JP could write us twelve paragraphs on the history of this weapon?  O:-)



Such a nice parting quip.

We're feeling much more warm and fuzzy with new shiny armor, pointy weapons, and spells left sizzling at some of our fingertips.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 09:01:55 PM »
It's a five-pointed throwing star thing, a little larger than an average grown man's hand, that can be telepathically controlled by magic after its claws pop out.

The claws resemble the claws of a goose's arm.

Thus the name.

 >:D


(It's a special type of pike with a broad blade instead of a spear at the end, but the blade has a hook on it, too. There are various designs. It isn't as long as a typical pike, more like normal spear length. This question also vexed me, back since the days of the Blue Book or possibly the Red Basic Rules. But there were pictures back then, too. I think the Swiss Vatican guards use them.)
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 09:04:50 PM »
Coincidentally, the History Channel's blacksmith competition show "Forged in Fire" will feature a Glaive-Guisearm challenge on the next episode! (June 26th.)
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 08:58:08 AM »
Seriously? Like Krull?



Niiiiiiice. I thought 'glaive' sounded rather familiar. It's been a while since I've seen Krull though.

Offline mirth

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 09:07:32 AM »
Quote
Mirth - Half-elf 4th/4th level Fighter/Magic-User
nice. One of my favorite all-time favorite characters I played in high school was a half-elf, fighter/magic-user. Think I ended up getting thrown into a bottom-less pit by a vampire (that wasn't my favorite thing about the character).
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 09:36:53 AM »
We wander around a bit more. The Innkeeper had mentioned some Sage that might know more about our sigils; perhaps this person could shed some light on why these are not just tattoos gained after an evening of drunken debauchery.

At least, that's mirth's theory.



Here we go. The town's not that big so it didn't take long to find her.



In the interests of continuing the plot, we answer "yes."



Perfect.

We've met the D&D equivalent of the federal government.

Well, it's not like we can't spare the dough. And as Monty Hall-esque as these adventures can be, something tells me this will easily be replaced soon enough.

We choose "tell the truth."



Journal Entry 38
You bear the symbol of five different organizations. Three I recognize, one I've never seen, and the last causes me some concern. The flame and dagger is the symbol of the Fire Knives, a group of assassins who last operated out of Westgate. That group had been destroyed, so they must have a new base of operation. I fear l do not know where.

‘The mouth in the palm is the symbol of the god Meander. This god was banished from the world hut he reappeared briefly as a pile of filth. It laid waste to a section of the city of Yulash before its defeat. The cult's color of choice is green.

The ornate Z in the triangle is the symbol of the Zhentrim, the Black Network. These are an evil alliance of priests, mages and thieves operating out of Zhentil Keep. Some say that they run Zhentil Keep.

The flaming symbol I've never seen, so I can give you no information. The last symbol, with the crescent moon, bears a disturbing similarity to a powerful sage in Shadowdale, for my own safety. I'll say no more about it."


And with that, we are shooed out.



At least we have a bit more information, now.

We can confirm that we have had these sigils added against our will. But why? Are they brandings of some kind, to indicate ownership? If so, why five such owners? Are we like a corporate lear jet that's jointly owned by a cabal of evil-doers?

Who knows. More answers will be forthcoming, the further we push this.

And push on we do, to see what else this town has to offer.



The Hall of Training is nice to know, but does us no good right now. If I remember right, each of our characters are just barely at our levels of experience.



A General Store.

We should poke our heads in...these places usually have a few interesting trinkets.



Generic NPC #0045 offers us wares for sale. We want to sale the heck out of her wares.  ^-^



The pickings here are rather lean. Even with the IRS Sage taking half our money we still have a helluva lot of Platinum and I was hoping for some more useful things than this.

Regardless, I have KyzBP buy one of each, a mirror and a flask of oil. Something tells me I should buy a mirror for each of my characters - perhaps I am channeling earlier experiences with this game. I don't know.

I only buy one of each for the Cleric, so maybe we'll come back. If we can.

Our wanderings through the crowds has gleaned a few bits of information.





Very likely, this is the Princess we have been tasked to find. There's rarely coincidences or false tracks in these gold box games.



We wander around a bit more and run into the local priestery. We go ahead and stick our head in here, too, because you never know what you might trigger.



Let's check out the rest of this place.

Instead of moving south, we move through the large doors across from us.



Ah, this is where the magic happens, I suppose.

We wander around a bit in here, only to be caught up in a crowd.







So, this place has all kinds of issues and worries other than five strangers with sick tattoos on their arms.

We wander back into the main hallway and to the south, where the head priest's offices were pointed out.



Yes, we do.

You see, we were altar boys and this priest of Illmater...

Oh, nevermind. That's not pertinent to this story.



Journal Entry 19
As the cleric casts the spell, the bonds begin to glow brightly. Arcs of blue flame shoot out from them and strike about the room. The characters begin to writhe in extreme pain. The cleric ceases the spell. "These bonds fight my powers, removing them is beyond me. I wish you better luck. Go with Gond."


That was rather anti-climactic.

Though you didn't think it would be THAT easy, did you?

No, somehow, I think we're going to have to hack our way through five strongholds and kill five boss-type characters to get these sigils removed. And if that's going to be an easy time...well, I doubt it will be. We always make things hard on ourselves, but then again, there's not a lot of fun in role-playing serfs, so...


Offline mirth

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 09:46:41 AM »
I like my tats. I'm not sure why we're making such a fuss to have them removed.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline airboy

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 10:00:15 AM »
I replayed this about 2 years ago and wrote a "classic review."  I thought it held up quite well over time.  The story is interesting and you start to care about the characters.  It is turn based, so the combat does not get screwed up.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 06:41:37 PM »
I replayed this about 2 years ago and wrote a "classic review."  I thought it held up quite well over time.  The story is interesting and you start to care about the characters.  It is turn based, so the combat does not get screwed up.

You should link that review here. Unless it's on that 'front page' thing that Brant keeps rambling about. :)

Offline airboy

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2018, 08:08:44 PM »
http://grogheads.com/review/classic/13835

It was behind the secret door.

Offline mirth

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Re: Curse of the Azure Bonds: A GrogHeads D&D Experience (Part Deaux)
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2018, 08:16:04 PM »
Not shooting that tank :P
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus