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HackMoor 2019/02/14 Love Letter
Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.  

We had a combo pizza much to the chagrin of the player who won't eat pepperoni.  I picked them all out and I ate them.


Last week we had the debut of a new batch of characters.  Bottom line, I ran the situation easy just to get the hang of Player interaction.  

Since it was Valentine's day it was a bit unusual in that I ran a game day at all.  Usually as a married gamer all games are cancelled and I stay home.  However after 42 years of marriage life is good, and both of us are of the opinion the celebration of St. Valentine's day is mostly an American invention by Hallmark.  It isn't even a day of obligation.  But still because of the day I pulled out an old stand-by, called "Love Letter" from the Planescape campaign.  

But first our new characters. 

One is a Roman Catholic Altar Boy name Cadfael, gamewise a first level Cleric.  Next we have a human albino Painted Mage named Paveltepec who worships a gawd from the Central American mythos.  Originally he wanted to be called Pavel, but that sounded Polish, so I suggested Paveltepec and it stuck.  Still, we will call him Pavel for short.  Next we have an albino Half-Elf Thief name Namo who spent a year in gaol, a female Wood Elf Druid named Glaxx who wandered for five years in the Wilderness  Finally a pyromaniac Samurai named Sham-shung Garaxi, Sham for short.  

This albino stuff is going to be great in the wilderness or desert.

Back to the adventure.  The Party as with all role-playing adventuring Parties, is approached in a bar by a hooded figure.  (Insert your own stranger walks into a bar joke here.)  The stranger offers them a job to deliver a letter to his lover "Chiryn" in her castle with a 250 gold piece and one magic item payable upon proof of delivery.  The proof will be a return letter applied with her unique "scent".

Of course the Party accepts the job and they are told to meet the hooded figure outside of town in twenty minutes.  They are advised there is no need to bring any foodstuffs nor mounts, as this will be a mere day trip.  So twenty minutes was enough time to stable their horses they that had so laboriously paid for with their starting funds.  

Meeting the mysterious stranger outside of town, he cast some dust into the air and a glowing portal appeared.  With some debate as to who would go first, Pavel went.  Finding nothing amiss except the glowing red sun and orange and a vast wasteland, stuck his arm back through the portal and beckoned the Party to join him.  Once on the other side the Party took a cursory view of their surroundings and saw a recent battlefield filled with carcasses of various creatures, their banners, and their weapons.  Creatures who mostly had leathery skin and bat-like wings.  There were some carrion eaters lurking about made up of mostly teeth and legs but they scurried off, afraid of anything bigger than themselves.

There was a trail that lead to the obvious castle-like tower afar off, given the lack of obstructing terrain, or vegetation, perhaps maybe thirty furlongs in the distance.  Thus situated, the Party went on their way.

The first item of note that they encountered, was a gaggle of small craters to the left.  While they passed, out of one crawled another leathery-skinned humanoid with bat-like wings and it flew off.  The party did not investigate the craters further.

Next the party came to a fork in the road going upon a long pole with a skull impaled on it, whose eyes began to glow green and start to babble at the party.  A strange thing aside from the eyes, as it had no tongue, lips, nor jaw as well as vocal cords to speak with.  But speak it did, babbling at first and growing more intelligible as the Party came closer.  It mostly gave loud warnings about monsters and danger going either to the right or the left.  One Party member decided to break the pole and take the babbling skull with him.

The party went left.

The next item on the Party's agenda was the lake with a high acid content, complete with a wharf and a rowboat and the obvious continuation of the trail on the other side.  The party shambled into the boat and started rowing, they made to the other side mostly without incident.  Except for the leak that sprung near the end, so they used to babbling skull as a bucket and bailed until they made it to the opposite side.  (And yes, they also avoided the whirlpool.)

Once landed it was only a few hundred yards to the castle-tower, making their way there they met the castle's only guardian, a man-size fly who asked them their business:  "Who are you mortals, coming willingly?  Only fools are dragged here to enjoy Chiryn's thousand and one ways of pleasure and pain before their souls are relegated to the Abyss."

Quickly thinking, (and taking the queue from Futureama), the Party declared themselves the delivery company "delivery from Planar Express".

Non-plussed, the creature felt satisfied and buzzed off.  (These was the Party's first adventure and at first level, I wasn't going to easily kill them off right away.)

Finding their way inside, they made their way up several levels.  The Thief made his only successful Remove Traps die roll on the only real trap and saved his knees from a scything blade.  One room they found two trapped chests and left them alone.

On the top floor they found several bedrooms one with a skeleton chained to a four-poster bed and it was still struggling to escape.  Another room had a dead body on the bed with a strange smile on its face, the Party assumed it was death by snu-snu.

Lastly they met their letter's recipient in another bedroom, a scantily clad Succubus wanting to know their business:

"Planar Express!  Delivery for Miss Chiryn!"

"As expected." was her reply.  I'll accept delivery but only if you give back my skull on that pole.  

Sham asked for and got a pair of magical Samurai Swords out of the deal.  But only if he foregoes any magic item promised by the mysterious stranger.

The deal was made, and the Chiryn composed her lover's reply and applied her "scent".  She in turn created a portal and the party stepped through back home.  

They were met on arrival by the mysterious stranger who as promised delivered the gold and gave various low level magic items.  Namo got a Love Potion, Cadfael got a Staff of Curing with 4 uses, Glaxx got a Scimitar plus one, And Pavel got three Beads of Force.







(Character list given in text.)





This is also posted on two forums, and a blog.
Tracy Johnson


For those unfamiliar with the "Love Letter" from the Planescape Dungeon's and Dragons setting, it basically involves a Devil from the Lawful Evil plane of Hell who fell in Love with a Demon from the Chaotic Evil plane of the Abyss.

It is obviously a ploy on "Romeo and Juliet", as the warring "families" are the warring Demons and Devils races of either plane.

In this adventure, higher level adventurers encounter more monsters and court intrigue, but tailored for first level characters this is a simple delivery. Had the players gone right instead of left to the acidic lake they may have had something to fight, probably a dozen "eyebats" or so.
Tracy Johnson


Let me guess, eyebats are defeated by either giving them a few lashes or by brow-beating them.
Getting me free admission into gaming conventions for a decade

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