Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Session 15

Game report for session #15:  Sorry for the late post... 

Early Spring Blizzard 1
Tortog 0

{Game clock resumes at 3:00:01am on 02/19/3200} The following conversation takes place in the characters head.

Milo: “I need to know what time it is, how long is it until sunrise?” Invokes his ability to know the position of the sun. 

DM: “About 4 ½ hours, why?”

Milo: “I have been thinking about the Prophesy, and I have this growing fear that the sun will not rise today.”  To the rest of the party, “I think we should head outside for a bit.”

Pat, with obvious excitement: “OK!”

Then most everyone is carried off on a side trip to lala land.

For Dwight:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy.   You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are back upon that great grey expanse where you traveled after presenting the ‘key’ in the room of the guardian.

Behind you are the sounds of battle, closer now than before.  Hearing it raises the hackles of your soul, but you know it is best not to look upon those horrors never meant for mortal eyes.  Before you stand’s not the guardian of the tomb from your last trip to this place, but instead there stands a tall man girded with a coat of steel rings of the finest quality.  He wears a simple grey woolen cloak about his shoulders and a broad black belt; a sword on his left hip and a golden bugle at his right hand.  His coif of rings is thrown back to show tussled, raven black hair and a few days growth of whiskers giving lie to the youth of his face.  But it is the power in his gaze that has you transfixed.  Jade green and piercing, he closes the small distance between you in a few casual strides.  His voice is gruff, but not unpleasant; “Dwight of Grenvec, I have been watching thee.” 

Now that he is at arms-length from you can see that for all the quality of his attire, there is a battle-worn wariness to all of the man’s equipment and features that speaks of hard use and long campaigning.  The engraved sigil of a bugle and sword upon the clasp of his cloak declaring him better than any herald: Thormyr, the Watchmen.  Legends have it that he was once a simple guardsman, keeping the town watch, but he witnessed a terrible crime; his love and faith in justice drove him into the very Kingdoms of Hell where he rescued a cleric of Justica who’d been abducted by a powerful devil.  For his service the Gods elevated him to the status of Demi-God patron to town watchmen, garrison troops, and caravan guards and all those who would place themselves between the innocent and harm.

He continues, though he is already beginning to fade away; “Ditch digger no more… You chose to stand watch over the weak, the vulnerable, and the sick: you have chosen wisely Dwight, keeper of the Key to the Palace of Kan’harook.  I speak now unto you a plea for mine own aid, in hopes that truly have I found a worthy man.  Find the ring and open the vault… return that which was stolen from my temple before the shadow of darkness falls upon us all.”

With that you find that you are falling back into yourself again…

For Milo:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy.   You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are drifting in the havens, bathing in the radiance of Ormazd.  You fly and swim through the jets of fire, cleansed and reborn by their gentle touch.  Presently a voice quietly enters your mind and says with reassuring tones: “Thou hast done well to have found what was lost, but drawing nearer is the hour of our greatest strife.  The battle for the fate of Aereth begins here: go forth and bring light into the darkness of this place, let not the minions of Ahriman and Lasheeva win this day.”

For Hearn:
While the rest of the party was leading the refugees to the exit; you find yourself floating in a half dream, and everywhere you find meadows of heath and wild flowers. Far in the west there are golden mountains catching the last, the last rays of a setting sun casting them in a halo of crimson fire.  To the east, night is falling over an ancient forest; but it is the gentle weeping from the south that draws you onward, deeper into the endless meadow of flowers.  Someone suffers terribly, their sorrow evident and proclaimed for all in the sobbing tones.  Your trek brings you closer to the forest, where a figure in linen robes may be seen kneeling upon the ground gently prodding something out of your sight.  The person hears your approach and turns towards you lifting a small broken form.  You recognize the face of Elyr instantly as she shows you the dead rat cupped gently within her palms.  Between her sobs she says; “Save them… not all are as they seem… break the silent pipes to end their plight... the vile servant of Lasheeva … he holds the salvation of silver within his cauldrons.” And she turns back to her contemplation of all the rats strewn about at her feet.

The return of your companions brings you back into your body before you have a chance to inquire further.

{Game clock advances 3:02:00am on 02/19/3200}

So they were listening to Hearn tell them about her vision, when something bizarre happens.  {Aristemis forgoes anything like a vision… opting for something a bit more practical}

An ethereal arrow streaks down from on high; straight into Thingerlun’s brain-pan and pinning him to the nearest wall…  The arrow fades into sparkles, leaving him with the following thought: “for your record of excellent service your esteem and worth has been revalued.”  Thingerlun may now Invoke patron up to 2x day and his luck is restored to 5.

Hearn: “Are you OK?

Thingerlun, grinning like the cat that got the canary: “Doing just fine thanks!”

Hearn finishes relating her vision, when Pat jumps in with: “That sounds like we can find a cure for the silver problem in here somewhere.

Before anyone can do anything else, Pat (who is closer to the door) notices something is looking at them from around the corner further along the northern hall.  She recognizes it as the ‘snake head’ of Ffwylldyr’s mandolin.  It wanders off making odd thrumming noises and all but Hearn start to follow after it.  They see that it resembles a wooden turtle with a very long neck that it swings about, it is looking for something.  They follow along until it leaves the mines and starts heading off to find its master.  They hesitate in the main chamber, not wanting to get all covered in muck and a debate breaks out over which of the bards has the pipes that need breaking.  They recollect that Ffwylldyr always played the mandolin as far as they knew, but that bard had been an imposter so they weren’t sure how much of his act was real.

In the end they ask Milo to call upon his Second Sight to guide them, but all he could determine was that they should go through the door on the north wall.  That is when they notice the rail tracks circling the room under the muck and heading out under the door.  Bob heads over and listens, and hearing nothing; he opens the door to see the hall heads north for maybe 40ft and ends in another door.  There is a side hall to the west about 10ft away and the tracks head in both directions.

They decide to continue north on the idea that this was thin direction last indicated by Milo’s Second Sight.  Bob heads off to check the door with the rest following behind.  He searches for traps and finding neither lock nor trap; he listens at the door, but everyone is making too much noise for him to hear anything.  On his next try he thinks he hears the scratching and shuffling of a rat, muttering to himself “Rats… always rats.” He lets everyone know what he heard; the door opens outward so he pulls it open quickly.  He sees 3 things before all hell breaks loose:

1) someone has piled boxes nearly up to the ceiling restricting the path forward to a single file passage for a dozen feet or so then turns to the east; deeper into the room. 
2) there is a rather large brown and grey rat running as fast as it can down said narrow passage and disappearing out of sight. 
3)  a lurid green bolt of energy is streaking from somewhere deeper into the room to land a bout 15ft from where he is standing.  Then Bob and Pat, being the only ones in range of the spell; fail their saves.  Bob by a little, Pat rolled a 1.  Bob starts taking acid damage, Pat collapses to the ground coughing and taking acid damage from a powerful choking cloud of gas that obscures their vision.  

Bob yells for someone to grab Pat as he dives back out of the way.  Thingerlun sends in Grub to pull her out, and he does so… by the hair.  He’s still angry about being shot at.  From inside, somewhere deep inside the room they hear evil giggling; “You will fear the G’zogah!!!  Ahahahah!”

G’zogah moves the cloud ten feet further out into the hall: catching Pat, Bob, Dwight, and Grubb.  Thingerlun pulls Dwight and Bob out, Grubb walks out dragging Pat, who is barely conscious at this point.  On their initiatives, they all scramble back to the last junction, and proceed to wait out the spell duration.  More evil laughter, “I am the mighty G’zogah!!! Grovel like dogs!”

Pat recovers while they are waiting the 40 seconds or so that it takes for the spell to dissipate.  Then, in a surprising act of bravery, she runs into the room, down the narrow hall, and deep into the box maze hoping to move fast enough to find cover before the wizard can cast again. 

Bob; “Grubb, you should run in there and find us another exit.”

Grubb, sneering a bit and looking skeptical; “Wa you say boss?” turning to look at Thingerlun with adoration.

Thingerlun; “It’s a good idea, go for it.” Grubb transforms and skitters into the room while Thingerlun spends the round trying to think up the most effective way to knock the boxes down: domino style.

Milo strides into the room and then tries to cast sanctuary like Hearn did, hoping that they could then use the immunity to search the maze of boxes, but only managed to affect himself for a few seconds which caused his light to appear as if it were moving about on its own.  Bob then tries to sneak into the room only to fail miserably, turning to Pat, “SHHHH! I’m being sneaky!!”  Dwight tries to climb the boxes to get a better look, but his armor prevents him from succeeding.  They have had a chance to get a better look at the room now that there is a disembodied light bouncing about.  This room was originally a huge load of silver ore, long since mined out; leaving a hollow chamber that must be 40ft high at the center and at least as wide on its narrower north-south walls.  It is somewhat longer than that on the east-west axis, but they really cannot tell how far it is from their vantage point.  The crates are piled up nearly to the ceiling in what must be the center of the room, with the ‘walls’ of the maze getting lower as they get closer to the edges of the room. 

The entrance to the box maze.

G’zogah and his familiar spend the round maneuvering into position to spring their next trap, but they failed their sneak checks.  Most of the party as clustered within the first junction of the maze, a wall of crates between them and their attacker and trying to decide left or right. Bob hears the rat scrambling off to their left, and the wizard is somewhere off to the right and tries to communicate this knowledge silently through a series of pantomimes and gestures.  {And that’s when the great sign language debate broke out…  There was no need for dice to determine that the message was not received.}

Pat wanders off to the right and finds the ‘passage’ ends against the wall, but there is a small goblin tunnel going further.  She fires an arrow into the hole and hears it scraping along as it follows the tunnel off to her left.  She decides it is better not to try and squeeze through, and walks the 15 feet back to the junction. 

Pat whispering quietly: “Nothing down there I want to check out, maybe grub can do it.”

Giving up on the sign language, he whispers back: “wizard is to our right and the rat is somewhere over to the left.  We should stick together so we don’t get lost.”

Thingerlun thinks about invoking the reverse of his enlarge spell on one of the lower boxes, but decides that there is no way to guarantee which direction they will fall.  He attempts the same on the theory that his sleep spell can affect an area if he casts it at sufficient strength. 

Thingerlun succeeded at casting a truly powerful version of the spell and stated that the G’zogah must sleep until kissed buy its true love while in the throes of passion, but there were no immediate signs of anything happening.

Thingerlun, muttering; “Note to self: must research fireball at earliest convenience.”

Grubb gets lucky, sort of.  He finds the exit {he made a search check and followed the tracks to the other door while climbing over the boxes with ease} but there was another rat waiting there to deliver a chill touch spell for its master.  Grubb used up his round searching and moving, and the familiar has already done the same so they just sneer at each other.  Milo; “Fire in an enclosed space is not a good idea.” And then wanders off to the left and then east, deeper into the maze of crates with Bob and Dwight following.  G’zogah managed to get line of sight on Milo and fired a magic missile at him from his wand.  Then G’zogah ducks back and starts sneaking into another location.

His familiar misses his attack on Grubb.  Since everyone is traveling single file and there are no targets for them to attack everyone holds action until it is Thingerlun’s turn.  He lowers his gaze to the floor and slaps his forehead and in a hoarse whisper; “I’m an idiot!  Pat! How’ed you like to climb the walls with the ease of a spider?”  His invocation is so powerful that she doesn’t even need to take her boots off to make the spell function, but she’ll need to wait until it is her turn to act before she can put it to the test.  Grub transforms back to a hybrid form and cuts the familiar in half…

G’zogah; “GACK!”  They see him falling from high up on the boxes in the middle of the room, clutching his chest.  He hits the ground with a wet thump. 

Everyone is confused until Tingerlun explains the bond between wizard and familiar to them.  “… and you can see just how dangerous it is.  Note to self: when I get a familiar I need to ask for a 30ft tape-worm so no one can kill it.”

Taking advantage of the spider climb spell they take the time to survey the room and find the dead goblin wizard and the exit.  They looted the body of the wizard and found the wand a few feet away, he had pair of glasses that only had one lens (etched with runes) and a couple of gold rings, but neither are the one Dwight is looking for.  Thingerlun picks up the wand and it starts to hum.

DM; “Roll Thingerlun’s  Luck against a DC of 11.”

Thingerlun is disappointed when he channels power into the wand it only does 1 point of damage to one of the crates.  Pats ceiling walk also let them find what they suspect is the other end of the goblin tunnel she found earlier and after much debate they are too paranoid to risk letting something sneak up on them send in Grubb to scouts the tunnel.  All they hear is a snap and a hideous squelching noise as Grubb’s scream is cut short.  There was nothing else they could do, Milo couldn’t fit in the hole to give last rights.  The characters all stood around in silent grieving for a lowly goblin for a while, and then slowly left the room. 

The tunnel twists and turns for a bit, but they stop when Bob finds a secret door.  In a fit of carelessness, Bob simply activates the door.  Realizing how lucky he was this time, he calls milo over to shed some light into the narrow room.  They see that the room is about twice as long as it is wide on the east-west axis and filled with debris from an old cave in.  Bob, extremely cautious now, starts searching the room, but fails to notice the hole in the floor.  He teeters on the edge for a moment, but seeing that it is a chute and not a pit, he decides to let himself fall in.  Tumbling in the darkness for a time, then out into free fall to land on something that felt decidedly like upright barrels.  He is unharmed; save for his pride, he then gives silent thanks that no one was around to see it.  He estimates the chute at about 50 to 60ft.

Milo, having not heard anything from Bob peeks into the room.  Noticing that he is gone Milo only steps  over the threshold.  His voice echoing down the chute: “You dead?”

Bob says nothing.

Milo, a little louder; “I’m not lowering a rope unless I know you’re down there somewhere!”

Bob, aggravated; “I’m fine, but it’s dark down here.  Now throw me a rope!”

Milo, having followed the sound of bobs voice, finds the chute without falling in; “We can’t find the rope, we think we left it with Hearn!”

Bob sighs, thinking that they are probably correct, and the other 50ft is in his back pack.  Since Milo moved closer to the hole, there was just enough light filtering in to let him make out the crack in the wall 5ft above him.  To anyone how didn’t know, it would simply look like a crack in the wall.  He is also just barely able to make out a door on one wall and the vague silhouettes of equipment.  He can smell the canvas, leather, and oiled metal quite clearly.  He listens at the door, but Milo shouts back down again; “Do you want us to go back and get it or not?” 

Hearing nothing, he tries again, and thinks he hears the faint sounds of battle.  Pulling himself up into the crack he sees that he slid down a smooth water cut channel; it is easy enough for him to climb back to the party: following the sounds of their debate as to the feasibility of the use of spider climb on Milo so they can get some light down there.  A few minutes later he was back where he started and telling them what he found. 

Milo, tauntingly; “Way to go Trap Master!  Some thief you are, didn’t check the door and fell into a hole.”

Bob, indignantly; “Who are you calling thief?!  I’m no thief, I’m a Ditch digger, and proud of it too!”

Milo; “Well you seem to be able to find traps and such well enough, most of the time.”

Bob, proudly; “If you dig around in the dirt long enough, you’re bound to run across things others would rather keep hidden.  It’s an occupational hazard.”

They manage to find a secure location to tie off.   Bob goes first muttering and swearing.  He sighs in resignation when his get to the end of his rope…  Still abut 15ft left to go including the drop at the end.  Fortunately the chute was fairly level at that point and he was able to exit easily enough.  Considering sparking up a torch, he stops and pops the bung off one of the barrels first.  His nose tells him that it is fairly high grade lamp oil, so he decides to feel his way around the room; shovels, “ouch” picks, sacks, rope.  Makes his way back up and splices it on and calls back for everyone else to head down.  The growing light confirms his assessments, and he spends some time examining the locked door.  The ‘ditch digger’ picks the lock while Milo looks on and just shakes his head.

Opening the door cautiously, the sounds of battle increase.  And this time they can faintly make out the whining of a set of pipes amongst the clashing of weapons. Milo informs them that they are facing east, the hallway starts from the door and spirals around to their left and then off down a long stretch heading south.  They proceed closer to the sounds of battle, the noise hiding their approach, the ditch digger out in front making sure the passage is safe.  Thanks to the geometry of the tunnel intersection, they were able to get fairly close, but stop well short of seeing (or being seen by) any of the action. 

That is when they stopped to debate the possible tactics.  This was a very long dialog, and I can’t quite recollect every permutation that they went through, but there was one particularly funny moment after they had gone through two ideas and discarded them for being too cruel…

Milo; “Cleanse them with holy fire.”

Pat; “You were there when Hearn had her vision; she said the rats have to be saved.”

Bob, shrugs: “We have plausible deniability.”

Thingerlun; “I suppose I could use the sleep spell, and then we let whoever is attacking them do the work for us.”

Milo: “We have barrels of oil…”

Pat; “But Hearn will get mad at us, and we left the other ones sleeping up top.”

Bob; “Hearn’s not here: I won’t tell if you won’t tell.  Besides they’re easier to kill when they’re sleeping.”

Pat, horrified as she realizes what he is implying; “You didn’t!”

Bob, grinning; “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.  Besides I didn’t want them sneaking up on us.”

The conversation was interrupted by the sound of wet and irregular footsteps from behind them.

Milo, intuiting what was about to happen next; “Oh no…” There, revealed by the light of his aura was the shuffling form of Grubb: one ear missing, one eye bulging out, and apparently missing one foot.

Grubb, reaching out for them; “FRRIIEennnnd!”  {As opposed to: Braiiiiins!” The player turns to me and says; “Thingerlun is visibly seething with fury.”}

Milo, turning to Thingerlun; “You know we’re going to have to kill it again right?”  Then prepares to smite the abomination.

Thingerlun: “NO!  I will not rest, nor stop at any cost to have my friend resurrected!”  He then ducks around the corner and sees that the hall is packed with wear-rats, goblins, and rats who appear to be waiting their turn to enter the fight in front of them.  He casts sleep, and manages to drop a couple of the goblins.  However no one failed to notice the huge swan-like wings that enveloped the victims, and the goblins start calling for Laurence to come help them.  They don’t notice Thingerlun in all the confusion.

Thingerlun; “They’re calling for Laurence, and I don’t think that will last long, so we should take advantage while we can.”

Pat, failing to stop him and the others from striding forward; “Wait!  You said they are calling for Laurence… isn’t he that Gannu fellow?  We should wait for him to come to us.”  {now they are within range of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty.  The willpower DC was 18; only Thingerlun made his save, Grubb didn’t need to roll.  Everyone rolls initiative: Pat botches her initiative by rolling a 1, which modifies to a -1 because of the song effect.}

Milo fails to bless Dwight.  Dwight decides to be mighty and using his bow he tries to break the pipes, but misses completely.  Relying upon the lingering effects of his song, Laurence switched songs, to something barely audible that drives the rats into a killing frenzy and they surge forward.  Thingerlun sends Grubb out first telling him to attack, and then the draws the wand out. 

{James: “Can I fire the wand and cast in the same round?”

DM: “Hmm, well there are no rules for wands yet, and according to the rules it says that it is possible for wizards to cast more than one spell in a round.  It’s at higher levels, but I should think that casting from a wand would be much simpler than going through the normal routine, or there wouldn’t be much use for them.  Sure, but he can’t move or run away if something goes wrong.”}

Thingerlun then uses the wand to shoot the syrinx in the bard’s hands, which then failed its save and exploded.  The destruction of the pipes causes a terrible curse to be lifted, and most of the rats transform back into half-starved and half-crazy townsfolk who stampede down the hall away from the characters, killing several of their former tormentors in their frenzy to flee the scene.  Thingerlun then he follows up by casting a mighty flurry of magic missiles down the hall.  {He gets 1d4 missiles, plus 1 at 4d12 damage.}  He kills 2 of the remaining goblins with missiles, and 1 with the electric discharge from his mercurial magic results; and then lobs the big one at Laurence, who ends up exploding into goo.

The Battle with Laurence Gannu, just before Thingerlun unleashes arcane hell

Bob steps out into the hall and in front of Thingerlun to protect Thingerlun, and Pat starts dancing along with the tune in her head, ignoring everything that is going on.  All but one of the remaining goblins and wear-rats panic; and then run off in the same direction as the peasants.  The Ditch Digger manages to gut one of them with a vicious dagger swipe.  Dwight, somewhat amazed by the turn of events holds action in case he’s needed.  Unsatisfied, Thingerlun vents his anger again and he unleashed 6 normal missiles as well as the big kahuna at the 5 goblinoids that have the audacity to still be standing even though they are running away.  He was hoping that he could clear more room for Dwight and Bob, because Milo was tending to the dead, and Pat isn’t reliable at the moment.

DM: “The remaining goblins turn into glowing silhouettes and disappear as if they were hit by high intensity phasor beams.”

The Ditch Digger skulks forward down the hall to the ‘T’ junction that their carnage has revealed to find one terrified goblin hiding just around the corner to his right.  He slashes its throat with his back stab, because it didn’t see him coming; but when he looked to his left, his face paled when he saw that that hall was packed full of skeletons with picks and shovels, so he calls for Milo. 

Grubb starts eating the brains of one of the dead goblins.  Disgusted, Milo strides forward at Bobs frantic calls for him; seeing the mass of skeletons he raised his holy symbol and calls forth the power of Ormazd to lay these poor souls to rest.  Only 3 of the skeletons are turned, but they are sufficient for the moment to slow the advancement of the others.  Grubb is in range, so he runs as well, but stops after about 50ft.

This was the only pic I got of the skeleton battle, apologies for the poor quality, but it gives an idea of what they were up against.

On the next round Bob heads back to get Pats help, the Ditch Digger Has had an idea.  Milo fails to turn any more undead.  Thingerlun casts magic missile again, but only gets one missile this time, though it still manages to pop one of the skeletons.  Grubb tries to get back to Thingerlun. Dwight tries to use one of the trampled goblin bodies to knock down a skeleton, but failed, so he moves back. Pat and the Ditch Digger head back to the store room for a barrel of oil.  With everyone else holding action until the others bring back the barrel, Milo takes another chance on turning undead.  {natural 20, but since they all were still under the effects of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty, the total roll modified below the ability to destroy any of the skeletons.  Though 11 of them, plus Grubb, ran away.}

Now the mass of skeletons is moving in slowly in the opposite direction, knocking over some of the few still trying to attack, and everyone waits for Bob and Pat.  When they return, the barrel is opened and they go bowling for skeletons, but even with Thingerlun helping, the barrel only made it halfway through the bony horde.  Then Dwight lit the trail of oil and dove around the corner with everyone else. 

The corridor erupts in flames and is effectively blocked for a while.  Milo tries to invoke his second sight, but incurs the displeasure of his Deity and must now go on a quest to heal the sick and injured: until he completes this quest, he is at -4 on all attempts to heal.  All of them still suffering from the annoying tune in their heads, start back up to the holding cells hoping that the effects of Laurence’s song will eventually wear off, and they do by the time they reach the base camp. {It is around 9am} Milo insists on heading out to see if the sun came up and is both relieved and perplexed that it has risen.  When they get back to the sanctuary, the Ditch Digger begins to itch all over, and that sensation is replaced by the feeling that he is being eaten by a thousand angry fleas.  The Hamster Pox goes into full zoster. 

The hamster headed boils (complete with teeth, hence the biting) are most difficult to treat, as any bites cause the infection to spread.  Hearn caught the pox before managing to use magic, and some of her magic ointment to cure Bob and herself.

{Game clock suspended at 9:45am 02/19/3200} 

Here are the two progress maps:

And last but not least here are some more mug shots of the enemy:

Gruftus the Inquisitor
 His brother G'zogah the Cultist of Krelvax the Weaver

Aaaaand the LATE Laurence Gannu; Pseudo-Rat King, Bard of the Apocalypse

We meet again in 2 weeks.

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