Session 17 – The Stoneheart Dungeon VIII (Lost Lands)

rustmonster3_zps2067bcba

Rusty the Rust Monster

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete (1st ed)

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 6 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 5 | Berndt

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 5 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 4 [Thane variant] | Flan

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 5 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 4 | Martin

Meatshields & NPCs

Man-At-Arms | Garfield

Absent this session

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 4 | Mats


Session Seventeen – Spiders and shit

Level-ups this session: Alba Psy/M-U 4, Hoder Ftr 5, Fenrir Bbn 5 and Make Me Pal 5.

Obituaries (Gallery of Honor)

The preivious session ended with a bang, followed by a massive assault by the flying vermin known as stirges. This happened as the PCs tried to traverse the great wall in the main cavern on level 2. We started this session with the PCs tired, bleeding and in Blitz’s case toasted by the green fiery blast of some arcane fire trap. After some rest and healing, using up a lot of the party’s healing reserves, our reluctant heroes decided to press on.

The natural wall seemed to divide the cavern in two parts as they had seen from the top, with a steep drop on the other side as well. It also acted as a ledge/path, with two dark cave openings on each side, leading into the rock. Above each entrance, an eerie runic pattern was glowing faintly. After some bickering on who was going in there, Angelina D’Monica the assassin went into the right (south east) opening. Almost immediately, the pathway started sloping down leading to a stair cut from the rock and turning straight east. The stairs ended in a corridor, tapering up to become a narrow but high ceilinged cavern with several smaller side corridors to the north and south. The most striking thing though was the thick spider-web like structures walling off passage to the east, north and south. Dead end it seemed. Angelina (being a human) tried to set the nets on fire, but they wouldn’t burn. After trying to cut them end getting the sword stuck she tried to shove the torch under the webs to see further, noticing dead stirges trapped in the nets. It seemed the eastern approach (the main cave) was all impenetrable, but the side corridor going south wasn’t that thick. After gathering the rest of the party, Alba the psychic wizard used her Ray of Frost spell to insta-freeze the web strands, which made them easy to break. After som intensive spell casting and hard work they moved south, finding themselves in a new corridor going east-west, but walled-off to the east by more webs.

They PCs carefully snuck west, finding themselves in a small circular 3-room cave system. One room contains several corpses. Some desiccated and some fresh. The desiccated ones seem devoid of content, like a “skin costume” with no innards. Pretty gross.

The floor of the other room is littered with shiny things, mostly coins. As the PCs are moving about investigating, a huge 8-feet spiky spider suddenly manifests in their midst and attacks! There is a frantic fight, with the spider mysteriously disappearing and re-appearing in another place, but they manage to slay it without any casualties and continue to loot the area, finding some jewelry, a magic sword and a ring of invisibility (which the assassin takes).

Since they now are wounded and loaded down with loot (which they transport by means of a Floating Disc spell by Alba) they decide to head back to the hidden Temple of Law, which has become their sanctuary and loot collection place while in the dungeon, to take a longer rest and tend their wounds. However, while in the Temple, settling down to rest, Make Me the paladin hears a scuttling noise in the corridor outside. Angelina and Haxxel goes out to scout, Angelina taking point with her invisibility ring. What they find is most disturbing. A huge spider (like the one they slew earlier) has apparently followed them into their hiding place! Maybe it’s not as safe as they thought it would be…? The PCs attack and with joined forces they manage to put down the evil creature. And finally, they get some rest.

Well rested and recuperated, the PCs decide to check the right (north west) corridor upon the ledge. Angelina D’Monica puts on the ring of invisibility and ventures into the dark opening. After but a few feet, everything turns black. Like really, really black. She has to feel herself back to the opening. It seems that even darkvision cannot pierce this ungodly darkness. Hoder the Ogre warrior decides to brave the danger. The dark corridor slopes down, turning right (west) as he goes. After some 50 feet, a stairway leads down, ending up in a non-black corridor leading west. Hoder fetches the rest of the crew and they continue exploration, moving into a small cavern, where they catch a faint purring sound. On a heap of old fabric scraps, a strange creature is resting, a rune-engarved dog collar around it’s neck. It has an armadillo-like body with a long tail ending in a fishtail-like shape and it’s head is adorned with twin feather-like long antennae (like a night-moth). Upon spotting the PCs, the creature gives up a yelp and jumps up like a happy dog, approaching the PCs.

(GM note: The players immediately recognize the creature, but the characters have never encountered anything like it so we play out their ignorance, supported by a few botched intelligence and monster lore checks, resulting in a very fun encounter).

After a few rounds of battle (and a few destroyed metal items) some of the players suspect that the monster has something to do with their rapidly decaying weapons and armor, but they keep attacking as they can’t do anything else. The creature is eventually slain, but at the cost of armor details, weapons and even one mighty magic sword. The PCs realizes that the rust-bringing antennae can be usable and cut them off (one more dagger gone). Then Blitz casts Gentle Repose* on them to keep them from going sour. They then decide to try the antennae on the bronze door they couldn’t force in the partially flooded area on level 1. Without searching more where they are, they hurry to the bronze door (to ensure that the antennae doesn’t lose their ability to digest metal). And yes – touching an antenna on the previously impenetrable bronze door makes it rust and crumble in an instant*, revealing a steep staircase leading down into the bowels of the Earth. The first stop is a small room (10×20 ft) with no apparent exits, and a stairway going even further down. They decide to follow the stairs.

*= I don’t know if Rust Monster antennae are supposed to work after death, but this was good and creative thinking so of course it worked 🙂

After a long climb down, they end up in a man-made corridor making a 90° turn toward the right (west). Faint cries of agony (or ecstasy?) can be heard echoing… They peak around the corner, Miami Vice style, and see two rotting zombie-like undead with swords and shields and three of the blood soaked, red eyed skeletal abominations like they encountered at the diabolic blood-fountain up above. One of the zombies is also carrying a filthy skin drum around its decayed neck. The dwarven cleric jumps around the corner, trying to turn the abominations, but he fails miserably, as does the paladin. The only option now is to fight, bu the cramped corridor only allows a two-man front. Haxxel suspects that the drum might be an alarm device and manages to put an arrow through the drum skin, muffling the sound and nailing the drum to the chest of the zombie. And here we leave our heroes, weapons drawn, facing a group of unrelenting undead…

Actually a good cliffhanger and the end of Season 1 of our adventures in the Lost Lands.


Next session we will create characters for the 1920s Call of Cthulhu mega adventure Masks of Nyarlahotep. And of course, play reports will be posted here as usual.

Stay tuned for more tabletop RPG action from A Fistful of d20s!

Session 16 – The Stoneheart Dungeon VII (Lost Lands)

7a

Runes go ka-boom

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 5 | Berndt

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 5 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 4 [Thane variant] | Flan

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 4 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 4 | Martin

Meatshields & NPCs

Man-At-Arms | Garfield

Absent this session

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 4 | Mats


Session Sixteen – Balls to the wall

Level-ups this session: Old Sleaze Sorceror 5 and Blitz Cleric 6.

Obituaries (Gallery of Honor)

Last time we left our would-be heroes in a large cave close to the rat dens on level 1. In the far end, a depressed area with alcoves stretching further into the rock was found and the PCs had just “convinced” the last remaining hireling (Garfield) to climb down and investigate, armed with a sword and a stone with light cast on it. At first all seemed calm, but suddenly he started to scream in horror…

Some PCs slid down the slope to the alcove, weapons drawn, while others helped poor Garfield climb the rope in record time, and run into a corner to hide from all the world’s horrors…

llyod

Garfield in his happy place after being saved…

The alcove was brightly lit by the light-rock that the hireling dropped, revealing a roughly 40 × 40 ft. room with six rotten and smashed coffins on the floor, and with a wooden door at the south end.

Scuttling in the shadows was two rodent-like shadowy creatures that seemed to be made out of pure shadow. If it hadn’t been for the bright light nobody would have seen them. A frantic battle ensued as the shadowy being got reinforced by three more creatures that seemed to seep out of the walls. Eventually, the PCs managed to slay the hell-shadows. Mysteriously strength-less and fatigued, they proceeded to search the coffins, but found nothing of value. Then two more shadowy beings, this time human-sized appeared out of the walls to attack from behind but they were repelled as well. After some futile attempts to pick the lock of the south door the paladin finally kicked in the door, revealing a small room with two more or less intact coffins, containing some coins, jewelry, art objects, potions and a magic-user scroll. They also found a foul-smelling round hole in the rock, hidden below obe of the coffins. It was clearly a smell from hell and by lowering ropes the measured the depth to about 100 ft. Blitz the dwarven cleric decided to summon a monster to send down the hole to investigate. A strange spider answered his call and went down the hole only to report back that it was dark and that there were more caves down there…

(Note for players: In order to speak with a summoned monster you must actually know its language).

The PCs decided to leave the hole alone for now and explore this level first. First they checked the passage leading northwest from the present cavern, which led to a stairway down and which they decided to leave for now. As they went back to the big entrance cavern, they carefully checked the rat tunnels but found nothing new.

In the big cavern, they investigated the semi-hidden passage in the north west corner, which led to a dead end small cave, filled with strange fungi, mushrooms and luminescent algae on the rock walls. They also found many traces of giant rats, making for a hasty retreat.

After some discussion, it was decided that they should go down to level 2 and investigate the high wall that cut off the main cavern there. First, they oiled up Hoder (who had been waiting, fighting Stirges in the narrow corridor outside the narrow passage on level one due to his size) and managed to pull him through. As they now have a potion of diminuition, they figured that they can solve the exit later. Bruised, and missing a nipple, the large ogre is now reunited with the rest of the group. The PCs went down to level 2 and started with taking a rest in the secret Temple of Law. After being properly rested, they went to check out the 30 ft. high ledge cutting the cave in half. On the top, two passages could be seen from below. Angelina decided to climb the wall and throw down a rope to Blitz, making for a scouting party. The others remained in the cave. Up on the ledge, it is evident that there’s a large cave on the other side as well and that the ledge actually separate the cavern like a wall. The ledge also works as a gangway from the openings to the north and south. Suddenly, a bright rune is lit above the north opening. Then one at the south. Neither scout has seen symbols like these before. Then, a very bright rune starts shining in the middle of the ledge. It shines successively brighter and then erupts in a sea of fire! Angelina spots the danger and throws herself out of the blast zone, but the dwarf takes the full force of the blast, reducing his clothes and beard to a crisp (9d6 damage). The smoke have barely started to dissipate before they hear the flapping of many wings…

A large swarm of Stirges comes straight at them, a few remaining to attack the PCs on top of the ledge, the rest flying over and attacking the PCs at the base. The battle is chaotic, but the PCs eventually comes out victorious. Some PCs very wounded, but all still alive.

And here we had to break for the session. To be continued…


And now for something completely different:

Q: What colour are Blitz’s eyes?

A: One blue this way, the other blue that way…


Session 15 – The Stoneheart Dungeon VI (Lost Lands)

Rats… I hate rats!

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 5 | Berndt

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 5 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Meatshields & NPCs

Man-At-Arms | Garfield

Torchbearer | Ranulf 

Absent this session

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 4 [Thane variant] | Flan

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 4 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 4 | Martin

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 4 | Mats


Session Fifteen – Rattus Giganticus

No level-ups this session, but Old Sleaze and Blitz are pretty close…

Obituaries (Gallery of Honor)

Team Alpha: Angelina, Blitz and hireling Ranulf

Team Bravo: Alba, Haxxl and hireling Garfield

As last time, our would be heroes were separated in two teams when we began.

Team Bravo had just escaped some undead horrors and doubled back to the place where they fought the scruffy ogre and decided to press further on to the east where they had not expplored before. It turned out to be the ogre’s filthy den, filled with junk but they also found 5 large sacks of valuable loot as well as many dented armours and weapons, including an exquisite elven longbow of master craft.They also found a small wooden chest which resisted all attempts to be opened. At last, the grumpy dwarf cleric decided to smash it open, revealing two intact potion vials and one broken. The greedy dwarf decided to slurp up the remains of the broken potion, only to discover that it was some kind of poison! Luckily for the dwarf, the small amount ingested didn’t kill him, but it has left him rather weak [CON damage, with all consequences that will bring]. As the loot found was very heavy and bulky, they only took the carryable things, meaning to come back and take the rest later and bring it to their “treasure stash”, located in the holy temple to Muir one level below. They then went back to the big cavern where the dwarf was almost devoured by the ankheg in order to meet up with the rest of the crew.

Team Alpha were already at the meeting point after last session’s ordeals.

After assembling and a short briefing, they decided to check out the area beynd the southwestern ledge in the large cavern, but first Angelina snuck into the semi-hidden passage going northwest from the cavern. This passage led northwest, splitting east and ending in a stair going down. She decided to stop and return to the others.

The PCs ascended the nearly vertical slope and found a small cave system with two main passages going straight west and south. The western passage looked like the walls were man-made and they decided to invesigate. The passage led to a dead-end alcove with four rotting coffins. Haxxl went in and opened one of the lids to reveal a skeleton with a strange amulet around it’s bony neck and buried with a curved sword and a tarnished metal shield. Suddenly the skeleton sprang up as did three more from the other coffins. A brutal but short battle ensued. After having sent the undead back to Hell, the PCs decided to keep the weird amulets.

The south passage constricted and split up in three directions after some 50-60 feet. In the dim light they could see lots of tiny eyes, reflecting the light from the torches and lanterns. Rats! Lots of them! By using burning oil and alchemist’s fire to drive the creatures back, the PCs managed to advance into the passages, only to be beset upon by even more rats. It was also here that Ranulf the torch-bearer was overwhelmed by the hungry rats and bitten to death and partly eaten by the giant rodents. Sadly, there will be no bards singing his lament… It was also here that Alba the semi-nude Psychic Wizard got a chance to contemplate the appropriateness of her choice of garb after having been beset by the rat horde. She now has many small bleeding sores covering her exposed skin…

The east and west narrow passages seemed to lead to the rat nests only, but the south passage widened up after some 90-100 feet to reveal a larger strangely shaped cave. There’s a narrow passage going east and in the far south end a 10 foot depression leading to an obviously man-made structure judging by the right angles and smooth walls. Now the PCs make a dick move by convincing the last hireling, Garfield, to go down the structure to “see what’s there”. Blitz casts Continual Light on a rock and first they throw the rock down the depression. Garfield climbs down a rope and moves into the room below, moving out of sight. He shouts that he sees six rotted and destroyed coffins. Suddenly, his shouts are broken by a terrible scream of terror and death anguish…!

Cliffhanger! Here we had to stop for the session. To be continued the 5th of June…

Session 14 – The Stoneheart Dungeon V (Lost Lands)

nmgg7b

Fear the Reaper!

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 5 | Berndt

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 4 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 4 | Martin

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 5 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Meatshields & NPCs

Man-At-Arms | Garfield

Torchbearer | Ranulf 

Absent this session

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 4 [Thane variant] | Flan

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 4 | Mats


Session Fourteen – Into the Realm of the Dead

No level-ups this session.

Obituaries (Gallery of Honor)

Team Alpha: Angelina, Blitz, Sleaze and hireling Ranulf

Team Bravo: Make Me, Alba, Haxxl and hireling Garfield

The session started with the PCs separated in two teams, where we left off last time, and with Alba the Psychic/Magic-user and Angelina d’Monica III the Assassin switching places with Hoder and Fenrir.

Team Alpha had just exited the purple haze, with Haxxl and Make Me continuing the exploration of a long passage running east, having found a clean and neat cave containing  a little used backpack filled with adventuring gear and two barrels of water and wine respectively. From that cave, a very straight and obviously man made corridor was running south east… 

The duo decides to go back to get the rest of the crew before exploring further. Upon returning, Haxxl sneaks into the corridor, carefully checking everything as he goes. Metal ring torch holders sit on the walls, unlit. After some 50-60 feet, there’s a wooden door on the east wall but the wild elf also detect a secret door a few feet back on the west wall. After some searching and listening, they decide to try the door, which is open. Inside is a square 25 foot room with bookshelves, a neat pergament adorned desk and two work tables laden with glass beakers, glass tubes and containers holding various liquids, powders and other reagents, signifying the work place of a wizard or alchemist. The pergaments and tomes on the bookshelves confirm the same. In the room are also three wooden chests. Alba casts Detect Magic and one of the chests is indeed radiating magic as is the secret door across the corridor. Haxxl checks for traps and suspects that one of the chests is trapped. Alba uses Open/Close to manipulate the magic chest from a distance, triggering a vicious needle trap as the chest opens. Inside, they discover many coins of copper and gold as well as four magic potion vials. Haxxl and Alba then opens the next two chests using crowbars and swords. It turns out that they are trapped with poison needles as well. One of the chests contain many silver coins, the other fine silk fabrics, fur garments and very feminine and delicate clothing along with the fine jewelry of a lady. However, they also cannot help but notice that the garments are quite revealing, more like hareem outfits. They take the potions and Alba puts on some of the expensive looking clothes. The plan next is to rendez-vous with Team Bravo and continue together as they have no means of opening the magically barred secret door by themselves.

On the way back, in the room where they fought the tentacled centipede-like creatures earlier, they suddenly pick up the high frequency sound of quickly flapping wings and all of a sudden, nine Stirges are upon them!

10-stirge

Gotta love those Stirges 😉

Haxxl manages to cleave one right away, but two are focussing on the unarmored psychic wizard, attaching themselves to her, sucking her life away as she struggles to get them off.   The PCs fight valiantly, slashing the air with bright arcs of steel, cutting down the annoying things. After an interrupted try, Alba manages to cast Sleep, causing four of the flying abominations to crash to the ground. And after some more fighting, the Stirges are defeated, but Alba has lost a great deal of her physical strength (6 CON loss). Our heroes continue on their way up…

Team Bravo had just fought Gorbash the Mad Max ogre and then some blood skeleton warriors and when we left off last time, they were exploring the narrow tunnel running south west from the blocked passages…

After some 60 feet, the tunnel turns abruptly north west and enter a big, deadly silent cavern running south west. Angelina sneaks in and nervously advance along its length. About 35 feet in, she finds four spent torches and a crushed glass vial on the floor…

The rest of the crew follow and after 35 feet more, the cavern narrows again turning south east. The air is getting cleaner, but with a slight tint of ammonia and the sound of flapping wings can be heard. Many flapping wings…

Before them, a vertical shaft opens up, going about 200 feet up to the surface above. A tiny sliver of starlit night sky can be discerned high above. And what seems to be hundreds of winged creatures, hanging on the sinkhole walls.

Angelina uses the rock with continual light to peak into the shaft, seeing lots of giant bats and that the portion of the tunnel passing through the shaft is covered in slippy and gross bat guano, making hasty movement risky. Angelinas courage falters, so Blitz takes over and he hastily moves the 50 feet through the shaft. The others follow and at last Angelina has to move across. The bats stir and flap their wings but they do not attack.

On the other side, a large cavern with wet stone walls open up, curving south east, ending in a worked stone wall, adorned with a iron-band reinforced wooden door. On the ground in front of the door are two battered longswords.

The dwarf checks the wall, saying that this obviously is a natural wall (rolled a 1 on “Notice Stonework”). After checking for traps, they try to open the door only to realize that it is stuck. The dwarf tries to kick in the door, making a hole in the wood and realizing that it opens up towards him. Then, he breaks it open with a mighty pull using his trusty crowbar, revealing a very dark rectangular chamber, containing six stone sarcophagi. As the first PC enters the tomb, the sarcophagus lids slide off and six skeletons armed with scimitars and shields rise up and immediately attack, their gem eyes glowing red with unlife… The PCs back out of the tomb to create a choke point for the enemy and Angelina send one of the undead back to hell with a mighty stab from behind. The dwarven cleric tries to turn the skeletons but to no avail. Suddenly the skeletons stop and move aside. A compact darkness, radiating a bottomless fear seems to flow towards the door, now stuck open! As it comes nearer, an almost transparent apparition clad in a black chain armor and adorned with the horned goat pentagram of Orcus stares at them from the Void, making Old Sleaze turn and run in terror (and simultaneously crap his pants). The others manage to stand their ground, even if the fear turns their knees into jelly, their every fiber protesting against the madness of resisting the undead lord (and they simultaneously crap their pants). Blitz casts Invisibilty to Undead on himself.  Garfield runs for cover. Angelina tries to attack from her hiding place behind the door, hitting the thing but only seeming to aggravate it more. It reaches for her  with a phantasmal claw, passing right through her armor and drawing her life force out…

Simultaneously, Blitz casts another Invisibility to Undead on her and tells her to run for her life. With some acrobatic moves, Angelina gets out of the monster’s reach and they run back all the way to the cavern with the spent torches, where Old Sleaze is standing, panting and looking sheepish…

And here we had to finish the session! The two teams will now meet up and the next time we play, all the PCs will be gathered again.

Session 13 – The Stoneheart Dungeon IV (Lost Lands)

dungeon_level1_staircase

Deep dungeons….

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 5 | Berndt

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 4 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 4 | Martin

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 4 [Thane variant] | Flan

Meatshields & NPCs

Men-At-Arms | Garfield

Torchbearers | Ranulf | Wee Dingwall

Absent this session

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 5 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 4 | Mats


Session Thirteen – Purple Haze

No level-ups this session.

Obituaries

After having rested near the entrance, the PCs delve into the dark deeps again. This time, Hoder the Ogre fighter and Fenrir the vain barbarian join in while Angelina, Alba, Nitrolas and Rektolas stay by the entrance. The plan is to go back to the big cavern where they fought the creature from below, but it turns out that the ogre is too large to pass the narrow passage into the cavern. The party then decide to split up (always a jolly good idea ;)). Team A (Hoder, Blitz, Sleaze and hirelings Wee and Ranulf + zombie Garulf) go west through the singing corridor to investigate the Y-section with the obviously man-made heaps of rock. Team B (Make Me, Fenrir, Haxxl and hireling Garfield) go east to the big cavern and then into the passage they found in the pit where the monster attacked. Zombie-boy Garulf tags along group B as a moving lantern-holder.

Team Alpha

Upon returning to the Y-section the PCs start to check the little cavern before the two blocked passages more thoroughly, but nothing is found except for semi-hidden extra tunnel going south and ending in a dead-end. They then decide to take the right passage. Wee is left behind to guard the left passage.

Since the passage is so narrow they must proceed single-file (Hoder, Ranulf, Blitz, Sleaze,  Garulf the zombie) and everyone except Hoder must climb over the stone heaps blocking the passage. As the point of the file is negotiating the second stone obstacle, they find a narrow passage going south-west into the rock. Ranulf is coerced to get in there in search of gold and glory. Blitz cast a light spell on a smaller rock and Ranulf throws it into the passage that turns out to be quite long (∼60-70 feet) before it sharply turns north. As Ranulf slowly advances into the dark, Blitz sits on the heap of stones keeping his eyes open for trouble.

Suddenly, a savage roar is heard from behind them as a huge scarred ogre leaps over the rear stone heap and smashes the head of poor Garulf the zombie! Next in line is Sleaze the sorcerer who tries to turn and fight, but instead gets hit in the chest by a vicious sweep of the ogre’s huge and very evil-looking morning star, sending him crashing into the stone wall of the passage. Things look bleak for our protagonists, but Sleaz-o manages to cast a Sleep spell with a good effect, sending the ogre to a sudden slumber, arching backwards over the stone heap. The ogre is quickly put down of with multiple coup-de-grȃce stabbings and Hoder steals its Mad-Max style armor as well as the evil-looking morning star. Checking on Wee the rear guard, he must have been surprised by a sneak attack as he is on his back, his head caved in to a mushy pulp.

Before they get to rest or properly assess the situation, a group of blood-smeared skeleton warriors armed with shields and swords attack from behind! The fight is quickly finished however, as the dwarf cleric manages to turn them. When the skeletons flee, the PCs follow and cut some them down with little resistance.

[Did we play this group any more here??]

Team Bravo

Meanwhile, the other group has snuck down to the cavern where they found the illusory wall and entrance to the hidden Temple of Muir. The high-roofed cavern has two exit points – one goes north-east and is situated high up on the wall. The other goes south east and is a continuation of the cave. Our boys go south east, keeping a low profile. The cavern is narrowing and widening again, branching off a at several places, creating a quite elaborate cave system with many side tunnels. As they are edging along into the caves, they suddenly become aware that a strange creature is looking at them. A large centipede like beast with tentacles surrounding it’s mandible area. The creature just stands there, emitting an annoying hum and following their every move, slowly closing in… Out of the blue, it rushes to attack. Simultaneously, two more of the things appear.

Haxxl the wild elf duelist leaps and attacks, slaying the first beast. After this he makes an acrobatic move and jumps out of the centipede’s melee range. Make Me charges into the battle and manages to score a few good hits, but is getting hit on the hands by several tentacles and topples over, unable to move. Fenrir also charges in and fights valiantly, slaying a beast but is hit in the melee and falls, paralysed. Meanwhile, Haxxl stands back and shoots arrows at the monsters. At last, everyone except Haxxl and one of the beasts is lying on the ground. Before the beast is able to strike, Haxxl manages to hit the creature, killing it instantly. The wild elf checks the rest of the party, finding that they are alive, but unable to move and sits down to wait for them to “wake up”. After over an hour of anxious wait, they start moving again and after a rest with bandaging and healing our now shaken heroes continue deeper into the caves, where they find a stash of many coins in leather bags hidden under a heap of revolting offal.

Running directly east is a passage that turns south after some 90 feet, ending in a curved stairway leading down to a T-section with yet more passages, one of them filled with a purple haze*. The PCs decide to backtrack and take another route that they saw earlier. In the most southern (west) part of the cavern system is a passage leading down, featuring a short stair cut directly from the rock. At the bottom they find a T-intersection going west to a dead-end and south east to a passage filled with a moist and cold purple haze. It seems they have to negotiate the mist anyhow they turn…

Fenrir ventures into the mist, following the left wall. Upon reaching a turn, he is suddenly hit by a sharp object, wounding him in the torso. Returning out of the haze it is apparent that he has been hit by a trap or weapon. Since he is better armoured, Make Me is chosen to venture into the haze, a rope attached to his waist. Inside the haze, vision is restricted to just a few feet and even then it is blurry. After following the wall for a short distance Make Me is hit squarely in the abdomen by a sharp object just like Fenrir before him. Make Me retaliates and swings his sword blindly, connecting to something! After some confused bling fighting [we used old school -4 to hit, but I later saw that B&T states a hard -10 to hit when fighting blind, which we will use henceforth] the paladin manages to slay whatever is attacking in the haze. After searching along the cave floor he finds the assailant and a weapon. It turns out to be a zombie-like creature, dressed in chain armour and a once white tunic emblazoned with a spider-like symbol, armed with a nasty-looking pole arm.

LolthSymbol_Painted

Spider, spider on the wall….

Haxxl ventures back in, now unassailed, finding a branching system of narrow tunnels leading east. After some 120 feet the tunnels widen up and form a cross with passages going north, south, west (where they come from) and east. He then follows the rope back to the others and the whole party advances to the cross-section where they decide to stop while Make Me and Haxxl scout on eastward, where the haze dissolves. After about 50 feet, there’s a side tunnel leaving north (which is not explored) and some 40 feet further into the narrow tunnel it seems that the tunnel is blocked by a mass of stone boulders, like after a cave in. When they investigate the cave in, they notice that it is merely an illusion and that the passage continues beyond, ending in a well-cleaned little cave with two wooden barrels and a little-used backpack. The tunnel enters the room about 5 feet over the room’s floor level. After visually scanning the room, Haxxl goes in. The backpack contains adventuring gear and the barrels contain water and wine respectively. The only exit from the little cave is an obviously man-made perfectly straight tunnel going south-east. The PCs decide to leave the backpack and barrels untouched and goes back to the tunnel going north, which turns out to lead to the area (marked * in the text above) they decided to skip a while back. They go into the purple haze again where they defeat yet another of the spider symbol adorned zombie-things.

And here we had to break for the session. To be continued…. \m/

Session 12 – The Stoneheart Dungeon III (Lost Lands)

tumblr_inline_ms834dxult1qz4rgp

Creepy crawly Ankhegs…

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 4 | Berndt

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 3 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 3 | Martin

Meatshields & NPCs

Men-At-Arms | Garfield

Torchbearers | Ranulf | Wee Dingwall

Absent this session

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 3 [Thane variant] | Flan

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 4 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 3 | Mats


Session Twelve – The Dwarf’s Lament

This session quite a few PCs leveled up: Haxxl Dul 5, Angelina Asn 5, Fenrir Bbn 4, Make Me Pal 4 & Nitrolas M-U 4!

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!

We began the game in the large watery cavern, having just lost the trusty hireling Garulf, and killing the last of the weird flesh-stalactites. The PC decided to re-group, sending Rektolas and Nitrolas to guard the entrance and sending down  Wee Dingwall the torchbearer and Ranulf the Man-At-Arms. The renewed party of stalwart explorers continued the exploration of the cavern, keeping well away from stalactites as well as the black pool of water. Observing the water, the PCs suspect that there might be some sort of underwater passage to the east, but no one wanted to go even near the water’s edge in fear of tentacly things lurking below. They found a small dead-end corridor going west, ending in small cracks in the wall. However, nothing was found lurking in the cracks. To the north, there was a longer but similar corridor, ending in nothing but small cracks. In this corridor they also found a very sturdy bronze door, emitting traces of magic and fitted with a silver lock. After fiddling with the door a little while, they decided to come back later if they could find a key.

The PCs went back south and decided to explore the arm of the “singing corridor” going east. After about 60-70 feet, the corridor opened up to a triangular shaped cave with a huge natural stone pillar in the center and two corridors continuing east. The entrances to these corridors was blocked by deliberately placed stone rubble, making the PCs a bit suspicious, as they would have to climb over to get access to the corridors. After some discussion, they decided to head west instead to explore in the opposite direction.

This lead them back, past the T-intersection leading to the stairway up, and into a new corridor leading straight west for about 50 feet. This corridor would gradually narrow until the PCs could only pass if they removed their gear and inched their way sideways. Beyond this obstacle, another large cavern opened up. Silent and dark, the cavern was dead silent, with the roof being about 30 feet above their heads. To the southwest there was a 10 foot vertical rise to a ledge of darkness. To the immediate right (or northeast), a semi-circular depression of about 10 feet, and beside it a corridor exiting the cavern to the northeast. The NE corridor led to a small set of stairs, cut out of the rock, and ending in a dead end with yet more of the small cracks. Coming down the stairs, Haxxl heard some scuttling noises and saw what he thinks was a large rat running inside one of them. Next, they decided to check out the SW ledge. Haxxl managed to climb up, finding a new small cave with several exits, one of them peculiarly smooth. While exploring this part of the cave, they also came upon a new narrow corridor, exiting the main cave to the northeast.

Finally, they decided to check out the depression. About 10 feet deep, with loosely packed mud and earth at the bottom. Blitz spotted some small animal bones in the dirt, probably from rats. He also saw what seemed to be a hole in the wall of the depression, mostly covered by mud. After some bickering on who should go down and dig for treasure, Blitz the dwarven cleric was lowered down on a rope, bringing his trusty shovel. After some digging, the earth suddenly erupted in a shower of mud and a huge insectoid head with a pair of ant lion like mandibles shot up and bit out a bit of the dwarf’s right butt cheek (11 hp damage)! As the monster tried to get in position for another attack, the PCs started to shoot a barrage of missiles while dragging up the frantically shovel-swinging and butt-hurt dwarf at the end of the rope. In the midst of all this confusion, Haxxl the wild elf duelist tried to get a shot with his longbow, but slipped and managed to fall on his own arrow, piercing himself in the side-fat! Not cool. At all. But hilarious as hell 🙂

(Haxxl’s player rolled a natural 1, then an 9 on the fumble table  [hit self for double damage], then a 12 [roll twice on fumble table and take both results], resulting in a total of 16hp damage plus the stunned condition for 2 rounds). And here’s a link to my home-brew S&W fumble table if you’re interested: D12 Critical Hit & Fumble Tables 

After being assaulted by all those missile weapons, the monster retaliated by spitting a jet of acid on the dwarf (19hp damage) to cover its retreat into the earth, but was hit again with a lucky shot (natural 20, 1d12 extra damage), killing it on the spot.

Our heroes now had to deplete all of their healing magic to restore the elf and dwarf at least to some of their former glory. Also, the dwarf’s armor took a serious hit from the acid, but its function seems intact still despite looking a bit scruffy. After some short R&R, the PCs decided to dig further in the pit, where they found some treasures as well as a narrow and smelly corridor leading NW and further down…

…leading to a huge cavern, stinking of decay. The ceiling was some 60 feet above, with a exit passage to the south and an opening some 30 feet up the cliff wall, leading north. After some exploring, Sleaze the sorcerer finds a strange part of the wall, where his hands seem to pass right through the stone. Blitz uses detect magic and can determine that this is indeed some sort of magic illusion. The PCs decide to step through the illusion and find a narrow passage, going west in a winding pattern before ending in a small dead end cave. The dwarven cleric can still detect magic and sees that a portion of the cave wall is emitting a faint blue glow.

Behind the illusory magic is a very ancient and obviously man-made structure of very smooth and very clean white marble. The place emit a feeling of bliss, safety and law, and it is obviously some holy place of worship. Make Me the Paladin of Muir immediately recognizes it as a holy place of Thyr and Muir. They have entered some kind of antechamber with four white pillars inscribed with power runes of Law. In the NE wall is a silver basin with pure water. To the SE is an equally white tomb, lined with standing stone sarcophagi and at the end is a raised dais with a huge stone sarcophagus, which the paladin instantly recognizes as the Tomb of Alaric – the greatest paladin hero of his faith. Beside the sarcophagus are smaller stone structures holding the Chalice of Elanir and the Stone of Tircople [both of which the paladin was quested with to take and bring to the Great Temple in Bards Gate]. Make Me performs a worship ceremony and has an epiphany where he is visited by the spirit of Alaric, telling him to don Alaric’s armor and weapons and go out and do good to further the will of their deity. As he has the epiphany, the Tomb of Alaric opens, revealing the intact body of Alaric, dressed in a magnificent plate armor and holding an exquisite bastard word of Law. Around his brow is a finely wrought gold circlet. Make Me he paladin dons Alaric’s things and packs the Chalice and the Stone.

Meanwhile, his less, err…pious associates investigate the other tomb (going northwest from the antechamber where they entered). The room is lined with eight standing sarcophagi with the corpses of the most valiant warriors that have fallen in the service of Thyr and Muir. Even the non-believers recognize the famed names here. The PCs quickly search the sarcophagi, finding several magic weapons and armors. Each corpse also wears a silver circlet, which are not taken in honor of the heroes.*

*Or so I think, must check the loot list next time we play, but I think that Berndt still has it.

It also turns out that the silver basin in the antechamber is a self-filling font of holy water, which some of the PCs drink and fill their waterskins with.

The PCs consider having a long rest here, but decides to go back up and meet up with the rest of the PCs first. Nothing bad happens on the way back and soon all the PCs are re-united and rest behind the secret door near the dungeon entrance. While the others sleep, Blitz the cleric of Jamboor along with his sidekick Haxxl, sneak down into the dungeons again and cast Animate Dead on Garulf the dead hireling. They clean him up and put on a leather armor to “keep the things in” and finally, Blitz casts a Gentle Repose spell on the new zombie-henchman in order to keep him from decaying. In the morning, the lawful paladin is a bit suspicious, but Blitz manages to fast talk him into thinking that Garulf did not actually die, and that they now have managed to heal him back to health, but alas, his mind has gone in terror and now he only can follow simple instructions and moan instead of talking. So, for now, the paladin has no clue about having a re-animated zombie in the PC party. The others know, though, and are secretly laughing behind his back…

And here we had to stop for the day. To be continued the 13th of March…

Session 11 – The Stoneheart Dungeon II (Lost Lands)

 

piercer

“Nice stalactites…” Famous last words of Garulf the hireling

 

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 5 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxl Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 4 | Berndt

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 4 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 3 | Mats

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 3 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 3 | Martin

Meatshields & NPCs

Men-At-Arms | Fuldo | Garfield | Garfunkel

Torchbearers | Ranulf | Wee Dingwall

Absent this session

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 4 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 3 [Thane variant] | Flan

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 4 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic/Magic-User 3  | Djuro


Session Eleven – Blood and Bones

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!

The session started in media res, the PCs in the middle of a fighting retreat, dragging the unconscious paladin to safety out of the fountain room.

Blitz the cleric went ahead back into the corridor to study the suspicious markings on the corridor wall and suddenly realised that he was standing in front of a secret door. Salvation! After some fruitless searching he accidentally pushes a hidden loose stone, opening the secret door and triggering a magical trap, exploding blue flame in his face. Luckily, he manages to dive out of the worst blast but not fast enough to save his beard from getting severely singed in the process. [The player rolled a 1 on his Note Stonework roll…].

Simultaneously with the secret door swinging open, the PCs in the fountain room sees movement in the fountain blood sludge, eight bloody skeletons climbing out and heading straight for them. The valiant characters put up a good fight and manages to smash apart three of the abominations but not without some serious damage to some of the party members. Blitz hears the commotion and rushes back to the fountain room where he manages to call down the divine power of Jamboor to drive off the remaining skeletons.

Not wanting to linger near the fountain, they decide to retreat into the narrow corridor behing the secret door. Angelina and Alba stay behind at the dungeon entrance to guard the horses and gold (with Hoder and Fenrir and some hirelings). To fill out the ranks, Blitz manages (with some charm and promises of gold) to persuade two hirelings (Fuldo the Pierced Halfling and Garulf the Town Drunk) to accompany them into the bowels of the dungeon.

Behind the secret door, a dark narrow corridor runs west into the darkness. With the guiding light of Old Sleaze’s light spell, they move into the corridor, single file. After some 25 feet, Nitrolas the Elven Wizard tells them to stop as he has spotted a half-concealed lever on the wall just inside the corridor. Cranking the lever, a grinding noise is heard somewhere but nothing seems to happen. After trying the lever a few times, hearing the noise but seeing no tangible effect of the sound, they move further. After some 40 feet, the corridor curves to the north, revealing a descending stair cut directly from the rock. As they stand there someone shouts that they should try the lever again, to see what happens to the stairs. The result is that a floor trapdoor opens, plunging Nitrolas the Wizard and Haxxl the elf into a hidden pit. Haxxl manages to get a hold on the edge of the pit but Nitrolas falls 30 feet and is smashed unconscious as well as spraining his leg [There was a 1 in 6 chance of a crippling injury and Nitrolas naturally player rolled a 1…]. The other players manages to pull Nitrolas to safety with some climbing and rope work and after receiving some healing he is fit enough to move on, albeit slowly due to his mangled leg.

The stair leads down to a very wet strange natural cavern with a pool of rancid dark water stretching into the darkness to the east. Along the walls are empty iron torch holders. To the north, a rusted iron door signals the exit. Old Sleaze places a light spell on a hand crossbow bolt and shoots it into the darkess beyond the pool. It reveals a shore on the other side. No one wants to go into the water to explore the other side. Finally, Fuldo the halfling is coerced into going there on a makeshift raft. For this he is paid two gold coins up front. The PCs go back to the thrashed clerical office above and use an old table and some more assorted wooden junk to construct the vessel. Finally, Fuldo slowly paddles across the dark pool to the other side, a rope attached to the bow of the raft. He makes it across and anxiously starts exploring the shore. After a minute or so he waves back, shouting “It’s safe, there’s nothing he…” His merry little halfling shouts shifts to screams of terror as two slimy tentacles shoot out of the calm water, ensnaring him and dragging him into the water. And that was the last anyone ever saw of Fuldo the pierced halfling. And the two gold pieces.

Blitz the dwarf panics and rushes the iron door, trying to pry it open, but to no avail as it is locked. In his terror he brings out his warhammers and starts pounding the lock to get out. The rusted door is weak and the lock mechanism fractures under the frantic blows, revealing a narrow (circa 6-foot wide) dark corridor cut from the rock, leading north… There is a strong draft and an intense smell of ammonia.

The party cautiously press on into the dark. The floor and walls are covered in a thick layer of guano, hampering movement due to the risk of slipping and getting a bat shit bath. After some 35 feet the cave roof opens up to a huge sinkhole above. It seems to rise about 200 feet, revealing a faint sliver of outside sky. The shaft is also home to a huge colony of bats hanging asleep on the walls. The draft is now more intense and there is a whistling sound coming from ahead. Some 20 feet up ahead the corridor reaches a T-intersection going east and west. Blitz wants to go west but the rest goes east, following the high-pitched sound and the dwarf grumbingly follows. The sound volume increases with every step and after about 70 feet it is so loud that yelling is the only mode of verbal communication. Here, the corridor reaches a Y-shaped split going northeast and southwest. The draft is so strong that the PCs actually have to struggle to keep the footing.

They decide to go northeast. The corridor is more irregular here, the width fluctuating between 3 and 20 feet at places. As they progress, the sound and draft gets weaker. The sound of dripping water echoes from the cave walls. After about 60 feet the corridor gradually opens up to what seems to be a large cavern, stretching from south to north. There is a stagnant body of water to the east and all surfaces are wet with moisture as water trickles down the walls and into the black pool. The cavern ceiling is irregular and rises up about 40 feet to a jagged surface with a few stalactites. Garulf the hireling moves along the south rock wall towards the dark water, torch and sword drawn while Rektolas and Haxxl move along the eastern rock wall, keeping well away from the water. Suddenly, the eerie silence is broken by Garulf’s screams of pain and horror. He is on the cave floor, upper body pierced by a large stalactite, which actually seems to wriggle and move! A split second later, Rektolas’ sharp elven senses alert him and he barely manages to dodge another falling large stalactite. The stalactite hits the stone with a fleshy thud and lies there, wriggling and showing a large maw, trying to get into position to bite him! Rektolas manages to run the thing through with his long steel, killing it.  The PCs run over to Garulf and assault the strange stalactite with cold steel as it is gnawing away huge chunks of Garulf’s limp body, slashing the thing open, spilling its weird innards on the floor, but Garulf is very dead. Thus ended the squalid life and dreams of Garulf the town drunk, in a cold wet cave in the bowels of the earth.


 

And there we had to stop for the session. Next session is up in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more adventures from the Fistful of d20’s bunch up here in the cold North!