April 27th, 2014
Weather: Cool, clear.
Characters: (approximate net point total)
Dryst, halfling wizard (345 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Galen Longtread, human scout (327 points)
Vryce, human knight (401 points)
Gort of the Shining Force, dwarf adventurer (unknown point total, NPC)
Melchior the Malevolent, human wizard (approximately 125 points, NPC)
Melchior's Zombie Rebel Crazy Boss, human? zombie (NPC)
Still in town:
Borriz, dwarven knight (308 points)
Christoph, human scout (258 points)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (303 points)
Galoob Jah, goblin thief (256 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (302 points)
We started in Stericksburg, as always.
They picked up a few rumors - one about a giant f-ing staircase all the way down to the depths of the dungeons, another about caves so high-ceilinged that tribes of giants could live in them, and still another about an underground burial area used by "orcs, ogres, and other dark dwellers." Some monsters live in two worlds at once, some wizards say. They also heard some dwarf or gnome had moved up to the dungeon, having found a way in that avoids "those orcs you guys are in league with." Galen argued this might be some other guy than "THE gnome" but only he argued that.
Oh, and the occasional rumbles of the mountain? The dragon in the mountain rolling over in his slumber.
Gort agreed to come for beer money. Melchior agreed to come for a 1/2 share of loot, and Orcish Bob offered the same. They turned down Bob but offered him a stipend - he refused to come for just that. They paid upkeep, bought a couple of potions, took delivery on some armor ordered last time, and then headed up.
They headed off and I gave them my usual "getting underway" spiel.
At the top of the mountain they found the orcs had fortified more - they've begun a pair of ditches outside the walls, breaking up the road so you need to zig-zag to get to the gate. They still have that blocked with a wagon but Gort pointed out they had clearly been working at the gate mechanism trying to free it up.
They paid their 50 sp and headed in, noting the guards, hearing some orc wolf-dog mixed canines they use for guards, etc. That lead to jokes about coat checks ("Orcs not responsible for stolen or looted items") and such. They went down the entrance and crossed the pit on the orc's rough bridge. This time, they headed right. The portcullis was up.
They moved carefully through the "noisy" room and past the spot where they'd had a knock-down-drag-out with some trolls. Then to where they'd once fought the Choke Brothers.
There was a staircase up (to rubble, they recalled but didn't check) and a portcullis-blocked hallway with a pair of eerily three-dimensionally painted 6' faces on each side. They knew they'd blast you with strange energy, so they got right to work on dealing with them.
They Acid Jeted one (it shot back once, and when hit from further away it didn't shoot back but the acid did nothing. Vryce got the idea that they needed to charge the black metal door at the end of the hallway with a ram. To do that, he wanted to raise the bent and locked-down portcullis. So he (ST 19), Raggie (ST 18), and the zombie (ST 18) all set to work lifting it. An excellent Forced Entry roll and some straining later, the locks groaned and burst and the portcullis went up. Gort provided a mallet and iron spike to keep it up, although he also said it might stay up on its own thanks to being bent out of shape.
That done, they got to the ram. Dyrst Create Object'd one up for Vryce. Then they put Armor +6 on Vryce and he ran down the hallway, sucking up lightning and fire to land a shot on the door. BANG! He managed to damage it . . . but his ram stuck and he had to rip it free. When it came free, he was blasted again. He figured he'd need at least 6 hits that solid to weaken the door to the point it could fail, and tried again - but couldn't marr it without a charge.
Long story short, he ran back and they regrouped. They almost decided to come back later, but then Vryce insisted on getting that door open. Basically, they magicked up some Heavy Leather armor for the zombie, put Might and Armor on it, had Vryce drink a strength potion (he rolled a 6!) and they charged down. Fire and lightning hit them but didn't bother them much and then cracked the door. BANG! It wasn't down, but they ripped the ram free and again and again they hit it. They kept getting blasted, but luckily it was mostly lightning and fire and not black fire (which causes FP damage and ignores armor) and they smashed the door down after a few hits.
Vryce stepped into the lavender-walled, well, waiting room beyond. A voice boomed out, "Who are you?"
The floor instantly turned ice-cold, causing wispy "smoke" to rise from it and hitting Vryce with Frostbite. He resisted. A second later he was hit again and hurt, as was the zombie. They fell back.
The plan became - Resist Cold on people, and Dryst and Galen run down the corridor, everyone else guards their six. But Raggi didn't want to wait. He rushed down the corridor, shrugging off some minor blasts until two black fire jets hit him. They did exactly 12 FP to him, taking him to 0 mid-stride. He crashed into the room beyond unconscious (he's got a terrible consciousness roll without being Berserk). The voice boomed out but no one answered - and no icy floor came. They decided just to ignore it.
The room beyond turned out to the first room in a suite. It had nice furniture but it was old. Not rotted, but very old. They grabbed a crystal decanter and goblet set (they'd end up breaking one but fixing it with Repair) and moved on.
In the suite they found:
- a game room, with a chess set, a backgammon set, and a six-person throws table. They looted the pieces and left the boards which were integral to the table.
- between the rooms was a corridor with plush carpeting and paintings and frescoes and mosaics in purples, greys, and blacks depicting demons and cone-hatted cultists. Vryce recognized the color and motifs from the evil temple back in his early adventuring days!
- there was a master bedroom with a black four-poster bed and lots of valuables, including paintings, perfumes, masterwork furniture, statues of tentacled demons, and a red six fingered hand on the wall behind the bed. They sent a servant in to jump on the bed . . . which it did, and then there was a crack like sizzling lightning. They looked up, and was looked like the bottom a 10' mushroom cap - yet glowing - was above them. It lashed out at Vryce and the servant with tentacles of lightning and zapped Vryce badly. He shook it off but the servant was dispelled instantly. A fierce fight broke out. Galen shot the disc with arrows but one bounced off and the other barely injured it. Vryce All-Out Defended for a better Dodge (which paid off greatly!) and Dryst started up with Resist Lightning spells. The fight was nasty - Galen was shocked in the foot and the body by what turned out to be an electric jellyfish. He fell, stunned, and remained so until much later in the fight. Dryst avoided the tentacles as he protected himself with magic, too.
Vryce found himself attacked by the jellyfish with a strange fleshy tube, which they decided must be supremely bad news. He fended it off for a while but bad luck (despite two Luck uses - one on a critical hit against him) resulted in it getting him. It couldn't pierce his armor put it inflicted 8 CP on him. Vryce kept slashing away, Galen recovered and shot it, and Dryst hit it with an Acid Jet. Finally, it collapsed. Vryce ran out from underneath.
Dryst realized the ooze was good for paut, so he managed to gather up 25 doses worth in a created container. Much of what was in the room was ruined, but not the statues or what was on the wall. They looted the place, getting everything ready for transport. Sense Danger told them the treasures were dangerous to them, and their own need for Fright Checks from one painting with bizarrely three-dimensional paints by Deref Yerej
After that they found more of the suit:
- a play room with lewd paintings and plenty of cushions and pillows (they took the paintings).
- a guest bedroom
- a scrying room with a crystal ball, a (mostly empty) basin of mercury, and a glass mirror.
- a walk-in wardrobe with 50 suits of nice clothing, a black vestment with a black cone hat, and an empty armor doll.
- a corridor of secret doors around the various rooms, with one-way secret doors, spy eye stations, and so on. They got into that by bashing one of the secret doors apart with hammers under a Silence spell. That corridor connected to the evil temple they'd found much earlier, and the "death zone" extended into the corridor. They still sent Vryce to suck up some damage and see what he could see. Nothing special, but they saw into both of the archway rooms from that temple.
- Finally, they found a way out near the otyugh's lair.
They gathered their stuff, including around 150 pounds of clothing, 100 pounds of statues, and 150 or so pounds of framed pictures, and headed out.
They ran into the otyugh, who slapped down a servant sent to scout. It ran after dodging some arrows aimed at its eyes from Galen and then a sword attack from Vryce. Vryce insisted they let it run - better it was there than it dies and some new critter takes over. They'd basically trained it and the gargoyles not to mess with them. The worked their way around, mystifying the orcs who'd suddenly had them appear on the wrong side of the dungeon from the one they'd go in to. They linked back up with their waiting friends.
They headed out of the dungeon.
Naturally, all of this stuff was cursed. Heavily so - Galen ended with a -4 to all rolls and Curse 3, while Raggi, Vryce, and Dryst were -4 and Curse 2. They assumed this was the case, so they were all ready to go get de-cursed. So they headed right back to town looked to get that all removed ASAP.
Luckily, Black Jans, today hailed by his servant as "Chief Wizard to the Khans of Bota," was in town. I made them roll - he's around a 12 or less, but it was -4 for the curses. Vryce rolled a 7. They were ushered in by The Kio, this time a green-furred ape wearing a blue-and-red fez. Jans was only interested in the most bizarre of the paintings, the one by Dereff Yerej. He offered 11,000 for that, but 8,000 for curing the four curses. They paid, and he did it. It was twice as much as at the temple, but his powers are much greater.
That done, they rousted up Galoob Jah and got him to eyeball their loot for value, then went and sold it. Long story short, they took in around 10,500 each for the main adventurers and 5000 or so for the others. They also netted 25 doses of paut, an 8-pack of special incense that speeds up fatigue recovery, and a single hair Vryce found on the hat. Ancient History on that revealed a malevolent, twisted, perverted, and power-hungry man once wore that hat, and used it in evil rituals. The word "Brotherhood" floated in Drysts mind, too.
Where they'll go with that remains to be seen, but they kept the vestments . . .
Good session - lots of investigation of a tight and interesting area, a tough fight handled well, and nice connections on their map that cleared up some things for them.
MVP this session was Vryce, for insisting on getting through that door and making it happen.
Vryce immediately spent his remaining points on ST 20 and HP 29 at the end of the session. Next session he'll use what he saves for HP 30, and then the plan is Striking ST 1 so he can get to a base 4d.
The electric jellyfish (from DFM1) was pretty scary. If Dryst didn't have Resist Lightning it would probably have been too much for them. With it, it was much less dangerous but not harmless. Without it - say, if their early attempt to break in had succeeded - they'd have been vastly less equipped to handle it. It will be interesting when they fight more of them, or in a mixed-foe battle where Resist Lightning to stop the EJs is using points and time needed to deal with someone else.
Overall, good game!