December 7th, 2014
Weather: Cold, sunny.
Characters: (approximate net point total)
Al Murik, dwarven cleric (258 points)
Dryst, halfling wizard (374 points)*
Father Keef, human initiate (125 points, NPC)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Vryce, human knight (454 points)
Gort of the Shining Force, dwarf adventurer (unknown point total, NPC)
Antonios, Demitrios, Leonatios of Meepos, human spearmen (unknown point totals, NPCs)
Melchior the Malevolent, human necromancer (approximately 130 points, NPC)
* Joined late.
Still in town:
Asher Crest-Fallen, human holy warrior (250 points)
Bern Brambleberry, gnome artificer (265 points)
Mark Strawngmussel, human laborer (62 points, NPC)
Borriz, dwarven knight (308 points)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (303 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (372 points)
Galoob Jah, goblin thief (256 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (302 points)
We started as usual, in Stericksburg. The group gathered rumors, restocked, and otherwise made plans. Vryce made up for his terrible rumor-gathering last time with a record 7-rumor haul. A few were especially interesting - he heard the cone-hatted cultists had raided the orcs and came but battered but alive, that some people stole corpses from the pauper's cemetery and brought them up to Felltower, and that the orcs have grabbed prisoners from the slums north of the river. A couple other rumors said there is a way into the center of the world under Felltower, and that there is a "world ocean" that everything floats on and that Felltower has the way down to it.
Once they'd stocked up, the PCs gathered up some volunteers and headed out.
Knowing they had only Al as a good-eyed scout, they took their time and camped out for 30 minutes outside the dragon's cave mouth and watched the area. Nothing showed up, so they moved in. No more recent signs of the orcs were found, and they decided the orcs may have decided not to take over that section of tunnels especially in light of the blockades they saw last time.
They moved into the caves, and started to systematically try to tie off some sections of their map and find treasure and monsters they may have missed. It wasn't long before they came to one of the pairs of double doors. They decided to try this pair. Lacking servants, they had Melchior order his zombie - the big, hulking one they'd let him make out of the leader of the crazies - try the door. Bad move, it turned out. There was a zap noise and a flash of light, and the zombie was scorched and let out a howl and ran. It took off full speed, ignoring Melchior's frantic commands. Raggi stopped Melchior from chasing it into the twisty tunnels. They figured they'd find it later, perhaps, but didn't want to try and chase after it.
Beyond the doors was a corridor and a silver-studded door at the end. They closed the doors and moved out, not wanting to try the inner door.
They continued exploring, and found an area they'd bypassed several times. This time they headed in, and found a room strewn with bits of broken bones and skulls and occasional weaponry. There was also a blind cul-de-sac, and they started to advance on that. As they did, two many-armed round things with pink skin, bright red eyes, and nasty claws and mouth that split its torso in half came rolling out at them. As they closed, the Holy Continual Light spells the PCs were using for light began to wink out. Gort and Al both identified them as Devil Maws, and Al said they needed magical weapons to put them down. Reverend Al threw his throwing axe at the lead one, and it snatched it out of the air. Then they attacked in melee, spinning around and dealing multiple clawing attacks before closing to bite. Vryce was in good form, though, and chopped one clean through the moment it got near him. The next one got closer and hit him multiple times but he was able to back off and parry them all. Gort slashed it as Vryce backed clear, and even as Raggi ran up Vryce was able to cut it down.
Down a few light stones, and without time to replace them all, Vryce took one of the Meeposian brother's stones and Al made Raggi a new one. In the meantime, they searched - nothing special, only more skulls, more bones, and more broken gear. Everything was clearly broken as much as it could be, mostly like it was smashed against walls or snapped by strong claws. Demons, they decided, like to break stuff.
More exploration down previously unchecked tunnels found them in a square-ish cave with pointed corners. It smelled of ozone and sulfur, and an ape crouched in the corner. It seemed dazed, and responded a little sluggishly. Al threw his axe at it and hit - no demon, it seemed to just be another flesh-eating ape. Wounded, it charged, but Vryce cut it into multiple pieces.
Further exploration told them nothing else about the room, but they felt like the ape must have been summoned - it clearly didn't live here, there was no sign it was there long, and the sulfur and ozone was a further clue something had happened. Melchior confirmed there was magic used in this room, either strong enough or recent enough or often enough to trip his Magery-enhanced senses.
From there they explored more, connecting up more map areas. They eventually came to another pair of double doors (new, for sure) but left them alone after marking them down.
They then found "the demon-ape room" and fought a pair of phase serpents. It took some doing, but they managed to chop them up without getting hit in return.
From there, they explored through the gargoyle's lair but weren't bothered by them. Past there, they meet the "behir" (as they call the 12-legged wyrm) and spoke to it for a while. It was disappointed they didn't have food. They told it the apes it told them about were demons, and couldn't be eaten. It tried to get them to bring it more food, and without agreeing either to do so or refusing to do so they managed to back off and leave the thing alone.
They found another cube from from here, and marked it with a 6.
After that, they found the room where they'd fought the cloakers and "trogs". They walked in, and immediately something started to blubber and spit and chitter and gibber - and spat corrosive spittle at Vryce. There was a gibbering mouther on the ceiling. Vryce got nailed, and the spittle blew a hole clean through his armor and wounded him pretty solidly. With his helmet on, he couldn't pick it out on the ceiling. Al and Gort yelled its location to him, and Al threw his axe at the mouther (but it dodged it). It spat again, wounding Gort, even as it kept gibbering. Raggi and Vryce charged, Gort advanced, and Al moved to cover the flank while putting Strengthen Will on Vryce. Vryce moved up and the mouther attacked him, biting him many times. Again, though, Vryce was able to dodged back and parry away the five or six bites that landed on him. Raggi, though, just ran up and stopped cold, as the PCs heard and felt a low moaning just as the edge of the hearing.
A cloaker had moved out of a side passage to attack. Its moans had paralyzed Raggi. Gort yelled, "Cloak monster! I fought one, once, in a room much like this one."
In the meantime Vryce chopped the mouther and killed it outright in a single massive blow, causing it to explode. Vryce took no damage from the blast, Raggi a small amount, and Gort none. But the shrapnel (razor-sharp armor-piercing teeth, mostly) punched a hole in Vryce's leg armor and wounded Raggi more as well.
The cloaker tried its paralytic moan on Vryce, but despite a stunning 9-point margin of success on its roll, Vryce made his roll by 10 thanks to Al's spell and his mind shield headband. Melchior chucked a fireball at the cloaker as Vryce moved up, and hit it (with a 3!) and hurt it badly. As it tried to back off, Al boosted his own Will and Vryce attacked. He landed a solid set of blows and knocked the cloaker out of the air. Before it could recover, Vryce hit it again. Melchior hit it with another, smaller fireball, and then Vryce chopped it a few more times, just as Dryst showed up and Al removed the paralysis from Raggi.
They made sure the cloaker was dead (to Vryce, battle is over when the foe is down, but monster battles are over when he's sure it's really dead) and searched the room. Nothing - and no sign of the two other cloakers they saw.
From there they headed in the room the "trogs" had come from, back last time they were here. The room turned out to have three very large erupting slimes on the walls. Dryst knew a surprising amount about them (Naturalist roll of a 3) so the players knew they'd need to protect against ranged, melee, and poison. So they did, and used a mix of fireballs, a Flaming Weapon spell on Vryce's sword, and missile and poison protection magic to deal with them. They were mostly torched before they could do anything, but one got a glob of itself onto Vryce's leg. Dryst decided to "help" Vryce by whacking him with a 4d Flame Jet. He botched it (an 18 to hit) and his Vryce's foot and almost crippled it, and set Vryce on fire. Vryce dropped down to roll out the flames and Dryst moved the jet up his leg, scorching off the slime but also burning Vryce's leg even more.
The slimes were toasted, but Al needed to jump in and heal Vryce after Dryst's gallant "assistance."
With Dryst around, they had him use Seek Earth to try to find gold (didn't work) and silver (above, far enough to be in the orc territory, perhaps.) This would be a dry run, they figured, but they better get something out of it in terms of information.
So from there, the PCs explored more, finding the stairs up, the statue room, and a room full of broken stalactites and stalagmites and broken bits of stone (not piercers, though, they checked) and connections between their map ends. That meant, basically, they made a "circle" out of the map - going either way out of the entrance they use, they can come all the way back around to the entrance again.
Time was running low, so they headed out.
- No profit, at all, but they did get some mapping done, find a couple of (new?) double doors, and kill off some potentially annoying monsters. They also discovered a "new" cube-shaped room, which in fact they'd found before but couldn't place on their map once they started coming in from the dragon's cave. Not a bad session.
- No profit mean less than the max XP, but they explored a lot and beat up some monsters, so I didn't dock them anything beyond "no profit."
- Vryce got MVP, after he and Al ruled out Dryst and then couldn't decide between them . . . so they rolled dice and Vryce got the high roll. Whatever, it's their decision.
- Poor Melchior is down a zombie and got nothing out of it. He wasn't pleased, but he took the risks and didn't complain about it. He needs another zombie. Unfortunately, the ape would have been pricey and Vryce cut it apart, and the other monsters were just unsuitable (and, again, diced into pieces.)
- They've decided there are at least 5, probably 6-7, and possibly as many as 9 doors into some central area.
- The devil maws are based on what I think the Chainmail abyssal maw minis I have should be in GURPS. Which is to say, nasty albeit fragile, like most summoned monsters are. Fun, though, and obviously there will be more of them. As I said to my players, in this game they will fight a) everything I have minis for, b) everything I have homemade counters for, and c) everything else. Doesn't narrow it down much, I'll admit that.
Not sure if we'll get another game in this year, but we will try. And I'm not sure yet where they'd go. It's winter in the area so going overland at the orcs will only get harder each session until Spring comes and warms it all up. We will see what they want to deal with next.