Lots of little things this session, so I'll be briefer than usual. It was more of a roundup delve than anything else.
This session really depended on the conceit we have that the PCs can go back and hear the stories and read the accounts of the previous delves - most of the delvers had never been these places, but the players had. That was interesting.
Date: June 28th, 2020
Weather: Hot and humid.
Crogar, human barbarian (303 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (456 points)
Gerald Tarrant, human necromancer (384 points)
2 Skeleton (~35 points)
Hayden the Ebon Page, human knight (307 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (306 points)
Sir Bunny Wigglesworth, human holy warrior (250 points)
Wyatt Sorrell, human swashbuckler (300 points)
We started off in town. The PCs gathered rumors and picked up their custom-made gear ordered right after the last delve - ornate plate armor for Sir Bunny, for one.
The PCs tried to use Summon Spirit on Rangol Grot again to find out how to use his magic chest. The summoning failed, though, so they need to wait a year to try again. They did try some experimentation to get the chest to go away, but nothing seemed to do anything at all.
So they headed up to Felltower, stopping only for lunch and to create a Skull-Spirit for Gerry.
Once inside the castle, they had a skeleton open the trapdoor, and headed down. From there, they headed to an area they hadn't been in a while - the so-called "mage's apartments" where the PCs had once fought an electric jellyfish and taken much loot. They'd re-looted it again in the "I'm Brother Mo!" incident. They went back again, to see if they could find anything. (They had some particular reason in mind, but I don't know what it was.)
First, the raised the portcullis and spiked it up - again. Ulf zapped one of the faces with Sunbolt from a distance, but that did nothing.
They decided to have Ulf and Heyden rush in; they hoped Heyden could block for Ulf (he couldn't.) They put on Resist Fire and make a run for it at full tilt. They got zapped as they passed the first pair, taking some lightning damage. The again, more lightning the second time. Once inside on the tiled floor, a voice boomed out, "Who are you?"
"We are of the brotherhood, by the brotherhood let me pass!" said Ulf.
The floor turned ice-cold and both Ulf and Heyden were attacked with Frostbite spells. Ulf immediately took enough injury to be negative, and Heyden was injured badly, taking a major wound. But as they tried to move, it happened again. Heyden quickly scooped up Ulf and moved to a nearby door, and kicked it open. This took three more seconds, most of which he took more injury. Ulf healed him with Faith Healing from within his arms. Heyden stepped through the door and to safety a moment later.
"I think this means you're married," quipped someone. That kept up most of the session.
Ulf and Heyden healed up while the group waited outside. Then, they searched the apartments until they located a secret door indicated on their map. They managed to open that, and then opened up one that led out. Ulf went back in, leaving Heyden to guard it, and explained to the others where to go.
Gerry led the group around the dungeon, through the pillboxed entrance, and through to the correct room. They rejoined there.
At this point, Ulf took a look in the temple, and felt out the edge of the "death zone." He took 1 injury doing so, from a soundless shriek in his brain.
He decided the thing to do was try to use Exorcism with Dismissive Wave. So he ran into the "death zone" with Haste 3 on him, did his wave (to no avail), and ran back. 7 injury later, he was panting and hurt and the evil temple was no worse for wear.
Once this was done, they retired to the apartments and rested. Galen, Wyatt, and Sir Bunny felt around the floor - they decided the plush carpeting must conceal something. They weren't willing to cut up the hundreds of square feet of it, though. In any case they found nothing.
That all done, they headed to the "Saints of Felltower." They found the metal door to it locked, but Gerry was able to unlock it with Lockmaster. Once inside, Ulf oriented himself on the map and then used Seeker on the missing heads, starting clockwise from the left.
One failed, one succeeded and showed a statue head on a wooden or stone plinth or stand with a golden crown on its head, one succeeded and showed a head in a circular room along a circular corridor. The last one was deep enough to roughly be the gate level or thereabouts, they're not sure, but it did match a spot on their map.
That done, they forced the door near the stairs, and marched down to attack the orcs. They reached a room with a rotating statue, moved to the far door, and tried to force it. That failed utterly, so they used Silence and hacked it down. Beyond it was a solid wall of stone and wood. Those darn orcs!
They tried another door, and it was jammed. So they used Silence and hacked it down, then marched past and had to lift a heavy portcullis. Heyden (ST 20 with his belt) and Crogar (ST 19) lifted it easily.
They explored a bit past the portcullis, and tried to puzzle out the demon face crudely done in relief near the temple. They could not - it was too generic. So they squeezed through a bent portcullis and opened the might doors to the big temple.
They stopped for a look at the giant, now-eyeless statue from the big fight. Galen said, "You should have been there."
From there, they headed up to the altar. Sir Bunny Touched it and 69 of his silver pieces turned to gold.
That done, they headed to the orcs, and found another blockage. Wyatt had a pickaxe so they gave it to Crogar, but then realized it would take hours to clear (1/4 speed with improvised tools and hands to dig, after breaking up the rock with the pickaxe), and gave up. They tried another path and it, too, was blocked.
Frustrated, they gave up on attacking the orcs - and reaching the lenses! - and decided to go talk to Big John. Someone had purchased wine just in case they fought oozes, to clear off their corrosive slime (I think), so they could bribe him with that.
The group climbed down the "scary pit" (so it says on the map) and retrieved a rowboat their notes said was stashed behind a secret door. They pulled that out, along with a pole, and brought it over to the balcony overlooking the flooded prison.
The realized no one had Boating, but they wanted to talk to Big John.
Wyatt hucked a lightstone into the water, but all it did was stir up some bats and fish. Ulf called out to Big John to come talk to them, they were friendly. He didn't answer immediately, so Ulf told Wyatt to throw a lightstone at his dock. He missed by a couple yards to the right.
Heyden suggested that he has Penetrating Voice with his Helm of Command, so he should call Big John. He did so.
Eventually Big John stuck out his head - a troll with grey-peppered hair. Galen resisted the urge to just take a shot at him using Dark Vision (he was Invisible, too.) John eventually told them to come and talk.
They did, by sending Ulf and Wyatt over with Levitation. They arrived at the dock, and talked to Big John.
He was off in the darkness inside his lair, and they were on the docks, lit by their lightstones. They saw his fishing net and fishing pole. Ulf offered a gallon of wine for friendship, and a deal - would he retrieve the valuable items, including an orichalcum shield, from the water in return for wine? "You have it with you?" "No, but we'll bring it."
Big John said he'd give one item for one barrel of wine five times the size of the one they brought. They agreed. They also spoke of friendship, and of knowing the delvers who came before. Big John said he knew them. "They had friends here, too, until they came and killed them all." "Yeah, well, we don't approve of that," said Ulf.
They soon got brought back, having made a tentative deal with Big John.
That done, they stashed the unused boat, and climbed out of the pit.
After that, at Gerry's insistence, they headed down to check out the big orichalcum doors.
Long story short, they made it down, and resisted the close air of the level. But as Galen scouted ahead, he saw two bronze spiders on the ceiling seemingly rebuilding the much-hated black hemispheres. So he shot one three times. They turned and acquired him as a target. He shot the same one three more times; it critically failed a dodge and fell off the ceiling with a bang, and three more hollow-sounding bangs later Galen had hit it again. As it turned over, the other rushed forward. Galen moved back a little and waited. The one of the ceiling jumped at him. He shot it three times and acrobatically dodged aside - he hit twice, it missed. The party meanwhile was running up. For most, at Move 3, it never mattered.
Galen ran back, hoping to draw them in - but the spiders moved back closer to the hemisphere, around the corner. So they had to rush forward. They did, Crogar first - and two spiders jumped him. He dodged them both and swung his axe. He missed, critically, but managed to turn it into a hit with Luck before missing with the other. It dodged. He missed his next two strikes, and blocked a bite. The skull-spirit came up and attacked, but it couldn't harm the constructs. Galen shot one a couple more times as Wyatt moved up and struck at one. Galen destroyed it a moment later, and then Wyatt attacked the second. He hit it three times in the neck, damaging it barely with two strikes and slightly with another. Then Crogar managed to land a hellacious blow and get critically dodged on his followup. He destroyed the bronze spider and dropped his axe in the process. But it was over.
They waited 10 seconds (literally) and listened, but didn't hear the Lord of Spite. So they carried the spiders back to the stairs. They waited a bit longer, and then headed to the doors.
Once they reached the 18' tall, 9' wide (each) doors, they used See Secrets on Galen and Ulf to look for hidden mechanisms (nope), studied the inscriptions (Heyden further recalled it was a desert civilization called the Osirians, from near Sham, that died off long ago except for the remnants of their biggest structures.) Gerry and Wyatt looked for patterns in the pictures. Sir Bunny studied them for demonic images. But they couldn't find a keyhole or make sufficient sense of the pictographs.
After about 15 minutes, they heard a distant stomp noise. They immediately moved to the stairs and up.
They made it back to town without incident.
Lots of little stuff today; the plan was to do much of this, but also to try See Secrets on the lenses and to go to Five Ooze Corner and destroy the ooze pool there. The blockages derailed a lot of that - they realize they've been walled off from the lenses. That may explain why the orcs haven't really bothered with the pillboxes.
So that's not the answer to the "Who are you?" then is it? That trap can be lethal - it's potentially 3d per second for at least 7 seconds, based on today's results.
I ruled that range does matter with Exorcism - you have to get right up close, not do it from 17-18 yards away.
People always choose All-Out Attack (Double) on doors. That's the best decision on wooden ones for high-damage fighters. On ironbound doors, not so much. It took 50% longer with (Double) than (Strong) for Crogar. +3 damage meant 3d+13 instead of 3d+10 vs. DR 15 . . . the first door bounced a few attacks and he did some 4-6 HP cuts. On the second door, his lowest damage was 10.
It was amusing watching them talk to Big John - first they yelled, then threw lightstones at his dock, then actually talking in person once he spoke back. Even funnier was them trying to have the best of both worlds - claiming to be friends of the delvers who dealt with John peacefully, then throwing them under the bus when John pointed out those delvers killed the others who lived here even after they'd been friends.
We did end up coming up with a nice list for my upcoming book, If You Give A Troll Five Gallons of Wine . . .
Wyatt is determined to decapitate a construct, but hasn't succeeded yet!
XP was 4 each for loot for the newer guys, but only 2 xp for Gerry and 0 xp for Galen. Galen was MVP because he didn't get sufficient loot and helped spot and mangle the bronze spiders, so he ended up with 1 xp. Loot was ~200 and change each, after the gold coins (turning $69 to $1360) and the spiders ($210 for the pair as scrap.) Nothing like what they need.
Next delve, they decided on the "Arctic gate." They put in a large order for personal arctic gear today - I'll get the exact details down soon. It's going to be hard to get into the spirit of a frigid icy hell when it's humid and 32 degrees celsius around here.