This session took place on 28/July/2023, and the PCs adventured for 2 days.
Player Characters Present
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor, S)
Giuseppe (Level 5 Paladin from Rome, Brovenloft, E)
Sever (Level 5 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor, E)
Sheamus (Level 4 Irish Fighter from Dublin, Brovenloft, E)
Dusty Angus (Level 2, Thief, E)
Paro the Effluvious (Level 1/1 Dwarf Fighter/Thief, E,E)
The players were still laser focussed on finding the lair of the Red Dragon, Lord Inferno; so, flying on their Hawkman Rocket Cycle and with Sever on his Pegasus, they retraced their path to the chamber deep in the centre of the dormant volcano to the north east of Castle Irish.
A series of negative encounter checks saw them swiftly (in real time) make it all the way down to the lost dwarf mine without incident.
While safe in the small tunnel leading from the lava tube to the dwarf halls the party had an extensive discussion about which direction they should go. When they finally entered the dwarfs halls via the secret door, this discussion had become moot; someone had completely blocked the north route with boulders. Had the Nork-ers, believing the PC's came from this direction (having found the Rocket Cycle there last session) done this, who knows? Anyway, this left them with a choice of south: down a narrow passage leading away from their goal; or, east, down a flight of stairs they had not yet explored.
They chose the latter and soon found themselves at the end of a short corridor looking into a 30' by 60' room, there was a crudely marked square drawn on the floor. Convinced that this marking was a way of drawing attention away from the real trap, Paro spent some minutes checking the floor and walls around it; even the ceiling was examined by the sharp eyed fighter/thief. The dwarf came up empty so Sever had a go, and, using his intelligent sword Were'sbane, identified the square as being the location of an elevator going down.
As it was possible to squeeze past without going directly over the elevator, the party elected to do so. Continuing east, they passageway stretched further that their light could reach, but the could see two branching corridors, heading north, and they chose to take the closest one. To do so they passed through stone double doors carved to depict an idyllic scene of dwarfs heading to the mine then, after 70', the passage turned east where there was another set of double doors.
The room beyond was also 30' by 60', the same size as the room with the elevator trap, but there the comparison ended. The room was the scene of a recent bloodbath; everywhere, piles of bodies, recognisable as Stirges, were strewn across the floor. They party searched thoroughly and found one or two bodies belonging to the Nork-er creatures they had tangled with last session; it appeared they had won the battle, though at a high price, and dragged their dead away with them (at least those they could find).
The PCs brought in the Rocket Cycle and Sheamus landed it while the others searched; but Sever had problems with Convess. The Pegasus, recognising the smell of blood and the Nork-ers who harassed him last session, wanted no repeat of this event; so the Ranger was forced to wait in the doorway.
Paro's patient searching was rewarded by finding a secret door in the south wall. After suitable precautions were exhausted, they slid a stone panel open; revealing a dusty 10' by 10' room filled with old sacks. These proved to be filled with coins! At that moment a Rust Monster, attracted by the smell of metal in the room, burst through the eastern door.
The creature's eyes lit up at the prospect of the feast of metal in front of it; a bad surprise or initiative roll and the Rocket Cycle was going to be dissolved! Fortunately for them they were not surprised, possibly because Sever had nothing to do except stand around watching and keeping his Pegasus happy. In fact, they managed to surprise and beat down the single monster before it could eat anything. Paro spiked the door shut that it had come through before anyone could go in an search for treasure.
They now proceeded to search the treasure room and found another secret door to the south. The cunningly built door slid open to reveal a large bedroom, or dormitory, 30' by 30'. In it were seven beds with occupants in them, and there was a normal door opposite in the south wall.
Giuseppe went in and immediately was assailed by the terrible stench of death in the close room; he went to secure the far door, followed by Paro, while the rest began to move into the room and also made saves against the effects of the horrible smell. At this point the figures on the beds started to move, sat up, and leapt out of their beds towards the party. They were very short, and very undead!
This party's first session in the Bandit Mounts saw them defeat a vast number of skeletons, and they started this fight unconcerned at undead. Two failed Turn Undead attempts later, things suddenly got deadly.
The creatures, though small, or, at least, short; had no qualms attacking the taller adventurers with claw/claw/bite routines. One came up to Sheamus, yawned in his face, and managed to get past his adamantite shield with its claw; paralysing the human fighter. Two more, one slack jawed and stupid looking, the other bearing an oddly shy countenance; went for Godleve, perhaps incensed by his brandished holy symbol. The Cleric's armour (fresh from the shop after last session's Rust Monster Rastle) and magic shield held true. A fourth monster, eyes bulging under a spectacles, went for Sever; and the Ranger too was paralysed.
At the other end of the Room, one undead sneezed at Giuseppe and Paro, before attacking the fellow dwarf and paralysing him. Giuseppe held off one that was the grumpiest undead he'd ever seen and returned blows with his dragonslayer sword.
After one round half the party were paralysed, and little if any damage had been inflicted by them on the enemy. Dusty started looking for a way to escape.
|Trouble with a capital D|
Things slowed down and went quiet, as realisation dawned that the next round could easily spell the end for the party. Maybe in what follows I was too helpful as a DM, but I tried hard to stay on the right side of being a referee, while also ensuring the players had access to vital information their characters knew of. Some of the players thought Cure Light Wounds could cure paralysis; so I had to set them straight on that. I pointed out that what they would need was some sort of healing mechanism that could be applied directly to the wounds, if only they had such a thing (say, perhaps, the sacks of fungus saturated with power absorbed by exposure to the "Living Fire" they had previously found to have healing properties).
A plan formed; Dusty, who had conveniently backed away from the action already, would grab two sacks of fungus from the Rocket Cycle while Godleve dragged the paralysed Sheamus and Sever back through the secret door then slide it shut. Meanwhile, Giuseppe would hold the other end of the room and try to draw the enemies' attention, first dragging Paro behind him and kicking open the southern door so he could hold a narrower space against the ghastly undead. They won initiative, which was vital, and managed most of this before Giuseppe too was paralysed.
Dusty dumped fungus all over the paralysed humans and hoped they would soon regain the power of movement; but, now they also had the problem of what to do with Giuseppe and Paro; the undead would tear them apart in short order without help. Godleve stepped up again to save the day again.
If he ran all the way around, retracing their steps to the main west/east corridor, and then continuing east before taking the next turn north, he would come to the door Giuseppe was standing in. It would take three rounds, but I ruled that if he charged it would take two rounds, then he could try to save Giuseppe and Paro with the last two bags of fungus he collect on his way past the Rocket Cycle. Meanwhile, the others, once the fungus had taken effect, would slide open the secret door just enough to attract the attention of the undead there, allowing Sheamus to fight alone in the bottle neck while Sever stabbed past him with his spear.
Godleve did manage to reach Giuseppe in 2 rounds, one round in which the Ghasts got automatic hits (I messed up here and they should have got double the number of normal hits against him) so Giuseppe was near death when Godleve won initiative, pulled the two paralysed party members out of harm's way (for the second time) and slammed the door shut in the faces of the Ghasts. I had already determined that the door opened outwards so this worked in his favour. He propped the paralysed dwarf against it while he applied fungus to Giuseppe.
Any temptation to carry on when they finally managed to take down another Ghast was cut short when Sheamus was again paralysed; they dragged him back and slid the door shut. They could hear the monster's ghastly - what other adjective could I use - screaming in the room. Though muffled, through the wall it sounded something like 'HiOh HiOh'.
She also looked to be laden down with expensive jewelry and wore arm bracers that radiated magic. There was some concern about grave robbing from the good aligned characters, but when the woman transformed into an undead beasty before their eyes and took a swing at Sever; it was game on.
Fortunately the monster only lasted one round, and just missed taking Sever down a level before being defeated.
Treasure and XP
Trollopulous Adjusted Session 34 (Machodor #15)
5,000 SP (250GP/XP)
3,750 EP (1875Gp/XP)
1000gp wrought gold necklace
2000gp gold with gems tiara
3000gp silver with gems diadem
3000gp silver with gems earrings
3000gp wrought platinum Apple shaped locket
1 Rust Monster 404 XP
3 (Dwarf) Ghasts 810 XP
1 (Snow) Wight 620 XP
Bag of Rust Monster parts (Professor Dorol's representative in Schloss Ragnar gives you 105gp for the parts)
Bracers of Defence AC 8 1000XP
Monsters Total: 1,834 XP
Treasure Total: 15,230 XP
XP & GP Assignment Weighted by Level Shares & any bonuses
Giuseppe (Level 5, E ) 3982 XP & 3658 GP
Godleve (Level 5, E ) 3982 XP & 3658 GP
Sheamus (Level 4, E ) 3259 XP & 2926 GP
Dusty Angus (Level 2, missed the fight with Snow Wight, E) 400 XP & 200 GP
Sever (Level 5,E ) 3982 XP & 3658 GP
Paro (Level 1.5, E/E) 1421 XP & 1097 GP