FalsKrag Session 28 – Caves, confusion and combat

Here are the ‘riddles’ found by the party in the previous session (in ‘Velondi’, I use german for Oeridean) and the translation…

‘Die koppe van eten en die oë van waarnemer’ (The heads of an ettin and the eyes of a beholder)

‘Die hande van girallen by die van slang mariliet, en die ledemate van behaard’ (The hands of a girallon by those of a demon-snake [marilith], and the limbs of a behir)

‘Die bene van spinnekop byn klip akkendis, minus die kloue van kat’ (The legs of a spider by those of a stone lizard [basilisk], less the claws of a cat)

The flagstones in the puzzle room were marked with indentations numbering: 3, 5, 8, 13, 15, 23, 31. Initially, they worked out the individual totals, then added everything together and tried finding a sequence of tiles that gave that total.

The final area was three large caves and some smaller ones, accessed at three points by tunnels previously dug by the umber hulk. The group unfortunately took the third tunnel which came into the central empty cave, and rolled low perception checks. All the players made good choices for the combat and could have been much worse off, being flanked by two powerful creatures and then harried by the will-o’wisp.

= = = = = = = = = = =

20th – 22nd Patchwall: The group mostly stay in the crafting halls, cleaning and repairing equipment, trying out the tools and seeing what they can do. Seldrel begins enhancing his spellcraft headband. Each day most of the group goes up to the Hall of Gods and activates a statue. [Cyndor, Delleb, Allitor.]

23rd. They activate the statue of Fharlanghn while Seldrel completes his headband. The group head down stairs and try the puzzle room again. Bacon has a new idea about the riddles, and locates a third secret door. Using two people standing on different tiles at the same time, they open each door, recovering coins and some magical items. They head north to the pit room and begin opening each of the doors and looking in the rooms behind. One holds more burning skeletons which wound Lanliss, and block both him and the monk from getting into the chamber to flank them. The group retreats back to the pit room and lure one skeleton into a pit. With more room to coordinate, they quickly destroy the other three. East through double doors bring them to a long hall and a junction that links with the great stair shaft. Lanliss falls down a pit when he tries to examine writing on the wall. Once he levitates out and seals the pit, Seldrel translates the writing. It refers to a Lake behind (presumably down the shaft), the ‘Hall of Sokandel’ to the east and the ‘Stone of Jartekkes’ to the west. Further east they come upon a number of rooms that once had furniture – shelves, cupboards, bookcases that have been burnt and destroyed long ago.

A moving light to the south draws them into a room with an open box. Lanliss picks a glass globe out and stands entranced until Seldrel uses mage hand to take the globe away and put it back in the box. They follow a short tunnel that seems recently dug into a larger cave. There is noise to the south and the group spread out to investigate. Lanliss sights a large shape that moves out of the darkness and attacks him. He is confused, occasionally swinging his weapon, but mostly babbling nonsense. Bacon and Summer attack the creature but are also confused. Seldrel realises they face an Umber Hulk – an insect-like creature with multiple eyes and claws that dig through stone. Hardaz is attacked by a humanoid creature with a beak, beetle-like plates on its back and long hooked or bladed arms. It slashes and bites him repeatedly, but gives as good as he gets with his axe, keeping the creature from the back of the party. Seldrel and Winter stay away from the confusing gaze of the Umber Hulk with ranged attacks, while Merxif moves to positions to avoid being attacked but heal those who need it. The original source of light appears next to Seldrel and strikes him with an arc of electricity, then vanishes. It reappears later to zap the badly wounded Lanliss. Merxif casts a spell that cancels invisibility around them and the Will-O-Wisp flees away through the caves. They kill both aberrations attacking them and go in search of the wisp. It briefly appears, darting through the midst of the group heading back north towards the rooms outside the cave system. It is struck as it flees, but it moves so fast that it soon is past them and invisible again. In one part of the caves the dwarves note a vein of amethyst. Lanliss and Hardaz have basic mining skills and spend a few hours digging out what minerals they can to sell to a jeweller. Seldrel determines that glass globes have an enchantment aura and uses mage hand to put them into his handy haversack.

FalsKrag Session 27 – The Kitsault Ritual

The session had some great roleplaying. I’ve read before that puzzles vary with every group of players. Something you think is difficult may be solved quickly, while things that aren’t meant to be complicated can be made so. [More on this next session.]

The ritual was a part of the night where it would have been great to make a video. From the moment where I asked (as Bai’Shah) “have you got the bell?”, the group trying to get my pronunciation of the chant written done, and the players decided one of their group who shouldn’t chant, to the final part when I’m silently counting rounds, and saying ‘do this now’, while two players chant “Kirlani baglayin, bagli olani serbest birakin” and one player says “ding!” after each phrase. The combat after this when the now solid Bai’Shah turns on them was fantastic, very tough but really fun for all of us. It was a great finish to the session.

The chant is meant to be Ordai (an old Baklunish related language) – represented by slightly modified Turkish. “Bind the broken, release the bound”

= = = = = = = = = = =

18th Patchwall: The party leaves Falsridge and arrive at Hold late afternoon. Down to the Hall of the Gods and activate the statue of Dalt. (Suel god of portals, enclosures, locks and keys.) They head to the great stair and using rope climb down to the level of the Craft Halls. Down the circular stairs and look around. The western passage has a snake-man corpse and stairs descending, but they choose north to doors rusted close. Forcing them they get to a room with three other doors. Lanliss disarms a trap on one door, but triggers traps on the other two, becoming cursed with clumsiness. In one of the rooms behind the doors is a hidden compartment with a Helm of Languages, something Seldrel has been considering creating himself. It gets passed back and forwards between Seldrel and Merxif as they read and translate messages on some of the room walls. Lanliss enters a room with a metal grill floor. It begins to sink into water, but he pulls himself back into the passage. He checks the depth with a weighted rope at 20’. Bacon leaps across to another door, and Lanliss follows. They then jump across to a northern hall. Winter climbs around and the rest of the group fly. A room ahead contains burning skeletons. After destroying them they find one wears a pair of boots of levitation. Lanliss wants a second look at the water/grill room. He levitates, pulling himself around the chamber and discovers an illusionary southern wall hiding a third door. He opens this and Bacon leaps across. They find a small room with indentations in the floor tiles surrounding a stone block. The number of marks increases in a clockwise direction around the room, and he and Bacon find two secret doors that they cannot open. “Riddles” engraved in previous chambers refer to numbers and they suspect they are a code to open the secret doors. Lanliss moves about the room (his weight causing the tiles to sink slightly) in different patterns, but none opens the doors. After a considerable time, they decide to come back and try again another time. They return north, using the levitation boots to get many of the group across the water grill. A large room has four open pits and many doors. Three have spikes; one also contains the corpse of an elf. The long dead body appears drained and has considerable useful equipment and a few minor magical items. The un-spiked pit is itself trapped – spikes protrude from the walls as Lanliss reaches the floor. It is only the boots of levitation that prevent him being impaled. A SW door leads to a room that is an open spiked pit. Lanliss quickly learns the pit is an illusion. Three shadows attack while he investigates. As those at the front of the group move to attack, Winter sights more shadows behind them – some of which move through the walls to reach the group. Their chilling attacks slow rather than cause weakness. They are eventually destroyed with only minor damage to the group and the chamber past the illusion pit has two more old corpses – a gnome and a human. These also have an assortment of useful gear, and were likely killed by the shadows. One of the magical items recovered is another sphere segment.

With three pieces in hand, they return quickly back up a level to the crafting halls and call Bai’Shah. He is excited to know they have recovered the three pieces. He tells them to break open the skull of the Eildon – it reveals the last piece. He tells them (in more detail than before) about how he came to be a ghost, and about the writings on the walls while Seldrel studies them with his Helm. He explains the ritual they must perform and that the next few nights (with a full moon) are perfect timing. The group had forgotten they require a bell. Exiting the Hold in haste they realise that it is very late at night. They return to the Hall of Gods to camp for the night.

19th Merxif removes the curse on Lanliss and activates the statue of Baevan. (Gnomish god of forests and nature.) They hustle down to Falsford and buy two bells, some crafting materials in anticipation of being able to use the halls and more trail rations. Back to the Hold and down to the halls, they assure Bai’Shah that this time they are ready. He tells them to break what remains of the skull of the eidolon and they find the last piece of the sphere. Bai’Shah guides them through the steps of the ritual. Since they have to wait for the full moon that evening, Bacon and Lanliss return to Falsford to try and learn more of the Deities domains and what spells might be useful to activate more statues in the Hall of the Gods. The High Priest of Rao accepts donations of gold and provisions to feed some of those who come to the Temple for aid, and they collect some blood samples from Baklunish, Oeridean and Suel supplicants. Returning to the Krag once more they rejoin the group and practise the ritual. Bacon is specifically told not to chant and given a bell. One of the spirits roaming the halls attacks, causing considerable damage. Merxif heals them and wait for the sun to set – a magical disc in the ceiling shows a dim version of the sky above the hold. When moonlight shines down, Bacon and Lanliss chant while Hardaz rings the bell. Seldrel casts acid splash over the brazier with the sphere segments amid a normal fire. The sphere rejoins and energy flows out from the sphere. Bai’Shah’s form solidifies, but two others forms appear – their shapes being humanoid with small horns, tentacles at their mouths, and oddly bent legs with cloven feet. As Bai’Shah calls to these two unusual beings, his appearance changes to match theirs and all three attack. They are very difficult to defeat – they heal quickly and their attacks drain agility. Bacon particularly is badly wounded and Merxif is kept busy healing everyone else. When killed, they vanish in a smoky haze. Afterwards, Seldrel decides they are denizens of Leng – outsiders from another plane that wanted the whole sphere for themselves. Some of the arcane runes on the complete sphere are draconic and it has a very strong enchantment aura. Seldrel is unable to determine more. They take time to explore the halls after healing. Six rooms are each for different types of crafting – carpentry, metalwork, ceramics, alchemy, and varied magical creations. A final room is clean and tidy with six beds, water, dishes and cutlery.

 

FalsKrag Session 26 – A death in the party

The main fight against the bugbears took awhile and got quite spread out. The caves circled around and I had the bugbears and barghest use this to attack from both sides. Winter is a great ranged attacker, not so effective in melee and my surprise attack on her was well countered by Merxif with fear. It was quite amusing for me when the group decided the “goblin” was a were-wolf and thought they needed silver to kill it. Most of my group are long time players, who often know details that their characters wouldn’t know, so its double the fun for me when they make a mistake.

The players have had some close calls in combats. It’s usually the rogue in the most danger – because he’s leading everyone else and encounters anything nasty before the rest catch up. His out of combat death this session was unexpected – a failed Perception check on the trap, a high damage roll, and a failed Reflex save. He would have survived all that except for the unhealable damage caused by the Clay Golem. The group have realised that there will be more Golems in the dungeon and each is getting much more powerful. They are considering crafting some items to help fight constructs.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

15th Patchwall: After searching and looting corpses they continue, running into some more morlocks. On the other side of the columned chamber are caves with quiet humanoids and a rock fall trap. Lanliss triggers the trap and Bacon moves to attack the bugbears. More bugbears (and a goblin) approach the remainder of the group, threatening Winter. Merxif uses fear from one of his skulls and drives most of them off. They continue into the caves, fighting more bugbears and Winter is attacked by their leader. Finally a wolflike creature attacks with the few remaining bugbears that have gotten over their fear. The group suspect the goblin is a werewolf. They kill them all and find a silver dagger to stab the wolf, making certain it stays dead. One of the Bugbears appears to have escaped. While checking the bodies and searching the caves, they find coins , some gems and a magical warhammer. They realise that the goblin/wolf was a Barghest – a shape changing creature that leads goblinoids and eats its kills to become stronger. A final dusty cave holds a Phase Spider, which bites Lanliss and Summer; moving in and out of this world around them. Lanliss is poisoned, but cured by Merxif. The last exit from the pillared room leads to a circular stair going down. The group digs out the obstructed tunnel and to their dismay find a Clay Golem. It badly wounds Lanliss, Hardaz, Merxif and Bacon before they finally demolish it. Merxif finds that he can’t heal their wounds. There is some treasure here, a gilded demon skull, some platinum coins and gems. They return to the main hall and open the hidden compartment. There is a locked box in it and Lanliss unfortunately doesn’t notice the magical trap guarding it. Winter and Summer are on the edge of the resultant column of flame and are able to avoid it, but Lanliss gets the full effect. In his weakened state, the damage kills him. The group wrap his remains and use a gem key on the gate above to return to Hall of the Gods, then head out of the Keep and into Falsford.

The High Priest there advises they go to Falsridge as he can’t help them with their wounds. Merxif uses Raise Dead on Lanliss, and check in with Kevelli, who has in the last few days had two offers on the flail snail shell of 880 and 1170 gp (after his commission). He doesn’t believe they will get a better deal and accepted the higher one. He also talks about a magical scarab that they sold him some time ago, and realises that it has powers they didn’t realise, purchase it back from him, and a somewhat raised price.

16th Travel to Falridge takes all day. They visit the Temple of Rao, getting Restoration on Lanliss and Hardaz, and healing for all hurt by the Golem. Seldrel’s study of some items they have, with assistance from a mage in town identifies three items they have to be Legacy items – a Scarab of Protection, a Holy Symbol of tongues (Merxif) and an elven Ring of light (Seldrel). Each will grow in power the longer their wearer keeps it. The scarab is given to Winter.

17th (Level Six) The party spends an extra day in town to rest (Lanliss in particular requires it), and consider their new items and skills. Replace some alchemical items used at the Krag. Restock on provisions and sell most of the equipment recovered.

 

 

FalsKrag Session 25 – The Crafting Halls!

It’s been nearly a month since I updated this blog. We gamed four weekend in a row, and I’d been busily finishing off some sections I expected them to enter, and finish some handouts and maps. Today I’m catching up on posting.

The group had heard of crafting halls somewhere off the great stair and have been looking for them so that Seldrel can craft and/or enchant magic items without the group suffering the Geas penalties due to staying away from Fals’Krag too long. They were very happy to find them in this session, less happy to learn they were guarded/haunted, and we had some fun in game discussion with the ghost trapped there. They also got a little info on the sphere segments that Merxif has been collecting.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

14th Patchwall: Seeking noise heard earlier they encounter an Owlbear in main hall. Heading south into a new set of rooms they find undead and constructs. An Iron cobra, a Minotaur skeleton, a mind-effecting Allip (an incorporeal undead that mutters), and the skeleton of a giant. While none of these are great threats, the size and damage potential of the skeletons, the poison of the cobra and the distraction of the Allip make each foe a concern. There is minor treasure located in this area., which as far a s they can tell is the remainder of the level. Returning to the stair shaft, they find their rope cut. Lanliss throw up grapnel with rope and climbs up to tie off rope properly. While ferrying people up to stairs, Bacon notes a difference in the stone across the shaft, and finds a secret door. Lanliss comes down and manages to open it. They then get everyone down the shaft and into a wide hallway, where Bacon finds another secret door. Lanliss closely followed by Bacon and Hardaz move into a room when a gong sounds and they are attacked by armoured skeletons. Two zombies emerge from side, and other undead (later identified as wights) from next chamber. Merxif blasts both zombies and two wights into dust with his blue crystal skull. The remaining two drain energy from Hardaz and Lanliss before being destroyed. Bacon’s insistence on carrying some alchemical remedies is worthwhile – soul stimulant negates the worst of the wights drain. Merxif heals before they open the next door which proves to be a tomb marked with Gregern Falshadren’s name. This tomb is open and a Mummy is here. Winter is immobile with fear, and while Merxif locates and activates his wand of remove fear, the others attack. Hardaz contracts Mummy rot. The equipment retrieved from some of the undead is the most valuable items in what they believe to be a second false tomb.

Along the main hallway are double doors marked ‘Halls of Creation’ and further on a black gate. The open the doors and their first sight is a draconic looking construct, a large brazier and text engraved walls. The creature spreads its attacks between those who surround it. Merxif heals as needed while the group slowly destroy it. A ghost emerges from one of the walls – Bai’Shah, a Suel sorcerer who was killed here about 80 years ago. He tells them that he came here with a group seeking these halls and we killed by spirits haunting the halls. He tells them that the spirits and the creature they just killed reform over about a week. He believes they can be destroyed permanently by rejoining a magical sphere and that he thinks this will also enable his spirit to leave this chamber. He has spoken to two groups before that looked for pieces of the sphere – one group were not successful locating pieces, a second never returned. Merxif shows the two sphere segments that he has kept and Bai’Shah excitedly identifies them as parts of the sphere. He believes that one piece is in an area below them, and knows that the last is hidden nearby. He will only reveal its location once the other is found. They agree to help, and he tells them of a ritual to be performed on a night of a full moon, and requiring a bell. Seldrel uses a gem key on the Black Gate, setting it to red and they use it to gain the fungi caves and then up to the Hall of the Gods. They activate the statue of Segojan (Gnomish god of Earth and Nature), then rest until early morning.

15th – Merxif cures Hardaz of rot, and Seldrel sets the gate at Hall of Gods to Orange. He now believes he fully understands how to use the gates, and could create his own ‘keys’. They consider activating another statue, and to do so decide to retrieve a morlock body. They head down to the great stair, where Bacon and Lanliss climb down and return with corpse. Back at the Hall, they use its blood to activate statue of the Earth Dragon (an evil demigod of earth and hidden treasure). All head back down the stair and return to the wide passage, passing the crafting Hall. They find a large room with columns and wolf markings. A smooth passage leads further south, and four lead of on the sides, one blocked with rock and timber has ram markings. Lanliss finds a secret panel in floor, but they decide to first investigate noise heard. Indistinct voices east turn out to be two ogres and more morlocks.

Second ogre down, and mopping up the morlocks

 

FalsKrag Session 24 – Snares, shadows and snakes

A fun session, with people making smart suggestions and working well with each other. Web and grease are commonly used by the group to slow opponents or stop attacks from behind. Often a web is then burnt and the group attack any opponents within. This session they actually had three of the group push forward into the web to reach trapped enemies with melee. The rogue and monk in the group have very good reflex saves giving them a good chance of moving in without getting stuck, so it was a good tactic. Pretty much all the creatures encountered this session were new to the players and I was able to use figures to represent all of them. (I was particularly pleased to bring out my snake-men.)

= = = = = = = = = = = =

14th Patchwall: As they make their way back to the central hall, a voice calls out to them. A translucent figure of a short man in robes rushes forward, addressing Merxif as “Erac”, who plays along even though he doesn’t know the figure. The ghost hasn’t seen him for about twenty years and wonders when he shrunk. He introduces himself as Haran, mentions gremlins and snakes, and then shows “Erac” his new trick – a field of coloured lights that entrances Winter. They snap her out of her trance when Lanliss hears shrill laughter out in the hall and Haran disappears. Lanliss steps out into a magical snare that entangles his legs. Hardaz emerges and his armour becomes warm. Two small humanoids rush towards them and attack. They are thin, hunchbacked and have three glowing blue eyes. One shocks Lanliss with electricity. Seldrel recognises a heat metal spell upon Hardaz and dispels it, while the others move up to strike their attackers. The four opponents (which Seldrel & Winter believe are a type of fey creature or gremlin) are killed. More laughter comes from a narrow northern hall that was bypassed. Moving steadily forward and checking the side rooms, many more are encountered. Hardaz is severely electrocuted and Winter accidentally shoots Bacon. In the end a dozen of the spell-casting gremlins are defeated. Some coins are recovered.

The next section searched is a maze of narrow turning halls. A number of secret doors are found. While most lead into empty dusty rooms, one has a pit trap and a gilded dragon skull. A wand and some scrolls are also located there. A second hidden room has carved walls, a chest and an old corpse. Both Lanliss and Bacon are convinced the floor is trapped, but can’t find any mechanism to disable. Eventually they tie a rope to Bacon any he enters – nothing happens. The chest holds coins and the corpse has a magic cloak and wand. They realise the corpse may be that of Haran. A room with an iron plated door has a bar across it. They open the door and see coins scattered on the floor. A shadow flows out of the floor and attacks Lanliss. It is quickly destroyed and while they search the room, three more attack from the rear of the group. Thankfully, only Lanliss and Summer are weakened by the attack, and Winter is able to restore their strength.

Seldrel: “Look, there’s a…” From L-R: Lanliss, Hardaz, Seldrel, Bacon, Winter, [Grell standing in for a Rast] with Summer and Merxif in front.

Further along the main hall, there are two alcoves that held humanoid statues. Legs remain in one, the other is just broken rock. One side hall holds some bloodstains and a burnt book. A secret door (and pit trap) leads to a room with bird symbols. A hidden compartment has some minor magic items. Returning to the central hall Seldrel sights something approaching and is frozen in place mid warning. The creature attacks Winter – a reddish bulbous body floating in the air with many legs and a large head with sharp fangs. As the rest of the group spread out to engage, Hardaz is also paralysed by its gaze. The creature looks fearsome, but it quickly brought down. Seldrel, once able to move again pronounces it a Rast, a beast from the plane of fire, more dangerous when able to grapple its prey.

Amusement as Seldrel’s player comments that his figures pose is correct.

Two more alcoves hold statues – these eight feet tall bird-headed humanoids with only minor damage. Lanliss scouts ahead to a chamber near the end of the hall and is ambushed by thin pale humanoids that clamber over each other to attack. Everyone else joins in the melee, and more emerge from another room, followed by two tall figures – scaled humanoids with a snake body and head, but arms wielding scimitars. Seldrel webs many of their attackers. While half the group focuses on the smaller humanoids, Lanliss and Bacon push into the web to attack those trapped. Merxif heals and Seldrel uses magic missiles. The smaller Morlocks are most dangerous when able to gang-up on their opponents, but the snake men (Yuan-ti) are formidable fighters even entangled in the web. Once defeated, many coins and a few gems are recovered.

FalsKrag Session 22 – What’s behind door 659?

Somehow I overwrote this post with the next one. I don’t recall my previous comments, so it’s just the adventure summary to follow.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

12th Patchwall: They continue exploring carefully. The layout of the level is a large four-quartered square, with smaller chambers of the passageways. Seldrel believes that doors with a prime number have other exits, while non-prime numbers have no way out. An undead bat, various skeletons, zombies and some shadows that slow rather than drain strength are encountered and destroyed. A floating jewelled skull that surrounds itself with dust gives them quite a scare (some had heard rumours of a demi-lich) but it does little more than try to bite them and is smashed. It’s gem eyes and teeth turn out to be painted glass, although it did guard many silver and copper coins and some minor gems and magic items. A number of traps are also found in different chambers, many in dead ends. The group gets used to having someone hold a door open while others explore. A large translucent statue of a woman in one room with a scorpion symbol attacks them – the glass golem inflicts nasty wounds that continue to bleed. Seldrel casts haste on the group and they focus on melee combat, while Merxif heals those wounded. The next room holds a chest of gold coins and the symbol of a wolf.

A second black pudding attacks them in one of the main passages. Alchemists fire, flame spells and bludgeoning weapons again win the day. A trapdoor is found that has a tunnel leading to the north-west, and they elect to come back to it later. Another tunnel leads back to the entrance, and near it Lanliss notes “13WN167” scratched into the wall. Seldrel consults his map, and finds a door marked ‘13’. The passage beyond it goes west then south. They return to that point and Lanliss finds an illusionary wall hiding a northern passage, and a pit. Collapsible planks get them to door ‘167’, which opens both ways and has stairs leading down. They return to a room found with a black gate, and Seldrel activates this, taking them to the tiled room just off the fungi caves. They walk up to the Hall of the Gods and camp in gate room. Seldrel notes that the green gem key used in the gate now has a flaw. He rechecks all the gem keys. He surmises that each has a limited number of uses before shattering. He also thinks that given good quality coloured gems he could craft his own keys.

13th: Refreshed, the group activates the Statue of Berronar, the Dwarven deity of safety, home and healing. They obtain a wand of Cure Light Wounds, which Merxif is very happy to have. (Their previous wand is nearly out of charges.) Lanliss suggests retracing some of their steps in pursuit of their quest to defeat Gregern. Returning to the great stair, they head up to the tomb found. All is as they left it, and they search the stone coffin and chamber again. They head all the way back to the Hold, and head out to the graveyard, calling for Robann. He appears, and tells them that they have not destroyed his grandson. Robann suspects a number of false tombs under the mountain. While he can’t tell them where to look, he states that he will be aware when he is no more. Robann tells them that the geas will draw them back to the mountain if they make plans not to return. If they spend longer under the mountain they may be able to stay away for longer, as long as they do intend returning. While he never explored much under the mountain, he knows others in the family did. He has heard of the great stair, and knows of hidden chambers accessed from it, including a forge and crafting hall. If they can locate that, they have a way to spend time crafting items and enchanting them without the geas interfering.

Back down the great stair, they cross the hall of numbered doors and take the stairs down. Lanliss leads them on a “left-wall-hug” through a number of small rooms with multiple doors. One metal plated door is hard to open, a second is trapped. A small humanoid figure approaches, crying like a child. It has an animal skull for a head and its sobs are quite distracting. Seldrel and Merxif confirm the creature is undead, but they know nothing more. Lanliss feels tired when bitten. After a few dusty rooms, there is a hall with three alcoves. Each alcoves has a four-foot deep hole that appears empty, and there is writing low on the opposite wall – patience, tolerance, respect. Seldrel detects nothing magical and most of the group move on to the next room – marked with charcoal lines across the floor. Lanliss finds a hidden compartment with some gems and Bacon decides to have a better look at the holes they have passed. He returns and climbs into one. After watching him for a while without any comment or movement, Seldrel and Hardaz realise that something is wrong. They pull him out with difficulty – he is paralysed! A thin transparent film slides out of the hole after him – a near invisible ooze that immobilises it’s prey and drains them of blood. It is battered and blasted until dead. Merxif heals Bacon.

FalsKrag Session 23 – Trogs and statues

Our group got together for lunch and and an earlier start than usual for a long productive session. It was a really good time – puzzles solved, treasure obtained and an unexpected ambush. I took a photo during the troglodyte fight – I really should try to take a few each session. I usually don’t think about it unless we hit the end of the night and where PC’s are standing on the battle-map is important. This second encounter with “Monarth”, who is believed to be a grave-knight was also important, because the group had considered that he might be Gregern Falshandren. It seems they were mistaken. (Unless he lied…)

= = = = = = = = = = = =

13th Moving onward, the group note a room with many skulls lined up on the floor, mostly humanoid. A passage leads to a room with discarded material, and a hole in the wall to a cave. Lanliss leads the way into the cave and sights reptilian humanoids. A foul smell precedes the Troglodytes and the group all move in to fight, though some feel ill. Noise attracts more trogs from the north and Seldrel webs them. Bacon and Lanliss back up to the hole as a few more trogs appear there. Once the cave is clear, they burn the webs back and attack any trogs remaining in the web. This leads into a larger cave with a fountain and one foot of water across the floor… and the remaining trogs. A big crab advances on Hardaz, and across the chamber a trog druid begins casting spells. Merxif activates one of his crystal skulls, summoning a dire tiger to split the druid off from the other trogs. The fight is suddenly very one sided and the party quickly defeats the smelly saurians. A third cave has some collected equipment, treasure and a large iron gate. They don’t find any way to open the gate.

An unexpected big cat! Green tokens are fallen & dying trogs.

Wading through water they head easterly back toward where they entered and find chamber that appear to have been part of a shrine or temple. Broken rock piles (former altars?) have signs of fires on top, while urns hold bone and ash. The walls did have images and writing, but have all been damaged and scratched. A short flight of stairs lead out of the water and into a room carved with people walking around towards an altar. These images have also been defaced and some mold growing here is identified by Winter as Melandar – it can be brewed to aid against poison and disease. Many of the rooms on the level have a two regular doors and a third that is false – some trapped, some hinged onto to a blank wall, one with brown mold (that drains heat until Seldrel freezes it with a scroll), another painted on the wall. One door appears to open on a fire and released a great cloud of smoke, but they soon realise it is all an illusion and that the door goes nowhere. Four of these rooms have a well carved magical statue of a young human male, each in the same clothes but representing different emotions – happiness, sadness, anger and fear. Lanliss and Bacon realise that the statues rotate and Lanliss’ turning of the happy statue leaves him smiling for minutes afterwards, as well as occasionally breaking into song, dance, or hugging other party members. Continued searching locates a hall with many urns – some filled with water, one with bones and coins, and one a mimic. Again, Lanliss finds himself stuck and battered, but the group are faster to respond with missile weapons and spells than their first encounter with such a creature. Another hall has three monkey statues, and a dead end has both a very solid stone secret door and a poem about the change of seasons. They suspect that the poem is a clue to open this door, and while a considerable distance is between both locations, believe that the levers on a different level may be relevant.

They suspect the statues here open the iron gate, and as they finish exploring the level, see that the happy statue has returned to its original position. Bacon is chosen as the most resistant to emotion, and has the task of turning each statue to face the false door in each room. He becomes quite happy, soon cancelled out by the sadness of the second statue, and resist both fear and anger. They are very pleased to find that the iron gate has lifted and a room with three locked chests, a magical set of breastplate and a fine battleaxe and trident. Seldrel detects magic within some of the chests, and after opening them the group has a large quantity of copper, silver and gold coins, in addition to magical bandages, some potions, a wand and a scroll. They then have to make a decision about the levers and the other secret door. Based on the last door of this type they opened, the levers will reset and the door close after a number of minutes – quite likely not enough time to get back here. Lanliss and bacon decide to wait near the secret door. Hardaz, Seldrel, Merxif and Winter head up the stair, through the fungi caves, and down through the other halls to get to the levers. They note that the ogre corpse is gone from the moon room, and while blood and fluid stained, the circular platform is at floor level again. The levers are triggered – spring, summer, autumn, winter.

The secret door slides up – revealing a small room with a locked and trapped chest, and an ornate bronze casket. A lever can be used to keep the door open from within. While Bacon keeps watch, Lanliss disarms the fire trap, unlocks the chest and starts to appraise the treasure –silver and gold coins and a red crystal skull. Above and far to the north, the rest of the group hurries back through passages and secret doors. They are stopped in the fungi caves as a figure is blackened mithril armour, wielding a bastard sword blocks their way. The undead knight they first met four weeks ago asks if they have found the sword he asked about. When they state ‘no’, the warrior points at Hardaz. “What’s strapped to your back then?” Hardaz’ attempt at bluffing is terrible and the knight steps forward swinging his sword about in such fashion that all are intimidated. Combat breaks out with Winter missing with her first volley of arrows, and Hardaz also having trouble hitting. “I have found allies”, calls the knight, having hit the Dwarf solidly. Suddenly Winter turns and shoots at Seldrel, badly wounding him. Seldrel casts invisibility on himself, and disappears. Merxif runs back the way they had come, while Seldrel sights the human they though vampire a week ago hiding amid tall mushrooms. They suspect the vampire is controlling Winter, who now turns to aim at Hardaz. She speaks – her voice odd “You are vermin in the halls… as one of the Lord’s favoured it is my duty to remove your infestation from the Krag. You may discomfort me, but I will return.” There are a few quick comments between Seldrel and Hardaz. The knight pauses, “I am Monarth. Give me the sword and I will leave you be.” Hardaz drops the runed Flan blade at his feet and steps back. The knight picks up the sword and walks off towards the stairs up to the Hall of The Gods. Winter shakes of her domination and Seldrel runs to find Merxif. They all continue down to meet the others, Merxif healing them on the way. Once all are together again, they head across the halls to the room with a trapdoor and passage. They set themselves up in the room and hall to rest. Seldrel determines that the red skull can produce a fire shield each day.

14th: The group heads down through the trapdoor and proceed along the tunnel for quite a way. It stops at another short shaft and another trapdoor. Lanliss climbs up and eventually forces the door open. They emerge in the area of caves previously explored, close to the false tomb lid chamber and the ‘NEWS’ secret door. They trek the long way round to the fungi caves, and back down the great stair. Bacon and Hardaz play out a rope and Lanliss swings down to the ledge and doors about twenty feet under the level explored. Opening a door rings a bell on the back of the door. A long passage extends, but he sees and hears no-one. He anchors the rope and everyone climbs of slides down.

A narrow northern passage has closed doors, while the wide easterly hall has something partly blocking it near two side halls. Lanliss moves up to the partial blockade of wire and broken chairs and finds (and disarms) two magical rope snares. The group move into the southern branching and find seven rooms connected by short passages in a rough loop. Many have blood and old corpses or skeletons, one a magic mouth that proclaims “Death to those who wait” , a dart trap, and a patch of green slime that falls on Lanliss. Seldrel burns it off him with magical fire. A secret door with a deep pit has stone blocks with candlesticks in three corners. Lanliss notices three slight depression of the same size in the floor, and he and bacon drag the blocks into them. A hidden compartment slides open in one wall and they recover silver, gold and some gems.