The players were very happy to find a magical short sword in an earlier session – just before encountering shadows! Following this, they decided to pool a lot of their cash and get a magical bow for the hunter. They have encountered a number of creatures now that have damage reduction /magic and their spending has proved very worthwhile. Without it, the only character capable of inflicted heavy wounds is Hardaz: power-attack with a dwarven war axe for 1d10+5 damage. The group is also starting to finish sessions with more than one choices of how (or where) to proceed. While they have been concerned that they might be getting into things too difficult for them, they have dealt well with everything they have faced (so far) and have turned back when something is obviously too difficult.
Maps – I’ve been creating my maps for the dungeon with ANAmap. This is a web-based program that makes simple maps, that I save can to my computer and also convert to an image. If needed, I load the image into a simple graphics program to make changes or additions beyond what ANAmap can do. I can also use ANAmap to save a player version without numbers, grid-lines, etc. In some cases, I then take my image and put it into PosteRazor which produces a set of A4 pfd’s – which I print out for play. The image below shows part of the caves – I printed the entire cavern level, stuck them together, then cut it up into individual sections to put on the game table as required.
28th Goodmonth: Hardaz and Bacon have contracted ghoul fever – Bacon quite severely. They visit a shrine to Bleredd (Lesser god of mines, metal and smiths) for remove disease. Seldrel and Merxif spend part of the day discussing the statues and religion, then visit most of the shrines and temples in Falsford. They put together a comprehensive list of details for each of the deities that have statues in the hall.
1st Harvester: Winter notices a purple leafed bush on way to the Hold – Gort. She picks some leaves which can be brewed into a tea to negate fatigue. They head quickly down to the Hall of the Gods, and the statue of Istus – placing a net in her hand, naming her and presenting a holy symbol. Blood and spells appear to do nothing. Puzzled they try the statue of Moradin, which they are able to activate and receive a Wand of Stone Shape. They try to activate other statues and find that nothing works. They decide to head downstairs to the cavern and come back later in case they can only activate one statue each day. High ceiling caves filled with fungi and other plant life spread out around the stairs. South there is a pool of water, and Lanliss glimpses something moving away from them. They spot and attack a giant toad, and a second attacks Seldrel from the pool. As they start to look around, giant centipedes drop from the ceiling and walls. Both are defeated with only minor wounds taken. Moving to the west, light and noise scares many bats that fly off ahead of them. A much larger dire bat attacks them. It also is easily defeated. Returning east, they sight a mound of rotting vegetation that rolls towards them. The fungus ooze engulfs Hardaz. Boris and Bacon batter it until Hardaz is free. Then to the north, where giant mushrooms and other fungi abound, Lanliss spots a humanoid fungus that backs away from him. Two large mushrooms begin to “scream” as Bacon and Hardaz explore. The shriekers are quickly destroyed but not before another large fungi shifts forward and attacks Boris with slimy tendrils. The fungus man attacks Lanliss, but also spits a spore ball at Seldrel. The spores make their vision slightly hazy and killing the humanoid causes spontaneous plant growth close by. They are thankful that the Violet Fungi, whose tendrils rot Boris’ flesh is not near enough to benefit from the effect. Boris is severely weakened before the fungi is destroyed. Hardaz notes a secret door, carved to resemble the rock wall. The group returns upstairs to the statue of Ehlonna to rest. Merxif treats Boris, and Hardz comes down with fungal rot from his time within the ooze.
2nd: The group activate the statue of Ehlonna. They intend to rest there until Boris is fully recovered, but some of the group are becoming restless and feel confined. They decide to return to Falsford. As they cross the courtyard, they are attacked by four hobgoblins and a dozen goblins from the gatehouse. This is a long and difficult fight. The last of the goblins try to fly, but are brought down by arrows, magical missiles and Summer! Once safely back in Falsford, Hardaz overcomes his disease, and Merxif monitors Boris who is confined to bed at the inn.
4th: Return to the Hold and head down to the Hall of the Gods. With Boris’ assistance, they activate the statue of Rao. Then it is down through the fungi cave to the secret door. Beyond it, panels line one wall and a closed southern door. What appears to be an empty room holds something invisible. A bulky creature attacks Lanliss, becoming briefly translucent, the vanishing again. The party carefully move forward and corner it, then Boris grapples it so the others can hit and kill it. The dwarves find a secret door in the passage as they head north. Each panel on the wall has one small detail or feature, and the secret door is opened by pushing on one of these. Beyond are stairs going down. The other end of the passage has a door with a trap – Lanliss triggers it twice – a sharp pendulum blade – before managing to disarm it. Merxif heals him. Beyond is a small room with a third black gate. This one has a capstone crystal that glows green. They continue onward and find stairs going up and a room with a locked iron box. When Lanliss attempts to open the box, it strikes his legs, then continues to slide along the floor and hit those trying to hold it. Hardaz strikes it with his axe and Seldrel fires magic missiles. Eventually the animated box ceases movement. It holds glowing coins and shards of a flask. Seldrel surmises that the flask held a magical oil of light.