A fun session with an assortment of creatures, traps and treasure recovered. They moved into a new area at the end of the session and used their resources well so they weren’t stuck behind walls getting shot at. The group’s wizard fumbled three spells over the evening. Thankfully (for the group) none of the results caused problems, but it was amusing to have a wolf suddenly learn a “grease” spell but have no way of casting it.
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10th Harvester: Near the southern edge of the mountain they encounter a small group of orcs. They are quickly beaten and the group head to Falsford. Loot from the hobgoblins means substantial funds for the group, and Seldrel crafts minor magical items for himself and Lanliss.
15th The group hire a cart, horse and driver, along with 5 porters and head back to the keep. Wolves attack them along the way, but are not much of a threat. At the keep, Bacon stays to guard the cart and driver, while everyone else heads quickly down to the Hall of the Gods and down to the lower level where they had left a chamber full of alchemical gear. The secret room is opened and equipment packed carefully into crates and brought up to the cart. Then a second trip down is made to the hobgoblin lair to bring out the remaining bulky trade goods. The group had planned to activate another statue in the Hall, but realise that all of the statues have changed – there are now twelve new deities, that include Gruumsh (greater god of the orcs), Garl Glittergold (head gnomish deity), two halflings and a kobold. Once again, Merxif and Seldrel sketch the statues, and note anything they recognise. Back in Falsford they have more goods to sell, and spend some time talking to people at the various temples and shrines in town to identify the new statues. Seldrel crafts a magical headband for Merxif.
17th Back to the Keep. At the Hall of the Gods, they activate the statue of Garl Glittergold and receive a Wand of Invisibility. Merxif and Winter receive some sort of blessing, but it seems to fade away after an hour without being activated. The party heads through the fungus caves and down to the next level. The stripped corpse of an orc lies at the base of the stairs. It appears to have been killed by the lightning trap. The acid trap around the corner has also been triggered. Lanliss locks down the pit in the passage and they all pass through the double doors into a wider hall. A side passage leads to two rooms – both with traps that have been triggered. There are small holes in the wall and dart heads scattered on the floor, then a fallen block of stone that has crushed a small humanoid. The main hall ends at a walled pool into which water falls from holes in the wall. Seldrel notes that the water in the pool (only) is magical and reads the Oeridean script engraved on the wall – “Avarrath’s Folly”. Lanliss climbs in and searches, locating a few copper and silver coins. Scratched on a side wall in common is “only once”. Seldrel drinks some of the water – his minor wounds heal and he feels more resilient. <temporary hps> Everyone else in the group eventually drinks and also feel tougher. There is a ledge above the pool and an adjacent cave that has some bone fragments and puddles of water. Seldrel scans it for magic and detects a faint aura from one of the puddles. The water filled hole contain a few gold coins and a ring of climbing. Moving northwards, the next cave is scattered with slightly polished bones, arrow heads and a few minor items of equipment – all metal. The next cave holds two brownish oozes that move forward to attack. Seldrel thinks that they are ochre jellies and that most weapons will divide them without causing harm. They focus magic on the oozes and then take a chance with a mace strike – bludgeoning weapons hurt them! The oozes die without inflicting much damage themselves. The group decides they are the reason for clean floors, polished bones, and metal scraps in the caves – everything organic has been “eaten”.
Continuing north, they find a wide long hall lined with statues – four pairs of human shaped statues, male and female. Inscriptions on the bases are ‘Baklunish’, ‘Flan’, ‘Oeridean’ and ‘Suloise’. Each pair is carved to resemble folk of that culture, in appearance and dress. As the party move slowly up through the hall, the third pair animate and attack. The stone is hard to damage, and they are resistant to all spells used against them, making it a slow and difficult fight. Once the statues crumble, their masterwork swords remain. The next large chamber is a dead end, and holds only three large carved rocks. Lanliss notes a raised gate at the entrance and takes the time to ensure it isn’t going to drop. He then finds a hidden trap door at the back on the chamber. Most of the group move in and examine the rocks while Lanliss carefully opens the trapdoor. Below is a large locked chest. He lifts the chest out carefully and realises it is trapped. Before he can do anything further, two wolves appear in the cave and attack. They are taken down very quickly and Lanliss realises he missed a magical summoning trap. He unlocks the chest and fails to disarm the gas trap – which leaves him feeling ill for a short time. The chest holds many coins (mostly silver), some gems, a magical cap and a blue crystal skull. The skull is carved from a single piece of crystal, about half the size of a human skull and after study Seldrel realises it can be used to cast fear once a day, and undeath to death once a week. Merxif claims it. One of the gems is a magical red garnet – a second “key” for the black gates.
They now head east where the next cave has its walls carved with demonic faces in various sizes. Orcish runes scratched on one wall state “bone lion” and has an arrow points towards a tunnel that descends northwards. A short flight of narrow steps rises to the south and a third passage heads north-east. The group follow this emerging in a high cave with loose stones. Lanliss finds an arrow carved in one wall with the word “exit” pointing north towards a narrowing northward passage. Hardaz is struck by a falling piercer – a stalactite shaped creature. He is able to pull it free as a second drops near Lanliss. Both a killed and the group heads north. The passage soon becomes narrower and slopes upward. High slanting sides suggest the passage is a fissure in the rock, and climbing Is required at two points. Eventually the ground flattens out again and emerges into two caves. The first has a tripwire that Seldrel observes is attached to a rock that would drop onto a shield. The stone of the floor is becoming smooth and worn and the second cave has six foot high wooden barricades running thirty feet across it. Faint voices can be heard behind the barriers, but the language isn’t clear. As they discuss what to do, Lanliss suspects they have been detected. The group casts a few spells to assist them – fly in particular and a prayer. Arrows shoot out at them as the group fly over, climb or jump up the barricades. There are six orcs on the other side. Merxif uses his skull and four flee in fear out of the cave. The remaining two are quickly killed.