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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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