FalsKrag Session 30 – Orc Burial Caves

A fairly ordinary session that probably had a bit more talking and eating than role-playing compared to normal, mostly due to a slightly later start than usual, and one of our usual players being away. The combat with the cloaker went better for me as GM that I’d expected it too. Frequently I introduce something that I expect to be a challenge and the group comes up with a brilliant strategy, makes lots of high dice rolls, I roll badly, or all of the above – resulting in a sudden defeat of my creature(s). That didn’t happen. I’d done some planning for how to use the creature effectively, and some bad dice rolls neutralised nearly half the group just before the cloaker attacked. Seldrel standing on his own was too great an opportunity not to try and envelope him, and while Winter then rolled a critical on her first arrow shot causing 35 damage, that damage was split between the cloaker and Seldrel. Thankfully (for both Seldrel and the cloaker), her other two shots that round both missed. I then chose to have the lightly wounded creature retreat before they could surround it and start melee.

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(4th Ready’reat) Lanliss, Bacon and Hardaz move forward to engage the skeletons. Winter notes some zombies moving up behind them and begins to shoot at those. As the zombies move closer it can be seen that they have plants growing on and through them. The group begins to feel an uneasiness, some report it as a odd sound, others a feeling. The opposing forces are defeated and the zombies are much like the rats seen earlier. The group finds another flowered vine that fires spores at them. They destroy it and wonder if the plant spores in the air are what makes them feel agitated. As they start to move north to look at the other end of the cavern, Summer, Winter and then Merxif all become unresponsive. Seldrel cannot detect any magical influence and Seldrel and Hardaz pull them forward while Bacon and Lanliss search for another plant. They observe a tunnel heading west from the north of the cavern and one heading east from high up on a large ledge. The northern end of the cavern has another ledge and Bacon sights a door there.

As the pair start climbing up a dark winged shape swoops out of the darkness at Lanliss. He dodges its attack and the bat-like creature flies up to the top of one of the rock columns. It seems to project something at Bacon and Lanliss that leaves the elf nauseous and almost helpless. Hardaz hurries north, leaving Seldrel for a moment alone in the cavern. The creature seems to duplicate itself (Seldrel suspects it of using a form of mirror image) and dives down, wrapping itself around him. Winter and Merxif shake off their lethargy and Winter shoots at the creature. Her first arrow is a deeply penetrating shot that she is very happy with until she realises from muffled screams that she has also harmed Seldrel. Her next few shots miss. The grappled wizard manages to trigger the wand he is holding and dispels the creatures images. The others are all closing in when the creature releases its prey and flies away swiftly. It heads out the wide tunnel the group entered from. Seldrel thinks the creature is a cloaker, an intelligent bat-like aberration. Seldrel levitates and scans the cavern for magic, while other search at ground level. He sees a hole in the ceiling in which he finds a silver necklace, carved animal figures, shiny sling bullets and a magical cap, The group check the western tunnel which leads to a chamber full of corroded weapons and armour. A careful search does net them a good set of red chain-mail, a magical runed scimitar (one of the five blades) and a casket full of copper coins. They decide to leave the northern door, heading out to search other passages after the cloaker.

Most of the caves they find are damaged, and either have materials for cremation and burial, or contain niches with bones or urns with ashes. One cave has two animated skeletons, where they are also attacked by two small undead created from bones, rubble and hair. In another cave they sight a ghostly indistinct shape that drifts across the chamber. Noises lead them to a long hall with stone slabs blocking alcoves. As they begin opening these, they find one is trapped with a swinging spiked ball. Three orc ghosts emerge and attack the tomb robbers, but are easily destroyed.

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