FalsKrag Session 37 – Vermin and a bloody mist

The group has now explored almost the entire northern edge of the cavern, maybe a fifth of the total cavern and ruins. The previous encounter with the vampire in the dungeon didn’t go very well and I found it extremely amusing when Seldrel’s player decided the small direction-changing mist moving towards them was a vampire and warned everyone accordingly. Everyone else’s reactions were also fun – Hardaz’ player was confident with his ghost-touch axe, Merxif has seen how effective his moon-bolt gloves are against undead and Bacon (who is usually the last to retreat) quickly got out of the way. The first round of combat wasn’t good for Hardaz, and Seldrel’s Knowledge check only gave him the name and very basic information. By the time Merxif noted that it was actually alive and not undead, it didn’t really matter. I missed with a second attack, and a typical mist isn’t going to stand up to lots of hits without continually healing itself by feeding. It could have been nastier if they hadn’t seen it coming.

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(25th Ready’reat) Seldrel and Winter have noted that the lights in the cavern ceiling had been getting slightly brighter and are now dimming. Seldrel thinks they match the daylight cycle above-ground.

A mostly intact building with a second storey is investigated. There are tracks of humanoids outside and Lanliss hears movement within. The building appears to have been a temple, and two snakes attack the group as they explore. A defaced altar has some script that Seldrel recognises as Tlaman (used by the Yuan-ti) but not enough remains to translate. Upstairs a number of spiders attack them. After clearing out their webs some coins are recovered. A step-pyramid flanked by huge snake statues can be seen in a walled area south. Movement of humanoids is also seen to the west. Heading out of the building they are ambushed by bugbears and morlocks.

Moving further west, the ruins explored have more bugbears and morlocks. A few short combats result, and one group of attackers includes a bugbear cleric. The group retrieve some worthwhile equipment and scout the buildings for treasure – mostly coins and scrolls. The group is almost out of spells and elect to retreat. The cavern lights have darkened but still provide a dim light. Returning across the marsh, both Bacon and Winter have an odd feeling that quickly passes. There is no sign of anything else nearby in the marsh and they reach the stairs out safely. They head up to rest at the crafting halls.

26th Winter is able to cut some of the rough gems found and improves their value a little. The party returns to the cavern and into the marsh. As they head towards the closer ruins, a mist is sighted, drifting from the north. Seldrel suspects a vampire following them. It changes direction towards them when they pick-up their pace, then suddenly flies across the uneven ground, attacking Hardaz and draining his blood. The slightly pinkish mist flushes red and Seldrel decides that it is a vampiric mist – a strange creature that drains blood from living creatures to strengthen itself. Bacon retreats to the ruin, Merxif fires a moon bolt thinking it is undead. His spell barely weakens it, and his goggles show the creature as living. Summer claws at the creature once but cannot harm it. Thankfully, Winter’s magical arrows have a much greater effect and it suddenly bursts in a rain of blood.

Into the north-western section of the ruins they encounter larger numbers of morlocks and bugbears. A cleric and tougher warriors accompany the two waves that emerge from rebuilt homes within the mostly ruined shells of older structures. They are defeated after a long and tough fight.


FalsKrag Session 36 – Ruin Dwellers

We played a standard session but had five separate combats, with only one of those really being quick. (In addition to exploration and some strategic planning.) I felt that the players got more done this session than is usual. The fight with the ghoul-stirges and ghouls got a bit nasty, but Merxif’s player has got some quite useful equipment now (in addition to channelling positive energy) and can be very nasty against undead when he gets in the right position.

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(25th Ready’reat): Stronger and fully healed they return to the cavern. Crossing the marsh to the ruins they are attacked by a mass of vegetation. The shambling mound is quite tough, grabbing hold of Hardaz and battering him. Once killed they have to cut the creature off of him. Into the ruins, they elect to go after the shadow – this time prepared with Hardaz’ axe, and other magic. (Mage armour on Seldrel, displacement on Hardaz and Merxif wears his magical moon-bolt gloves.) The shadow comes out to attack Hardaz but misses a number of strikes. Hardz though hits, while Merxif and Seldrel use searing light spells. Merxif fires a bolt from his gloves, disabling the undead for long enough that the rest of them can destroy it. There is only one room in here that they had not been able to reach – it turns out to be another tomb for Gregern Falshandren. Seldrel notes that the date on it is similar to the others encountered. There is some minor treasure and a magical helmet with mind shielding, but Seldrel notes with disappointment that it is cursed. He cannot determine how, but no-one is game to wear it.

Moving north, Lanliss and Winter note movement within a building. They enter carefully, and sight a small group of stirges. As they begin melee, they realise the creatures are undead, and the noise of the fight attracts some ghouls. Lanliss is paralysed when a stirge attaches itself to him and begins to drain his blood. Hardaz and Summer are also paralysed, but from ghoul attacks. Merxif again uses moon bolt on 2 stirges, and channel energy against the undead. Hardaz takes considerable damage before the active members of the party can defeat all their opponents.

Further west, most of the buildings are little more than broken walls and piles of rubble. Some repair has taken place, and they soon learn why. They encounter a few morlocks and bugbears. The fight attracts more bugbears and spreads through a fair section of the ruins. Some of the latter bugbears are stronger, leaders and more advanced warriors. Prayer, haste, fireball, and acid breath are used against them. It looks like small groups of both humanoids are living in this part of the buildings – the morlocks in burrows under the rubble and the bugbears in reconstructed rooms and shelters.

FalsKrag Session 35 – Temple of the four Elements

I’m catching up with these session summaries at last! I’ve also spent time making combat maps for areas the group may move into soon, and trying to complete some that may be needed at a later time. Cavern exploration is time consuming, but there has been plenty to be discovered. This session had me give out a bunch of small pages (A6) with a heap of notes about the inner planes, planar gates, conduits and elemental essences. As with some of my past handouts, there’s quite a bit of information, and the group doesn’t know how much is accurate, or of any importance to them. They have previously found what they believe is a closed (but open-able) planar gate, but at the time didn’t know where it led to.

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(16th Ready’reat): The party continues looking through the buildings closest to the trog hill, making their way towards the west. They find stairs into a lower set of chambers in one building. One has four pillars with elemental runes. They are attacked by a few Bugbears and Morlocks, who are defeated with ease. The group uses a combination of mundane and magical means to introduce the corresponding element to each pillar (dirt on the earth runed pillar, create water on the water), lowering a ramp into what seems to be an arcane temple to the four elements. Three small lightning elementals defend an altar with silver statuettes of each element. A humanoid skeleton lies in a hall. It appears to have died from wounds and has a silver amulet. Small rooms hold old furniture, books and scrolls that have not survived time and moisture. A few useful pages concerning the elements and planes are recovered.

Another part of the ruins has a broken stone trapdoor and stairs into a dusty area with recent rat corpses and old humanoid skeletons. A greater shadow attacks them while they look around – draining Strength from Seldrel, Winter and Bacon before they all retreat. The shadow doesn’t follow them out. Winter restores much of Seldrel’s strength and all retreat out of the cavern. Merxif heals them and they decide to return to Falsridge.

17th: Hardaz leaves his axe with Kevelli to enchant with Ghost Touch. The group sells a few items, restock consumables and train. [7th Level]

18th: Return to the Crafting Halls. Seldrel begins work on an enchanted quiver for Winter.

19 – 24th: While Seldrel crafts, the others read over the materials they have recovered and occasionally scout out of the Hold to supplement their provisions with fresh meat. Seldrel makes two magical Blood Vessels – one each for Lanliss and himself. These will protect against the draining of certain undead and necromantic magiks. Hardaz returns to Falsridge with a few of the others to reclaim his axe. The group has not bothered to activate statues in the Hall of the Gods. Merxif has started taking a greater interest in religion (outside that if his own) and the groups knowledge about the Flanaess deities is growing. They have a growing list of spells that they believe can be used to activate statues based on the deities areas of concern and Lanliss’ carpentry skill is improving. He can craft wooden disks showing a deities symbol. There have been no wands gained recently, and while the blessings gained from each statue appear to be somewhat more powerful and longer lasting, they only effect someone of the same race or similar alignment. They hope that a change of statues will reward them with wands once again.

FalsKrag Session 34 – Mushrooms are people too!

The title for this session came from a comment made by Merxif’s player after the “combat” with the violet fungi. It was very amusing as the player hates fungi/mushrooms. The session almost had Seldrel die for the second time. I don’t want PC’s to die just as the result of bad dice rolls. If they make bad decisions, that’s on them. PC’s who are dying can be healed/stabilised in a round will not die, regardless of rules on Con and negative hps. The dragon was meant to surprise and shake up the group, which it certainly did. They have been dealing well with things for a while, and it was a good reminder that some things under the mountain can’t be dealt with immediately.

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(15th Ready’reat): Heading east through caves and tunnels in the hill the group find a wide hall with many pools of odd smelling bubbling liquid. A large mushroom with fronds is at the end of the hall. Seldrel fears it is a violet fungi (encountered before) and the group begin making ranged attacks. Winter gets a very solid arrow shot that knocks it over. They approach carefully and realise that it is dead, and appears to have been dead and dried up for a long time. A faint breeze blowing along the exit tunnel made the fronds move. Further east they start to hear voices in the distance.

A cave leads out of the hill, and through an open gate, they hear many trogs chanting what sounds like “Atess”. Perhaps a score of stand around a stone platform with columns trogs at the edge of the lake. Lanliss and Bacon move to the gate and look around. A large black dragon dives out of the sky, biting Lanliss severely. Hardaz charges the dragon, but his axe rebounds from its scales. Seldrel casts Lightning at the dragon but the bolt fizzles. The dragon’s second attack on Lanliss drops the elf unconscious and near death. Merxif heals Lanliss, saving him from death. The dragon notices the gnome’s dragon orb and tells Merxif that she will tear him to pieces. Merxif uses the orb to suggest that the dragon teach the trogs to respect her by attacking them. The dragon is unhappy, but leaps over the palisade heading for the gathered trogs.

All retreat into the hill as the trogs begin to yell in surprise. Merxif heals those who are wounded. There is much noise outside, which soon becomes mostly the dragon bellowing curses at Merxif. The group quickly makes its way to the north gate and Seldrel makes everyone invisible and they run for the stairs in the cliff. They make their way to the black gate near the crafting halls and use it to reach the Hall of the Gods. Lanliss and Seldrel trade knowledge of dragons. The one encountered was female and likely a adult by its size. They deem it much too powerful for their group, especially when unprepared.

Merxif, Lanliss and Bacon head into Falsford to sell off some of the equipment they don’t require. Lanliss purchases a new sap, Merxif a wand of Cure Light Wounds and a magic haversack. (Hiding the dragon orb in an extra-dimensional space should mean it can’t be detected by magical or extraordinary means.) Lanliss asks Kevelli to arrange for a Ring of Invisibility to be created for him. He leaves payment, and Kevelli states will send messages to Falsridge, and Mitrik if necessary.

16th: The three return to the Fals’Krag and the crafting halls where Seldrel is enchanting Lanliss’ other sap. Late in the afternoon they all head down again to the great cavern. They begin to head south across the marsh keeping watch for the dragon. Lanliss and Seldrel hallucinate – Lanliss thinking he is being attacked by a giant leech and Seldrel believes he is melting. Both are grappled and pulled down into the marsh as two large reptilian shapes fly northward across the lake, briefly diverting in their direction. Once the dragons move away, the group head quickly into the northern edge of the ruins, and the two elves calm down. Most of the buildings here are very old, and badly damaged. What remains, shows occasional marks of small vermin and humanoids. There are obvious signs of searching, but none recent. The group explore and are attacked by a group of morlocks. The party have learned to deal with the crowding tactics used by the pale humanoids..