Fals’Krag Session 42 – Cave and Temple

This session had all of my players attending, which was great of itself, but special because some of us still hadn’t seen each other for nearly a year. The session didn’t run any longer than normal, but as well as catching up on life in general, they worked their way through quite a bit of D&D!

I need to remember to take at least one photo during a session.

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(10th Sunsebb): Lanliss and Bacon check the closer southern tunnels finding small caves that appear to be goblin quarters. They make a fast search for valuables while the others make sure the goblins are dead and loot a few coins. Hardaz hears faint noises from the north and they all move forward as quietly as possible, glancing into adjacent passages and more small caves. Some of the walls seem smoothed by magic, and there are occasional traces of Suel runes. Seldrel surmises that they predate the goblins. They note the smell of smoke ahead. Lanliss moves forward as far as he can and still use his elf-sight. A chamber to the side has many boxes, but ahead in the dim light he sees a large cave and perhaps a dozen goblins. He retreats and the group make a plan – they line themselves in the passage with weapons ready, and wait for Bacon’s signal. He moves stealthily forward to the cave entrance, where he notices a trip wire, piles of rubble and what is likely a hidden pit. As well as many goblins, there is an other ogre in the cave and a large wolf. Bacon triggers a bright flash of light from his goggles blinding some of the closest goblins. He yells out to the others to watch for the trip wire right in front of him. Hardaz, and Boris make their way past him and begin to engage goblins. Merxif moves up and looks at the wire – it appears to be rigged to trip people, and not trigger another trap. Lanliss comes up and cuts it. Seldrel and Winter move up to provide ranged support. Many of the goblins fire arrows at the dwarves and Boris, while others with maces surround those in melee. Boris targets the ogre with his spell and is delighted when a fireball burns the ogre and knocks down many of the surrounding goblins. He, Bacon and Hardaz are also in the area of effect. Bacon avoids being burnt, though not the goblin he uses for cover. Hardaz and Boris take some damage from the fire. Boris manages to blind the ogre, though he has been hit by quite a few arrows. Merxif moves up to heal him before anything goes bad. Bacon trips a few goblins as he pummels those around him, and Hardaz, Lanliss and Summer finish them off. The rest of the group fire spells and arrows at goblins out of melee and are targeted in return by arrows. The blind ogre looks to be more of a threat to the goblins near him that the party and is downed before he can see again. The group block exit from the cave and steadily defeat the remaining goblins. Nearly everyone is wounded to some extent and Merxif channels healing energy to those who need it. Careful searching reveals a few more pit traps, and quarters for the goblins. A magical ring is claimed from the goblin leaders corpse and a nice selection of gems and coins are found. Seldrel is horrified to find the goblins had been burning books and scrolls, but salvages some with useful spells on them.

Many of the group are feeling a slight desire to go up through the mountain. It is similar to the pull they feel to explore when they spend days in town or in the crafting halls. They decide it doesn’t seem to be very defined in direction and do their best to ignore it for now.

At the end of the cliff path is what looks like a doorway blocked with rocks and bits of old timber. The dwarves take some time to clear it, finding a short passage and another blocked doorway. Behind this are stairs leading down westward into the cliff. Lanliss notes that they are not even, level or consistent, and must have been purposely carved that way. There are occasional faint Suel runes and what could be images of fangs. A crossroads with an open pit has images of mountains and cave entrances. Three short passages lead to doors – the southern is broken open, the northern jammed shut with pieces of the south door.

The southern chamber has three parts, with a smashed altar and open spiked pit (with a goblin skeleton). Suel inscriptions describe odd rituals, involving chains in darkness, deep pits, and flagellation. The western door opens into a three large three sectioned hall, each with a central pillar. An old goblin corpse lies at the base of the closest pillar, and some armoured skeletons are sighted to the sides. The group enters to fight them and are startled when a mummy emerges from another chamber at both ends of the hall. It becomes a difficult fight to defeat the undead, with fear paralysing two of the group, and Bacon, Hardaz and Summer all struck by the mummies. Thankfully, Bacon is unaffected by the rot that the other two suffer. Merxif heals those that he can, and struggles to remove the curse on owl and dwarf. The group search the crypts looting some treasure and decide to camp here for the night with the door spiked shut.

11th Having rested Merxif is able to remove the curse on Summer, and then negate the disease part of the rot. Winter restores her companion’s strength. The desire to move towards the surface is stronger and felt by all.

12th Hardaz finally has his affliction negated, and is healed. The group check the last door, finding within a chamber with intact altar and short mounds of quivering flesh. As Lanliss looks around, the flesh blobs extend arms and form distorted faces. They cause minor damage to those that enter to fight, but are resistant to fire, and take reduced damage from the groups weapons. Seldrel determines that these are minor demons – lemurs – that can be changed or promoted into more powerful forms. The altar is marked with the image of a set of fangs, with the walls have phrases that speak of discovering secrets in darkness, finding riches in caves, and gaining knowledge by eating your enemies. Merxif and Seldrel decide this is a temple and crypt for Beltar, an evil Suel deity of malice, caves and pits.

The group are happy to leave, heading straight towards the crafting hall, where they find they still feel the pull to go “up”. They do so, exiting the Hold and head towards the graveyard, with the compulsion beginning to fade away. As they approach they sight three human youths on the path. The trio from Falsford are curious about what the group has seen and fought. They also pay close attention to what each of the party carries and wears. Hardaz is becoming rather suspicious, and Boris who had dropped back as they approached, ducks into the long grass and moves around behind them. One of them suddenly points to a figure moving through the graveyard, and yells “the Vampire!”. All three bolt down the road heading back towards town. The group recognise Robann Falshandren, who seems pleased to have startled the “rascals” who have been hanging around a bit recently. He greets the party, and explains that he wanted to see them. They have committed themselves to locating his grandson, and in recognition of their efforts, he has relaxed the compulsion on them to explore the Krag. They should find they have more time to rest, study and prepare between bouts of exploration. After some further discussion they part, looking forward to a lunch that isn’t rations in town.

At the gate, a laughing guard asks if they have any statues to declare, while a second tells Lanliss that a bird left a message for him. A scroll (delivered yesterday) describes the group, and asks for Lanliss to visit Kevelli when they are in town again.

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