Fals’Krag Session 43 – Anticlimax

A really, really good session – such a pity two players missed out. Everyone worked well together once we got past the discussion on what items to craft and who to do it. (“Are you happy to spend a bit more money to have it now?”) There was an assortment of creatures encountered, some for the first time (in this campaign) – the troll and  the glitterfire notably. For most of the ruins being explored now I have scale battle-maps, using post-it notes to hide what they can’t see.

In the last encounter I had a large snake mini which I put down and said it’s like this but made of metal, then played along with everything they said… counting rounds as they cast spells, checking who had what cast on them and where they said they were. The first arrow fired for Winter had a modified to-hit roll of 26. I said “miss”. (Cries of dismay and astonishment, especially from my wife who runs Winter.) They double checked bonuses from buffs, etc, and then she rolled for the other two arrows – same again. I paused to let them worry and rolled a Will save for Winter – she succeeded, and things went on as described.

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(12th Sunsebb): Kevelli has followed the groups adventures under the Krag for some time now, and wishes to accompany them to the Crafting Halls. He has some of his own work he would like to pursue there, but is also willing to craft items for them (using the hall) at a discount. He offers Seldrel an infinite scroll-case as a gift. The group agree to take him with them when they return. They spend time in town restocking on rations, holy water, and having a good meal. Seldrel and Merxif speak with a few priests about identity of the statues in the Hall of the Gods.

13th: The group, with Kevelli, head to the Hold and down to the Hall of the Gods. With the Wizard’s assistance, they activate the statue of Osprem, a Suel water deity. A wand of Beast Shape I (aquatic) is gained. They then show Kevelli the Crafting Halls and spend time discusses what the two wizards will work on. They eventually decide to have Kevelli craft some of the cheaper and faster to make items the group wants, like magical boots and extra dimensional backpacks.

14th – 25th: Kevelli and Seldrel work on boots of sprinting & striding, golem-bane scarabs, handy haversacks, a wand of lesser restoration, and an amulet of mighty fists. The rest of the group keep an eye on the surrounding chambers and levels to be sure nothing is taking up residence, and some of them head back to Falsford for anything the mages have forgotten.

26th: They activate the statue of Bralm – a Suel deity of Insects and Industriousness. They receive a wand of natures favour, which Winter can use to aid Summer in combat. Boris is going to escort Kevelli back to Falsford, while the rest will return to the great cavern. They choose a block near to the goblin caves and Lanliss begins to scout invisibly. After a few empty rooms, he finds a thin but muscled humanoid about 9 feet tall scrabbling in rubble. He quickly returns and the group ready to attack, sighting four goblins with it. They begin to strike down the goblins. Hardaz and Bacon go straight for the creature Seldrel thinks is a troll – when its wounds begin to heal, he is sure. He and Merxif begin targeting it with fire and acid magic. Lanliss tumbles int. Four more goblins attack from another chamber. The troll rakes the dwarves a few times, but it is no match for them when not regenerating damage. Lanliss uses magic missiles to take down the goblins Winter and her companion don’t get and the combat is soon over. Seldrel uses acid to make sure the troll is dead. The goblins yield a few coins and maces, but nothing valuable.

More empty room hold little more than dust and the tracks of vermin. Lanliss finds himself in almost darkness, and notes movement on the ceiling. He dodges something that drops suddenly and tries to grapple him, even though he’s invisible. Surprised, he runs out and calls on the others. The three “flying squids” are quickly defeated, and they recognise them as darkmantles – not a serious threat to the group.

Lanliss finds some dire rats, and as the others move to be able to attack with melee and missiles, Winter sees a snake-headed man in another part of the building. Hardaz goes to her support and they find themselves fighting four snake-men – two are large snakes with human arms, and the last has a thick snake body with human arms and head. They wear light armor and wield scimitars effectively. Hardaz is able to block a doorway until the rats are defeated. Lanliss and Bacon use acrobatics to get into the chamber and amid their foes. These turn out to be much stronger fighters than the troll & goblins, and the narrow spacing makes it a nastier fight. Merxif spends some time healing the wounded. Lanliss finds a secret door with spy-holes looking into the now empty rooms that once held many shelves or cupboards.

In the final part of the building Lanliss sees something move in the darkness, and he and Bacon move in, attacking two insectoid creatures. They knock one unconscious, and Hardaz enters to attack the second, fearful from their description that it’s a rust monster. He’s right! He and Lanliss are happy to land heavy blows without their weapons corroding before the aberrations can strike back. Their reaction speed has gone in their favour and they ascertain that the monsters have had their last metal meal. Unfortunately, there are only rust and corroded daggers remaining amid bones and clothing scraps.

Moving on to the next building, they find odd swirls on dusty floors and goblin tracks. Lanliss finds a small cloud of smoke lit by flickering lights moving about a room. His attempt at a surprise attack fails, and it tries to flow around him but he dodges. The others join him, finding weapon strikes to be effective at breaking it down. Seldrel realises that it is an ooze, and on defeat there is a brief, almost blinding blaze of sparkling magical fire, resembling a burning glitterdust spell.

The goblin tracks lead to a makeshift shrine to Maglubiyet (the main goblin deity) and two piles of stones. There is a faint glow in one and Seldrel detects magic from it. Lanliss carefully removes stones, revealing a blackened skull with faintly glowing eye-sockets. He lifts it out, almost dropping it as he finds its been anchored to the floor with a length of fine wire. Seldrel recognises a goblin skull-bomb, having been the victim of one before. When broken, the last person to touch it explodes in magical fire! They carefully place it in one of their magical bags.

A simple cross-bow trap is found and disarmed by Lanliss, and a broken door leads into an old storeroom with rotting furniture, lumps of cloth and possibly bodies. Everything glistens in the light and they recognise green slime. Lanliss enters with a torch to start burning it, and has some fall from the ceiling on to him. Seldrel quickly burns it, and they scrape the rest off before it eats through his jacket. Oil and fire quickly set the room ablaze. They retreat to find the smoke disturbing bats in an adjacent chamber. The vermin are as large as Merxif and aren’t ordinary, proven by their resistance to fire. Many are struck down as they try to bite the group and continue past them. A second wave of bats emerge followed by bulky rough-looking winged humanoids. The ‘Margoyles’ prove are tougher than the gargoyles previously fought, but Merxif weakens them with acid breath courtesy of his dragon orb.

Hardaz notes a wall that has been carved to look worn and cracked. Lanliss (invisible) scouts around it and finds a concealed, locked and trapped stone door. He picks the lock, disarms the trap and opens the door. He sees a metal cobra made of interlocking steel plates, taking up nearly half the chamber with its head about 8 feet above the floor and swaying from side to side. He notes a chest and other objects behind it. It seem to be aware that he is there. He backs off, looks around, tells the others then closes the door again. They spend some time planning and all position themselves just out of the way of the door. Wands are used to strengthen and toughen most of the group. Merxif uses a skull to summon a Dire Bear, then casts Bless and Prayer. Winter makes sure she has a line of sight to the chamber, Seldrel casts Haste, Lanliss opens the door and they both back up. The snake sways and Winter fires three arrows – all miss! The snake doesn’t react and Winter looks at it keenly. “I don’t think my arrows bounced, I’m sure they went straight into it and it didn’t react. I think it’s an illusion!”

Seldrel moves forward, casting Detect Magic and studies the chamber, while the snake continues to swing its head from side to side. There are multiple magic auras… one is illusion. Lanliss moves forward and joins the mage and both realise the snakes image has become translucent to them; they see the items piled at the back of the chamber through it. There is both amusement and relief amid the group. Lanliss steps into the chamber to look at the treasure and promptly has the ground collapse under him. The door and illusion have kept his attention from the concealed pit trap. Fortunately there aren’t spikes at the bottom. The others throw down a rope and help him climb out, not too badly wounded. He spikes the lid shut. The group is pleased to learn there are no further tricks or traps and recover quite a lot of gold coins, a few gems & jewellery, some small casks of oil, and a magical staff. They gather everything and head back up to the crafting halls to evaluate and recover.

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