After a break of a year and a half, we re-started my mega-dungeon yesterday! Five out of seven players were available and we had a fun evening catching up and getting some gaming done.
A note of the name Telerin: this is actually based on an in-game joke. The owl ‘Summer’ has been swooping in and taking down wounded opponents in our games for so long they earned the nickname “the finisher”. Now that the owl is intelligent (INT 10) and can speak back to the group, he’ll be a PC companion who I might take over as an NPC on occasion. I decided to have him choose a name that goes along with past sessions.
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7th Needfest. The group sleeps late and are awakened by an unfamiliar voice calling them lazy in Elvish. It turns out to be Summer, whose collar of the True Companion has triggered after a month and granted human level intelligence and speech to the owl. Telerin (as the owl names himself) suggests they get moving. Seldrel translates the name into Common for half the party – the “end of, or final, memory” . Once they sort themselves out, they proceed to the Hall of the Gods and activate the statue of Ye’Cind, a Elven Demigod of Music and magical song. They receive a wand of magic mouth, and elves in the group a blessing of knowledge.
They return to cavern and head to the area they had been yesterday. An assortment of low and high walls have fallen into ruin and hold nothing of interest. Lanliss hears movement in an intact building. He and Brolith move in to fight the pair of ghouls. There isn’t room for anyone else to enter, so Hardaz moves north around the corner to check an adjacent room. He sights what might be a body. A zombie runs out from a southern doorway to attack the group. They quickly deal with the three undead and follow Hardaz. As they move up to the next corner, many ghouls spill out of the doorway, and large holes in walls. Lanliss is clawed by one during the fight. Once they are all dealt with Merxif determines that the wound looks bad and takes time to both heal Lanliss and neutralise potential Ghoul fever. Lanliss starts to use invisibility to quickly move around the building, looking in windows and doorways, then reporting back. They encounter and kill a few more ghouls and zombies. Most of the chambers are dusty and have the tracks of vermin. Many have a few bones (mostly humanoid) and bits of dry flesh, some with larger pieces of bodies that the ghouls have been feeding on. A few coins are recovered. Bits of equipment are corroded, bent or broken.
The next smaller structure has two levels, with barred windows. Seldrel flies up to look in the slitted windows on the second floor and sees into a burned out chamber. There is only one entrance on the south of the ground floor. Lanliss feels this is trapped and the door is also locked. Seldrel detects two magical aura’s – one on the door itself the other on the space in front of it. Seldrel carefully picks a path to the door and picks the lock. He believes this has also disabled the trap in front of the door, but guides everyone else in to be sure. While probably not the buildings original purpose, it has been used as a home, but not recently. The first room has the fragile remains of a table and chairs. The next room is a kitchen with broken pottery, old rusting cutlery, and stove. Then a storeroom with a ladder. The water, dried food and spices that remain are murky or covered in mould, though a darkwood shield is in good condition and magical. A ladder leads up to the room above, with looks like a workroom that has suffered through a magical explosion. A few magical items are recovered – a ring, a rod and a dried hand. Seldrel wonders if the hand (with a gold neck chain) allows the wearer to use an additional magical ring.
The final room on the ground floor was a bedroom – there are signs of vermin throughout the room, a rusty iron framed bed, and the mouldy remains of a shredded mattress. Coins can be seen in the bits of stuffing. There is no time to investigate more than this as a shrouded shape flies out of the floor, slashing Winter with bony claws, then continues through the wall to the storeroom. Bacon feels the pain of negative energy and feels weakened. Seldrel suspects a wraith. As they reposition in the first room, it flies through again attacking Hardaz. This time a few of the group have time to respond with a quick strike, but they inflict minimal damage to the incorporeal undead. They pursue outside the building and are attacked again, this time with Winter struck. They cluster together with magical weapons and spells ready to strike as it tries to fly by them again, and get a few more hits in. It emerges from the ground and shrieks in hideous laughter then darts back inside the building. Hardaz and Merxif are both panicked – dropping what they hold, and running a block to the west to get out of sight. They pause for breath and the gnome uses remove fear so that both can return. They wait for minutes without it reappearing. Seldrel uses his knowledge blessing to determine that the thing is a Geist; an undead similar to a wraith but a little more powerful. They decide to head in a try to draw an attack, keeping everyone ready. Once they reach the bedroom again it attempts an attack on Bacon but he dodges. Almost everyone in the group inflicts damage by spell or weapon. Again they wait, but it but it does not reappear. This time it may be staying away to heal. They recover the coins under the bed and leave. With everyone having passed through the front doorway multiple times now, Lanliss realises that he must have disarmed the trap that they had all forgotten about.
Lanliss invisible, scouts around the next, large block. he sights ghouls, scorpions, beetles , and giant centipedes through doorways and windows. He also finds two broken wooden doors and closed metal door. Starting with the southern rooms, they move in to engage beetles and then centipedes. There are more of each than Lanliss had observed. The beetles spray acid where not directly engaged, with Hardaz and Bacon caught between two beetles as they kill a third. The centipedes are much less of a challenge. The chambers are mostly dusty, with old bloodstains, and the vermin feeding on moss, mould or bits of old bodies. The group is unsure if the corpses are old dead, or recently killed undead.
Most of the group then tackle a pair of ghouls, while Lanliss takes a narrow passage into the centre of the building. There are dusty webs, some odd shrouds and a humming that Lanliss thinks are bees. Once the ghouls are killed, half the group goes after the “bees” only to be attacked by two large Gloomwasps. These large black wasps sting and emit beams of dark glowing light. Hardaz and Bacon take the worst of their attacks, suffering under the almost magical poison that has them both glowing for a few minutes after the creatures are killed. Being dwarves they shake off the effects fairly easily once Merxif heals their wounds.
Two cave scorpions are the next foes, and more old bloodstains and parts of corpses are found. The bodies were likely bugbears and morlocks.