"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Broken Lands Session 4

To kill a spider.

The Party:
Comtruise the Auditor (Cleric 1)
Elu (Elf 1 - Protection from Evil)
Steefe (Halfling 1)
Jakar (Fighter 1)
Plus retainers:
Father Mug (Cleric 2)
Konill the Medium (Magic-user 1 - Light)
Dyban the Veteran (Fighter 1)
Rufus the Black (NM)
Gangagor the Portly Porter (NM)

The Adventure (aka there will be spoilers below; aaka if you’re one of my players don't read these):
  • Continuation of a slightly modified Tower of Zenopus.
  • The Vault of the Whisperer (from Black Pudding #2) as a sub-level accessed at the end of the passage going north in the north-west part of the map. Note I excised the rat tunnels.
What Happened:
  • With the larger roster of characters, the party sets off through Jekarra on their way back to the cellars and catacombs below the ruined wizard tower. On the way they encounter a merchant whose slaves are rolling barrels full of torch oil. One of the barrels got away from a slave but they were able to get it back under control before any disaster but not before earning a beating.
  • With all haste, the party makes a beeline for the room with the Giant Spider. However, being a bit loose of tongue in their tactical planning and taking a bit too much liberty in their expectations of their porters’ duties Gangagor the Portly Porter fails a morale check and flees. Steefe the halfling grabs the Portly Porter's arm but then gets pulled down the hallway like water skiing behind a boat.
  • Having developed their plan of attack, the party kicks open the door. Elu the Elf then abandons the plan and goes running into the room. However, the timely use of Konill’s Light spell on the Spider’s many eyes and missile attacks leads to quick victory! Searching the room they find a dagger.
  • Having dealt with the spider, the party decides to investigate the passageway to the north seeing it leads to the “monster with many teeth” mentioned by Grith the Sorcerer.
  • They come to a large locked stone door on which is scrawled “It whispers within”. Next to the door is a barrel. Removing the lid, the party is attacked by a Barrel Snail! Deploying many flasks of oil reduces the barrel and the creature within to a burnt heap. They find a key in the burnt wreckage.
  • Passing the locked door, they find a room with two statues and a door on the opposite wall. Thoroughly searching the statues and lots of trial and error allows the party to find a secret door on the west wall.
  • Proceeding down the secret passageway, the party finds a small shrine with a faded mural of a sad girl. Messing with the painting eventually leads to Father Mug being strangled to death by a pair of invisible hands.
  • At the end of the secret passage, the party discovers that the dead-end wall sounds hollow. Breaking through the wall they release a poison gas which (rolling on the Death & Dismemberment table) leads to Elu being knocked unconscious for a while. In the wreckage of the wall they find a strange sword. On the other side of the newly created hole in the wall the party sees a wrecked room that makes them decide this place is just too creepy.
  • Retreating back to the room with the two statues, the party decides to check out one more room (famous last words). Opening the door on the north wall, the party is attacked by five humanoids with weird cages on their heads. Deciding “one more room” was stupid, the party quickly flees the Vault of the Whisperer.
The Tally:
  • Father Mug and his cure light wounds spell
  • Killed a Giant Spider
  • Found a weird magic sword dripping with acidic ooze and a magic dagger.
What Worked Well/What Didn’t Work Well:
  • First use of a random encounter in the city. I used Matt Finch’s City Encounters and ad libbed a bit. I really thought the party would try to steal a barrel of oil.
  • Given how the players were talking I did NOT expect them to head to the Vault of the Whisperer so I was caught a bit unprepared.
  • The use of more retainers paid off in terms of survivability.
  • The Vault of the Whisperer really creeped the players out.
  • The party has asked for me to refresh some of the adventure hooks for next time.
  • That’s two sessions with very little treasure.

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