February 1st, 2014 (part 2)
Characters:Drog, human barbarian
Farthing, faun wizard
Noide, celestial cleric
Phelix, cat-folk swashbuckler
Calahn, human martial artist
Recap:Things are starting to change in Turnwall. The local jeweler has taken on a second apprentice due to the increase in gems. Prices for semi-precious gems has fallen somewhat, and the more well to do townsfolk are wearing a lot more jewelry.
Some merchants are feeling better about traveling to/from Turnwall now that the Orc raiders have been dispatched, but the threat from the Lizard men marauders remains.
The adventurers are starting to get recognized by more of the town (especially the merchants). Though this hasn't necessarily translated into a favorable reaction, yet.
After some rest the the party wanted to check on some rumors and then head back out. Drog was curious about the Mechalor and while socializing at the pub, was told by several that he was just some old crazy hermit living in the woods north of town and not a powerful wizard.
Farthing decided to do some research on the Lizard men, but was somewhat hampered by the lack of a Mages' Guild or public library. Still, in the town records, he found out that there are many lizard men living in the swamps to the southeast, but that he marauders broke off from them some time ago. He also learned that the Lizard men are located in the back of the caverns and used the gecklings as lookouts if anyone approached that might be coming for them.
With this information in hand, the set off to the Caverns of Chaos once again. During the night a lone Dire Wolf came upon the camp, but the party were alerted before it could descend on them. They made quick work of the lone creature and the remainder of the night was uneventful.
Once to the caves, the group decided to speak with the old Ogre and see what they could learn. The found him cooking again. The talking skull bobbing up and down in his stew (to help with the flavor). The group learned of the exact cave the lizard men lived in. They also got descriptions of the "Pool cave" and "Cattle cave". Then they turned their questions to the abandoned tomb. Still wanting to destroy the Alter of Unspeakable Evil, the group decided to head to the tomb and check it out.
The Abandoned TombAs soon as the party entered the cave they all felt a sense of unease. Something was gnawing at the back of their minds giving them all slight headaches. Once they entered the first large chamber this feeling subsided.
In the first room a small stream flowed from the northeast into a pool of water. Bones lay scattered around the room. After probing one of the piles, skeletons rose up from the piles and attacked.
The group made pretty quick work of the skeletons, even the commander who Drog smashed to pieces. Afterwards, a martial artist (Calahn) came crashing through the wall. He too had been out exploring the caves and after a short (and awkward) introductions, the group decided to continue on.
Searching to pool they found a sort of water wheel embedded into the stone. The gentle stream turned the wheel. Above it was some sort of rotating disk with a hourglass like indent.
To the northeast was a small room with another pool. The water seemed to come up through cracks in the floor of the pool and draining out in the same fashion in the larger pool.
North of skeleton's room the cave split, and the delvers took the left path, but as soon as Drog went a few yards down, he felt a terrible pain in his head and began to take damage. There was no way around this psychic attack, to the group when back to the other path.
Here they found a room with four old corpses and a door. As soon as they entered the Corpses attacked. These were Draugr and hit hard. Drog took a blow. Then a few turns later Calahn was hit with a skillful shot (crit), and appeared to die.
The rest of the battle was a long fight. The Draugr's shields game them excellent defense. The group was able to bottleneck them into a small spot and then Farthing cast a spark storm that assisted in damaging the Draugr. Eventually the party destroyed the monsters and were happy to find that through some miracle Calahn was live and not even harmed anymore.
The door was locked, but Phelix was able to pick this and the party found a tomb beyond. At the center of this large room a larger sarcophagus lay on a raised portion of the floor. Four Flaming Skulls were positioned around this and flew at the party as soon as they entered.
The Skulls bites were annoying, but not really threatening. The party tried a variety of things to hurt the skulls after learning that their standard attacks were fairly weak against the semi-corporeal monsters.
Once they destroyed the skulls, they examined the sarcophagus and saw carvings on it that showed the disk near the water wheel has some sort of key that went to it.
Beyond this room there was as chamber with more skulls, but these seemed to be "dormant" and were quickly smashed.
With other options exhausted, the group decided to check back down the hall where the physic attack came from. Calahn being the fastest ran down the hall and found a chamber filled with skulls. One looked different from the rest, and he quickly smashed it ending the constant damage.
Under the skulls he found the "key" to the turning disk, returned to the group, and they all went back to the pool. After using the key, the waters direction changed, and as the waterwheel started to turn the other way, sounds of stone and metal moving came echoing out of the tomb room.
Entering the room, the players saw the sarcophagus opening. Phelix approached then a green cloud of gas escaped. Philix jumped back and the others stayed clear of the gas till a large Wraith emerged.
The Wraith mocked the group then attack Phelix. A purify air spell managed to clear out some of the gas and the party began to wail on the wraith who had to maneuver around to some to keep his enemies in view.
Noide was able to get behind the monster and get a good shot in, Cal kept at Kiai, Farthing added fire to the swords, and Drog and Phelix kept the pressure on.
Eventually the Wraith attempted to negotiate (though he was bluffing), but Drog would not have any of it. And eventually the wraith collapsed. This broke a Death Potion that he had placed just for this sort of occasion, but Noide cleared out the gas. Phelix began to examine the body (which he failed to notice was subtly casting a spell and just paying at "dead". Drog found a switch in the sarcophagus and after flicking it and opening up a wall in the room, decided to cleave the head off the wraith.
The wraith had just finished casting his spell... and failed. His head rolled across the floor. The party found some decorative weaponry and a chest of coins in the secret nook. They took the wraith's sword and shield also.
Since it was still early, the party decided to check out a few other caves. The cattle cave had an old cattle fence with some celestial writing in magic glowing letters that read, "Breaking this seal will release the unseen horror.”
So they broke the seal and fought a Hellcat. They bottled necked the exit, but the creature ran straight at Phelix, knocking him down. Another pounce on Farthing didn't go as well and the creature was quickly dispatched with a some crippling blows from Drog (who had the amulet of see invisible on). Inside they found a holy symbol of Lys and some stones fixed into the wall with continual light on them.
In the pool cave, Noide decided to jump into the water. Catching a glimpse of the lights below, he began to swim to the bottom. Cal dove in after him and was able to pull him out. After this the party decided that there was nothing worth risking drowning themselves for in the cave.
XP: (base 5, +1 full exploration, +2 Wraith, +1 Hellcat, +2 other): 11
I liked this run (though wish it didn't take two nights). There was a few new types of enemies tried out and a few other ideas (puzzles/traps).