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2014-08-13

Recap: DF Sessions 22 & 23, Zerst 03

2014.07.31 & 2014.08.07

Characters:
Aldred - Human Wizard
Fo - Minotaur Barbarian
Sir Loam - Arakun Knight
Barnabus - Human Swashbuckler

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3A:137, Third Spring, 14th day:

A few days after their return from the mines, Aldred (and many other folks in town, they were later to find out) had a vivid dream. In it he saw a dark passage and a door which was being pounded on. A voice warned that an evil had awoken and would be rising from the depths.

The party started to search for information about this dream and where the "depths" might be. Aldred did find that there was an old set of tunnels and dungeons that formed a large complex under the town, but the only entrance that he learned of was under the Castle Von Dark. Other than that, there was no mention of any "evil" force that he could find.

Barnabus, tried hitting up the folks in the tavern, but didn't find any information on what might be going on. With no clear goal, and no desire to head back to the mines, the party took another week to search for more info and rumors.

During this second week, many new faces showed up in town. Adventurers and wizards who had the dream or heard of it filed into the town looking for fame, fortune, or whatever might lay in the dungeons below.

The party ran into Adalorn again, who offered to pay them if they were to help him scout out a well. He had not found a way to open the door in the Goblin Mines, yet, but the writing on the door had given him some measurements and he thought he had found another entrance. After explaining that he wanted to search for the old dwarven ruins for treasure when he first started, but now that every wizard in the land had that strange dream, he knew there would be competition.

Now he figures that if he could buy up the property around a reliable entrance, adventurers would pay for the chance to explore (and avoid some of the more dangerous entrances) into the dungeon. But before he bought up the property, he wanted a bit of scouting. After a bit of negotiating the party agreed, to check out the well.

They found the old well and Adalorn helped lower them down to the bottom. The well was 100 feet deep, and other than some wet sand at the bottom, the well was dry. The stones on the west side of the well's bottom were loose, and Fo was able to clear the stones finding a room beyond.

This room had an old drain were a trickle of water from the well dripped down below. They had found the dungeon, or at least part of it. Knowing that they would soon be competing with other adventures, the party decided to explore and maybe find something valuable.

There were two passages on the west wall, the party took the southern passage which led them into a hexagonal room with some old graffiti on the wall. Written in common was, "Welcome to the Heart". They examined this room finding 4 triangular pillars, a statue with three key holes under it, two passages to the south, and one to the north (and one to the east where they came in).

The continued north and passed through a room where each corner had walls of glass and was filled with some sort of liquid. Further on they found a room with two dwarven statues and a strange alter. A purple light shimmered over the alter, and as Aldred approached it he disappeared. Fo and Loam followed, while Barnabus kept back.

The others appeared in a dark room, and after getting the lights back on, found a room where the walls, floor and ceiling were all carved with spiraling grooves. They picked one of the three doors out and found the hall 45 degrees off from the room (they later realized that the room was 45 degrees turned compared to most of the rooms and halls. The hall went on for awhile before they found a door to the left (south wall).

Barnabus after waiting for a bit, decided to head back to the well and head out.

The rest of the group entered the door and found a room with stone tiles on the floor, each with an engraving of a scorpion on it. On the far wall they found more writing that read, "If a return trip you make, the scorpions will awake." Other than the door they came in from, there was a passage on the southern side of the west wall. From this they heard foot steps. They decided to hid in the hall and wait to ambush whatever was heading down, but it seemed to move off after a bit.

Then they moved on to find the hall turn to the south then back to the east leading back to the room with the drain, and finding Barnabus in the well just beyond about to leave.

With the party all back together, they still wanted to explore and try to find some treasure. They retraced their steps, back to the altar and this time all teleported to the spiral room. From here the found one of the doors (leading east) was locked. They took the door to the north.

This passage was a bit more uneven and crumbling. As they approached a turn to the east, they heard some soft sounds of panting and something moving around. They took the corner, and from somewhere deeper into the passage they heard, "Halt! Who are your?".

They learned that this part of the dungeon was claimed by a tribe of goblins. Sir Loam questioned them about passages deeper into the dungeon, band the goblins indicated that it was back where the party had come from.

So they returned to the spiral room and Fo began to bash on the door. Being a dwarven door, he found that he was going to dull his axe before breaking down the stone of the door.

[We ended the session here and picked right back up the following week. Fo returned to town, as his player was out this night.]

The party decided to head back down the hall and found that it dead-ended shortly after the scorpion room. So they entered the scorpion room again, and once in the room was filled with scorpions that began to crawl into their armor and sting them. They rushed through and then stripped down to remove the scorpions. Loam too a few stings, but once out the rest of the scorpions disappeared.

Back in the drain room the party evaluated where they had not yet explored and decided to take the first passage south of the Heart.

This twisted to the east and lead to a room with large (10 foot) tiles of alternating black and white. The whole room was diamond shape making it get wider then narrower as you moved from west to east. There was something written in elvish on the wall, but nobody could read it.

Testing the tiles they learned that the tile would light up as you moved on it and remain lit till you too a misstep. Then you were hit by magical lightning. It took them awhile and greatly injured the party, but the eventually figured out that they needed to move like the knight on a chess board. There was a door to the east and one to the south, which they learned unlocks if you move to it correctly.

Heading south they came to an open area with a passage to the west, and a bit to the east a door and a wide passage that lead back north. The door had written on it (in goblin), "Dregur's Unrest". They decided that this should be avoided and instead too the wide passage to the north.

This area had some low flame torches lit on the side of the hall and continued on north for awhile. The party found a passage to the east but as they got near, further north a group of six bugbears turned the corner.

Aldred threw a glue spell on the floor and caught up most of the bugbears [crit on the spell, so they were STUCK]. Aldred suggested they flee, but the others felt that they needed to finish off these monsters and attacked.

After a few thrown vials of acid and feeble attempts to move, the bugbears began to call for help. Loam finished off a couple, and Aldred cast flight on Barnabus (who didn't have a 2-hex reach weapon). Barnabus meanwhile took his blanket out, lit it and threw it over a bugbear.

This one sided fight continued on for a bit, then one of the bugbears escaped and took off running. Barnabus caught up to him as he turned the corner, and found that 9 more bugbears were heading towards them. The party decided to finish off the stuck bugbears [for some reason]. And while this was happening heard some steps coming from the other side hall.

A couple of turns later the group had to deal with the bugbears rounding the corner, and a group of 3 orcs and 3 goblins entering from the other hall.

The group was quickly surrounded, and Aldred took a few hits that were leaving him severely injured. Sometime during this fight he had cast flight on Loam, too, but not himself. The party knew they needed to escape and right now. Aldred (after a Blink to avoid death) held his staff horizontal above him, and the other two grabbed it and flew out of there as fast as they could. They retraced their steps and flew up the well.

They had escaped, and were alive, but didn't end up with any treasure. What they did have was a pretty good understanding of some of the major dangers in the dungeon under Zerst. They got their pay and an offer of a bonus if they kept quite about the well for a bit. It was time to rest and heal up.

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Notes: The players didn't get a lot of action beats till the end, but it was still interesting to see them explore and deal with some of the dungeon features. There is also a lot of things that were left for follow up sessions.