Session 29 - The Lost Dwarves
Foreword: I am writing this session report in October 2022, so a lot of it is compiled from my memory being jogged by my loose notes. But, as we are endeavoring to play more again, I must also endeavour to keep these up to date.
Timekeeping: Session was held on 16/07/2022 but play "started" on the 21/07/2022 due to waiting out a PCs training. Session ended on the 24/07/2022, downtime available from 25/07/2022. Malcom Mount-Batten requires 1 week bed-rest due to being knocked unconscious, from the 25/07/2022. He will not be available for downtime until the 1/08/2022. Health restored at 1hp/day of rest + con bonus at the end of each continuous week of rest.
Downtime Adjudication: Downtime from 25/05/2022 until 20/07/2022
Caelestis Daemon - Bouncing for Pimps Union - earned 50gp/week. Got enough XP (with his 10% bonus) to reach level 2. Trained with the Underland Guard. Also exchanged some currency and paid the fee for that. He also bought Plate Armour
Finesstro - Casting Comprehend Languages each day at the Giant's Shin. I ruled he had a 50% success rate due to The Giant's Shin seeing a large influx of adventurers. He made 1075gp. Spent 1 week training to MU 2
Malcolm - Hunting expedition. I made up some ruling using the Ranger's tracking chance. He did terribly and only ended up with 104gp from his efforts.
Daubeny - Did jobs for the Thieves Guild. Used spy mission jobs for difficulty and duration, and used the reward schema I employed for Malcolm's hunting trip. He ended up with 501gp
The game starts and the party is hung up on what to do. During the week I had seeded a few adventure rumours into the Discord channel:
Riders from the south-east have been posting notices around high-traffic adventurer areas in Underland today - for a Call to Adventure has been put out by the dwarves of Khun Kaldur in relation to a cryptic discovery they made while mining in the Redwyrm Mountains. A reward is in place for anyone who can find some of their missing scouts, and discover more information about the "metallic tunnel leading into the heart of the mountain".
A bizarre old man passed through the Giant's Shin last night covered in plant matter, and nobody can remember his face. What they do remember are his cryptic words about the old hedge knights shrine in the Weald that is purported to contain the magical relics of said knight, for whoever is cunning enough to seize them.
Travelers and merchants passing between Thropsford and Underland have reported strange lights and wails coming from a ruined church 15 miles NE from Sunland, along the Underland-Thropsford highway.
Also, the group noticed that guards were stationed outside sewer entrances in the city, and that adventurers had been coming and going from them lately.
The party, perhaps through a sense of security through familiarity, decides to go see what's up with the dwarves. Before they leave Underland, they hire a cleric who wanted to adventure. His name is John Smith and he's a Cleric of Christ. Cael picks up two double cost war dogs (higher loyalty) named Dez and Troy. He also spends 12sp having a custom cloak made up with the Temple of Iron logo (a dumbbell). The dogs get kitted out in Studded Leather armour. Malcolm picked up a standard war dog too.
They make the journey to Castle Ardenward without event - and the Baron puts them up for the night because of Finesstro's presence (who is the vestige of the "old party" who were in very good graces with the Baron).
They make it to Khun Kaldur without event - and the resplendent dwarven architecture is just as marvelous as ever. They notice something interesting - a section where some dwarves are labouring away behind a rope fence. They are golden statues. One of them, the closest to completion, is Sixtus Sunwalker. One of the dwarves working is named Kalgor - he was a dear friend of Sixtus and his companions. There is a plaque dedicated to each member of the party who helped save the dwarves from their plight with the orcs a long time ago.
The party reminisces before getting back into gear. The dwarves dug up something strange. There's a strange tunnel descending into the earth. It has weird orange metallic walls and lights that blink in and out. There's a sleek metal cart at the top of where it was unearthed - but no wheels or rails. They notice a button on the wall. It's revealed that pressing it causes the cart to levitate and shoot down the tunnel. After some time it returns.
Nobody wants to go down in it.
They buy a ram for the player's handbook fee of 1gp and send it down. Meanwhile, the party drinks some of the absolutely staggering dwarven ale with forces a system shock roll from Caelestis. Everyone survives, and stumbles drunkenly back to the cart to find the ram is alive! A dwarf agrees to come with them tomorrow, after everyone has rested. They also get a job from one of the captains - 300gp for info about the scouts they sent down, and 10gp for every 100' of the place they map (I later adjust this amount because it was... A poor decision).
John gets a weeks worth of candles stuffed in his backpack and everyone hops in the cart. They organise to have the cart sent down by a dwarven guard every-time it comes back up so they always have a way out. Everyone gets in, pushes the button, and in moments they are pelting down into the earth through a cyber tunnel.
The cart comes to a stop, and the party is met with an oddly shaped but very symmetrical room about 90' at the widest point, and 70' deep. Tunnels are coming off in every direction; the walls are an orange-metallic substance and give off a strange source-less glow. Above each tunnel is a plaque with strange writing on it. The party makes a record of each of these.
The only other curiosity they noticed, was that in all the rooms the carts were either not present or seemingly "inactive" - the tunnel was unlit. Except for one. With this information, the party returns to the surface to inform that dwarves that the space is clear. Finesstro has a short rest to prepare Comprehend Languages while Caelestis seeks out Kalgor. They also cash in the area they have mapped so far for 1600gp! (10gp per 10x10' square is a preposterous rate)
Finesstro casts Comprehend Languages on the sketches of the writing they saw - and words form. "Quarry, Archives, The Wall, The Vats, Enclosure, Temple". The Quarry is where the only other lit tunnel was. With this, the party decides to send a lamb down that cart, and return to the surface for some much needed rest before delving deeper the next day.
The party makes their way down to the "station". 20 dwarves came with them to secure the area. Lamb blood stains the Quarry cart.
With apprehension the adventurer's enter the cart and push the button - when they arrive, they get the jump on some bizarre creatures - dog sized, frog-like animals with huge bony jaws. Their heads have scintillating metal gems embedded in them. My hopes of any challenge are crushed as these creatures get absolutely annihilated. The party dislodges the gems and pockets them. Nearby is a decayed body of a humanoid, and the group finds a necklace among "it". They noticed two huge glass panes looking "outside" into darkness - yet the torchlight did reveal some sort of track system. There were 3 doors in the room, they checked out the north one - it had a metal plate in front of it. The thief had a suss of it and decided it was all safe - one of them stepped on it, and the iris-valve door opened.
It's "outside". There is a bridge they cross - looking over it reveals rows of tracks perpendicular to the bridge - much like the ones the cart they came in on. The cross the bridge and go down some stairs to a long hall with glass panes all along it looking out into a huge chasm - revealed by the occasional blink or pulse of light trailing along many, many, descending tracks into darkness.
Not only this, but there are six dwarves here! This must be the missing scouting party - but something is amiss. The party speaks with them, and they claim they've only been here for a short while. The party decides it would be best to bring these dwarves back. They quickly go to the cart and load everyone up. By the time they reach the top, the dwarves are nowhere to be found. At some point along the way they simply ceased to be around anymore.
This disturbs the party greatly, but not enough to deter them from the possible riches below. They make the journey back to where they last were, and being very careful mapping, travelling to the right, following the hallway around a bend to the left, where the glass panes are continuously. They note a door at the bend, but try to keep going around - eventually travelling so long without any change they decide to retrace their steps and check out the door. It has a pressure plate and opens - to the "outside". There is a deafening silence and the feeling of a great space above and around them. There is a building nearby - they go check it out. There is this huge statue of the same orange metal as the walls. It is in a humanoid shape with a bizarre head - two huge fly-like eyes with a proboscis. It has a drill for a hand, and it doesn't move. The party stops gawking from the doorway and steps inside. Suddenly, its eyes light up, the proboscis glows and a beam of light shoots towards them. Caelestis cops 11 damage and stands strong. The dog Dez is incinerated, along with someone who was traveling with them called Baldric (I think a dwarf). Malcolm is burnt unconscious but lives!
The orange thing doesn't do anything else. Daubeny goes inside and throws a rock at it - nothing. He tries to climb it, but Cal picks him up and puts him on-top of it. The Thief notices a plate between the things eyes - he takes Finesstro's dagger (why a thief has no dagger I don't know) and pries it up. Inside is a weird canister of a glowing blue substance. The party decides to leave, but not without pulling off the orange things head and taking it with them. There was a spare head on the table which they also take (because obviously). They high-tail it out of there safely, and cash in the necklace they found, as well as the gold for the map and information about the dwarven scouts. They donate one of the heads to the dwarves for research, and hear about a monster hunter who travels the mountains by the name of Dweor Krull who might be interested in the skull-gem from the frog things.
|If you haven't figured it out yet...
The party plans to immediately go to Underland and try to sell the laser head to Barbanikos the Wizard. See how that turned out in the downtime report for next session!
Treasure & XP:
Map Return 1 = 1600gp = 1600xp (160 10'x10' squares)
Dwarf Encounter x6 = 26xp
Frog-Things x3 = 32xp
Necklace - Sold for 3200gp to a dwarf = 3200xp
Map Return 2 = 980gp (98 10'x10' squares)
Scout Info = 300gp
TOTAL = 6112XP
Daubeny - 1358XP
Malcolm - 1358XP
Caelestis - 1358XP
Finesstro - 1358XP
John Smith [H] - 679XP
Character Performance Ratings:
Daubeny - (E) - Good use of thieving abilities, interrogated potential puzzles with curiosity, apt level of greed.
Caelestis - (E) - Eager for adventure and profits - did not cower from conflict and was always on the front line
Finesstro - (E) - Avidly gobbled up information about the strange ruins. Took time to rest and prepare a spell that would satisfy his curiosity
Malcolm - (E) - Behaved Good but otherwise no opportunity to exercise Ranger abilities.
Downtime Requests:Malcolm requires 1 week of bed-rest from 25/07/2022 (until 31/07/2022 inclusive)