This session happened Friday, May 14, 2010, and is the first of two sessions I ran this past weekend. This session became three small expeditions, as you'll see. This was also the first session where all the active players were at the table at once, which caused a bit of tension as not everyone shared what they've been up to.
Su Bel (human cleric)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Kallas (human ranger)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarven rogue/barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elven alchemist)
For the first time, all of the active adventurers in the Iron Keep were available for an expedition and headed to Drop-Off Tower. (This was due to a collapse in the iron mines last week and many miners being out of work as the damage is being repaired.) After a day of hiking, the group made camp in the Edgewood, where they were attacked by a tiger. They fairly easily defeated it.
Once at Drop-Off Tower, they immediately headed down into the Moldy Halls, performing a detailed search for secret doors (previous experience had taught them they probably missed some during earlier expeditions). The group wholesale scraped the mold from the walls and supported Agnes's searching. In the Pillar Room (which the Front Door opens onto), they found a secret door they had previously overlooked.
Behind it was a small room containing the remains of several huddled bodies, long ago wasted to skeletons. Tycho was able to determine that they were all elves, five being children and one an adult. Sal detected magic on the adult and a ring of protection +1 was found. It was given to Agnes, who so often ended up on the front lines in combat. A passage way out the back of the room eventually connected up with one of the empty storage areas they found on earlier expeditions.
They next went to check the room with the spring. After an extensive search, they determined it was exactly as it appeared. Getting tired, the group camped in this room for the night, refilling their waterskins from the spring.
After completing their room recheck in the last storage room (off the Hall of Statues), they returned to the treasure room to take another crack at the trapped chests. Agnes confirmed there was a flame strike trap on the last "safe" chest, and decided to leave it for last. She shifted her attention to one of the others and successfully disarmed it, finding the chest full of silver coins. This chest was emptied into the bag of holding. Bolstered by her success, Agnes attempted to open another chest. This time she failed, setting off the fireball trap, which chain reacted all of the remaining traps into detonating as well. This destroyed most of the treasure, but left a pool of gold and a large pool of copper. [Agnes made her Reflex save and, due to Uncanny Dodge, took no damage. The rest of the party was already down the hall, "just in case".]
Having now cleared the Moldy Halls, the group turned its attention to Morlock territory. They lifted the portcullis, wedged it open with a spike, and cautiously checked the winch room, which was empty. Feeling a bit more confident, they headed into the first statue room, passing the closed door that leads to the hallway north. As they were half past the door, it opened and six morlocks poured out, screaming warcries. Almost immediately after that, six MORE morlocks poured out of a door ahead of the PCs, catching them in a pincher and heavily wounding several PCs. The PCs immediately withdrew and ran, pulling the spike to shut the portcullis behind them. The morlocks pursued to the portcullis and stopped, making no attempt to raise the portcullis.
The PCs fell back to the first floor of the tower to recover. While camping there, they observed a yellow musk creeper and its attendant zombies approach the tower and destroy them with arrow fire from the upper floors. The next day they followed Gravemarker Trail and only got slightly lost in the forest. Luckily, the forest was quiet and they safely returned to Iron Keep the following day.
After a quick resupply, the group decided to go take a look at Old Stones. They followed the western edge of the Edgewood to the hills south of the Edgewood. Camping there, they observed a chimera flying in the area but successfully avoid its attention. During the second watch, two cheetahs attack the group, looking for a quick meal. Instead they found a quick death.
The next day they followed the hills a bit more and then headed out into the sea of grass that is the plains. At the location simply marked “Old Stones”, they found a very large set of standing stones, covering nearly an acre of space. A processional set of stones led to a triple ring of progressively larger stones. In the center was a large primitive obelisk covered in pictoglyphs, which Sal spent the day partially deciphering. Tycho took rubbings for later study, finding his own mark already on the stone [“Tycho was here”]. Sal is able to identify part of what is shown as the history of a king of some sort and another part identifies the location of the Shadowed Pillar, which may be the home of a sorcerer named Qual. There might also be a safeword for gaining entrance, but Sal’s not entirely certain. Camping that night outside of the stones, Agnes observes an air elemental walking the perimeter of the circle and later a phase spider, which the group avoids.
During the three day hike back to the Iron Keep [yes, they got lost in the Sea of Grass], the group fought a worg, a giant scorpion, and an assassin vine that wandered out of the Edgewood and nearly killed Su Bel. By the time the group returned to the Iron Keep, Agnes is done for a while and Tycho and Sal want to study the rubbings from the Obelisk, but Su Bel is not yet ready to relax. She convinces Mog and Khallas to follow her out to the Woodcutter’s Camp. There they run across some giant ants, which they kill. Mog is a bit spooked (having taken most of the damage from the ants) and the group returns to the Keep in the morning. [Su Bel is able to level after killing the giant ants.]
Total time elapsed: 12 days