Monday, October 11, 2010

SR22: Snow Falls, Morlocks Die

This session happened Friday, October 8, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend. The session dragged a bit in my opinion, mostly because I was a bit tired after a long week without enough sleep. Still, the players learned something important near the end and have finally gotten over their dread of the morlocks.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Rhapsody (half-elf rogue)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)

Note: the list of player characters is in player sitting order, from my left and then clockwise around the table.

While several of the adventurers were sitting in Spider's Bar, Sal returned and asked what had happened while he was away. The adventurers regaled him with tales of what they had done and where they had been. When they got to the part where they had found a manticore lairing in Drop-off Tower and killed it, Sal asked a simple question that stopped the conversation cold: "What did it have for treasure?"

The assembled adventurers realized that after killing the manticore, they had never searched the upper floors of the tower to see if the manticore had left any treasure. While they had emplaced the ballista on the third floor and nailed planking to limit access, they had never actually looked around, confining most of their activity to the first two floors of the tower. Suddenly motivated to re-examine the upper floors of the tower, the group set out, despite the bite in the chill winter and the snow it promised.

Half way to Drop-off Tower, as they approached Jericho's Cairn, snow started falling from the slate gray skies. It increased in intensity over the next several hours. The group pushed on at a slower pace, making it to Drop-off Tower barely an hour before sunset. After entering the tower, familiarizing Sal with the tower's new security, and getting a fire started to keep warm, the group headed up to the third floor. Rhapsody took over the search. She looked into every corner of the third floor and found nothing.  She then started up the spiral stairs up to the ruined fourth floor. Part way up, she found a pair of sacks tied together to form a rough set of saddle bags. Inside were 900 gold coins, a ring of protection +2, and a potent potion of levitation. After identification, Sal immediately claimed the ring of protection +2, swapping it with his ring of protection +1, which was passed to Mog after some discussion. The gold was split three ways amongst Su Bel, Rhapsody, and Thorngrim.

The next morning, the group took the stairs down below the tower to their "back-door". When they opened the door, the hallways beyond were no longer covered in the thick carpet of violet fungus they were expecting. In fact, there was very little evidence that the fungus was ever there. This mystified those who had been down here before. They also realized that Tycho has the maps of this area and their memories were not up to the task of navigation. Thorngrim started mapping anew.

The group headed forward, moving through the pillared hall. Sal remembered the secret door in this room and reopened it. On the other side was a mostly bare room containing a small collection of elf skeletons. After the group looked around a bit, they closed the secret door and continued past the pillared hall.

Around a corner, they found two statue alcoves that were sealed off by oiled skins that smelled of urine. As they were determining why the alcoves were sealed off, Rhapsody heard the sounds of voices far down the hallway. As she made the other adventurers aware of the voices, she clearly heard a voice call out, "surface dwellers!"

The adventurers quickly formed up, with Sal and Thorngrim casting enlarge upon Mog and Rhapsody. The two large adventurers advanced down the ten-foot wide hall, Mog in front, until they were able to see a large group of morlocks also forming up to do battle. The adventurers waited, prepared to receive the morlocks's charge. The morlocks advanced and the battle started. After a full minute of furious activity, the morlocks were all dead (along with four rust monsters the morlocks herded into the battle) and the adventurers were triumphant – a very different result from the last two encounters with the morlocks. The one worry was Mog's axe being hit by one of the rust monsters, heavily corroding it instantly.  Mog was forced to switch to Sal's +1 longsword, which Mog considered inferior, but better than a wooden club.

Investigating further after the battle, the adventurers discovered that the morlocks were attempting to bypass the large portcullis and there was evidence their leader had been able to force his way through the bars during the fighting (notably, footprints in the heavy dust on the other side). Sal fired a lit arrow past the portcullis, determining that the hallway beyond extends approximately 150 feet before turning north. They also discovered that the morlocks that were wrangling the rust monsters in the adjacent pool room (still partially covered in fungus and populated by four more rust monsters nibbling away at the fungus), were wearing complete suits of leather soaked in urine. Puzzling over this, they came to the realization that the fungus was likely dangerous to the morlocks. Useful information for the future...

Not certain how they want to proceed at this point and with Mog no longer able to use his primary weapon, the group decided to return to the Iron Keep. They returned top-side (leaving the rust monsters in the pool room alone), locking and spiking doors behind them. They camped another night in chilly Drop-off Tower. In the morning, Sal cast mount four times and the group rode out, following the snow covered Gravemarker Road to the Keep, arriving at sundown.

The next day, Sal tracked down a scroll of make whole and copied it into his spellbook. The day after that, he cast the spell on Mog's axe, returning the axe to pristine condition. While this was happening, Su Bel purchased a riding dog and turned it over to Thorngrim for attack training.

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