Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Shadowed Obelisk – Part 1

This session happened Friday, November 12, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
– Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)

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

Seized with a new road-cutting fit, the adventurers decided to mark a road to Three Peaks, remembering that there was supposed to be something there, but not what. The left Drop-off Tower and followed Owlbear Road a couple hours east before diverting off to the southeast. After trailblazing into the Three Peaks Hills, the group camped, using an extended rope trick cast by Sal as a safe place of refuge [and missing a couple night time random encounters].

The next day they pushed on through the hills to the mountains of Three Peaks. They observed a deep canyon between the three titular mountains of the region, but were attacked by a flight of wyverns before achieving it. Thorngrim was poisoned during the fight and nearly died of the poison before the fight was over and Su Bel could cast lesser restoration on him. [At the end of the fight Thorngrim was down to 5 hit points due to Constitution loss and damage. Sorcerers can be SO fragile sometimes.]

The group pushed on a bit further, trying to get a look into the unusual canyon. At the deepest part of the canyon they spied the Shadowed Obelisk, a squat obelisk 50 ft square and 100 ft tall, covered in obscure pictoglyphs and with a large set of stone doors facing east. Sal found them reminiscent of the glyphs he translated on the Illustrated Menhir at Old Stones, but he was not able to read the pictoglyphs in any meaningful way. The group decided to camp before attempting to approach and enter the obelisk.

The next morning, the group approached the obelisk and Sal and Thorngrim cast detect magic. The Shadowed Obelisk radiated a major aura of conjuration magic and the two arcanists theorized that the inside might be larger than the outside. This intrigued the entire group.

Behind the stone doors was a very steep set of wide stairs leading up to a chamber. Thorngrim cast invisibility on Agnes and she silently climbed the stairs. Finding the room beyond empty except for two doors, one north and one south, she signaled it was safe for the rest to climb the stairs. As the last person cleared the stairs, a stone wall quietly appeared, sealing off access to the stairs!

Having no way back, the adventurers pushed forward. The southern door opened onto a hallway that quickly branched, while the north door opened onto a shorter hallway with doors. The group chose north and started checking doors. One door opened onto a small storage room that was empty, while the door across from it opened on a hexagonal room with a statue of a scholar holding a compass (for measuring angles) and an abacus. The angle on the compass was checked and found to be measuring 23 degrees and the abacus counter "23", both of which Tycho noted down. Not finding anything else of interest, the group continued to the final door at the end of the hall.

This opened onto a room with two doors out, one on the eastern wall and the further door up a flight of stairs. Checking the eastern door first, the found a flight of stairs behind it, hearing quiet sounds of creaking wood from above, as though one or more individuals were shifting in wooden chairs. Agnes quietly climbed the stairs to find 14 chairs with a mix of wights and ghouls sitting in them, facing a raised stage where a mummy was writing various formulae o a chalkboard. Seriously creeped out by this, Agnes retreated and closed the door behind her.

After some discussion, the door at the top of the stairs was tried next. This opened on a square room where sourceless chamber music could be heard. One of the doors out of this room seemed to lead to the raised stage where the mummy was writing on the chalkboard and the group decided they wanted nothing to do with that, so they tried the door in the western corner. This door lead to a hallway that wrapped around the back of the music room. This hallway had two doors – one midway and one at the end. The nearer door opened onto an empty room with an open hall leading further north, but the smell of bacon seemed to emanate from behind the second door.

Curious about the bacon smell, the group opened the door to find a small square room whose ceiling seemed to open on a clear night sky. In the room was a middle-aged man cooking some bacon on a skillet over a small heatstone [a magical device in the form of a stone that provides the same heat as a campfire when activated]. The man looked up and recognized the group by name, claiming to have adventured with them in these halls long ago. This confused the adventurers to no end as none of them had ever met this individual before. He seemed to believe that the adventurers had deserted him a long time ago and he seemed to blame them for it. As he did not seem overtly hostile, the adventurers settled in for a rest and fell to talking with the man, whose name was Jack.

*End of Session*

[Readers of other blogs might recognize this locale. I’ll properly credit it once the players escape and I don’t have to worry about them reading up on the place. This locale will be at variance with the rest of the adventure locales as the players will remain here until they can find the key to exiting (hint, hint). Additionally, due to visiting in-laws, Southern Reaches will not run the next two Fridays, resuming December 3rd. I will have postings between now and then, so please check back in between now and then. Thanks!]

EDIT: Corrected the text to note Tycho checked the angle of the compass and not Sal - my mistake.


  1. I was the one that checked the compass and abacus.

  2. My mistake - my notes did not indicate who did so and I could not remember. I was certain it was either Tycho or Sal but guessed wrong. It is now corrected.