Thursday, December 9, 2010

SR29: The Shadowed Obelisk – Part 2

This session happened Friday, December 3, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend. This session was a bit off for a couple of reasons (the players wanted to kill things and the session turned out to be mostly exploration) and I learned why continuing an adventure locale beyond a single session is sub-optimal. I’ll write on that later.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
– Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)
– Jack (human Ftr/Clc NPC)

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

[Recap: Deciding to investigate Three Peaks, the adventurers cleared a road there from Drop-off Tower. In a deep valley between the three mountains, the adventurers discovered The Shadowed Obelisk. Cautiously entering the Obelisk, the adventurers were trapped inside when the entrance magically sealed over. Forced to find another way out, the adventurers explored the larger-inside-than-outside interior of the Obelisk. Near the end of the session, they found a human adventurer that seemed to remember them from 20 years ago and blamed them for abandoning him.]

When the adventurers awoke in the morning, they discovered Sal was missing, but in his place, Mog had appeared. Mog explained that he had followed the new road to the Shadowed Obelisk, arriving at dusk. He had entered the Obelisk for shelter during the night and become trapped when the entry stairs were magically blocked off. He fell asleep for the night and awoke in this room with no idea how he got here.

After questioning Mog a bit, the adventurers turned to questioning Jack in more detail. This lasted a while, but the adventurers were no closer to an answer as to how Jack could know them from 20 years ago when they had just entered the Obelisk the previous day. In fact, several of the adventurers would have been children or not yet born 20 years ago. Jack also seemed to have remembered exactly how angry he was with the adventurers for abandoning him long ago.

Reaching an impasse with Jack, the adventurers decided to investigate the “lecturing mummy” and his “audience” of ghouls and wights. Decamping from the Sky Room, the party backtracked around through the Music Room to the lower room that provided access to the Audience Chamber. Tycho turned himself invisible and slipped into the Audience Chamber to investigate further. The ghouls and wights took no notice of him, so he moved up onto the stage to see what the mummy was writing on the chalkboard. The chalkboard was covered with multiple layers of mathematical and necromantic formulae. Tycho took notes. He then explored further, finding two more doors out of the area, one on the far side of the stage and one on the far side of the Audience Chamber. He then returned to where the other adventurers were waiting and reported what he found.

Not wanting to leave powerful undead behind [and spoiling for a fight], the adventurers prepared to attack the ghouls, the wights, and the mummy. Once the adventurers were ready, the door to the Audience Chamber was opened and Su Bel launched a fireball into the room, incinerating all of the ghouls and wights. Tycho (up in the Music Room, adjacent to the Lecture Stage, opened the door connecting those two rooms and lobbed an explosive flask at the mummy. The mummy attempted to flee, but it was slow [20 ft move] and fell to a set of combined attacks from the adventurers.

After securing what loot they could find in the two rooms (mostly a magic kopesh one of the ghouls was carrying), the group exited through the far door on the stage. This led to an empty room with exits north and south. Choosing south, the party entered an octagonal room with a spiral staircase in the center that went both up and down. There was a descending passage to the south and a door connecting the Octagonal Room to the Audience Chamber (through the far door in the audience chamber). Continuing south, they stopped at the entrance to a chamber covered in broken glass – the floor, the walls, even the ceiling. After much discussion [much!], Mog attempted to tear the door off its hinges to use as a scraper. He struggled at this for some time, during which Tycho and Su Bel backtracked around through the initial entry room and down the southern passage they had peeked down, arriving at the eastern entrance to the Glass Room.

By this point, Mog had finally worked himself into a sufficient effort to tear the northern door off its hinges and proceeded to scrape a path through the broken glass to the western door, where Tycho and Su Bel waited. There was much rolling of the eyes.

It was also noticed at this point that Jack was no longer with the group. No one could remember when he disappeared, but they were fairly certain it was after the attack on the undead was over.

The group next headed south through an unexplored hallway, arriving at room full of junk and refuse. Here they were attacked by giant flies. Mog charged the flies to give them a target and, once the flies surrounded Mog, Tycho threw an acid bomb to kill them [excluding Mog’s square from the effect]. The only exit from this chamber was west and the adventurers followed that path.

The adventurers passed through a series of mostly empty chambers before arriving at a dead end. Agnes thoroughly checked the end of the corridor and realized that there was a room on the other side of the wall. Mog stepped forward with a mining pick and proceeded to knock down the wall separating the two areas. From here they continued west, pausing once to check out a circular room with a serpent motif, right down to the giant serpent that attacked them, but was defeated. [It was an Ouroboros in the original text and I did not have stats for one, so I subbed a giant moray eel instead. It was a danger until Su Bel cast freedom of movement (or whatever the spell name is) on Mog and then it was all over for the snake.]

After the serpent sidetrack, the group continued exploring west until they passed through a secret door and re-entered the junk room with the bodies of the giant flies. By passing continually in one (general) direction, they had looped back to a recognized starting point.  Very odd.

Backtracking to an opportunity to head south, the adventurers explored a series of rooms off a long, bending corridor. They met a mysterious hooded woman carving short statues out of stone and talked with her a while. They learned her name was Anise and that she had been down here long enough to learn stone carving and get good at it. She would not leave her room, but expressed an interest if the adventurers found a way out of the Obelisk.

The party pushed on, finding a secret passage between Anise’s room and an adjacent one. Unfortunately, the passage was trapped and as soon as the door at the far end was touched, the last ten feet of hall way dropped into a room 20 ft below. Tycho, Thorngrim, and Kainen fell, taking damage and discovering a new room in a lower level of the Obelisk. Rather than explore further, the group decided to fall back to an empty room nearby to rest and heal.

*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).]