Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SR40: Ghosts, Terra Cotta Warriors, and a Lightning Elemental

This session happened Friday, March 25, 2011, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.  Due to DM frazzlement, no game was held on the 18th, but we did play boardgames, including Arkham Horror.  I strongly recommend this co-operative boardgame.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
– Dame Yasha of Bereste (Su Bel’s human cavalier cohort)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Xin (human wizard)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
– Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)
Alys Kaah (gnome summoner/cavalier) [via Skype]
– Mr. Boodles (Alys’s owlbear-looking eidolon and mount)

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

In-game Starting Date: September 7, 23rd Year of King Nikola V

Since the previous outing, Alys sold her cheetah pelt and used the proceeds to purchase a cheetah fur cloak, floppy hat, and a lining for her saddle (this was through a deal with clothier).  If only she could have had it dyed purple like she wanted...

After some discussion, the group decided that a return to the Terrace of Fallen Horses was in order. The group left Drop-off Tower and headed west on mounts, first along Gravemarker Road and then on the Grass Road. Arriving as the sun was setting, the group camped beside the reflecting pond in front of the terraces.

At the end of the last watch, a ghost floated out of a tomb on the upper terrace (the last tomb the adventurers had explored up there). As the ghost approached, Mog charged the ghost, which promptly possessed him. The possessed Mog then turned on his companions, slaying Xin in one blow. Su Bel was able to drive the ghost from Mog [turn undead feat] and Thorngrim was able to evaporate the ghost via a fireball.  Mog needed healing from the clobbering an invisible Agnes handed to him while attempting to subdue Mog.  At dawn, Su Bel raised Xin and cast a restoration on him, reducing the worst effects of his death. Luckily, Xin appeared to have blanked the memory of his death, although he now gets unaccountably nervous when Mog rages.

Having explored all of the tombs on the lower terrace, the adventurers decided to resume explorations of the tombs on the upper terrace. Mog was set to removing the earth from the next tomb down (the one next to the ghost's tomb). This tomb turned out to be fairly simple, consisting of a corridor and a single chamber. The walls of the corridor were painted to show the travels of the king. There were scenes showing the king standing on the steps of a stepped pyramid, talking to people in a town on stilts in a swamp, talking with dog-headed warriors in their camp, and among giants wrapped in furs on a snowy mountain.

The king's burial chamber contained a large stone sarcophagus and five terra cotta warriors, each slightly different in appearance. Agnes carefully checked the statues and the sarcophagus for traps and found one set to launch a hail of spears across the chamber and down the corridor. Due to her great experience with the traps of the horse people, she was able to disable the trap fairly easily. The sarcophagus contained only a few treasures, but they were very valuable, including an amulet of might fists, and adamantine dagger, and four urns full of gold coins.

The next tomb was much more complex, with several side chambers. Additionally, the bottom half of the corridor walls were stone covered and the top half covered in stucco. The wall paintings were of the highest quality found so far on the upper terrace, on par with the lower tombs. The first chamber contained a chariot with a jewel encrusted shield in it and wall paintings of the king riding to battle in the chariot. The next room contained two stone sarcophagi, the wall paintings indicating these were the king's wives. The third chamber was dominated by an immense wall painting showing the family tree of the king. Thorngrim took the time to copy this down for later review.

The final room was the resting place of the king. The chamber doors of this tomb had been covered with river stones and then plaster, as was common here. The stone layer for this king's chamber was nearly four feet thick and took a great deal of effort for Mog to break through. When he did, a greater lightning elemental was unleashed. This provided some challenge to the adventurers, but the lack of space for the elemental to maneuver worked to their advantage. After defeating the elemental, the adventurers were able to actually explore the room. The sarcophagus was ornate lacquer work and gold and was treasure in and of itself. Inside were the remains of the king, who had a twisted left leg, covered with a gold "boot".

With their bags of holding full and the day getting late, the adventurers returned to their camp. Luckily, the night was quiet, and the next day they returned to the Iron Keep to convert their findings to coin. This was one of the most profitable expeditions in some time and an evening of celebration was had.

*End of session*


  1. You neglected to mention the part where Alys, resplendent upon Mr. Boodles, fearlessly charged the Lightning Elemental and lived, despite being only 4th level, thereby setting a pattern for reckless behavior that continues to this day.

  2. This is true. Sadly, my notes for what happened that session are criminally sparse and I had forgotten that detail. I will make a point of mentioning Alys charging into combat in the future.