Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BG&L – Saturday Group – Session 4

Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Marcus of the Shield – Human priest of Shallya, Goddess of Healing, Mercy, and Childbirth
Zoglug Ironhide – “civilized” Orc warrior
Quetzal – Lizardfolk scout
Belladonna "Frongle" Leagallow – Halfling 
Jacien Ghel-Aurum –Human wizard, member of the Gold Fellowship

Jacien had been busy since the last outing.  He finalized the shape and form of the Spider Walker, turning it from a prototype into the thing itself.  He also worked out a formula for turning troll’s blood into something useful: potions of Troll Hide*.  His initial batch was a great success, but something went wrong with the second batch and it completely fouled up his apparatus.  Worse yet, even after a thorough cleaning, some residue remained and it spoiled the third and last batch of potions.  This used up all the troll’s blood and left Jacien with 6 potions of Troll Hide and a smelly mess (which he dumped into the bay).

Once the group of adventurers re-assembled, it was decided to give all six of the potions to Marcus, the person most in need of protection in a fight.

The group then discussed their goal for this outing.  Quetzal was firm that she wanted to make it to the end of the Valley of the Landsharks in order to find the ruins rumored to be there.  The others agreed, pausing only to discuss whether or not to thoroughly explore the areas they traveled through or not.  They decided to do so.

Once everyone was loaded into the Spider Walker, Jacien drove it across the surface of the bay, taking the direct route to the Old Colony site.  From there they headed up the Valley of the Landsharks.  They paused to explore the first part of the Valley and then headed up into the hills to the west of the Valley.  While searching that area, several people noticed a landshark attacking a herd of large lizard-beasts in the Valley (suspiciously near where they last parked the Spider Walker).  While he missed seeing the landshark attack, Jacien found a seam of tin ore that should be minable.

The group headed south to Good Cave, a safe and dry cave they discovered previously.  Last time they were here the cave was empty, but this afternoon it had occupants – Felix spotted some local Lizardfolk guarding the entrance to the cave.  Having made peaceful contact previously, Jacien parked the Spider Walker a bit away from the cave but in view of the Lizardfolk (who couldn’t help but notice the noisy contraption).  Quetzal then made her way to the cave on foot and parleyed with the Lizardfolk.  This was another patrol of Lizardfolk from much further south, but their leader had heard of Quetzal from the other patrol.  She learned from the patrol leader that the Lizardfolk to the south had decided there was good reason to start paying attention to the goings on here in the north.  Quetzal then negotiated a sharing of the cave for safe camping that night.

After a quiet night, the Lizardfolk left, continuing their patrol towards the east.  The adventurers head west, moving down into the Valley to look around some.  While exploring the area, Frongol is grabbed and nearly carried off by a Clakker, a flying reptile with a large beak and huge leathery wings [pteradon].  Several of the adventurers reacted at the same time to stop this, but Zoglug was able to cut the beast’s head off with a thrown axe, definitively stopping it.  The group then spent some time cutting off the edible meat while Jacien created a framework over the top of the Spider Walker to stretch the leathery wings, providing relief from the sun.

The group then decided to make better time and traveled along the Valley floor for several hours, scaring a few herds of what they now called Cow-herds [pronounced just like “coward”].  Late in the afternoon, they moved out of the Valley and located a camp site in the hills.  While setting up camp, several notice three landsharks circling around in the valley below.  That night, Zoglug hears a Cow-herd stampede down in the valley, suggesting a landshark attack had happened.

The next morning (after some discussion), the group headed further up the Valley.  They got far enough along that they could see the end of the Valley ahead and the beginnings of a mountain chain far in the distance.  Felix, using the spyglass, was able to spot some ruins at the end of the Valley, including one that reflected light.  He also spotted a landshark approaching from behind.  Jacien immediately drove the Spider Walker into the rocky hills again, but only to the edge this time – the adventurers wanted to get a better look at what was chasing them.

The landshark followed the Spider Walker to the edge of the stony area and then circled a little, not surfacing but its fin was visible plowing through the ground.  Felix decided to try and get it to surface by throwing rocks at a patch of ground off to one side.  Frongol moved closer to watch and see what surfaced.  Felix had little luck until he threw a stone directly at the landshark’s fin.  This provoked it into attacking and it surfaced and charged at Felix.  The adventurers responded quickly, attacking back.  Frongol was able to throw one of her shrunken swords directly into its eye, nearly killing it in one blow and stunning it.  After that, the fight ended quickly.  Felix was raked by the beasts claws, but the rest were not damaged at all.  Then the adventurers made landshark steaks and landshark jerky while Jacien and Quetzal harvested many useful bits from the carcass, including claws, teeth, armored plates, and quite a bit of the creatures blood.

Once that was done, they spent the afternoon on the Spider Walker searching the hills that formed the southern end of the Valley.  They found a set of caves, the last of which was full of salt crystals of immense size.  They made camp there for the night.  During the night, the sounds of animal life was heard often in the area, but nothing bothered them in the cave.  [I rolled three night encounters, but chose not to run them as we were starting to run short on time for the session.]

In the morning, the group took a closer look at the ruins in the valley head.  One structure was a step pyramid with six tiers; it appeared to be completely covered in dark glass.  An adjacent structure was a hill of stone rubble, that might once have been a step pyramid as well.  To the side of the Glass Pyramid was an L-shaped stone platform, 100 ft a side and five feet thick.  Adjacent to these structures was a field of metallic statues set out in a grid 200 ft in diameter.  The adventurers were intrigued, to say the least.

The rode up to the complex on the Spider Walker, which they parked on the stone platform (after having Quetzal verify that it was not likely to be sacred space).  Much closer now, they could see that the statues were the heads of an amphibian creature or creatures.  To Quetzal, they looked exactly like what the gods were supposed to look like; to everyone else they were frog heads of some sort.  They could also now see that in amongst the statues were large egg shells and nesting debris.

Felix, Quetzal, Marcus, and Jacien walked over to get better looks at the statues.  There was a path between the platform and the rubble hill outlined by metallic pillars 20 ft tall.  Closer inspection indicated that the pillars extended down into the ground as well.  The same thing appeared to be true of the statues when they got over to them.  Closer inspection also revealed that all of the hundreds of statues appeared to be of the same being.  Jacien was able to determine that the statues were of zinc or heavily clad in zinc.  The adventurers deduced that the egg shells were probably those of the Cow-herds.  The area was also devoid of landshark furrows, sparking the suggestion that maybe landsharks avoid zinc.

Meanwhile, Zoglug and Frongol investigated the Glass Pyramid – Zoglug had circled it on foot and noticed a worn patch on the fifth tier.  The first thing they noticed was that all the edges were sharp.  Then Zoglug noticed that the glass did not crack or scratch when he walked on it in his hob-nailed boots.  There were steep, shallow steps up one side of the pyramid, which Zoglug found awkward to climb, but Frongol found easy (with her smaller feet and such).  Zoglug stopped at the fifth tier to work his way around to the side with the worn area while Frongol continued to the top.

The top was 30 ft square, with a 10 ft diameter circle inscribed and decorated with gold in the center.  It appeared to be a sunburst of some sort.  Zoglug found a lightly trail leading around to the side, where he found a worn patch on the wall.  He suspected there was a door, but could not find it, so he called Frongol over.

By this point, the rest of the adventurers were done looking at the statues and had moved over to the Glass Pyramid.  Most went up to the top to see what was there before joining Zoglug and Frongol on the side of the pyramid.  Jacien was able to determine that the gold-lined inscribed circle was linked to teleportation magic, probably teleporting into the pyramid.

Around this time, Frongol was able to work out how to open the (very) concealed door on the side of the pyramid.  Beyond it was a short passage (both in height and length) that led to a 5x5 ft shaft descending into the pyramid.  After having Marcus create a light, the group entered the pyramid and started climbing down the side of the shaft, using the metal rungs built into the walls.  At the bottom was another short passage and a door.  Zoglug opened it.

Beyond was a large open chamber, about 30 ft square, but with rounded corners and filled with purple light.  Jacien confirmed the purple light was magical, but was not certain what it did, as it was outside his area of study.  He did know that purple magic followed the lore of Death, but was not necromancy.  Zoglug entered the chamber and said it was fine, but the purple light was “a bit itchy”.

The walls and tall ceiling of the chamber were covered a deep blue, almost black, and constellations were picked out in gems.  [None of the adventurers knew anything about astronomy, so that’s all they got.]  On the floor in the center was an exact duplicate of the sun burst on the roof.  Above it was a depiction of the greater moon done in curved metal pieces, showing the current phase of the moon.

The group searched the room thoroughly for an exit and had trouble finding any until Frongol noticed three gems in a diamond-shaped constellation on one wall were worn and no longer as reflective of the light.  She pushed them in clockwise order and another concealed door opened up.  It was also low and led to the left and then around the corner of the chamber to stairs leading down.  The group descended.

The stairs ended at the backside of a concealed door, which opened into a mostly empty storage room, full of shelves.  The group searched around and was able to find an odd assortment of small figurines, probably game pieces of some sort, but not a game any of them knew about.  They were pocketed for later review.

The door exiting the store room was much larger and wider than the concealed doors and opened on a hallway with an open lounge across the hall from the storeroom.  In the lounge were three very wide but low chairs.  They reminded Quetzal of the chairs the gods were supposed to favor – however the stories she had heard never mentioned the comfy cushions.  The hallway went left and right about 30 ft and was painted in abstract patterns of soothing greens.  There were two doors across from one another at each end.

Following the Left Hand Rule, the adventurers turned left and walked to the doors on the left.  One door was of the over-large size, the other much smaller.  They tried the larger door and found a room with rounded corners almost completely filled with a large round pool, nearly four feet deep.  The water was pure and clear.  They looked around and found little other than the pool.  There was some discussion about the room and its possible use, but they could not come to any conclusions.

Moving across the hall to the smaller door, they opened it and found a kitchen and food preparation area.  Seated at a table were three motionless skinks that looked partially decayed.  Jacien looked at the skinks with his Alchemechikal Eye and found the skinks to all be heavily infused with purple magic.  Zoglug went up and poked one of them to see if they were squishy or leathery – it swatted his hand and told Zoglug not to poke it in the tongue of the skinks.

This surprised everyone.

Quetzal stepped forward and had a conversation with the skink in the skink tongue.  Afterwards, she said the skinks were servitors of “The Masters,” who seemed to have been gone for a while, she was not certain how long as the skink described the amount of time in a way she did not understand.  She also said that the skinks suggested there might be interesting things in the Antiquities Building adjacent to this pyramid.  The adventurers believe they mean the ruined pile next to this pyramid, which suggests the skinks have not been outside in some time.

Not seeing any profit in attacking the skinks (and suspecting there might be significant danger in doing so), the adventurers left the kitchen and closed the doors.  They then went and investigated the doors at the far end of the hall.  The doors there were of the very large style and both led to rooms almost identical to the first room with the pool.  This led to speculation that “The Masters” needed the water for either rejuvenation or rest, based on the frog-like appearance of the statues outside.

Unable to find any further means down, the group retreated back up and out of the pyramid.  With many questions and few answers, the adventurers decide to head back to Lucan’s Clock.  [Also, it was starting to get late.]  They chose to head due west, deducing from their partial map of the coast that the coast may be nearby to the west.  After two hours of riding in the Spider Walker, they find the coast was in deed where they thought it might be.  They searched that area and found an excellent gave with a good view of the sea.  They set up camp in it.

The next morning, they use the Spider Walker to follow the coast on the water.  After riding for most of the day, they turned towards shore again to search out a good place to camp.  They found a mostly hidden inlet adjacent to a large cave full of bats.  There was a primitive mooring post in the inlet near shore and they found some guano mining tools near the entrance to the cave.  They looked relatively recently used, suggesting someone was using this cave surreptitiously.  Jacien was very excited to find this cave, as there are many things he can alchemically make with bat guano.

Two days later, the group finally arrived back at Lucan’s Clock.  They found precious little in the way of wealth this trip, but a good deal of knowledge and many useful locations.

End of Session

* Potion of Troll Hide:
6 PD / 4 ED Armour     19 Active Points
OAF: Potion Bottle, Fragile (Easily Spilled) -1 1/4
1 Hours Extra Time, Startup (Brewing) -1 1/2
1/2 DCV Concentrate Throughout -1/2
Gestures -1/4
Incantation -1/4
6 x 1 Minute Charges -0
Charges Never Recover -2
Independent -2
RSR: Alchemist Skill (-1/2)

1 comment:

  1. I'm getting some weird viewing numbers for this post in my stats page - like 600+ views in the last week. I've edited the format of the stats on the potion to see if there was something odd in the HTML causing it. I'm not expecting that to fix it, but we'll see.