Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 2 – Aftermath, Prank, and the Slump

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.]

Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dust Academy
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Vargand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at the The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Zarek – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek, Kol – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]

Cromsday, October 10th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Having just killed half the bandits and co-opted the rest, the Delvers needed to decide what to do with the bodies.  Several options were discussed (burial, burning, exposure), most of which sounded blasphemous to Clarence, who started getting extremely vocal on the subject.  As a devote follower of St. Ygg, he knew that cremation was the only correct method and insisted on it, even for bandits.  The surviving ex-bandits had no strong opinions as they tended to abandon their dead and let the soldiers deal with the problem.

The sun having set, it was too dark to go looking for wood for a burial pyre, so the cremation was deferred until morning.  The four bodies were moved over into the northwest tower, which still had its walls and was separate from the camp in the chapel.  The spilled blood in the chapel was cleaned up (mostly) and watches were organized.

1st Watch
Clarence and Vargand took the first watch and the rest slept.  Part way through their watch, they heard the goats in the inner courtyard start getting noisy.  Investigating, they noticed a wildcat of some sort [jaguar] moving through the brush on the southern edge of the outer courtyard. Vargand urged Clarence to take a shot at it with his bow, which Clarence did.  He missed, but the clatter the missed arrow made on the stone rubble startled the wildcat and it fled.  Nothing else of significance happened for the rest of their watch.

2nd Watch
Zarek and Nick took over for Vargand and Clarence for the second watch.  Once Vargand and Clarence were asleep, Zarek and Nick confessed to each other that they wanted to play a prank on the others.  They both had the idea of staging one of the dead bodies to look like it was trying to escape.  After a quick debate over whether a body with a head or one without would be better for the prank [they chose one with a head], Zarek started dragging a body out of the tower ruins and back the way the group first arrived.  To avoid leaving fox footprints, he cast his flight spell and hovered just off the ground.  Nick stood in the guard position in case anyone woke up [Ricky and Clarence nearly did, but the efforts Zarek took to be quiet (Stealth check) were just successful enough to avoid that].  Zarek set the body about 50 meters outside the ruins and staged it to look like it was crawling.  He then flew back to stand guard with Nick.  They tried to not look at each other so they would start laughing and wake the others.

3rd Watch
Jala and Ricky took over from Zarek and Nick for third watch.  Jala decided to take her watch by casting Spiderwalk and walking up the outside of the chapel and sitting on the roof.  Not much happened until the goats started getting noisy.  Jala, sitting on top of the chapel saw there were two of the big cats and suggested Ricky shoot at them.  Ricky cast a spell to drain Body [I don't remember the spell's name] from the first jaguar but missed.  This time the cat snarled back, which woke up Zarek, Nick, and Clarence.  Zarek cast his lesser Lightning Bolt at the lead jaguar.  He missed the jaguar, but both big cats were spooked by the lightning and fled, their hunger temporarily overcome by fear.

Freysday, October 11th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
In the morning the Delvers ate their breakfasts and got started on the day’s business.  Clarence directed the torchbearers to start collecting wood for the pyre.  Then he and Ricky went to get the bodies ready and discovered that one of the bodies was missing.  Looking around, they both noticed the drag marks and followed them out to the field west of the ruins, alerting the rest of the Delvers that something was up.  There they found the dead body, posed as though it was crawling away.  Ricky and Clarence looked at each other - both knew the bandit was completely dead after the fight the previous evening and there was no way it dragged itself out here.  They then looked back at the rest of the Delvers.  Vargand and Jala looked confused and concerned, Zarek had no expression, and Nick was clearly trying to avoid their gaze.  Clarence asked Nick if he knew anything about this and when Nick made eye contact, he lost it and started laughing.

Disgusted by this, Clarence examined the body [made use of his Forensic Medicine skill, which I had not expected to come up this soon].  There were no footprints around the body, but the only places with ground in dirt and grass were the body’s toes, indicating it had been dragged, not crawled here.  Looking closely at the corpse’s clothes, he detected a bite mark on the back collar, exactly the size and shape of a fox’s bite.  Knowing only one fox who could fly and not leave pawprints, Clarence accused Zarek of staging this.  At this point Zarek couldn’t hold the laughter in and started laughing out loud with Nick.  Both confessed to their prank and were forced by the rest of the group to drag the body back to the ruins and place it on the pyre.  They did so in good humor.

After Clarence performed the burial rites for the dead bandits and lit the pyre, the Delvers started exploring the ruins.  Nick asked the ex-bandits what they knew about the ruins and if there were any entrances to a lower area.  Torsten told them that the ruins were pretty much empty and picked clean.  They found no signs of a lower area, but had only been here a week before the Delvers arrived.  Zarek could smell a subtle scent in the main hall area that made him unaccountably nervous.  He and Ricky noticed that the goats tended to avoid the main hall area, preferring to stay in the southern part of the inner courtyard, possibly due to the scent.  Ricky could not smell the scent in question.

While the others were investigating the ruins, Vargand started mapping it.  After sketching out the ruins themselves, she walked around the exterior and discovered an area where the earthen platform the ruins were on had slumped due to erosion.  At the bottom of the slumped area, a stone corner was just visible.  She called over the others to investigate and got Ricky, Nick, and Clarence [Jala and Zarek were investigating the ruined upper floor of the great hall and did not hear her call].

Realizing they were looking at the outer side of an underground structure, they decided to excavate.  The torch bearers were sent to get the shovel and sledgehammer from the gear.  Once the shovel was fetched, Ricky started digging out the dirt above the corner.  Ricky hoped to find the edges of a block or stone that he could pry out of the structure, but there was no break – it appeared to be a single, solid piece of stone.  He kept digging.

Once a large enough area was cleared, Ricky switched over to the sledgehammer and started hammering the stone.  The noise drew Jala and Zarek’s attention and they headed over to see what was going on.  Twenty minutes later, Ricky broke up the stone enough that pieces fell into a chamber below.  Dry, choking air came out and the group stepped back for a bit to let good air enter the chamber.

After a bit, the Delvers approached again and looked in.  They could see that the chamber was carpeted and the stone walls had wood paneling, but not much else.  They sent the torchbearers [who were now curious about all this despite themselves] to get torches.  Clarence lit one of the fetched torches and dropped it in at Vargand’s suggestion.  With light they could see that the chamber was about 50 feet square, had ancient but elegant furniture, and that the torch was making the carpet smolder.

Zarek flew down and picked up the torch to avoid having the carpet catch fire.  When he seemed OK, Jala was sent in via Shadowwalk.  She hopped into Clarence’s shadow and reappeared in the chamber.  She reported the air musty but breathable.  After that, ropes were fetched and the rest of the group descended into the chamber.  They found a closed door in the northeast corner and dust everywhere.

End of Session

[Les Stalwart, Nick’s DNPC, was supposed to show up this session, but I never managed to work him in.]

[The ex-bandit torchbearers were planning on making a break for it when the Delvers weren’t looking, but with the discovery of the underground chamber(s), they decided to wait to see if there was anything of value they could take with them before they fled.  They are not the most self-motivated individuals, being followers and not leaders.  Being an outlaw is a hard life and some of them are thinking that being paid torchbearers and part of an actual guild might be a better choice.  So for the moment, they are going to hand around with these crazy university students and see what happens.  Beats getting killed.]

[Yes, one of the ex-bandits is named Fish.  He might look like a young Abe Vigoda (assuming Abe Vigoda ever looked young).]

Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01

Session 03, Part 1

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