Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 5 – Water

[The Delvers return to the complex under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened June 24, 2019.]

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
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]

Unavailable Players
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts


During the week of October 13-16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Delvers spent the week attending classes and training at their various institutions of learning.  During their time not studying and attending classes, they researched different topics or sold off loot to fund the guild’s search for a guild house.  What little extra time this allowed was spent at The Library [a student bar], drinking and telling stories of their exploration so far to other students.

Zarek made use of his lab access at Monarch University to study the wands and magic earrings retrieved from the ruins.  He was able to determine the activation words for the wands [in Augmic, the language of magic] and discovered the function of the earrings.  He dubbed them “Earrings of Covert Communication” – they allow the wearer to communicate with someone wearing another set of the earrings and are enchanted to not be seen unless looked for.  In addition to this research, Zarek also crammed on information about monsters, hoping to be a little more prepared when the guild returned to the ruins.  [Narrator Voice: He was not.]

Ricky spent his spare time researching magic circles.  He was not terribly successful, but was able to confirm the silver-inlayed circle and the circle in the above ground ruins were both teleportation circles and likely attuned to each other.  He had no luck with the circle inscribed on the black stone in the “Common Room.”  [See notes for Session 3, link below.]

Vorgand and Nick worked out the value of the non-magical jewelry and sold it off, explaining their reasoning for the evaluations to Jala [who was tagging along to pick up the Trading skill].  They also asked around about buyers in antique elven furniture.  They located a few buyers, who tried to blow them off, explaining there was a huge difference between what was antique for humans and antique for elves.  When Nick showed these buyers some of the ancient elven coins the Delvers had found, the buyers were suddenly politer and more interested.  Without the chairs in hand, the discussions did not last long, but Vorgand and Nick were able to determine there was a market for the elven furniture and it might pay very well.

Near the end of the week, Vorgand was selected to participate in a field exercise The Tested [the royal military academy] was running and would not be available to join the guild when they left on Cromsday morning.  She expected to make the Noon ferry and would catch up with the guild on Freysday, around Noon.  [The player was out of town chaperoning a church youth group trip and missed the game session.]

Cromsday, October 17th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Early in the morning the Delvers assembled [some still slightly hung-over, some having not slept at all] at the City Docks and boarded the morning ferry to Little Wytheford.  The passage across Dragon Bay was uneventful and most of the guild members napped.

The ferry put in at the River Docks at Little Wytheford.  After disembarking from the ferry, the group went to the nearby farrier and picked up the horses and pack mule they had stabled there the previous week.  They arranged to leave one of the horses for Vorgand, who was expected to arrive that evening on the Noon ferry from Aegea.  Once they and their gear were arranged, the Delvers rode across the eastern river bridge and followed the Moofolk River south for three hours before turning east on the far side of Faemount Mountain.  An hour after that they rode into the ruins themselves.

The Delvers were expecting to be greeted by their ex-bandit torchbearers, instead the ruins were empty – even the goats were gone.  The Delvers looked around.  Zarek floated into the chapel the group had been using as a campsite and found a folded piece of paper held down by a rock.  Slightly paranoid, Zarek cast Detect Magic to verify the paper was not a trap of some sort [it wasn’t] before opening the note.  In a poor scrawl the note said “We had to go for other supplies.  Be back soon.”  It was dated two days previous.  There was a short discussion about whether or not the torchbearers had actually gone for supplies or fled the service of the delvers.  The majority felt they had fled and were not entirely surprised at this turn of events.

The Delvers made camp and set watches for the night.  On the third watch [Zarek and Nick], Zarek was sitting on top of the remaining gatehouse and observed a wildcat approaching the ruins.  It seemed to be heading towards the goat pen area.  Once it got closer, Zarek spooked it by striking the ground in front of it with a Lightning Bolt spell.  The light and noise of the spell startled Nick, who was unaware of the wildcat, and jolted awake Ricky, Clarence, and Jala.

Clarence and Ricky grabbed their weapons.  Jala, a light sleeper and so the most awake, called out “Is it dead?”  Zarek replied it was driven away and so Jala went back to sleep.  Ricky walked over to the entry gate area and saw the fleeing wildcat before attempting to go back to sleep.  Clarence sighed and put away his weapons before returning to sleep himself.

Freysday, October 18th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
In the morning the Delvers got up and fixed their breakfast.  After eating, they geared up and walked over to the entrance to the underground complex.  Jala examined the concealment she had set up before they left the previous week and announced it looked undisturbed.  She carefully moved it aside, exposing the stonework the Delvers had smashed open and dropped the anchored rope into the entry room.  Ricky and Nick lit torches and volunteered to be the torchbearers for this expedition.

After the Delvers had climbed down into the entry room they made their way to the stairwell on the far side of the complex.  The walked north past the “common room” area, stopping briefly to verify there were still two chairs in the common room for them to haul back.  Then they followed the corridor east, past the oval-shaped room, and entered the narrowing hallway to the stairwell itself.

Initially the stone steps were safe to walk on, but once past the crack in the wall where water flowed in, the stairs became slick.  Zarek avoided this problem as his flight spell made walking unnecessary.  Jala preferred spiderwalking on the walls [and regularly creeped out Clarence when she ate a spider to activate the spell each day].  At one point, Clarence slipped and fell in place.  At the same time, Ricky [right behind him] completely lost his footing.  Nick [in the back] was able to grab ahold of Ricky as Ricky slipped and fell, but was not able to keep his own footing and the two fell together and plowed into Clarence.  Luckily, Clarence was able to halt their fall at the next landing.

Another revolution around the open stairwell and the group found a flight of stairs missing three steps in the center.  The gap was further than anyone felt comfortable jumping [and jumping up it on the way out would have been impossible], so they hammered in pitons and used rope to get past the gap.  The stairs past the gap were dry as the water cascaded down the gap, so adventurers took a rest here.

Down another level of stairs the waterfall from the gap above threatened to put out their torches when they had to pass under it.  Ricky and Nick handed their torches to Jala who spiderwalked around the stairwell shaft [and over one of the flights of steps] to ferry the torches to the other side of the waterfall.  Shortly past the waterfall they reached the bottom of the stairs.  The last steps descended into about two feet of water that covered this level of the complex.

The doorway out of the stairwell here was propped open, allowing the water to slowly flow out of the stairwell.  Ricky was the first to notice the slow current and the group followed it into the next room.  There were two doorways from this room, a set of double-doors to the west and the south.  The ceiling of the north corner was a shaft going up.  Zarek borrowed a torch and floated over to look up.  At the edge of his torchlight he could make out the jammed platform that had blocked Jala’s explorations from above.

Looking through the open double-doors to the south, the Delver’s torches lit enough of the passage to see it turned west ahead, with another set of doors o the far wall facing them.  They also saw luminescent swirls and dots on the corridor walls down at the corner.  Intrigued, the Delvers slowly moved south to investigate.

When they got closer, they could see the luminescent lights were on the walls.  Thinking they might be some form of monster, they threw a rock at one of the walls to see if anything happened.  Nothing did.  Ricky checked the water current and determined it went down this corridor, so the group advanced to the corner and looked around it.  The corridor went west for quite a way and was completely outlined in the pale luminescent colors, which seemed to get denser the further down the corridor one looked.  Jala scrapped at some of the luminescent spots on the wall near her and the color came off onto her gloves but did nothing else.

Finding the effect somewhat eerie, the Delvers decided to check the door at the corner before continuing down the western passage.  The double-doors were propped partially open and gave access to a warehouse, now mostly empty.  There appeared to be an enclosed office space to the left of the entry and the shelves to the back left were enclosed in fencing with a gate.  The shelving units themselves were 30 feet tall with shelves at five-foot intervals.  When the adventurers entered the room the entire ceiling lit up, providing source-less, even lighting everywhere.  Jala sourly noticed that this lighting did not cause shadows, eliminating the usefulness of her Shadowstep spell.

The Delvers split up to investigate the warehouse.  Jala and Ricky went over to the fenced in area and found the gate locked.  She set to picking the lock, but the lock was very high quality elven work and defeated her first attempt at picking it, breaking one of her picks.  Undaunted, she pulled out a replacement and took her time for her next attempt.

While Jala was doing that, Zarek floated up to check the higher shelves to see if anything had been left behind.  He spotted a couple small crates scattered on the highest shelves and went to investigate the closest.  When he got close to it, the chest extruded a pseudopod and attacked him – it was a mimic!  [Narrator: Which he immediately recognized...after it hit him.]

The other Delvers noticed Zarek’s yip of pain as the mimic stunned him with its first hit.  Clarence cast his Holy Flame spell but missed the mimic.  Ricky tried to cast and failed [blew his magic roll].  Jala flung her magical dagger at it, striking the mimic to little effect [she rolled low damage].  The mimic was quick, hitting Zarek again and nearly knocking the fox out.  Ricky was able to get a spell of and drained much of the mimic’s life essence.  The mimic flattened itself as a result so those on the floor could not see it anymore, but it could still attack Zarek.  Nick responded by modifying his lightning spell [variable advantage] to affect a seven-foot area and cast it where the mimic was, shocking it.  Jala walked up the side of the shelves to get another shot at the mimic and hit it [to little effect].

The shapeshifting of the mimic gave Zarek the reprieve he needed; he flew sideways to get safely away from it.  With no immediate prey and its current location no longer safe, the mimic oozed along the shelf and then flattened itself further to blend in with the shelf itself.  Jala lost track of it when it did this, but Zarek did not and cast his Lightning Bolt spell at it, hitting it squarely, and killing it.

In the aftermath, Zarek floated down to Clarence for some healing.  Jala returned to her attempt at picking the lock to the fenced area but Ricky decided to check out the enclosed office.  The door was not locked and open nearly on its own as the two-feet of water he was standing in pushed the door open and flooded into the room.

The room had a desk that was nice but not as nice as the Delvers had seen in the corner rooms upstairs.  There was a scroll rack, the lowest level of which was now in water, and the tattered remains of wall hangings.  Ricky tried to save the scrolls that had just been submerged, but they were already fragile and went to pieces in his hands.  The scrolls still above the water line were also shambles, with faded ink and went to pieces as soon as they were touched.  Ricky was very frustrated by this.

Zarek cast Detect Magic and scanned the room.  He expected to find a tripped security system on the desk drawers but was being thorough.  Instead, he found the security system in place and untripped, meaning the contents in the drawers were still in one piece.  He excitedly relayed this to Jala, who just finished failing to open the gate lock, again.  Frustrated herself, Jala waded over into the office and examined the desk lock.  It was another tough one, so she announced she was going to take her time working this one [she decided to take 20 minutes to get a +3 on the roll for going 3 steps down the time chart].  The rest of the delvers climbed up on shelves in the main room to get out of the water and waited.

Twenty minutes later Jala called out in success as she undid the lock and disarmed the magical trap [the player finally rolled better than just making her pick locks skill, making the roll by 8 with the time bonus].  The Delvers shuffled through the water back into the office.  They immediately started discussing whether they should lift the desk out of the water before opening the desk drawers in case they were water-tight and not flooded.  After a short debate they decided it was a good idea and Clarence and Ricky lifted the desk.  Jala pulled open the lowest drawers and discovered they were not water tight – they were full of water with paper bits mixed in.  The other drawers were not flooded, but all the papers in them were mostly disintegrated from age.  They did find two cut gem disks, each about three inches in diameter, and an oddly shaped key, mostly a tube with the keyed parts inside the tube part.  The Delvers then searched the office thoroughly before taking another rest [again up on the shelves so they were out of the water].

While the group rested, Zarek had an idea on how to open the caged area.  When the rest was over, he floated over to the cage door and announced he was going to lightning bolt it.  The rest of the Delvers, who had just climbed down into the water, climbed back up out of the water.  Zarek cast Lightning Bolt at the gate itself to zero effect.  Puzzled, he cast Detect Magic on the gate and discovered that the metal the gate and fencing were made from appeared to absorb magic!  He now very much wanted some of this metal as he suddenly had all sorts of ideas on how to use it, if only they could separate it from the fence.  Nick came over and modified his lightning spell to be extremely difficult to dispel and cast it at the gate.  The gate was completely unphased by this, which confirmed to Nick that the metal was absorbing the magic, not dispelling or suppressing it.  Frustrated as a group, the Delvers decided that they just weren’t going to be able to access the fenced off area this trip.  They consoled themselves with the knowledge that no one else was going to be able to access it either.

The Delvers decided to explore more of the complex and return to the warehouse later.  They exited the warehouse [after a bit the lights went out on their own] and headed west down the corridor.  Forty feet down the hallway they reached a four-way intersection.  The passage north is the direction the sluggish current flowed and led to two sets of double-doors – the outer doors were propped open and the inner doors were missing their lower halves, allowing the water to flow freely.  The passage west went through a similar set of double-doors, but the inner set here were missing entirely and the chamber beyond was lit with the luminescent light.  The passage way south led to a ramp up and out of the water.

While the others were looking down the passageways, Ricky noticed some purple toadstools growing in a cluster at the corner.  He stepped closer with his torch to get a better look, which triggered the shriekers!  The intersection was immediately filled with piercing sound which caused physical damage to Ricky but not the other Delvers who slapped their hands [and paws, where appropriate] over their ears.

End of Session

[I was supposed to have the details for the jewelry the PCs had found ready this session, but I forgot in the press of other projects I’m working on.  I would have rolled them up at the beginning of the session, but the person with the exact list of what they had was also the person who missed the session due to a trip, so I hand-waved it and said that the task was done and the money was set aside for the purchase of a building to be the guild house for the guild.  This was a good in-game action for most of the PCs handing over an experience point for buying a group base as an out-of-game action.]

[I’m going to list out the game stats of the magic items the group finds during the adventure.  If folks show interest, I’ll create a separate post for the monster stats as well.]

[Earrings of Covert Communication: Radio Perception/Transmission, LIM: Only to attuned sets; IIF: set of earrings enchanted to not be seen unless known about (PER at -4)]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2
Session 04


Session 06

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 4 – Lump and Shades


[The Delvers finish exploring the upper level of the underground complex.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened June 17, 2019.]

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
Zarek the Red – 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
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
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]


Freysday, October 11th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Resumes underground, ~3:00 PM]
After a short discussion, the Delvers decided to finish exploring the level they are on before descending the stairwell to the lower level or levels of this complex.

The group backtracked to the large oval-shaped room, checking an empty side room along the way.  They went to the far end of the oval-shaped room, which they had not paid much attention to earlier [being distracted by the silver inlay on the magic circle and the body behind the desk].  The hallway out of this end of the room went south and they could see it turned west at the edge of their torchlight.  However, immediately to their left there was an odd configuration of wall in the oval-shaped room.

The wall here was only three feet high and there was a room beyond it.  The weird part was the full sized door with door frame in the middle of the low wall.  Zarek floated over towards it so he could see inside the room.  It was a 20 x 30 foot room with a large oval ring of a table.  There was glass scattered on the floor on the other side of the low wall, suggesting the low wall once had a glass upper half.  In the corner of the room to his right he could see two corpses, plus he saw a third corpse in the far, left-hand corner.

The delvers entered the room to look around.  Jala and Clarence investigated the pair of corpses on the right.  Zarek dropped his Stoney Skin spell to cast Detect Magic and floated around the room looking for magic.  Ricky searched the body over on the left while Vorgand and Nick kept watch.

Clarence was able to determine that the two elves were killed by magical violence, which was not a surprise due to the apparently exploded open glass walls.  Jala found some jewelry still on them, but it appeared that the bodies had been searched previously, long ago.  Zarek found a wand in a holster strapped to the underside of the hollow oval table – he also found a fourth corpse on the floor in the center of the hollow oval table.  That body was also searched.

Having thoroughly searched that room, the Delvers went south to explore the corridor exiting the oval-shaped room there and hopefully circle back to the entrance.  They investigated two open doorways on the left [east] and found they both led to empty rooms.  The turned back a bit to check a closed door on the west side of the hallway.  This door was locked, had no keyhole, but had an odd panel beside the door.  Jala held the keys she had stolen from the cleaning golem to the panel and heard a click from the door – it was now unlocked!  On the other side of the door was the cleanest privy the group had ever seen.  Tile and ceramics were on every surface.  Impressed, but finding no easy loot, they moved on.

As they got closer to the corner, they could see a pile of…something in front of the door that probably led to another corner room.  The pile or lump was about five feet high and eight or so feet square.  It was covered with dust and seemed translucent.  Zarek borrowed a torch from one of the torchbearers and moved to one side of the lump.  Jala, working out what Zarek was doing, moved to the opposite site to see if she could see what was inside the lump.  Not wanting to touch it, she used her dagger to scrape away the layer of dust resting on the lump.  It gave a bit.  Suddenly the entire lump shivered and then attempted to slam Jala against the wall!  Jala noticed its movement just in time and dove out of the way, landing on the floor in the hallway.  The lump [a desiccated gelatinous cube] continued to attack.

During the fight, Clarence failed to cast his Sacred Flame spell twice in a row.  Vorgand tried a lunge and a series of rapid attacks, discovering that the lunge was by far the more successful attack as the series of quick attacks barely injured the thing.  Zarek and Nick both cast lightning spells at it, which healed up the wounds Vorgand had inflicted!  She was not pleased.  Ricky used his Dark Leeching spell on the lump to great effect – great enough that it started attacking him.  Ricky was able to dodge its attacks just long enough for Vorgand and Clarence [who finally got his magic working] to kill it.

Most of the lump's liquefied innards oozed out of the slash marks Vorgand had made and the group could see the glint of metal in what remained inside the hardened shell.  Zarek climbed inside and cast Detect Magic, locating a magic dagger and a pair of magic earrings.  At this point a cleaning golem walked up, carrying a mop, and the Delvers wisely got out of its way.  Zarek floated over to the privy to clean the gooey innards from his paws and fur.

While the golem mopped up [and once Zarek returned, wet but clean], Jala and Vorgand unlocked and opened the door to the corner room.  Vorgand was just taking a breath to remind Jala about the bad air likely to be inside when Jala opened the door and the bad air flooded over Vorgand, who passed out from being unable to breathe.  Zarek quickly floated in and pulled Vorgand all the way down the hallway to the west until he arrived at the entry room, where there was good air.  The rest of the delvers followed [after opening the other closed door in the vestibule] and took a rest while Vorgand recovered and the closed rooms aired out for a bit.  Zarek took a moment to fly back up to the surface to get and idea what time it was and discovered it was later in the afternoon than he thought.

After the rest, the Delvers returned to the corner room they had just opened.  The air was still a bit iffy, but they explored anyway.  They found three elven corpses, two with crossbow bolts to the heart and one next to the crossbow and with a bolt to the throat.  The crossbow detected as magic when Zarek cast Detect Magic, as did the tripped security magic on the desk drawers.  Jala checked the desk drawers to be thorough [and found nothing but ashes], while others relieved the corpses of their jewelry.

Done with the corner room, the Delvers investigated the door across the vestibule.  This led to a set of two rooms connected by an open doorway.  The first room had a couple of desks, but not as fancy as the desks the Delvers had found in the corner rooms.  These had no magical security, but their paper contents had long ago rotted and just touching the papers turned them to slime.

In the adjacent room, the delvers found four corpses lined up against the wall.  Clarence and Ricky investigated the corpses [Ricky for loot and Clarence to determine how they had been killed].  Just as Zarek floated in to check for magic, Ricky and Zarek noticed a shadow moving against the torchlight.  Two of the corpse shadows detached and started attacking Clarence and Ricky!

In the ensuing fight, Clarence was drained heavily by one of the shades.  Ricky was able to avoid the same fate, but at the cost of casting no magic [he kept blowing the magic roll or having to abort to a Dodge].  Nick cast defensive magic and then a rapid-fire lightning attack that obliterated one of the shades [and cost Nick some STUN from the autofire attack using up all his END and then some].  Vorgand pulled the magic dagger from the loot bag and attacked the remaining shade with it.  The other shade was ended by the Delvers before it ended Clarence, but it was a close thing.

After checking a last room [and finding another amazingly clean privy], the Delvers decided that they were done exploring for the day.  They returned to the “commons room” and packed out 10 of the wooden chairs from there, hoping to sell them in Aegea as elven antiques for a profit.

Once on the surface, the Delvers made a deal with the four ex-bandits to wait here for them and keep an eye on the goats and they would pay them for being torchbearers as their exploration continued.  The ex-bandits [somewhat terrified of the capabilities of the Delvers] agreed to this readily.  [The players were going to take the ex-bandits with them to town as guild employees until it was pointed out that the torchbearers had no horses and if they all walked back to Little Wythford, the Delvers would miss the ferry back to Aegea and therefore miss classes the following day.]

While dinner was being made, Jala took an hour to conceal the entrance to the underground area, moving plants and brush to obscure the stone opening.  It was getting dark, but she was satisfied with her efforts.


Yggsday, October 12th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Early in the morning, before the dawn, the Delvers packed up their gear and the antique chairs on their horses and pack animal.  They rode west then south to get around the mountain and back to Little Wythford.

The Delvers wanted to load their chairs directly onto the ferry, but the captain wouldn’t allow it, stating they needed to be in crates and not just loose on deck.  The Delvers didn’t have time to do that and still catch the Noon ferry, so they rented some warehouse space from Nick’s family and stored the chairs in Little Wythford before returning the horses.  They put down a deposit for horses next weekend and then hustled back to the ferry, getting there just in time.

The ride across Dragon Bay was uneventful and the ferry docked at Aegea a little before sundown.  The Delvers made their way to The Library, where they ordered drinks and dinner as celebration of the first successful expedition by the Delvers Guild.  They discussed over dinner what each needed to do during the week [in addition to attending classes and training sessions].  Zarek will research the wands to determine their command words and do some craming on monsters, Ricky will research the magic circles and cram on them, Vorgand and Nick will work out the value of the loot the group secured and ask around about prices on elven antique chairs, and Jala will follow Vorgand and Nick to learn better value evaluation [Trading skill].  Clarence will spend time recovering from the shade attacks.

Additionally, the group decided it was time to start pooling resources for a guild house.  They will keep an eye out for a good location and report back suggestions at the next guild meeting.

End of Session

[So I awarded 2 experience points for this outing and everyone but Clarence’s player donated a point to a group base of operations (the guild house).  Clarence spent his two points on raising his Recovery so he recovers as much END as he spends with his holy armor spell running each turn.]

[I rushed to get the lower level sketched out before the game as I thought the PCs were going to descend, but then they decided to finish the first level.  I knew what I wanted, but hadn’t actually written it out yet due to other projects I have going.  This will give me time to flesh out the lower level and detail the room descriptions better.]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2


Session 05

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 3 – Part 2

[The Delvers continue exploring the underground complex they discovered under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[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
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
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
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]


Freysday, October 11th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Resumes where Part 1 stopped]
After their rest, the Delvers Guild returned to the room with the blocked door.  They suspected enough time had passed so the air would be OK, plus they did not want any of the golems to clean up the room before they searched it.  When they stuck a torch in the room it did not dim noticeably, so they started searching the room.  Vorgand started by examining the desks while Jala continued her search for secret doors.  The wooden desk on top was upside-down and the drawers faced the group.  The lower desk was made of a large block of stone and its drawers were on the other side, facing the wall – they would have to rotate it to access them.  Zarek dropped his Stoney Skin spell to cast Detect Magic.  The desks had some, focused on the drawers with a single activation point for all of them.

While they were deciding how to proceed, one of the golems walked up to the room and made a chime when it got to the door.  Clarence was sitting watch at the door and mimicked the chime back.  The golem cocked its head at him, then turned and went back to the golem waiting room across the hall.  The Delvers were pleased with this.

Once Jala was done searching for secret doors [there were none], she picked the locks of the drawers on the wooden desk.  Before she opened the desks, there was discussion about whether the magic would destroy the contents of the drawers and should they try to bypass it or take the bottom off the desk and access the drawers by disassembling them.  They decided to flip the wooden desk right-side up and turn the stone desk around and let Jala try to bypass the magic.

Jala started with the wooden desk.  Working carefully, she attempted to bypass the magic trap on the drawers, only to discover that it had already been triggered.  She opened the drawers and found only cold ashes in them.  Investigating the stone desk, she found the same.  There was discussion about taking the ashes to see if there was a way using magic to reassemble whatever they had been.  Zarek agreed to research it over the next week, adding it to his new list of things he needed to research.  He was somewhat non-plussed about suddenly having homework for his hobby.

Slightly disappointed, the Delvers left the room and went north down the corridor to the recently opened corner room.  This room was opulently decorated…or had been long ago.  The wood paneling on the walls still appeared lush and the pile of the carpet was deep.  There was an ornately carved desk in the back half of the room and sitting in the chair were the desiccated remains of an elf in very fine clothes.  The corpse was missing the top and right side of its head.

The Delvers split up and searched the room.  Zarek checked the desk for magic and found the drawer security magic.  Jala was able to verify it had triggered and when she opened the drawers, there was nothing but cold ash.  Out of habit, Jala rummaged through the ash and found an ivory figurine.  She attempted to pocket the figurine without mentioning it, but Ricky’s eagle-eyes and Zarek [who was nearby] noticed her do it.

Zarek asked out loud what she had found.  At first Jala denied finding anything, but Ricky had seen it was a figurine and when Zarek asked again, Ricky answered.  This brought Vorgand and Clarence over.  Vorgand asked for an explanation and Jala claimed she wanted to clean it and the elf ear rings before she turned them over.

Vorgand patiently explained that that was not how adventurers did things and discussion followed.  Jala, chastened, turned over the figurine and the ear rings, still on the elf ears.  Vorgand carefully removed the ear rings from the ears and put the ear rings and the figurine into the loot sack.  Nick took one of the ears and attempted to place it on the side of the elf corpses head missing its ear, but the ear fell into the skull.  He then stuck a shim into the head and tied the ear to it with some twine.  The elf corpse now had two left ears.

Once finished searching the room [and before a cleaning golem arrived], the group searched the room through the door across the vestibule from the corner office door and found another clean and empty room.  They followed the corridor east and found the next room also clean and empty.  This brought them to the end of the corridor and to the larger chamber there.

This chamber was unusual in several ways.  It seemed to be an oval with a flat side arranged diagonal to the grid of hallways behind them.  There was a narrowing corridor ahead with a set of open double doors just inside it, on the left [North] wall.  Off to the right on the far wall was a 20-foot wide, 10-foot deep alcove with something silvery on the floor.  On the immediate right against the right, curved wall [which was the back wall of the “common room”] was a low, curved desk with low doors on either side, partitioning off the area behind it.

The Delvers split up to search the entire area quickly.  Nick kept watch while the others searched.  Zarek and Vorgand investigated the alcove area.  The silvery thing on the floor was a magic circle inlaid with silver, which was on the right side of the alcove.  The left side contained a shallow, smooth, round depression with silver smears around it, which looked ominous.  The existing magic circle looked nearly identical to the one above ground Zarek and Ricky had discovered in the ruins.  Zarek cast Detect Magic to see if the circle was still active, but it was not.  The only magic he detected was the faint background magic he had notice before.

Over at the curved desk, Jala and Clarence discovered a smashed chair with a desiccated elven corpse on it.  Jala and Clarence searched the desk first.  The drawers had moldering paper in them that was indecipherable fragments now, but Jala found a wand strapped under the desktop.  She set it on the desktop for Zarek to inspect, hoping it was still magical [and that it would help the other Delvers overlook her attempt to pocket the figurine earlier], and then checked the elven corpse.  She found a couple of rings as the only valuables and carefully removed them.

By this point Zarek and Vorgand were done at the alcove and came over to the desk.  Zarek cast Detect Magic again and found the wand to be magical…as were a pair of ear rings on the corpse.  He pointed out the ear rings to Jala who looked back and could suddenly see them!  This was very peculiar.  She took the ear rings off the corpse and added them to the loot pile on the desk.

With no immediate indication as to what the ear rings did and no convenient note as to the activation word/phrase for the wand, all went into the loot bag for later study.  The Delvers noticed that the air here was much better in this room than elsewhere in this complex.  Intrigued by this and hoping for another way to the surface, the Delvers decided to search the narrowing hallway that faced their entry point to this chamber.  Standing in front of it, they could just hear the sound of water falling ahead and Zarek noticed more moisture in the air.

The hallway was seven feet wide starting out and just inside it on the left were open double doors that the Delvers looked through.  The doors opened onto a storage room of some sort.  There were broken crates and glass on storage shelves on the north wall.  On the east wall were another set of double doors, but these were closed and opened into the storage room.  The Delvers carefully approached the doors and Ricky pulled the doors open, ready to hold his breath.

Instead of the bad air they were expecting, the air beyond was good to breath.  The room beyond was roughly twelve feet deep and twenty feet wide.  A 10-foot by 10-foot section of the floor on the back-left corner was missing with a clean edge and warning stripes painted on the floor around the square hole.  Curious, the Delvers approached and looked down the hole.  It was a stone shaft that was deeper than their torchlight reached.  Additionally, the shaft was about two feet wider than the missing floor section.  The sound of water could be faintly heard down in the depths.

The Delvers discussed what to do and Jala volunteered to explore the shaft, using her Spiderclimb spell to safely descend.  Ricky suggested tying a rope to Jala “just in case.”  Everyone agreed this was a good idea and Nick, using his experience as a sailor, tied the rope with a solid knot that would hold and not constrict Jala if they had to haul her up with it.  Jala walked down one of the walls for 60 feet before she ran into a lifting structure that was jammed in the shaft, blocking her path down.  Not confident she could get around it and very uncomfortable with having it hanging above her if she did, Jala returned to the top of the shaft and reported her findings.

The Delvers discussed the situation and decided to not force things just yet.  They wanted to find an alternate access to the surface and hoped that the increased air quality meant one was near.  They left the area at the top of the shaft and then exited the storage room.  They turned left and continued east, down the narrowing corridor.

About ten feet further, the corridor narrowed to only five feet wide. Fifteen feet past that, it entered a 15x20 foot stairwell.  The stairs coiled around the outer wall and the center was open down as far as they could see.  In the northeast corner a crack high on the wall let water into the stairwell from somewhere outside.  The water dropped to the stone stairs and then followed a worn course down the stairs, into the darkness.  This was not an exit – it was a path deeper into the ground.

End of Session

[A note on the mapping: one of the PCs has Bump of Direction, which allows him to know which way is north at all times.  With that in mind, sometimes I give descriptions in the cardinal directions (to explain how things are laid out and make mapping less frustrating) but switch to left and right when explaining how things are in a room.  This helps the players get a feel for how things are laid out and where they are in relation to where the PCs are standing.  I need to draw out the more complex rooms as a verbal description would be more confusing than necessary.  It is more import the players understand what their characters can easily see than to force someone to map from my verbal descriptions only.]

[The players had noticed the faint background magic the first time Zarek cast Detect Magic, but I don’t think I mentioned it in the write-up, which is my fault.  The players believe it is what summons the cleaning golems when a mess is made, like when Zarek drops his Stoney Skin spell and a mass of pebbles fall off him.]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1


Session 04



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 3 – Part 1

[The Delvers start exploring the underground complex they discovered under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[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
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
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
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]


Freysday, October 11th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Feeling they had completely searched the room they smashed their way into, the Delvers were ready to exit it and explore more of the underground area they had discovered.  As they went to open the door, they clearly heard a key being inserted into the door from the other side!

Jala immediately scrambled and hid behind the desk in the room.  Zarek, with his Stoney Skin spell up [which covered him in pieces of stone], curled up in a corner and attempted to look like a pile of stones.  Clarence and Vorgand drew their swords while Ricky and Nick waited to see what happened.

The door was unlocked and opened by what most of the party thought was an eight-foot tall elf!  Ricky’s sharper eyes realized it was a sculpted clay golem, not an actual overly tall elf.  Ricky share this information with the other Delvers as the golem entered the room and looked around.  It started to approach the debris in the corner from the Delvers forcing their way in via sledgehammer, where Ricky and Clarence were standing.  It paused when it approached them and emitted an almost musical tone.

Not certain what to do, Ricky and Clarence both attempted to replicate the tone back at the golem.  Ricky replicated the tone perfectly, Clarence did not even get close.  The golem cocked its head at Ricky and then stepped around him.  It then repeated the tone.  While Ricky was stepping away, Clarence attempted to replicate the tone again, with slightly better results.  The golem repeated the tone again and waited.  Clarence tried one more time and his third attempt was very credible.  The golem cocked its head at him and then stepped around him and started sweeping up the debris.

Pleased they did not have to fight the golem, the Delvers discussed it having a key and the fact they might need a key later.  This was a slightly subtle way to suggest to Jala that she pick the golem’s pocket and steal its key.  Jala took the hint and walked up to the golem, trying to stay behind it so it would not notice her.  She then looked for the key but was uncertain where the key might be on it.  The other Delvers called out suggestions and eventually Jala found and took the key.  It was unusually heavy.

With the key in their possession, the Delvers looked out the now open door.  It opened to a small vestibule area that it shared with an open door across from it.  The vestibule area was at the corner of two ten-foot corridors, one going north and one east.  The carpeting in the room they were in ended at the doorway and the hallway had smooth stone floors.  Vorgand, who was mapping, could see two open doorways to the north, one on either side of the north hallway.

The Delvers decided to investigate the doorway across the vestibule before trying either hallway.  It opened one an empty room with smooth stone floors.  Ricky looked up at the ceiling and discovered that the ceiling was once covered by frescoes, but only fragments remained attached to the ceiling.  Oddly, none of the fallen parts were on the floor.  The Delvers suspected the golem had cleaned up the debris but could not confirm this.

The Delvers next followed the north hallway.  The first door was on the left and led to another empty room with a second empty room attached to it.  Zarek dropped his Stoney Skin spell so he could cast Detect Magic in the room.  [The rules only allow him to have four spells running at a time (his INT divided by 5) and he had Stoney Skin, Flight, and two delayed Lightning Bolts ready, so he swapped out his Stoney Skin spell for the Detect Magic.]  He detected a faint background magic field over the entire area, but no magic items, spells, or concealed doors.  The others searched for hidden or secret doors, but everyone came up empty.

With that room a dead end, the Delvers investigated the door across the hall.  That doorway there led to a room 15 feet wide by 10 feet deep.  The areas to the left and right of the doorway were broken up into 5x5 areas by low walls.  In three of those 5x5 area were clay golems, similar to the one cleaning up the entry room.  One of those golems had two pale flashing lights hovering in front of its head making alternating faint tones as they flashed on and off.  Not certain what was going on here [and not wanting to provoke the golems], the Delvers returned to the rooms across the hall and took a ten minute rest.

At the end of their rest, a golem showed up at the door and made the chime tone.  This was the golem from across the hall, the one that had two lights flashing in front of it.  The delvers got out of its way and it started sweeping up the rocks from where Zarek dropped his Stoney Skin spell.  The Delvers let it do its thing and left the room.

The Delvers continued down the north corridor.  The next door down was on their left and it was closed.  From there they could see another doorway farther down on the left and a larger doorway on the right.  It appeared that the corridor turned east after that, but their light did not reach quite far enough to reveal that.

Jala examined the closed door and determined it was not locked nor trapped.  Ricky went to open it and it would not budge.  After fiddling with it a bit, the Delvers determined the door was not jammed but heavy things were blocking it on the other side.  Ricky could not push it open by himself, but when Vorgand and he pushed and put their backs into it, they were able to force the door open partially.  Bad air spilled out of the room and Ricky swooned.  Vorgand was able to stay conscious and pull Ricky away from the door.

Clarence checked Ricky and verified he was just unconscious.  He and Zarek hauled Ricky back to the entrance room where there was better air.  Vorgand borrowed a torch from one of the torch bearers [Torsten] and stuck it into the room for light so she could see what was in there.  The torch flame died down and nearly went out but strengthened when she pulled the torch back out.  The Delvers would have to wait for better air to mix into the room before they could safely enter.

Vorgand returned the torch to Torsten and then had him stand in the hallway so its light entered the room.  She then peeked in while holding her breath.  She could see the room had carpet with debris from the fallen ceiling frescoes all over.  The weight blocking the door was a stone desk with an upside-down wooden desk on top of it.  In the near corner she saw three bodies.  Vorgand relayed what she saw in the room to the others and then took a deep breath and holding it before entering the room.

The air in the room was painfully dry and made her eyes water.  Vorgand went over to the bodies with the idea to haul one of them back into the corridor where the air was better.  The parts of the body she grabbed crumbled and came off in her hands, causing dust and powdered corpse to puff out in a cloud around her.  Vorgand was able to avoid sneezing or choking and taking a breath.  She quickly checked the bodies for obvious loot.  She found two rings, a necklace, and a belt pouch that jingled when it moved and took them all.  She then exited the room and coughed and choked for a bit before breathing easily again.

The Delvers discussed continuing down the corridor, but Jala’s desire to see for herself overtook her.  She tied a cloth across her nose and mouth and darted into the room.  She looked over the bodies and noticed a pair of ear rings Vorgand had missed.  When she went to remove them, the ears came with.  In a hurry, Jala tucked the dried elf ears into a belt pouch and then started searching for secret doors.  She could not hold her breath long enough to complete this task and had to stagger out of the room before she fell unconscious.  She did not mention the ears with ear rings she had found to the others.

The Delvers continued down the corridor while they waited for the air in the blocked room to get better.  The next open doorway on the left was to another empty room, but now their torchlight reached all the way to the corner and they could see that the corridor turned right up ahead.

Across the hall was the ten-foot wide doorway into a room with a curved back wall, such that the back right corner was further away than the back left corner.  There were three tables with chairs in a way that reminded the Delvers of the common room of a tavern.  Immediately to the right of the doorway was a black stone cube, roughly 4x4 feet in cross-section and four feet tall.  Behind it on the wall was a set of cabinets that went to the corner and most of the way along the right wall.

The Delvers immediately searched the cabinets but found them empty.  Vorgand examined the black rock cube and found a magic circle of some sort inscribed on the top.  She called over Zarek, but he did not know what kind of magic it was.  He memorized its appearance to study back in Aegea and Vorgand took a rubbing of it.  Then it was time for the adventurers to rest, so they rested in this room.  They also realized the chairs in this room would fetch a good price if sold to the right antiquities dealer back in Aegea.

The group continued down the north corridor.  They were now at the corner and discovered it has a similar vestibule area with two doors.  The door to the corner room was closed and locked, while the door across the vestibule was open.  Jala checked the key she stole from the cleaning golem and it fit.  She turned the key and then quickly stepped away from the door so someone else could open it.

Vorgand stepped up and pushed the door open.  A wave of bad air flowed over her, causing her to choke and sputter until she stepped far enough away to get to better air.  At this point she noticed that the air at this corner was better than at the first corner [allowing for all the bad air that just escaped from the closed door].  Zarek sniffed around and noticed a hint of moisture in the air.  The Delvers made note of this and looked down the eastern corridor from the corner.  The torchlight showed that the corridor went about 20 feet and then opened up into a larger chamber.  It was also time for a rest, so the group returned to the “common room” to rest.

End of Part 1


[This session write-up was starting to get really long, plus I was running late getting it posted, so I decided to cut it into two parts.  Also, due to several players not being available next week, there will be no session.  Rather than have yet another week of no post, making this one into two posts helps bridge that gap and avoids a truly large wall of text this week.  Session 3, Part 2 will post next week and then Session 4 will follow the week after.]

[The 10-minute rests are not required by the Hero System, but I chose to carry them over from ACKS.  They are good for verisimilitude – adventuring is a tiring, stressful activity – plus the air in this dungeon is still very thin from being sealed for so long so the Delvers get tired sooner.  It also helps the players note the passage of time.]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02


Session 03, Part 2 [Still Writing]