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

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