[Day 14 continues and ends. Having entered a contract with the Suzerain of Little Erebus, the Ratpack go looking for Lord Baz, whoever that is.]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened April 20, 2020.]
[SPOILERS! If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]
Marativy – female ratfolk 3rd level Ninja
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Winston – male ratfolk 3rd level Gunslinger
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Played by a 2D Standup Poster
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Day 14 (Resumes in Clockwork servant room)
Hoping that this side quest would be short, the Ratpack left the storage room containing, among other things, an unwound clockwork servant and backtracked down the stairs to the long lab room. The X showing where Lord Baz could be found was just north of the long lab room, down at the eastern end of the room. The best and luckiest path would be some form of secret passage from the long lab to Lord Baz, so the Ratpack spent time searching the relevant area for secret doors. Sadly, there were none and that effort was wasted.
This meant the group would have to backtrack further. At the fireball trap room, Templeton summoned a giant rat and ordered it to cross the room, which triggered the fireball trap. The adventurers rushed across the room before the trap could reset, feeling slightly guilty for sending a fellow rat to its unsummoning like that. Templeton decided to only summon cats for this purpose hereafter.
The group backtracked to an earlier intersection, one they had not explored on their way in. South from that a side passage led west while the main passage descended steps to a lower part of this sub-level. The hallway to the west passed through a room and continued, probably connecting to the southern door of the octagon room. Looking down the stairs to the south, the ratfolk could see a room containing a pillar with the Sihedron Rune on it. This seemed most promising and relevant and happened to lead towards where Lord Baz was, so the group cautiously descended the stairs.
The room at the bottom of the stairs had an alcove one the west and east walls. The alcoves each had a tapestry blocking further view. The tapestries both had the same image, a mountain whose top was carved into the face of a stern-looking woman with a bridge crossing the sea in front of it. The pillar indeed had the Sihedron Rune on it and the rune had a hole in the center where something could slot into it. There was also a passage on the west wall, south of the alcove, that was blocked by a metal portcullis.
[Tapestries in alcoves apparently are now very triggering for some of the other players as a result of events back in the Barrowmaze Campaign. More than once ghouls were hiding behind the tapestries and in one case this led to a TPK (see Book 1: The Motley Crew of the Barrowmaze Using ACKS campaign notes for details). In another case, the tapestries were mimics. Paranoia was now running high amongst the players at this point. Being the GM for Barrowmaze, I was entertained by this.]
With an exaggerated sense of caution, the ratfolk investigated the tapestries, using pole arms taken in their explorations to poke and move aside the tapestries. There was nothing but wall behind both tapestries. Zitch cast detect magic and discovered that something magical was hidden inside the rod weighting down the western tapestry. Unscrewing the end revealed a magic wand. The tapestries were taken down, rolled up, and set at the top of the stairs up for easy pickup on the way out.
Feeling somewhat safer now that the tapestries had been dealt with, the pillar was investigated. The Sihedron Rune was in color, with each point a different color or metallic shade. The color of the shard that Marativy carried exactly matched one of the seven points. Marativy carefully copied the complete rune in her notebook, making note of the colors and their order.
The brass crank from the storage room was tested in the hole at the center of the rune and it fit in smoothly. The rest of the group backed out to the stairs while Roscuro turned the crank. The rune itself turned with the crank. After turning the crank 180°, the black rune was now pointing up and the crank would turn no further and would not pull out of the pillar. The portcullis started moving at that point, making a great deal of noise as the ungreased metal gate ground along its metal track, up into the ceiling.
Not wanting to get trapped beyond the portcullis, the ratfolk hammered spikes into place in the track, wedging the portcullis open. Roscuro then turned the brass crank back to its starting position. The spikes held the portcullis open and allowed Roscuro to remove the brass crank from the pillar.
Beyond the portcullis was a 30-foot corridor that ended in a door. Listening at the door, Marativy reported the sound of flowing water. The door was opened, revealing a four-way intersection. Two Nupperibos suddenly appeared in the intersection and attacked. Winston quickly shot and killed one with his musket, only to have two imps, previously invisible, sting him with their tails, revealing their presence.
In the ensuing fight, the imps proved to be tough opponents, especially with their quick healing ability, making them primary targets. Roscuro was hit several times by the imps’ tails, taking damage from the stinger and losing mobility [Dexterity] from the poison. Templeton was able to kill one of the imps due to the bleed effect of his claws and Roscuro attempted his stunning fist attack for the first time. Unfortunately, the imp was able to resist the effect [it just made its save, which was closer than I thought the attack would get]. The second Nupperibo died at some point and Marativy finally killed the second imp.
Winston took the time to harvest imp poison from their tails for Marativy to use on her weapons. Roscuro drank his portion of the healing water to minimal effect [only received 2 hit points and one point of Dexterity back]. Marativy took the time Winston spent harvesting the imp poison to explore a fountain just to the north, the sound of the running water. In the fountain basin she found a green crystal key.
Out of much of their healing, and with wounds all around, the group decided Lord Baz could wait. It was time to return to the surface. The group went back to the pillar room. They removed the iron spikes holding up the portcullis, letting it close. They picked up the rolled up tapestries on their way out, eventually returning to the common room of the Tower Girls on the first floor of The Crow, the Irespan support they were currently exploring. After conferring with the Tower Girls, the ratfolk set their bedrolls out in a side room and rested.
The ratfolk spent the day in the Tower Girls common room resting and recovering from their injuries. Winston spent the day crafting more silver bullets, as fighting more devils like the Nupperibos and imps seemed likely. The Tower Girls continued packing their belongings and moving them out for shipment to the siege castle outside of Magnimar.
End of Session
[Zitch’s player could not make the game, but was also our healer, so the GM allowed us to access Zitch for healing but nothing else. A fair compromise while the party was still in the dungeon.]
[Roscuro, Zitch and Templeton all leveled after the rest and are now 4th level. They gained the XP necessary to level the previous session, but could not level until they rested.]