Monday, May 31, 2010

Terrace of Fallen Horses

This session happened Friday, May 28, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.

A major change has happened to how I'm running overland travel. In the middle of discussing the difference in map scales between my map and the one used in the West Reaches campaign, I realized I was making the PCs roll for navigation far, far too often. As a result, I am now making the PCs roll a Survival check every three hours of movement (15 miles of travel) instead of every one (3 miles of travel). As a result, expect the PCs to get lost less often.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
Khallas (human ranger)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarven rogue/barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elven alchemist)

After Khallas picked up his commissioned armor and buckler, he and Su Bel pulled Agnes and Tycho aside, confessing that the Table Map site labeled "Ruins" actually contained a series of tombs. They also confessed that the tomb guardians were tougher than the two of them could face and they had to flee last time. They further explained that they were looking to improve shares by reducing the number of people involved and were wondering if Agnes and Tycho were interested in a side trip to the Ruins to collect some treasure? They were.

After two days of travel (during which they avoided a dire lion), the group arrived at the Terrace of Fallen Horses. The far right tunnel on the upper terrace was still open, but the next one over, which Khallas and Su Bel had been chased from, was once again re-sealed. Also, there was a giant scorpion by the reflecting pool looking for a quick meal. After a quick fight the adventurers killed the giant scorpion. The group made camp and the night passed uneventfully.

The next morning the group circled around to the top of the hill and descended the hill face to the upper terrace (greatly helped by Tycho's grappling hook and knotted rope). After looking around a bit, the group found a pile of bones that once was one of the skeletal champions guarding the Queen's Chamber in Tomb #2. It's armor and weapon were missing and there was no sign of the second skeletal champion that Khallas and Su Bel had defeated the last time they were here.

Agnes quickly had the stone slab seal off of Tomb #2 and the group was immediately attacked by the two remaining skeletal champions and the reanimated missing armor! A tough fight followed, which was wrapped up by Agnes demonstrating her charging-battleaxe-sneak-attack maneuver to great effect.

After some group healing by Su Bel, the group entered the Queen's Chamber. They found a gold covered sarcophagus in the center of the chamber. The walls were covered with illustrations of the queen ruling and doing great deeds, probably after the previous king died. Agnes investigated the sarcophagus and found an arrow trap. She disabled it and gave the poisoned arrow to Tycho who proclaimed that is was covered with wyvern poison. Agnes then proceeded to opening the sarcophagus, setting off the very well concealed summoning trap, which summoned a large air elemental.

[Note: I have the players make a single roll for all traps when they are trying to find them, comparing that roll to the DC necessary to find the trap(s). I then tell them what they rolled high enough to find. Agnes rolled a 21 and found the poisoned arrow trap but not the summoning trap.]

The adventurers ran, recognizing the danger they were in. The air elemental chased them for over an hour before they were able to lose it [they spent a token to avoid the fight]. After making camp, the group had some discussion as to whether or not they could take on the air elemental with what skills they had, it was agreed that they needed Mog (to soak damage) and Sal Ty (for magical support) before continuing.

The next morning they broke camp and started their return to Iron Keep. They promptly got lost in the tall grasses of the plains, fighting another giant scorpion while trying to work out their actual location. They finally made it to the coast and camped. The next day, forced to the coast to avoid some marshes, the group was attacked by a group of 11 skum, which charged out of the surf to attack the group. While several of the adventurers were wounded, none were in serious trouble and the skum were defeated. Pushing on to their very limits, the group made the Iron Keep at sundown. [Su Bel, Khallas, and Agnes all leveled at this point.]

The group made a short excursion the following day to the Woodcutter's Camp, finding it occupied by woodcutters harvesting timber for use as support beams in the mines. They talked with the men working there, asking what creatures they might have seen. Apparently, the area had been quiet, so the adventurers headed off into the Edgewood looking for quarry. Khallas was able to find tracks from a giant stag beetle and the group quickly killed it. They then returned to Iron Keep, avoiding the need to camp in the forest. [Tycho leveled at this point, which was the whole point of their hunting expedition.]

Agnes was able to get reasonable prices on the broadswords and armor the group was able to take off the skeletal champions, turning a small profit on the expedition.

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