Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dyson’s Delve – Session 15 – Mystery at the Museum

This session happened Tuesday, February 22, 2011.  This campaign used the Dyson’s Delve dungeon pages on A Character for Every Game as a starting point, but has now moved on to new material from the DM-in-training.

Adventuring Group:
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)
Wednesday (female elf rogue)
Sahar (female human fighter)
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Luna (female elf sorcerer)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)

Having arrived at the city of Terranor, capital of the Kingdom of Abaloft, the adventurers secured rooms at the Murdered Manticore, an inn whose theme they could get behind.  Short John was let go on his own recognizance with the admonition to check in each morning and evening as he was still on the payroll until the end of the week.  The adventurers then discussed where they might try to sell their sarcophagus lid and how they wanted to approach it.  There was serious (and not-so-serious) discussion about the group’s name.  “Super Rat” was well and good when dealing with goblins, but here in a human kingdom, it would not be as impressive and would likely reduce what wealth could be realized from the sale of the sarcophagus lid.  Several alternate names were discussed, but none of them quite worked, so it was decided to go without a group name unless/until it became necessary.  Unless the sheriff was a goblin, then we’d introduce ourselves as Super Rat in his native tongue.  It could happen.

Harkaitz, Wednesday, and Tre-ba then made their way to the Royal University as their first likely prospect.  Once on campus, the trio asked around and were eventually pointed to the College of History.  There they learned that a Doctor Walsh was in charge of antiquities, but he would not be back for a week.  Harkaitz made an appointment anyway, asking that any response be sent to the local Temple of Ra.

[Pro Tip: When the DM chose the name of the NPC we would have to deal with, he did not realize that he had chosen my last name by accident.  This led to me giving him a look when he told us the doctor’s name and him not knowing why I reacted as I did, until my wife clarified things by asking about it.  This is a danger of picking real world names for your NPCs, especially if you don’t know the full names of all the players at the table.]

Having made arrangements at the University, Harkaitz led Wednesday and Tre-ba to the local Temple of Ra to make arrangements there.  After querying an acolyte (named “Chuck”), the trio were introduced to the high priest of the temple, Beckett.  Harkaitz asked if it would be acceptable if he had correspondence for him sent to the temple (it was) and if there was anything he could do to help the temple while he was in town.  Beckett suggested that investigating and resolving some trouble at the Royal Museum in the temple’s name would be appreciated.  Harkaitz agreed to look into the situation and resolve it if it was in his power to do so.

[A note about the museum: The DM adapted the kind of things you would find in a museum today and cast them through a D&D filter to achieve what we ended up facing.  As a result, it is kind of odd, but makes sense at a core level.]

After picking up the rest of the group from the Murdered Manticore, the adventurers went to the city museum.  There they found the sheriff and his deputies blocking of the museum.  The museum was an odd collection of buildings set on a large, semi-open parcel of land.  It very much stood out against the otherwise crowded city.  Harkaitz accosted one of the deputies and asked for the person in charge.  He was directed to Sheriff Reynolds.  The sheriff (who, sadly, was not a goblin) was willing to let the adventurers investigate the three deaths in the museum as it meant he could keep (most) of his men safe outside the museum.  The letter of introduction from the High Priest of the Temple of Ra did not hurt either.

After a very brief explanation of the situation (three people dead by three different means in a museum with magically animated exhibits), the adventurers entered the museum with two deputies to keep them honest (Reynolds and Reynolds - no relation).  The museum was divided into four sets of exhibits: Nature, Science, History, and Pre-History.  Of the four, there had not been a death in the Nature branch, so the adventurers started there under the assumption that the killer(s) were smart enough to not kill near where they rested.

After moving through all seven rooms in the Nature wing, each dedicated to a different environment, it was in the first room of the History section where a problem appeared.  This room contained two sarcophagi, which Harkaitz suspected blocked his detect magic spell, so he opened one – and was immediately grabbed and slammed by the mummy within, contracting a very unfortunate case of mummy rot in the process [-1 CON, taking him down to 9, and -5 to CHA, also taking him down to 9 - I hammed it up].  During the fight, a second mummy also animated and the adventurers had to work hard to avoid being double-teamed.  Luckily for the other adventurers, Harkaitz was the only one to contract the mummy rot, something he felt he could cure the following dawn.  The effects of the cursed disease did creep out Reynolds and Reynolds, who nearly fled upon seeing Harkaitz’s now very unseemly face.

In discussion after the fight, Reynolds and Reynolds offer up that the sarcophagi were part of a new exhibit.  Seeing a possible solution to the mystery, the adventurers asked about what other exhibits were new.  Reynolds and Reynolds offered up that there was a new stone exhibit in the Science wing, which was near where two of the deaths occurred.  The adventurers rushed to get to that room to see if it was interfering with the older exhibits and causing them to attack.

Just prior to achieving the room they sought, the adventurers were passing through a room with three animated dog statues, each made of a different metal.  Then the dogs went berserk and attacked the adventurers.  The adventurers had learned to hate animated statues back in the Delve and this fight confirmed their dislike of the infernal things.  This was a hard fight, hard enough that several fireballs were dropped into the room, knowing that members of the party would be caught in the blasts and trusting in their ability to evade the effects (Frankie and Wednesday) or having enough fire resistance to deflect most of the damage (Harkaitz due to the fire domain).

In Wednesday’s case, this trust was misplaced and she took the brunt of an early fireball.  Heavily wounded and ineffective against the constructs, she withdrew to a previous room, attempting to work out how to use the mechanical tentacle device [think Doc Ock's arms] there so she could fight the mechanical dogs.  She did eventually work it out, but the fight was over by then.

With the group injured and demoralized after the fight with the animated mechanical dogs, the adventurers withdrew from the museum.  They reported their findings and suspicions to the sheriff and returned to the Murdered Manticore to rest.  The next morning, Harkaitz cured himself of the mummy rot and healed his companions of their wounds.

*End of Session*

[This session was interesting, but also a test in patience.  The DM-in-training had set a 1-in-4 chance of each display going berserk and attacking.  We made it through eight rooms before the attack was triggered in the mummy room.  This led us to believe we had the answer to the problem, which we will likely find to be erroneous in the next session.  Our recommendation to the DM-in-training was to not rely on the dice so much and make an event happen earlier next time.  Eight rooms of nothing was tiring to the players and ate up a lot of game time.]

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