Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 51 – Mist, Fireballs, Statues, and Bone Heaps

Session 51 happened Monday, October 31, 2011.  Yes, we played D&D on Halloween.

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.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve as a beginning adventure.

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

Aziz of the Light (male human paladin, cohort of Harkaitz)
Sarisvati the Sun-touched (female Ifrit oracle, cohort of Aziz)
Midnight (female half-elf witch, cohort of Frankie Hu)
Macha (female human fighter, cohort of Elspeth)
Estrela (female Aasimar druid, cohort of Tre-Ba)
Short John Copper (male halfling expert, hireling)
The Red Keffiyehs (human warriors, followers of Harkaitz)
Carnish (male gnoll spellcaster of some sort)
Professor Walsh (male human expert)

Yet Later in the Afternoon, August 4, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, whose unblinking Eye watches over us.

I’m taking a moment to update my journal while Frankie and Tre-ba disassemble a wall so we can get to the passage beyond it.  I’ll explain that in a moment.

When we awoke from the effects of the nap stack, Macha informed us a small troop of five zombies wandered out of the desert and into the pyramid while we were sleeping.  There of course was no sign of the vampire.  At this time of year we should have another three hours of sunlight, so if we must, we can retreat out of the pyramid.  I prefer pushing through until we seal the gate.

When we re-entered the first chamber, the room still reeked of burned death and acid.  Interestingly, the remains of the bloody skeletons were no longer present.  I forgot to bless the remains so they could not be raised again.  A bit belatedly I blessed the rest of the remains to keep them down.

The back doors still led to two different hallways, but now we could take the time to look down them.  Both ended 25 feet down in a bank of mist.  Tre-ba went and investigated the mist down the corridor going left and determined the mist was a standing obscuring mist spell.  Large amounts of flame counters these, so I asked Asmo to drop a fireball down at the far end of this hallway.  He willingly did so.  Unfortunately, I had him throw it a bit far and a five-foot band of mist remained, obscuring our view.

It was my fault, so I went and stepped through to verify the fireball worked.  While walking through, I stepped on a triggering plate of some sort and I saw four statues animating when I reached the far side of the mist.  I immediately backpedaled through the mist warning everyone of the trap and the animating statues, calling for Frankie to step forward.  My voice did not break much.

When the animated statues came through the mist, Macha, Aziz, and Frankie were ready to fight them, backed by Tre-ba and Asmo using acid-based attacks.  Macha and her adamantine axe and Frankie and his adamantine fists started knocking the statues to rubble while Aziz held the line and kept the statues from breaking through.  In the process Aziz took several hits from the statues and I needed to use the wand or cure serious wounds to heal him and keep him in the fight [5 charges left].

After the first statue was destroyed, Macha and Frankie leap-frogged each other down the hallway, destroying the acid weakened statues one after another.  Midnight and Sarisvati healed up Macha once all the statues were destroyed, but Aziz waved off their healing (for the moment).

At the end of the hallway was a chamber (now slightly scorched) with half-columns and placed for statues (now missing).  There was a door in the back, which Elspeth checked and pronounced clear of traps.  The room beyond had no other doors and was full of stacked treasure.  To say we were suspicious is an understatement.  We checked for magic and it all radiated illusory magic.  Investigating more closely, Tre-ba was able to identify it all as the product of the major creation spell.  A few hours outside of the pyramid and it would evaporate into the thin air from whence it was created.

After a search for concealed passages (and apparently finding none – I’ll get back to that), we reversed course and went down the hallway leading to the right.  This time I had Asmo place the fireball five feet closer and all the mist was eliminated.  Elspeth checked for traps but found none.  Suspicious, we edged further down the hall.  The room at the end was a mirror of the other room (but no animated statues).  The room behind it was also full of “treasure”.  This was all made of fool’s gold.  Again, there were no doors or concealed passages.

Find the path would have been a very useful blessing here, but I am not strong enough to cast two wind walks and it in the same day.  Additionally, as a cleric of Ra, I am granted the blessings of Ra at dawn and the sun had not set on today yet.  So we started checking and rechecking the rooms and passages.  After a thorough (and time consuming) search, Elspeth noticed something in the illusory treasure room that Frankie had missed – a line of missing mortar along the floor at the back.  This was the path the vampire must have taken in mist form.

Investigating further, we were able to determine there is a passage behind the wall.  Tre-ba is carefully pouring acid on the mortar of the stones covering the passage while Frankie pulls out the freed stones.  The smell is particularly acrid and the process is slow.

It’s done.

[In hurried writing]
Beyond the wall was a series of short passages separated by doors.  The floor of one chamber was covered in bones and one of the doors along the way was trapped.  The chamber we are in now is also covered in bones, but some of these were skeletons in hiding, including a skeletal dragon!  We spotted them with detect magic and held position in the door.  Tre-ba threw some acid bombs in, I activated my nimbus of light, and Sarisvati cast blessings of fervor.  These actions drew their attention and they rose from the bone piles.  Four of the skeletons burst into flames and three started oozing blood.  My joy knew definite bounds.

We bottle-necked the door and slowly destroyed the skeletons, including the skeletal dragon.  Aziz was heavily injured and nearly fell.  We are taking a moment to catch our breath and heal.  Then we push on – the vampire and the gate should be very close now.

*End of Session*

[Our 52nd session is coming up next week.  This makes one year of weekly game sessions.  Our DM-in-training is no longer a newbie nor in training.  To celebrate, we will be getting together on the 11th, almost exactly one calendar year from when we started, for a pizza party and social get together.

While I miss the dungeon delve we started in (I’m an explorer at heart), I’ve greatly enjoyed the campaign so far and look forward to continuing on.  As a group we discussed what we wanted to do after the Ra-Saves-the-World story arc.  The consensus is that we want to keep on with the same characters but put someone other than my characters (Harkaitz/Aziz/Sarisvati) as the center of the plot.  I seconded the motion as I’ve hogged the spotlight for long enough – time for someone else to shine.

I think the one thing I’d like to see is time passing a bit more.  When I started making the adventure logs Harkaitz’s journal entries it was April in-game and we had already finished the Dyson’s Delve arc in the campaign.  It is now just August 3rd in-game and we’ve gone up something like 7 levels (soon to be 8) in 4 months.  That’s a pretty good clip and our characters must be getting a bit frayed around the edges.  I’m thinking that we should be allowed to take the winter off after saving the world from complete destruction.  I’m just saying…]

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