Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 52 – Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass

Session 52 happened Tuesday, November 8, 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 our DM.  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)
Asmo (male halfling sorcerer)

[In game, this session only lasted an hour or so, with little time for Harkaitz to make notes in his diary.  As a result, this entry is a bit sketchy on when it was written.  “Why?” you may ask?  Wait until you get to the end and you’ll see…]

Evening, August 4, Year of the Earth Rabbit [Maybe]
Praise Ra, who protects fools.

If the vampire was close, we missed it.

After catching our breaths and quickly checking the boneyard for valuables (we found a variety of gold items worth 3,000 in gold coin), we pressed into the next chamber.  Beyond was a small room with a door on the far side and a passage leading back along the wall, hidden from the door we were entering through.  Elspeth checked around and found no traps, but we all felt an oppressive atmosphere to the area.  Down the side passage was a desecrated altar to Ra.

This was unpardonable.  The lich and his cronies have infiltrated and perverted many sites holy in the eyes of Ra, but this was too far.  Sarisvati cleansed the altar and re-consecrated it to Ra, dispelling the unholy aura and re-establishing the magnificence of Ra.  We then pressed on to the next chamber.

It was quite odd and suspicious.  It was rectangular and about 100 ft long by 30 ft wide.  There was a perforation in the floor, outlining a five foot area around the room.  The floor inside this perforation appeared solid and had a 10-foot square with a perforated border in the center of it with a small stand.  There were no apparent enemies.

Elspeth took the time to thoroughly search the outer ledge for traps and then the inner area, finding no traps.  Investigating the stand in the center square, we found a lever with three settings – it was in the center setting.  I tried to move the lever before thinking it all the way through, but it was locked in place.  We located the key hole and thought for certain the two-piece key we had acquired would fit.  We were wrong in two ways: it did not fit and we only had one part of the key – Wednesday has the other half!

Luckily, the lock was not beyond the skills of Elspeth, who disengaged the lock expertly.  I then moved the lever down to the lower position.  The floor around the 10-foot square area in the center moved back and retracted into the side walls below the 5-foot ledge around the edge.  Elspeth, Macha, Tre-ba, Estrela (in bat form), and myself were lowered on the center square 100 ft to a lower level.

The shaft was 40 ft wide and ended in a square chamber of matching width.  The platform was surrounded by a 10-foot gap between it and a 5-foot wide ledge.  The gap appeared to be bottomless.  I tested this by dropping a copper piece.  The copper piece hit floor immediately – the pit was an illusion!  This was a relief as I was not looking forward to attempting a jump in my armor.  As we looked around, the others made their way down using rope or fly or running down the walls (monks!).

There was only one door out and there was a plaque beside it, warning we were about to face six trials: The Trial of Stone, The Trial of Fire, The Trial of Air, The Trial of Water, The Trial of Darkness, and The Trial of Speed.  Only one of us could face each trial and we could only face one trial each.  After some discussion, we set our order as follows:

The Trial of Stone to be faced by Tre-ba
The Trial of Fire to be faced by Sarisvati
The Trial of Air to be faced by Estrela
The Trial of Water to be faced by Midnight
The Trial of Darkness to be faced by Harkaitz (myself)
The Trial of Speed to be faced by Frankie

The Trial of Stone

Tre-ba entered the first room.  It was a 30 ft by 40 ft room with a door in the south wall (she entered at the far end of the east wall).  Fifteen feet in was a summoning circle made of two intertwined squares inscribed on the floor.  There was nothing else.  Elspeth checked the door.  She found it untrapped and unlocked, but it would not move.  After we all stepped out of the room but Tre-ba, she stepped into the circle.  We saw a wall of force shimmer into existence between us and her and nothing else, until she started reacting as if struck by some invisible force.  After a bit, the force wall dropped and she staggered out of the circle, clearly injured.  The far door opened of its own accord.

What Tre-ba saw was entirely different.  To her, when she stepped into the circle and the wall of force appeared, the room itself expanded to twice its size and she was able to move freely.  In the room were now four statues, which animated and attacked her.  She used an elixir of fly to get above the statues, but they levitated up to her.  She flew away from them and drank an elixir of stone skin as they were hitting her with ease and she needed to stop the damage she was taking.  Then she started throwing acid bombs at them.  Each statue took two bombs to destroy, but as they could only levitate while she could fly, she was able to stay out of their grasps and destroy them all.

Based on this, we decided to change up who would face each test.  Asmo would now face the Trial of Fire and Aziz would face the Trial of Water.  While Sarisvati and Midnight could survive the environments those trials suggested (respectively), neither could harm creatures of those realms.

The Trial of Fire

Asmo entered the next room, which was physically identical to the first room with the exception of door placements.  It became obvious that the trial rooms circled the central shaft.  Asmo faced a large fire elemental in his trial, defeating it with cold spells.  He did not elaborate much further.  [This was an NPC-on-NPC fight.]

The Trial of Air

Estrela entered the Trial of Air expecting to face an air elemental in the same way Asmo had faced a fire elemental in the Trial of Fire.  Instead she faced a roc in the middle of an immense, treeless plain.  Faced with this unexpected opponent, she apparently panicked a bit and wildshaped into an air elemental when the roc started attacking.  Once she got her wits back about her, she was able to out maneuver it, switch back to her natural form, cast call lightning, and then switch back into an air elemental.  She then started up a whirlwind to ramp up the call lightning and out flew the roc, eventually killing it with lightning bolts from the sky.

The Trial of Water

Aziz was given waterbreathing by Tre-ba, I gave him freedom of movement, and he received haste from a wand before stepping into the circle for this trial.  He faced a “snake lady” (what we eventually worked out to be a lamia matriarch).  As he described it, he dashed “to and fro, bravely striking many a blow until she was undone.”  He then pinched Tre-ba on the rear.  Really.  In addition to inflicting heavy wounds, the lamia matriarch apparently drained off much wisdom.  A few lesser restorations healed up some of the wisdom loss.  Some.

The Trial of Darkness

When I entered the Trial of Darkness, the chamber was without light.  I expected this and immediately activated my nimbus of light.  This allowed me to see the bodak approach and attack.  Its touch drained me of vitality and I became less puissant.  I decided to power my way through this and continually channeled positive energy into the area around me, quickly burning up the bodak with the glory of Ra.

The Trial of Quickness

Frankie Hu faced four quicklings in this trial.  With his boots of speed he cornered them one after the other, unleashing a furious cascade of blows from his fists, elbows, and feet.  The trial did not last long.  When it finished, the final door opened.  The last chamber contained the Uskar Gate, surrounded by dark glyphs of power, twisting its energies in an attempt to free the Nightshade.

It also contained the lich.

*End of Session*

[This was our 52nd session, and after a year of excellent gaming and growth by the DM-in-Training, we had a party on Sunday to celebrate the game and toast the DM.  We ate great pizza from an awesome shop nearby and played boardgames (to give the DM a break).  We had both the weekday group and the weekend group in attendance (sadly missing Luna’s player) so folks could meet each other as both groups had a person that was had never met the other group.  We also told stories of what each group had been up to since splitting in Orzimar 9 sessions ago.  A good time was had by all.]

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