Friday, September 20, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 13 – Burning Down the House

[The Delvers face the effigies and choose discretion over valor.  Later they start desecrating an elven graveyard. What could go wrong?]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened September 9, 2019.]

Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Freysday, October 25th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
~3:00 PM
The Delvers prepared to face the three burning skeletons [see Session 12].  Zarek noticed that the skeletons had fiery apparitions attached to them and remembered a bit of monster lore he once read about an undead type known as effigies.  They were extremely dangerous and looking for new bodies to burn.  He called out a warning just as the effigies moved to attack.  One effigy attacked Vorgand [who had just swung on it] to attack, one moved to attack Clarence in the doorway, and the third threw a death glare at Zarek floating up out of its reach before turning and marching over to Jala and the torchbearers by the gate, striding over the stone rubble of the blown out wall and leaving burning footprints.

The effigy marching on Jala used its entire action to get to her.  The effigy attacking Clarence eschewed the use of the sword it held, instead reaching out with a burning hand.  Clarence was able to stay out of its reach [bad roll by the effigy].  Unfortunately for Vorgand, the one attacking her landed a solid blow in her solar plexus, knocking her unconscious in one blow [and stealing 10 STR from her].  Her armor held, mostly, and she avoided terrible burns, but flame stuck to her from the things touch.  [This indicated she was a valid target for the effigy’s Infusion (mind control) power.]

Nick showed no hesitation, using his saved action to step up…and grab Vorgand before running for all he was worth.  Jala and the torchbearers took the hint and bolted through the gate, Jal pushing to get to the control pedestal so she could pull the cubes once all the Delvers were back through.  Zarek was able to quickly fly across the cavern and through the gate, pushing his flight spell to make it safely.  Clarence and Nick (carrying Vorgand) raced for the gate, trying to get past the effigy waiting there.  Nick with a higher speed was able to get through the gate before the effigy could react, but Clarence was not as lucky.  As the effigy swung on him, Clarence dove through the gate…but not fast enough to avoid the burning touch of the effigy.  As he tumbled through the gate on fire, Zarek yelled out to Jala the team was clear and she yanked the control cubes off the pedestal, closing the gate!

The group took a rest.  The fires on Vorgand and Clarence winked out when the gate closed, but both were weakened from the touches and Vorgand was still unconscious.  Clarence cast a healing spell on himself and then Vorgand, which revived her.  They then took turns holding Vorgand’s magic sword, which restored the strength stolen by the effigies.  When everyone had caught their breath, a small group returned to the surface for some fresh pants [notably Harek].  Zarek followed as protection and noticed that it was after 3:00 from the position of the sun.  Clarence also updated his notes to indicate that gate location 2-6 was very dangerous.

Once everyone was back down under the Moon Manor Ruins, in the gate room, the Delvers quickly decided that the next location to explore should be the forest gate.  Zarek checked his notes and set the control cubes to location 3-2.  The gate opened showing a location deep inside a forest.  The Delvers cautiously stepped through the gate.

The forest air was cool and the forest was clearly very old from the heavy growth and the size of the trees.  Interspersed among the trees were pieces of marble and small structures.  Moving around and looking, the Delvers realized the forest was actually an ancient graveyard.  Ricky could see bits of High Elvish writing on the gravestones and some of the tombs, but they were heavily eroded and difficult to read.

Torsten also noticed the sun was higher than it was back at the camp.  Zarek agreed, believing it was closer to 1:00 here.  He and Ricky discussed the possibility that they had traveled in time or not and decided that they just didn’t have enough information to tell the difference.

While Zarek and Ricky were talking, Vorgand checked the gates control pedestal for control cubes and a power stone.  It was heavily overgrown, but after cutting away the growth, she was able to open the pedestal and found it empty.  This was a slight surprise as all the other gate locations the Delvers had explored still had their cubes.  There was some discussion on the need to get cubes from another location and bring them here, both to verify they would work and as a safety measure so the gate could be reopened from this side.

Jala, bored by this discussion and excited to explore, grabbed Harek by the elbow and dragged him along through the trees, looking for anything interesting.  After wandering for a bit, she found a large mass of vines covering a square area of forest floor.  Probing the mass of vines, she discovered there was a metal fence inside the vines, supporting the mass.  She used her magic dagger and cut through the vines, creating an entrance into the courtyard outlined by the wall of vines.  She and Harek squeezed in [Jala easier than Harek, who is reminiscent of Silent Bob].  Inside the courtyard was a tomb with a heavy amount of plant life growing on top of it in the foot-thick layer of plant debris resting on the roof.

Jala looked around and found the entrance to the tomb, but it was sealed with a large stone slab.  Jala had a crowbar, but this was a sledgehammer job.  Stymied, she decided to return to the rest of the group, much to Harek’s relief.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Delvers explored the area right around the gate, making note of the likely tombs to explore.  They chose one nearby the gate to start with, hoping that Jala would find them.  Ricky spent 20 minutes with a sledgehammer before the stone slab protecting the tomb broke up enough that the Delvers could enter.

Behind the slab were stairs leading down to a lower chamber.  Adopting the procedures of the adventurers she worked for at Barrowmaze, Vorgand threw a torch down the stairs to see what was illuminated and to see if any monsters attacked it.  When nothing attacked the torch, the Delvers assumed their standard marching order and entered the tomb, Vorgand warning them to check the ceiling as they entered the underground chamber.  This turned out to be wise as there was a grey ooze on the ceiling!  It dropped on Vorgand as she entered the chamber, but it was dead from various attack spells cast by Clarence and Ricky before it could harm her.

Looking around, the Delvers discovered 16 sarcophagi in niches in the walls, in two rows.  At this point Jala found the group and showed up in time to loot the sarcophagi.  The Delvers found a variety of treasure items spread amongst the sarcophagi.  [That I promised to detail at the beginning of the next session as I didn't have them ready yet.]

End of Session

[Sorry this was late – work has been very busy with four new projects kicking off two weeks earlier than planned.  Session 14 should be up on time as the sample game of Boot Hill I was going to play got postponed so the GM can finish prepping.  The city just had a tropical storm wander through the last three days, so no worries on the delay – I still need to get a copy of the rules and read them!]

Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12

Session 14

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