Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Ratpack – Session 04

[The ratfolk adventurers finish searching the siege castle but get burned along the way.  Also, Winston is back!]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 18, 2019.]

Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 1st level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 1st level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 1st level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 1st level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 1st level Gunslinger

Non-Player Character
Balenar Foresend – male human bard, member of the Pathfinder Society and freed hostage

Day 1
Late afternoon (Immediately after the fight with the troglodyte druid)
The ratfolk adventurers searched the body of the dead troglodyte druid and found two keys attached to its belt.  Zitch cast detect magic again and detected some inside the chest.  Neither key from the dead troglodyte fit the lock, but the chest turned out to not be locked.  Inside were:

  • 1 cold iron short sword
  • 15 cold iron shuriken
  • 2 vials containing identical non-magical liquid
  • 2 vials containing 2 different magical liquids
  • 1 wand that detected as magic
  • 1 amethyst
  • 247 gold coins

Templeton identified the non-magical liquids as high quality acid.  He and Zitch were able to identify one of the magical liquids as a potion of cat’s grace, but could not identify the other potion.  The amethyst was assessed as being worth 100 gold coin.

Marativy and Winston searched the veranda surrounding the fifth floor and found nothing but the shocker lizard sunning it self in the winter daylight [we learned that it was late winter from the DM this session].  The rest of the group spent a lot of time going over the throne looking for a key hole or any other hidden feature.  This turned out to be a waste of time.  As he and Marativy finished their search of the veranda well before the rest of the group finished their search of the throne, he spent the remaining time skinning the albino alligator.

It now being late in the day, the entire group returned to the second floor of the siege castle and set up camp in the south tower.  For some added security, the door to the east tower was wedged shut with some pitons, as was the door from the east tower to the north tower [from the north tower side].  Two-hour watches were set in this order: Zitch, Templeton, Winston, Roscuro, and finally Marativy.  While the bard seemed trustworthy, the ratfolk had just met him and were not quite ready to trust their lives with him.

Day 2
Over breakfast, the ratfolk made plans for investigating the locked third floor.  They believed that the switch located in the room they were camping in might connect to whatever mechanism kept Marativy from picking the lock to the third floor [she had been able to pick every other lock in the siege castle so this seemed possible].

The ratfolk packed up their camp.  Marativy stayed on the second floor while the rest climbed the knotted rope from the second-floor landing to the third-floor landing in the central stairwell.  Once the group was arrayed in front of the third-floor door, Zitch cast message and told Marativy the group was in position.  She flipped the switch and replied through the message that she had done so.  [The message spell allows the caster to send a secure message to a recipient within 100 feet and then get a reply.]

Up on the third floor, there was no observable effect to the switch being flipped.  Roscuro tried the keys taken off the troglodytes and one of them unlocked the door.  Zitch sent another message to Marativy that the group had unlocked the door and she should come up.  She replied she was on her way.  As she exited the south tower and entered the armory [the west tower, 2nd floor], a crossbow trap discharged at her.  Her reflexes were good enough to dodge the bolt.  She returned to the south tower, turned the switch off, and returned to the armory.  This disabled the self-reloading crossbow trap.  She reported this information to the other adventurers when she joined them on the third floor.

Roscuro opened the door to the third floor and peeked in.  The west tower and the south tower areas were joined to make one large chamber.  The chamber appeared to be a temple of sorts to Nethys.  There were two shrines or altars at either end of the figure 8 shaped room.  The southern area contained a white altar and rows of chairs facing it.  The western area had a black altar and some debris on the floor.

Roscuro asked Balenar what humans thought of Nethys.  The bard replied that Nethys was an old god still favored by wizards.  Nethys was dual-aspected, being a deity of protection and destruction.

Satisfied with that information, Roscuro slowly started approaching the black altar.  Winston and Marativy also entered the area, but Templeton, Zitch, and Balenar stayed in the stairwell.  About half way across the area Roscuro realized one pile of debris was actually two troglodyte corpses burned nearly to ash.  He immediately stopped and relayed this back to the others.  He then slowly and cautiously sidled forward another five feet.  There he could see a human skeleton in one corner and some words carved into the wall beside the black altar.

Roscuro sidled another five feet closer, which put him next to the altar.  He read the writing on the wall out loud to see if it had any meaning to the others.  Possibly coincidentally [that's my story and I'm sticking to it], the human skeleton in the corner and two others in the temple area animated and ignited with flames.  The skeletons were fast and the heat off them was intense, burning any ratfolk adjacent to them.  Taking the hint, the ratfolk fled the room as quickly as they could, with Zitch pulling the door closed once Roscuro, Marativy, and Winston cleared the room.  Roscuro and Marativy were burned, but not as badly as Winston [who was down to 2 hit points].  Balenar and Zitch used their healing magics on the burned ratfolk.

Not wanting to repeat that, the adventurers went to the last unexplored area, the first floor of the south tower.  The door to this area was blocked by rubble, which seemed normal as the siege castle had suffered an earthquake, but Roscuro was curious where the rubble had come from.  Looking around the door there was no obvious place the rubble would have fallen from as the ceiling was unmarred.  Strange.

Winston used his engineering knowledge to efficiently remove the rubble.  After a bit he noticed that, no matter how much rubble he moved, the rubble pile never got smaller.  Zitch cast detect magic and confirmed what Winston and Roscuro suspected – the rubble was an illusion!

Roscuro, Winston, and Zitch walked through the revealed doorway into the south tower.  Marativy, Templeton, and Balenar did not immediately see through the illusion but eventually saw past it and followed.

The south tower turned out to be a small library, containing books, scrolls, a reading chair, and a side table.  All of it looked fragile.  Zitch stated he had access to a mending spell and an identify spell, but needed time to commune with his patron.  While early in the day, this seemed the best option and was much preferred than attempting the temple of Nethys again.  The group made camp and the same watches were set.

Day 3
After an uneventful night, Zitch started casting.  He first identified the unknown potion, which turned out to be a potion of lesser restoration.  He then identified the wand as a wand of summon monster I with 9 charges left.  He then set to mending the reading chair [he wanted something comfortable to sit on while mending everything else].  This took several castings as the spell is weak and he had to mend each part separately.  He then mended the reading table and discovered a hidden drawer containing a wax stamp of the seal of the Band of the Phoenix [the group of adventurers that owned this siege castle several hundred years ago].

After that, Zitch started casting mend on the books.  As he finished with each book, Roscuro and Balenar skimmed it to learn what each contained.  The books fell into two categories: histories written 500 to 700 years ago and ledgers of jobs taken by the Band of the Phoenix and the details of what happened, how much the guild was paid, what was recovered, and other administrative details.  Roscuro took to reading the histories while waiting for the next book to be mended [I plan to spend a skill point at second level to buy a rank in Knowledge (History)].  Once the books were mended, Zitch cast mend on the scrolls.  These were maps and contracts [all dated 500 to 700 years ago].

While this time-consuming process was going on, Marativy, Templeton, and Winston started excavating the collapsed part of the stairwell.  Winston’s engineering skills paid off here, allowing the trio to move blocks larger than they normally could using ropes and improvised pulleys.  The stairs definitely continued down and they made noticeable progress clearing the steps by the end of the day, wearing out one of their ropes in the process.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[So the burning skeletons were a nasty surprise.  We are not certain how we are going to deal with them.  The library find was a great stash of knowledge, but not experience points.  In fact, we earned zero experience this session.  Second level is still a long way away for us.]

Session 01
Session 02
Session 03

Session 05

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