[November 16th – An accounting of the behir treasure and then…to the Moon!]
[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement. This session happened October 5, 2020.]
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy
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
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
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
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
Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild
Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford
Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo
Yggsday, November 16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
After a quick lunch, the Delvers set to counting and identifying the treasure they had just stolen from the behir. It took them an hour to count the coins and assess the other items. While they were doing this, they discussed how they wanted to organize the guild. They discussed seniority levels, the requirements and responsibilities of those levels, how expedition shares would be done, and how to test applicants. [I’ll post their rough draft as a blog entry on Thursday.]
The short version of the treasure:
- 20,000 gold coins
- 1,1600 platinum coins
- 11 pieces of elven art, average value of 2000 gold coins each
- A jade ring, an Adarcer scepter, a set of gold Earrings of Communication, a mithril set of Earrings of Communication
- 26 gems of various types ranging in value from 50 gold coins to 1000 gold coins
- 20 gold ingots worth 500 gold coins each
- Sash of Valiance [magic item]
- Rope of Entanglement [magic item]
- Skygazer Mirror [magic item]
After sorting and counting the treasure, the magic items were identified and parceled out. The mithril Earrings of Communication seemed to have an additional function that the gold ones do not have, but it seemed to require a trigger, so Zarek could not work out what the function was. Vorgand claimed the mithril earrings, giving her gold ones to Zarek while Nick got the “new” pair. All of the Delvers now had a pair of the magic earrings and can explore areas without breathable air [secondary function of the earrings – self-contained breathing]. Vorgand also ended up with the Sash of Valiance [+5 STR with weapons only, +5 PRE, +1 level with any weapon]. Jala claimed the Rope of Entanglement [5d6, 5 DEF Entangle (Area of effect-5” Radius, Selective; Does not block attacks, Cannot form barriers, Does not prevent use of Accessible Foci)] as all agreed she would make best use of it. Ricky claimed the Skygazer Mirror to common accord [Detect Weather, Discriminatory, +3 if outside].
The Delvers decided that it would draw too much attention if they tried to haul all the loot back to town as is. They needed to get containers they could pack things in and lock or secure somehow so none of it was stolen in transit. In the meantime, they decided to store it all on the moon where only they could get ahold of it.
Zarek powered up the portal and set the control cubes to the moon. The Delvers picked up as much of the treasure as they could carry [Nick using the Wand of Winds to move one of the laden chests as well] and lumbered through the portal to the moon. The moon rocks the gate area was covered with crunched deeply as they slowly walked over to the nearby structure.
[NOTE: This is different from how the moon gate arrival area was described in Session 11 as the gate is no longer inside the structure but in a courtyard area in front of the structure. This happened because I didn’t read my old notes closely enough after the time spent playing the Shattered Star Adventure Path, Book 1. This revised description is canon as the moon gravel being inside the structure makes no sense to me now. Also, please note the moon has gravity equal to the campaign world because fantasy game.]
Vorgand ducked back to the Moon Manor side of the portal and took a torch from one of the Torchbearers. She walked through with the torch lit. Once on the moon side, the flames nearly died immediately, flickered for a couple of seconds, and then died completely, giving off a thin stream of smoke. The air the magic earrings provided did not include the torch, which was good to know.
Clarence cast Sense the Unholy and detected three shadow types and two skeleton types of undead. The shadows seemed to be in a part of the structure off to the left and the skeletons in the far chamber. Clarence recalled that the area to the left was behind a jammed door and the far chamber was a living area of some sort [and source of the couch the Delvers made use of in the portal room]. Clarence shared all this information with the rest of the group.
Vorgand wanted to clear out the undead to make exploring safer. She had the other delvers wait and walked a circuit around the structure to see if there was more than one entrance, particularly to see if there was a direct entrance to the room with the skeletons. She walked around the X-shaped building to the right [counter-clockwise]. There were no additional doors on the ends of the garden supply room [as identified by Jala and Clarence] nor the living quarters [where the skeletons were]. The last part of the structure [where the shadows were] had a large set of doors that looked like they slid into each other [hangar-style doors]. She relayed this to the rest of the group and finished her circuit around the structure.
Jala pulled out a control card and opened the entrance to the X-shaped structure. There was a small vestibule with a second door inside. The Delvers had seen this setup before and piled in. Jala closed the outer door and opened the inner door [which would not have opened if the outer door was still open]. The Delvers staggered into the first room and started setting down the treasure they were carrying next to the raised boxes holding dead plant beds. They spent the next ten minutes ferrying the rest of the treasure from the Moon Manor portal room to this room.
Nick and Zarek changed their spells to effect incorporeal things so they could handle the shadows. [Which would have worked in D&D, but in Fantasy HERO shadows are not default incorporeal, something I missed initially when Clarence made his skill check.] The group then opened the doorway out of the room, which was another airlock, and entered the central hub room of the structure. This room was circular with four airlock-style doors equally spaced around the room. There were raised plant beds against the wall between the doors with no living plants in them. Vorgand attempted to light the torch to see if the interior of the structure held breathable air being kept in by the airlocks. The torch burned feebly for a bit and then went out. The Delvers were disappointed.
The group attempted to open the door to their left, to the room with the shadows. The door moved slightly but would not open. At first the Delvers were puzzled, but then realized this meant that the other door of the airlock was stuck open and this door could not open. Jala pulled down her shadow veil from inside her hood and peered through the shadows inside the airlock. She could see the interior of the airlock and a planter from the main room pulled to block the other door from closing. She asked Ricky to shadow jump and help her move the planter so everyone could access the next room. Ricky cast his Tricky Ricky spell, turning himself invisible, before casting his shadowwalking spell [whose name escapes me at the moment] to enter the room beyond the airlock. Jala shadowjumped into the airlock itself.
Ricky reported the room beyond was boat storage with a single sailing ship of elven design taking up most of the room. He then helped Jala move the planter back into the room, clearing the door to close, which it did. Jala opened the outer door and the rest of the Delvers stepped in. Ricky reported that the shadows were moving towards the door. When Jala cycled the airlock doors, the shadows moved directly in front of the door and prepared to attack.
Nick cast Wave Break on himself [his force field spell]. The shadows bellowed at the Delvers [Presence attack] and made them give pause [PRE+20: loss of a phase]. Zarek and Clarence were each hit by a shadow and Clarence dropped to the floor, his life essence mostly drained away. The third shadow sensed Ricky and was able to land a blow against the invisible mage. [Perhaps Ricky’s use of shadow magic drew the shadow?]
Jala pushed her shadowjump spell to its limits and pulled Clarence through the shadow plane back to the central hub of the building. She continued to watch the battle by peering through the shadows from the hub to the boat area. The Delvers fought hard against the shadows, concentrating their attacks against one shadow at a time. Zarek and Nick modified their spells to be more effective. As the fight progressed, Zarek was hit a second time and went down. Jala shadowjumped in and retrieved the fox, laying him next to the barely conscious Clarence.
Vorgand was the first of the Delvers to strike a killing blow on one of the shadows. She yelled at the remaining two to get their attention on her and not her more-easily-hit companions [Presence attack] and was successful. Clarence prayed to the gods for aid and receive inspiration for a new prayer. [I allowed him to spend unspent experience points on a new spell with a successful Power roll (roll on the Power skill, which is the one required by all magic spells).]
After Dark Leeching multiple times, Ricky caused a second shadow to evaporate to nothingness. Nick drew his Wand of Wind and used it to temporarily hold the last shadow. This allowed Vorgand to use her multiattack for the first time. She put everything into the attack, hitting an astounding seven times! This shredded the shadow to tattered pieces and it evaporated.
Vorgand pulled the airlock shut, allowing her to reopen the door back to the hub where Clarence and Zarek were feebly clinging to life. [Clarence's new prayer was weak as he only has two saved experience point. He was not able to get a lot of dice of Aid, but was able to keep Zarek from getting worse.] Vorgand let them hold her sword, which started repairing the damage done by the shadow’s life draining attacks [a secondary effect of its Healing power].
End of Session
[The treasure list might seem generous to the reader, but I decided recently that this campaign is for fun and the PCs are already a bit OP, so why be stingy on the treasure? I did choose the magic items that were there to be things the PCs would want and would survive in a desert environment. I deselected things that the behir would not have kept around, like magic weapons that could be used to kill them and such. The sash and rope were used as packing material for the other loot, which fit the background narrative.]
[I forgot that in the Hero System, the default is everything is corporeal unless they buy the power Desolidification as Always On and Persistent. This is dumb and only makes sense for creatures that usually solid but have a power that lets them not be. I think I’m going to have a default setting for all creatures that is either Corporeal or Non-corporeal as their default existence. If they are non-corporeal, they have to spend points on advantages to effect the solid world. Corporeal creatures must make use of the Effects Desolid. Advantage to interact with the non-corporeal.]