[In-game November 23rd – The Delvers continue exploring the moon base.]
[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement. This session happened November 9, 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
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
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
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 23rd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Delvers continued catching their breath after the fight with the two Black Gem Skeletons. Once he was no longer panting quite as hard, Ricky started looking through the bookshelf in the room. Amongst two shelves of light reading [elven westerns – imagine a cowboy story written by a Victorian Briton who had westerns explained to him by a visiting American but who had not actually read any] were three books on summoning magic and one on magical summoning/containment circles.
- The Journal of Revised Abjuration
- The Catalogue of Summoning
- Grimoire of Western Temples
- Illuminated Inscriptions of Forlorn Magic
Jala and Ricky then investigated the desk in the office. There were two drawers on the left side and the desk was locked and appeared to be trapped. Jala attempted to disable the trap, but it was complicated and she instead set it off. There was a “woomph” noise and then smoke started leaking out of the desk drawers. The trap was apparently designed to incinerate whatever was inside the desk, but with no burnable air… Jala set to picking the lock.
Once the desk was unlocked, Jala carefully opened the top drawer. Inside were some slightly singed documents in a loose stack. Ricky stepped up to evaluated the papers and the safety of moving them. The documents were very fragile and Ricky decided that the best way to safely move them was to pull out the entire drawer.
In the process of helping Ricky remove the drawer, Jala ended up under the desk and noticed a well-hidden button. Pushing it released a concealed lap drawer from the desk. Jala pulled the lap drawer out. In a custom space was a device shaped like the grip and flight groove of a hand crossbow, but without the tension limbs a string would connect to [and no string]. Zarek cast Detect Magic and saw that the device was imbued with invocation magic, some form of lightning magic to Zarek’s educated eyes. It was clearly a weapon, so the group decided to not test it in the small room.
Finished investigating the office and with everyone rested, the group left the room and examined the remaining door on this floor. Clarence cast Sense the Unholy again to verify there were no undead nor demons in the next room. The door needed a card key to open and Jala could find no traps on it, so she unlocked the door and backed away. Ricky opened it.
The room beyond was completely dark, which was unusual for the moon base. Ricky cast Darkvision and could then see that the room was thirty feet square with a very ornate circle inscribed in the center of the room on the floor. Ricky took a moment to memorize what he was seeing and then pulled the door closed. He then went over to a corner and pulled out Illuminated Inscriptions of Forlorn Magic, his recently found book on magic circles. Carefully flipping through the book, he discovered that the circle was comprised of three different circles listed in the book. All three are extremely potent summoning and binding circles – for use against deities or major demons kind of stuff. After he informed the group of this, Jala verified the door locked when Ricky closed it. If the clearly active circle still contained something, none of the Delvers wanted anyone else accidentally letting it loose.
With nothing further to explore on this level, the Delvers made their way down the stairs. The stairs were steep and descended thirty feet. At the bottom of the steps was one end of a hallway with the open stairs facing that end. The hallway went from the end in front of the delvers and past the stairs to areas behind them. A panel of with some sort of controls was on the wall to the left of the lowest step at shoulder height. Past the open railing on the right of the stairs, a side passage off the main hallway could dimly be seen. There was also no light.
Vorgand studied the panel on the wall. There were two large buttons and some smaller ones. She pressed one of the two large buttons and nothing happened. She then pressed the other large button and suddenly the lower level was completely lit! The Delvers could now see two doors on either side of the side passage to their right.
Clarence was asked to cast Sense the Unholy again to verify there were no undead down here. Instead of an “all clear”, Clarence reported four more skeletons, off to the right. The Delvers became alert again. They stepped off the stairs and walked to the right, around the staircase and into the side passage. In the side passage, Clarence cast again and reported that there were two skeletons on either side of the passage and they seemed to be isolated to one per room. The Delvers were encouraged by this.
The Delvers prepared for a fight. Zarek adjusted his attack spell [made it Burst Fire and Armor Piercing]. Clarence cast Shield of Faith on himself, Vorgand, and Ricky. Nick prepared the Wand of Wind while Jala took a swig of her Potion of Speed. Jala also drew the odd weapon from the desk upstairs, seeing an opportunity to test it.
Ricky pushed open the first door on the left. Behind it was a moderate bedroom with a single bed, a table with two chairs, and a chest. Lying on the bed was a skeleton with a black gem in its forehead. Ricky immediately successfully cast Dark Leeching on the skeleton, weakening it. As the skeleton started to react, Jala pointed the odd weapon as if it were a hand-crossbow at the skeleton’s gem and pulled the trigger. A bolt of lightning jumped from the weapon and hit the skeleton, shattering the gem and blowing off half the skeletons skull with it! Zarek floated over Jala and cast his attack spell, which finished off the skeleton.
Suspecting that the noise of the lightning pistol might draw the other three skeletons, the Delvers rushed to the next door on the left…except Jala, who stayed to search the room. She had no protective magic on her like the others and wanted nothing more to do with the combat.
Ricky opened the door on the next room. It was another moderate bedroom, but the skeleton was just sitting up. Ricky cast Dark Leeching on it. Clarence cast Sacred Fire but failed to connect, setting the bed on fire [it quickly went out due to the unbreathable (no oxygen) air]. Vorgand rushed in and attacked with her rapier, shattering the black gem. Zarek cast and hit the skeleton, but it was still moving. Nick attempted to grab it with the Wand of Wind but failed. In response to the attacks, the skeleton rose to its feet, stalked across the room, and hit a red button on the wall. This triggered a klaxon and flashing red lights throughout the lower floor.
Nick tried again and grabbed the skeleton. Vorgand struck the held skeleton with the pommel of her sword, finally breaking it. At the same time, Clarence, still in the hall, called out that the other two doors were opening. A Black Gem Skeleton stepped out of each door and looked at the group down at the end of the passage.
In the ensuing fight, the Delvers fought hard against the skeletons. Jala stayed in the first room until the fighting ended, not believing the others when they told her she would be safe if she joined in the fight. [Her definition of safe was a little more absolute that the one used by the others.] Vorgand shattered the gems in the foreheads of the skeletons as only she had the accuracy to hit them directly. Eventually both skeletons were broken and the fight ended, leaving the Delvers panting hard from the effort but mostly uninjured due to their protective magics.
While recovering from their efforts, the group looked for a way to turn off the alarm klaxon. Pressing the red buttons again did not work. Vorgand eventually solved the problem by using the control panel at the foot of the stairs, turning the lights off and then back on, which deactivated the klaxon. Clarence cast Sense the Unholy again and verified there were no more undead.
The bedrooms had nothing of value in them. Zarek was disappointed as he was looking for a good pillow to make a bed out of. These were all flattened and lumpy with age.
The Delvers returned to the main hallway and continued exploring. The next chamber was a common room with comfortable chairs and various table games, including one Ricky had only ever read about called “billiards” that only elves played. There was also a dart board with a single dagger stuck in it. The dagger detected as magical, so Zarek took it for later investigation. Zarek also asked for the lightning pistol from Jala. Jala declined, saying she felt safer with it.
An adjoining room turned out to be a barracks. The Delvers took their time searching both rooms, but only came up with 14 ancient elven copper coins and some more Elven light reading books. There is some discussion about holding on to the coins for resale as antiques. Ricky packed away the books.
Using Vorgand’s strength and the Wand of the Wind, the Delvers packed up and moved the heavy billiards table plus all the equipment Ricky identified as necessary for playing the game. Jala also took the dart board, although there were no darts. Upstairs, the group took a rest. Zarek was able to talk Jala into letting him examine the lightning pistol. It had an indicator showing current charge and some sort of selector switch. Ricky read the elven script for the settings, but determined they were abbreviations and not words, so he was uncertain what they meant.
End of Session
[While the players decided to avoid the magic circle, and quite rightly I might add, I do know what is contained within it. It’s a spoiler and my players read this blog occasionally, so I can’t say what yet. The players also realized they should go back and investigate the other desks under the Moon Manor ruins for more hidden weapons. But first, it is time to investigate the strange boat in the hangar…]
[I was able to get this posting up in time, but only just. I’m at the point where I need to do some research and planning again for this campaign. The original plan was to stop after the PCs found the boat on the moon or the in-game calendar reached 1 Martius, however the players are enjoying the game and their characters, so they want to keep playing. That means I need to set up some larger areas for them to explore and set up a timetable of events that will happen on particular calendar dates as the PCs have put things in motion due to their actions. Evidence of that will start showing up soon. I just need to sit and think a bit more so it is coherent.]
UPDATE: Corrected date the game happened.