[In-game November 23rd – The Delvers investigate the strange boat on the moon, then back to the Underruins.]
[I was running behind getting this posted because my life was busy this past week, so it still needs a good edit. I’m posting it now to get it out there – I’ll edit it later this week.]
[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement. This session happened November 16, 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
Not Appearing in this Session
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, having hauled the “Billiards” table up from the lower level of the moon base, parked it in the hub. Getting it through the airlocks was time consuming and they were not certain if they were just going to store it with the other loot or take it back to the Moon Manor ruins. In the meantime, they wanted to explore the strange boat. Clarence cast Sense the Unholy to verify there were no undead lurking in the boat room. Once he declared the area safe, the Delvers went through the airlock doors from the hub to the boat room.
Having time to actually look at the boat and not fighting for his life, Nick recognizes the boat as elven in general. It had lateen sails and additional rigging on each side of the hull that looked like additional sails, which confused Nick until he realized they were folded back against the hull. Nick estimated that the ship could be handled by two trained sailors or four to five people who could take orders. He was not certain if the rest of the Delvers counted.
Zarek cast Detect Magic and looked around. The walls of the base structure detected as magical, as did the boat itself. Two panels on the walls, one near the large folding doors that made up the back wall of the chamber and one near the airlock doors. Zarek investigated the panel near the airlock doors and discovered it controlled the lights for the chamber. He then flew over to the panel near the backdoors of the chamber. These appeared to open and close something. He shared this information with the rest of the group. Vorgand walked over and pressed what she guessed was the “open” button [< >]. The back wall started folding onto itself in sections until most of it was open to the outside. Zarek then flew up to investigate the catwalks above the ship.
At the same time Zarek and Vorgand were investigating the panel that opened the back wall, Nick and Ricky climbed aboard the ship to investigate it. The main deck had a door at either end, one leading to the forecastle area, the other under the aft-deck. Shallow steps flanked the doors, leading up to each deck. A large hatch in the center of the deck appeared to offer access to the cargo area below decks. There were planters full of dead plants along the all the railings on all three decks and flanking the doors. Jala attempted to use her Shadow Veil spell to look around inside the ship, but there were no shadows for her to make use of.
While Zarek investigated the catwalks, Vorgand joined the others on the ship. The group on board decided to look for the captain’s quarters. The door to the area under the aft-deck seemed most likely so they opened that door. It opened on a narrow hallway that ran left and right the width of the ship, the walls of which were ornately carved. There were three doors on the opposite wall, equally spaced along that wall. Nick suggested that the center door was most likely to lead to the captain’s cabin. It had a panel on the wall that suggested they needed the card key to open it. Jala was called for as she had the group’s only key card. She checked the door for traps and then unlocked it with the card key.
Behind the door was a small room, about ten feet by ten feet. A fold down table was on the left wall. Ricky recognized the design and carefully lowered it. Behind it was a set of pigeonholes containing a half-dozen or so rolled up documents that Ricky was certain/hoping were maps or charts.
By this time Zarek had completed his investigation of the catwalks and found nothing of interest. He flew down to the ship while his Detect Magic spell was still active. He saw additional magics around the steering mechanisms. Once he was in the map room, he saw preservation magics on the various rolled up documents. Zarek randomly selected one of the rolled up documents and told Ricky to open it. Ricky, making use of his recently acquired knowledge on preserving ancient books carefully pulled it out and set it down on the table. He attempted to carefully roll it open…and broke off a slice two to three inches in width. [Everyone cringed.] Luckily the slice contained most of the map’s legend and part of the map itself. The map appeared to be of a city and the legend gave its name as Galad Othrond, which none of the Delvers had heard of before. Ricky recognized it as matching one of the names on the malachite orb.
With little to do in this room, Jala and Vorgand opened the door in the back, which opened to the captain’s quarters. The quarters took up the entire width of the ship and half the depth of the aft-deck area. Large windows made of stained glass made up the back wall and every wooden surface was beautifully carved. The stained glass windows showed a woodland scene with strange trees that the Delvers had only seen once before – painted on the walls of a elven tomb. A large comfortable bed was on one side of the room, anchored to the floor, and a large desk and some chairs on the other. Two large sea chests with locking mechanisms in the shape of rose blossoms were also latched down to the floor. Jala took some time attempting to unlock one of the sea chests, but the lock was exceptionally complex and of a type she had never seen before. Five minutes later she thought she had it, but she triggered a mechanism that sealed the lock off for a period. Jala switched over to the other chest and started to pick its lock, taking her time.
Zarek, Ricky, and Nick made their ways into the cabin and the group started searching the entire room. Zarek noticed one of the pillows on the bed had preservative magic on it and was still fluffy. He immediately claimed it as his new bed. Ricky pulled out the two drawers under the bed and found an old sock, two luxurious blankets for the bed, and a single elven playing card. He also found a single earring with 5 pearls on it while searching the bed sheets. Zarek checked the earring and it detected as magic, so it went into the loot bag. Vorgand examined the desk. It had two drawers on each side, all of which were locked. [Somewhere around here the notes lose track of Nick, so I’m not certain exactly what he was doing from this point on.]
Zarek detected locking magic on the first sea chest and determined it would remain locked for several hours. He warned Jala of its presence. She grunted back at the fox and then failed to pick the lock on the second chest, activating the locking magic on it. She cursed much. Ricky suggested she try the card key to see if it worked on the locks. At her wits end, Jala gave it a try. The card key deactivated the locking magic, granting Jala access to the mechanisms again. She thanked Ricky for the suggestion.
Ricky crawled under the desk to see if there was a hidden catch and found one! He triggered it and a concealed lap drawer popped open. In it was an ornate lightning pistol. Ricky handed it over to Zarek to examine. Zarek asked Jala for the other one so he could compare the two. Jala grudgingly handed it over and then waited to get it back as soon as he was done. After a quick inspection of the two pistols to verify they seemed to have the same functions, Zarek handed the original one back to Jala. Jala then went and started working on the desk lock. She inspected it for traps and found one, which she disabled. The she started working on the lock, taking her time.
Having finished searching the captain’s cabin, Ricky, Zarek, and Vorgand left Jala there to work on the lock. They went and investigated the door to their right (starboard-side of the ship). This door opened to a smaller, but just as well decorated bedroom. They searched the room and the bed, finding a dark opal broach in a platinum setting, another solitary elven playing card, and more bedding.
The last room on this hall was a very small kitchen with odd cooking surfaces and an oven with no firebox. Zarek cast Detect Magic and all of the appliances were magical! Zarek immediately started investigating them, taking notes and pondering their working principles [major Psychological Limitation triggered]. As Zarek started muttering to himself and making arcane notes in his notebook, Vorgand and Ricky descended either a wide-stepped ladder or the shallowest set of stairs ever. This led to a narrow pantry with cabinets on the inner wall and shelves on the outer wall. Investigating the cabinets turned up the remains of dried goods in stiff paper boxes [think cardboard boxes, but the characters have never seen cardboard]. One of the cabinets is noticeably cooler inside it and there is the residue of long spoiled food inside. There was a carved wooden area in front of the stairs/ladder that caught Ricky’s eye. Investigating closer, he discovered that pushing on one of the carvings caused the entire panel to open! Behind the panel was a small but rich collection of elven alcoholic beverages. Ricky grabbed two of the fanciest looking bottles to take with him while Vorgand took a bottle of wine. Vorgand noticed that the wine rack was very slowly rotating the bottles, so she had some hope the wine might still be drinkable.
[Ah, the notes catch up with Nick again.]
Nick, being of a practical mind, decided that Zarek, Ricky, and Vorgand would be enough to search the rest of the aft-deck area. He went back out onto the main deck and opened the cargo hatch. The majority of the lower deck was for cargo. The area under the aft deck was partially walled off, as was the area under the forecastle, but there was a door to under the forecastle area, so he investigated that way. Behind that door a hallway to the front of the ship, with a single door on each side. Those doors opened onto small barracks with bunkbeds [firmly anchored to the floor]. At the end of the hall was a ladder up to a hatch. Nick climbed the ladder and through the hatch. This area was a single chamber with posts and mounts for hammocks. The single door here led back to the main deck.
Having checked below decks, Nick headed to the aft deck to investigate the controls for the ship. There he found a ship’s wheel, but it appeared to be mounted in such a way to be able to lean forward and backwards. Additionally, there were several large levers to either side of the ship’s wheel. Nick speculated they connected to the retracted masts and sails mounted on either side of the ship’s hull. He used the Wand of Winds to vibrate the various lines on those masts to work out which lever or levers connected to which mast and sails. After a while he feels he has an idea of what they do, but there isn’t enough room in the building to test his ideas.
In the meantime, Ricky realized that it was getting close to 3:00 and the portal would stop working soon. He returned to the captain’s cabin to find Jala cursing at the lock on the desk. She failed to unlock the desk and triggered another time lock. Ricky said it was time to go and helped her carry one of the sea chests off the ship. Vorgand picked up the second chest herself and followed the two of them out the back of the building [which was still open] and over to the front airlock. Zarek closed the hangar folding doors after they left after discussing it with Vorgand over the magic earrings. He then followed Nick and Clarence out through the airlock doors to the hub and then to the loot room. The entire group picked up the elven objects d’art from the behir loot and rushed back to the portal. Vorgand also had some scrap paper found on the ship to see how it reacted to the air at the Moon Manor. Ricky had the desk drawer full of papers from the office desk. As the last Delver returned to the portal room under Moon Manor, the portal flickered and then blipped to the cavern that makes Zarek uneasy. Zarek promptly pulled the power gem from the control cabinet, deactivating the portal.
After catching their breath, the Delvers discussed what to do next. They decided that there are two things they need to do immediately: recharge more of the power gems and get additional card keys. They decided to start with recharging the power gems.
Based on the power arcing off the blue sun in the Blue Sun room [where the power gems are recharged], the Delvers decided that anyone going in needed to have magical protection. Zarek cast his Stoney Skin spell on himself and Vorgand and Clarence [in NPC mode] cast Shield of Faith on them as well. Vorgand, Zarek, and Ricky entered the airlock doors to the Blue Sun room. Ricky stayed in the airlock to watch the happenings while Zarek and Vorgand entered the room itself.
The entire room was lit with a strong blue glow from the blue sun hovering over the power machine. Vorgand approached the machine and placed three of the empty power gems on matching indentions atop it. Zarek observed the behavior of the device and the blue sun itself. The gems started glowing brighter and brighter. Zarek noticed that, as they charged, the blue sun slowly reduced the amount of arcing it was doing. When the gems started giving off sparks, Vorgand removed them. They were quite warm to the touch. Zarek found the whole process fascinating and drifted closer to get a better view. When Vorgand noticed, she threatened to grab his tail and smack him against a wall if he started tinkering with the device. Zarek stated he could not deny it was very tempting. He handed over the last uncharged gem to Vorgand for her to recharge.
Once the gems were recharged and Zarek, Vorgand, and Ricky exited the airlock, the Delvers pursued getting more card keys. As they got their first one by taking it from one of the cleaning golems on the upper level, Zarek and Ricky went back up using Ricky’s Shadowstep spell. Jala used her Shadowjumping spell to take one of the sea chests up. Her spell does not have quite the range of Ricky’s, so she teleported part way up the stair shaft and then teleported the rest of the way to the chapel, nearly giving Orm a heart attack when she appeared with the chest.
Ricky and Zarek when to the small room where the cleaning golems recharge or rest or whatever they do when they are not cleaning. There are four golems there. Zarek cast Detect Magic and looked for the card keys. Three of the golems still had their card keys, but only two still radiated magic. After a quick debate, they took only one of the magical card keys. Instead of heading back down immediately, Zarek and Ricky went to the room in the southeast corner. This room required a card key to get in, so it allowed them to test the card key they had just stolen. The card key worked. While they were there, they checked the desk in this room for a concealed lap drawer like the desks on the moon. They found one! Inside it was a wand [mostly charged], an amulet [octagonal with eight stacked lines enameled on it], and an armband [with an odd helix pattern], all three of which detected as magical. Ricky and Zarek quickly made their way to the corner room in the opposite corner of the Underruins. The desk in that room also had a concealed lap drawer, but it was empty.
Zarek and Ricky reported their findings over the magical earrings. Vorgand told them to make their way back down to the portal room. Jala reported that she had stashed the sea chest for later examination and would be back down shortly. By 3:30 all the Delvers were back down at the portal room.
End of Session
[So, Clarence’s player fell asleep after getting off work and missed the game. His work is super busy right now and he’s working 12-hour days, so it is understandable. I’d rather he get the sleep he needs so he is safe driving to and from work. We faded Clarence into the background, which is our standard response when a player is unable to make a game and their character is present.]