[December 14 – 6th (and last) session for December 14. The last of the lower crypts are looted while the Delvers form a plan to deal with the blue flame skeletons.]
[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement. This session happened May 16, 2022.]
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studier of Pact Magic with a focus on shadows
Ozrel Runeweaver – human male – Pugilist and Rune Magician
Zarek the Red – fox male – Golem-mancer
Vorgand – human female – Guildmaster and Chief Combatant for the Delvers Guild
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – Newly-minted specialist in Magic Circles and Teleportation Gates
Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild
Yggsday, December 14th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
After storing the three looted sarcophagus lids on the moon, the Delvers returned to the Stone Halls through the portal. They descended the Slanted Gallery to the lower crypt area. At the Hall of Elven Heroes, the group turned right, having looted all the tombs down around the corner on the left. At the right end of the Hall of Elven Heroes they took the corner.
[I provided the names of all the elven heroes depicted on the walls here and which names also had crypts. There were 14 heroes in the main hall but only 11 crypts. The elves depicted but without crypts were: Hefhauer of the Many Shadows (a.k.a.: Jerk-face), Garabed of the Six Rings, and Oroitz of the Cloud Sea.]
This passage had six more potential crypts to loot, but they learned on a previous trip that at least one of them had been looted already. They examined the plaster artwork over the represented doors. Two of the six unopened door artworks had plasterwork that was shallower than the surrounding surfaces, indicating that the doors behind the plaster had been replastered after being uncovered previously. Combined with the other previously looted crypt on this side the Delvers opened on their previous excursion, this left 4 crypts as undisturbed.
The group decided to start opening crypts with the first one on the left wall, the crypt of Zuzen of Ochevyog, and work their way around clockwise. Using the method they developed raiding the other crypts, they quickly and safely opened and cleared Zuzen’s crypt of the two void skeletons inside it. The walls of the crypt were decorated to show a countryside with rolling hills. Off in the middle distance was an elven town. Ricky speculated it was Ochevyog, where Zuzen was from. The plant life shown was more of the strange plants the Delvers had seen in some of the oldest elven crypts and tombs, so they were not certain where Ochevyog might be. The gem covered sarcophagus contained Zuzen’s corpse, another of the magic amulets with the odd rune, and three other pieces of jewelry [another necklace, a gold chain, and a gold goblet].
The Delvers proceeded to the next crypt on the left wall. This claimed to be the crypt of Berooz of Apheshra. The adventurers repeated their method of opening and clearing the crypt of enemies and set to looting the sarcophagus. The wall murals showed rolling grasslands. When they opened the sarcophagus, it appeared to be empty, which surprised the Delvers. Zarek cast Detect Magic and saw no telltale auras. Jala cautiously reached in to search for concealed spaces, instead feeling an invisible corpse!
Carefully running her hands over the corpse, Jala determined it was wearing a cloak of some sort. She carefully searched for any jewelry, finding a gold chain, a jeweled goblet, another magic amulet with the strange rune, and lastly a lapel pin. When she removed the lapel pin, the corpse suddenly became visible again. Zarek checked again with his Detect Magic spell and verified that the pin was magical, not the tattered cloak the corpse wore.
[There was discussion here about whether or not his Detect Magic spell should have “seen” the pin of invisibility while its power was active. I knew why this was, but could not quote the Simulated Sense Group Rule at the time or point to its location at the table, which caused some confusion with Detect being an Unusual Sense. We have since resolved the issue.]
The Delvers were feeling the effects of their efforts and took a rest at this point. The next two tombs on this side of the hall appeared to have been opened and resealed, so they decided to skip them. On the right wall, they opened the last crypt and discovered it was looted some time in the past and then resealed. The crypt adjacent to it showed the same signs of being previously opened and resealed, leaving only two crypts on that wall. The two crypts appeared to hold Kurush the Dry and Assim of the Three Fires. The Delvers discussed which to open next and settled on Kurush’s.
Once the rest was over, the Delvers approached Kurush’s crypt and put their plan into action, quickly opening the crypt and defeating the two void skeletons inside. The interior walls of this crypt were decorated to show a rolling seascape. After removing the jeweled lid of the sarcophagus, they found the corpse of Kurush with two pieces of jewelry that radiated magic and two that did not. The two magical pieces were the rune amulet found in all the [non-looted] crypts and a belt buckle that Zarek eventually identified as a belt buckle of water walking. Ricky was immediately interested in it. [Ricky being physically unable to swim.]
Ricky brought up an idea of using the void skeletons to de-power the blue flame skeletons up in the Stone Forest. The positive would be that the Delvers would no longer be subjected to the explosive attacks. The negative would be that Vorgand and Ozrel would be the only ones able to fight effectively against the mass of skeletons. The question of how to transport the void skeletons was discussed and use of the rope of entangling that Jala carried or even normal rope to tie down the lids of the spirit jars would allow transportation of the skeletons. Jala or Ricky could teleport with the jars into the room, remove the rope, and flee before the blue flame skeletons arrived and the void skeletons established their magic suppression field.
The Delvers discussed this plan at length, including asking the Torchbearers if one of them would help hold a spirit jar closed until they could get it tied up. The trio held a short huddle, played a quick round of Rock-Paper-Scissors [which Fish clearly lost], and Fish stated he would do it for an extra 5 gold coins. The Delvers Readily agreed to this. After some further discussion, they decided they were not certain it was entirely viable, but they were willing to give it a try. They took another rest to let Zarek prep some spells and get everyone fully ready for the last crypt. They decided that the second spirit jar would be the one to keep and put their now standard crypt opening plan into motion.
The plan went well, up to the point where they let the first spirit jar open so they could quickly defeat the skeleton inside. When Vorgand let the lid open, instead of a void skeleton standing up a skeleton with orange flames engulfing its skull stood up. It being a skeleton still triggered Zarek’s prepared lightning burst spells. One missed completely, but the other hit the orange flame skeleton twice for minimal damage.
Ozrel continued to hold down the lid on the second spirit jar while Vorgand swept and hit the skeleton three times for no effect. The skeleton threw its flaming skull at Vorgand, missing widely and hitting the wall behind her, where it splashed and kept burning. Jala stepped in with the ready rope of entanglement and entangled the spirit jar Ozrel was holding and the active skeleton [the ropes entanglement is Area of Effect, Selective, and Does Not Block Attacks]. Ricky cast Dark Leaching on the active skeleton, withering it significantly. Zarek altered his spell [to make it Armor Piercing and Half Endurance] and hit the skeleton with it to noticeable effect.
Ozrel, no longer needing to hold the second jar closed, stood and punched the skeleton to no effect. Vorgand struck at the skeleton with her sword and hit but to no effect. The skeleton attempted to break free of the rope and failed, which sealed its fate. When Ricky hit it with Dark Leaching again, the skeleton crumbled to dust.
After everyone caught their breath, they prepared to attack the skeleton remaining in the last spirit jar. Zarek reconfigured his lightning spell [to be Armor Piercing and Burst, which would spend a whopping 21 Endurance when cast].
Once everyone was ready and in place, Jala dis-engaged the rope of entanglement. When the orange flame skeleton formed up, they all attacked it with Zarek getting in the final hit with his spell, destroying the skeleton.
While Zarek panted from the effort, Ricky inspected the sarcophagus. The lid depicted an elf holding a gold bowl in one hand and a spear with a flaming blade in the other [I should have also put the elf in a Grendel mask (from the comic Mage) but I only now thought of that]. Notable jewelry was a ruby covered cloak clasp and the rune amulet. Inside the sarcophagus they found the expected elf corpse with the spear, bowl, clasp, and amulet. Zarek inspected the spear and found a command word in Ancient Elven on it [“Burn”]. He asked Ricky how the word was pronounced and tested it out. The spear’s blade lit up with orange fire, the same color as the flames on the two skeletons the Delvers had just defeated. Further testing would need to wait until later.
Out of a sense of completeness [and not wanting to leave any potential loot behind], the Delvers spent the next hour breaking into the remaining three crypts to verify they had been looted in the past. They had been, but a small gold cup was found in one where it had fallen behind the stripped lid of the sarcophagus.
Tired and hungry, the delvers finally decided to call it a day and return to the Moon Manor. They made their way up the Sloped Gallery to the portal room at the top, set it for Moon Manor, and stepped through.
After an exhausted 30-minute climb back to the surface, they discovered that the sun had long set. Vorgand asked Torsten what supplies the Torchbearers needed. Torsten requested a small keg of tar to finish waterproofing the repaired rooves, 20 feet of gutters, more fresh food and goats, and chicken wire to make a proper area for the chickens to graze. Vorgand agreed to bring those back inside the next week, depending on how long it took to gather it all up. Torsten also suggested getting the outer walls of the ruins repaired for better security, something Vorgand agreed with.
While the Torchbearers returned to old chapel to make their dinner and rest, the Delvers went back under the ruins to Ricky’s gate room and used the gate to return to the Guildhall in Aegea City. Very tired and very hungry, the Delvers made their way over to The Library for drinks and dinner.
After the meal, Zarek asked Ricky for advice on researching elven magic items. Ricky told him where the relevant books were in the University Library [an actual library, as opposed to The Library, which was a student drinking place].
After the rest went to sleep, Ricky spent the evening studying the various orbs and scrolls the group had looted from the crypts for useful information.
End of Session
[Sorry this was late. It’s been a week where focus has been hard to maintain, especially today.]
Arc 1 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 1 sessions
Arc 2 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 2 sessions, as they post
Last Session: Arc 2, Session 13
Next Session: Arc 2, Session 15