Present Players: Eydan, Purrcival, Mick, Jaren, Aurelia, Vincent, Feda
Party Levels to Level 3
The party left Ameiko's estate with assurances that the brick wall would be constructed. The party decided to rest for the night and regroup in the morning to discuss the next steps. The consensus was that the party should off load any loot acquired thus far, and wait until sheriff Hemlock is back in town with reinforcements. The loot was sold with little issue beyond a little soul searching on how to handle the prayer book of Lamashtu. About midday Purrcival was approached by a very nervous looking farmer and a curt guard. The farmer introduced himself as Mr. Leon Meddles and he begged for assistance at his farm. Purrcival basically suggested they get someone with more authority and went to find Feda.
At the temple Feda gathered the troops at it were and listened to the farmer's story. His farm had been attacked by overly aggressive ankhegs. Aurelia knew the creatures were large burrowing insects that are prone to spit lines of acid when distressed, but they don't generally attack farms and can even be beneficial to the soil. Farmer Meddles explained they ripped his livestock apart and were even attacking the buildings. He and his wife barely escaped to town, and he begged the party to kill or drive off the creatures and determine what was causing them to be so ornery. The party readily agreed to help the man, and after he gave them directions (very happy to not return to the dangerous farm) they left to the ankheg infested farm. They found it badly damaged from acid and mandible bites and were accosted by 3 ankhegs. The creatures attacked the party from multiple angles, but were easily killed with the party only taking wounds from their acidic spittle. The party wasn't able to find the source of the creature's odd aggressiveness so they ventured into the ankheg tunnels leading beneath the farm.
After following the tunnels about 100 feet at a sloping incline the party came upon a worked stone room housing an ankheg nest and a glowing red gem. Eydan burst into the room and nearly killed the ankheg guarding the nest with a single blow from his longbow before having his emotional state attacked by some magical effect. The effect caused him to grow incredibly angry, but Eydan was disciplined enough to fight it off. After Eydan's devastating blow the ankheg quickly fell to the rest of the party who were all likewise attacked by some magical effect. The party traced it back to a cracked red gem glowing with arcane energy on top of a sarcophagus in the room. They did a cursory investigation of the room finding a statue to Lissala and one other sarcophagus with no gem. After trying to pry the gem out for a bit they decided to proceed down some stairs at the back of the room.
Shortly past the stairs the party encounters three Sinspawn caked in dust from eons of standing vigil. They react as soon as the party comes into view shaking off the dust and jumping into combat with teeth and claws. Aurelia, still affected by the gem, takes the battle to them and gets up close and personal. A few blows are traded back and forth before the Sinspawn are defeated. The party then begins to scout out the surrounding dungeon. Jaren notices his serpent amulet given to him by Mersoolian begins to grow warm and in each of the room torches spring to life in reaction to his presence. The first few rooms mostly consist of supply rooms and don't hold anything of much interest to the adventurers. However, they do spot a wall with gouges and shards of iron beneath it at the back of one of the larger store rooms. The party investigates and finds two alcoves hidden in the wall that seem to have snake indentations on small plates. They detect as magical and when Jaren holds his amulet up to one it snaps into place almost like a magnet. They surmise they'll need to find another amulet to gain access but decide on clearing the dungeon before going back and search the sarcophagus earlier in the dungeon.
The next room they decide to enter has a large set of doors locked with another plate that accepts the serpent amulet. Jaren presses his amulet into it and the doors swing open. It reveals a huge chamber dominated by a raised dais with an altar to Lissala and a large demonic looking statue leering over it all. The statue has a feminine upper torso, a large snake like tail, six arms muscular arms, and a fanged maw open in an expression of what could be pain or ecstasy. The two middle arms are clutching a large curved mithril sword that has been plunged through the statues chest. The two lower hands are extended as if to receive something, and the last two hold wicked looking stone daggers high in the air. The party tentatively enters the room and as they do the shadows in front of the altar coalesce into some sort of hydra with five heads who seems imbued with energy from the Plane of Shadow. There is a bit of confusion on the tactics for the fight and the party gets a bit spread out as Jaren faces down the creature with little back up early in the fight. He valiantly cuts off a head with his sword glowing with holy fire thanks to Vincent's spells, however, it responds with a vicious flurry of blows on its own. It leaves Jaren on the ground unconscious and the party reels on what to do. They are able to heal Jaren and thanks to Feda's magic glyphs are able to temporarily blind the hydra. During this time Mick is able to take the amulet over to the statue and put it into one of the waiting hands which readily closes over it. However, this puts him on the far side of the room as the rest of the party retreats. The party attempts to help each other out by dragging each other out of the room, but it ends up with Feda (damn these Dwarven legs) and Mick still within and the hydra barreling toward them. It pounces on them knocking Feda out before savagely murdering Mick (critical hit when he was low HP). As all the threats to the altar are gone the shadow hydra dissipates.
The rest of the session is spent looting the remainder of dungeon and discussing what to do about the dead Mick. Eydan destroys the gem on the sarcophagus and finds another of the serpent amulets and a very ornate robe (which he strips the gems from). Using the second amulet Eydan is able to make the statue release the sword from its chest and he pulls out a marvelous blade (see the section below). Eydan feels a wave of happiness from the sword as he frees it from the abyssal statue and Jaren can barely contain his excitement at the prospect of the beautiful mithril blade. The party finds a pool of water off of the altar room that appears to have been ripped in the dungeon floor due to some cataclysmic event. There are a large number of bones around the pool some of them are split apart as if marrow has been eaten from them, some are leaning into the pool, and some have rusted daggers stabbed through their rib cages. In the pool the party finds strips of fabric and gems from an ornate robe along with another serpent amulet. The party also finds a section of the dungeon that seems to have collapsed and in one collapsed hallway they find a pile of skeletons who appear to have been using their gear to attempt to dig through the earth. In the midst of the rusted gear they find a magical shield which Purrcival identifies as a Frosted Light Steel Shield. The storage room's secret wall is opened using the amulets and reveals a treasure trove of ancient scrolls, magical chainmail that glows with an inner light, and another of the more ornate robes. They also find a room that looks like it was once used to construct golem like creatures, but the rusty few that stand at attention do not react as the party only sends in those wearing serpent amulets. They are able to recover a few plates of mithril that Feda looks forward to playing with. With the looting done, the party returns to town to tell the farmer his land is once again safe.
The Curious Sword:
The sword could easily be one that you would see on parade or in a pampered noble's hands used more for decoration rather than war, but anyone with battle experience would recognize this as a beautiful instrument of war. It is crafted of mithril but mixed throughout the blade are swirls of gold metal. The effect is stunning as it leads to a large crafted in the shape of a silver dragon with its wings spread wide. Near the bottom of the blade you see a strange flowing script that form a singular word. The hilt is well protected with some unrecognizable hide that is a dark grey hue and at the bottom is a large pearl. It stands out from the rest of the blade as it appears pitted and cracked with the expected luminescent shine only barely visible.
- The rage gem didn't really have much influence as the party don't really interact "in-character" for a lot of stuff. Not a complaint, just an observation when planning future objects of interest.
- I did not suspect that they would bypass the glowing gem entirely, this hurt them later when it came to searching the dungeon without a second serpent amulet.
- I think the hydra fight was winnable (but hard). I tried to relay this by making the creature seem intimidating, but I'm not sure I succeeded given the party's actions.
- Low level combats are annoyingly swingy. This time the creature got a lucky critical murdering someone but it could of easily been the characters getting a lucky hit and murdering the creature. I had given the party a Dream Journal of the Pallid Seer to avoid such deaths, but during the session I forgot about it. I'm going to offer the party a chance to retroactively use it to turn the hit into a normal one instead of a critical allowing Mick to survive.
- The other option the party is investigating is to get him reincarnated by a druid, though they don't know one off hand who can cast such a powerful spell.
- Mick is a bit of Schrödinger's cat at the moment until we determine if he is going to retroactively use the Dream Journal or opt for the (expensive) reincarnation + restorations.
- The party was less willing to go all in on murdering (reducing DPS) and burning heads (to make it permanent) than I expect against the hydra. I suspect the fight would have been easier if the party had spent time murdering heads as they appeared then trying to apply burns as the headless creature thrashed about in rage.
- I gave the dungeon a pretty sensible reason to exist in universe, but no one commented on it. DM is disappoint (maybe it was too subtle).
- As expected the sword elicited a lot of interest and curiosity. I look forward to see how it plays out.
Rewards / Loot:
- 4 Harvested Ankhegs
- 90 Small Emeralds (900 GP)
- 15 Large Emeralds (1875 GP)
- Mithril Plates (400 GP)
- Frosted Light Steel Shield
- Chainmail of Quickness
- 2 Serpent Amulets
- Ancient Thassilonian Scrolls
Challenges / Monsters:
- 4 Ankhegs
- 3 Sinspawn (Wrath)
- 1 Shadow Hydra
- 3 Clockwork Warriors
End Date: Spring 19