Saturday, August 24, 2019

Fortieth Anniversary Adventure

  Which continues this weekend, naturally.

  The main party headed through the Briars to Skull Mountain. On the way they met stragglers from Whitehill's army and killed them all. A dozen or so large spiders had taken up residence in the Entrance Cavern; the party shooed them back with fire and entered the North Door, checking the areas for disturbances.
  All was in order so they entered the Pilgrims' Hall and travelled the long way to the Pilgrims' Stairs. In the Chapel they found the body of a female verbeeg, dead no more than 2 weeks. She had been cut down by a hobgoblin's poisoned dart.In her pouch was a message asking the company to assist them as they were besieged by hobgoblins.
  The party immediately struck out to the Garden Level and set all the hirelings and supplies with the 'camp guards' henchman team and struck out through the Cavern of Herds (finding another dead verbeeg messenger) and the Trog Tunnels. After the almost 4 mile trek they spotted a hobgoblin camp at the junction with Hobgoblin Highway. A force of 80 hobgoblin warriors with onagers and ballistae were behind a barrier and firing on the verbeeg wall and about 120 hobgoblin females, slaves (mainly goblins with a handful of kobolds), and such were in the main camp.
  The party hit the main camp like a thunderbolt, cutting their way through them rapidly and engaging the warriors with a strong frontline and spells. The verbeeg sortied out and the hobgoblin warriors, surrounded, were cut down to the last.

  Many verbeeg were wounded, all were weary and starving. The hobgoblin rations were given to them and they prepared to decamp the next day. They had already sealed off their mines and had prepared a cave-in. They were going to attempt to join their people in their homeland beyond Kath. In gratitude they gifted the company with 50 silver ingots.

  The party returned to the Garden, healed up, and rested. The next day they finally went to Level Four, or the Slime Level. They soon realized the layout was extremely similar to level 2 and the garden of 3 [see below]. They had multiple encounters with green slime, olive slime, basidironds, black puddings, etc. making them very, very wary. At the center of the level was wide, deep pool of water with thick mud over the bottom and a massive diamond juuuuuust under the water's surface.
  They noped out for a while, then the mudmen in the pool struck. The party did well and pulled back to rest and re-spell after they realized the pool was an altar to the Ooze Lord, the God of Evil Slimes, Oozes, Fungis, and Molds. The next day they returned, struck at the pool, wiped out the mudmen, and Consecrated the altar, triggering the arrival of a maximum strength ooze paraelemental!
  After a grueling, epic fight they prevailed and struck down the foul altar. The entire level immediately began to 'dry out' and, just like Chapel Level, the various oozes, slimes, etc. will no longer return. Well, will no longer magically return.

  After another day of rest in the Garden they went though the Pool Level (since the slimes are gone) and descended the stairs they had found down to The Empty Level....

  DM Note: No PC has ever made it through the Empty Level. Parties that enter flee or die. Yes, it can be done, but so far no one has figured out how.

The stone of the Empty Level is black, not gray, and light was dimmed to half brightness. The air was very cold so their breath was just visible. It took the party very little time to realize they were in a maze so they test chalk marks on the walls (faded within 5 minutes) and chiseling marks in the walls (healed in 10 minutes). They found two piles of very fine dust in the shape of people....
  Then they all realized how weak and hungry they were. After an hour a handful of them lost a level.

  They immediately left (they had remained with at least one party member in sight of the stairs up) and returned tot he Garden where the healer got them into their bedrolls and began treating them (in Seaward level drain can be cured by healers). The healer informed them that if they lived they would have recovered in a month or so, but under her care they were fully cured in only a week (!).
  After that they decided to finally face the Trap Maze.
  The Trap Maze has been lurking on the edge of the Garden for 2 real world years and they finally went in. After losing a lot of Summoned creatures they found a secret door leading south. Eventually they encountered a room where they were ambushed by 4 flesh golems in full plate. That was a stiff fight, but they pulled it off. With careful scouting they learned that they had found - another wizard's lair, but larger than the others. This one included a teleporter room and a carriage designed to carry a mage through the dungeons in style while pulled by a flesh golem!

  The party left the wizard's rooms and returned to the Garden.

The players had a ton of fun, as did I. they plan to return to the table today to test out the teleporter, hoping it will let them bypass the Empty Level.

Below: The party speculates that there are (so far) three distinct sets of levels: the Temple Levels which share architectural details and have an evil temple every other level; the Deeps, which are levels tunneled away from the Deep; the Caverns, which are natural caverns modified and connected into a sprawling network over many miles. On level three they all merge. They also show signs of having been heavily modified (the Garden seems to be a later radical rebuild, the Trap Maze and apartments are obviously later additions, etc.). Jack is convinced there are at least three other main level types....

1 comment:

  1. I would love to have a Discord server or something were Jack could discuss why he thinks at least 3. Very curious. Your reports are awesome, but I always wonder what the players are thinking about.