Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wyrm Welcome

Ochdamh 19-21, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger

Gróin had invested in a couple of scrolls of stone-to-flesh, and picked the map-holding man to unstone. Craydos read from the scroll, and instantly, the stone flaked away, revealing a startled looking man underneath. He jumped back, wildly looking for the monsters that had turned him to stone, but was quickly calmed. It seems that he and his friend were on their way back from the city of Endereise when they were waylaid by the creatures; thankfully, it had only been a few days. Gróin offered to shorten their journey in trade for the man's map; the man agreed, and Gróin teleported the two, along with Craydos, to the Mejastan city of Cuidado Mercado. Craydos, hoping to have his injuries restored, went with Laurita to a temple of Alehim. She cast Restore Life and Limb on him, and in an instant, the aches and missing finger were restored to normal! Unfortunately... there was a side effect. His injuries were healed, but his body was... changed. To that of a female, to be precise. Craydos was now a woman!

Returning to the others, Craydos reintroduced himself. Herself. Whatever. They moved on, and found the corpses of a number of giant scorpions; Pentzkin managed to get 405 XP worth of scorpion parts from them.

The city of Endereise was very different from the other deep dwarven city; for one, this city was built in a huge bowl, easily a hundred yards deep. They were met by a group of hooded dwarves; the spokesman welcomed them to the city, and relayed their message of the sorcerous spheres they found. That duty done, they explored the city. Craydos, wondering about the religions in the city, found three different churches, later explained to be the Church of the Flame, lawful followers of the cleansing fire; Church of the Clay, neutral followers of the warm earth; and Church of the Light, chaotic followers of the fickle, blinding light of the overworld. He was barred from the Church of the Flame when he asked about the Wyrm, but managed to have a short conversation with a minor obviate at the Church of the Light.

It seems a group of very deep dwarves hold a shadowy sway over all the churches, and indeed the cities of the dwarves; a sort of Praeumbrati, if you would, the dark version of the Illuminati. He and the strange gnome with him explained how the Wyrm was hated and feared by all sects of the churches - and how the scale the party was seeking was found in a deep cave in the center of the mountain. Interestingly, the dwarf mentioned a phrase that was not translated by the helm of comprehend languages; a truly dead language, perhaps?

The party teleported to Caranthir to pick him up, then teleported to within a day's journey from the deep cave. After some head scratching as to which way to go, the party settled on a direction, and continued on. After a day of marching through the soft sand, the party reached a well - or rather, a well-shaped hole. Well-cut stone steps lead into the hole. Shrugging, the party followed them down... and down... and down.

Hardly a few steps into the well, the globes of Continual Light went out! The torches managed to illuminate the steps, but even they burned dimly, as if some force was acting against the light itself. Other spells seemed to work, so the party merely pushed on. At the bottom of the well, the torches finally gave up. No light was visible. Only the infravision of the gnomes, dwarves, and dragon managed to pierce the blackness. The rest of the party followed them down a well-carved hallway, they began to hear the sound of chanting - countless voices, far away, chanting in an unknown language. Suddenly, the acoustics of the cavern changed - the party had stepped out into a large room. Caranthir could see a few figures, at the edge of his senses; stepping forward, he saw a semi-circle of beings, wrapped in thick cloth that hid their heat signatures and limited his infravision. Suddenly, a group of four dwarves moved towards them; the lead dwarf asked their purpose there.

Craydette, stepping forward, introduced himherself and their party, and why they were there - to destroy the Scale of Darkness. Immediately, the dwarf on the right chimed in: "Finally! Someone who understands! If you'd ask the Seeker over there, he'd say we should save it and study it! Destroy the blighted thing, before it's too late!"

As Craydette blinked in surprise (in the utter darkness, mind you), the dwarf on their left spoke up. "Certainly we should study it. Without study, how can we attain knowledge? We know not what will happen when the stone is destroyed..."

The dwarf standing behind the others spoke, his voice deep and course. "They cannot choose unless one receives the gift."

Sorvald, standing a few paces behind, started waving his hand. "Ooh! Pick me! I volunteer!"

Caranthir, shrugging, agreed. The party watched as the young thief was lead beyond the circle of chanting dwarves, and was lost to sight in the center of the circle. There, Sorvald felt the other dwarf grab his hand, and place it on the edge of a wide bowl - he estimated it to be about a yard in diameter. Feeling towards the center, his hand brushed something smooth; immediately, a light began to glow around him. He laid his hand on the stone - a small, shield-shaped pentagon of pure black. The dwarf warned, "Do not look up. Follow me."

Sorvald followed the dwarf back, casting furtive glances left and right. The room was well-lit, as if by daylight; the cavern was vaguely oval, with a ring of easily over a hundred dwarves sitting around the scale, chanting softly. When he reached the others, the four dwarves surrounded him. Behind him, the dwarf that had escorted him (wearing a charcoal-gray outfit), which I called the "Actor"; in front, the Speaker, dressed in simple white clothing; to his right, the Seeker, wearing green and gold; to the left, the Instrumentalist, wearing red and silver. They performed a ritual of sorts, asking Sorvald what he saw, and finally directing him to look up. 150 feet above his head... he saw an enormous face, hanging from the ceiling! Teeth, easily as long as his arm, protruded from the slightly open mouth of the great dragon-like creature over him! It was, as the others suspected, the Wyrm - asleep, as he had been for ages untold, and watched by the Deep Dwarves.

Now knowing the stone was indeed the Scale of Darkness, Caranthir asked the Speaker if they would be allowed to destroy it. The four dwarves huddled together, and after much deliberation, reached a decision: yes, the party could take the stone, but only if they bring a representative with them. If the stone is not destroyed, then the party must return it, and never return.

The party, along with the young dwarf picked to accompany them, teleported to the peak of the Northern Tower. In the thin afternoon light, the scale began to sizzle, pitting and slowly, slowly shrinking in the light. As the light died, however, the scale ceased to shrink; quickly, the party teleported to the opposite side of the world, where the sun would just be rising. Gróin cast Iron Platform, and the party flew up to it, looking down on rolling plains and a lovely lake to the north-west. As the day wore on, the light from the sun burned away the scale... only a thin scrap remained when the sun, once again, began to set. Meanwhile, however, Gróin and Craydette spoke with the young dwarf, who introduced himself as Kurt Steinbacke. Kurt was blind, and had been so since birth; however, he was skilled in combat, and had trained hard to be a protector of the scale. Gróin offered to heal his eyesight, but Kurt politely refused. "Perhaps, but for now... I am satisfied to feel the sun on my face."

The party teleported back to the Northern Tower, and in the midday sun, the scale finally cracked in half, then vanished into smoke. The scale had been destroyed. Kurt sat in silence, then spoke. "My duty is complete. I... would like to see, good dwarf." Laurita cast the spell, and Kurt opened his eyes, seeing this unfamiliar world for the first time in his life. He couldn't help but grin. Of course, only his eyes were healed; his depth perception was terrible, as one of the first things he tried to do was reach up and grab a cloud. The party teleported back to the dwarves to tell them the scale was destroyed. Kurt, however, stayed on, deciding to stick with Sorvald as a henchman.

  • Experience from encounters: none
  • Experience from treasure: none
  • Experience from destroyign the scale: 5,000
  • XP for Caranthir, Craydos, Gróin, Mor Gibs, and Sorvald: 588
  • XP for Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, Alun, and Kurt: 294

Kurt Steinbacke is a Dwarven Deep Monk, level 5, with 28,308 XP (that includes the XP this session). His class sheet is found here. (I would suggest making him his own character sheet, rather than marking him in the tiny space on a henchman sheet - Monks and Mystics have a lot of associated information). His stats are as follows: Neutral; Str 13, Int 14, Wis 10, Dex 13, Con 13, Cha 13; Class Profs: Unarmed Fighting, Lay On Hands; General Profs: Survival, Theology (Church of Clay), Mimicry, Eavesdropping; a mundane warhammer, a collapsing spear, Miner's Robes (which provide +1 AC armor and Fire Resistance: -1 damage per die and a +2 to saves vs any flame attack), and a few smooth rocks worth 8,000gp.