Monday, September 10, 2018

Bog-Cheese

Ochdamh 25, 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
  • 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
  • [insert-name-here], Elven Polydoctorate
    • Harvey, Wolfwere
  • [bad-with-names], Darklord
    • [some-other-name], Venturer?

Realizing they were about the enter the final floor of the tower, the party stopped and retreated upstairs for a night's rest. Refreshed (though warned by the locals that something bad was coming), they headed back downstairs.

The final level of the tower smelled of damp and rot, and the sulfurous smell of swamp. They had barely gone a few feet into the passage when a voice echoed through the passages: "You... dare... intrude?"

Interestingly, each party member heard the voice in their own native tongue - some kind of magic, surely. They continued on, uncovering the maze surrounding the center, and occasionally hearing more echoed speech. First was a call: "Where... lies... my champion?" followed by a rush of wind, laden with the scent of decay. Then, "My children... come... to me...", and the sound of scrabbling sound and a cacophony of chirping and clicking. Finally, as they near the center (having toasted a couple green slimes), the voice roared, "Erklik... accept this blood sacrifice! ERKLIK!"

The voice receded, but continued to chant. Finally (after the thief and his henchdwarf fell into a pit), they reached the center of the tower, the lowest floor. Torches lined the walls; four pools of water surrounded a dark throne. Mist and magical darkness obscured the throne and its occupant. Six figures lined the walls, human with dark, almost black skin, standing at attention, looking... well, fairly normal, actually. And then combat started... the dark-skinned creatures, awoken by their master, writhed and flailed - bog bodies! The scent of decay was nearly overwhelming, and the poor cat-badgers choked on the overwhelming smell. Caranthir immediately began slashing at the bog-bodies, bringing down six before they could awaken; the others began slowly spreading out.

After a few seconds of fighting, the chanting... stopped. And eight ankhegs burst out of the ground, thought were quickly destroyed. And behind the party, a new mummy stepped out - the dead Thrassian from the day before! The priestess and ectomancer, working together, managed to turn the mummy. The other Thrassians fell before Rig's arrows and a few well-placed hits from the dominated lizardmen.

The battle seemed to be going pretty well, so far at least. Sorvald fired an arrow at the dark shape, but only managed to ricochet from the magical glass surrounding it. Gróin tried to damaged it with a blast of his trumpet, but only managed in damaging himself, and those around him! Caranthir and Gimli slashed at the strange roots dipping into the pools, but apart from damaging them, didn't manage to do much. Finally, Caranthir touched the glass with a Rod of Cancellation, and having drained its magical ability, slammed into it with as much force as his double-sized self could manage. The glass split, cracked across, then in a rapidly-shattering sheet, fell downwards into nothing but shards. The mist cleared (revealing that one of the four openings was, in fact, open), revealing the four carcass scavengers and four rust monsters held within! Caranthir blasted them, and the dark figure, with a double-breath, killing the monsters and... well, gently tickling the massive Thrassian Conduit Bog-Mummy-Lord. The mummy strode out, chopping into the Darklord's companion, and firing a curse at Caranthir (which missed).

This was the main threat. As he fired spells left and right, the Polydoctorate cast two spells: first, a death-ward spell on Caranthir, and second, "Jail", which slams a portcullis-cage onto the target. As the others blasted lightning, cones of cold, and the many earth-based spells of Gróin's party at him, the creature returned fire... and failed. First, his no-save-turn-directly-into-an-undead spell was rebuffed by the Death Ward; then, his other attempts at dishing out damage (or causing everyone to fall asleep) were thwarted. The only one that ever failed was the poor ectomancer, and even he managed to survive the sleep of death.

Even summoning swarms of insects didn't work; eventually, screaming hatred against the skinscribe in particular (he remember the skinscribe's uprising - he was there!), the dark mummy-lord was slain, and his corpse fell into a swarm of insects, which flew out of the chamber. The party quickly located, de-trapped, and smashed the canopic jars, and the mummy lord was no more. The last ankheg, hunted down and slain, revealed a network of tunnels underground, containing treasures; under the throne were even more treasures.

Last, but certainly not least, the vines on the throne were dunked in holy water, and eventually had Cure Disease cast on them; they writhed and healed, and almost immediately, the four stagnant pools cleared of the boggy water. A deep rumble sounded from the tower itself...

And that, folks, is how you use your spells in an intelligent manner and make what was going to be the second hardest fight of the yet-planned story into a walk in the park.

  • Experience from encounters:
    • 2 green slimes (76)
    • 8 Ankhegs (4000)
    • 24 Bog bodies (1920)
    • 4 undead Thrassians (860)
    • 1 Mummy-thrassian (660)
    • 4 rust monsters (800)
    • 4 carcass scavengers (540)
    • 1 Ancient Thrassian Bog-Mummy Lord (9300)
  • Experience from Treasure:
    • Cash (11,450 gp, 12 stone total):
      • 2,000 platinum pieces (10,000 gp, 2 st)
      • 1,000 gold pieces (1000 gp, 1 st)
      • 4,000 silver pieces (400 gp, 4 st)
      • 5,000 copper pieces (50 gp, 5 st)
    • Gems (1.333 stone):
      • 2 diamonds (1,000 gp each)
      • 1 jacinth (4,000 gp)
      • 1 ruby (8,000 gp)
      • 1 ivory jewelry (900 gp)
      • 2 moonstone jewelry (2,000 gp each)
      • 2 gold statuettes (1000 gp each
    • Everything else (42.287 st):
      • 26 jade carvings of dark gods, each worth 200gp (5200 gp, 4.333 st)
      • 1 rich fur coat (2,000gp, 1 st)
      • 16 rugs of large common fur (panther) (1st/150gp, 90 gp each) (1440 gp, 9.504 st)
      • 3 rolls of silk (400gp, 4st each) (1200 gp, 12 st)
      • 12 sticks of rare incense (1 st/100 sticks, 17 gp each) (204 gp, 0.12 st)
      • 3 jars of dyes and pigments (50gp, 5st each) (150 gp, 15 st)
      • 2 sets of superior thieves tools, worth 200gp (1 item) (200 gp, 0.1667 st)
      • 1 vials of rare perfume (1 item each, 125 gp each) (125 gp, 0.1667 st)
  • Total experience (before selling): 29,606 XP
  • Total experience (after selling): 181,469 XP
  • XP for PCs: 2277
  • XP for henches (everyone but Luce and Rhea): 1139
  • Magic items on the Thrassian Conduit:
    • Lifedrinker, a dark, twisted sword (evil, but not cursed; lore says is drains health and gives it to the wielder)
    • Earthbreaker, a Hammer +3 that grants resistance to Earth magic (-1 damage per die, +2 to saves)
    • The Soulstaff (which, if lore is correct, can speak with dead once per hour, as the spell)
    • A tarnished silver coin, currency of Ancient Zahara
    • Plate armor, Thrassian-sized
  • Elsewhere (the throne, the ankhegs, and the ankhegs' nests):
    • A ring
    • A very oddly-jointed club (+3 after testing)
    • Two bags
    • Two swords (+1, after testing)
    • A potion
    • A Scroll of Divine Spells (Written in Dwarven): Command Word (1st lvl)
    • A Scroll of Arcane Spells (Written in Dwarven): Resist Electricity (lvl 2), Trance (lvl 1)
    • A lumpy rock