Telengard session 16 &17

Been a busy couple of weeks, but the game goes on!

I’m taking the lazy way out and posting some player-written session reports.  I now offer a modest XP bonus to players who write up what happened, their character’s thoughts, etc.  One player is also working on making up what happened to the party in the last campaign after the last session!

Anyway session 16 involved the party going after another statue, this time the dwarf.  They found their way into the old dwarven city beneath Skar Brae and found it almost abandoned and, like SB, overrun with monsters.  They decided to start clearing for the few remaining dwarves.  Their first stop was the old forges, which borrowed heavily from one of this year’s OPDs — The Ichor of Vercingetorix. (I changed some of the monsters, and the plot, but used the map and it wnet pretty well.)

There’s the dwarf player’s after-battle report:

Grundel caught movement behind him out the corner of his eye. Something flashed overhead. Grundel reflexively waited for an arrow, dagger, or bolt (or what ever the assassin used these days) to lodge itself in his back. It was spear and it did not hit him at all! The gnoll-headed demon fell to the ground. But he could hardly believe it. It, it … unbelievable. Did the assassin just assassinate the gnoll-headed demon? “Unbelievable,” Grundel muttered wiping the blood from his forehead and out of his eyes just as the paladin rushed ahead to slay that last gnoll. The paladin has being doing that a lot lately… rushing forward and slaying things. Even the rogue was aiding in the combat.

With all the monsters dead and the path to safety clear, Grundel paused to remove his gauntlets. A deep wound on his hand, blood flowing freely. That explains it. “It was not bad luck at all,” though Grundel as he recollected the evenings combat. He did not even feel it until now. Funny how you can keep going when death is all around you. Ghouls, Ghasts, Gnolls, Hyenas, Frog Demons, Giant Spiders, and Imps. A fair few fell to his morningstar but not as many normal. Many were dead without any telltale spike holes.

Looking at the over the assembled group he thought everyone really pulled their weight. Had you been three feet tall, and looking up at the dwarf, you might have seen a smile forming between his thick mustache and puke covered beard. (Damn Ghasts.! But then his eyes came upon the unconscious wizard still covered in frog demon slime. His smile faded before it truly formed. “Hmm, be careful what you wish for you might just get it” grumbled Grundel shifting under the weight of his enormous pack. Still at least they weren’t complaining anymore that he was carrying everything. The unburdened assassin and rogue darted ahead hiding in shadows that any dwarf could tell you weren’t there. “Manlings, ha! They never disappoint you by not disappointing.”

Next up is the rogue’s summary, which actually covers the between-session regrouping and resting:

Dell couldn’t’t decide which wound needed the most attention.

They sat in the garrison hall, while the dwarf chieftain paced about, listening intently as Grundel told of the battles in the abandoned forges. Occasionally, he stroked his beard. Several times the two warriors fell into the ancient tongue of their race; when Grundel sought to describe the way his morningstar crushed bone, or a thrown hand-axe arced perfectly before finding its target. It is particularly important to Dwarfs that these details are conveyed precisely.

 When Grundel neared the climax of the story, the clan’s leader stopped and raised an eyebrow. “Gorellik himself?!” The various gnoll cults referred to their deity by different names. ‘Gorrelik’ was the most common. Some of the lesser cults called him ‘Ranivorous.’ The most secretive and dangerous spoke of ‘Great Yeenoghu.’

 “It’s doubtful it was the deity himself,” said the Paladin, “but, a powerful demon to be sure. It was nearly the end of us. Small wonder your people were driven from those caverns. Emphasis on small.”

 The old chief clenched his square jaw. He had let this human take certain liberties with his manner when the party had first arrived. But, now that his home was being rebuilt, reclaimed, he was feeling bolder, stronger even.  He shot Grundel an angry glance. The warrior just shrugged and rolled his eyes.

 As Dell cleaned a large gash on his forearm, he noted the remarkable progress that had been made in the place just in the day they had spent in the forges. Torches now burned brightly in every sconce. The place was cleaner, warmer, less dank. The sounds of chisel, pike and hammer echoed through the corridors as the Great Hall—the massive spider gone—was being readied. There, the wizard’s broken form lay in state, waiting for the Paladin to reclaim his healing power after a night of prayerful reflection.

 “Well, no matter,” the leader went on. “With just that small section returned to us, we’ll soon be producing treasures as in past days. Our wealth will return. And, our glory. But, for tonight we set talk of the future aside. A great enemy has been slain. We feast.” He strode off, whistling.

 Despite the fact this forgotten clan had spent years in shadow, they had not lost their skill in entertaining honored guests. The party was seated at the head table, still visibly injured, but now clean and rested. The Dwarf healers had used powerful restorative balms. Since they eschewed magic, the race had spent centuries perfecting their art to care for those broken in both mining and battle.

 The Elves were the unquestioned best when it came to the practice of healing, but the Dwarfs were a close second. Lacking magical means, they lacked also the ability to resurrect the dead. So, the magician lay on a pyre stone at the far end of the hall, surrounded by scented flames. His time would come. Had the priest, Willis, been on this adventure, the spell-caster would be feasting with them. Limited by the daily constraints of the Paladin’s holy magic, this task would have to wait. As such, the banquet was somewhat subdued.

 Dell observed the assassin whisper to Grundel. The Dwarf listened and nodded, then sat back in his chair. He winked in Dell’s direction, then pounded his metal stein on the table. The din quieted. The great warrior paused dramatically, then stood. “Great Chief,” he started and bowed toward the throne, “we visitors to your ancestral home thank you for this fine food and wine. But, perhaps now is time to conduct some commerce.” ‘Huzzahs’ rang out through the hall. “We have performed a service for your clan; risked life—“he motioned to the fallen magic user, “—GAVE life; put our own journeys on hold. We seek payment.”

 The chief smiled wryly. He had expected this moment. In fact, he would have been insulted if these adventurers had not asked. It was the way of Dwarfs: seek no charity. Still, there would be parlay. “A service that is not yet complete. Am I to pay now for half a job done?”

 “Oh, for the love of—“ the Paladin began. Grundel stopped him by clapping his hand on the man’s shoulder and squeezing with all his strength.

 “Agreed,” Grundel said. “We will complete the task we agreed to perform. But an honorable master would offer an initial payment towards completion. A good-faith payment to motivate those he hires.”

 The chief leaned back in his throne. “And, what would you claim? The dried husk of the great spider? Gnoll bones? These are the things we have to offer until our forges fire again.”

 Undeterred, the Dwarf warrior went on. “Five hundred years ago, a Dwarf hero walked the streets above. His carved image now rests in your halls. We claim the statue of Grumble.”

Actually, the wizard (who replaced the retired barbarian this session) was not dead, but had been brought to negative HP.  He’s been trying to keep himself and some NPCs out of harm’s way inside a cube of force, but the demon teleported inside the wall of force and nearly ate the wizard.  Because the wizard had the foresight to hand the cube off to one of the NPCs, they were able to bring down the wall of force and and let the fighter types come to grips with the demon.  It was a frantic, chaotic battle in two rooms, where the party fought a major demon on one front and the frog demon and two trolls on the other!  Very nearly a TPK, had things gone just slightly worse.  But the party is working together very well and using their d30s to good effect.

The next session had just four players — the paladin, cleric, rouge, and assassin — who explored the old dwarven museum, with the help of a pair of locals, and then went on to take on the ‘garrison’ wing of the ruins, which was occupied by some rather well-organized orcs who put up a spirited defense with traps, arrow slits, and an ogre on steroids.  The museum was pretty much straight out of another OPD (here) which I really like.  Not a lot of combat but a lot of atmosphere.  The garrison, I improvised.  No deaths but a close call for the paladin, who took on the orcs single-handedly and was almost eaten by the ogre, who took advantage of the C&C grappling rules.

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Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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