Sunday, August 8, 2021

Tales from the Rattlebones Tavern: You've Got to Find the Demon...

 ...Way Down in the Hole!

Holes can be dangerous. You go first.

I've been somewhat neglectful in relaying the adventures of both of my parties. The amount I've missed in terms of the Howling Kommandos has been enormous and I'm hoping Huth will soon have a catch up post I can put up here so that I may resume the Kommando Kronikles. The patrons of the Rattle Bones tavern, too, have been having adventures but I think I can summarize a bit at the beginning of this session report and then get back into the swing of things.

The short of it is, after burning the bodies of their viridian foes and giving Beerbane a proper burial, the party was approached by three new members: the pirates Snogmar and Kleftis and the barbarian Baran the Blade. They too mislike the Shah of Effernath, who seems to be looking for the "eye" the party now seeks. They agreed to work together, but after searching the black-metal dungeon they found no sign of the eye. They decided to head to the nearby village of Gashmu so that they might lick their wounds and consider their next move.

In Gashmu Annapurna learned of a nearby dungeon - said to be a bottomless hole in a nearby bog - that would house a demon whose sinews she could use in the construction of a magic bow. Sobek-ra managed to anger the wizard in charge of the village by too openly praising his foul serpent god. Kleftis, angered that someone would slight his compatriot, began to plot a robbery of the wizard's keep. After this had all transpired, the party decided to detour from their current quest for the eye/roc egg and instead investigate the hole in the swamp. This they have found to be seemingly actually bottomless and to have been constructed during ancient Kelnore by remnants of the city of Thracia. 

The hole is lined with ancient tombs* and as of yet the party has not found the one which is purported to contain the demon. Navigating the hole has been somewhat difficult as its presence in a swamp means that a waterfall covers each side of the square aperture. The noise from this also makes some forms of perception and communication difficult. We pick up at the beginning of last session where the party had just slain a group of wights guarding one of the tombs.

Characters Present
Annapurna, 5th level Altanian Ranger
Ion Skamos, 4th level Tiefling Cleric of Set
Sobek-Ra, 4th level Orichalan Sorcerer (of Set)
Hjoldahr Braveflight, 3rd level Dwarf Fighter
Baran the Blade, 3rd level Viridian Barbarian
Kleftis, 3rd Level Ghinoran Rogue (only there for the wights)
  • The party found themselves at the entrance of the fourth tomb they had as yet begun to explore. The waterfall behind them raged and the corpses of 3 wights lay at their feet. They pondered what to do next.
  • Sobek-Ra, ever curious, plunged onward into the tomb beckoning Baran to follow. Annapurna cursed to herself at their recklessness.
  • They soon found themselves in a large chamber decorated with the triumphs of various Ghinorans led by priests in black robes. These depictions showed the Kelnoran empire, or perhaps some other entity, vanquishing and enslaving various forms of bestial humanoid - gnolls, strange dogheaded things that were clearly different from gnolls (Sobek-Ra posited they were flinds), lizard men, and the first men.
  • Beyond this chamber where two small tombs, one of which still contained its occupant (and his associated treasure) and the other of which had been smashed by an unknown agent. The treasure amounted to a fine black robe and 2 platinum pieces placed over his eyes. This they had found was common in the bottomless tombs.
  • The inquisitive and perhaps reckless pair of Sobek-Ra and Baran again led the party down a corridor, this one ending in a door.
  • Upon Baran's attempt to open it, they found that the other side was but a small alcove meant to house a hideous ooze which attempted to fall upon them once opened.
  • Battle was joined with this black ooze, and while they initially panicked at its ability to split into smaller beings, they soon overpowered it through the proper application of spells.
  • The way beyond offered no egress and seemed merely to be a house for the strange being which had tried to absorb them. 
  • This tomb looted, they  made their way back to the surface and took a short rest.
  • Sobek-Ra after careful study determined the black robe was not magical, but liking its synchronicity with his dark god he dressed himself in it before they returned to the interior of the tombs.
  • Lowering themselves down on a rope affixed to the roots of a nearby cypress, the party entered yet another tomb. 
  • This one contained an altar to Thanatos at its very entrance. Ion Skamos and Sobek-Ra debated for some time whether the prominence of Thanatos in these tombs, and an earlier statue of Ares they had come across, meant these gods were one and the same. Unfortunately Kleftis was not there to way in on the gods of his people.
  • Beyond they found a number of niches containing skeletons. Sobek-Ra used the power of his draconic blood - that extends all the way back to the Kings of Orichala - to empower Baran and Hjoldahr with the ability to breathe fire. This they used to quickly clear out the large number of skeletons.
  • The niches lacked symmetry and a large section of wall which, given the other side, should've contained skeletons was instead flat. The party decided this must mean that there was a secret door, and soon this was confirmed by a test using Sobek-Ra's supply of water. Unfortunately, none could find the way to open it.
  • After some debate over whether Hjoldahr or Baran should knock the wall down, Ion Skamos decided it would be best if he called on the desert winds of Set and cast shatter upon the wall. This allowed them access to a tomb hidden beyond.
  • One of the stronger party members entered to crack it open and loot it, but upon touching the lid it was thrown off by its occupant who revealed himself to be a hideously preserved mummy!
  • Battle again ensued, and though the party was able to vanquish the creature they spent a great deal of resources doing so. 
  • Inside they found yet another robe, more platinum, and a strange scimitar from ancient Kelnore. Hjoldahr called "dibs" on this weapon.
  • This treasure in hand, and fearful of fighting more creatures after having spent so many spells, the party returned to their rope and climbed back to the surface to make their way back to the village of Gashmu.
  • Once there, Sobek-Ra cast identify on the newly found scimitar, finding that the runes named it Mournblade. It provided both a +1 to hit and damage as well as a +2 to initiative due to the quasi paranoid thoughts it constantly subjects its wielder to. Hjoldahr was also able to ascertain that, due to its great age and poor human craftsmanship, it is perhaps more vulnerable than typical magical weapons to destruction.
Monsters Defeated
3 Wights, 1 Black Pudding, 7 Skeletons, 1 Mummy

Treasure Gained
4 pp, 2 priestly black robes (200gp each), a priestly diadem (200gp),  Mournblade

Kleftis: 175
Everybody Else: 518

* I'm using Dyson's bottomless tombs (players don't click that link) for this. The players seemed genuinely surprised that I had it be for realsies bottomless.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this!! I am getting ready for my party of adventurers to enter a (rather less bottomless/extensive) tomb, and needed inspiration, and this helped a lot. :-)