Friday, August 14, 2009

Praktas - Small Sacrifices

Game Date: 8/14/09

Tirah (Misty) - Deva Wizard (Wand)
Dorath (Bryan) - Goliath Fighter (Great Weapon Style)

Misty had never played before, and just wanted to see what Bryan had been doing all these Saturdays. So, I threw together a short adventure, just long enough to show her how the game works. Predictably, she enjoyed the roleplay parts more than the combat, while Bryan was the exact opposite.

I was hoping that we'd have at least one more player, but since we didn't, I had to nerf the difficulty a bit so it would be survivable. Bryan was originally going to play a Shifter Rogue, but I convinced him a sturdier fighter would be better for such a small party.

This adventure was inspired by "Hall of the Spider God", which appeared in "Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition For Dummies". The players heard about child kidnappings, on the poor side of town. The only witness saw a short purple-cloaked figure taking a child into the sewers. After descending into the sewers, the PCs followed some strange tracks until they found a secret door. The door led them to a set of hallways, with five rooms:
Doors 1, 3, and 4 were wooden and unlocked. Door two was a sturdy stone door, and was locked. Door 5 was gold plated stone, with religious symbols on it. It was also locked.

First they listened at each door. At door 1, they heard kobolds talking in Draconic, something about preparing the next sacrifice for the worm. At door 3 they heard some orcs arguing about wanting to eat one of the children. Since door two was the strongest, they figured (correctly) that the children were hidden in there. Dorath attempted to knock it down, but failed horribly, and the noise drew an orc into the hallway.

After defeating the orc, they realized the key must be in one of the other rooms. They tried room 3 first, fought an orc and two kobold minions, and found the key to door 5. Then they tried room 1, fought four kobold minions, and found the key to room 2.

In room 2, there was a cage holding three children. There were two skeletons standing perfectly still, guarding the cage. As one of the players prepared to step into the room, one of the children called out, "Wait!" The child had recognized that the PCs weren't kobolds or orcs, and warned them that stepping on the floor activates the skeletons. The child explained that whenever the orcs come into the room, they wave a wand around which controls the skeletons.

The PCs then tried room 3, fought another orc, and found the wand. Back in room 2, they freed the children, and took them back to the surface. They rested for the night, and returned the next morning to tackle room 5.

After a religion check, Tirah recognized the symbols on door 5 as those of "The Cult of the Purple Worm". They entered the room, both wearing purple cult robes they'd acquired in previous rooms. They saw two kobolds chanting in front of an altar. Upon the altar was a boy, tied-up but otherwise healthy. Tirah managed to convince the kobolds that she was their leader (she rolled very high, and the kobolds were very stupid). She ordered them to leave the room, and they complied. As Tirah started to tend to the boy, the ground began to rumble. Suddenly a giant purple worm burst out of the ground.

Note that a purple worm is not an appropriate encounter for a pair of level 1 characters, but this wasn't really statted like an actual purple worm. As I pulled out the miniature, I told them (OOC), "Don't be scared by the size of the mini; it's not as bad as it looks." To which Bryan replied, "Isn't that what you said a few months ago, right before our first characters were killed?"

Dorath kept the worm busy while Tirah grabbed the boy and took him to the safety of the hallway. Then she returned and helped Dorath finish the creature off. Tirah found a scripture book, and flipped through it. Reading between the lines, she realized the true story: This was actually a very old, decrepit purple worm, on its last legs (so to speak), and too weak to fend for itself. The kobolds found it, started worshiping it, and fed it children they had kidnapped.

Having cleared out absolutely everything (I forgot about the pair of kobolds that Tirah ordered out of the room), the party took the child back to the surface and claimed their reward.

XP Rewards: 360 each.

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