Adrilar (Greg): Elf Sorcerer
Davor (Ted): Half-Orc Sorcerer
Durp DuDerp (Cliff): Half-Elf Bard
Glynnyn (Tamara): Elf Druid
Keyanna (Chere): Half-Elf Dragonblood Sorcerer
Nishallivexiania "Vex" Corman (Matt): Half-Elf Monk
Ranell (Michael): Halfling Barbarian
Last session left off with a bit of party in-fighting, culminating in the deaths of Moxie and Snidely. We began the session in mourning, as we said our final goodbyes to our brave companion (and Snidely). Davor took it the hardest, as he has lost a brother.
|On the bright side, this is no longer incestuous.|
But people need us, so we had to carry on. We rested a bit at the forge where we fought the Forge Spurned, but we had to leave when we discovered he was reforming. We fled the forge, then started to look for areas we had yet to explore.
One room featured a prominent fountain, and we encountered a pair of lizards. We tried to walk around them, in the hopes that they weren't hostile. Yeah, right, in this universe? Fortunately, we rolled well, and two crits later they were both dead.
Next we came to a room full of statues. It was a wide room, with three statues on each side, with weapons drawn in ominous poses. Being the genre-savvy players we are, we did not go barging into the room without a plan. First we decided to toss one of the lizard bodies into the room, to see if it set off any traps. Unfortunately, in stepping into the room to throw it, Davor and Vex fell victim to the very trap we were trying to expose. (Note, whether we actually stepped into the room was a potential point of contention between the players and the DM, but we chose to pick our battles this time.)
The entire room turned sideways, spilling Davor and Vex to one side, where we impaled ourselves on the statues' weapons. Meanwhile, the statues from the other side of the room rushed downwards towards us, but we managed to get out of the way in time. We walked along the wall-turned-floor, and climbed up the other side towards the room's other exit door. Once the room righted itself, we started experimenting to see what sets off the trap. During the course of getting the rest of the party across the room, we learned that walking around the edges of the room is a lot safer than walking through the middle.
We ended up in a small room that looked like a dead end, until we found a trigger that opened a secret door. The next room had a trumpet-like tube sticking out from one wall. Listening through it, we heard some kobolds in another room, arguing in Draconic. There were also some other holes in the walls that could be used with the trumpet-tube, but we didn't hear anything through them. We found another secret door and proceeded down the next hallway.
Soon we found someone's personal quarters. It had a rather uncomfortable-looking stone bed (though Vex probably felt right at home), a desk, and an anvil upon which rested a Dwarf skeleton. The skeleton wore a couple of magic items, but as we approached, an imp appeared and warned us to stay away from his master. We asked the imp a few questions, wondering why the Dwarf's death didn't release the imp from his servitude. We also learned that the Dwarf's name was Gristogar Ashbreath (though in grade school I bet the other kids called him "Assbreath"; no wonder he joined a monastery).
Seeing no way to free the imp, we started to mosey out of the room when the imp attacked Durp. The bard managed to kill the creature solo, and therefore treated himself to the skeleton's belongings. From the skeleton Durp took a magic gauntlet and a pair of slippers. Upon donning the gauntlet, Durp's hand and forearm became solid stone. Durp tried to remove the gauntlet, but we couldn't find a way to reverse the effect. This has since become the source of many jokes, most involving self-gratification. The slippers were more favorable, granting Durp the ability to walk on walls.
Up another hallway and around a bend, we found a room with two kobolds, the same ones we'd overheard from the trumpet. Easy kill. Back down the hallway and through another door, we found a room with a large obelisk. As Davor approached the obelisk, he was hit with a bolt of electricity. The exit doors closed, trapping Davor and Vex in the room. Two more doors opened, revealing a pair of Vargouilles. Though I'd never fought one before, OOC I remembered them from one well-known list of stupid D&D monsters, where the Vargouille comes in at #2 out of the top 5. (Maybe next session we can fight a duckbunny.)
Davor tried to cast a spell, but he fumbled, injuring himself, and dropping him. Vex did her best to hold her own, but it was two against one. Keyanna finally managed to get the doors open by turning her hands into dragon claws (bet that freaked the kids out), and we soon won the fight. Now we faced another dilemma. We had explored every room we could find on this level, and we still hadn't found Jevra.
However, we did remember seeing a well in one room, and even saw a kobold use it to escape. We headed straight there. The well held a large cauldron suspended by a heavy chain. The cauldron was large enough to hold four people. So naturally, we put our four best people in it - Davor, Durp, Keyanna, and Vex. The rest of the party (mostly the children we were escorting) stayed around the well. An important note to all reading this - just because the DM says something is big enough to hold four people, does not mean it's a good idea. The chain broke, and we fell to the bottom with a painful crash. This took Vex and Davor into the negatives, leaving Durp and Keyanna to check out this large room.
Moments later, a pair of kobolds came charging down a tunnel, riding on on the backs of Slurks (saber-toothed frog mounts, which somehow did not make it onto the aforementioned list). Durp fumbled on his first attack, but they still managed to survive the encounter, thanks to Keyanna's cunning use of Sleep (quickly becoming her favorite spell). Durp and Keyanna turned the cauldron over on top of their fallen comrades for safety, then explored the next room. There they found a poisoned Choker, and healed it. They tried to ask the Choker some questions about the area, but the creature couldn't speak, so they didn't learn much.
They dragged Vex and Davor into the room, blocked the door as best they could, and we all rested. Later, Durp called up the well to make sure the children were okay, but he got no answer. Hmmm... that's troubling. Come to think of it, the well was only a couple of rooms away from the Forge Spurned. Somewhat concerned, Durp used his new slippers to climb back up to the top, but the children were no longer there. He finally found a message scratched into one wall, explaining that they'd gone back to town. Durp descended once more and we got a bit more rest.
Later, Kimi (one of the kids) showed up with some new friends. She had taken the others back to town, where she met a few new adventurers to bring back to the monastery. This finally added Adrilar, Glynnyn, and Ranell to the party. Now that we had the safety in numbers thing going for us, we began exploring a few tunnels. In one tight passage we were attacked by javelins, being thrown at us from over the walls. With no way to fight back, we just quickly moved through the area.
Next we fought several more kobolds in a cramped set of tunnels. This fight was especially difficult simply because there were so many of us, keeping us from getting at our enemies. Some of the kobolds attacked us from ledges, forcing us to either climb up or use ranged attacks. The final showdown between Glynnyn and a kobold took a while, but Glynnyn was determined to finish him off despite his offers to surrender.
At one end of the passage we found an egg chamber. A female kobold asked us to please not harm the eggs. Our group consists of several personality types, both IC and OOC, so we had a bit of a discussion about whether to kill the female and/or destroy the eggs. It was suggested that she might starve to death anyway with all the other kobolds dead, to which, um, someone replied, "Nah, she's got eggs if she's hungry."
Down another passage, up some stairs, and we saw two more Slurks with riders. One rider was dead, but the other one fled down another tunnel. We followed, until we reached a large room with another bunch of kobolds. Davor and Ranell rushed into the large room, and each was soon surrounded by enemies. The rest of us got stuck in the entrance for a few rounds. Keyanna took a few out with another use of sleep, and eventually we managed to clear the room. We broke there for the day.
I get the impression that we didn't go quite the way Rusty expected us to. Last session, Tamara spent the entire game waiting for us to meet her character, but we never did. Today, Tamara, Michael, and Greg spent half the session watching from the sidelines.
OOC, we knew that Adrilar and Ranell were back in town, and that we would probably meet them when we returned to rest up. And as hurt as our party was at the beginning of today's session, it would have been perfectly forgivable for us to go that route. But we're also playing our personalities (even if it kills us), and it would take a lot for Vex and Davor to give up the search for Jevra.
Sometimes it's hard to get things back on track when the players raid your dungeon in the wrong order. I'd like to think that if I'd been the DM, I would have found ways to introduce the new characters a bit sooner. I don't like making players sit around and watch longer than they have to. On the other hand, a while back I wrote a blog about my own failings when I run games, not the least of which is my inability to think on my feet. So it's just as possible I would have waited too. There's only so much you can plan ahead of time, and sometimes it's hard to recover when your players throw you for a loop.