Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Session 4: A Miner Terror

Entering Klingsberg: The party arrives at the ancient dwarven city of Klingsberg. The city is built between two mountains, and features large stone walls, a mighty steel gate, and beautiful brick buildings. Long ago humans conquered the city and expelled all of the dwarves. Immediately upon entering the party notices a large number of hobbit and elven immigrants. Clay goes off to order a fancy new helmet from a master blacksmith and socialize with hobbits. Most of the hobbits are from the faraway Sylvani Empire, and have immigrated due to increasing food shortages in their homeland. Marcus goes into the paladin embassy and informs Commander Tallmart that the paladins he sent to Tellgart are missing. Tallmart promises to send more men, but orders Marcus to search for his missing brethren. Lautrec buys a room at a local inn (the Silver Tongue Tap) and learns that his contact in Klingsberg, Sir Neco, owns a mine north of town in the "Great Quarry".

Mine Mystery: The players head to the quarry, passing through the poorer parts of town along the way. The find a massive quarry with dozens of mine entrances. Eventually they come upon the Neco mine, deserted and boarded up. The party meets with a frazzled Sir Neco, who explains that his mine was overrun by some unknown terror three days ago after some kids snuck in. Many of his workers did not come out, and the ones that did boarded up the entrance without offering him an explanation. The party visits a few miners' homes, and receive contrasting accounts. One man reports a sudden flash and a spray of blood. Another recalls a giant monster. Yet another talks about his friends going mad and killing each other. With little idea what to expect, the party pries open the boards and enter the mine.

Mine Investigation, Take 1: Entering the mine are Lautrec, Clay, Marcus, Zaros, and Harold. Almost immediately, they find a room filled with possessed miners. These miners have been working mindlessly for three days straight; their bodies are skeleton-like and their eyes glow bright red. In the insuing battle, Lautrec is knocked out by two nasty pickax strikes. Marcus is also knocked out, but is revived by Zaros. While this is happening, Harold is chased down by a miner and brutally killed. Clay is also knocked unconscious, but Zaros is able to slay the rest of the miners and the party flees the mine. City guards come to carry Harold's body away to the church for burial.

Mine Investigation, Take 2: Two days of rest later, the party returns to the mine. They battle an over-sized demonic mole with little difficulty. Advancing further into the mine, they find a room with a dozen bodies heaped in the center. To the left is a cave passage guarded by a golem made from the organs of the corpses. The party defeats the golem before he can attack, and advance into the now-unguarded passage.

A Change of Scenery: The party finds themselves at a massive metallic door. The door features the symbols of the six gods of the Hexsol faith. Marcus touches the door and it slowly moves open. On the other side of the door is a corridor of stone brick. Immediately the party encounters two ghostly dwarven warriors blocking their path. The ghosts only seem to speak dwarvish, and they angrily flash their weapons at the party. Marcus steps forward with his holy symbol. The ghosts allow him to approach. When he is within arms reach, one of the ghosts grabs him and views Marcus's life in an instant. Satisfied, the ghosts disperse. 

Paintings and Traps: The party encounters several rooms with paintings on the walls. They also survive a fire-shooting rune on the wall and two spiked pit traps. The paintings appeared in pairs, as follows:
  1. A black wall and a white wall.
  2. Shield, leaf and sun on one wall. Sword, skull, and moon on the other.
  3. The Hexsol gods with winged angelic creatures in plate armor bowing down to them. The second wall was defaced long ago.
  4. Both paintings were defaced. 
  5. One wall showed a blue orb with green splotches on it. The other showed men, dwarves, elves, and hobbits bowing down to the angels.
  6. One painting showed dwarves, goblins, and other savage creatures bowing down to a mighty black dragon. The other wall showed them taking up arms for this creature.
  7. A large battle was depicted on one wall, showing the dragon's army clash with the angels' army. The other painting showed a great city being destroyed by dragons while a golden angel wept. 
A Tangled Web: The party comes to a large room with one big painting across from them. It shows the golden angel casting a spell with red and black energies. In the center of the wall is a broken-in passageway, covered by energized red webbing. Ghost dwarves stand waiting in this room. The party notices a ghost dwarf pinned to a side wall by this red webbing. Attempts to cut the webbing with fire and normal blades fail. Zaros grabs Albert's magic dagger and easily cuts away the binds. While he does this, the weapon forms a magical attachment to him. He also cuts down the web blocking the passageway, and everyone (including the dwarves) move forward. The party finds a ancient hallway filled with metal dwarven statues. At the end of the hallway is a metallic door similar to the one found at the entrance. This door is decorated with the image of a dragon's head. The door is covered with red webbing, which Zaros cuts down.

Battle Arachnid: The door opens into a massive room. In the center of the room is a glowing red obelisk surrounded by three cultists. Beyond that is a giant painting with thousands of monsters of all shapes and sizes in it. One cultist turns around and charges the party. He draws his short sword, which gives off a terrible shriek that stuns half the party and disperses the ghosts. With some difficulty, he is brought down. Marcus and Clay step forward to knock out the cultists while Zaros goes about the process of blessing the obelisk. Before the process is complete, a huge red spider steps out of the wall painting and assaults the party. The beast recoils in the presence of Marcus, but has no difficulty attacking the rest of the party. The spider manages to bite a charging Clay before he is brought down. During the fight, Zaros notices that whatever weapon he draws, he always attacks with his dagger (even if he just threw it out of reach). 

Exiting the Temple: The party collects the magical short sword and its sheath, a magical black book carried by the lead cultist, their one surviving cultist captive (the other was burned to death when the spider died). As they pass through the first door, the wall caves in behind them, sealing away the temple. On their way out of the mine, they find another cultist (this one completely mad).  

Wrap-Up: Marcus drops the cultists off at the paladin embassy for interrogation. Clay learns that his helmet's construction has been delayed, and gets some white ointment for his bite wound. Lautrec finishes up his business with Sir Neco. Zaros and Clay learn that the magic short sword unleashes a powerful shriek upon enemies and allies only when removed from the magic sheath. The party returns to Tellgart to allow Lautrec to attend his bi-monthly knight's meeting. On the way, Zaros starts to read the evil book. The words seem like nonsense, but over time Zaros claims that he is beginning to understand what it all means. Marcus suggests destroying the book. Zaros overcomes his suddenly unnatural fascination with the book and agrees. They lay the book on the altar of the Hexsol church of Tellgart. Zaros blesses the book, and it bursts into unholy flames. Natural water only makes the flames larger, but Marcus is able to snuff out the fire with holy water. They then go out to buy a new alter for the church.

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