Dragons in the Dark

TSC-E17: Moonwalk Conga Line

 

Tags: H.A. E.B. S.B. E.C. Aranna Weaver, Astrologer Lane Weaver, Soldier Octopus Tentacles, Courtier Perrin Juno, Assassin Coil Mahogany, Zealot Glavos Roh Tentacles, Lower Noble Gary the Snail Juno, Spy Toad Slinoor, Acolyte Jahura Gaus, Hedge Wizard Labyrinth Lord The Imperishable Sorceress Daniel J. Bishop The Seers Sanctum Directsun


Spoilers Ahead for Daniel J. Bishop’s “The Imperishable Sorceress” (DCC)

Quick Recap: It’s the year of the Leviathan, Month of the Panther, Day of the Spider. The Snack Club are in Ivrian the Unkind’s lair, high up in the Mountain of Giants. So far, they’ve found her journals (which shows her nomenclature to be very apt: flensing young women, bathing in blood, etc.), and they found her laboratory where her artificial construct of an immortal body was… along with her actual dead, withered corpse. For the last two hours, Octopus (EC), has been climbing out of a six-mile deep hole while the Snack Club waited for her.

And we’re back in dungeon crawl mode in Ivrian’s lair.

Perrin Juno (SB) leads The Snack Club out and opens a secret door without checking for traps. They hear glass breaking and gas hissing. Both Weavers, Aranna Weaver (AJ, played by EB) and Lane Weaver (AB, played by HA) fail their constitution save and lose two points of Dexterity. They search the room and find 16 gemstones… and a sword hidden in the bed. Its name is Nightraker. Nobody takes it. It sounds scary. So they head out into the main hallway and explore another room. It’s an alchemy room. There are jars of weird flesh-color putty in it. Lane takes it. As soon as that happens, three tentacles sneak out from the drain gates and attack Gary the Snail (HA), Thargis and Nissel. One attaches its sucker mouth to Thargis and drains his brain. Aranna, Coil Mahogany (LC, played by EB) and Perrin fire arrows. Barbara the Barbarian chops and slices. Octopus stabs another with Stone-Biter.

Introducing Nightraker and… Bob

Having dealt with the strange grate-tentacles, Glavas Roh (EB) begins to regret not taking Nightraker and drags Gary the Snail back through the hallway to Ivrian’s bedroom. They’re met by four wandering skeletons. The Snack Club rush out to stab, fire arrows, and pierce them until they realize skeletons could be better dealt with by being bashed with blunt objects. Octopus uses a torch. Lane smacks them with his staff. Barbara uses the flat side of her battle-axe.

Back in Ivrian’s bedroom, Glavas picks up Nightraker. He hears whispers in his head. The sword is telling him to “kill ‘em, kill ‘em all”. Glavas Roh grins menacingly.

Meanwhile, Gary the Snail has decided to name his/Lane’s/Rawskull’s magic sword “Bob the Sword”. I can’t wait to hear what AB has to say about that.

More dungeon crawling. They cross the hall to a throne room. Sitting atop of the massive black chair is the ghost of Ivrian. She immediately recognizes her descendants, Aranna and Lane. She tells them that she failed at her attempt to become immortal. She sees the Snack Club carrying her imperishable body as well. She beseeches them to retrieve the Star Stone. With the stone, she can transfer her soul into it and then into the artificial body. She also warns them not to touch it directly as it will steal their soul.

Octopus tells her that she’ll do it and in meta-speak tells the group she’s lying to Ivrian. They all agree it’s a bad idea to give a crazy evil woman immortality.

Demon Go Home

Following Ivrian’s instructions, they head down to the far end of the hall and see a thin, ropey bridge across a 100’ chasm that goes a thousand feet down. The Snack Club are hyper-cautious as they should be. Octopus takes the lead. She crosses alone. Nothing happens. Perrin walks across. Nothing happens. Glavas walks across. Nothing happens. Gary the Snail with his heavy plate armor tiptoes across. The Snack Club realizes that nothing will happen to them as long as it’s one person the bridge at a time.

Across the bridge, they enter a large temple. As they walk in, gold motes and energy arcs gather and bind together until it turns into the form of a horse-headed demon. The Snack Club pull out their weapons. The demon sees Glavas Roh with Nightraker, immediately recognizes it’s a blade that can banish demons back to their home plane. The Demon begs Glavas to free him. He’s been bound here for three centuries by Ivrian. Glavas Roh happily obliges. As he cuts the demon… sending it back home to the Abyss… he is suddenly overwhelmed with an immediate bloodlust to attack another being. Perrin is the closest. Glavas slashes him for… 10 damage. Perrin is shocked, confused and bleeding profusely. Glavas is grinning again. He is in love with his sword that wants to kill stuff. Lane casts vitality on Perrin, but misfires. He has angered his god and now must spend an hour praying.

Rewind a little, at the moment that Glavas cut down the demon, a necklace fell to the ground. It looks like it’s the Star Stone that Ivrian asked them to retrieve. Octopus walks up to it and picks it up telekinetically. Because Lane needs to absolve his sins for a full hour, Gary and Perrin decide to play dice while Octopus spends the whole hour moving the Star Stone with her mind and trying to touch the back of Glavas Roh. Funnily enough, Glavas Roh keeps rolling higher on his dexterity check and ducks, swoops, and dashes to avoid this cruel game of tag. Octopus doesn’t give up and in the last few minutes of the hour, the stone touches Glavas Roh. Nothing happens. It would appear that Ivrian lied to them about it stealing souls. Suprise.

Destroy All Horcruxes

At this point, Octopus decides to throw the Star Stone into the chasm. Perrin says no, because they don’t know what’s in the chasm. So Octopus smashes the Star Stone with Stone-Biter. It’s broken into pieces. Octopus takes the pieces to the chasm and throws them in. She then walks across the rope bridge alone to confront Ivrian…. but a waspmire, a lesser demon in the form of a giant wasp with a woman’s face, buzzes in and tries to throw her off the bridge. Octopus hangs on for dear life, and then runs back to the Snack Club. Together, they destroy the waspmire with no problem.

Octopus gets on her knees and yanks the waspmire’s stinger out of the dead demon’s butt. No dice. Glavas Roh walks over with Nightraker and chops it off for Octopus. Octopus is pleased to have a demon-wasp-stinger as a weapon.

Oh, and the Snack Club also destroy Ivrian’s artificial body as well. They really don’t want Ivrian resurrect herself. And then the Snack Club head back to Ivrian’s throne room where she’s astrally leashed to her chair. Octopus tells her they couldn’t get the Star Stone and one of their party died doing it. Ivrian casts telepathy on Octopus and immediately sees her lies. Ivrian reaches out and paralyzes Octopus! The Snack Club draw their weapons. Ivrian telekinetically casts stones at The Snack Club. The Snack Club laughs uproariously! Is this it? Is this all Ivrian can do? With Aranna’s unnamed enchanted crossbow, and Glavas Roh’s Nightraker, they destroy Ivrian.

The Snack Club then proceed to destroy her throne as well. All horcruxes destroyed. I did, at one point, asked them if they were aware what the Star Stone, the artificial construct, and the throne could do for them. They didn’t want any of it. The Snack Club have no interest in trapping and transferring souls and living forever. Oh well.

The Most Dangerous Appliance in Your House

The Snack Club continues to explore the rest of Ivrian’s lair. They head into the kitchen. There’s a natural gas range with a stone slab on top of it. Perrin walks up to it and lifts it. Because they’re carrying a torch, and there’s built-up gas, it causes a huge explosion dealing 7 damage to EVERYONE in the Snack Club.

Thargis the henchman dies.

Geanne the hireling dies.

Nissel dies.

Franzon dies.

Naako the archer dies…

and Octopus Tentacles dies.

In one really stupid move, Perrin caused collateral damage killing five hench-people and one ally.

After looting the bodies, The Snack Club have no choice but to move on. They can’t go down the mountain as Lane destroyed the switchback trail down. They must go forward. They head back to the temple and head up the stairs out. There are narrow stairs up the side of the mountain. As they hike up, yet another waspmire flies down. It pecks at Aranna. She instantly falls asleep. Gary the Snail grabs her deadweight body before it tumbless off the side of the mountain, slaps her awake. Coil fires an arrow. Glavas Roh slashes at the waspmire, cutting her in two, and filled with bloodlust (again), slashes at Barbara the Barbarian, murdering her in cold blood. Barbara the Barbarian falls to her death. Glavas has that evil-scheming grin on his face again.

The Snack Club don’t tell him to get rid of the accursed weapon. EB keeps saying how much he likes this blade.

At the top of the mountain, they come across a stone henge with runes written on the stones. It teaches anyone who wants to know how to build an imperishable body, much like the one Ivrian had. The Snack Club ignore this because when they look between one of the stone gates, they don’t see the wilderness, they see a stone-bricked room with a statue of a maiden staring into a fountain… that’s weird.

They walk through the portal.

Spoilers for The Seers Sanctum by Directsun (BX/LL)

They find themselves in a small room as depicted in the portal image. But they also notice on the slimy floor, two unconscious figures. Toad Slinoor (EC) and Jahura Gaus (SB). They are an acolyte and hedge wizard hired by Ninguable of the Seven Eyes to retrieve the hair of a gorgon in this pocket dimension. They had fallen unconscious when they were sent through a planar step. The Snack Club wake them up.

Glavas looks into the fountain, and as he steps forward, an acidic ooze attacks him, causing damage to Nightraker. Aranna fires an arrow and splatters the ooze all over the fountain. Toad walks up to the fountain, looks in, and sees a mirror with the word “TSAP” written on it. She points the mirror at the statue and sees that she was once a woman, alive and well. It takes them a while, but the Snack Club finally figure out how to spell TSAP backwards.

Back to dungeon crawl mode. They find a hallway with a deep ten-feet-deep pool with a panel of switches across. They find a well with a gorgon head in 30’ down holding a silver coffer. The Snack Club lower Toad into the pit while she holds the Mirror of Tsap in front of her face and she grabs the silver coffer. Inside she finds a “Jaunt Lens”. They don’t know what it does and the look through it at a bunch of places. Nothing happens.

They head into another room. They see murals of cultists stitching their eyes shut and growing a third eye on their forehead. They see a blindfolded lion above a false door. Toad takes out her Mirror of Tsap again and points it around. She sees a bunch of hooded cultists walking into the false door like platform 9¾. Perrin turns around and sees a Goatman Demon in stone relief come to life, it jumps down and splits Perrin in two with its giant battle-axe. Perrin Juno dies. (Only one Juno left now. Mwahaha…) The rest of the Snack Club stay put and don’t look backwards at the demon. It’s silent again. The Snack Club are starting to realize that this weird little pocket dimension is about not looking at things directly.

Moonwalk Conga Line

At this point, Jahura moonwalks his butt out of the room and everybody else follows forming a Moonwalk Conga Line. Once outside, Glavas Roh realizes he can cover his eyes and walk into the false door. So puts his hand over his eyes, walks back into the room, straight and direct and walks through the door underneath the blindfolded lion. The rest of the Snack Club follow suit.

Inside the secret room, they see a huge heap of treasure. Gold coins everywhere. Gemstones. A bag. A pair of winged boots. A large bowl. A potion. A stick with an eye on it. A ring…. and… Two giant floating eyeballs with bloody sinews hanging down. They follow the Snack Club around. Glavas tries on the boots and one eye is all over him, in his personal space. Toad picks up the stick with an eyeball and her corneas turn milky white, and she now sees through the eye on the stick instead. Toad doesn’t like this, drops it, and stabs the eyeball with Stone-Biter. The Snack Club is angry at her for destroying what’s effectively a magical periscope. Jahura picks up the ring, puts it on, and the other giant floating eyeball gets up all in Jahura’s bizness. Jahura takes it off. The eyeball goes away. Jahura puts it back on. The eyeball comes back. Jahura does this a few times just to troll the eyeball.

It’s clear the giant floating eyeballs are security. Finally, Glavas gives up and just attacks the eyeball bothering him. Both attack him. One shoots a yellow ray causing him to feel really sick really fast. He starts losing constitution points. The other fires a grey laser and Glavas suddenly switch places with Jahura. Gary the Snail cuts one down. Jahura bashes in another. It’s not much of a security force. But Glavas Roh is not feeling good at all. He loses another constitution point.

The Snack Club start picking up the treasure. It’s a small fortune. There are 2,595 gold pieces on the floor. At 100gp per item slot, The Snack Club realize there’s no way they can carry this loot out. That’s when they remember there are other items on the floor. Jahura picks up the bag. He looks in. It’s a void. He sticks his hand in. It goes deeper than physically possible. He sticks 100gp in. It vanishes. He reaches in to see if he can find it again. He can. It’s a bag of holding! They stick all the gold and gems into it. Glavas Roh puts on the winged boots. Makes him feel light. They grab the bowl. Glavas takes a small sip of the potion. It feels like his molecules are being stretched apart and he’s not as solid. The Snack Club can’t figure out what this is. And finally they grab the ring. Coil casts detect magic on it. It misfires. So now both Lane and Coil have lost detect magic for the day.

How Do We Get Out Of Here?

More dungeon crawling. They find a chest in another room. It snaps shut and locks as soon as The Snack Club walk in. There’s a blindfolded statue pointing at it. The Snack Club pile out. Jahura walks in, covering his eyes. The chest is unlocked and open. He opens it, still not looking at it. I ask him if he sticks his hand in. He’s too chicken to. The Snack Club is chanting for him to stick his hand in. He leaves the room. Toad walks in and boldly sticks her hand in. She feels a million creepy crawlies squirming about. It’s wet and squishy and gross. She sticks her hand down to the floor of the chest and moves it around. She finds a piece of metal. Yanks it out. She opens her eyes, the chest closes again. But she has a key now. A key for what? They don’t know.

In another room, they see a monkey staring hard at an offering plate. The Snack Club thinks they have to put something on the plate. They try rocks, treasure, a spyglass, gold, amongst other things. Nothing happens. Gary the Snail puts a hundred rocks on it, thinking more rocks would weigh it down like Indiana Jones. Nothing. I put my head on my hand now, slackening my jaw in disbelief. They think I’m having fun. I’m more disappointed in them for not catching on to the CLEAR THEME of this dungeon.

Finally, Jahura puts on a hooded cloak and walks in. Nothing. They still don’t have it. And then Glavas goes, “oh”. And then puts a blindfold on the monkey, and walks in with a hood covering his eyes. He feels around on the plate. There’s a tube. He grabs the tube blind, and then looks at it. It disappears. He tries again. He grabs the tube, opens the tube, reaches in, finds two pieces of paper by touch… then throws back his hood. The tube disappears, but in his hands are two pictures: one of Lankhmar. One of a pyramid with three statues standing on top of it. One, a bearded man with a balance in one hand and a lightning bolt in another. Two, a winged child with two snakes twining his body. Three, a beautiful woman with a sheaf of wheat and a longsword.

The Snack Club think they’re Greek Gods. (They’re not).

On the bottom-right of both pictures are a strange magical symbol. They make theories about it.

They head to another room. It’s a circular room with empty picture frames on the NW, W, SW, SE, E, and NE walls. In the middle of the room is a table with dice, protractors, cosmic maps, notes and a wheel on it. The wheel has a cylindrical slot on it with a cracked Jaunt Lens on it. Jahura removes the broken lens and puts his in. Toad pulls out her Mirror of Tsap again. Looks around. She sees cultists place the pictures in the different frames and point the Jaunt Lens at it. And when they look through the Jaunt Lens, their entire being gets sucked into the lens and through it and then fired into the picture. (The Mirror of Tsap gives everything away. Lame.)

The Snack Club debate whether to keep adventuring (the pyramid) or to go back to safe haven (Lankhmar). Given their health, and how many henchpeople they killed this session, they decide to go home. They keep trying to figure out how to take the entire table and the frames with them. I tell them that’s not possible. That’s like taking a door frame with you as you try to walk through it at the same time.

Bank Run in Lankhmar

Back in Lankhmar, the Snack Club deposit their earnings into the Wyrmskull Vault. Ivrian’s gemstones, the gemstones from the pocket dimension, and gold pieces. It’s good loot. It also cost a lot of lives. Maybe they should take out life insurance policies for all the henchpeople they kill. Six henchpeople, Octopus and Perrin. That’s a death count of eight this session. And Aranna almost died. Again.

Meanwhile, Glavas Roh is looking for a healer because he’s down to zero constitution at this point. Whatever disease the eyeball gave him is eating him from the inside out. He finds a healer in Lankhmar named Maeve the Sparrow. She charges him 500gp to cast neutralize poison on him. Coil, in his drunken R&R, accidentally hires an elite veteran prepaid for the month at 360gp. His name is Saeth. He’s got long hair, a beard, a battle-axe and a secret death wish.

After a week of resting in Lankhmar (additional expense of 8 characters times 21gp = 168gp), they travel back to Ool Krut, where Willowby Hall is. (Oh and Gary the Snail disappeared during his R&R. Nobody knows where he is and the rest of the Snack Club got up and left without him).

Hello 911? There’s Been a Burglary

They get home.

Toad and Glavas Roh approach Willowby Hall and see the front doors broken and wide open. They both arm themselves and walk cautiously into their manor. The rest of the Snack Club follow. They fan out to see the damages. It doesn’t appear anything was stolen until they get to the magic room on the first floor. Istrobian’s brain, the talking corpse of Thesdipedes, and the Skull of Gobur are gone! Left in it’s place is a note that says, “Thanks, Cousin!” Is this the consequence of the Junos talking too much?

The Snack Club realize their mistake of leaving a gigantic house empty. They need home security. Fast. Glavas Roh spellburns 10 points to cast a permanent magic mouth on their front door… the spell is so incredibly powerful, it brings their front door to sentient life! They name their door Oakley. She’s a stylish double-door who’s interested in the Gods of Nehwon and she’s always cold to the touch. The Snack Club also hire several footmen and house staff.

  • Silvyr Dalia, Marshal - A tough, but fair leader of the garrisoned forces at Willowby Hall. She’s got missing fingers and massive debts.
  • Shatan Ry’leh, Footman - A soldier with several piercings and secretly keeps detailed journals of everything that happens at Willowby Hall.
  • Oisin Hooper, Footman - A soldier with unusual hair and a secret crush on Oakley. Yes, the sentient front door…
  • Luci Sen, Kennel Master - An injured veteran with a limp in charge of the grounds’ dogs, but leads a double-life (Keyser Söze?)
  • Gramme Shelton, Seneschal - The steward of Willowby Hall, a no-nonsense woman in charge of the the house staff. Always frowning. Needs husband’s council for major decisions.
  • Mannix Shelton, Chamberlain - Gramme’s husband, ensures all bedrooms are clean and neat. A bold man, will defend her wife in all situations. Secret phobia of barbers.
  • Savra Dog-Leg, Porter - The first person you’ll meet when you visit Willowby Hall. Crippled and superstitious. Hears as much as Oakley.
  • Bronx Fynn, Scullery Boy - Bony and thin, deeply loyal to The Snack Club.
  • Swinburne Ryker, Chef - Maimed with scars on his left flank from dog bites. Was secretly blackmailed to work at Willowby Hall.

With this staff of nine at Willowby Hall, the Snack Club now have a new monthly expense of 255gp every Day of the Toad.

Meanwhile, Toad has taken to investigating the burglary. She heads into town and asks around about any unusual strangers in the last two weeks in Ool Krut. It appears there’s been a big, brawny guy walking around with a huge battle-axe and a full-plate armor with a crescent moon on the breastplate. Hmm… sounds familiar.

The Snack Club rest another week in Ool Krut.

/end session on the Year of the Leviathan, Month of the Panther, Day of the Toad

The Snack Club’s Portfolio

Stored in Wyrmskull Vault

  • Chest of Gold from Hole in Oak = 1,994gp
  • Skull with Ruby Eyes = 1,600gp
  • Diamond = 463gp
  • 102 Emeralds x 10gp = 1,020gp
  • Gold Cube = 30gp
  • 16 Gemstones x 26gp = 416gp
  • 12 Gemstones x 100gp = 1,200gp
  • Petty Cash = 4,483gp
  • Tavern Income = 2,160gp

SUBTOTAL: 13,366gp

Hidden Cache in Great Forest b/w Mlurg Nar & Gnamph Nar
610gp

TOTAL: 13,976gp

The Snack Club’s Real Estate

  • Willowby Hall (Mansion in Ool Krut)
    • Renovations: Building Wizard Tower (ECD. Y.Leviathan/M/Lion/D.Wasp)
  • Dragons in the Dark (Tavern in Ool Krut)
    • Y.Worm/M.Badger = +1,260gp
    • Y.Worm/M.Wolf = +710gp

Chekhov’s Ticking Time Bombs

NEW

  • The Lens Room in the pocket dimension revealed a pyramid with three statues. How will the Snack Club get back there?
  • Looks like the Junos blabbed too much to Krax Craven Maw, a cousin twice-removed, and he stole treasure from Willowby Hall. What else did he do?
  • Both Toad and Jahura have upset their patron, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, by not retrieving the hair of a gorgon. They have been tasked with finding three rare and exotic magic ingredients to appease him.

OLD

  • Emma Frog is dead, but her infamous mass prison break in Ilthmar will have consequences.
  • The Redclaws are allied with the Dolmenwood Drunes and HQ at Redclaw Castle
  • There’s a Boss Ogo recluse situation in Ool Perns still

Session Counter for Levelling

Character Player Level Sessions Next
Aranna Weaver AJ L4 13 21
Lane Weaver AB L3 12 13
Aust Booker OR L3 6 13
Glavas Roh EB L3 3 8
Gary the Snail HA L3 3 8
Coil Mahogany LC L3 2 8
Toad Slinoor EC L2 1 3
Jahura Gaus SB L2 1 3

DM Notes to Myself

Holy cow that’s a lot of dead people due to a natural gas explosion. And EB with Nightraker. I wonder how the rest of the Snack Club who weren’t here today would react to this weapon. Finally, the module-of-the-week, Seers Sanctum. What a great module. No combat necessary. Just a ton of puzzles. I like puzzles. Maybe I’ll just stick more puzzles in the campaign.