Dragons in the Dark

TSC-E20: It's Raining Garlic and Holy Water

 

Tags: H.A. A.B. E.B. S.B. E.C. L.C. A.J. Aranna Weaver, Astrologer Lane Weaver, Soldier Coil Mahogany, Zealot Gary the Snail Juno, Spy Jahura Gaus, Hedge Wizard Arden Vey, Pickpocket Daot-Daot Doubt, Apothecarist Noname Weaver, Ruffian Erky Skora, Assassin Seleana Mahogany, Vampire Hunter Halls of the Blood King Diogo Nogueira


It’s still the early hours of the Month of the Panther, Day of the Eel and The Snack Club are stuck inside the Halls of the Blood King. They’ve been inside for three hours now, but they’ve discovered a ton of clues already on how to defeat the Blood King himself.

Daot-Daot (EC) is wandering in the hallways. Jahura Gaus (SB) and Gary the Snail (HA) are rummaging through the servants’ quarters. Coil Mahogany (LC), Arden Vey (EB), and Aranna Weaver (AJ) are still in the library… and Lane Weaver (AB) is hanging out with nine vampires from the multiverse in the great hall.

Spoilers Ahead for Diogo Nogueira’s Halls of the Blood King (OSE)

Daot-Daot wanders into an armory, takes a crossbow. Jahura and Gary the Snail finds a music room with a piano and a false shelf. Barbara the Barbarian II roots around in the piano and finds an L-shaped piece of metal. Gary the Snail rummages through the papers on a desk and discovers that Lord Daemetrius is plotting to kill the Blood King with the Blood Princess. Jahura taps around the false bookshelf to find a secret entrance.

Meanwhile, Aranna, Coil and Arden walk into the dining room hoping everyone will meet up there. Lane Weaver heads over to the games room to keep the little ghost girl entertained for a bit, then decides to go to the dining room as well.

Daot-Daot heads out, finds a staircase that goes upstairs. Thinks it’s not a good idea to go up alone, but does it anyway. Upstairs, Daot-Daot finds a balcony with a snoring plant. She sneaks past the plant and heads to a different section of the second floor.

Jahura, Gary the Snail, Barbara the Barbarian II, and Him the Him open the secret door behind the false bookshelf and see a scary woman and a scrawny man. Jahura quickly identifies them as the Blood Princess and Lord Daemetrius. Jahura tells them that he’s aware of their plans to kill the Blood King and wants to help them. He also tells them that he’s aware of Seleana the Vampire Hunter. The Blood Princess sees this as an opportunity to use The Snack Club as pawns in her game and agrees to take them to Seleana.

She escorts them to the door that Daot-Daot discovered earlier was barricaded by furniture. The Blood Princess tells them, well, there she is. She’s inside. I’m going to leave though, because she’s kind of crazy and hates all vampires. So buh-bye.

Jahura and Gary the Snail are left to figure out how to open this door. After deliberating, Gary shouts “brute force attack” and kicks down the door. He breaks it open and triggers a trap Seleana set up. An arrow nicks him for 2 damage. This is important, because that 2 points of damage means a lot at a future scene.

Seleana the Vampire Slayer

Seleana looks like she hasn’t slept in a hundred years and is almost rabid. There’s a gagged, chained up vampire on the floor with tubes sticking out of him. It would appear Seleana has sustained herself all this time by drinking vampire blood. She is not well, and also, has crazy eyes.

Jahura tells her that they’re there to help rescue her. She doesn’t want rescue. She wants to kill the Blood King. Jahura tells her they can help her with that too.

Together, they head upstairs to find the orrery, where the Blood King’s heart is. They find Daot-Daot standing by herself in a hallway with a lot of different doors. But before they do that…. they see Moulsh the Drune and a heavily armed female archer directing twenty laborers as they move a huge bath tub made of gold through the hallways. It’s WHSCK. And they’re looting the place while The Snack Club do the killing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Snack Club (Aranna, Lane, Coil, and Arden) head upstairs as well.

Lane Oppenheimer, Again

The first wave of the Snack Club head into a room. There are four armored statues there. I ask them if they walk in. They do. The armored statues come to life and attack. At the beginning of the session, I reminded the Snack Club that D&D is not a game where the DM actively kills their players. In 99% of the cases, the players manage to do that themselves really, really well. I also remind them that I often give them very clear hints and warnings… like when I said, “do you walk in?” So when they clearly ignore my warnings and do the thing I ask them if they’re sure about doing, and do it anyway, it’s really not my fault, is it?

So here we are. They’re in a room with four heavily-armored statues with long glaives. They start hacking at the Snack Club. Lane Weaver arrives and casts control ice and turns the room into an ice rink. The statues are slipping and stumbling, but still manage to chop down a few times. One of them gets a hit on Gary the Snail. It does… 10 damage. Remember, when Gary the Snail brute forced himself into a trap and took 2 damage? Well, Gary the Snail has 11 HP total. So Gary the Snail is dead.

Lane casts control ice and freezes one of the armored statues, saving Arden Vey from a killing blow. Coil isn’t doing well either. Daot-Daot bandages him up. Lane casts vitality on Arden to bring him back to max HP. While all this is happening, Aranna, Coil, and Daot-Daot are firing arrows from the back. Jahura casts levitate and fails.

And then, Lane, in all of the battle chaos, Lane asks everyone if he should cast control ice again. There’s shouting and arguing and nobody is listening to Lane (except Daot-Daot who told him to not do it), so Lane casts control ice. It creates a chilling blast of frost that deals 3d10 of damage to everyone on the front-lines. This effectively freezes and shatters all the armored statues… but it also kills Arden Vey, Barbara the Barbarian the Second, and Him the Him. Lane says it’s not his fault because he “asked everyone first”.

Remember when I said players manage to kill themselves without my help? There you go.

The Blood King

Coil loots Arden Vey’s body, ensuring they don’t lose all their hard-won treasure. Lane takes his sword back from Gary the Snail’s corpse. And they continue to the next room.

Inside, they see a large group of very attractive people lounging about, they all persuade the Snack Club to join them and bask in the Blood King’s glory. I ask the Snack Club to all roll a Wisdom check. They all pass, and the illusion fades away. There isn’t a party here. It’s a bare empty room with two treasure chests and the Blood King himself.

Jahura quickly casts levitate on The Blood King. He succeeds. He’s caught in midair and can’t get out of it. Jahura also lifts the key on his neck off and takes it!

But the Blood King can still act. He creates a dreadful feeling of fear and Daot-Daot, Jahura and Coil rush out of the room scared out of their wits. Lane grabs Daot-Daot and she hits him in panic-stricken fright. The Blood King then summons six blood thralls and they block the Snack Club from escaping.

Lane shouts at all of them to get behind him, and casts fireball. It does 6d6 damage, obliterating the lot of them. Then the Snack Club run. Jahura tells them that his spell is good for another 50 minutes before the Blood King breaks free of the spell. The Snack Club are on the clock now. They must find the orrery where the Blood King’s heart is and destroy it.

The Orrery of the Multiverse

They head out into the hallways. Jahura, the mapper leads the way. There are three doors left to explore. He picks door number three…. and it’s the room with a humongous orrery inside. Lane casts detect magic on it and discovers that not only does the sun carry the Blood King’s beating heart… each of the planets orbiting the sun are not, in fact, models… but actual planets with miniature people on it! Jahura heads up to the sun, unlocks it with the key he stole from the Blood King and stabs it with a wooden stake. Seleana leaps forward and slashes it into pieces just for good measure. They hear an ungodly shriek in the direction of where the Blood King would be.

The Blood King is dead.

And then… the house begins to rumble and shake. Tiles from the ceiling are raining down on The Snack Club. The manor is about to collapse. The Snack Club run!

Jahura leads the way to the balcony. He casts levitate. It’s only good enough for himself and one other. He brings Aranna down with him to the ground floor. Daot-Daot runs and is ready to climb down when the carnivorous plant from earlier (which was sleeping) seizes her with two vines. Coil and Lane are caught too. Coil starts cutting at the vines. Daot-Daot invokes Mog the Spider God. She grows two spider fangs and bites the plant, poisoning it. Seleana unsheathes her two short-swords and slashes at the plant. Daot-Daot munches on the plant again. The plant is dead.

Daot-Daot prays to Mog again, gains the ability to climb walls like a spider and gets herself down. Jahura casts levitate and creates an air carpet, directs it up to the balcony. Lane, Seleana and Coil get on and fly down.

As they run towards the gates to get out… Jahura decides to cast levitate once more and throw another tree trunk at the house. It crashes into the front door, blocking access. But then Lane decides to add a fireball as cherry on top. It succeeds in blowing up Jahura’s barricade and now there’s a huge gaping hole in front of the house. Twelve vampires from the multiverse come running out of the gaping hole. They too are running from the collapsing manor. Oops.

Jahura yells at the Snack Club to hop on to his air carpet, and they fly up into the sky… and then the Snack Club start pouring all the holy water they saved up… peeling and pelting garlic at the vampires… and then, and then…

Jahura remembers the L-shaped piece of metal, with the weird loop coming out of it. The one he found in the piano. He takes it out, and pulls on the loop. It’s a sun ray pistol and it fires a hot beam of sunlight at the dozen vampires, incinerating them.

The Snack Club flies out of there on Jahura’s air carpet, cheering wildly.

After an All-Niter Fighting Vampires

The Snack Club, victorious from murdering a dozen vampires and destroying their giant house TARDIS head back to town. In No-Ombrulsk, they deposit their treasure, an ivory-infused, platinum mirror worth 1,250gp, their gem-encrusted, gold-plated edition of Twilight for 1,500gp, and 2,000gp in “loose change” from their bag of holding. Coil sells two vials of living blood for 500gp.

I show them the module’s total treasure. There was a potential of 122,000gp in the manor. The Snack Club are surprisingly exhilarated and they’re all cheering. I’m confused. They left over 100,000gp of treasure from this module and they’re cheering. Listen, parents of the Snack Club who are reading this, maybe you should each have a conversation with your kid about what’s acceptable as an accomplishment… because when you manage to loot only ~3,000gp out of 122,000gp in a game…. and have four out of nine guys KIA on the battlefield… that’s highly likely a failure in most people’s books, and not a success. Maybe? LOL.

Meanwhile, we meet Erky Skora (EB), an assassin who at one time worked for Ninguable of the Seven Eyes… and Noname Weaver (HA), yet another Weaver sibling, a no-good, do-nothing ruffian.

Iron Chef & Nehwon’s Got Talent

After Rawskull reported terrible monthly earnings for Dragons in the Dark, the Snack Club realize running a tavern isn’t some easy “passive income” business. So they overcompensate. Jahura Gaus and Aranna Weaver come up with a cooking competition, inviting the best of the Eight Cities to prepare meals competitively in their kitchen…. and inviting the residents of No-Ombrulsk to sample the food for 1gp per head. Noname decides to set up a talent competition.

We’ll see how the month of the raven turns out for them in another week’s time.

Meanwhile, during all this downtime, the Snack Club indulge in their vices. Erky accidentally hires Ratner Swinburne, an archer for 120gp. A thin man who happens to be an expert cook. Coil drunkenly hires Hlalf the Minstrel for 60gp. Aranna accidentally hires an elite soldier named Jürgen for 360gp, a suspicious fellow with a drug problem. And finally, Erky vanishes for two weeks.

Also - Lane Weaver spends two weeks teaching Daot-Daot Doubt how to cast vitality.

The Weaver siblings also finally name their magic weapons. Aranna names her crossbow Widowmaker. Lane names his demon-bane, armor-cracking sword, Nutcracker.

A Trip to the East

Finally - Gramme Shelton, the Seneschal of Willowby Hall informs the Weavers that Lady Szara, the noble they partied with has invited them to Sarheenhar. She wants them to see the spectacle that is the maiden voyage of her pet project: an airship that will cross the desert!

Meanwhile, the voice of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes rattles Jahura’s brain, informing Jahura he has changed his mind about the three rare magical ingredients. Ninguable really wants the medusa hair, and orders Jahura to come to his cave near Illthmar. Ninguable will teleport him to the Seer’s Sanctum.

Sarheenhar and Ninguable’s cave are in close proximity to each other across the Inner Sea, so the Snack Club all pack up and head off on another adventure.

The Snack Club on a whim decide that maybe they should buy their own ship with all the sea traveling they’re doing. I do some math and rattle off some prices. A sloop? 5,000gp. A caravel? 7,500gp. A galleon? 12,500gp. The Snack Club decide it’s not a smart purchase right now. So instead, they charter a 3-day journey to Sarheenhar at a cost of 9gp for each of the nine members of the Snack Club.

Final Math:

  • Tavern Earnings: (550gp)
  • Willowby Hall Payroll: (255gp)
  • Ratner Swinburne, Archer: (120gp)
  • Jürgen, Elite Veteran: (360gp)
  • Hlalf the Minstrel: (60gp)
  • Voyage to Sarheenhar: (81gp)
  • Wyrmskull Interest: (140gp)

TOTAL EXPENSES: 1,566gp

/end session on the Year of the Leviathan, Month of the Raven, Day of the Rabbit

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
  • 3 Rubies x 50gp = 150gp
  • 4 Diamonds x 100gp = 400gp
  • Jewel-Encrusted Dagger = 150gp
  • Ivory-Infused Platinum Mirror = 1,250gp
  • Gem-Encrusted, Gold-Plated Ed. of Twilight = 1,500gp
  • Petty Cash = 5,442gp
  • Tavern Income = 1,610gp

SUBTOTAL: 17,685gp

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

TOTAL: 18,295gp

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
    • Y.Leviathan/M.Panther = (550)gp

Chekhov’s Ticking Time Bombs

NEW

  • Lady Szara of Sarheenhar has invited Aranna and Lane Weaver to her fair city in the East for the maiden voyage of her airship, The Desert Angel.
  • Jahura has upset their patron, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, by not retrieving the hair of a gorgon. Ningauble has asked him for a do-over.

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
  • The Lens Room in the pocket dimension revealed a pyramid with three statues. How will the Snack Club get back there?
  • Will the Snack Club actually attempt to break into The Emerald Slab?

Heat & Reputation

City Heat Reputation
No-Ombrulsk 1 1
Illik Ving 0 -1
Mlurg Nar 6 3
Ool Plerns 2 0
Ool Krut 0 2
Ool Hrusp 0 0
Kvarch Nar 0 0
Gnamph Nar 1 -1
Kleg Nar 0 0
Sarheenhar 0 2
Earth’s End 0 1
Lankhmar 2 1
Ilthmar 5 -3
Quarmall 0 0
Horborixen 0 0

Session Counter for Leveling

Character Player Level Sessions Next
Aranna Weaver AJ L4 16 21
Lane Weaver AB L4 14 21
Seleana Mahogany EB L4 1 8
Coil Mahogany LC L3 5 8
Jahura Gaus SB L3 4 8
Daot-Daot Doubt EC L3 3 8
Noname Weaver HA L2 1 3
Erky Skora EB L2 1 3
Erevan Weaver OR L2 1 3

DM Notes to Myself

When I was a kid playing video game RPGs like Final Fantasy, I made it an obsessive-compulsive habit to be thorough in every dungeon – going through each and every room, looting every piece of treasure possible. And yeah, I probably could’ve finished these games much faster if I just rushed through each stage and get to the boss… but that’s me. So I guess it just surprises me whenever I see The Snack Club rushing from one room to the next carelessly, and leaving so much money behind. But again. That’s just me, I guess.

Of course, of course… I get it, I get it. I’m the DM here and I read the entire module twice and took notes in preparation of running it. I know about all the different rooms and all the different treasure. So there’s definitely a curse of knowledge here, me wishing The Snack Club would explore more rooms and interact with the elements more, and uncovering more of the secrets. /shrug.