For the first time ever we had a full, FULL table! It was a bit squishy but I really liked the energy and I really hope everyone was comfortable. I had a lot of fun introducing someone to D&D and it was even more fun doing it in a way that helped build up some more lore and world building.
It almost makes up for the fact that I’m messed up our schedule AGAIN due to work… sorry everyone. Now, without further adieu.
- The party find themselves in a room that is similar to a tomb… there are six small alcoves, each of them containing a beautifully ornate urn and some kind of art or armament. All except one, which looks as though it has been blasted outwards from the inside,
The room contains the following:
Left 1) Is a tree about 4-5 feet tall, similar to a bonsai with small golden fruits (a couple inches in diameter) dangling from the branches. The floor is lined with a thin golden dust – on a placard reads: Here lies Zali Greenfinger, their touch brought life where only death once reigned.
2) Is a statue, a bust of a beautiful elven woman, made of crystal. It catches and glows with the low light in the room Wisdom Save DC 14. For a moment you are completely overtaken by a sense of longing, some of you may even shed a tear unwittingly – the placard reads: Here lies Theremore Finolus, his love so strong that he outlived his elven wife despite his human limitations.
3) Is a painting, it is of a radiant dragon, with feathered scales. It fills the entire space behind the urn (5 × 10 feet) and it has a presence larger than even that. The placard: Here lies Severin Ceasar, once chosen by the Phoenix, a single moment defined a lifetime. His cleansing flame held undead hordes at bay long enough … <the>
Right 1) A shield made of glass, and behind it a suit of slight plate armor (of someone maybe 5 and a half feet tall) with large holes punched through it. The large roundshield has a sun motif which glows lightly. The placard: Here lies Samara the Unyeilding, whose light was only extinguished when she felt her duty done.
2) A spike (stake), roughly 2 feet across, of radiant energy. It hovers in the air, and you swear you can hear it crackling like a live wire. Placard: Here lies Jacob the Unwise, a man with such a singular focus that he pierced the darkest of hearts with nothing but his will alone.
3) Is empty. There is glass everywhere, with a thick layer of dust, a smattering of blood and what looks like burns. An urn is in the corner of the room, completely clean. The placard reads: Here lies Barias Doomfist, the Undying. We pray that the world finds peace so that The Dawnbringer may find his own.
Ever wonder what my game notes look like? BEHOLD AND TREMBLE!
- During this investigation Ramar is moved by the statue, and then he and Ziggy both are very, VERY interested in the book on the pedestal they can spy in the next room. They head towards it when…
“You feel as though you are waking up from the most restful sleep, and then you realise that you’re waking up… and that in itself is incredibly surprising. You think back, to your last moments, surrounded by family, friends, children, love, affection, being so very thankful and the light rays of the sun. Of warmth. Of falling into rest, for what you assumed, would be an eternity – perhaps in the presence of the Dawnlord if you were so lucky. If your service pleased him enough.
But here you are, feeling strength in your limbs and the oddly familiar sensation of cloth and the weight of armor. You are whole and you feel well, better than even the prime of your life, but that was so long ago that you’re not sure if you’re recalling correctly.
Your eyes open finally and acclimate to the dim, flickering light. The first thing you see is a large smiling face, made of a white stone. Marble? The stone man looks kind despite his giant frame, bending as not to scrape his head along the roof of this room. He is handsome and robust, statuesque in the classical sense despite being, seemingly, a living statue.
He helps you to your feet and you find yourself standing steady and strong, his guiding hands gentle despite the unforgiving material he is forged from. And in this moment you feel your heart beat again, truly beat, as you realise this is the one whom you dedicated your life to. Lathander, the morning lord. Of beauty and rebirth. Of justice and all that is good.
And then he opens his mouth, and the tone is familiar and soft. What is it that you hear? Sorrow? “Oh, dear child. Dear, sweet child. I do regret this, I really do. But you see, there are others here that must succeed and in the grand scale of things, you are but a single human. A tiny spark…
From that look, you can see who I appear to be, and I apologise for the duplicity. I am not He. I am not your god, or any, for that matter, but simply something that must see things through now that the world’s machinations have begun to turn again. I will have you be a tool for this purpose but understand that you will be rewarded.
This new life is yours for as long as you will it, that is the gift I bring you. His gift, one borrowed. You are adorned in arms and armor of my own collection, things I assume you can use with a sense of proficiency. I hope you do not mind that I looked over your life to find your preference. I realise that you are suitable.
Assist those here. You will know them when you see them. They share a similar driving force that you once had. Do it swiftly and I will reward you with rest… and I promise that your soul will return to its rightful place. I can assure you of that.
Displease me. Betray me. Then, well, that is something else entirely and that is a completely different set of promises. I’m sure I do not need to make them.
Do you have any questions of me?”
And with that the statue of the God Lathander, though something else entirely, rests back, looking at you expectantly. You raise your hand before your eyes, clenching it experimentally and you are momentarily taken back by what you see – a sigil crafted in fine golden scales.
- And so Binsky, the ancient? agent of Lathander rises once more.
- She is perplexed by the experience but notes there is only one path available to her, and the statue motions towards the tomb’s depths, and she sneaks ahead.
- Meanwhile Dharivol notes the low tones of what could be a conversation back from where they came. He asks Scruffy to head back, sneakily as possible. What occurs is a case of Low Perception VS Low Stealth, as human and giant spider meet and startle – and the spider retreats back to her buddy – to share her information that there’s a shiny, healthy human up ahead.
- The party lays in wait, similar to an ambush, which Binsky does notice and she announces herself to the party. Her dialect is different, older and more formal, but she speaks truth – given how persuasive she is, along with the fact the Zone of Truth detected no lie. She was sent to help, though she knows not what she is to do.
- The party as a whole is very interested in her, and her past, which the warrior does not know how to answer. She does discover that this tomb is much warmer than the climates she was accustomed to, she has a pendant with pictures of children (she had a family?), and she has an ornate and advanced pocket watch. The party then wonder when did she come from- an answer the woman does not have. The more she thinks back on her life the harder it is to recall.
- Everyone asks if the woman knows of the people enshrined in this tomb, and while the names are not familiar, she does recognise that of Barias or at least of his songs. He was something of a battle bard in her time.
- Ever wary, Ramar uses his divine sense to determine just what Binsky could be, but she appears human – but he does discover undead 60 feet in the direction ahead.
- Finally the party move ahead and Ziggy takes a look at, and acquires, the book – teachings and songs of worship of the religion to Lathander. They contemplate taking the carpet, it’s quite nice, but they leave it be.
- The corridor ahead winds around a corner where the party notice the low flickering light of green flame (GREEN FLAME).
- With some close calls on their collective stealth and perception, the party notice the swarm of undead ahead. The room before them is large and tiered. There’s a big ass chandelier hanging above the centre of the room, and to the sides are braziers burning with the bright green flame.
- Two score skeletons and a larger zombie looms between them and the two large, metal doors into the next room.
- Then, there was planning, there was initiative, and there was a spectacular surprise round. Highlights, as always, include Weezl turning into a scorpion and carrying Ramar and Binsky into the room in a furious charge – leaping onto a table, and slipping off – dropping her passengers. They do recover and enter the fray, with Ramar’s Crusader’s Mantle blazing, and giving everyone extra radiant damage. The paladin brandishes his Staggering Warhammer against the skeletal undead, which proves to be incredibly effective.
- Ziggy slides behind the upturned table, firing shots, along with Dharivol that does the same. Skeletons fall, and when Binksy fires at one of the braziers, it bursts alight in flame and laughter – as a burning Flaming Skull roars from the flames. Another rises from across the room.
- The melee ensues, with allows flying everywhere, especially when Dharivol uses Conjure Barrage to clear half the room (doing probably 200+ damage collectively). Ramar surfs on a table with some incredibly athleticism, using the momentum to draw the zombie’s attention and to smash unwary skeletons. Weezl had a rough time in her scorpion form, rolling a record number of 1’s but she did manage to fell a few of the chattering creatures. David exclaimed when the Flaming Skulls arrived to the scene, chanting arcana but his counterspell was ineffective when the two skulls unleashed fireballs on the party. Ramar smashed a Flaming Skull into the wall with a baseball swing and Binsky launched into melee and ranged attacks, weaving in and around the battlefield. A skeleton or two get on the business end of an Action Surge and her golden weapons. Ziggy fired off shots, and went into flurries of blows with his trusty rapier, and was the last to finish the skeletons with a wall run and disarming attacks.
- The party, in the aftermath, tidied up the room somewhat and inspect two large suits of armor which lay still at the back of the room. They were once arcane constructs but have been tampered with, making them ineffective, but Weezl does find some hidden alcoves when checking the area out. They find not one, but two, chests hidden in the compartments and Ziggy gets them open with little to no trouble – to the extent of opening the second with a series of knocks instead.
- In the chests are scrolls, some tools (which are master crafted), and a master crafted shawm. Dharivol also inspects some weapon racks, finding decent and (even better) silvered weapons, and he replaces his two short swords and grabs a javelin.
- They all take a short rest to recover themselves
- The doors ahead are not locked but ARE heavy, but Ziggy surprises everyone with getting enough leverage and strength to move them by himself. Ramar in particular seems surprised by this show of might.
- The corridor ahead leads to another room and the closer the party gets to the doors they feel more and more ill… simply sick with fear. They get into position and burst into the room… seeing two wights, a giant skeleton of a minotaur, and some eerie presence in the middle of the room, hidden amongst a jumble of broken statue pieces… and across from them a portcullis, and behind that… a chest. IT’S A ZELDA ROOM. THERE’S A CHEST GUYS. WE CAN SEE IT. IT’S LIKE ZELDA. (Seriously, everyone seemed very excited with this feature, so much so that I feel like I need to do it more.)
- What ensues is the party going wild on these undead. The room is surrounded with more inanimate suits of armor, seemingly tampered with like the others, they’ll get no assistance from them.
- One of the wights challenges the party – a horrifically deformed woman, who raises her cruel blade and demands their deaths for “The prince.” The other wight nods, seemingly in charge, and is quiet, wielding a strange curved blade.
- The party is NOT happy with the lady-wight and Weezl scrambles up the walls to the roof and summons two fey Dire Wolves which gnash and bite at the creature. She largely ignores their attacks and smiles cruelly as she fires two arrows at Weezl forcing her to drop her concentration.
- Ramar launches himself at the giant minotaur skeleton, imbuing his weapon with holy might and smites and doing a STUPID amount of damage to the undead. It tries to strike back but is largely ineffective as it staggers from the mighty blows.
- Dharivol takes potshots and is too scared to send in Scruffy who hides behind him. They strafe and fire, doing what they can from a distance. While Ziggy fires his divination arrows and then wades into the fray, darting in and out of combat. Ramar takes a vicious cut from a wight’s strange katana, but before long the group start to win the day… until a horrifically warped and dark creature shambles from the wreckage – a Bodak. It’s presence is enough to cause enough terror to harm the party… until Weezl (still on the roof) polymorphs the creature into a slug! She drops from the roof, risking losing her concentration (on her only level 5 spell), scooping up the creature and running from the room to store it in a chest – terrified and sweating profusely.
- Binsky manages a barrage of arrows which puts the minotaur skeleton into the dirt and the wights are soon bested as well – with the party taking great care to absolutely DELETE the lady wight from existence.
- They gather back in the previous room to find Weezl panting and babbling about a slug in a chest which she is sitting atop of. Ramar has an idea of what the creature is and can not suffer it to live. So, they throw the slug into a reignited brazier and go into a series of attacks to fell the creature – which futilely tries to terrify them to death. It does not succeed… and when it finally, slowly, crumbles to dust (with the party seeing the carved symbol of Orcus in its chest) they hear a door opening in the final chamber. The chest room!
- They rush in (and it’s about this time that Dom and Belinda had to duck out, since we were running a bit late (side effect of combat… sorry everyone!)) and find the chest and a now-repaired stained-glass window behind it.
- The chest is quite large, ornate and beautiful, and has two locks. An inscription says “Follow the path of justice. The other is folly.” The artwork on the glass depicts Lathander, similar to how he looks in the first room as a statue. His right hand out.
- Naturally, they choose the left lock, triggering the Arcane Lock and raising the DC of the lock by 10. Ziggy tosses up using some of his magical keys which may help unlock the thing, but instead relies on his own talents and a little Guidance from the druid. He hits 25 on the Thieves’ Tools check, JUST hitting the target (which was amazing) and opening the lock.
- Inside are diamonds, diamond dust, and a beautiful cloak (of billowing). They also decide to take the chest as well, seeing as it’s probably worth something and they now have a key for then thing.
- They also inspect the wight’s leftover katana, finding it to be a potent magic item on its own and Ziggy takes that up. He immediately finds that his vision is now so keen that the bright lights now cause him discomfort but the blade feels good in his hands.
- And so we end the session there…
Dungeon delving! It was heaps of fun and I really feel like everyone enjoyed themselves. I’ve really missed this “old school” type of game and it was really fun seeing everyone react every time I pulled out a new map, mini or piece of scenery. It was also great having Belinda along and having a full table. I feel like combat moved quickly enough despite being quite large encounters.
So, that’s the tomb of Lathander sorted… or is it? What will the party discover down in those stony depths? What other truths might they uncover? Will they learn more of Binsky’s past? Are there more Zelda rooms? Can we actually steal that giant rug? What can Gilgamesh, the Bright King, expect of them? Find out next time!