...when last we left our intrepid band of brave (foolish) adventures, they had just left The Dark Chateau and had just entered one of the Mouths of Madness and climbed up to a pillared region wherein they were confronted with a massive golden runic covered door.
many attempts to open said runic covered door (lockpicking attempts all
failed) they decided to search the area and one industrious monk took a
nunchaku and began tapping on each pillar in turn. A fortuitous roll
uncovered a hollow spot, and shattering of said pillar commenced. Inside
were two items; 1) an ancient scroll, and 2) a small golden coin.
druid it was determined could decipher the language on the coin, so as
he began to read the ancient Centaurian, the coin melded to his hand and
he was overtaken by a contact poison. Meanwhile, afraid the scroll had
the same issues, a silken cord was offered by the elf and the monk
looped it around the scroll and pulled it from it's shelf. Asked if he
would catch it a hurried "no!" ensued and it was determined the ancient
scroll shattered as it hit the stone floor.
Meanwhile, the Druid
deciphered the text and realized the coin might well open the door.
While this was happening, the monk decided he wanted to scale a pillar
and used the rope to lumberjack his way up to the domed (arched)
ceiling. While there he touched the smooth surface, then heard the
unmistakable sound of something fast approaching - as he yelled for help
a bony appendage smashed him across the back and he fell unconscious
some 30 feet to the stone floor below - taking 17 points of damage in
Black webbing anchored a bone spider as it rapidly
descended to claim its prize, swaying its bony legs menacingly. It
quickly began wrapping up the juicy monk when the party began nailing it
with projectiles, maces and spears. A fortuitous turn for the thief,
over checking out the door, for he was able to back attack the spider as
it began its accent with it's prized dinner.
Party 1, Monster 0
Minor Bone Spider of Set
HD 4+1 HP 28
# Attacks: 2 + Special
Damage: 1d6+1 X 2, 1d4 (Bite after webbed, Save versus poison -2, fail = paralyzed)
Black webbing makes excellent rope once creating spider is destroyed
The ruins of the scroll revealed a spell of opening, and thus the party encountered the DM's first tribute to E. Gary Gygax - a scroll laying inside a hidden compartment that would, if read, open said compartment.
coin it turned out could be used to open the door, since the outer edge
of the coin turned independently from the rest. The thief, having seen
similar coins in his journeys in his home city of Haven, quickly opened
the massive doors.
The passage beyond extended downward to a
simple stone door, which didn't open but pivoted on its axis, and thus
the party spend some time deciding that the door might well lead to 2
different areas when opened. After deciding, they pushed right and a
room beyond appeared - not fully happy with this result they turned the
door the other way and suddenly a rumbling was heard from behind. The
massive golden doors had closed, trapping them within. The thief quickly
surmised "We can only exit by going forward".
Four dwarves and
six gnomes lived within the massive cathedral like room, and the party
quickly was invited to dinner. The elf proffered a single gp into the
burning brazier when asked to do so, but the heavy mutton-loving human
fighter quickly started a short brawl when he offered only to eat the
food for free, or kill them all. A single dwarvish axe descended and the
first critical was felt on the human's right arm. His brother, not too
bright himself, quickly stuck his spear point into the fire and applied
the red-hot tip to his brother's arm, Saxon fainted from the
Gandallfon, Dwarven God of Gold and Gems,
arrived on his great throned seat, glittering armor and crown appearing
in place. The Elf, always trying to do the right thing, quickly tossed
his magical labradorite gem into the brazier (the DM, it should be noted
was shocked that a gem of this magnitude was hurled into the fire). A
save versus fire resulted in the worst of possible results, and the Elf,
standing three feet from the brazier was hurled some 12 feet distant
onto the food-laden table as the gem exploded in a fiery ball.
dull-witted fighter Angelo, once again thinking quickly - applied
butter to the burned Elf - muttering something to the effect of "Butter
helps every burn mm-hmm". The Elf was treated by the Dwarven Clerics,
and once everyone settled down, a doorway heading North became the
parties focus. A bard mysteriously appeared to join the party, and thus
they sat out to explore the Storeroom level of Castle Zagyg properly.
long winding hallway led them out and around, and down to their first
choice - East or continue South. As they were deciding their direction, a
spider dropped from the ceiling onto the Druid, biting and paralyzing
him in the process. Caught in the middle of the marching order, the
fighting brothers decided to do a dash-and-smash shield attack,
squishing the spider/druid in between. An arrow fired from the Elf
missed badly and struck one of the druids, but order was quickly
returned when the spider took a powerful whack from a shield bash.
Party 2, Monster 0
HD 2 HP 14
# Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6+1 (Save versus poison -2, fail = paralyzed)
the spider was rendered dead, the party continued South, Druid stiff as
a plank. When they reached the T intersection and started East, a
Gelatinous Cube was discerned heading their way. They retreated back
from whence they came and waited to see what the cube would do. When it
headed straight past them, oil was quickly gathered and torches
proffered, and one meaty cube was quickly reduced to a nasty pile of
ooze. Inside the remains was a lovely dagger, and a skull with two
Party 3, Monster 0
HD 4 HP 25
# Attacks: 1
Damage: 2-8 (Paralyzation)
thief grabbed the dagger, and the Elf began to extract the teeth when
the skull floated to life. Chants of Demi-Lich exploded from the
players..at this point, much ado was made of the absolute safest place
for a Demi-Lich to live, i.e., inside of a Gelatinous Cube. The thief
attempted to strike the skull with the dagger still in his hand and as
he did, both he and the skull disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Down inside a pit the thief faced off against the floating skull unaware what he was about to face.
a group of bats flitted towards the party from behind and to the East
and when bolts/arrows were released, the illusion was both busted and
the trap released. The floor gave way, and 5 members fell, including the
still-plank stiff Druid.
The thief dodged quickly and was able
to avoid all but the heaviest fighter. After destroying the reset plate
inside the pit, the party was extracted leaving the skull eerily
floating, looking up at the thief with that platinum-toothed grin.
Flagon Card was used to call forth a Deck of Many Things, and a few
members of the party drew cards. One of the monks drew first, and
instantly his body slacked, soul gone trapped on some other plane. Other
cards were drawn, and a few players needed to face the next creature in
single combat to gain a level, while one player (an alchemist) had to
face a minor death and win - or be destroyed forever.
Party 3, Deck of Many Things 1, Monster 0
secondary Flagon Card was used by the alchemist Azcalaban, forcing the
Elf to face the same sort of combat as retribution for asking for the
Deck of Many Things to begin. The Elf didn't survive, but the Alchemist
used a alembic that contained a massive fireball to defeat his opponent.
Party 3, Deck of Many Things 2, Monster 0
paralyzed Druid regained himself, and the party headed East, but when
they came to a 20 foot hallway heading North, the Druid took off at
break neck speed towards a well some 120 feet distant. Other party
members pulled back a curtain revealing all sorts of spears blocking the
passage - but through them they could make out a couple orcs sitting as
guards. They gently closed the curtain and moved Northward.
the Druid proffered a nice treasure when he tossed a gp into the well,
but the exuberance was short lived when a massive wolverine came
charging Southward intent on claiming the nature lover as his next meal.
The brothers set spears in place, and yelled to the Druid to prepare. A
quick spell of animal friendship failed and a Flagon Card (whimsy style
card) was used to force a change in the game. The wolverine was tasked
to destroy the orcs, but that plan was forgotten when a second card gave
a Monk the chance to face the wolverine in single combat - if he won he
would gain a level due to drawing a card from the Deck of Many Things.
The card altered the game again and the wolverine died quickly. Last
rites were given to the massive beast by the bard, whom played an opal
The party went East again, and the Bard
stepped into a room that had a partly illusionary floor. He fell some 10
feet into a pit that contained festered, maggot covered rats pouring
out of the wall, and while he was rescued fairly quickly - the statement
"knowing when to run is always a wise tactic" was proven to be true.
led to a spider infested room/alcove that the players were hesitant to
explore, and they finally found some valued treasure when a box was
opened to reveal five potions. (2 healing, 1 longevity, 2 unknown).
The party holed up in a room with a single entrance and that's where the session ended.
Herein is a map with the path the players took marked in red:
had installed Syrinscape on my laptop, and created my own sound and
effects folder, which was played throughout the session as
background/mood. I had installed both the Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate
soundtracks, so I had approximately 100 songs that the program played
in a random, non-repeating order. As a bonus, the program allows you to
create various effects channels - such as E1, E2, and E3. Plop in
sounds, and the program randomly mixes and plays them underneath the E4
music channel. lastly, the right side of the program interface allows
for what it calls "one off sounds" - here I dropped in rolling stone,
sprung traps, and other sounds to use for special circumstances.
a player was freaked out by the ambiance, and many times jumped from
the sounds. If your interested in the free outstanding program
(registration is free and you can then download all of their sound sets
like "Battle, Forest Daytime, Forest Nighttime, Dripping Cavern etc.) ,
please check it out:
Included is an image of Syrinscape with a new custom background I created specifically for our gaming group:
I've added in some special encounter types of my own, as well as
creating a multitude of player handouts in the form of custom doors to
aid with the visual, Castle Zagyg The Storeroom level is proving to be a
blast for the players and I.
More to come..