The Guardians — Episode 8: Down the hole

Zelirith, whom the townsfolk called the Witch of the Forest, led the group to a 2-day trek to the hills where the Lich’s phylactery is kept hidden. She explained to them that they would need to find the cave guarded by winged demon-like statues resembling gargoyles. And in the shallow cave would be a wall of overlapping rocks. Behind it would be a boulder that they would need to lift to reveal the hole in the ground leading to a deep vertical tunnel.

She was not sure exactly what to expect inside as she had not read this in the book left to her by the Order of the Box.

She wouldn’t be able to accompany them down the tunnel because it was protected by powerful magic to thwart powerful individuals from entering and taking the phylactery. She said that she would lead the gargoyles away from the mouth of the cave to allow the group to go into the tunnel unharmed.

Mistamojo asked how she would accomplish this. At that, she created a tall flaming humanoid from thin air and said, “with this.” She walked off with the fire elemental away from view.

Moments later, the group saw a fireball explode near the mouth of the cave. Ten gargoyles rose from the hill and flew to the direction of the source of the fireball.

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In seeing that, the group moved closer to the cave and stopped at the bushes just across it. They surveyed their surrounding to see if it was truly safe to cross. What they saw were the rotting corpses of a couple of ogres and lots of goblins. Mistamojo deduced that the goblins may have attempted to get the phylactery a while back.

With the gargoyles preoccupied with Zelirith and her fire elemental off in the distance, Brioche the thief darted across from the bushes into the cave. Encouraged by Brioche’s lead, Mistamojo followed him.

They went behind the wall of rocks and saw that the hole in the ground was no longer covered by a boulder. Iron spikes were nailed around the hole. Each spike had rope tied to it with the other end dangling into the dark vertical tunnel below. They could hear the faint sound of rushing water in the tunnel. Mistamojo threw in a torch and it briefly lit the tunnel as it bounced a few times on some rocky surface and then it was gone.


Outside, Elfred cast Protection from Evil while Hermione cast Mirror Image. Suddenly there were three Hermiones standing side-by-side and mirroring the movement of each other. The rest of the group tried to cross into the cave but due to the commotion they were making, they attracted the attention of two gargoyles. The flying creatures swooped in to attack but Rusty, Aragorn, Diana and Oracle formed a wall to allow Elfred, Mystic and Hermione to go into the cave safely.

Oracle tried to shoot a gargoyle with his long bow but he snapped his bow’s string. Rusty tried to shoot a gargoyle with his short bow but missed badly. Meanwhile, Hermione remembered from her magical studies that non-magical weapons are ineffective against gargoyles.

She passed on that knowledge to her team. Oracle and Rusty already have magical long swords so they switched to that. Hermione and Mystic both handed their magical daggers to Diana and Aragorn.

Oracle and Rusty were both hit by the gargoyles but they were able to hit them back with their own swords. Hermione and Mystic fired off magic missiles which were effective. One gargoyle tried to attack Mystic because of this but Diana was able to kill it with the magic dagger as it flew low past her. Rusty finished of the other gargoyle with ease.

Once the two gargoyles were down, they all gathered inside the cave to avoid attracting the attention of the rest of the gargoyles. After some discussion, the group decided to all go down the tunnel using the rope that were already there.

As Hermione and Elfred descended down into the tunnel, Hermione’s mirror images disappeared and Elfred’s Protection from Evil fizzled. Something in the tunnel made magic ineffective.

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At about a hundred feet down, the vertical tunnel widened into a round area where everybody could stand. But in the middle of this round area was another hole in the ground leading into further darkness below. As above, there were iron spikes with rope at the mouth of this hole. The sound of rushing water was louder now.

There was also a corpse of someone in singed long robes. Hermione investigated as it looked like a dead mage. It seemed to have been dead for a very long time as it was mostly skeleton. He was wearing a cloak that didn’t look singed like the rest of his clothing. He also wore a magic ring and a scarab amulet. In his backpack was a spellbook, a magical dagger and 150 gold coins.

The group paused here to decide what to do next. In the meantime, they divided the dead wizard’s possessions among themselves.

Would they all go down the tunnel? Would some stay behind to ensure they weren’t attack from the rear? What else is in store for them underneath? They’ll find out next time.


 

Nine of the ten players were in attendance on Tuesday’s game. I tried a few things to make the game run more smoothly despite the large number of PCs.

  1. We only rolled initiative once and we used that for the entire encounter
  2. I asked for a volunteer to keep track of whose turn it was in the initiative order
  3. I sat at the head of the table again so I could easily talk to anybody on the table without having to turn my whole body just to face them. This also meant I could easily see if anybody wanted to get my attention and say something.

The Guardians — Episode 7: Shopping day

From this point onward, I’m labeling this particular campaign The Guardians, in reference to what has happened in game today.


After defeating the zombies, a woman in blue with a white streak on her otherwise flowing black hair appeared in the main chamber of the mausoleum. She was initially shouting at no one in particular but the directed her anger at the group when she saw them. She demanded to know why they have set the Lich King Kranis Volan free.


Elfred convinced the woman named Zelirith that they did not free the Lich King. In fact, they wanted to help stop the Lich King but needed to gear up and rest in town first. Zelirith said she needed to get a few things sorted in her house first anyway and said she’d just meet them back in the town of Landseal the next day. And so, she left with her owl Barn and what seemed like a large walking boulder creature.

When the group returned to town, they were given a heroes’ welcome. The kids greeted them by placing garlands around their necks. Mayor Noah Pritchard, a kindly and respectable old man in smart robes walked toward them with a smile and open arms. 


The mayor thanked them, gave them 1000 gold (donated by everyone in town) and the key to Landseal in appreciation. Everyone cheered and started calling them the Guardians of Landseal.

Using the reward money and the treasure they got from the crypt, they bought better weapons and armour. In appreciation for the town’s new found heroes, they were offered 10% discount on all items they bought at the shops. They also got free food and lodging at the Full Tankard Tavern for the time being.


During the day, Aragorn noticed a young boy of maybe 10 to 12 years old following him around town. He was wearing a fur cloak and carrying a short bow. When Aragorn confronted the boy, he said he was George, son of Jared the local hunter. He was one of the kids abducted by the goblins and saved by the heroes. He remembered Aragorn particularly as it was Aragorn who stopped the goblin shaman from killing him.

He wanted to tag along and claimed he could be useful to the group. Although they initially entertained the idea of using him as a scout or checker for traps (I’m sure they were just kidding, right? Right?), they eventually decided against bringing him along. They didn’t want to take care of some kid in the middle of certain danger. George sulkily left the group after the rejection.

In the morning, after they were fully rested, an envoy from the Baron of Andren arrived in town and told the group that they have been invited by Baron Cain Andren to go to his castle where a feast in their honour was waiting for them. The group said they would think about it. The envoy said he’ll just go to the mayor in the meantime to talk to the Baron’s cousin.


While the group discussed in the tavern whether or not to go with the envoy, Zelirith walked in and told them it was time to go. She handed everybody a healing potion each and the magic-users, she handed 7 scrolls. All the spells in the scrolls were neither in Hermione’s nor Mystic’s spell books yet so they transferred most of them across.

In the end, they decided to ditch the baron’s envoy and leave with Zelirith to go to the hidden tunnel of the Order of the Box where the Lich’s phylactery was supposed to be kept and protected.

What awaits the group at the hidden tunnel? We’ll find out in a couple of weeks.


We were only able to play for about an hour today due to scheduling difficulties. And so, we only really had time to do some shopping and start a couple of story threads.

With 10 players and Tuesday being a busy day in the office, it’s getting harder to get everybody together for a session that last at least an hour. For example, although all 10 of the players are at work today, only 7 were able to play. But since I know that there would be some housekeeping that needed to be done, I just want to run a session anyway so that next session will be the actual start of a new adventure.

I also felt that the players were expecting some combat today and they had none. I asked the players after what it was they want out of the games to help in preparing future adventures. The majority said they wanted more combat and problem solving. I’m taking that to mean that they are less interested in the roleplaying aspect of roleplaying games in the future. That means I can now just focus on making/using dungeon-crawling-type adventures.