Weather:Unseasonably warm, overcast
Player Characters:Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 282 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 347 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 344 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 328 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 362 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 362 points
Hugin, Human Mercenary
Caswallon, Dwarf Engineer
Caswallon's Mute Assistant, Dwarf Laborer
Charithmysis, intelligent rapier
The group started in Cillamar.
Both Garreth's Epic Plate of Weightlessness and Polly's Penetrating Rapier reached Cillamar. Each paid the balance due and showed off their new equipment. Polly also bought a pick and a shovel, for use in digging in the pyramid.
Seépravir researched the jar of guts and found that this was related to some ancient religion that removed and preserved the organs of corpses. She tried using Purify Water as a stain remover to clean a stained potion belt that she'd found in Quintus's trash, but it didn't work as well as expected. She brewed more healing potions to replace some that had been consumed last delve.
Zaber talked to Hugin to see if he knew who was guarding Lord Flitwick. Hugin had heard that Flitwick's bodyguard was Gord the Black Dwarf, who had a bad reputation. Zaber spread some more rumors about Flitwick.
Hugin mentioned that it's good luck to feed Ixnay the shoulder dragon drinks, and gave him a beer. Polly shared some of her hard carrot juice, and Zaber gave him some whiskey. That was enough for Ixnay, who took a nap.
Elias tried casting Remove Curse on the cursed snake staff, but it still zapped Zaber when he tried picking it up, so either the curse was too powerful to remove, or he just didn't do a good enough job casting the spell.
For the first time in months, it was warm though to travel with neither winter clothing nor a Warmth spell. This caused some shuffling of gear to celebrate reduced encumbrance. The warm weather meant it was finally possible for Caswallon to install another elevator into the dungeon, so the group paid Hugin to guard Caswallon, paid Caswallon the balance due on the elevator, and had Caswallon, Hugin, and Caswallon's mute assistant accompany them on their trip to Castle Whiterock. Caswallon brought along a mule-drawn wagon full of elevator parts and tools, which greatly slowed the trip to the castle, but nobody harassed the party on the way.
When they reached the castle, the group showed Caswallon the top of the hidden shaft down from the surface to the Clockwork Academy that Seépravir had dug with earth magic, and Caswallon and his assistant went to work while Hugin stood guard. Not wanting to stand around watching, the PCs went down the stairs into the dungeon, then down the existing elevator to the underground river level, then had Garreth row them down the river to the north beach, then hiked from there to the giant cave. Nothing exciting happened on the way, so the group continued to the black pyramid. Seépravir cast Invisibility and Haste on Zaber, Flight on Garreth, then sat down in the normal mana zone at the top of the steps to rest and maintain spells. Once again, they agreed that if Seépravir sensed Zaber's Invisibility was gone, she should hasten to their aid.
The others moved forward into the great hall containing the broken clay golem, and considered which way to go. They hadn't explored the secret door to the northeast yet, so they went that way. Behind the secret door were stairs down to the northeast, which ended in a passage leading east, which ended at a stone door. Zaber searched for traps and listened at the door, but didn't find anything. The door was locked, so Zaber picked the lock, then Polly pushed it open. (Zaber didn't want to, as if anyone saw the door open with nobody visibly pushing on it, that might give away his Invisibility.)
On the other side of the door was a room about 50' square and 50' tall, with a lot of dust on the floor. Zaber used Tracking to try to find footprints in the dust, but didn't find any. Zaber's See Secrets found another secret door on the opposite (east) wall, very well hidden. Zaber and Polly walked to the other side of the room, and then suddenly gravity reversed and both Polly and Zaber flew upward to the ceiling. (Though nobody saw Zaber since he was Invisible.) Worse, there were invisible spikes there. Polly was wearing a Ring of Slow Fall, but it wasn't powerful enough to work in the low mana zone, and didn't help. Both Zaber and Polly took significant damage smacking into the spiked ceiling; Zaber decided to use Luck to reroll his and take a bit less, but still enough to cripple his left leg and force a consciousness check, which he made.
At that point everyone started looking for rope, and realized they weren't carrying any. Garreth, with Flight on, started forward feeling for anomolies. He eventually found a Force Wall halfway across the room. He tried cutting through first with his sai, then with Elias's flail, but it didn't work. Zaber drank a healing potion. Polly crawled along the ceiling to where the Force Wall was, and found that it didn't extend all the way to the ceiling. Garreth flew back to Seépravir to update her on the situation, then heard yells to come back, and flew back to the rest of the party with the wineskin of healing potions. He flew up all the way to the ceiling (because Zaber said the pointy parts of the spikes were farther down so ceiling level was safer), then set the wineskin where Zaber could drink some more healing potions. When he was fully healed, his leg started working again. Garreth then grabbed Polly and flew her down to ground level next to Elias, who cast Major Healing to fix her up. And then he flew Zaber down too. While Garreth was flying around trying to figure things out, the Reverse Gravity trap expired, but Garreth managed to adjust before hitting anything. The Force Wall also went away.
Zaber tried pointing out the secret door to Garreth, but he was Invisible so Garreth couldn't see this. Zaber then tried yelling directions, but Garreth couldn't see the secret door without magical help. Finally, Garreth just flew back to Zaber, picked him up in a bear hug, and flew him over to the wall. Zaber found a secret keyhole, tried picking the lock, failed, used his Luck to reroll, and opened it. (Zaber has Extraordinary Luck which resets every 30 minutes.)
Behind the secret door was a 10' by 10' square stone vault, filled with treasure like golden coins, golden cat statues, silverware, and urns. And Zaber's See Secrets spotted yet another secret door on the far side of the vault. Zaber declared that he was searching for traps extra-hard, but didn't find any. Everyone was super suspicious and extra cautious though. Zaber leaned down from outside the room and grabbed one coin. The coin turned out to be gold-plated copper, not solid gold, with quite a sharp edge. Garreth flew into the room, not touching the floor, and grabbed a golden lion statue, a silver fork, and a handful of coins. He handed them to Zaber, then went in for another pass, grabbing a fancy spear and a gold and obsidian crown. Zaber wanted to ignore the coins since they were copper, but Garreth wanted to take them since even copper coins are valuable.
Temporarily leaving the coins along, Garreth picked up Zaber and flew him across the vault to the secret door, which Zaber picked open. At that point the secret door opened, the floor of the vault disappeared, and the remaining sharp coins in the room fell to the bottom of a deep pit, then teleported to the ceiling, resumed falling, and a few pelted Garreth and Zaber. Back in the big room, Polly used her shovel to catch falling coins and pull them out. Meanwhile Garreth carried Zaber into the tiny room, which contained a golden jar and a lion's-head mace that Polly and Elias thought looked magic.
Polly collected all the falling coins near the vault's west entrance, but couldn't reach the rest. So Garreth flew across, borrowed Elias's shield, and held it over his head at an angle to bounce coins to the west while mostly protecting himself. It required 6 DX rolls and a few points of cutting damage from coins than managed to sneak in around Garreth's armor, but eventually he bounced all the coins toward where Polly could reach them with her shovel.
The jar contained more guts. Elias said to burn them. Seépravir didn't want to. Garreth agreed with Elias. For now, the group decided to pile up all the treasure near Seépravir, then go down the north passage that led to the Mummy's room, and explore the sand-colored patch of wall on one side of the passage. Exploring consisted of Garreth bashing it with a pick, until he made a hole in the wall and revealed a passage behind it, with more stairs down. At the bottom of the stairs was a door with a strange huge bronze lock, consisting of four dials with numbers on them. Zaber had never seen such a lock before, but he fiddled with it for a long time anyway, and eventually managed to open it.
Zaber pushed the door open. Behind it was a room featuring some pillars and a large reed boat. Inside the boat was a women, playing some pipes. Hearing the music caused everyone to make a Will roll; somehow they all succeeded. (Though Polly needed Luck.) Elias took a closer look at the woman and decided (via Hidden Lore (Undead)) that she looked like a mummy.
At this point some mouths appeared on the walls and started reading a rhyme about needing to find three sacred vessels and destroy them to bend his body.
Garreth inched forward toward the woman, who eventually cast some other mind control spell on him using her pipes, but he resisted. At that point Garreth activated the pearly spear to give himself Great Haste. Polly decided that was a good excuse to fire an arrow into the woman's eye. She rolled a 17 on her defense roll, making it look like this combat could be over really fast -- but then it turned out she had Luck and got to reroll her dodge, and succeeded.
Garreth flew up to the boat, fast-draw his katana, and chopped the bard rapidly. The first hit did some damage. The second hit was a critical and forced her to drop her pipes. The third and forth hits also left a mark. She took enough damage to need consciousness and death checks, but made them. Then she cast some kind of spell, and suddenly there were 5 of her in the boat, shuffling around to make it hard to see which was which, all drawing a pretty silver rapier.
Elias moved up. Polly fired a couple more arrows, which were dodged. Garreth hit two of the images, which were both false ones, as each disappeared when hit. Zaber, still Invisible, jumped up to the boat and climbed over the gunwale.
The mummy bard tried another mind control spell on Garreth. He failed to resist, used his Luck, and got a better roll but still lost the contest. He was about to be mind controlled -- but then his Bless decided to prevent that, dissipating in the process. Thinking she had succeeded, the bard told Garreth to "kill the archer" in Undercommon.
Polly ran around the boat to line up her shot properly, then fired a couple more arrows and managed to dispel another image. Garreth decided to All-Out Attack (Double) with Rapid Strike to get a ridiculous number of attacks, but the bard managed to parry and dodge them. Zaber jumped into the center of the boat and grabbed the pipes. The mummy stabbed Garreth with her rapier, and he had no defense -- but she didn't do enough damage to penetrate his armor!
Polly took a couple more shots, and managed to dispel the last illusion, leaving only one mummy bard who had to be the real one. Garreth went for All-Out Attack (Double) again to get 6 swings, but the mummy managed to dodge all 6, but now she was up on the prow of the boat, unable to retreat again without falling off. Zaber decided to play the pipes, though he didn't actually have an Musical Instrument skill. The sound that came out was predictably horrible. Surprisingly, it counted as an attack, and Zaber became visible.
The mummy bard decided to go for Garreth's eye, using All-Out Attack (Determined) for +4 to skill. Fortunately for Garreth, she didn't quite have the skill to hit it, but hit his unarmored face instead. This left a mark, but didn't manage to stun him. Polly took advantage of her temporary inability to dodge by shooting her in both eyes. The first hit caused a death check that she passed. The second hit caused a death check that she rolled a 17 on, and the fight was over.
Seépravir came running into the room to see what had happened to Zaber, but by then the danger was past. Both the pipes that Zaber had grabbed, and the silver rapier, appeared to be magic. Polly picked up the rapier, and it talked to her, in Elven. It said to put it down, as she was clearly some kind of woodland beast, not a bard. In response, Seépravir played a song on her flute. She initially rolled a 10, a pretty solid success, but then she used her Luck and managed to get a critical success on the reroll. At that point the rapier identified itself as Charithmysis and asked to be removed from this hovel.
At that point we were out of time, so the group packed up all the treasure, headed for the surface, collected Caswallon and company (who were done with the elevator), and went back to Cillamar.
The reverse gravity plus spikes on the ceiling trap was pretty brutal, but defeated by Flight. (And low falling damage rolls, aided in Zaber's case by Luck.) The infinite pit full of sharp objects was also defeated by Flight, along with Garreth's heavy armor negating most falling sharpened coin damage.
The PCs who abuse Luck constantly finally ran into an enemy who also had Luck. It made the fight against the mummy bard last a bit longer, but 4 versus 1 is not a fair fight. Her only real chance would have been to mind control Garreth or Polly and turn them against their friends. She tried multiple times, and succeeded twice, but Luck saved Garreth the first time and Bless the second. There was no time for a third.
The rapier that only works for bards is an interesting find in a game without classes or mandatory templates. Will it decide that Seépravir is close enough to a bard based on her critical success on a flute-playing roll? We'll see.
After multiple treasure-light sessions, the group finally hit the mother lode this time. We'll see if they decide to try to finish off the pyramid, or skip the castle and go shopping instead.