2019-07-28

DF Whiterock Session 58: Kobold on the Bridge

Date:

2019-07-26



Weather:

Hot, partly cloudy



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 328 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 400 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 396 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 384 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 413 points



Significant NPCs:

Hugin, Human mercenary
Galdiera, Angel polymorphed into a kobold
Galdiera's Giant Rat mount
Gar and Nar, Ettin
Gar and Nar's Worg
Unknown huge tunneling rock slug with arms


The PCs started in the town of Cillamar, after finally leaving the drow stalactite.

Zaber heard a rumor that the recent heat wave might be caused by red dragons, possibly Benthosruthsa himself.  Garreth heard that unsavory types in town have started wearing drow-style black mail armor, possibly evidence that drow are up to something.

Seépravir and Zaber decided to spread stories of Hugin's heroism around town.  Garreth tried visiting Hugin's house, then looked for him around town, but he wasn't around.  So Seépravir cast Seeker and found Hugin was at a farmhouse somewhere, eating dinner with some folks, and that his missing arm was back.

Seépravir researched armorers who could make dragonscale or orichalcum armor, and read that the best armorers in this part of the world are the dwarves of the Hall of the Mountain King, across the Ul Dominor mountains to the southeast.

The group flew to Castle Whiterock, except for Garreth, who hiked pushing a wheelbarrow.  Despite this slowing the pace, they didn't run into any hostile monsters on the way.  For once, Seépravir didn't cast Dark Vision on anyone, so they relied on Garreth's sai with Continual Light on it for illumination.  Everyone went down the elevator shaft to the underground stream, then boated to the entrance to the Immense Cavern. 

Before starting anything dangerous, Zaber took off the Ring of Invisibility and had Seépravir cast Invisibility on him.  Then he punched Polly to dispel the Invisibility, drawing a protest from Garreth who said that if party members needed to punch someone they should punch him instead.  Then he put the ring on and turned Invisible, proving something about how the two sources of invisibility interacted.

Polly was pretty sure there was an unexplored part of the drow stalactite that needed more exploration, so the group decided to revisit it.  They flew up to the stalactite, and saw the portcullis was still wide open.  Inside, there were still several drow and spider corpses where they'd left them.  They went down some stairs, down a ladder, through a secret door, then went south, where Zaber thought they hadn't explored before.  But there was nothing interesting there, so they left the stalactite.

Next, Zaber and Seépravir decided to steal Gar and Nar's magic bracelet-sized ring.  Last time they tried, Gar and Nar's worg had smelled Zaber.  This time, Seépravir cast both Hush and No-Smell to go with Zaber's Ring of Invisibility.  Zaber then flew over to the stalagmite forest where the ettin lived, flew past the sleeping worg, and pickpocketed the bracelet from the sleeping ettin.  He then flew back to Seépravir and tried to put the bracelet on her wrist, but it shrunk and instead ended up ring-sized on her finger.  They deferred identifying what the ring did (besides growing and shrinking to fit the wearer) until they were back in town.

With loose ends tied up, Polly suggested that they explore further to the west in the Immense Cavern.  The group flew that way until the fungus forest thinned out.  They saw a stream running north to south ahead of them, with a bridge crossing it, and a small humanoid standing on the bridge.  As it saw the visible members of the party approaching, it mounted a giant rat, drew a sword, and prepared to defend the bridge.

Zaber flew invisibly past the little bridge guard.  Elias flew visibly down to bridge level, and noticed some caltrops.  He stepped over the caltrops and walked across the bridge.  The little creature told him that if he wanted to cross the bridge he had to fight first.  Elias ignored it and kept walking, so the creature attacked him, but failed to penetrate his heavy armor.  It tried again, going for armor chinks, but still failed to penetrate.  It then switched to a slam attack, trying to knock Elias off the bridge, but bounced off his shield, as Elias started smashing the stone bridge with his flail, trying to break it.

Garreth finally agreed to duel the poor creature, and let it choose terms.  It chose biting only, since it had bigger, lizard-like teeth.  However, Garreth dodged the kobold's bite, then bit it, hard, penetrating its armor, stunning it, and winning the duel.  At that point the kobold jumped off the bridge into the river.  Zaber flew after it to make sure it was okay.  Polly flew after it to see if it had any loot, and thought its ring looked magical.  She yelled to Seépravir in Elvish that the kobold had a magic ring, and was surprised when the kobold said "I do not" in Elvish.

At this point the group tried interrogating the kobold.  It remembered that it had been guarding the bridge for a while, and that it had been punted off the bridge by trolls and giants.  It was wearing a holy symbol of Teleus, god of law.  Seépravir tried Mind-Reading spell, and read fear and confusion as to why the kobold couldn't win these fights.

Elias dropped all his spells on (which included Bless on the other four PCs, not a popular choice) and cast Remove Curse.  This caused the kobold to become more coherent, realizing she was the victim of a polymorph spell, from some wizard working for the red dragon Benthosruthsa.  She asked where her sword was, and for someone to dispel the shapeshifting.  Her sword was Damarel, the bastard sword that the group had found in the stirge lair.  Seépravir tried Dispel Magic but failed by a lot; she though the spell was too strong to dispel.

The kobold asked if Seépravir knew any more powerful wizards.  Seépravir suggested going back to the pyramid and exploiting the Low Mana zone.  So they all flew there, with Seépravir standing just outside the pyramid and the kobold just inside, to get a net +5 to dispel the polymorph.  After several attempts, this finally worked, and the kobold turned back into a female elvish-looking angel with bronze skin, golden wings, and a golden breastplate with Teleus's greatsword symbol on the front.  At that point she thanked the group for their assistance, and asked for her sword.  There was a bit of debate, but the group decided to return it.  She took it, and flew away.  After she was gone, Garreth grumbled that they worked hard for that sword and shouldn't have given it away to that angel, who was probably going to get killed anyway.

With no Bless spells, the risk-averse adventurers considered going back to town, but decided to do a bit more low-risk exploring first.  They flew back to the bridge, where the kobold's giant rat mount was still standing, hiding from Elias.  Zaber gave it some food.  Then he flew around looking for anything interesting in the river, but didn't find anything, except a little nook under the bridge where the kobold and rat had apparently lived.  It contained nothing valuable, so they continued exploring to the west.

Zaber flew along the south wall of the Immense Cavern, and spotted a tunnel going south into the rock.  With no Bless, he decided not to explore it.  He and Polly continued to the west, reaching the west wall of the cavern.  They found another tunnel there, and didn't explore that one either.  They then doubled back to the east, flying about 6 feet above the ground, when suddenly the group burst open and some huge tunneling monster emerged.  It yelled something in a language that neither of them knew.  When they did not respond, it tried to slam Polly.  She dodged.  Zaber flew away from it at high speed, pulling on the twine connecing him to Polly to encourage her to follow.

Polly could not resist putting an arrow into the monster as she flew away.  She rolled a critical hit, double shock on the critical table.  She hit the monster in an extremely painful location that she didn't even know it had, by luck.  She fired a second arrow, rolled a second critical, and achieved double shock again.  That was enough for the monster, who decided that Polly was entirely too painful an opponent and tunneled straight down into the rock.  Somehow she found the common sense to not follow it underground into its tunnels, and Zaber and Polly flew back to the rest of the group.

At that point, the heroic adventurers decided that further exploration without their Bless spells was way too scary, and headed back to town.  They had stolen a magic ring, but given away a magic sword.

GM's Comments:

Polly was the only one who remembered where she wanted to look in the drow stalactite, but her player was late to the session, so the rest of them just kind of blundered around for a while.  Fortunately Seépravir has a stupidly high IQ, so when they wanted to make IQ checks for things the characters might have remembered even if the players had forgotten, she usually made them.

Zaber had wanted to steal the ettin's ring for a long time, but had had to wait for Seépravir to learn the No-Smell spell to reduce the risk of getting caught.  That will teach that friendly ettin to have a magic item!

The kobold on the bridge was an interesting moral dilemma.  To their credit, the PCs tried to figure out what was going on, rather than just killing it.  Using the pyramid's Low Mana Zone for a net +5 to Dispel Magic was a nice idea.  Elias dropped all his Bless spells to improve his odds of success with Remove Curse was also a good idea, except that this group doesn't like doing anything without their Bless spells, and that pretty much meant they wouldn't do anything dangerous for the rest of the session, until they got back to town where Elias could cast 50-FP Bless +2 spells and then have his power item recharged.

Returning the angel's sword was another hard decision for the group.  They don't like giving up treasure, but they didn't really want to fight the angel either, so they gave in.  Easily in some cases, more reluctantly in others.

It was not a very profitable session, but it did lead to more exploration in the Immense Cavern, including finding tunnels to the south and west.

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