2019-08-06

DF Whiterock Session 59: A Submarine?

Date:

2019-08-02



Weather:

Warm, overcast



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 332 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 403 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 400 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 388 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 416 points



Significant NPCs:

Wigric, Human Teamster
Lord Flitwick, Human Noble
Alrux, Dwarf Armorer
Quintus, Human Alchemist
Hugin, Human Mercenary
Login, Wolverine
Delver Bandit
Pendunkle, Halfling Submariner



The party started in Cillamar.  Garreth went looking for a teamster willing to transport a giant turtle shell, and found Wigric and his team of four large horses.  Garreth also went looking for Hugin, but failed to find him at home or at the Drunken Minotaur.  Seépravir used Seeker to check on the progress of his Wand of Smoke under construction in Mystenmere, and found that it appeared finished.  She also used it to spy on Lord Flitwick, and found that he was riding a camel, somewhere far to the south.  Seépravir and Zaber then spread rumors about Flitwick and camels.  Zaber took Logan out dancing.  This attracted negative attention from Cookie the bouncer, but Lady Chauntessa waved Cookie off.  Elias went looking for exploding crossbow bolts again, and once again found that nobody had heard of such a thing.

With town business concluded, the group met up with Wigric and headed toward Castle Whiterock, with most of them riding in his wagon but Polly flying overhead to scout.  The heavy wagon bogged down crossing a stream at a soggy ford, but Seépravir cast Shape Earth and Earth to Stone to improve the ford.  They reached the castle, and left Wigric and his team in the stable, while they went to get the turtle shell, down one level in the dungeon near the elevator.  A combination of Garreth's Power Blow and Seépravir's Lighten Burden was enough for Garreth and Polly to be able to slowly move the shell across the top dungeon level and then up the stairs to the ruined castle.  Then they asked Wigric to wait in the stable while they went exploring.

They went back down the elevator to the underground river, then Garreth rowed them across the level in a skiff.  Reaching the far dock, they walked through the passage to the Immense Cavern.  Seépravir cast Flight on everyone, but the wheelbarrow was a bit heavy for carrying through the air, so Garreth pushed it along the ground.  The group went back to the western end of the cave, and found the hole that the giant slug-creature with arms and stone-eating acid had dug.  

There was a discussion as to the safety of following a slug-creature into its tunnels.  They decided to send a Wizard Eye instead of a scout.  The eye went around a couple of turns, then found the slug creature.  Which detected the eye, and charged it.  Seépravir made the eye fly away, and then explored some other tunnels, descending until the eye hit a no mana zone (or something) and went away.

There was more discussion on whether to go into the tunnels to kill the monster, but the group decided it was better to lure the creature out into the open.  Zaber heard some rumbling in the ground to the north, but Technical Difficulties prevented going that way.  So the group decided to go south to a side tunnel they'd found last week instead.

Zaber and Polly started down the tunnel, which was only about 6' tall.  It ended in a stone door with a bronze sign on it, and a bronze knocker.  The sign said "It occurs once in a month, twice at noon, but never in a day. What is it?" in Common.  The knocker had a hen bowing before a jester on it.  And Zaber thought he detected a magical trap on the door.

The group thought the sign was a riddle and and answer was "o" or "n" or "no" or "on", but yelling various things didn't seem to do anything.  After a while, Polly got impatient and touched the knocker.  This triggered a trap, which teleported Polly into solid stone and then back, doing large but non-fatal amounts of damage to her.  Elias healed her, and then she drank some healing potion from the wineskin of many healing potions.

Seépravir tried using Blink Other to move Zaber to the other side of the door, but it failed, apparently because there was solid rock there.  Zaber then disabled the magical teleport trap.  Then he tried the knocker again.  This had no effect.

Since subtlety had failed, it was time for brute force.  Garreth pulled out the pickaxe and started smashing through the door.  Zaber flew back to the tunnel entrance to keep watch for anything the pounding might attract.  It did eventually attract a wandering monster, but one that made its own entrance tunnel rather than using the existing one.  It was the slug-mole-acid beast again.  It burst through the wall next to Garreth, and yelled in Undercommon to give it all their precious metals or be eaten.

Garreth translated, and the PCs started making excuses about leaving all their precious metals back in town.  The creature lost patience and slammed Elias, but he blocked it.  Polly put an arrow into it, while it dodged another arrow.  Garreth used Kiai and managed to stun the monster.  Elias, behind the creature, hit it in the back a couple of times with his flail.  Seépravir Great Hasted Garreth.

Polly put a couple more arrows into the slug beast and Elias smashed it in the back a couple more times with his flail.  Seépravir cast Lend Energy to make Garreth (who was pretty tired from digging before the fight started) less tired.  The monster recovered from stun, but Garreth used kiai again.  It resisted, but then Garreth tried again on his extra turn, and it was stunned again.

The monster started talking in Undercommon about how it was all a mistake and would stop eating precious metals and live a sober life, but the PCs had no mercy.  Polly shot it some more, and Elias smashed it some more, as Garreth started preparing a sling to help.  (He didn't want to put his katana anywhere near all that acid.)  This was finally enough to knock it unconscious.

As Zaber reached the others, he found Polly methodically firing arrows into the unconscious delver to make sure it was dead.  (She was using the ones from her Cornucopia quiver to avoid wasting real arrows that cost money on an arrow-burning acid beast.)  Elias noticed some acid on his flail dissolving it a little.  He shook it off, then used fire to burn off the remaining acid, and his flail survived.

Zaber and Polly explored the delver's new tunnel a bit, being careful to avoid touching the walls, which looked shiny with acid.  It eventually connected with the other tunnels, and they flew back.  The monster's corpse was leaking acid and making a little hole under it.  Garreth decided to make use of that.  He took off his armor (because he cared more about his armor than his skin), then used Power Blow for extra strength, then shoved the delver's corpse over by where he had been tunneling with the pickaxe.  This worked, but caused Garreth a bit of acid damage, which Elias healed.

The group sat down and rested a bit while the delver corpse's acid dug a hole for them.  Eventually, they heard a splash.  The corpse had tunneled about ten yards southeast and down, and broken through the rock into a water-filled cave, and now the acid was bubbling into the water below.  Polly fired a Continual Light arrow down the tunnel to light the area.

The group flew out to investigate, and saw a metal disc a few yards in diameter emerging from the water.  It had what looked like glass windows on top, and three large metal claws, one of them glowing brightly.  Then a voice boomed out of the disc in Common, saying "Was the giant stone blocking the tunnel too subtle?  Go!  Away!"

Of course the PCs did not go away.  The voice continued with "Ugh, you dug a hole in my wall?  What is wrong with you people?"  Zaber claimed that they didn't dig the hole, a monster did.  The disc dove underwater to investigate the delver corpse, then came back up.  The voice continued "oh, acid tunneling beast, maybe not your fault."  At that point a hatch on the surface of the disc opened, and a halfling stepped out.  Some less hostile conversation followed.  The disc was a gnomish magical device for exploring underwater, from the Clockwork Academy.  The halfling had found it, so it was his now.  The halfling's name was Pendunkle.

Pendunkle explained that he lived in this cave with his fishes and bugs, and he didn't like drow.  The group tried to barter with food, but they didn't have anything he wanted, just rations.  He seemed interested in the idea of elf cookies, though.  The halfling said something about being the last survivor of the Fellowship of the Humbled Hen.  Polly asked if he had a friend with a halberd, and Pendunkle said that, yes, his friend with the halbard got killed by a huge snake.  Then he asked them to go away so he could feed his beetles.  He told them they could come visit if they had elf cookies, and explained how to use the teleporting door.  (They had to push the "O" buttons in the sign.)  Then the PCs left.

There was one more tunnel to explore, so Zaber and Polly led the way.  Zaber saw the tunnel led to a circular chamber about 40' wide and 10' tall, containing a much-abused corpse of some kind of cigar-shaped monster with tentacles.  The room gave Zaber a very bad feeling, though he didn't actually see a trap.  Polly fired an arrow into the corpse in case it was faking, but it didn't move.

At that point the group decided that Zaber was probably right, and that it would be a good idea to go back to town.  So they went upstairs to find Wigric and his team, hitched up the turtle shell, and travelled back to Cillamar.  Once they got there, they had Wigric drag the shell to Alrux's shop to see if he could make armor out of it, but he could not.  Then they dragged it to Quintus's tower to see if he wanted it for potions.  He offered $100 for the shell just to hang it on his wall, but Seépravir said she's keep it at that price.  They then had Wigric's team drag the shell over to the Inn of the Slumbering Drake to see if Chauntessa wanted it, but she didn't think it would match her decor, but repeated her earlier offer to pay for books or scrolls or other historical information.  She did give the group permission to keep the shell behind the stable, as long as it was out of sight of customers.

GM's Comments:

The players solved the riddle door, but only thought to answer the riddle out loud, rather than pushing on letters.  So they had to resort to brute force tunneling.  And they forgot to use silence magic this time to avoid attracting wandering monsters, so they attracted the gold-seeking delver, and got to fight it again.

The delver was a tough monster, but there was one of it versus five PCs.  And it didn't have great Will.  So stun-locking it with kiai while shooting it in the back was a fine strategy.  Elias was pretty lucky not to lose his magic flail to its acid, though.  Using the delver corpse to help tunnel through rock was a good trick.

Pendunkle and his gnomish submarine provided some amusement.  The group managed to avoid attacking him, then left without exploring the water-filled cave.

The cave with the dead monster gave Zaber the creeps, so the group left rather than exploring it.  (He has Danger Sense so I guess they believe his vague feelings.)

The turtle shell ended up being not worth the effort to transport.  Not every monster corpse is valuable.

Overall, it was a negative-loot week, but the PCs did manage to explore a couple more areas.

We had a technical glitch with Roll20 maps that prevented exploring the northwest part of the Immense Cavern, so that's still there for later.

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