2020-02-08

DF Whiterock Session 84: The Causeway to Narborg

Date:

2020-02-08


Weather:

Cold, light snow


Player Characters:

Elias, Wood Elf Cleric, 406 points
Garreth, Half-Orc Fighter, 466 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 466 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 460 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 471 points


Significant NPCs:

Urgus Spellsmith, Dwarf Enchanter and Cartographer
Alrux, Dwarf armorer
Findle Glimer, Gnome gemcutter
Vulgaris, Minyad druid
Stone Giant sentry
Lance Corporal Wolfrik, Duergar guard
Elweiss, Ghost squire
4 Duergar guards
Destrachan
Unknown number of Duergar arbalists


The PCs returned to Cillamar with the rescued enchanter Urgus Spellsmith in tow.  He told them that he was unable to cast spells because of the Spellseal Ring that was placed on him when he was taken prisoner, and that he needed a Remove Curse spell to take it off.  Elias cast it, and Urgus gave the ring to the party.  Elias also cast new Bless spells on Garreth and Zaber.  Garreth then used a scroll of Bless on Elias.

Urgus told the party that if they took the Impresario's blade, they shouldn't use it, because it's heavily cursed.  They already knew that.  Elias suggested taking it to the temple to see if it could be uncursed, but since Elweiss needed that blade, they didn't bother.  The group then started talking to Urgus about hiring him to enchant items.  He said that he was too beat up after his captivity to start enchanting yet, but he'd be willing to do so after he recovered.  Seépravir gave him some money to buy food and clothes and enchanting supplies, and let him use a room in her town house as an enchanting lab.  Urgus asked if they knew any young wizards who might want to be assistant enchanters.

Seépravir cast Analyze Magic on the Spellseal Ring and the Thrice-Cursed Blade.  The Spellseal Ring didn't have another way to remove it besides Remove Curse, which annoyed her.  The Thrice-Cursed Blade was indeed heavily cursed; the wielder would become more and more evil over time.  Which was unfortunate because it Blurred the wielder and ignored non-living DR.

Zaber caroused for rumors of Lord Flitwick, but didn't hear anything new.  He did hear a rumor that elven wizards were known to Entomb enemies, to keep them fresh for later eating.  Seépravir cast Seeker on him, and got a vision of Flitwick sketching a step pyramid, somewhere much warmer.  Garreth heard a rumor that the King's anti-bandit drive had stopped all slaving raids in the area.  Polly heard that mushroom beer was good for night vision, and that the local human miners were drinking it.  

Garreth went to see Alrux, who was still working on Garreth's new sword.  He also asked about gems that could be used to protect his eyes, but got no good information.  Then he went looking for Findle, to see if he knew what gems might work, or if his sister Katanya might want to work with Urgus.  Findle didn't have any helpful information about protective gems, but revealed that Katanya was doing illusions for a theater company in Galaron.

Seépravir and Zaber spread propaganda about Garreth chasing an Ethereal Filcher into the ethereal plane and killing it barehanded.  Then the group flew back to Castle Whiterock.  They headed downstairs to the underground river level to see Vulgaris, and were greeted by an angry earth elemental.  Vulgaris called it off just before it attacked.  The stone giants who had been working with her were not present, and Vulgaris was distraught.  She revealed that the giants had been killed somehow while traveling from their cave on the far side of the Immense Cavern to her mushroom farm, and that Lowrek had told her that no more giants would be working with her.  The PCs decided to go visit the giants, and Vulgaris asked them to take some mushroom beer for the giants as a funeral gift.

Polly was concerned that another giant turtle might have been the culprit, so when they reached the river bisecting the Immense Cavern, she flew around a bit looking for one, but did not find one.  The group continued flying west to the giant's lair, until they heard a warning from a giant sentry to halt.  The giant said that their group was loyal to Thane Hrolad, not traitors like the dead giants, and that surfacers were not welcome.  Also that they did not want any surfacer gifts, even beer.  Garreth shouted out that the beer was from underground, not the surface, and they were just delivering it.  Then they left the giants alone.

The group went back to Vulgaris to tell her that the Thane's assassins had killed the two giants, and the rest were terrified.  They told her to be careful.  She said she'd summon more elementals.  Then the group headed back toward the Bleak Theater.

The trapped room leading to the Bleak Theater had not been reset, and there were no guards present in the entry room.  It appeared the duergar may have given up on the Theater for now.  Seépravir went to where she had Entombed a duergar guard, asked Garreth to be ready to subdue the prisoner until she was ready, Great Hasted herself, un-Entombed him, and then cast Death Vision on him.  The duergar appeared, and started screaming.  Garreth used Kiai to stun him, as the Death Vision took effect.  Then Seépravir cast Possession.  At that point she became Lance Corporal Wolfrik, guard in the service of Thane Hroland.  After a bit of rest, she Entombed her own body for safekeeping.  (She had cast Hold Breath back in town, so she's awake down there.)

The PCs, with Seépravir in Wolfrik's body, continued down a level to the Tomb of Koborth to see Elweiss.  They were worried that Gora-Khan the hobgoblin vampire might be back, but he wasn't there.  Garreth hung back because he didn't want Elweiss asking for his spear again.  The others went in.  Elweiss was a bit annoyed at the sight of a duergar, but the others eventually convinced him that it was Seépravir in disguise.  Polly put the Skullcap of Umgoot back on the statue of the orc, and Zaber put the Thrice-Cursed Blade back in the hand of the statue of the Silent Watch.  Elweiss was happy that they had returned two of the four missing items, but pointed out that they still needed to return his spear (which Garreth had) and the first contract the Company of the Black Osprey took out together (which they hadn't found yet).

After visiting Elweiss and dropping off the two items, the group went south out of the Bleak Theater to the guardhouse that they had depopulated of several duergar and a manticore.  It was still unoccupied, and the bridge leading west from it was still destroyed.  They flew over the gap, toward the door leading to Narborg.  But Zaber spotted a secret door they hadn't seen before, so they stopped to investigate that.  The secret door led to a staircase up to an apartment near the Impresario's office, probably an escape route.  Garreth pointed out that they needed to destroy that path too, but they didn't do it yet.

Seépravir scanned Wolfrik's memories.  The path to the fortress of Narborg was across a long exposed causeway, with a deep pit underneath, and many arrow slits facing the causeway so duergar with crossbows could shoot invaders.  On the causeway were duergar guards with Potions of See Invisible, and a Destrachan which could also detect invisible intruders with its sonar.  There was a huge gate.  After breaching the gate, the tunnel into Narborg had more arrow slits on both sides, where the guards could put more crossbow bolts into invaders.

They concocted a plan: Seépravir/Wolfrik would run to Narborg, with the others chasing her/him.  Then Seépravir would infiltrate the fortress and let the others in, or something.  (It wasn't a very detailed plan.)  To make the ruse more believable, everyone was supposed to run slowly, rather than flying.

Zaber picked the lock on the door leading to the passage west, then Seépravir started running down the passage, with the others giving her a head start then following.  Eventually they reached the causeway.  On it were four duergar and the destrachan.  Seépravir started yelling about invaders chasing her, while running toward them.  The duergar in front blew a whistle, then the duergar in the rear started readying crossbows.  Polly pretended to shoot at Seépravir while actually shooting at a duergar guard behind him, but none of her arrows were effective.  As she ran past the duergar in front, Seépravir "accidentally" bumped him to try to distract.  The duergar told her to get her unequipped butt to the rear and keep her head down.  Seépravir responded with Rapier Wit trash talk, distracting (stunning) him.  The second-frontmost duergar readied his mace and waited for melee, while those behind aimed their crossbows.  The destrachan also seemed to be gazing at the group with its lack of eyes.

Polly tried putting some arrows into the second duergar, but he blocked and dodged.  Seépravir yelled that she needed a weapon, and took a crossbow from the front duergar, who didn't stop her.  Zaber heard a faint buzzing from below, and everyone noticed an awful smell coming from the pit.  The third duergar fired his crossbow at Polly, who needed to use Luck to dodge.  The fourth duergar also shot his bolt at Polly, who dodged.  They both dropped their crossbows.

The destrachan then made a sonic attack on the 4 closely bunched PCs in the rear.  The cone was wide enough that they could not dodge the area of effect.  Nobody was deafened, but the lightly armored Zaber took serious damage.  Zaber used his Luck to try to get a lower damage roll, but it didn't help.  He was slowed by his wounds, but made his stun check.

The duergar with crossbows behind the wall of the fortress opened up, with 4 aiming at Elias, 2 at Zaber, and 1 each at Polly and Garreth.  The one shooting Polly rolled a critical hit, for an automatic major wound.  She made her stun check.  In a ridiculous display of luck, 3 of the 4 duergar shooting at Elias also achieved critical hits, with the other getting a regular hit.  Elias blocked the blockable one.  One of the crits was maximum damage, so Elias used his Luck to force a reroll of that, resulting in normal damage only.  Fortunately for Elias, he wears very heavy armor, so only one of the three crits actually achieved any damage.  One of the hits did make him drop his flail, but it was attached with a lanyard, so there was no danger of losing it.  One of the duergar shooting Zaber also rolled a crit, which would have wrecked him, so his Bless intervened to prevent it.  The other shot at Zaber and the one at Garreth were regular hits, which Garreth parried using Parry Missile Weapons.  So the net effect of 5 crits in 8 shots was a few points of damage to Elias and Polly, a dropped flail hanging from a lanyard, and the loss of Zaber's Bless.

Zaber grabbed the wineskin of healing potions from Garreth, and crouched to present a harder target.  Polly put two arrows into the destrachan, badly wounding and slowing it.  Seépravir yelled something about invading wizards tunneling through the walls, but the duergar laughed and said that the walls were warded and that could never work.  Garreth used Elweiss's pearly spear to Great Haste himself.  On their turn, the duergar reloaded their crossbows, and the destrachan all-out defended and struggled to stay conscious.  We stopped there for the night.

GM's Comments:

We spent much more time in town than usual, because the players were excited to find an enchanter and wanted to put him to work right away.

The death of the two giants showed that the dungeon is not entirely static when the players aren't there.  The Thane clearly isn't happy that they wrecked his arena; it's clear the mushroom brewery isn't safe while angry duergar are nearby.

The assault on Narborg is an interesting battle so far.  The duergar got very lucky with their first  crossbow volley, but didn't quite take any PCs out.  The destrachan also landed a great attack, but then took a couple of Polly's arrows in retaliation.  Seépravir's ruse seems to have worked so far, but she hasn't attacked yet.

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