067

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

The Union consists of-
Bob (Now Sweden & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus
Pedja (Germany) playing Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue aka (atm) Lord T.
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Google Hangouts, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #067 Wednesday 8th February 2017
The Door at the End.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 7
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 7
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 7
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 7
Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 7 who looks a lot like Lord Thaelond, the ruler of Bargewright.

The Action-

1) Recap in Brief.

The guys are in Dhol Kuldhir, former redoubt of the Bronzehammer Dwarves, the place is filled with fungi, and also Kobolds that have succumbed (somehow) to the aforementioned fungi. Or at least it was- the Kobolds are dead, although that only seems to have made things worse- ripping themselves free of the Kobolds come the Vegepygmies (the Vegepygmies literally burst out of the dead Kobolds), including a Vegepygmy Chief who is giving orders.

The guys are also stuck between a Fungoid, an Ogre-sized mushroom man.

fungoid-1.jpg

Fungoid.

And a Tendriculos (formerly Banished by Zalt, but now very much back in action).

Tendriculos.jpg

Tendriculos.

Fortunately a set of barred and rope-tied double doors stand between the Tendriculos and the guys, let’s see how long they last as the plant monster attempts to smash its way through them.

The Union are on the last leg of their journey (possibly) into Dhol Kuldhir, according to the captured Kobold High Priestess Sha-Ron, to this end Ken Lee’s fireball has revealed a great metal door, previously hidden behind a wall of fungus- the Door at the End?

However the guys have also spotted this guy during the ongoing confrontation-

Fungus_Gargoyle.jpg

Fungus Gargoyle.

They know that a Fungus riddled Gargoyle started an infection a millennia past in the depths, and now here’s another one.

And so let the games begin…

2) The Vegetable War.

The guys have taken a beating, all bar Ken Lee are bloodied- with Grimm and Zyler hovering around the 10 hit point mark; they have no healing left (save a few Potions) and are reduced to Cantrips (and harsh language, which they have on tap).

Bargewright_67.jpg

Stuck in the middle with you…

Zalt continues blasting, the Fungoid totters and another half-a-dozen Vegepygmies scuttle into the chamber to support the Ogre-sized fungus, this at the behest of the Vegepygmy Chief, the guys spot this creature again- hidden around the corner of the northern route. Zyler is clawed- some more. All the while the Tendriculos (now no longer Banished) hammers at the doors to the south, which holds- for now.

Ken Lee’s Firebolt catches the Fungoid in its head- it shatters and burns the mouldy bastard (a Critical Hit), the great creature sinks to its knees and then face-plants the cold stone floor- dead.

Hurrah!

Too soon- the Vegepygmy Chief rushes into the corridor, clambers onto the dead Fungoid and unleashes a tide of spores- Zalt, Grimm, Lord T and Zyler are all caught in the choking blast; although only Zalt succumbs- the Warlock’s muscles stiffen, he’s paralysed. Wodger, meanwhile, obeying Zalt’s last orders smashes a Vegepygmy down, another of the little bastards claws Grimm, and then pays the price- Grimm cuts the two Vegepygmy before him down, there are only two of the little guys left (and the Chief, oh and the Tendriculos of course).

Soon after another Vegepygmy is cut down by Zyler.

Ken Lee burns the Chief, another Firebolt and another Critical; the Chief fights back- and Claws Grimm (a Critical hit- the Paladin is on one hit point). Wodger smashes the last Vegepygmy down (the stone man is benefiting from low initiative- the guys wound the plant creatures, Wodger finishes them off).

Zalt meantime stands statue in the corner of the chamber, out of the way but also paralysed and out of the fight.

The fracas continues to be fast and furious- if only the Union can see off the Vegepygmies before the Tendriculos breaks… scratch that- the Tendriculos smashes the doors of their hinges, it’s in.

Ken Lee digs out his Wand of the same name and fires a trio of Magic Missiles into the newly arrived plant terror, while the Vegepygmy Chief gets its mojo back and lets loose (it recharges Spore attack) and now Zyler and Grimm are paralysed too.

So that’s just Lord T and Ken Lee (and Wodger) in action.

In the background on Google Hangouts I can hear Christer, who plays Zyler, repeating “Oh my Gott!” over and over in his sing-song Scandewegian lilt (actually the Sandewegian lilt is the least sing-song of all the accents that I know).

However the terror subsides slightly- Zyler quickly shakes off the Spore effects, although he also takes a little Poison damage in the process (and is down to maybe five hit points).

“We need to do something!” The Priest of Tempus shouts helpfully.

Lord T cuts the Vegepymy Chief but wouldn’t you know it has some resistance to Piercing damage (what a shame), Grimm roars as he too throws off the paralysation effect, alas the associated Poison damage sends the Paladin stumbling to the deck- he’s dying.

At which point the Tendriculos (remember him) sends its grabbing vines out- and proceeds to fail to clutch either Wodger or Zalt (who is still paralysed- yeah, missed with Advantage). Ken Lee fires another trio of Magic Missiles into the Vegepygmy Chief, the creature is now critically wounded.

Zalt throws off (at last) the effects of the paralysation- and at last the other half of the artillery is back on line.

The Chief however recharges its Spore attack (three times in four rounds), and sprays the chamber again… Zalt is paralysed (did you see what I did there- nice).

Wodger continues punching the Tendriculos (alas it is resistant to such attacks, it’s really not their day) while Zyler scrabbles on the floor and feeds a Potion of Greater Healing to Grimm- the Paladin awakes, his first words are “Is it dead yet?”, Zyler shakes his head, Grimm shuts his eyes and pretends to still be unconscious.

Zalt, again, throws off the paralysation effect- although the subsequent Poison damage almost kills him, the Warlock unleashes his Hellish Rebuke on the Vegepygmy Chief, who is burned badly- and almost dead. Lord T finishes the fungi-bastard off with his scimitar… while the mighty Grimm sees his opportunity and crawls away into a corner and starts swigging on another Healing Potion (he’s not any Greater Healing left).

The Tendriculos attempts to grab its enemies (the same two guys- Wodger & Zalt) and misses with both attacks again.

Ken Lee doesn’t miss with his Firebolt (and the plant creature really doesn’t like fire), Zyler (still on four hit points) rushes over and smashes the creature with Painbringer, while Wodger keeps pounding on the beast.

Zalt, at last, lets loose with a pair of Eldritch Blasts, while Lord T drops his blades and grabs his bow out- a second later and the Tendriculos is reeling, now critically wounded (Tymora bless Sneak Attack damage).

Grimm heaves himself back up and onto his feet, Hewer- his magical two-handed sword, sings- the Tendriculos falls.

The guys do a little dance (as in the players- not the PCs). There is much rejoicing- that was tough. Soon after Zoki (who plays Grimm) is heard muttering that he wants a shield for Christmas. As Christer (Zyler) put it at the time, “Yah, you keep lying down.”

The fight is won.

ENCOUNTER #96
PCs 5 x Level 7
Monsters 30 Vegepygmies 25 XP each, 8 Vegepygmy Guards 100 XP each, Fungoid 450 XP, Vegepygmy Chief 700 XP & 2 Tendriculos 1100 XP each.
XP 4900 Adjusted 19600 CR 17
Deadly

3) Run & Hide- Whose Eyestalk is this?

There’s the newly discovered door to examine, the bodies of the two dead Green Dragon Wyrmlings (which the guys were so keen to savage for souvenirs last session), and of course the unguarded pile of treasure just ready for the taking.

The Union is having none of it, ten seconds later- after chugging a couple more Potions of Healing, the guys rush back to the chamber they rested in earlier (in which they have the Kobold High Priestess Sha-Ron kept prisoner). Once there they shut the door- with Wodger on guard outside, and hunker down. The Union are going no where, they’re not investigating anything until they’re a little healthier.

They’re terrified- bless them.

An uninterrupted (although somewhat frantic) hour later and the guys are rested- for some this has made little difference, four of the five have expended all of the Healing HD- three of the five are still below bloodied. They’re all more than a little twitchy.

Eventually the gang snake back to the site of the fracas- looking out en route for the Fungi Gargoyle they spotted earlier (now that they have remembered it), alas it cannot be found- which means of course that it probably went up, that’s not good.

The fungi forest chamber is undisturbed, the guys get to work counting and sorting through the Dragon Wyrmling’s treasure (Lord T finds a nice short sword that feels good in his hands- to be attuned later). Then they move onto the door- Dhol Kuldhir (the Door at the End) maybe.

The door in question is a hefty specimen, made of iron, suitably ancient- and high quality, and etched with a bas-relief showing a myriad Dwarves engaged in a myriad activities- it lacks a keyhole. That is until Lord T, having first searched the portal thoroughly for traps (none), finds the keyhole- bottom right, almost at floor level.

The Rogue bends low about to get to work when Zyler stops proceedings.

“We should leave it.” Zyler states.
“What we came here for this…” Grimm fires back and scowls at his brother in arms.
“We are too badly wounded- Tempus knows what terror lies within.”

The Union turn, as one, to stare at the door- a hushed vote takes place.

Five minutes later the only noise in the chamber is the sound of the Union’s boots moving very quickly in the direction of away. They’re all hurting badly, out of spells and ‘everything’, a short rest has only whetted their appetite- they need sleep, and Healing.

The journey back up the stair is much easier than on the way down, Zalt triggers the trap Glyph (the giant boulder comes again), and then he and Grimm while Flying (courtesy of the Warlock’s spell) ferry the other adventurers past the danger area. All the way to the top- back into the bridge over the abyss chamber, in which the Union met and spoke with Kal’Zerth and his Drow friends. Last time the guys were here the place was being guarded by their pal Rupert (actually pronounced Wupert in game- I have a thing about speech impediments).

Rupert.jpg

Rupert.

Alas Rupert is no where to be seen, and doesn’t come when the guys call out to him… odd, the Spectator said he would guard the way for another twenty-four hours before departing, the guys have only spent three and a half hours down in the depths.

Rupert should be here…

Lord T is sent to check things out… he finds nothing to arouse his suspicions, that is until the Rogue stands on something rubbery on the ground.

Stalkpowerdemo2.gif

Alas the eye stalk that Lord T finds is not so animated, the Rogue reveals his find- consensus is Rupert has taken a beating, the theory is the Fungi Gargoyle (maybe with help) did the deed- and possibly then descended down into the dark.

Kal’Zerth is not going to be happy, but he’s a Drow and so the Union don’t give a stuff.

Ten minutes later and the guys are back in Bargewright, the entire settlement is still under lockdown after the infection, the Union keep out of the way- acquire a little healing, and then rest and relax, Zalt even has time to summon his familiar Tempest, the Owl that is not an Owl.

A day later the guys descend again, and all the way back to the door, nothing has changed here since their last visit.

Lord T gets to work and miraculously opens the portal first time (DC 25), Grimm and Zyler push the great door open to reveal- a darkened chamber.

A ceiling mounted light flickers once or twice, and then comes on.

The light seems to be making a humming noise- but this initially escapes the Union’s attention, they only have eyes for what lies ahead.

4) Dhol Kuldhir- the Door at the End.

Doors.jpg

The Door at the End.

“What the…” is pretty much the consensus.

And I am happy to report the guys stay in character.

The chamber ahead is empty, although in part it seems to be made of some dull metal- the only light comes from the humming slab of what looks to be glass above.

That is until the Union gingerly enter the chamber- Lord T first, as is customary…

At which point the slab of glass (screen) above the door flickers into life- it too makes a humming noise.

On the screen…

Time.jpg

“Oh shit…” is the new consensus.

The guys, by which I mean the players, go all coy for the next bit.

There follows just short of thirty minutes (real time) of spell and skill based investigation, followed by a lot of questions and associated chatter, all of hushed…

And so the guys discover-

a) Zalt is certain the manufacture is Dwarven (Bronzehammer), although he’s also certain that this is somehow ancient and yet far in advance of anything he has ever seen, perhaps anything that anyone has seen- at least for a millennia.

b) The door is both mechanical and magic, and yet the type of magic employed cannot be ascertained.

c) The door stores lightning (possibly the source of its power), Lord T discovers this while looking the portal over- he gets zapped.

d) The door is sealed, and has been that way for some considerable time- no-one has been this way for a long, long time.

e) The screen is significant, it is a timer- a countdown. When the timer gets to 00:00 the door opens- probably.

Lastly the guys also discover that no amount of waiting around (they tried waiting for one minute, then ten minutes, and then the rest of the hour) causes the numbers on the screen to change.

This last fact causes much more discussion (sometimes heated), what units does the timer countdown in- minutes- no, hours- no, days, tendays, months, years- who knows?

Eventually the questions run dry and the chatter stops.

“We should leave.” Zyler states.

Zalt is equally clear on the subject, the Union has many things to do, the Warlock quickly iterates his plan- Lord T will re-lock the door, then they should head back up to Bargewright, thence to Womford- resupply, and then head out into the wilds. Squire Welch reported he had seen the Bugbear Lord, the Union should move quickly, a chance to capture or kill the ‘Eye Lord’, the instigator of the present troubles. When they get back from their mission they will descend again and see what the timer reads.

It’s a very good plan.

The Union unanimously agrees to it.

The guys exit the chamber- there’s a beep, causing all five of them to turn around.

The time on the screen has changed to 09:02, what’s worse the circle graduated lights around the numbers are going dark and then light again- one by one, as if a second hand on a clock where passing over them.

The timer has started.

There follows another twenty minutes, real time again, of question and debate. Eventually, after any amount of experimentation- all the guys enter the chamber at the same time, and then each PC enters and then leaves one by one, and then… variations on the same. The guys finally come to the following additional conclusions-

f) The countdown has definitely started.

g) They started it.

h) Or more likely, one of them started it…

The Union, after yet more experimentation- including another hour long wait, are eventually a little less tense- the time on the display has not changed at all- it still reads 09:02 an hour later. Things are perhaps not as bad as they seem…

Who are they kidding?

Answer- themselves.

The Union head back up to Bargewright, Lord T locking the door behind them- Zalt’s plan is their best bet, they’ll come back and see what has happened here after they have dealt with the threats in the here and now- the Bugbear Lord and all his nasty friends.

But that’s the end of the session.

It was a cracker.


Session #067 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #1 Get the Pitchblende safely & secretly to Red Larch (COMPLETE), then meet up with Strom Halifax- get it authenticated, sell it and then return home- easy job. Quest #2 Explore Dhol Kuldhir- find the ‘door at the end’ (ONGOING). Quest #3 Find Savra, Lady Lara’s Sister- with the Flying Knights. Quest #4 Find Goren (who is Lord Thaelond really)

NPCs of note- Gundren & Nundro Rockseeker (Patron, again), Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- GRIMM’S SQUEEZE, Halia Thornton (Town Master & Phandalin Miner’s Exchange- ZHENT?). Mags O’Mara (Triboar), Oggnog the Smith (Triboar) & Gable, of Gable’s Stables (Triboar). Sgt. Beavis & his men at Black Maw Bog Bridge. The Popper family & Gordo at the Rusty Gorgon. Sister Gallafrey (& the Pilgrims of Chauntea). The Village of Westbridge= More Owlman! Avarthel- Druid of the Land, southern Dessarin.

NPCs of note in Red Larch- Phaendra Chansyrl (Curvy in leather), Imdarr (Priest of Tempus & Gauntlet), Endrith Vallivoe (Junk shop owner & Harper), Mangobarl Lorren (Baker), Ghilee (Serving wench at the Swinging Sword), Constable Harburk (the Butcher, and the law), Ironhead (Ironhead Arms), Kayleesa & Ghilee (Owner, and Serving Wench, at the Swinging Sword), Gaelkur (Fence- buys gems etc.), Minnie & Pell Mhandyver (Poultry & Ghost Stories)- kindly old lady and her granddaughter. Elak Dornen (Quarry owner). Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle selling Thug). Larmon (Shepherd- saved his life).

NPCs of note in Womford- Tharrma (Proprietor of the Green Apple Inn), Morlin Coalhewer (of Morlin’s Smithy), Brother Derny (Shrine of Lathander), Sertiernen the Wise (Harper & Wizard), Captain Soranna Anitah (leader Womford Watch), Kellin Shadowbanks (proprietor of The Old Bridge Inn), Jarett North (of Jarett’s Sundries), Drathgur (Ferryman), Sterrel (of Sterrel’s Provisioners), Avarthel the Druid & Squire Welch aka Sqwelch- Protectors of the Land! Speaker Westron- Mayor, of sorts, of Womford. High True Trader Denaris, of the Church of Waukeen (Patron for Quest #5 find Sir Gustav). Sir Gustav (Paladin of Waukeen), Squire Conrad, and his groupies- Galder (RIP), Ren (RIP), Bryn (RIP) & Cora (RIP), Kessa Landau, Eshala (RIP), Ulf (RIP), and Rowan..

NPCs of note in Bargewright- Lord Thaelond (Ruler), Lady Lara (nice Horse- looking for her sister, Lady Savra), Foo Yung (with stone mask)- RIP, Staunch (fat bloke), Lord Slather (furious Gnoll), Captain Hargas (older Hobgoblin), Carl Drogo (thick-set Barbarian), Baron Ballbag (drunk Goblin), Killshot (dextrous Halfling), Kal’Zerth (mysterious Drow- with a history, see session #49), Lord Klarg (Familiar Bugbear- see previous adventure in Phandalin), Gershwin Chimbly (contract Assassin?), Red Malik (tough guy), Vran Diddly (jokey & drunk Duergar). Bloodletter (Orc Chieftain), Telos (crap Wizard- with face exchanging ritual).

COOL Sidekicks- Wodger, the Stone Dwarf.

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls. Goren has enemies- the Greymen. Oreioth the Necromancer & his undead- DEAD. The Necromancer of Lance Rock’s “Great Eye”? Goblins? Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle-selling Thug), and the bad men in the Temple of the Moving Stones, including Larrakh- mostly all dead. VERY BAD Tiamat worshipping Kobolds- strange Hobgoblins, a Bugbear Lord (Wizard?). Gargoyles? High Priestess Sha-Ron blessed of Tiamat!

COOL Enemies of Note- Trimat, the Chimera & Dick and Dom, the Ettin.

New Info- The plant enemies of Dhol Kuldhir, the ancient Bronzehammer ruins, are defeated. The Door at the End is found, and the countdown starts.

XP Awarded-
4900 Section 2) The Vegetable War.
200 Section 3) Run & Hide- Whose Eyestalk is this?
450 Section 4) Dhol Kuldhir- the Door at the End.
5550 XP Total

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067

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