Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Chronicles of the Adventurers Guild #4

On the 26th Day of Lenzin,

Guild members Leowe, Francis, and Kelso (see PC profiles here), with the bearer Lennard in employment, explored the following barrows:

#10 - A family crypt. The remains of the occupants rose when their grave goods were requisitioned, but they were vanquished by the members.

#19 - A large barrow, with an empty sarcophagus in the main chamber, before which was a pit trap. The members were able to avoid the trap, and find a hidden door leading to the true sarcophagus of a warrior, which was guarded by four bronze statues of warriors, which animated when the party attempted to remove the grave goods within the sarcophagus. The party was able to lure the animated warriors to the false burial chamber, where they fell into the pit trap, and recover the grave goods, which included a bronze longsword.

#29 - A covered mound.

#9 - Another covered mound.

#1 - Tomb of a couple, with scant grave goods.

#2 - Tomb where bodies were interred in shallow pits with their grave goods. The occupants rose as undead, but were defeated by the party.

#8 - A covered mound.

#13 - A collapsed mound.

#22 - A previously plundered tomb.

#24 - Tomb with two chambers; in the first the remains of ancient tapestries strewn upon the floor. The walls of the second chamber held many burial alcoves; the columns within the chamber animated into man-like forms, and drove the party out before they could recover the grave goods. 

#25 - A large tomb with a cruciform antechamber. Entering the room to their right, the party were attacked by many undead, and retreated.

The hour being late, the members returned to the Guild.

Grave goods recovered assessed to be 200 Gros in value, of which 60 Gros were disbursed to the members according to the terms of the contract.


Jeras, Guild Chronicler

Prepping and Running the Game

As you can see, the party made a lot of progress going through the mounds this session. Even if you discount the covered, plundered, and collapsed mounds, they still managed to loot four barrows, and partially explore two large barrows.

What is more remarkable here is how they have learned to innovate and try to overcome the opposition in each tomb by wit, instead of with brute force, which became a necessity when Leowe managed to roll a '1' when trying to cast his first spell for the day, followed by Francis doing the same soon afterwards. With no effective spells and no fighter in the party, they had to rely on their wits, or their willingness to retreat when the odds do not seem to be in their favour.

I was particularly impressed by the way they managed to put one and one together and came up with the scheme to lure the animated statues into the pit trap, effectively turning my own weapons against me.

They did not manage to find a way to overcome the opposition in the last two barrows, and I told them out of character that this being an old school dungeon, it was not unusual to retreat and come back another day.

One of the reasons why they were reluctant to retreat though was because of another element I added to the campaign.

At the start of the session I introduced a rival party in the guild, as the players had been asking about the other members in that guild. I made up a party of four, using the name 'The Fearsome Four' from the module, and made their leader an obnoxious wizard. At one point the two parties butted heads when the players wanted to explore a mound which the Fearsome Four staked a claim on. Thoughts of a member-vs-member fight were entertained, but the party was outnumbered, and I had also sent along some Guild "rangers" (NPC fighters tasked with catching illegal (i.e. non-Guild) tomb robbers), who kept an eye on the parties from a distance.

The players' efforts were rewarded, and their characters are now all level 2, which will make them more survivable. The various factions of the setting have also been introduced or hinted at, and the potential tensions between these established. This is timely, as I feel the "break in, kill undead, take their stuff" routine is beginning to wear a bit thin - having them keep an eye on people who might stab them in their backs while they do this will make things interesting.

Another moment which made the session great for me was when the players realised that the burials in the region are from civilisations that spanned across a long period, and began to speculate on the history of the place. I introduced the fact that one of the scripts encountered in their delving resembled the one used in the 'modern' Terrinoth language. This will hopefully see fruition in a future session, when they shall find the means of translating that language, as well as the even older one used by the ancient cultists.

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