Saturday, February 06, 2021

Chronicles of the Adventurers Guild #11

On the 8th Day of Ostar, guild members Kimly, Tamira, and Leowe, with the bearer Karl in employment, descended into the underground complex via Barrow #16.

Proceeding to the chamber where the guild members had previously been driven out of by creatures of stone (see here), the members were able to overcome the stone creatures and recover the grave goods within the chamber, and bearer Karl discovered a secret door that led northwards, into the flooded chamber which the the members had earlier also explored (see here).

The wraith once more appeared, and according to member Tamira conversed with her in her mind, calling her a worshipper of the god Yasoda, and correctly discerning the mace which she wielded as the one recovered from the tomb of Druentes (see here), whom he named his companion and whom he claimed to have betrayed many years ago, in conspiracy with the cultists of Nordros. The wraith implored the party to find and vanquish the followers of Nordros, and so lay the undead to rest.

Invigorated by the encounter, the party then proceeded north to the chamber behind the large stone doors, and confronted the fearsome undead within. While they battled the undead, a hidden door in the corridor behind them opened and a skeletal warrior came forth, so that the party were fighting to their fore and their rear. With the power of the mace, Tamira was able to vanquish the undead, and recover the grave goods stored within large urns inside the chamber.

The party then explored westwards, into parts previously unexplored by the guild, and came upon a long corridor with several doors upon one side. Entering the first chamber, they found within many wall niches, each with a desiccated corpse with an urn by its feet. When the party sought to recover the grave goods, several of the corpses rose and attacked them. So dry was the air within the chamber, that soon the guild members were overcome with thirst and had to retreat from the room. Their weariness being so great, the party returned to the guild.

Grave good recovered were assessed to be 140 Gros in value, of which 48 Gros was disbursed to the members according to the terms of the contract.


Jeras, Guild Chronicler

Prepping and Running the Game

There were only three PCs this session, but with Tamira now at level 4, the spells she now had and the magical mace she now wielded made the party so powerful, they were able to defeat two encounters which they had to run from previously.

The encounter with the wraith is something which I had been looking forward to, as it provided plot exposition that now gave the party some purpose other than looting. In particular, PCs who are worshippers of Kellos now have more reason to seek out and defeat the cultists.

It was interesting to see how, emboldened by the wraith's story, the players decided to seek out the undead behind the large stone doors, which they had indicated as "big scary undead" on their map after fleeing from it in an earlier session. In this fight I was taken by surprise at how powerful the cleric spells were against an undead opponent, and what I anticipated to be a rather tough fight was over in three rounds or so, but not before Kimly took a lot of damage from the skeletal warrior.

The last portion of the complex they explored is a separate section from the parts they have explored so far; the culture here practised salt-mummification, and the undead here had desiccating powers, which was surprisingly effective against the party. The players seem to have assumed that the desiccating property was a function of the room and not the undead, and I did not correct them.

Outside of the dungeon, I decided that the death cultists' contact within the guild, the tavern-maid Mertha, had also fled the place, fearing that her identity would soon be discovered. I had one of the NPCs speculate that her departure had something to do with Tosot's abscondment, which the players did not question.

The next session is scheduled for next week, after which we will take a break for Chinese New Year, and after that there will be just six sessions before we end the campaign and play Season 2 of the Sorcery! campaign.

The pace of the campaign had been slower than I anticipated, and now I am planning to give it a little push by having the dragon cultists approach the PCs with a proposition for an alliance. This will lead the PCs, should the accept the proposition, into more direct conflict with the cultists, leading them closer to the final showdown that will conclude the campaign. I plan to make this proposition at the end of the next session, which will hopefully allow the players to discuss it via messaging in the following weeks.

What happens after the finale? I had not thought about that until this moment, but I imagine it is possible for the players to keep their characters, and perhaps convert them into 5E characters for a subsequent campaign. While I appreciate the supplies and encumbrance rules in Five Torches Deep, the game is limited in other ways, and especially so in the spell lists. Some of the mechanics can of course be ported over from 5TD, such as the death roll.

1 comment:

SteveHolmes11 said...

Excellent write up.
The different factions of enemy, and their different powers make an interesting narrative.
Much more interesting than the stereotypes "smash and grab" of a dungeon crawl.

Who would have guessed that the tavern maid was a death-cultist.
They're usually limited to dispensing a bit of local knowledge or serving as eye-candy.
What an excellent lot-twist.