One of the things I liked about RPGs is that no matter what I think will happen it always turns out to be something completely different, more interesting.
Of course, this is a two-way streets as we players always end up doing something the DM didn’t expect at all, forcing him to improvise.
This session was a pretty good example of both.
Disclaimer: English is not my native language. Although I can write and read it without issues, hearing and speaking is a different matter. I’d say I am at best 90% at those. Also I have a terrible memory.
What this means is that there may be mistakes here. In case my group corrects anything I will make a note about it in the next post and edit this one later.
Image credits: The image at the beginning of this post belongs to the Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
EDIT: And one mistake was caught already. The name of Erl’s squire is Dan, not Steve.
The first thing that we did this session was to address something we forgot to do in the last one: looting the bodies of our enemies. Fortunately our DM remembered that between sessions and so he made sure we got our loot as the first order of business.
We got some coins, a useless statuette that was promptly sold and a few magic items that were divided among the party. There was also a letter from Boblin to his now deceased sister.
The letter, written in goblin and translated by Flick, basically said that he was helping Boulder Smash, one of Rock Gut’s sisters, to follow the decoy we sent to the east. However Boblin agreed with his sister’s hunch that our party was up to something, probably even had the real claw, and was going to join her in stalking us.
Not that much of an important information but it was nice to know that our decoy plan was working. I think someone threw the letter at the fireplace of the inn after reading it but I could be misremembering that.
Lam had some concerns about Boblin being able to escape though. She suggested that to help our ruse that we bought a wagon and pretended to go back to Vulcanhold. The party discussed the plan a bit, refining it, and decided that they would pretend to have come here to gather some important item to bring back to the capital.
We would pretend to enter the wagon with the item while the squires would drive it and take our horses back to the capital. Meanwhile we would dress up in some less conspicuous clothing to sneak to the secret tunnels beneath the Lost Speaks.
The plan was put in motion with Dan, Erl’s squire, promising to do his best. I just hope he doesn’t get into any trouble in the way back.
With that business taken care of, it was time to get back to the real mission. It took a couple of days to get to the secret tunnels. When we arrived it was almost at night, with a storm going on not too far from there.
The entrance itself didn’t give a very good impression: it looked like the opening to an abandoned mine, with rotten woods everywhere, tacks that would lead to Vansquire buried in the ground, some broken walls here and there.
Inside the first thing we noticed were some columns that looked to be of dwarven make. A few of them were broken and there were signs of battle.
The first day in the tunnels was uneventful. On the second day however, Lam felt nauseated while #1 felt whatever is closest to it for a Warforged. The nausea lasted for about a minute but it was still pretty uncomfortable.
At about the same time they found a small vein of glowing blood red crystal protruding off a wall. Erl recalled hearing a story about it but couldn’t remember the exact details. All she had was a bad feeling about them.
Flick being her usual curious self decided to try to break it. First with a frag grenade which did nothing besides break some rocks. Thankfully not cave-in too.
Then because Erl was concerned about the kobold’s health, Flick did what she should have done in the first place, which was to examine it. She remembered from history class that those crystals used to be weaponized a long time ago, to create an effect similar to a dead magic field.
Determined even more than ever to break the crystal, Flick used a Shatter spell on it. She felt something trying to work against her but with a lot of concentration she was able to cast the spell, breaking a few fragments off it.
Despite all of the effort the kobold decided to leave the fragments there just in case they might make the other party members sick or cancel their magic.
Continuing down the path they found their way blocked by a cave-in with two side passages. We took one of the side passages but this would be new territory for #1, the only member of our party familiar with these tunnels.
Not too far from there they reached a cave that looked like it was used to mine ore. It also had a small alcove with dwarven beds on it. Flick decided to study the architecture of the area, finding out that were roads to take the minerals somewhere while the alcove was setup for long-term mining.
Before they stopped for the night, Lam decided to use one of her ranger abilities, Primeval Awareness. She got the feeling of something similar to the essence of a dragon somewhere in a mile radius. As a joke Lam told the party there were dragons under the beds.
Flick was the only one who believed it and decided to check under the beds. Twice. Even though there was nothing below the beds but solid rock.
Lam then admited it wasn’t under the beds but it was somewhere in a radius of a mile. #1 wondered if what Lam felt wasn’t the dragon claw but the changeling clarified that the power only register living beings and undead, neither of which the claw falls under. Also, neither Flick nor Erl register too despite their lineage.
Before laying down to sleep, Lam decided to shapechange into a dwarf whose appearance was familiar to the party. This made Kaimir realize that from this point one he should be careful who he speaks with because it could be Lam in disguise.
During these two nights we came to the conclusion that #1 was the best person suited to keep guard while everyone slept, what with his no need to sleep and all that. It was during that time that the warforged started to hear some whispers. It sounded like 5 different voices, some low rumbling, some with a higher pitch, all female.
At first they were curious about #1 as they felt he was familiar yet they couldn’t recognize him. #1 decided to pull out his power source to show it to them, an ancient artifact in the form of a marble tablet with a silver inscription in some ancient language. The voices seemed to recognize it somehow.
They also tried to probe his mind, or as close to it as they could do with a warforged, then tried to ask him questions. Like if he could speak, what he wanted, among other things. Basically trying to tempt him into making a wish. The attempts were for nothing as #1 calmly refused all of them.
As suddenly as they came the voices disappeared, with the rest of the night being uneventful. Again, nausea assaulted some party members.
Eventually they found a small, narrow, passage. It only allowed two people to walk side by side. There were more crystals here and maybe because of how close we had to walk near them, the effects felt worse. It was a kind of pressure against our characters every time we got close to a crystal.
We soon found one passage to the side and path ahead leading to a room. #1 sent his owl familiar to check the side passage where he discovered an alcove with what looked like a small stone altar with a dragon skull on it.
Meanwhile what the party discovered in the room were some a couple of piles of ruble and one giant corpse with its limbs and head sticking out from under a giant rock. From an initial investigation it didn’t look like the ceiling collapsed under the giant nor was it clear what was under the other piles of stone. The party discussed what it could have happened here, if it was some kind of weird burial ritual or if the giant was being tortured.
Since there wasn’t much they could do here they decided to keep going. As Flick walked near the giant corpse she heard a sickly plop noise. She looked around but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
A few steps later Flick and Erl heard sounds of wings flapping. As they looked behind Flick saw a green pseudodragon flying towards the party. The kobold had seem those before, as some knights kept them as pets. However she never saw one of that color or that size.
Flick decided to throw a tangler grenade at the pseudodragon making it fall to the ground. Then she asked it some questions in draconic, telling it to nod if the answer was yes and to shake its head if it was a no. The only thing we were able to find out is that it just hatched, it didn’t know who its parents were and that it was hungry.
The kobold fed the beast some rations then freed it. Wondering where the pseudodragon came form the party went back to the room they just came from. This time Flick examined the giant corpse, noticing that there was a hole in the corpse that wasn’t there before…. plus several other black dots before which led us to assume the pseudodragon somehow hatched from the corpse and there could be more eggs inside it.
After being briefly disgusted, they discuss if they should do something about it. In the end they decide to leave it alone since they don’t know who planted those eggs or even if it is some kind of natural process in this environment.
Back on the path, it was Flick’s turn to hear some whispers. Again the voices tried to probe her mind and made some questions trying to induce her into making a wish. All they accomplished was to make the kobold annoyed, to the point where she eventually said out loudly “Go away!”
This of course called the party’s attention. Flick then explained about the voice she was hearing. #1 confessed that he also heard those voices before. Having a hunch about who was the one whispering, Lam asked Erl how many heads Tiamat had to which the dragonborn answered it was five. Well, that certainly made it look like the whispers were from Tiamat. This probably also indicated we were getting close to where we needed to go.
Not even that many steps further the voices tried to whisper to Kaimir. The tiefling knowing what to expect just gave the voices a mental finger and informed the rest of the party about it. They suggested that he should start mentally listing all the ways they were going to destroy the claw, which he gleefully did as well as listing all the ways they were going to celebrate its destruction.
A bit further ahead the path split into two. In one direction, to the east and north there was a weird glow. To the south there were what looked lights from torches.
#1 sent his owl ahead to scout the area with the glow. Kaimir didn’t notice it so he told the party that he was going to check that area out and for the others to be ready for trouble just in case.
Sneaking to the area in question, Kaimir found a small area with a glowing sword stuck in one of the red crystals. Noticing the #1’s owl already there he decided to stay hidden by the area’s entrance.
Meanwhile #1 could sense, through his familiar, that the sword was magical. He ordered his owl to carefully put a talon on the swords hilt, then used their connection to cast identify on the weapon. It was a process that would take 10 minutes.
Lam decided that in the mean time she was going to scout the south path. As the ranger walked down the path there was a loud noise of rocks falling and the ground crumbled under her. Having little time to react, Lam decided to help her panther as they both fell. It didn’t prevent them from getting hurt but at least Shadow, the panther, wasn’t going to be alone down there.
The area they fell was a large room, with what looked like a big summoning circle made in the floor with blood. They hear some loud steps coming through revealing a disfigured giant.
And that is where our session ended. Next one we’ll be starting with a combat. I guess that is what we get for doing the mistake of splitting the party.