Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dwimmermount, Session 50

The Dwimmermount campaign's "half-century" mark proved to be a fairly eventful one. The party was still trapped within a level known as "the House of Portals," with no sense of how deep it was within the Thulian mountain fortress or how it related to the other levels (assuming it did at all). Dordagdonar's henchman, Angrboda, was already slain (though her body was treated with a special oil of the Iron God, which both retarded decay and protected it against being raised as one of the Undead) and, though Brother Candor possesses a scroll of raise dead, he is reluctant to use it just yet, especially since the PCs do not yet know when -- or if -- they will again be able to return to the surface.

Faced with this situation, the party had little choice but to press on. Leaving behind the mystery of the locked supply cabinets ominously guarded by two statues of men in armor, they found another nearly as mysterious. It looked like it had once been alchemical lab; it was filled with tools for measuring substances, as well as a large work table. There were also two big metallic "barrels" with lids. Opening them, they were found to contain a strange grayish powder with flecks of metal within it. The powder behaved a bit like a liquid -- whenever someone put their hands into it, any indentations made in its surface were quickly smoothed out, as if the powder were reacting to external stimulus. Dordagdonar surmised that it was a form of moonsilver and, if so, worth a small fortune if it could be transported to the surface. The room, though dusty, showed evidence of others having been here recently, with footprints leading through a nearby door.

The party followed the footprints, which took them into a room that had apparently once contained many more furnishings. There was evidence of furniture, perhaps more work tables, having formerly been bolted to the floor and walls. There were faded outlines too, but they were all that was left, the furnishings have long ago been removed. Along another wall, though, there were several peculiar triangular "device" made of metal. They had holes on their tops and hinges on their sides. Dordagdonar opened one and saw that within was a vaguely humanoid shape about the height and build of a dwarf. The elf suggested that perhaps they were molds for the crafting of automatons and Murn, his dwarven henchman, didn't seem too pleased by this notion. The footprints went through another door, which the characters then followed.

The room beyond was a large one, with several other doors leading out of it, a pair of ominous-looking statues, and a set of stairs leading up -- a way out perhaps? Unfortunately, also in the room were three red-skinned elves and a large vulture demon. This prompted Dordagdonar to say, "For a place abandoned centuries ago, there sure are a lot of people here." The PCs surprised the Eld and their demon minion. Rather than engage them (Brother Candor was particularly worried about the demon), they retreated, bolted the door, and Dordagdonar cast hold portal on it. They then fled as far away as they could, hoping the spell would keep the Red Elves at bay long enough for them to escape.

The PCs eventually found an abandoned storeroom whose contents, whatever they were, had been smashed and looted long ago. Also in the room was a large gooey stain that suggested something had been squashed there recently. There were no exits from this room, so the party beat a hasty retreat from there, hoping to stay ahead of the Red Elves. They searched several other nearby rooms, finding neither anything of immediate interest nor any path away from the elves. It was beginning to look as if they were cornered and it was only a matter of when, not if, their opponents would find them.

Stumbling into another room filled with sarcophagus-like containers made of metal, Brother Candor opened one and found they held several layers of gear: helms, belts, swords, tunics, boots, and weird rations. Between them all, there were 60 sets of gear, all in good shape. The helms and the belts detected as magical when put to a spell, the helms granting (at minimum) the ability to comprehend all languages. Any other uses, as well as those of the belts, remained unknown. Dordagdonar, who, at this point, was starting to wonder where the Red Elves had gone, surmised that the gear was for outfitted a large expedition of men to some place foreign and inhospitable.

He then used his ring of invisibility to scout ahead to where the elves and demon had been. To his surprise, he found the door still bolted and held. He removed the hold portal spell, lifted the bolt, and carefully opened the door to see what was beyond it. The elves had gone, leaving behind the demon as a guard, who was watching another door, not the one through which Dordagdonar peered. Suspecting that demons could see invisible objects and creatures, he didn't wait around much longer and headed back to the party in order to tell them what he had seen.


  1. "...though her body was treated with a special oil of the Iron God, which both retarded decay and protected it against being raised as one of the Undead..."

    You hadn't mentioned this last time. Did they always have the oil with them and knew what it could do, or was it a new development?

    Sounds like an exciting session. I'm anxious to see what the Eld are up to.

  2. They'd had it for a long time and I'd totally forgotten about it :)

  3. So is that now two helms of comprehend languages and read magic in the party's inventory? I thought they picked up the one back in the Redoubt many sessions ago.

    Those are a personal favorite magic item of mine to have as a player, and they tend to keep me on my toes as a referee. No more easy outs with "You can't read the ancient writings." Now I have to know what they say and can't use them as set dressing anymore.

    I suppose they'll make nice accessories to go along with the dual rings of invisibility!

  4. What's moonsilver?

    It's one of the magical metals of my campaign setting, called such because it has its origin on the world's moon (just like ioun stones).

  5. So is that now two helms of comprehend languages and read magic in the party's inventory? I thought they picked up the one back in the Redoubt many sessions ago.

    There are now two helms in the party, plus a set of eyeglasses that allow the wearer to read languages with which one is not already familiar. Can you tell I really have no time for dealing with foreign languages in my campaigns? :)

  6. 50 sessions is a lot! What level are the PCs now?

    I recall EGG saying re 1e that he expected PCs to reach Name level, ca 9th, in a year of successful weekly play. That would be around 52/8 = 6.5 sessions to level. The Rules Cyclopedia using similar rules to LL suggests around 5 sessions to level. But Dwimmermount's PC seems different and I'm guessing the Dwimmermount PCs aren't 11th level? :)

    Running my online 1e/OSRIC game, after 13 sessions of around 4 hours each the highest level PCs are 3rd-4th level (Fighter-4, Paladin-3), levelling about 1/4 sessions so far. But the game is fairly combat-light and I give XP for a lot of different things, not just monsters & treasure. I expect advancement to slow down in the traditional 5th-8th 'sweet spot' (pre-3e D&D is cleverly designed that way) but if they continue to do well I can see them reaching Name level in 50 sessions or so.

  7. The helms and the belts detected as magical when put to a spell[.]

    ...Environment belts?

  8. What level are the PCs now?

    6th, closing in on 7th level. I'm a very stingy referee. :)