DnD 3.5 - Northern Reaches sandbox game

23 - Clay Achings
Claynamation

The party followed the long tunnel under the mountain for a long way (one to three miles) east from New Dwarf City. The tunnel turned north to where the last dwarven guard post was located. North of the guard post, down a set of stair the tunnel continued north and branched to the west. The northern tunnel was blocked by rubble but humanoid sounds could be heard. The dwarves had warned that previous excursions north had resulted in fighting and that the rubble acted as a divider.

The party explored the west passage. As the passage headed west about five to ten feet wide, it snaked south and then west and then back north again before ending in a natural room about 15 feet wide and 30 feet long. There were bones and weapons on the ground at the far end of the room. As the party entered, Brell and Belramos detected that a haste spell was cast, and then a giant creature rushed the party attacking without any weapons. It turned out to be a clay golem.

Ryder set her adamantine spearaxe to receive the charge and scored a hit for double damage in the first round. Dez ducted into the shadows and moved around the creature to the left to get in a position to sneak attack. Brell burned the critter with scorching ray. Ka initiated his rage ability and swung his Greataxe and missed. Threll shot arrows and missed. Amazones moved around to the right as Belramos blessed the party. The creature smashed into Ryder (16 points of damage), apparently trying to push her back, but Ryder held her ground.

Ryder chopped with her spearaxe, Dez poked with her rapier, Amazones attacked with fury of blows, and Brell scorched the clay golem, each doing damage. Belramos attempted to heal Ryder, but the wounds would not heal. The clay golem missed with its first attack (a natural 1), hit Ka on its second attack (20 points of damage), and scored maximum damage on its last attack against Ryder (27 points of damage).

In the next round the party finally did enough damage to destroy the golem, before it could attack again. A search revealed a magic dagger along with several non-magic items , which the party took.

The party quickly returned to New Dwarf City to recover. It took Belramos a couple of days to heal Ka and Ryder because of the cursed wounds inflicted by the construct. The party paid to have the magic dagger identified and it turned out to be a +2 Long Tooth Dagger. The weapon was specially designed for gnomes and halflings and does the same damage as a short sword while Dez is wielding it.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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22 - Adamantite All Around
Eight-Tenths of a Second

The party traded the magic Pick (of Excavation) for some quality, adamantite weapons of the finest dwarven craftsmanship in New Dwarf City. The characters chose the following Adamantite weapons in the exchange: Amazones has a tipped/reinforced Long Staff, Belramos chose a Mace, Brell got a Heavy Crossbow, Dez picked a Rapier, Ka obtained a Greataxe, Ryder elected a Dwarven Spear-axe, and Threll took a Broadblade Short Sword.

As Dez trained (for 4th level), the rest of the party decided to take the Owlbear to Maethelburg. That endeavor did not go as smoothly as the party had hoped. The party distracted the Owlbear by feeding it at the same time that Threll put a rope around its neck (modified 23 for Use Rope skill check). But when Ka opened the cage, the Owlbear bolted so quickly that (‘Butter Fingers’) Threll was not able to hold on to the rope (failed strength check). After eight-tenths of a second, the Owlbear fled to the west …

The party proceeded to Maethelburg. They reported on the status of ZeraptIs to the Maethelburg authorities and gave Devlin the short bow that Ka is no longer using. Brell met with Baron Caldwell. Devlin’s grandfather provided some information from the books that the party discovered in the secret room near the destroyed alter. Apparently, one has to have an amulet (probably like the six that Amazones destroyed) to interpret the runes on the Pillars of Knowledge (One speculates that the obelisk that Brell destroyed was probably one of the Pillars). Ythog Nthlei will try to rise again in about a year (apparently there is an opportunity once every 100 years) near the Quiet Lake which is west by northwest from the Great Forest.

The party went back to New Dwarf City to meet up with Dez. They replenished consumables like arrows, bolts, sling bullets, and rope.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the intrepid adventurers’ story…]

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21 - Continue Having Fun Storming the Cave
Brell, Obelisk Slayer

The party explored west from the room with the large zombies and discovered mining tunnels after Dez picked the lock of the entrance door. The tunnel split south and north. The party explored the southern fork first. In order to ensure that no one got lost in the apparently complex mining tunnels, the party used rope. Ryder and Dez followed the tunnels as far as they could south west (heading up), west (staying level), and northwest (heading down) within the length of the security rope. The tunnels had some bones. The air in the northwest (heading down) branch was very bad. The northern fork headed north and then west for only about 30 feet, where it dead ended with a pile of bones. Ka went forward alone to this corpse and endured the bad air (taking 2 points of choking damage), but recovered a pick of obviously fine craftsmanship.

The party headed east back through the zombie room and then north from where the party fought the mimic earlier. That tunnel lead to a large room with a broken alter. Belramos expressed uneasiness about this place. Threll happened to spot a secret door on the north wall near the western end of the room. Dez, again, used her rogue skills to open the secret door. The party found robes hanging on the walls and two chests. The chests were trapped and locked, but Dez was able to open them safely. The party spent time laying out the contents for Belramos to detect if they were magic. There were four amulets with an evil aura and a magic ring that the party took with them.

The party returned to the alter room and then headed north up the stairs near the eastern end of the north wall. The party proceeded through the door (standard marching order). A Wight that was behind the door attacked Ryder and drained some of her life-force (drained one level) before the party had a chance to react. Belramos reacted very quickly and used his clerical ability to turn the undead creature. Ryder made a successful attack of opportunity (because the Wight began to flee) and successful melee attack (having beaten the Wight’s initiative). Threll’s arrows finished off the Wight in short order.

As the party searched and discovered another medallion with an evil aura on the remains of the Wight. Another, larger Wight approached from the east. Amazones quickly moved forward while performing a full defense (effective touch armor class of 23) in order to give the party more time to defeat the Wight with missile weapons. Magic Missiles, arrows, bolts flew as the Wight hit Amazones (a natural 20, followed by an 18 which would have been a critical hit had she not been fighting defensively) and drained some of her life force (loss of one level). Ryder held her initiative and attacked with her Spearaxe after the Wight attacked Amazones. The party quickly defeated this larger Wight and found a sixth evil amulet.

The tunnel, where the larger Wight approached from, lead to a large room with 11 pools. Searching and Belramos’s detect magic spell yielded this information: #1 clear liquid with strong magic, #2 green liquid, nonmagical, acid had a key at the bottom, Threll tried to used an evil amulet to fish the key out but the chain was eaten through, several arrows were lost fishing out both the amulet and the key, #3 brown liquid, nonmagical, #4 clear liquid, nonmagical, #5 clear liquid, strong magic, #6 reddish liquid, weak magic, #7 not liquid, but contained coins, party had to keep an eye on Dez to keep her from messing with this one, #8 bluish liquid, nonmagical, #9 empty, discovered (through searching, dwarven and successful engineering knowledge checks by Ryder and Brell) that it opened revealing a deep hole that went straight down farther than the continual light lanterns could reveal (guessing maybe 50 to 150 feet), #10 clear liquid, nonmagical with fish in it, and #11 clear liquid with moderate magic. The party decided to postpone a descent down through pool #9. The party conjectured that this could lead to the same depth that they saw from Zerraptus’s cave.

The party headed back to the alter room and tried to head east through the door. They experienced difficulty in getting it open. Dez’s open locks skill and Ka’s strength failed. Threll put on one of the medallions and was able to open the door. The cautiously entered the room by having Amazones and Dez scout ahead. They found a mud-splattered Obelisk that made Belramos feel uncomfortable. Brell used a shatter spell that damaged the alter and caused a 20-pound chunk to splinter off. Ka struck the alter with the pick that he found earlier (rolled a natural 20) which broke off another 20-pound chunk. Brell used magic (Bull’s Strength and True Strike) to enhance his melee attack while striking the Obelisk with the pick. Brell struck a tremendous blow (modified attack roll of 40). The Obelisk fell dislodging much of the mud that was covering the runes which were so powerful that their perusal compromised Brell’s mental state (mild insanity, no save).

The party quickly headed to New Dwarf City to recover after feeding the Owlbear. Ryder and Amazones with the help of clerical magic (Bear’s Endurance and Guidance) were able to recover from Wights’ energy drain attacks (level loss turned out to be only temporary due to successful fortitude saves by each). Clerical magic (the party paid to have a cleric cast Remove Curse) also restored Brell.

The party spent 625 gold to discover the properties of five magic items: Amulet of Magic Missile Absorption (can 84 hit points of damage) which Belramos now wears, Ring of Magic Absorption that Brell wears and cast Magic Missile on to set the spell that the ring will absorb, Ring of Protection +1 that Dez is wearing (her armor class is now 20), Ryder’s Black Dwarven Plate is currently +1 but will improve one more point every five levels of experience, and a Wand of Empowerment that Brell wields as the wand enhances 1st through 3rd level spells to deal half again more damage. The dwarves in New Dwarf City recognized the pick that Ka discovered in the mines; it has the magical property of excavating at a tremendous rate.

After Belramos cast Bull’s Strength on Amazones, she destroyed the six evil amulets with her bear hands. (Her hands are considered magic weapons due to the 4th level Monk feat Ki Strike.)

Dez earned enough experience to achieve 4th level!

[Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the intrepid adventurers’ story…]

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20 - Have Fun Storming the Cave
You Are Mimicking Me, Aren't You?

The party returned to the Caves of Chaos having rested and recuperated. Amazones, Belramos, Brell, Ka, Ryder, and Threll all earned enough experience to make 4th level.

The party was not able to figure out how to open the secret door that Dez found in the upper left cave despite Brell burning away all of moss with a Burning Hands spell. So, the explorers entered the lower right cave.

After proceeding about 30 feet into the tunnel they were attacked by a mimic that had changed its form to look like rock. Ryder, Ka, Brell, and Threll all dealt damage to the mimic, but Amazones did a total of 31 points of damage while using Flurry of Blows. Dez scouted the room during the fight and found a door to the west and to the north. Belramos healed his own and Amazones’s minor wounds after the fight.

Threll discovered a secret door on the east wall which lead to a room with seven small (about 5 feet long) mound-graves that Belramos identified (successful Knowledge-Religion check) as sacrifices to a demon “Ythog.” Brell remembered (successful Knowledge-Arcane check) that the demon’s last name is “Nthlei.” Belramos consecrated the graves.

Finding no other exits from the rooms with the graves, the party returned to the room with the mimic and headed through the north door. The tunnel lead north for a long way. The party noticed a tunnel joining from the west about 20 feet north and followed it. That tunnel took them west and south where it split east toward the room with the mimic and west.

The party went west and discovered a large room with eight empty graves. There were four curtains, three on the north wall and one in the northern part of the west wall. As the party entered the room four large zombies, one from behind each curtain, came out to attack the party. Dez snuck south and then west around the room as the rest of the party engaged the zombies with ranged weapons.

Brell used a Flaming Sphere for the first time to burn Zombie #2 (14 damage). Belramos turned Zombies #3 and #4 (rolled a natural 20 on his turning skill) and they fled through the eastern most curtain. Ranged attacks and spell damage killed #2 before it got within melee range. Ka raged. Both Ka and Ryder did ax damage to #1 when it got within range.

Ka wanted to engage #3 and #4 before his Rage wore off so he pursued the zombies. Ka tore down the curtain so the ranged attackers could shoot at the zombies without breaking Belramos’s turning. Ryder and Ka prepared to engage in melee while Brell used Hail of Stone for the first time dealing 12 points of damage to each zombie. It worked so well that he used it again. The other ranged attackers, including Dez who caught up with the party after having done a quick reconnoiter behind the other three curtains, took down #3 and damaged #4 before the Turning wore off. Ka fumbled his ax throw and got it lodged in the ceiling (?) somehow. Amazones fumbled (rolled a 1) and scored a critical hit (a natural 20 on the fumble die, followed by a successful to hit roll) to the back of Ka’s head with a sling bullet (for 7 points of damage). Ryder engaged #4 in melee as the Belramos’s Turning wore off. The fourth Zombie fell.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the intrepid adventurers’ story…]

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19 - Them Plants Were Hungry
aka Feed Me Seymour

The party continued to explore the Caves of Chaos.

Threll decided to feed the owlbear. Threll thinks it is cruel to slaughter a caged animal, but he also believes that it would be irresponsible to turn it loose where it might attack the residents of Maethelburg or New Dwarf City.

The party entered the upper left cave. There was no evidence of frequent traffic. The tunnel led to a large room with a pool in the center. Amazones was the first to go forward and she was promptly attacked and immobilized (failed strength check) by a Shambling Mound. Dez went forward and helped cut Amazones free with her dagger. Ryder and Ka advanced and started chopping with there axes. Brell burned the Mound (Lesser Orb of Fire crit for 27 points of damage). Threll noticed that Belramos’s lack of participation and spotted that the cleric was being pulled off the ground by an Assassin Vine. The Vine inflicted almost enough damage to incapacitate the cleric before Brell’s burning hands facilitated an escape. The party sustained significant damage (Amazones 18, Belramos almost 24, Ryder 8, Brell 20 of his 21 hit points) before triumphing over the carnivorous plants.

There were no more combat encounters during the rest of this scenario. There were four rooms in this area. The main room where the fight took had a large pool of water in the center that appeared to have a natural spring feeding it from the bottom that was too deep to see the bottom of. This pool drained into a smaller room to the northeast with nothing special to report other than there was a pool in the middle of the room. The third room that was to the north and then east appeared to have more moss than the others. The fourth room was found by going north and then down a long winding tunnel west. This room was more densely vegetated, but a thorough, deliberate search revealed nothing (we may have to figure out another way to search the room).

The party returned to New Dwarf City to recuperate and report to the authorities there.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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18 - Zerraptus Interrupted

The party returned to the Caves of Chaos to discover that Zerraptus had indeed departed. The wizard left a scroll for the party to find. Dez successfully searched for traps and discovered that the scroll was scribed with explosive runes. The party found a chest that was similarly trapped earlier (Adventure Log #16). As the party does not have a way to safely open the scroll, Threll is carrying the scroll in a quiver for safe keeping.

The party explored the rest of Zerraptus’s cave (except for any secret doors that were not found). In the room to the west of the Arena, the party discovered a horrendously awful sound that appeared to spontaneously come out of a huge crevice in the floor. Eventually, the party dispatched the shriekers and found that there was a large, tentacled monster at the bottom of the 100-foot deep crevice.

The party found almost nothing of value in the several rooms that used to house Zerraptus and his (or maybe her?) henchmen. The party did find and take three ‘continual light’ lanterns, one each for Belramos, Amazones, and Dez. The party prepared itself to explore the other caves in the complex.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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17 - Money in the Bank, The Orc Camp Has Been Destroyed

The party recovered and resupplied in New Dwarf City for about a week. Through Dez’s efforts, the party learned that the magic Dwarven hammer ‘Molnor’ was stolen from the Dwarven treasury. Ka purchased banded mail armor and a heavy crossbow with bolts. The party decided to deposit 5,000 gold pieces and 500 platinum pieces in the New Dwarf City treasury for safe keeping.

The party left New Dwarf City toward to the Caves of Chaos, but ran into Tomlin on the way. Tomlin gave the party a garment made from the hell hound hide (this hide was acquired earlier and turned over to Tomlin, #15 – Light at the End of the Tunnel). Tomlin asked the party if they were planning to occupy the wizard cave as Zerraptus has apparently moved out after demolishing the orc camp to the east of the cave complex. The party thanked Tomiln by giving him several days food and and decided to investigate the orc camp.

The party found that the orc encampment had been completely destroyed, undoubtedly, by the evil wizard Zerraptus. After a thorough search, the party found one set of spider tracks that were days old. With no hope of finding any survivors, the party took care of the remains of their orc comrades.

The party rested for the night with the expectation of returning to the Caves of Chaos early the next morning.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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16 - Heroes for Hire, Giant Slain on Demand! (reasonable prices)

The fearless party continued to explore the wizard cave complex. Dez scouted ahead and found a giant. The party with the help of Dereck, Lydeck, and Glorn did not hesitate to engage the giant that was apparently waiting to speak to the evil wizard, Zerraptus. Amazones, Ka, and Ryder were all battered by the giant, before it fell from crossbow bolts, magic missiles, arrows, stones, and dwarven spearaxes. The party continued to explore finding lots of food, wine, and ogre armor.

The party encountered two ogres at the main entrance to the wizard’s cave at the same spot where they defeated several ogres earlier (12 – Raiders of the wizard cave). From there the party explored north through the double doors that they charred earlier. They proceeded further north to what appeared to be an arena. There was not much time to explore. To the west was a room with a crevice and to the east was the wizard’s lab, which Dez saved us from setting off the trap(s) there.

We explored the east tunnel from the main entrance to find a pit trap that Ryder fell into. Ryder was rescued with a rope and Ka burned the ooze/slime thing to death with oil. Dez figured out how to operate the trap and Threll investigated the pit while hanging from the end of a rope to reveal nothing significant.

While starting to retrace our steps to leave, Dez noticed an unusual section of the wall near the main entrance to the cave. After using Belramos’s detect magic and spending a lot of time, the party discovered how to open what turned out to be a secret door to one of Zerraptus’s treasure caches. Since Dez notice that the chest was trapped, The party put the chest in the bag of holding which was looted from the giant’s corpse. On the way out the party took as much food and wine as they could carry while destroying the ogre equipment with fire. The party did their best to hide the fact that they entered the cave complex through this more than likely unknown entrance by closing the concealed door behind them and having Dez cover their tracks as best she could.

Dez cautiously opened the chest under the protection of several of the cleric’s defensive spells. Both Dez and Belramos took damage when Dez was unable to exceed the difficulty of the explosive runes. A number of scrolls were destroyed, but a magic ring and a magic wand survived the fire in addition to 5,000 gold pieces, 500 plat, and 100 gems. The party paid the three dwarves 175 gold, all of the wine, and the 100 gems for their assistance.

Dez was particularly busy during this session and the DM awarded 431 additional experience points which was enough for her to achieve 3rd level. The party will probably need a couple of days to rest, resupply, and recuperate in New Dwarf City.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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15 - Light at the End of the Tunnel

After resupplying the orcs, the party returned to the cave complex and set up an ambush to attack any wizard patrols that might pass by. The party defeated a patrol consisting of two ogres, a hell hound, and Jozan, one of Zerraptus’s henchmen who was imprisoned earlier (#7 – Caravan Escort – Bandits from within). The party used fire to succeed in surprising the patrol and inflicted enough damage on Jozan to keep him from casting any spells, before defeating him. Brell finished off the fleeing hellhound with a magic missile spell. The party moved west with the four corpses to the vicinity of the main road. Tomlin helped the party dispose of the bodies, except for Jozan’s corpse. The party gave Tomlin the hellhound pelt with the understanding that Tomlin was going to make a protective garment.

Finding Jozan outside of the dwarven prisons prompted the party to take Jozan’s corpse to the dwarf settlement. The dwarves were at a heightened state of readiness in response to a prison break. Apparently, Zerraptus raided the dwarf town and used brute force and surprise to free his henchmen.

The party decided to recruit some assistance (three dwarves-Derrick, Lydeck, and Glorn) and returned to the vicinity of the cave complex and looked for an alternate route into the wizard’s cave. One of the dwarves spotted a cave about half a mile to the west of the wizard’s cave complex. The party entered the cave and followed it. Eventually, after about a quarter of a mile, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. The party heard voices of four ogres on the other side of the door.

Ryder, while investigating a hole in the wall, surprised the party and the four ogres by activating the opening mechanism. The ogres were outmatched. The party was able to defeat all four ogres in just three melee rounds. Glorn sustained the only injury, which turned out to be quite significant (15 points of damage). Belramos healed most of his injuries with a single spell.

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…]

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14 - Feeding makes orcs happy, Axing makes Ka happy

After returning to town the group decides to buy and deliver two weeks worth of rations to the spider-riders orcs. The party rides the horses and supplies back to the spider-rider camp. The orcs seem very pleased to take the food.

They inform the party that the wizard and his troops has returned. The patrols now include a dog and sometimes a henchman. The party is interested and decides to monitor the patrols and prepares to ambush a patrol.

The party prepares their plan, with Ka and Rider to throw molitovs, then engage with axes as Amazones joins them on the ogres and dog. All ranged attacks will focus on the mercenary with the ogre group.

Engaging the ogres, Ka hits one with the burning oil while Rider misses to the south. Daggers arrows and bolts fly, causing a lot of damage, he attempts to cast a spell, but fails and falls from a bolt from Belramos.

The fight now turns to the dog [hell hound] who ignores the flames of the fight and charges past the party headed in the direction of the caves. Ka is close enough and manages to hack the hound as it passes. Brell manages to take down the fleeing hound with a magic missile. Everyone else turns their attention on the flaming ogre. both ogres swing and hit their foes (Ka and Ryder) and when Ryder is hit Belramos also cries out in pain. Dez looks for trouble (spot check) but fails to come up with anything.

The combined attacks of the party takes down the flaming ogre and a massive swing of Ka’s great axe ends the second ogre and the battle.

The party learns Belramos was shielding Ryder and took some of the damage. The party also recognizes the mercenary and is positive it is Jozan who has died of his wounds. Checking the bodies the party finds nothing magical and only 18 gold in coins from the ogres.

[stay toned for our next exciting episode]

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