Session Eleven Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 11, September 16 2020
The party rests in the Svirfneblin trading village of Hesfyx after healing with a combination of crystal magic and alchemy. The group's plan is to pay their respects to the village's leader, see if she knows anything more about the dark elves, and then continue their hunt for Vikram ...
We do trading and rest before going to meet Czizak-Turgma.
Magilis offers to introduce us, but Rallion is leery of that, based on the note someone left us last time the party was down here in session 171 of the prior campaign:
Session 171 prior campaign:
We find a neatly folded letter behind the berserker letting us know that Villems betrayed us and that some of the dark elves are on our side:
Blessings of Lloth on you Outsiders,
The grotesque Czizak-Ygna who hosted you recently has betrayed you to those among our people still loyal to the Deceivers from the Great Outside (known to many as the Hidden Ones). The Brood of Hyvaneq intends you harm, so be wary between the trading post and that warren of stunted liars known as Vilsnarg. However, be aware that you have allies among the Matriarchs of Shadow and within that crooked city’s elven embassy who can help you – remember, if you find yourself before a corrupt judge, requests for Ghirzak-Korman cannot be denied!
The Sisterhood of Arachne, Handmaidens to the Queen Who Spins Destiny’s Inescapable Threads
So Braadlur intruduces us.
We make an offering of respect to Czizak-Turgma of 300 gp in 50 GP gems. We ask about the dark elves and offer a 500 gp gem. She refuses the gem as we know more about the group we seek than she does.
We agree to get rid of the troglodyte problem to increase the safety of the trading post. We make a deal to get healed before going and the gear we need. We also ask for something to avoid the effects of the stench of the troglodytes.
We make a deal that she will send out gnomes seeking information on the band of dark elves, and we'll get 10% of wealth for 300 (?) work periods recovered.
Also Offix identifies the scepter Rallion retrieved from the web.
It is a Scepter of Might and has three powers:
- Projects thoughts & feelings of bearer to cause others to see as a friend. LEss than ten charges. Activation word, "ablithen" which is ancient common for friend and has a rune.
- Speak with Animals three times per day. Hradthen (communicate) - ancient common, rune is like that we already know.
- Heal someone once per day. Chance of an aura of fear that affects everyone, even bearer. Phelatin (cure or heal). Perronel writes the rune, and is a clue for how we can evoke healing with blood magic.
We hire the gnomes who guided us here to go fight with us.
Khorvee is a young gnome sent to guide us to the troglodyte lair.
We find the lair blocked by a round stone with an image of a dwarf with a partial inscription that appears to read "Praise the High Marshall".
Oskar and Peronel roll it out of the way. There are about 40 trogs. 10 working on a dragon head, 10 milling about, and 20 in the scaffolding. We wound one and drop it and another with paralyzation/sleep darts.
The trogs charge and miss Oskar and Peronel.
Laris thows an unlit flask of oil and it hits the back portion of the middle of the press of trogs.
Rallion steps forward with the scepter, holding it aloft and says "ablithen," and all the trogs trying to get past Oskar and Peronel to kill us call down and view us as friendly.
We will find out next time if we can communicate with them.
The Lovely Lady Hesfyx, a matter of perspective I suppose…
Pungent Pilferers Plague the Post
We’re set up to take a rest period with the deep gnomes of Villam. Magilis, their leader, has the mistrust of Rallion because of a letter passed to the party at an earlier date warning of betrayal in Villam and letting them (us now?) know of allies among the Drow.
Magilis does pump Rallion and Braadlur for information, I can’t understand a thing. She tells them that the Dark Elves have scattered from the Necropolis, and the Dark King has moved to another location. More than a month ago, something bad happened at the Necropolis and they had to move out. I ask Rallion to help me communicate with Marilis and learn of the underdark time conventions. She relays that there is nothing universal for accounting time, conventions are mostly by settlement. However there are 2 more common systems in general use, 2x2 and 2x3 (rule of 5) each segment is 4 hours. 2X2 is 2 lanterns sleep, 2 lanterns work. The rule of 5 is 2 lanterns sleep, 3 lanterns work. The rule of 5 is used by Villam. We also learn there are many trading posts surrounding Vilsnarg.
Morning-ish on the surface.
Braadlur’s been bouncing in and out of camp and brings back a little mechanical crab looking thing. He said it’s a cat…. I think these Underdark folk had their legs pulled with that description… Rallion sketches what a cat really looks like and Braadlur runs off again after we start quizzing Magilis on the timekeeping stuff.
We all visit vendors and do some resupply. I outfit Peronell and give her a portion of my share of the last take of treasure. Seems appropriate.
Rallion and Braadlur decline Magilis’ offer to introduce us to Czizak-Turgma Hesfyx. She doesn’t seem too put out, but you never know. With Braadlur’s excuse of wanting to stand on his own 2 feet representing his clan, it may have gone by without ire. I couldn’t follow the conversation so I don’t know how she reacted during the conversation.
We attend to our expected audience with Hesfyx. She’s a deep gnome. Her entourage consists of human slaves waiting her every whim with food, oils, fans and other decadent opulence. There are many treasures, what were magical arms and armor mounted along the chamber’s walls. Adorned in nothing more than gems, oils and her own corpulence we offer tribute and Braadlur converses with her. As he goes through the conversation, he periodically fills us in on the details. She doesn’t know much more than we do about the Dark Elf party that came through. Although they are after the infinite box of spiders we left at Old Greybeard. She also is already aware of those in our party that opened up gem nodes in Villam and is wanting our assistance in ridding her settlement of the Troglodyte presence. I put out there that we should ask for a percentage of her newly found wealth if we’re the ones that facilitate that eventuality for her. Braadlur asks and she give us terms: She will give us 10% of the trade that comes through here for 300 work periods after we clear the troglodyte menace to her trading post, scorched earth style. In addition to all the treasure we find in the Troglodyte warrens. She will provide a guide, (Khorvec, one of the guardsmen) to the warrens, and any needed equipment that we desire from the post’s marketplace. She gives each of us a tin of ointment that helps withstand the Troglodyte stench. Their lair is about a ¼ a sleep period (2 hours) away. She will send out inquiries in all directions looking for information on the Dark Elf party we are looking for. We tell her they may be North-ish of here.
We go to Othix and heal our party members. He placates the tenderhearted among us with harvesting his magical power behind closed doors. He also identifies the scepter Rallion is carrying from the web bridge. It turns out to be a Scepter of Might. It’s got a number of powerful abilities. We also learn of it’s command words, which are ancient common, the runes of which match up with a rune we already have identified. We have at least 2 more runes of spells in addition to those we already have determined.
After our resupply, Braadlur comes up and gives me a hand. Not the clapping kind, an actual mechanical hand. I look at him quizzically and he proceeds to show me what he’s come up with. It’s a timekeeper!!! I’m quite impressed. Both with the ingenuity of the clockwork mechanism, and his thoughtfulness. Each finger goes from extended to curled over a 4 hour period for each finger… The last finger is the middle finger. I’m amused! Now I can properly keep up the passage of time for these annals.
He also has an explosive with a timer fuse to attach to his cat crab and send it into somewhere… sneaky and not sneaky all in one... I like it.
We hire Zaki and all but one of his men to accompany us to the troglodyte lair for 2 shares of the treasure we find there. 1 share for each of us, and 2 shares for the 8 of them. One of Zaki’s men stays to watch over his village’s goods and our extraneous gear.
Khorvac guides us back up the ladders and into the main mining tunnel back the way we came. About 30 minutes later we take a side passage and Rallion starts marking our way. We note a smudge a little above human head height that after a while we determine leads to the Troglodyte lair. We finally reach a passage that’s smeared all over with the trog goo. Khorvac will wait here for a couple hours. And my timekeeper curls a finger. Rallion and I take point and go ahead of the party…. Bavmorda. Maybe she’ll get bored sitting around a village and be back with us. Rallion’s need for light cramps my sneak.
We make our way cautiously along the tunnel and it changes. The walls and ceiling become lined with a spongy fleshy smelly stuff. We leave it alone.
We come to a door and hear tap tap tapping beyond. The ‘door’ is a huge stone disc carved with a dwarf’’s head in relief. Dwarven runes say ‘Praise the High Marshal’. There’s an alcove near the door placed where a guard should be. The walls of the alcove are covered in the goo. Braadlur is very impressed with the stone’s workmanship, and points out a couple places that can be used for leverage opening the door. We form a stepped firing line. Prone, Kneeling and Standing 2x2x2. Peronell and Oskar use iron spikes to get a good hold and open the door.
The space beyond the door is quite large, about 100’x60’ or so. There are about 30 to 40 troglodytes going about various tasks in the room. Most are hammering on statues, looks like they’re remodeling. There are about as many working on the floor as are in the scaffolding/catwalk area around the edges of the room. Notables: a giant dwarven stone head, a dragon head. There are multiple chunks of rock and partial statures on the main floor. We open fire, drop a few and a then a group charges the door, others retreat into the warrens. Rallion holds up his scepter and speaks ‘Ablithen’. All the troglodytes that charged the door stop and stare at their new friend and his crew.
Nice shiny stick there Rallion!