Session Nine Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 9, September 2 2020
After a chance ambush by sabre spiders, the party has followed the arachnids back to their lair (a bridge of webbing spanning an underground chasm and clearly used as a travel convenience by the Drow). We continue with the party retreating out of the lair, which Felix has set on fire at 7PM on the 9th of Tenrilden ...
The fight continues and the fire spreads and burns a hole in the floor of the web and the loot starts sliding down towards this hole.
We do a fighting retreat in the direction we intended to go and the spiders followed us. Felix is knocked down and Alex grabs him.
We get to an opening and go up and travel on top of the strand and 3 spiders follow us. We kill one and get to the ledge and then the web fails and the last of the treasure in the web plummets into the chasm with the rushing river below.
One spider falls and the other keeps attacking until we drive it off majorly hurt, but we can't kill it.
Rallion finds the trail of the drow. Braadlur attempts to find a stone guardian and fails to reach it. Laris looks for signs of other creatures.
A group of deep gnomes emerges from the rock along the trail. They speak with Braadlur who tells them we're equals but will say we are his slaves if there's a problem.
We travel with them to the trading post.
The leader is Zaki and their village is Jaanet.
We take a side trail that leads to the dwarven mining tunnel.
Rallion recognizes the tunnel once they reach it. They pull back into a cave to rest the night with no interruptions.
The next day we continue toward the trading post and are among some mining equipment and are ambushed by a score of Troglodytes.
We drop one and some charge and others stay back and throw spears.
We loot the body and Braadlur looks at the machine and finds two chunks of nanocarbon ore.
Many blows are traded and in spite of their foul stench and using a machine to throw up dust to obscure our vision.
We drop enough of them that they break and run and we drop a few that flee.
We loot the bodies and Braadlur checks out the machine and finds two chunks of nanocarbon ore.
This is the place Rallion and a few of the others with a pit and undead and something with tentacles.
At edge of pit with undead, there is writing, but the gnomes can't read it. The group got interested in ancient writing that wasn't dwarven near this pit, that might be keeping them animated.
The party wants to read or check out the writing.
The Web, The Web, The Web is on FIRE!
A pit of undead! Who can resist that!?!?
So much treasure, funnelling out the bottom of the bridge into a chasm... into a roaring river.../sigh. The bridge that our new friend Felix decided was a good idea to burn. The decision would be more palatable if we weren’t still relying on said bridge to hold us suspended an unknown height above that raging river.
The spiders give chase and we run/fight our way across the remainder of the span, making it to the other side just before the fire burns through dumping the last of the treasure and all but one spider. The lonely 8 legged survivor hides in the web avoiding our attempt to leave no enemies at our back. Or witnesses.
We catch our breath from our latest escape. Rallion checks for our quarry’s trial. I look a ways NW and SE along this side’s ledge paralleling the chasm to be sure nothing is lurking. Rallion finds signs of passage to the SE that match previous tracks. So SE it is. About that time, a group of 8 deep gnomes with heavily laden packs appear out of nowhere. Nice trick. They are not immediately hostile and are staring at Braadlur, who’s meditating over his glowing rock. The one that allows him to talk to other rocks.
The stones aren’t chatty today and once Braadlur reenters the real world, he is greeted by the leader of the deep gnome party. They chat it up in their own language while the rest of us cool our heels and keep watch. Braadlur relays to us that this party of gnomes hails from the Jaanet clan/village and is led by Zaki. They have been travelling many hours ‘two rest periods’ from where they were prospecting and are headed to a deep gnome trading post of a few hundred, mostly transient, souls to lighten their load. He also tells us they’re interested in our flesh if we die… a practical people, I suppose. Point noted not to eat at their table without verifying the origin of the fare. The gnomes are interested in buying us if Braadlur is willing to sell us. They could use more laborers. Hmm. We agree that we should be ‘Braadlur’s Slaves’ so as not to garner as much attention when we arrive at the dep gnome trading post. He learns that a Drow party travelling through here heading back to their homeland, would travel via the ancient dwarven mining tunnels as the way would be quicker. Which happens also to be the way they are headed.
After making their amiable acquaintance, we travel together SE and enter the main dwarven tunnel. Rallion marks our path. He recognizes the dwarven tunnel from his previous adventures. There is a set of tracks running down the center and we pass a few mining carts. We find a relatively securable side passage and take a rest. It’s interesting that the gnomes measure time by rest periods, a ‘torch’, and other designations based on the passage of time, not as we think of as day/night. Since those don’t exist down here, it’s as good a method of communicating time as any.
About a rest period into the day.
We set out and after travelling a while, enter an area filled with large machinery. A mining works long left abandoned. Braadlur says that these machines are processing equipment to remove resources from ores collected from the mines. As we’re passing through, a score of troglodytes ambush us. They smell bad, really bad. Bad enough to make your eyes tear up and stomach flip if you catch a full face whiff of them. They stink and are a little smart as they banged on one of the machines kicking up a cloud of dust hampering our vision. Both the smell and the dust slowed us down a bit in the battle. With the combined forces or our party and the gnomes, we drove them away handily with little damage to our side. The gnomes are suitably impressed with us after the skirmish and tell Braadlur as much. Or so he says. It could be they were disappointed that fresh surface dweller meat wasn’t on their menu. They aren’t much interested in the stinky trog meat. Can’t blame ‘em there. Braadlur finds a couple nana ocarbon ore chunks and the troglodytes don’t have anything much worth taking, so we leave them to rot where they lay. Pretty sure something with less sensible tastes will come along and scoop them up. We move on.
About 3 hours down the tunnel from the encounter with the troglodytes, Zaki stops and converses with Braadlur. There’s an area ahead where we have to be silent. There is a dangerous monster in a pit ahead that attacks when it hears sound. As we approach we see writings on the wall warning: Monster, and Keep Quiet. We secure our jingly bits and proceed with caution. The room the monster lairs in is a 4 way intersection with a 10’ ledge around the edge and a cross of tracks mounted on a pedestal that looks like it could be turned to change the direction of a cart. The room is deathly silent with a cross current of breezes carrying foul odors. Acrid sharp smells mixed with the eye watering stench of rotting flesh. As we move carefully through the room, I take a look down and peek at the Thing that Lurks Beneath the Tracks. It’s an amorphous tentacled blob that has itself wrapped around a central pillar supporting the 4way track platform. It has something stuck in it’s mouth, about 1’ long. I get the impression that it could be a wand. Or maybe a big toothpick it keeps handy for those pesky gristle pieces that get hung.
We make it to the other side all in one piece without bothering the thing below. Rallion reports that the writing above the track’s passages read:
(We’re headed East to West along the passage)
- North: Mine Cart Storage Facility
- West: River and Processing Area
- South: Outer Mine Works
- East: Outer Mine Works
Zaki tells us that there is about a 50’ long pit along the floor of the passage north This pit blocks easy travel to the Mine Cart Storage area and the pit is full of undead. It’s only about 40’ down the northern hall to where the pit begins. The pit is ringed with powerful writings in what we guess from Braadlur’s relaying of Zaki’s description could be Ancient Common. Zaki tells us that he thinks the writings on the edge of the pit may be related to the dead not dying in the pit. He also offers to wait for us if we want to go check it out.
That’s all the impetus we need. The possibility of more workable magic sans DVL’s and funny writings on the walls. That and Peronell perks up when she hears about the possible Ancient Common writings.
Maybe we can put some hobbles on the charging party members ankles so they don’t run off, leap into the pit to start carving and bashing the horde of undead. One can hope.