Session One Hundred and Fifty-Eight Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

From RPG Campaign Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Session 158, November 1 2023



We continue at 6:00AM on the 15th of Anurilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party breaking camp after the second night of their journey up the Khelrun river toward an ancient dwarven fortress that may in fact be called Gharaz'Khel according to Prixithalma. During the rebellion she helped lead against the ancient dwarven empire, this place was supposed to sabotaged in tandem with the destruction of the Silver Tower its generators helped power; however, she cannot say definitively if that happened. Besides more horrors like those found in the abandoned water mill, what can the group expect to find at Gharaz'Khel? Will it prove useful in dealing with the monstrosity in Feldmark? Is Buzz safe on the ship? Find out next time; or not.

Larry's Summary

We were uninterrupted overnight.

Prix is feeling strong enough to walk.

We see the tunnel opening and reach it by mid day.

Thorfus suggests tying the boat to something so it doesn't move from where we leave it. Glompus suggests hiding it with bushes. It is less than 50 yards from the river where there are bushes.

Glompus and Thorfus suggest leaving the boat closer to the river. We lash it to a tree 10-15 yards from the river and cover it with branches, etc.

All with a spyglass we scan the opening and Kauri looks with his mask.

The river moves swiftly out from the tunnel. It has perfect symmetry so no way it's natural. It is about 40 feet in diameter. Half of it is underwater. It is warm. The water is giving off vapors, so it is rather steamy.

Velkin moves around to the top side and looks in. He tells Thorfus to watch/listen to the top of the circle.

Velkin confirms what we suspect, there is no walkway evident, it is just water rushing out, so we probably will need our boat to enter the tunnel.

Thorfus asked Glompus is they are sure that this tunnel opening is the only place they come to the surface? It's the only place that he and the other gnomish rangers suggest they were from as it was the only abnormal spot around so they were fairly certain this must be the place.

We discuss whether we should go in the tunnel via boat or scout for another entrance.

Glompus, Kauri, and Peronelle go around looking for anything unusual around the opening. Thorfus joins in and uses the gold control circlet to see if he detects anything. Velkin joins along with Thorfus.

Lambertus and Felix are in charge of getting the camp setup with the others.

Thorfus and Glompus detect that there is a slope with just enough slope to cause water to move. Thorfus detects no automata in range.

Peronelle and Velkin do not sense any hidden doors.

Velkin asks Kauri to cast blood magic fly on him.

Velkin flies in to the right side of the tunnel halfway between water and ceiling.

Thorfus watches that area with his blessed spyglass as we continue our way around.

Kauri has a sense of something in the direction of where Lambertus and Felix set up the camp, like something is watching us. Kauri tells us he has a feeling. Kauri looks in that general direction for a glow. It is almost like a flash. He expected to see something but didn't. The expectation that there should have been a flash from a glow. None of the rest of us see anything.

Glompus throws his cloak over Snuffles and has him sit. Then he heads off in that direction.

Velkin goes for 30 minutes and sees no real variation in the tunnel. He goes another ten minutes before he plans to turn around.

Glompus suddenly sees a light blue almost glow in the trees as he comes around and is surprised as he didn't know he had the ability to see magic.

He comes upon a group of creatures that area shocking hue of blue and are amphibian looking and are hunched over with a grumbly noise from their throats. If they stood up they'd be giants 9 or 10 feet tall. There are 7 of them having a weird, guttural conversation. They seem to be bipedal with wicked claws on their forearms. They are slightly humanoid but must have a weird gate.

When one of them makes their guttural sound, there is a blue glow from their forehead between their eyes, like something under the skin is glowing.

Glompus looks for kindling and works on using his tinderbox to start a fire.

The fire catches and Glompus returns to the group.

About this time, Velkin prepares to turn around.

Glompus comes back and tells us about some frog-like creatures about 9 feet tall and their foreheads glow blue when they talk.

The good news is that we outnumber them slightly and I started a forest fire.

Thorfus asked how does Glompus knows they are hostile....

Thorfus asks what Prixithalma thinks. I don't think we should leave them out there. Maybe they're waiting for attack.

Glompus hooks around and the rest of us go with open hands to attempt to talk to the creatures and attempt to speak with them.

The fire is out and the blue creatures are no longer in sight.

Glompus looks for prints to track them. He easily tracks them, and is ready to follow them as the rest of us show up.

The fire may have backfired, but I can follow them. We agree to follow them.

The trail heads West and our camp is Northwest. The sun is setting.

Velkin reaches the end of the tunnel and starts to feel heavier. He reaches out and grabs the edge of the pipe as gravity resumes, hanging on by his fingernails. He swings up a leg and rolls over the top.

Velkin hears Lambertus saying, Where'd they go? Hello? Velkin goes to see what's going on in camp. Do you think they went back to the boat? Should we wait at camp? They should know where the camp is, I think. Velkin says to wait at the camp. Lambertus says we could just leave.

The trail starts to curve West Northwest. It feels like we are almost circling the camp. They don't seem to be hiding their movement. Heading further into the hills. It is getting dark and Kauri can't see in the dark.

We come out of the woods just as Velkin is meeting up with Lambertus.

Glompus asks Thorfus about Lambertus if he's OK or sane. It seems he took there are no gods thing pretty hard. Should we do something about it? Well, I did have a platinum holy symbol for him.

Currently the only thing he's doing about it is wine. Well that'll solve itself then.

Kauri says, well maybe when we're done saving the world we could re-instate the gods?

Velkin whispers to Lambertus don't tell them I'm back.

Lambertus asks where we've been. Kauri says a group of things is watching or following us. I always assume we are being followed by people who mean to kill us.

So did you find them and kill them? So you're luring them back here so we can kill them here?

Are we really laying a trap?

Kauri says they may be as curious about us as we are about them, so maybe we can get them to help us. Alright, if you want to try that again....

Velkin says I came back and no one was there. Thorfus says, ah we knew you'd be alright.

When we mention it to Renthark he says what kind of blue? Renthark nods and takes out his sword. Yes, we call them Slaad. The stone holds their souls in it. When we kill them we pry them from their skin. I had a necklace of them back home. They are hard to kill. They come from the same elsewhere I do. With their minds they can cause trouble, they have many powers. We cannot go into this tunnel? Can we take them, there are 7 of them. We will need to fight.

Why do we need to fight. They are hunting us.

Renthark asks if they don't know that we know they are here? They will come to kill us tonight, definitely.

Velkin tells us it goes a long ways. We decide to abandon camp, get the boat, then go up the tunnel. The zombies can hang off the side.

Lambertus looks around the beautiful campsite but says if Renthark is afraid of them, I guess we should go.

We find the boat and get it uncovered and down to the water line.

We get in the boat and the zombies hang onto the boat.

We all scout the horizon. Renthark is on edge standing in the center of the boat with his sword out.

We make progress against the current and soon disappear in the darkness of the tunnel.

We maintain darkness until we are well away from the entrance to use light.

We do half watches with rowing. Renthark is muttering under his breath, but not in deep gnome.

It is tough going for Thorfus. The constant rowing is tiring, never ending and monotonous. Speed drops off with the current. Very frustrating.

It is now 10 PM and Velkin and Peronelle row.

Midnight still just tunnel, no apparent changes.

Lambertus and Kauri take up rowing on Lambertus and Glompus watch.

After an hour passes, Glompus notices a change on the right-hand side. There is a slight difference in the temperature in the side wall and the rest of it. A separate piece of metal deformed and crushed and pushed into the river with darkness behind it.

Glompus can tell that whatever is heating the water is coming from the side passage.

Kauri and Lambertus under direction from Glompus make their way into the opening.

There is definitely a current flowing into the tunnel, but we are in a huge open area beyond what infravision except the roof at the edge of the infravision. It is a lake or something.

Off to the right and left about 20 feet above the water line is a catwalk suspended form the side walls and some sort of panel or workstation that stretch off into the distance.

The water here is toasty. The zombies may be a touch boiled.

Kauri and Lamberus pull out their continual light coins and can see the catwalk and the pedestals.

The door is 20 feet across. It looks like something slammed into it from this side.

Catwalk is about 20 feet above the waterline.

There are more catwalks straight ahead with a ladder that comes down that either stops just above the surface of the water or even goes into it.

Somewhere in this large chamber, water is falling into it.

They row towards the ladder and there are actual structures. There is a section that is like metal grillwork. The part we are heading towards, the underside is solid with a structure connected to the ceiling.

They prepare to tie off the the ladder.

There is suddenly splashing behind us and all 5 zombies disappear beneath the water. One's fingernails remain in the boat.

They wake the other party members.

Kauri feels the zombies winking out one by one.

Glompus ties a rope quickly and ensures Snuffles is secured to a rope.

Kauri and Lambertus start climbing the ladder as they wake us on the way to the ladder.

Druul is next up the ladder.

Thorfus does not detect any automata in the area. Thorfus knows that this is definitely the place it is ancient dwarven, no doubt about it.

Velkin shadow steps and drops a rope over the side.

There is a surge of water as five tentacles try to wrap around the boat. No suckers on them. Like octopus tentacles without suckers, but scaly like snakes.

There is splintering of wood and water starts leaking in, the hull is definitely compromised.

Kauri casts Levitate onto Prixithalma since she is strongest and she can grab two others.

Druul makes his way up the ladder. Lambertus pulls up Snuffles and Glompus moves to the rope Velkin lowered.

Thorfus does psionic blast but it has no effect.

Tentacles flex and the boat shatters.

Thorfus grabs the ladder. Prix is levitated and grabs Felix, Peronelle, and Renthark and she levitates up.

We all make it up to the catwalk.

Kauri looks for a door off the catwalk as the tentacles seem long enough they could reach us.

The entire wall is a window but it is dark inside with tables and chairs.

There is an alcove across from catwalks crossing the the catwalks either side of the big broken door we entered this area.

We make it up to the catwalk.

Kari runs towards the alcove and there is a double door that is closed. 3 feet up the wall on the right-hand side is a plate with a green light.

Kauri pushes the button to open it and the doors slide open like pocket doors. There is a 20x 20 chamber with metallic lockers.

Kauri shouts This way, quick!

Tentacles slap at the catwalk and a huge body like a frog with a huge mouth.

The creature propels itself into the catwalk but it holds fast. The creature falls back into the water except for the tops of the tentacles.

Thorfus pushes everyone in front of him and closes the door behind him. There is more crashing a breaking and we don't think the catwalk survived.

Glompus's Letter

Hey there Spud,

That was an action packed day! It started off quietly enough. I scrounged up some mushrooms for travel rations. Velkin complained a whole bunch about it, but this is the same drow that was feeding Snuffles fingers so I'm not sure he's an expert on haute cuisine. I also overheard a conversation they were having with Prixithalma when I got back from scouting.They were asking her about all the mutations with the animals, and she was saying she wasn't sure if they were made by her husband or not. I'm also still not sure if he's a dragon too, but he seems like kind of a bad guy, so if he's still around grandpappy's going to do his best to avoid him.

We arrived at the tunnel where all the mutated creatures come out around mid-afternoon. We lashed the boat to a tree and hid it from sight, thinking we could make a quick escape on it if need-be, and not thinking about maybe needing it to explore the tunnel. I miss that boat already, but that's for later in the letter.

Remember how I always wanted a nice spyglass, but the optics were too expensive? Well now I got one. In fact, basically the whole group is rolling in them, plus Kauri has this mask that can see magic. I asked to borrow it, but he said he never takes it off. Which if that's the case, arrow dodged as far as the smell must go. We didn't see much with any of our tools, so Kauri made Velkin fly and he went up the tunnel to check it out.

While Velkin was gone, me, Kauri, and Peronell went to look and see if we could find anything along the inside of the pipe. We came up empty, but then Kauri heard a noise off in the woods. I threw my cloak over Snuffles so he could pretend to be me (he's really good at it so long as he doesn't start licking himself) and headed into the forest.

I went trekking around the long way, and saw a light blue glow in the trees, so I creeped a little closer. I thought at first maybe Kauri's mask had rubbed off on me and I was magic too, but it turned out it was just the creatures I found, a bunch of hunched, giant amphibians. Now, like Grandpappy always told you, discretion is the better part of valor, and they were a lot bigger than me, I crept behind them to start a fire to see if I could push them out of the woods. I headed on back to my friends after that, and we went to the woods to watch them again. They had snuck off too, but we found where they were and started tracking them, following their trail that circled back towards the camp.

While we were walking back to camp, I talked to Thorfus a bit about Lambertus, since they've known each other the longest. He said Lambertus has been kinda bummed like he's been for a while, but when he got him a platinum holy symbol that seemed to help a bit. Maybe I can get him something next time we're back in town. Probably a better use of coin than buying him more wine. I'm afraid one of us is going to have to give up some blood to regenerate his liver.

We got back to camp and checked in with everyone. Velkin said there wasn't any change in the tunnel as far as he flew up. Renthark said the big frog things we saw in the forest were called slaad, and that he and the other deep gnomes would fight them a bunch when he was living on the astral plane. He said they were probably hunting us, and they were bad news, so they probably would have killed us. Another arrow dodged there! It's sort of been a theme for today.

Since we figured there was no way to get up into the cave system without the boat, we broke camp and headed to retrieve it at the river. I was on the fourth watch again (I just think an early breakfast gets a good start on the day), but since my arms are a bit short, I couldn't row properly, so I gave Lambertus and Kauri directions while they rowed. We noticed a side passage with a lot of heated water coming out of it, and went up that way. It emptied into a larger room, with a large body of water and a catwalk around the edge. There were amazing buildings built into the upper parts of the cavern! I wish you could have seen it Spud, the dwarves design underground like we do, but they do things on a huge scale. It was really something!

Unfortunately, we didn't get long to admire the architecture. Remember how I said I wish we still had the boat? Before we got it cocked, we were attacked by this crazy tentacled frog monster. I was scared to death, since the only way to get out was by ladder, and Snuffles doesn't climb good without thumbs. I tied a rope to him, told him he was a good dog and to stay calm, and used a grappling hook to get him connected to the catwalk right as tentacles came up to wrap around the boat. Lambertus pulled Snuffles up and Velkin pulled me up on another ropes. Everyone else either got to the ladder or Kauri levitated them, so thankfully everyone's safe. The monster jumped out at us, but we were able to run through the sliding door into a building and slamming the door shut, and that's where I'm writing from now. I can't tell you how glad I am Snuffles is ok, and all my new friends too for that matter. I know you might have been happy to get your playmate back, but I want him to live a long happy life here before we send him on to you. He misses you though, I can tell, and so do I. I'll write again next time we camp. Miss you Spud.

Love, Grandpappy Glompus 16th of Anurilden