Session One Hundred and Seventy-Four Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 174, March 27 2024



We continue at 1AM on the 26th of Anurilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party gathered on the terrace in the quarters within Dun’Khel. They have just been visited by Mephistopheles, who informed them of an imminent attack by DVLs on this last dwarven stronghold (and provided some clues as to the contents of the nano-carbon bound book they have). Now the party must consider what to do with this information and where they can find refuge to continue their preparations to defeat Asmodeus and his legions of demonic servants before the coming apocalypse. Can the group save the khel’s residents? Is there someplace to bring the refugees the offers any safety? Where will the party head next? Find out next time; or not.

Larry's Summary

The party is leaning towards asking Lolth for help.

Alesta Drakul - We debate how soon to ask her for her opinion. We think the golden tablets are a full set of cleric spells....

Ask Renthark what the Slaad's disposition is towards DVLs. He thinks and says he thinks they are hostile to one another. They compete in the Astral Plane. They are chaos personified.

We could open the Slaad portal in the City of Brass.

Slaad don't have cities, they have scattered bits of land floating in the Astral Sea that are home to much like a dwarven clan.

So more likely to affect the DVLs if we open the portal near the khel.

Spider box....

Caspar engraving the sword is months from completion.

Share secret of book with another DVL.... Very dangerous.

Hdrasta - No known DVLs.... Probably lots of orcs and giants.

Marientaxus' lair has a DVL that can turn to stone.

Old Greybeard has a mountain sized DVL.

Secret hideout of the dragons that allowed them to raise some of them....

We decide to talk to Prix and fill her in then go to Alesta Drakul, then go to the Lord Marshall.

Thorfus asks what we can do to save the dwarves, Prix said that the primary concern is to keep Caspar safe and to get him our of here.

Saving the dwarves is important, but secondary. Telling the Lord Marshall is probably OK unless he panics. She doesn't think it is a good idea to tell any DVL what we think is in that book, unless we trust them to be better than Asmodeus. I'd rather complete the weapon and kill Asmodeus.

Prix is OK trading the spider box to Lolth for her help.

Prix is not sure where the dragon stronghold is, as it was built after her imprisonment. She doesn't know how big it is.. She asked if Nixomanthus was heading to Serpent's Tooth island. She

We awaken Alesta who does not want to get up, but eventually comes onto the terrace. Looks as grumpy as usual.

What?! I told you I need to think. Thorfus says that there's been a complication.

We tell Alesta that we have intelligence that the DVLs are now coming to destroy the dwarves and will be her in three days. We are hoping the gold tablets will help us.

She looks around and says, "Based on what? They could invade tonight. If so, I'd like to get some sleep first."

Glompus says that we have to protect out source. It's not the stupid clock is it. You shouldn't trust.

All right, I'll take it on faith that you know what your talking about.

You want my best guess? Yes.

Here's what I think of what I've seen in the tablets so far. I did a little study of ancient common, but there is other stuff in there. I've established that they are divine spells, they seem ritual in nature. It requires this item, or is at least better to have it. A bracer with three stones in it. It takes longer, but it should be possible to cast divine spells again. The longer the casting, the longer they last. Perhaps ten times as long, at least on the ones I understood.

What I really wanted to think about, there seems to be an alternate way to activate these spells. It doesn't require the bracer or have to read the tablets.

By making a sacrifice of memory, you can call on the magic, and the bracer allows sacrificing the memories of others to power the spells. (Like the monkeys at the reactor.)

To read off the tablets for the long form of ritual casting requires the bracer.

Can cast with a sacrifice of memory, the bracer allows sacrificing the memories of others, even the unwilling.

Some of the divine spells could possibly forbid entry by creatures outside this plane of existence.

Someone would have to be continually performing the ritual.

Druul asked if there is one place of concentration to try it. Alesta, it is probably the safest. It would be a kind of protection from evil incantation. We don't have the artifact so it doesn't matter.

Velkin mentions that Lambertus used to cast Dispel Evil. Dispel Evil may be in the tablets, but Alesta doesn't like her chances if it takes an hour after they get here. See page 18 of *OSE Cleric and Magic User Spells v1-0.pdf*.

Alesta goes off to look at the tablets again.

Thorfus pries the stone out of the necklace and puts it in his bracer and gives it to Alesta to do some testing. She wanders off to the room where she left the tablets.

Thorfus mentions that we can stop the dragon emperor and alter time ourselves to save the dwarves.

Pocket watch from Mephistopheles that will lead us to his fortress if we get to the Astral Plane.

"We never have options, we have dilemmas. or We have our choice of dilemmas."

We decide to wait to inform the Lord Marshall until Alesta can tell us what she can do with the tablets.

Alesta is muttering to herself and pretty soon has found a Dispel Evil ritual on one of the tablets and focuses on that.

Velkin is observing her.

The rest of us try to sleep.

There are about 8,000 dwarves and refugees, Em and her baby, Aldus, and the others in our compound.

By morning, Alesta looks up and says "Huh, I think I dislike you less than the others." I think I understand this now. It should be able to ward an area against DVLs it starts at 10 minutes of chanting gets you 30 feet. It does double, but 100 minutes for the next 30 feet. 1,000 minutes for the next 30 feet. It has to be the same chanter and can't swap armbands, unless there are multiple armbands.

If we had multiple artifacts and enough time, we could ward the entire khel.

She doesn't quite understand what it means to sacrifice memories. It can also increase the strength. It is not clear to me how that would work.

With the armband can take the memories of others and sacrifice them. There is a warning that if you sacrifice too many memories they will shrivel up and die. It is like level drain, an XP cost.

The more strong one is in their faith, the longer they'll last in their sacrifice and is predicated on believing in The Mothers.

Have to be able to see the person whose memories are taken.

It is clear that you can take memories from your enemies to use it against them. Of course, stronger willed beings are better able to resist. AKA Saving Throw.

Without the bracer, the only option is to sacrifice one's own memory.

Alesta asks if anyone is going to brew some tea before she collapses. She then moves away out of sight of the tablets.

Alesta is willing to try it, but if we do it, we should do it.

Prixithalma wonders in and says, unless they just collapse the entire khel.

Sure, I believe in The Matriarchs, but whatever. If I can call on the divine, it's better than Merendur, and makes a sign to ward off evil, but isn't struck down.

The others are waking up.

We tell Caspar to grab his stuff and his helpers and come back. He stops chewing and says, What do you mean? We're going?

We're transferring to another facility, Caspar says alright and heads to his workshop.

Nigel hears and asks if we're casting off and should he get the ship ready.

Just so you know, if you need the Bronze Wizard, I'll take you across the world if you need it.

Cvelnid comes in helping Aldus. Aldus says everyone if up so early this morning. Up at the break of dawn for a productive day.

Alesta, Baswick, Brigita, Quinnel, Aldus, Mortimer, Cvelnid, Nigel, Em & Aubry. That is ten plus Caspar and the party.

Nigel asks if we're having an all hands meeting. He and Baswick gather more chairs. Caspar has returned with his 6 apprentices and the impossibly thin sword wrapped up, the nanocarbon book, and his tools.

Velkin escorts the apprentices out and has them leave the tools.

Glompus says that the Khel is going to be attacked in three days, and we are going to go and try to solve the problem the way we usually solve them.

Druul says that we plan to make a trek to seek allies to save those in this room, including the Khel.

Nigel - you said three days, there's hardly time to get anywhere.

Velkin says we have a means of rapid transit to try to beseech an ally to help the Khelp. Nigel asks if it is a spaceship?

It is a spider hole. Mortimer asks if it is a hole full of spiders? Because I don't like spiders.

The options are to stay here and be attacked or come with us as we try to find help.

Baswick asks who's attacking?

You remember the DVLs that weren't coming to this island? The deterrent is no longer here. You remember that explosion?

Caspar asks when do we leave?

Velkin asks if he thinks his assistants will leave with him?

Velkin lays out the portal on the ground.

Caspar says, I assume we don't want to tell them about this attack.

We'll tell them it is our portal to our next safe place...

Caspar says we can ask. They work with me but don't work for me, they've been lent out by the Lord Marshall. I assume they will want explicit permission. I mean they are good, they are dwarves.

Can you do the job without them in the timeframe we have. Barely, maybe a bit easier with the head start we've managed.

Velkin asks if we can trust the dwarven assistants to go with us out of honor.

Thorfus says I imagine they have families, they will have too many questions.

Velkin asks if Nigel and the rest of them want to come with us or take their chances on the Bronze Wizard.

Nigel stands up, I believe in you guys, but this portal I don't know. I will take the Bronze Wizard and anyone who wants to go with me. I'll go to Port on Serpent Isle, so you'll know where to find me.

We have two and a half days, so we can wait a little bit.

Going around the room the others chime in.

Alesta says, where are the tablets going? They're going with us. I'll go with you then.

Baswick, Quinnel, Brigita, Aldus, and Mortimer, Cvelnid. Em says, I'll go with you through the portal.... I think I've learned that it might be dangerous with your guys, a lot of times it's more dangerous to not be with us. Nigel mutters at least not be in the place they just left....

Aeda says that if the Chosen Ones are going with you, then I will follow you.

We debate telling the Lord Marshall. Thorfus says that if we tell him, he might not let us leave. Nigel offers to send a message before he casts off. A lot of the gnomes were already talking about heading back to their village so Glompus telling them to leave would fit in their plans. Glompus asks Nigel to give his gold to the gnome refugees.

Velkin steps into the web and he starts to sink and it opens up like a sphincter and falls through the floor. There is a hole and up and down are reversed and is in a high vaulted stone tunnel with dripping water and quite a few webs.

A fist sized spider comes up and nuzzles up against his foot.

The party goes through, with Thorfus last, who lights the portal to close the opening.

The tunnel goes off in one direction and in the other direction is a large double door bound in iron.