Session One Hundred and Thirty-Six Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 136, May 3 2023

WinterElfLord.jpg

Introduction

We continue at 3:20AM on the 26th of Denrilden (00.000.09.05 on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party having ransacked the ancient elven tomb and found several more caches of treasure, including a couple of enchanted items. Now the group reconvenes in the natural cavern exiting the halls of the dead to continue their search for an escape to the surface. Can the party find a path leading back to sunlight? What other dangers might wait along such a path -- not to mention on the surface itself? Find out next time ...

Larry's Summary

Kauri identifies the shield we found. Thorfus gave his blood to power it.

The shield is powered by cryomancy, powered by cold, very strongly imbued (+3), there is an aura of cold that gives a +3 to saves to any kind of fire magic. The flip side is -3 to saves vs. cold magic.

Velkin gives the blood to identify the Spear has a dual nature with both cold and fire magic wrapped into it and can use either. Even thought it is all metal, the head spins on it. If turn it can pick fire magic or cold magic. Moderate enchantment (+2) to damage.

Druul gives Peronelle the shear rifle with one shot.

Thorfus gives blood to further identify the horn of cold for Druul. Like a Winter Wolf (10 feet). Once per day. Kauri says that the call of the horn only carries so far in the physical realm, the sound carries much farther transpatially, but not the same way DVL magic does since it is powered by Cryomancy. It carries much farther in the realm of the Winter Lord.

We move to investigate the way up the large chamber.

Velkin climbs up 50 feet to a ledge. It is not a large area. The wall behind him comes in a bit, leaving about 5 foot wide and 15 feet wide.

Still can't see the ceiling and sees a ledge above to the right about 30 feet up, and one further up in line with the first ledge. There is no natural feature to secure a rope.

Thorfus puts his 8 iron spikes and hammer into a large sack and ties to Velkin's rope.

Velkin tries to time his hammering with the hammering he hears above. He is able to match it.

Sorel, Felix, Lambertus, Druul, and Thorfus all have 50 feet of rope. For 450 feet of rope.

Thorfus ascends with Velkin's help with his rope and that from Sorel, Felix, and Lambertus.

Thorfus ties one end of the next rope to the spike while Thorfus holds it as Velkin climbs to the next ledge. Velkin makes it. It is about 5 feet wide and 20 feet long. The wall is almost vertical so more comfortable to rest.

The next ledge is about 50 feet up from the second ledge, so about 80 feet total from the first ledge, and 140 feet total.

Velkin Does another spike and Thorfus pulls up Renthark. Then Velkin helps pull up Thorfus to the next level.

Velkin still doesn't see the ceiling and thinks the sound could be coming from where the next ledge is.

Velkin succeeds climbing and moves to the side silently trying not to be noticed. It is a very small ledge. Perhaps ten feet long and 5 feet wide and an opening to a passage 4 feet wide and slopes up and curves up and away.

There is another ledge about 80 feet up.

Thorfus is pretty sure the sound is mine work.

Velkin pulls himself up on the ledge.

Velkin steps in ten feet but checks for traps first.

Felix is lifted to the first ledge by Renthark.

Thorfus pulls Renthark to the second ledge.

Velkin hammers another spike and ties off a rope.

Velkin pulls Thorfus up to the passage.

Thorfus suggests Velkin investigate the miners to find out if it is safe and if they know the way.

If safe, we can move people up to this passage either way we decide to go.

Velkin ties himself off and sneaks silently. Loose rocks make it a challenge.

About 15 feet in he catches flickers of light from around the corner like torches or flames. They go dark then there is light like moving around.

There is still sound like hammering. Pretty sure it is digging with a metallic grating noise that is a low rumble that almost rises and falls, almost sing songy. A sing songy, rumbling, grating noise.

It is about 15 feet away, about 30 feet from Thorfus.

Velkin uses his mirror to look around the corner. It looks like a good sized chamber with figures moving around. They are short, probably dwarf height. They look dwarfish and they are not carrying torches as their hair and beards are made of flame. The grumbling sing song is their speech.

Velkin has Ajax carry a message to Druul and he is not familiar. Again to Kauri with TikTok and no idea, and nor do the dragons. Then asks Felix and Renthark. Renthark writes back Azer.

Velkin writes back, friendly or unfriendly? Renthrak answers with a question mark.

Velkin ties off the last two lengths of rope for the next 80 feet and Thorfus holds the rope as he climbs. Can finally see the ceiling of the chamber about 60 feet up with a funnel heading up into it. It is about 5 feet across and continues upwards.

Velkin is slowly peeking on the ledge trying to be silent and hidden.

Glancing up, there is a chest up against the wall. It appears to be in pretty bad condition.

Velkin shoots the chest with his hand crossbow which hits. It has hydra poison and partially dissolves the chest.

It does not destroy the chest, but the lid partially collapses.

Ledge is 6 feet wide, so the chest is about 5 feet from the ledge and it is 10 feet long.

Velkin pulls himself up onto the edge of the ledge.

The chest does look a little weird. It could be a rock formation that looks like a chest.

The stone is a bit darker, the ledge, the whole area. It is odd. Velkin isn't sure if it is a vein or what. He can reach where the stone is normal. It does not brush off. Velkin decides to hammer it in a section of stone that is not dark.

Velkin times the hammering of another spike into the wall of the ledge.

Twenty feet from Velkin to the spike and then 80 feet to the ledge with the passage.

Velkin checks the ledge for traps, including the chest.

Velkin does not find a trap, but the chest is not like a chest it is actually one piece with the ledge itself and feels a tremor in the ledge itself.

Velkin jumps off, just as the ledge wraps up like a burrito and barely misses his foot.

There is a ledge there, but under whatever snaps shut.

Velkin is swinging from the spike and slowly peels back open.

Velkin climbs back up, unties the rope and climbs back down.

This time the chest looks different, like a casket.

Velkin climbs back down to Thorfus.

Velkin relays to Thorfus what he found.

Thorfus sets down the ice/fire spear and the ice shield and grabs a handful of gems and goes to talk to the firey dwarves with Velkin behind.

Thorfus clears his throat and says in ancient dwarven, "Do you understand what I'm saying."

Four of them. They are about 5 feet tall with very dark skin, with brass kilts, and mining tools of similar construction. No wood.

Behind them they have been digging against the wall.

They trun and talk to one another with a rumbling.

One tried to talk and is weirdly distorted. He coughs and clears his throat and is speaking dwarven, not current or ancient, but enough dwarven.

We dig here, you go away. Not yours anymore.

We aren't here for that, we are trying to get to the surface.

Outside you go, near. There is an exit from the chamber that he points.

You go?

He notices what is in my hands, toll.

There are more of us.

Where he was pointing is of to the left and the other way is a fire, so there may be more.

How far to the surface?

Near, your tunnel. And points off to left. Cart, your tunnel, surface near.

Thorfus gives them each one 1,000 GP gem.

The leader says, yes, save go outside, more.

We see that off to the right is a circular hole wreathed in flames with a landscape full of flames.

They don't like us looking over there.

It looks like this isn't the first time this place has been mined. There are other passages.

It looks like chunks of rock with veins of silver they gathered near the portal.

Probably not nanocarbon.

The room they are in is about 50 x 80.

Looking to the left there is a very short passageway and the glint of minecar tracks in a tunnel going crosswise past the opening.

Thorfus stays with the Azer while Velkin goes to retrieve the others.

Thorfus says we have encountered many trials on our way to the surface, may we sleep here?

Sleep your tunnel, not here.

Thorfus agrees.

4 hours plus messing around and climbing. It will take about an hour and a half to do the climb.

People start to join us and the Azer continue to just watch it is now about 9 AM when Velkin regions us having removed the spikes.

When Ithirialma shows up, she is interested, and tries to look at the portal.

What is that they are mining? Thorfus says he isn't sure. My companions want to know what you are mining?

They look puzzled. What rock we dig?

Yes.

He seems puzzled looking for the word.

He holds up a finger and brings it back over and cracks the stone with his bear hands and it is silvery with a red penumbra around the core. No word know.

Ithirialma is excited and says I think, and pulls out one of the books. I think that's raw mercury.

It can make a device for finding portals and anchors. Container of glass and mercury, nanocarbon, blood or replace nanocarbon with a piece of the plane.

Thorfus asks how much to we need?

Ithirialma looks, one to one mixture with blood and the amount influences the range and magnitude of the pull it gives off towards the thin space.

It appears that they have mined all the mercury in this room.

There is not that much here.

Velkin tries to communicate in all the languages he knows. The talkative one says, "What bad elf say?"

He says he doesn't speak drow.

Ithirialma says that she thinks we want about a pint of blood and mercury, based on the scale. Like a lantern.

Thorfus mentioned that we need mercury if we helped you mine, if we could give you what you don't need. No help, trade maybe.

He moves aside so we can see the pile and Thorfus says we need two points he points and says five of the rocks in the pile. What give? Druul pulls out two 1,000 gp gems. Shiney, but not special.

What would be special? He looks around and points to Renthark's sword and points to Velkin's spear, and keeps looking around.

They he shrugs, what else have you like that, if not that.

Velkin says, if we are going to trade that we need them to refine it.

Philomanthraxus says I have the nanocarbon suit Jax was working on.

Do we know what else it needs to function? Philomanthraxus isn't sure what else it needs. It's awfully heavy. It needs something else, if not power.

The talkative Azer says, offer, make offer?

Philomanthraxus knows how to make another one. The inscriptions on it. I grabbed some of Jax's notes. Yeah, I think we can, it's pretty simple. I actually did the inscribing.

Kauri says he would like to be within twenty feet of the portal.

They are looking at Philomanthraxus' pack with interest.

Thorfus offers the armor for two pints of mercury equivalent rock and time for some of us to admire the portal tomorrow after we rest.

They discuss and says yes.

Then hold out hand for armor and says stay, no go. and give us the 5 rocks and give to Philomanthraxus and seems happen. The talkative one continues to watch us while the other go off and toss the armor on their pile. Not finding much over the time we rest.

During Thorfus' watch he asks how often they come here and how long they've been here. They come here occasionally but not long. Not the same place, but not the same place, but not your places anymore, gone now.

So you're coming to take what they don't need any more.

He nods yes.

Did they oppress your people? They never went there.

Those dwarves were my ancestors, but I didn't agree with them.

All dead now. Never meet. You are the first.

Do you know about the trouble with the DVLs here?

He shrugs/shakes. No understand.

Demons? Devils?

Ah, travelers, magic.

Yes. Do they go there? pointing at portal. Sometimes.

Do they cause trouble? The lords don't allow it.

Would your lords have an interest to help us fight the demons and devils? No.

Not even for a price. Looks at our packs. No anger travelers. No trouble.

Other trouble. Travelers, rock place, trouble.

No trouble home. DVLs have trouble in place of rock and stone. Lords not wise in rock place.

Can you tell me more. No. Do you know anyone who can? Bosses maybe? Are they near. They come take rocks. When they come would it be possible to speak with them.

Then Thorfus and the talkative Azer discuss beards.

We get 8 hours of uninterrupted rest and casters charge up their spells.

During his watch tries to play the of Metetron on Thorfus.

Thorfus feels stronger, like can hit better and stronger, and then Druul loses it it is so taxing.

Some of the Azer stop to listen for a moment.

Druul can't get past 5 minutes.

Felix recharges the god stone successfully.

During the course of the memorization process. A figure approaches through the portal. A large figure taller than 5 feet.

One of the Azers notice and line up next to their pile.

Behind the large one, a few more Azer are pulling metal carts with them.

He is a big one and has to stoop to step through the portal.

It is a fire giant about 12 feet tall.

He speaks with a rumble grumble with the Azer and they point to us and get a stern talking to.

The other Azer grab what has been mined and load it on the cart.

The fire giant shouts in our direction.

Why do bother the workers?

We needed to rest. He points at the breastplate, you paid? Yes, look

Lords of Elemental Plan of stone have angered the travelers.

Do you know more about it?

They don't allow the travelers to travel. Guarded its secrets. Travelers travel, they do not cause harm.

It is in their nature to travel, you can't stop. Lords of the Elemental Plan of stone learn this the hard way. A great champion is missing. (Stone God who we have a piece is a potential ally due to common enemy.)

Good luck in your struggles with the Travelers, you'll need it.

He sniffs the air and points upwards and downwards. Yes, but how far.

Probably reach them within (seems at a loss) not far, but rocks in between, not sure how long to get there, but no direct path. More below than above.

Velkin asks if there is a way to contact the plane of Earth. He sniffs around. You take from the portal, yes? The workers don't understand. But I know and I see.

It helps in our fight for our survival. But we paid, but our work is done it will close soon.

I assume you don't want it closed.

That's not how the workers described the deal.

So you pay more no. Druul puts the two 1,000 gp gems. Yes, portal stay open.

We will stay on other side until you leave.

Velkin asks about the portal.

We can go other places.

Can you open a portal to the land of stone?

Yes, but not me, and not here. Thin here between here and our home, much thicker to Elemental plane of stone.

Is this something you can teach us to do.

He is sniffing again and Felix has the god stone. That one carries a piece of the Elemental plane of stone, that is part of what you need. You've taken from the portal and filled it with power. If you find a thin space, you have a sorcerer among you? Users of magic? Yes, thin space, piece of elemental plane, filled with power, there is ritual, but I don't know the ritual that you need. One who comes from the elemental plane of stone could teach us the ritual.

If you find a place where the space between it thin, much more likely to find natives of the plane nearby. Maybe resolve both problems with one stone.

We wait know on the other side until you leave.

The one azer gives a wave behind the fire giant until the fire giant steps through.

Velkin asks one more question of the fire giant if he can teach us the ritual for their plane. You have conflict with the travelers. No wish to being conflict to our home.

It looks like the main thoroughfare like the dwarven tunnel out of Malgrim.

The only question is right or left.

We need four hours to memorize spells, so 10:00 PM when casters are done memorizing. Still the 26th.

We can ask Sorel to look for Rallion's marks to guide us to the surface.