July 21st, 2010


Black Horse Parsantium Campaign Session #51: Down the Great Stair

Here's what happened in Monday night's game which brought Chapter 1 of Halls of the Mountain King to a close and got us started on Chapter 2. Each PC gets 700 xp.

15th Quintilis (contd.)

The PCs search around the room while Saethus sustains his wall of fire. Eventually, the spell runs out and a pack of crazed howlers charges towards the party, led by a Forsaken soldier mounted on a howler doom mastiff. Krivinn has picked up one of the derro bombards and tries to fire it at the beasts. Unfortunately, he can’t get it to work and throws it to the floor. Even more unfortunately, the bombard explodes, poisoning and slowing himself and the rest of the party! The dread hounds then move into melee; Ella, Krivinn and Bolval are all bloodied. Saethus steps up and casts thunderwave which gets rid of the dread hound minions. Krivinn slays the doom mastiff with paladin’s judgement as Bolval struggles to wield a derro guisarme effectively. The PCs then close in on the Forsaken rider and finish him off.

The battle over, the PCs take a short rest; Saethus examines the magical lenses found on one of the derro - these are part of the Heirlooms of Mazgorax. Meanwhile, Krivinn lines up the bodies of the sacrificial victims in a neat row and piles up the derro and howler bodies in the corner of the room. This done, the PCs head through the broken gate and down the passage to the Great Stair. After walking down the stairs for a while, Bolval warns the others they might get lost without a map or a guide so they decide to return to the top level.

Upstairs, Father Jappe and his acolytes are waiting to talk to the PCs along with a plummy-sounding dwarf in shining armour. This is Varden Redfel, First of the Stair Guard, who asks the party to go down the Great Stair and find out what’s happened to the elementals that normally tend the forges, heating the halls. The elementals are normally looked after by an azer, Abelard the Fire Shepherd, but he’s not been heard from; two groups sent down to investigate previously have not returned. The first of these was led by a journeyman gearworker named Carod.

Before going down the Stair, Khuma tries to find out if anyone has seen Orodak. His enquiries lead him to a plucky orphaned lad named Fiver Hazelwood who remembers the tiefling arriving with two dwarves and spending time with a human named Albricius and a dwarf gearworker while he was in the Halls. No one has seen Orodak for a while; Albricius left on the Drake. In exchange for some food, Fiver shows the PCs to Albricius’ tent – here they find rubbings, apparently from Rabscuttle, and cryptic notes in the same handwriting as those found on the ground beneath the Drake. These read “They put it inside him, hidden in plain sight. The answer is the gears!” and “Tears of the Maiden will wash away the greed! The mountain cannot be cured of the curse it caught!

Convinced that Rabscuttle is central to what’s going on, the PCs go to talk to Clovis about the gearforged. Rabscuttle is in the camp so the party check his “swirls” against the rubbings - they match. The construct is keen to demonstrate the noise he can make by rubbing a rock on a rusty iron skillet but isn’t keen on getting into Krivinn’s bag of holding to accompany the PCs down the Stair. When pressed, he runs off, taking his skillet with him.

The party head down the Great Stair - the journey takes six hours. En route, the PCs notice graffitti referring to the orichalcum, the Eye and the Teardrop. At the entrance to the Hearthforges, the adventurers can hear sounds of battle ahead. Through the doors, a xorn is battling a group of wild-eyed dwarves –all these creatures are affected by greed fever and attack the party when they enter the room.

Bolval casts spiritual weapon on the xorn as it burrows under the floor and attacks Brave Ella. Krivinn moves into melee and is attacked by the dwarf hammerer (who manages to bloody the paladin) and also gets caught in the blast fired from a molten metal sprayer. This armoured dwarf then smashes into Khuma, knocking him down with his shield, as the dragonborn switches targets to the xorn. However, the elemental earth creature uses its for love of money power to divert attacks away from itself and also keeps moving around, burrowing up in the middle of the party so it can attack three PCs at a time with its claws. Meanwhile, Saethus and Bolval attack from range, eliminating a bunch of goldspawn dwarf minions, as two dwarf crossbowmen return fire. Krivinn finally kills the xorn as it tries to burrow away again and Saethus’ unsporting icy hand grabs one of the bolters. The wizard takes down the crossbowman with magic missile and the paladin delivers the killing blow to the hammerer. With all their enemies dead, the PCs have a quick look around the room, finding a magic spear in the clutches of a dead Forsaken warrior.