Darker days

More Complex: Searching for Splug & fun with Statues.

May 20
The party retrace their steps towards the portcullis where they find once open doors closed to them. Advancing through the doors allows 4 zombies to attack them. As the party gain the upper hand a stronger zombie, followed by 3 other grasping zombies join the fray. With a timely radiant burst from Aisling the party destroy their foes.

The dwarfs navigate the trap located with the portcullis and enter a small alcove of rooms. Officer quarters, barracks and a central area containing some money and a couple of useful items.

After a short rest they again backtrack to downward stairs. One corridor leads to a set of double doors with a “CLOSED” sign in common nailed to them. Remembering the water creature behind a similar door the party (except for Donga who decides that shoulder charging is a good idea) decide to head in a different direction.

They locate a large room through open double doors containing the statues of a giant dwarf wielding a hammer, a pair of dragons against a sidewall and four cherub like beings holding ewers on the far side.

The dwarf statue hits Donga as he approaches and is nocked prone. He manages to scramble back as the double doors slam shut with Aisling and Renmar outside. Torthal then Donga try to pick the lock with little success. Torgeir and Renmar circle in opposite directions around the Dwarf statue, where they spy a panel on the stone dwarf believed to be a way to shut it down. Torgeir manages a diving jump pass the giant hammer to the statue’s feet and discovers that he is unable to open the panel. Torgeir orders Donga to the base of the statue, which he just manages to make without further injuries. With Torgeir’s help he is able to open the panel but makes slow progress. Dodging the hammer Torgeir and Renmar swap places. Torthal and Aisling are finally able to bust their way through the doors. Torthal starts chipping away at the dwarf statue with his magic as Donga and Renmar struggle to halt it. Torgeir moves to prevent any inference but is hit by a force blast from the nearer dragon. Wincing he retreats slightly but keeps his guard up. After many attempts to stop the dwarf statue Donga finally figures out the way to stop it, only to have Renmar beat him to the punch.

With the dwarf status out of the way focus is placed on the dragon statues. Donga manages to jump on the near one despite a force hit, where he begins to try and disable it. Renmar meanwhile moves to the 4 cherubs and the room’s only other door. Once in the centre of all four cherubs a force wall appears and water starts rising from the floor. With some urgency Torgeir and Renmar try to smash one of the statues. Torgeir is hit by both dragons and is forced to retreat. Renmar and Torthal continue their destructive habits as Donga decides to follow suit and starts smashing his dragon. After a few deep breaths Torgeir advances against and smashes a cracked cherub. As the water rises around Renmar they realise that they need to destroy at least another cherub. With the party seeing Renmar’s form disappear below the rising water level they are able to smash a second cherub releasing the water and a drenched Renmar.

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Further into the complex, Sir Corgan

The party retraces their steps to near the complex’s entrance and head through a pair of double doors into an area of damp and musty warren of corridors. On the floor the party finds a sign/symbol/rune.

Symbol description:
Three triangles joined at a central point to form a “Y” with three pictures. A hand in the upper space, small ring joined to a larger ring in the lower left space, and a crossed pair of arrows in the lower right.

Aisling identifies the symbol as some type of divine trap and the party avoid it. This proves more difficult as the party spies more of them in the corridors. After much roaming and backtracking the party happen on a group of seven dwarf zombies. Two are Zombie Rotters, slightly more powerful zombies.

After the defeating them the party come across a “t” shaped hall with 10 upright sarcophagi depicting dwarf warriors and a bathing light at the other end. After advancing into the hall the sarcophagi’s occupants attack. After removing this threat a second wave appears from the sarcophagi. During the tight and fierce battle Torgeir and Donga both take serious wounds.

The party rests upstairs. Aisling dreams of a hammer (symbol of Moradin) and a voice.

Returning to the hall more skeleton waves attack the party and they make a fighting advance to the light. There they find alters sacred to Moradin at each end of tines. The first there, Renmar kneels and prayers at one alter and no more undead reinforcements appear.

Searching locates 5 small dwarf statues of silver and platinum.

The party continues through double doors to a room with a sarcophagus depicting a dwarf warrior with a hammer resting on his chest, haft resting towards its feet. Not wishing to disturb the assumed resting place of Corgan the party explores the room but do not find anything until the sarcophagi bursts open and a form raises out.
Thr form, confronts the party, but Aisling speaks as Moradin to quell Corgan. Corgan requests that the party to close the shadowfell unsourced rift, located on the 2nd level through the warrens. He urges to seek the boons in the two alters (the dwarf statues) and presents the hammer Aecris to Renmar to aid the task.

Returning to the warrens the party uses Tensor’s Floating Disk to traverse the runes before encountering another bunch of undead. Ailing notices something strange about party of a wall. Donga with Renmar’s help are able to open a door to a hidden but empty treasure room. The room’s only feature of note is the shimmering wall at the other end.

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Further into the Complex (April 29)

After resting overnight the party continues until they locate a large cavern with rubble and stalagmites on the floor and stalactites hanging from the roof. From the shadows rats attack the party, with a large ochre coloured mound of jelly close behind. During the fight Donga’s grip on his pick slips and it plummets into the ochre blob to dissolve away alongside his bow that he had left on the ground. After the fight the party locates some minor trinkets and the remains of something like a chitinous reptilic ant in a pit. The body is identified as a Kruthik.

Moving onwards the group hear chittering in the distance. Torthal activates a sunrod and a mass of Kruthiks charges the party. They prove to be bothersome foes as throw their limbs out to cut and bruise their opponents, and the largest one is able to shoot spikes. Located in the nest the group finds some money and a small chest. The chest is opened to reveal 5 amethyst gems each worth 50gp .

A set of double doors with writing on them is found. The writing reads “STAY OUT. REALLY” but true to their intelligence the party goes through and down stairs to come to a natural cavern almost filled with foul water. Located in the middle of the water is a small island with coins and small items resting on it. Several party members notice something moving in the water that becomes blue slime as it attacks the party. The slime shows some cunning, repeatedly moving out of melee to blast the group with foul water. After sustaining many bruises and cuts the party eventually manage to dissolve the slime. Torgeir enters the water to retrieve his thrown hammer and then heads out ot the island. He piles the island’s items onto a floating disk created by Torthal and they both return to the rest of the party. Searching through the loot they find some money, a healing potion, a large magical shield, and a wooden message cylinder.

The message cylinder contains three vellum sheets containing:
1. New map of the Never Mines and the complex that the party is currently exploring.
2. A message.
3. A letter.

After looking at these the party decide to continue further into the complex.

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Complex part 1
diary

Entering the complex

After reporting back to Mackay, you are requested to investigate the ruins and find out the cause of the zombies. You find out from Aneirin, local sage, about the shadowfell complex and a little about the Nerath empire. The complex was designed to protect against ancient evil and likely haunted and a outpost for humanoids. You travelled through the middle mines and found a recently used tunnel, though reasonably well hidden to a large cavern with an earth mote (think the floating islands from the Avatar movie) which had a complex on top (like a keep).

On entering the ruins you discovered tracks into and out of the complex. On entering you were ambushed by zombified goblins, a pit trap and a swarm of undead rats. You pushed further into the complex and found a torture chamber (possibly where they undeaded things), a goblin by the name of Snagg (or something like that) and a chamber with the head goblin (who proceeded to fill you full of holes before running away). You chased him and found an area which was being excavated but something and some more undead archer type goblins, plus that annoying head goblin who proceeded to embed a crossbow bolt in Donga. After some hilarious moments with undead drakes and falling off planks. You finally dispatched the goblins and are licking your wounds before moving deeper into the complex.

To get you moving in the right(?) direction. You find a scratching in goblin which roughly translates to “tired of digging for treasure, nothing is here, hope they don’t take me away.”

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The statue
diary

Finding the statue

Found the statue of Moradin along with a number of helpful creatures trying to stop us from gaining access. After a pitched battle against two half orcs, some zombies and a couple of guard drakes, the party won through to the statue and finished the mission. Found an interesting mirror from an empire long ago.

On the return to the town of Meigle, found a level rasing encounter with a large zombie and some undead dog like things (called gravehounds, if anyone is interested). The large zombie hulk like beasty had an unnerving habit of getting back up after it was knocked down the first time.

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First events of the dwarfs.

Darker Days diary

Mackay Dordrien from the explorer’s guild brings in the 5 promising dwarfs, Torgeir, Donga, Aisling, and the brothers Renmar and Torthal to his office and offers them the choice of two jobs.
1. Investigate the disappearance of a small mining expedition.
2. Take the Priest of Moradan, Gaelen, to an excavation site 2-3 miles from the Middle Mines to investigate a discovered fort.

The new party collects their gear and head into the tunnels.
Their first combat is a group of 8 kobolds that the party comes up against in a cavern. The party is able to make short work of them. They find some coin and a couple of useful weapons from the bodies. Investigation from Donga and Torthal reveal that the kobolds have run to the area, and looking back at the initial sighting it appears that the kobolds were surrounding an apparent leader and discussing something.

The party continues on for a couple of hours before Donga leads the party into another cavern. Acting with a little caution Donga moves to the side and follows the wall to the party’s right. He spots a kobold and combat is joined. The small pack of kobolds is dispatched with only some cuts to the dwarfs except for one that was intimidated into surrounding by Donga. However during the combat the kobolds display a desire to move away from the other entrance to the cavern the reason is soon apparent as four dwarf zombies shamble into the cavern and attack the party. It is when the strongest zombie attacks Torgeir that he recognizes Angus McCairen. The zombies are put down and the party captures a kobold that calls itself “Reafer.”
The party also find some money, but perhaps more importantly discover the symbol of undeath and death on one of the kobolds.

OOC: Peter, was Angus one of the dwarfs from the missing mining expedition?

Reafer offers to lead the dwarfs to the rest of his tribe to see if they can help, despite Renmar expecting to be betrayed at the first opportunity. Following Reafer for three hours the group are lead into a large cavern with stalagmites, a stream running diagonally near the cavern’s center, a circle of some type to the back and left of the cavern, and a bunch of kobolds. Battle is joined. Initially the group is doing well against their latest foes, but one flees out the other end of the cavern as others run to attack the party. Reafer attempts to escape but Torgeir puts the kobold down in the melee. Torthal is able to identify the circle as some type of boosting circle.

Chasing the survivor top the back of the cavern the party spy a large group of kobolds accompanied by a larger goblin coming down the opposite tunnel towards them. Renmar orders the group to join at the circle. Torgeir provides a momentary blockage to the advancing kobolds before joining the group at the circle. A fierce melee erupts with the advancing kobolds and goblin trying to surround the dwarfs as they counter with hindering terrain and their weapons. Both Renmar and Torgeir collapse under repeated blows from the stronger goblin, but the healing powers of Gaelen revitalize the pair. As Donga, Torthal and Aisling pelt their foes with missiles and magic, Torgeir managers to immobilise the remaining kobolds long enough to beat a few to death and Torthal lands the last blow to the goblin, “Irontooth”, with his magic. With many cuts, bruises and much blood splattering the dwarfs are able to dispatch the remaining kobolds.

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Meigle - a beginning
start

Welcome to Meigle and Darker Days!

The story starts like so many others. A group of young Dwarves banding together under the guidance of the Guildmaster Mackay Dordrien . After many years of training you are all eager to demonstrate your skills and the reason you were top of your peer groups.

The Explorers Guild

The Explorers guild is a starting point. Called in front of a lower ranked official of the guild, you are presented with a number of jobs on offer which will see both your entrance to the guild and a test of your mettle for the township of Meigle. The first job on offer is to escort a young Cleric of Moradin to a shrine, evidently established on the outskirts of the Dwarven settlement and mine system, to recover the secret tome of holy water creation. It is on the Orcish side of the cave systems and promises to be quite difficult. The second job on offer is to determine the whereabouts of a small mining exploration team that has been missing for a number of days, last seen on the outskirts of the mining community and their mining systems. The reward for both seems quite generous, nearly doubling your wealth to this day (100gp each).

“These are the types of jobs on offer at the guild my lads and lass. Ye be better at doing your thing than most, though I would’na think that it’d be a complete walk in the cave.” The official says in a distinctly Dwarven accent. “Mummathor guide thee, which job do you wish to take?”

On finding out information about the surrounding areas

Meigle was established after the spellplague to re-discover rich veins of ore that were surfaced in the days of blue fire, where the earth shattered, earth motes were formed and rich ores were uncovered after being lost within the depths. The outpost of Earthfast has been largely successful over time apart from once which were commonly referred to as the ‘Dark Days’. Pressing the old-timers on what the dark days were, you find that it was a time when the blue fire still raged through the area, monsters of all description leaped up from the depths, and something more sinister was hidden deep beneath the mountains. Of which they do not know more.

The local sage Aneirin MacBain grumply tells you that there are no real evidence of anything more dark and mysterious other than some strong underdark denizens which plagued the township for months. The shrine, he tells you, is located deep within the wild parts of the mines and near an old underground fortress built around the time of the unrest. “Not much other than ghosts live in thar now-a-days.” He says and ends the conversation. The locals struggle to validate his story, but seem to think that he is reputable.

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Themes
theme-storyline-pcs

Themes

Hi folks! Some thoughts about a theme for the PCs. My first ideas (and please let me know if you have any others) are:

  1. boundary ‘riders’ for Meigle
  2. part of the explorers guild
  3. apprenticed to some of the NPCs in town and sent on tasks
  4. part of a plan by the council to establish an extraction team for the lower mines, i.e they send you on minor quests to hone skills etc.

Let me know what you think.

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Advance on campaign ideas
start campaign

OK. on further discussions:
Yurturus vs Deep Derra (undead/orc vs psionic/duergar); Meigle sandwiched in the middle.

Major NPCs to come.

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Starting up

I sort of liked the comment that we’ve never played an undead game. Got me thinking.

Do we want to try a 4e game from 1st to xth (paragon) level?

Do we want to be local lads/lass or from somewhere else or a mix? Race limitations? World (FR/Greyhawk/Garthwin’s imagination)

Include Backgrounds (see PH2 & PH3)?

Full range (up to PH3) PCs? (Including hybrids for David)

Anyone not happy if I modify the city of the spider queen for use in the game with 4e critters?

Moderate magic (needed for undead critters, low magic game would be tragic), max level 5th items in town (enchant an item ritual available), random in surrounds of town (aka ‘rescued’ items).

Fightin’ and cussin’; skill challenges; or a balance of both; or bias towards one or the other?

1 PC per player? Would prefer it from a DM’s perspective (speeds things up in combat).

one response:
Undeady/CotSQ fine with me.

A 4e 1-paragon level would be interesting to see how things progress as you advance. Up to PH3 fine. Backgrounds good, hybrids fine (since I doubt I’d want to take one at this stage). I can easily be swayed to stay 3.5 though.

Some limits would be good (i.e.. country and surrounding countries only, etc), but as you are DMing Garthwin I’m happy for you to set limits we can talk about (& then break).
I prefer 1PC per player for a campaign. I would like to include skill challenges (or equivalent).

One danger I se in a homebrew world is the amount of info us players will have (Big R and I had discussion of this during his DM/homebrew where he would comment about our bad decisions which we made on incomplete info). Agree with xx we’ll need something to engage with. I know practically nothing of Greyhawk.

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