Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 51

Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus

Rael the Thief. Killed by cloud of poison released from hideous idol in underwater catacomb at Lake Mogeura.

Then re-killed when an attempt to animate her corpse resulted in her shifting to wolf mode and attacking.

Ritzy the Homanculous. Also poisoned by cloud from idol. Brought back with lightning and cure spells.

Monsters Mashed:
Rael the undead berserker werewolf – Cut down by Tysis and Greed’s magic blades.
700 EXP/5.5 players = 127 EXP

10 Corpse Jellies – Crushed up by summoned giant squid.
300 EXP/5.5 players = 54 EXP

TOTAL: 181 EXP apiece

Significant occurrences:
Jellies absorbed summoned squid, resulting in a large, tarry mass of black goo that oozed along the shore of the lake.

50’ wolf accompanied by chilling cold and snow dug up Rael’s corpse and carried it away toward the Northern horizon while rest of party cowered in the bushes.

Someone or something seems to be stalking you through the underbrush as you make your way back toward Strangledorf.


Well, a lot happened in this session. Not all of it good. The party suffered the loss of its lycanthropic lass Rael (aka TrapDog, as the players nicknamed her), brought low by a poisonous gas cloud from a hideous idol in the depths of the sunken keep at the bottom of Lake Moguera. The cloud also got Ritzy, but as a homanculous he was easily brought back around with a Cure spell and a Lightning Bolt.

There was some unfortunate interparty shenanigans in the wake of this tragedy, as Arongoth attempted to raise her corpse as a zombie, resulting in an undead werewolf rampage. With heavy hearts, the party had to re-kill her before she tore them to shreds.

Now, in prior Halloween celebration Creepy Crawls, raising a dead former comrade as a zombie is just part of the fun and makes for some boffo laffs. You just don't have that level of investment in a one shot character, so nobody takes it personally. In campaign play, I kinda think it was a dick move. Rael's player wasn't happy about it while it was happpening, and I had to have a word with Arongoth's player about it afterwards. Roleplaying is roleplaying, but there are some lines you don't cross with the actual people you're sitting around the table with. 

Anyway, they laid Rael to rest, and in the middle of the night her body was dug up by Isingrim the King of the Werewolves, a 50' tall white wolf who brought his own personal blizzard with him, and then carried off in his freezing jaws over the horizon to parts unknown. (My plan had been to have her return as an NPC. Since she'd conjured and eaten the magical heart of one of Isingrim's sons, she would now take the son's place as a possible patron or antagonist. Another plot thread that didn't get to go anywhere before the game ended. Alas.) 

Also of note, the party took care of the corpse jellies haunting the lake shore by using up the last of the Hook's charges and summoning a giant squid to crush them in its loopy tentacles. This had a mixed effect, as the bone bereft jellies ate into the squid's mass, mixing with its flesh and a cloud of ink it discharged to become essentially a black pudding. 

Wanting none of that, the party mounted up and headed back to Strangeldorf. 

I've been remiss in not posting the key to the submerged dungeon in Lake Moguera, so I'll do it here in honor of the memory of Rael. 

I used two Dyson Logos maps for this one. The upper level used the Red Willow Tower map. 1 is the area with dead trees to the E, the the rooms are numbered 2-6 going N to S, with 7 being the long wall facing W outside. (Again, I'm afraid you'll have to do some guesswork as to how the maps come together, 'cos I don't feel right posting Dyson's work here on my site. These maps are from his "Dyson's Delves" Books. Pick them up today, for all your on the quick dungeon mapping needs.)

A giant undead sturgeon swims around this sunken keep. HD 10+2, HP: 36, AC: 10, Bite: 2d10, Swallow on 18+ (Save vs. Paralysis or paralysed. Otherwise, atk -4 vs. AC7) Sv: F5
Morale 12, Mv: Swim 180(60).

Several Strangle Weeds lurk around the perimeter, each marked by a W. 

(Anyone using this key will just have to place them as they see fit.) 
HD: 3, HP: 12 Apiece, 10 fronds with 10 str. AC: 6.
Grabs out to 10’ with fronds. If fronds combined str more than victim, they do the difference in damage. Victim has 10% chance per point above frond’s Str to break loose. Those caught in fronds -2 to hit. They will squeeze until victim stops moving.

1: Undulating forests of greenish brown kelp wave in the area between the two rotted, mossy tree trunks that jut from the lake bottom. The door is concealed by the kelp from a distance, but can be found easily up close. It is held shut by water pressure, requiring a 1-2 on d6 to open. A stronger patch of Strangle Weed lurks by the door. HD: 4, HP: 18, AC: 6
12 Str 14 fronds.

2: This 20x30 room harbors a bubble of air that stays intact even if the door is opened. The room is damp, and spotted with mildew and decay. A corroded metal bedframe lies in the SW corner. Sprawled across it is a skeleton in a rotted canvas bodysuit and a spherical bronze helmet with a hinged glass panel hanging open in front. The left side of the suit is blackened with a splatter of mildew that looks as if it might have been blood at one time, with a shredded sleeve  dangling empty around a shattered arm bone. In the other hand it holds a broken shortsword. There are pouches on its belt, the contents of which are rotted and useless, save for a couple of gold pieces and a small clay tablet with broken off corner, inscribed with the words. “Tell them “Stone men of old, bring me the...””  The last word is lost with the missing corner of the tablet.  The helmet is magical, and generates breathable air from a white gemstone set in the  back of the dome. If the helmet is closed the air in the chamber will become stale in 1d10 days

3: This 50’x10’ hallway is full of air as well. Along the W wall is a flaking, chipping fresco depicting a lightly forested plain with a small lake. The hills in the background resemble the ones that surround the lake you are currently at the bottom of. There is a stout oak door held shut by chains and a padlock leading to 4. At the S end there is a secret door, disguised as a decorative arch with a wrought iron torch holder. If the torch holder is grasped and pulled on, this will open the secret door to 5

4: This room is full of air, with a 15’ wide staircase leading down that’s flooded up to the edge of the door with black, murky water.

5: Water will pour out of the door if this room is opened, leaving ankle deep water in 2,3, &4.  Roll Dex to stay on feet in initial wave. There is a copper plate on the floor, which when stepped on will cause a 3d6 dmg electrical shock every other round they remain on it. Several large, tar coated barrels are stacked in the E end of the room. Two contain a weak acid solution and some rods of copper and iron, and are attached to the copper plate in the floor via hidden wires. There are 16 barrels in total. They contain: 1: Vinegar, 2: Rancid Lard, 3: Moldy Flour 4: Fermented Fruit, 5: Half Rotted Salted Meat and Hunks of Bone 6: Fresh Water. There is an earthenware jug concealed among the barrels that contains  a Potion of Extra Healing. The door to 6 is unlocked but swollen shut with moisture, requiring a 1-2 on d6 to open.

6: More water will pour out of this door, flooding 2,3,4&5 a couple more inches. Inside is a modest bath, with a well in the NE corner and a stone washbasin with a drain in the SW. There’s a torch holder in the wall and some rotted pegs for clothing. By odd trick of physics, whatever is said in this room can be heard on the lake shore and vice versa, coming from the well.

7: Row of moss and weed covered stone soldiers lined up along the long wall. 14 of them intact, with others smashed and broken. If a magic phrase is spoken “Stone men of old, bring me the gold.”  they will animate and trudge off into the deeps of Lake Moguera. 1d8 turns later they will return bearing chests, which each contain 1-3: 200 gold pieces, 4: A golden crown worth 1200 gp 5: Empty 6: Green Slime (HD: 2, HP: 10, will digest on contact in 6 rounds (1d4 rounds before victim unsaveable) Affected by fire. Killed instantly by Cure Disease)

For the fateful, fatal lower level accessible via the stairs down in 4 I used The Hall of the Ghoul Prince, with numbers 1-6 being the hall and side rooms along the lower edge leading to the statue with 7 being the adjoining hallway, 8 being the room to the W from 7, and 9-14 being the upper row of rooms and halls, with 15 being the caved in room in the bottom SE corner. (Again, sorry to have to present it this way.) 

1:  At the bottom of the stairs you find a 20’ long, 10‘ wide corridor with an archway in the SE corner and a large stone block blocking a portal to the E. It has a circle with 9 squiggly lines ending in triangles carved in the face of it. You can see the end of two carved grooves sticking out from under the bottom of the stone. It requires at least two to push, requiring a 1+str on d6 to open. Checking for traps will find there’s a slot above the block that‘s large enough for a sword blade to pass thru. If a sword isn’t left in the slot, a clay jar will drop from a hole in the cieling and fill the entry with a stinging gas that will blind anyone who fails a save vs. paralysis (-4 to hit, 1/2 move, no range/spells)

2: Beyond the arch you find a small 10‘x10’ chamber with a dias at the center. A round coffer sits atop it, its lid sealed in wax with a large, lustrous pink pearl set in the center (250 gp). Inside you will find 110 gold nuggets of roughly coin size. Sitting cross legged behind the coffer against the wall is a four armed skeleton. It is wired together with bronze wire and bolts, and holds a quartet of bronze blades in its bony hands. It will attack if the coffer is touched. Bone Golem: HD: 8, HP: 36, AC: 2, Dmg: 1d8x4 (Cutlasses) up to 2 opponents, Mv: 120(40), Sv: F4, Ml: 12. Immune to ordinary weapons, cold, electricity, & fire, immune to hold, charm, sleep.

3: This 20’x20’ room is lined with marble, and there are two verdigris covered brass pillars in the NE corner, which have ring attachments for manacles at arm and ankle level. A corroded iron gong lies against the S wall, its mounting ropes long since rotted. There‘s a roughly carved staircase leading down in the NW corner and a hallway leading 40’  to an doorway S leading to 4. A corroded helmet of ancient design lies on the floor in front of the alcove. The hall is decorated with a hideous bas relief carving of chained captives being led toward a large, circular, fanged mouth surrounded by long necked serpents.  Beyond the doorway is a set of bronze steps leading down to 5.

4: This 10X10 alcove is empty, save for a broken bronze sword and a bronze disk shield painted with a stylized tooth motif. The sword‘s point is wedged in a chink in the wall by the doorway, while its top half and hilt lies on the floor. The shield is propped in the corner. It will need rope or leather straps added to be useful.

5: This 20’x20‘ room is plated in verdegris green bronze. There’s a 5‘x15’ recess along most of the S wall, which contains a row of bronaze statues depicting female figures with oddly reptilian features, their hands raised and mouths open in song, revealing forked tongues. They‘re built into the platform and can’t be removed. The floor is tiled in black marble, and each tile stepped on will cause one of the statues to let out a muted tone. (This would be louder if the chamber wasn‘t flooded.) It’s still appreciably loud and cacophonous, causing Confusion for 1d4 rounds if more than a turn is spent here and a save vs. spell is failed. There are serpent decorated archways to the N and E.

6: This hallway is 20‘ long, and is in black marble decorated with green bronze serpents. At the end is a green bronze idol with an alter in front of it. The idol is a horrible, hunched body resembling a cross between a lion and a crocodile, with a shark-like maw set in its chest ringed with 9 hissing serpent heads. You see the glint of silver inside the central maw. There are 700 sp worth of fish shaped trinkets inside. If the altar is stepped on (which is the only way to examine or access the maw) the serpent heads will vomit forth an inky cloud that is deadly poison, Save vs. Poison or die in 1 turn. The poison will spread down the hall 10’ a turn until it reaches 5, where it will dissipate harmlessly. The cloud will disappear in 1d4 rounds after it‘s achieved its full spread. (This is what got Rael & Ritzy. Save or die poison is a helluva way to go.)

7: This roughly carved corridor curves slightly to the NE, ending in a set of rough steps down to 9. A stone slab blocks a doorway to 8 (1 on a d6 to move). There are large gouges in the narrow part of the curve that could be claw marks of some kind.

8: This room is 15’X15’, with a set of stairs occupying the NW corner that lead down into what would be some kind of pool if the chamber weren’t flooded. The water in this area is greenish and glows slightly. If entered, human characters will experience a permanent transformation  every round until they leave. Lose 1d4 pts Charisma until bottom out at 3.
Only a Wish can reverse this transformation. Roll d12 for each change.
01: Scaly skin (natural 8 AC) 
02: Slitted eyes with nictating membrane (can see in dark 60’) 
03: Gills, can breathe underwater, 
04: Claws: 1d4 dmg, 
05: All hair falls out, 
06: Finned Tail (Swim: 180’(60’) 
07: Spiny crest on head and down back. 
08: Lose 1d4 pts Int. 
09: Gain 1d4 pts Con, 
10: Gain 1d4 pts Str, 
11: Develop Throat Sac (holds 10 lbs), 
12: Unhingeable, sharp toothed jaws (1d6 damage). 

9: This large, natural cavern is roughly 70’ EW by 30’ NS. Shards of clay pottery and broken partial skeletons litter the floor among the coating of dull moss being fed on by small, blind cave fish and crawfish. More claw marks like the ones in 7 can be seen on the walls. At the far E end you see a set of crude stairs leading down. Just before it (where it crosses with 10 above) there is a pit trap that will set off if the entire group walks on it. (less than 3 people can cross safely). It drops victims 20 ft (2d6 dmg) and snaps shut above them. The underside of the doors are covered in sharp spikes, that will do 1d6 damage to anyone attempting to push it open.

10: The hallway is plain worked stone for the first 30‘. After passing a decorative arch, the following 20’ features a mosaic tiled floor featuring some sort of monstrous reptilian mermaid earth goddess of smooth river pebbles, with several gemstones set in the design. The largest is a dazzling blue jasper set in the creatures chest worth 750 gp. The others are worth (25gp, 50 gp, 75 gp, 10gp, 10 gp). Beyond the mosaic is a stone door that opens in either direction when pushed on.

11:  This 20’x25’ room contains a bronze smithy, with a long cooled forge occupying the SW secttor. There are clay molds for making swords, spear points, and shields, corroded tools for working the metal, and a stack of copper and tin ingots in the NW corner. There are also 2 large clay jars, one sealed in wax and marked with the alchemical symbol for arsenic, and one stoppered with a clay plug that holds 800 SP worth of silver nuggets.

12: At the bottom of the steps you find a 10‘ entry hall with the twisted, verdigris green wreckage of a portcullis laying on the floor. It looks as if it were shoved open from inside based on how it was bent. The area above the arch is unstable, and will cave in on anyone who first passes thru it (Save vs. Paralysis or take 2d6 dmg). Beyond is a vaulted chamber 90’ NS and 20’ EW. There’s a crumbling archway directly across from the entry and a stone door in the SE corner. Shattered, ancient bones and bronze adzes and pickaxe heads are scattered across the floor. A triumphant arch carved with fish tailed serpents spans the middle of the chamber. The keystone is set with three lozenges of lapis lazuli (75 gp apiece) surrounding a large, stunningly clear quartz crystal (500 gp). At the base of the serpents are open topped stone chests each containing 400 gold trinkets in the shape of human faces contorted in fear (800). The stone door in the SE is set with a similar design to the keystone of the arch in large, polished malachite chunks (25 gp, 25 gp, 100 gp) The crumbling doorway, jingling the coins, or prying out the stones will attract the Devourer from its lair.

13:  A mound of bone gnawed to shards and bits occupies the center of this claw marked  20’ x 20’ chamber. At its center, 1d4 of its heads unsleeping in a state of ravenous hunger, is The Devourer (Thessal Hydra), HD: 9, HP: 72, AC: 5, 9 bites 1d10 victims must save vs. paralysis to break free or be dragged in close to center maw for bite (1 per round, if miss can attempt again), Central Maw: 3d6, swallow whole on 18+ those inside belly take 1d8 per round, can atk with dagger at -4, Each head has 8 hp, Mv: 120(40), Sv: F9, ML: 9. In a 10’ alcove beyond the beast’s main nest is a stone slab blocking a doorway. The edges of the slab show years of wear from the creature’s horrible teeth.

14:  There is a small chamber beyond the door, 10’X10’, that features a 1’ lip around a bottomless seeming pit in the floor. It goes down at least 100’, and becomes increasingly colder the deeper down you go, doing 1d4 dmg per round at 50’, 1d6 dmg/rnd at 75’, and 1d8 dmg/rnd at the bottom. A 20’ diameter round chamber of rough, natural stone lies at the bottom, with a stony shelled egg about 3’ across sitting in a hollow in the floor. If brought to the surface another Devourer will hatch. It is 1/3 the HD/strength of its sibling.

15: This chamber was richly decorated, judging from the bright mosaics and bronze tiles on the intact part of the floor. A cave in has crushed much of the contents of the SE corner. There is a bronze serpent with a fish’s head and gaping mouth in the NE corner, which transmit sounds from 5 into this room. You see the shattered bones of a humanoid wearing an ornate headdress and carrying a staff, both destroyed, crushed beneath the stones of the cave in. 

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