Monday, April 23, 2012

Of Pack-Beetles and Soap-watching Deities

Last Saturday night, we yet again ran a session of Justin's Vaults of Ur game on G+. 

---interuption: Damn you Google.  Where are all the hyperlinks for me to right-click/open new tab?  It's gonna be a pain in the ass adding hyperlinks if I have to do it all manually again.  Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.  This has been a test of the emergency blog-rant system. ---

This week was a treat, because Brian, who ran our Pathfinder game, joined us from sunny Canada!  Brian had rolled up a Cleric, Caradoc the Mumbler, Blessed of Gormah the Crone.  Whenever the dice were rolling badly, Justin narrated that Gormah was too busy "watching her programs" to answer prayers from her Clerics.  When the dice were hot, it was a commercial break.

I, of course, was playing Thidrek the Sleestak (now a level 2 Sleestak Warrior!).  Jeremy had Ripper the Orc (Justin's Orcs use the BX/LL Dwarf), and Dean returned with Father Karl the Cleric.

In our last session, we'd fought some rhagodessa for the Hive, but one had gotten away.  We decided to go try and finish it off, plus do some more exploring in the caverns.  The Hive were more than happy about that.  Ripper showed up for the expedition carrying nearly his load limit in gear (lots of rope, oil, torches, rations, etc.) in a big bag.  So we asked the Hive members if they could loan us a beetle to haul around his stuff.  They agreed.  Red the beetle, the survivor of our previous mission, was once again assigned to us.  Father Karl asked for some of their glow-in-the-dark fungus to smear on his shield (which has a Grateful Dead bear device).  Into the tunnels we went.

It didn't take long to find the rhagodessa.  It was still slightly injured from our previous encounter, and apparently very hungry.  It attacked us on sight.  Luckily, we managed to take it down without any of us getting hurt.  It had been hiding on a ledge, and Thidrek climbed up to investigate, but there was nothing there.  Just a nice ambush spot.

We decided to cross the subterranean river next, and found a passage with stairs leading up.  With my infravision (on the first mission) I'd seen the lizard men "coming down the wall" and apparently they were just coming down the stairs.  At the top, we could go left or right, and the left passage had a strong smell of rot and decay.  Of course we chose to go that way first!

Found a very dead lizard man (like the bikers wanted to do to Pee Wee Herman, he'd been stomped, hung, stabbed, shot, tattooed, and then killed, after Cassandra Peterson had her way with him, or something.  The remains weren't pretty.)  Of course, hiding camouflaged against the wall were some Troglodytes, who attacked from the rear.  They got in a couple of blows against us, but Ripper and Thidrek's better armor helped lessen the damage they could do, as did the "trippy black light effect" of Father Karl's shield.  The last one tried to run away (well, his companion couldn't due to a critical hit by Thidrek in the first round that sent a crossbow bolt through his knee), but Ripper chased and tackled him, pummeling him with the pommel of his sword.

Going the other way, we found a temple of some sort, with lots of snake imagery.  Secret door detected, we crawled through a tight tunnel into a burial chamber (except for Ripper, who didn't want to take off his armor to crawl through unless absolutely necessary).  Despite being wary of traps, we opened the stone sarcophagus and found a mummified body that didn't jump up and try to level drain us.   Also scored a necklace.  

A stairway leading down from that chamber led to the river, which we followed, tied together like mountain climbers to prevent accidents.  When we got back to the sandy area near where we fought the Rhagodessae the previous expedition, more Troglodytes attacked.  Ripper and Thidrek were able to cut the rope easily enough, but the two Clerics, with only blunt weapons, were stuck to each other.  Being lightly armored as well, they both took some hits, but we overcame the Trogs in the end.

Going further, we found a well-constructed room with another carven demon face, similar to the temple or shrine above.  Once again, hidden Troglodytes attacked with surprise.  This was a tough battle.  Thidrek was the only one to come out with his shield unsplintered (using Trollsmyth's houserule), and Caradoc, who didn't have a shield, was taken down to -1 (Justin's death's door rules being that you can go to negative your level in hit points without dying).  After the last Trog fell, we looted another necklace from their leader, noted the contents of the next chamber for our next expedition, then carted the dead Rhagodessa and some Trog tails up to the Hive to claim a reward.  Got another gem for our services, and an offer to let us stay and rest up in The Hive.

A bit leery, we decided to take them up on their offer.  Didn't get converted/enslaved by their beetle overlords this time, and learned a bit more about the Hive as well.  Also, they agreed to heal us.  So it looks like next time the rag-tag crew will continue the exploration of the tunnels beneath the Hive.

Oh, and for the record, it was established that within Ur, the Sleestak (being Beastmen created as slaves) are not related to Troglodytes, although there could be some Trog DNA in there somewhere.  The Sleestak of Ur also have a Library of the Skulls.  Wicked.

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