Yes, Thidrek the Sleestak is back in action in Justin's Vaults of Ur campaign. Last Saturday we had another session, and since Fantasmo the Luchador went to the square circle in the sky, Thidrek returned from his short hiatus.
And with Justin's combination of typical Ur wackiness, Stars Without Number as a base rule-set, and feats for Warriors from Spears of the Dawn, Thidrek now is back in classic naked sleestak form, having ditched the banded mail for his newly improved sleestak reflexes.
This session, despite inviting numerous other players, the only players were myself, Dean - playing the Venerable Carolus of course, and Jeremy - still chugging away with Borg the Orc Pitfighter. Ralex the NPC Fighter and Robert's mage Yargrob Elderbob (also being NPCed since Robert couldn't make it) and Yargrob's attack beetle were there as well.
Well, the party was on the shore of the underground river when we left off the last session, trying to remove goo from arms and armor. Thidrek conveniently washed up on shore. Since everyone but Thidrek was in bad shape, they decided to rest up. During Thidrek's watch, he heard lots of noises - yelling, hooting, hollering - and when he went to investigate, he saw lots of strange movement to the west (toward the severed but still living head pillar and giant renegade beetle's lair). He woke up Ralex and Burg, but after brief consultation decided not to press things.
During Ralex's watch, undercity dwellers attacked. One of them was flinging paralytic slime from a sling and Elderbob was hit. We managed to kill the slinger and the others retreated. We went on the offensive, with Elder Karl casting striking on Thidrek's crossbow, and the Sleestak using his stealth to try to scout out the underdwellers' tunnels while the rest of the party took care of the screaming heads on the pillar. Also, the giant renegade beetle's body was there, hacked to pieces and its head atop the pillar. Must have been what happened on Thidrek's watch.
Anyway, Thidrek got too far ahead of the party and a worm-centaur thing attacked. One max damage crossbow bolt with striking and one nasty gash from the worm-thing's mantis-like arms sent both parties into a fighting withdrawal. As the rest of the party caught up, we got to the top (we think) of the tunnels, but found too many branching corridors to feel safe with a blitzkrieg style attack. We retreated all the way to behind the door we could only open with the magical key.
After a bit of scouting to see if things were more or less safe, we rested again. Exploring these tunnels after the rest, we encountered more of the pillar-slime things that killed Fantasmo. Yargrob was able to communicate with them by name-dropping some of Ur's famous past residents that the party had learned of. They seemed to be responding. Little did we know that they were actually trying to herd us into a trap (which they did).
Anyway, we finally came to a room with a large pool of clear liquid. Unsure, Thidrek decided to test it on his Level 3 chicken (a long story). The pool was acidic and the chicken lost its head. The last one, poor thing. Thidrek and crew will not let its death go for naught. Thidrek knows the 11 secret herbs and spices, after all...
Anyway, the pool was of course a monster and it attacked, along with the pillar things from all but one of the passages out of the chamber. With Karl and Yargrob paralyzed, we managed to sever the pseudopods trying to drag them into the water and ran up the unguarded passage... to a dead end.
There was another room with a black water pool. No other exits. Looking around, we noticed the eight-pointed star symbol of our magical key on a floor tile. Popping it in, the pool changed color, showing us a room in another location, as if seen from inside the floor. After tossing in an iron spike, Borg took the plunge. We could see him through the portal. We all came through. Our last minute plan to pull the key out with us using a length of chain didn't work, however. We'll need to try to locate another key.
But for now, we're on a small island to the north of the Golden Pyramid (AKA much farther than we've ever been from Fort Low and with lots of hostile territory between us and home) but we're out of the damn tunnels. To be continued...
The Sunday Seven: 10th December 2023
4 hours ago