The party followed the centaur assigned to lead them to the back door down a path for about a half hour, until the centaur blanched, and told them to scatter. A small, inoffensive gnome was running down the path towards them! With a green dragon right behind her.
So they scattered! But not too far for Celeste to cast mass resist poison on them. The gnome and centaur buggered off, leaving the party to fight the dragon... so they did. They pushed it to the ground, slowed it, immobilized it, slowed it some more, and then... ran out of ways to slow and immobilize, just as the dragon was bloodied. The dragon realised that (a) he had a chance to escape, and (b) he hadn't actually injured the party at all yet, and ran back to his lair with undue haste (using an action point to escape faster!).
The gnome came out of hiding, and thanked the party for saving her from the dragon.
Party: "So why was he chasing you?"
Gnome: "Because of THIS!" holding out a massive diamond. "Maybe you should keep it. *wink*"
That was fine with them, especially when the gnome told them that he'd actually stolen it on orders from the treent specifically to give to the party, since it was the key to the backdoor. "The backdoor's on the right. The dragon cave is on the left. Don't get them mixed up."
That would have been impossible anyway, since the dragon cave was high up on a cliff, leaking greenish vapors as if an angry dragon was brooding inside and plotting revenge, and the back door was a large boulder at ground level. The party used the key and went inside.
The first barrier was a pool of suspiciously cloudy water, six feet deep, blocking the tunnel. They decided to use Water Walking to cross it, just in case, but then realized that water walking was a *single target* ritual that took 10 minutes to cast and only last for an hour. What the heck? It'd be nearly expired by the time they got it on the last party member!
Since he didn't have to breathe, Heyyou volunteered to walk across the pool and trigger any potential drowning traps. There weren't any. What there were were troglodytes waiting on the other side. He shouted a warning and started fighting them, luckily in a narrow tunnel that kept them from huring him much while the others slowly swam across. Except for Celeste, who was damned well going to cast water walk on herself at least!
The rest of the party advanced down the tunnel slaughtering troglodyte after troglodye (they were minions!) until they came to a chamber with a pool of water blocking it. There were chains leading into the water that implied a bridge could be raised, but no immediately obvious bridge mechanism. It also looked like it had some sort of magical barrier that kept magic weapons and spells from passing. The remaining troglodytes took cover behind a screen on the far side of the river, daring the party to come across in pursuit. Instead, they took a short rest and waited for Celeste.
When she arrived, Celeste discovered that the barrier wouldn't keep her from passing herself, so she decided to walk across the water, simply enough. Except that the magical barrier was an antimagic barrier and not an attack-specific force field, and her ritual was cancelled and she was dunked in the pool. She swam to the other side, where Heyyou pulled her out.
Beware, looking around the room and trying to decipher the bridge mechanism, spotted the levers that would raise it -- inside the pool. Celeste, who found herself de-magicked completely, was pretty sure that raising the bridge and then walking across it would remove the curse. Heyyou decided that he didn't want to wait for all that, and charged around the corner to fight the troglodytes by himself. Being an extremely durable warforged fighter, he managed to hold out until the rest of the party could come to support him a couple rounds later, after screwing around with the bridge so as to not be de-magicked.
He wasn't *actually* going to win all by himself, but once the others arrived the trogs were pinned in their little hiding place, blasted with all kinds of AoEs, and generally sliced to pieces. There was no troglodyte nest in the complex, though -- there was a crack in the wall that had let the water into the pit, and the trogs had probably come in there, from the river. Still no loot!
The next chamber they came to had a very heavy vault door that opened to the diamond. There were rows and rows of mithril anvils inside, along with two dessicated corpses, one in a stone rocking chair and the other looking like they'd died of starvation trying to find their way out of the vault without the key. They found three silver hammers -- symbols of moradin, but also... rattles? -- on him, and a few platinum pieces.
Examining the anvils showed that they opened, but no one wanted to open them right away. Beware crossed the room to examine the rocking chair, which started rocking as he approached. When he touched the body sitting in it to search it for loose change I mean clues, a ghost popped out of the wall and starter rocking in the chair, and the door to the vault slowly started to close.
The party rushed for the door so as not to be locked in. They all made it out. Then realized that they really had no choice, and opened it up and went back in. The ghost was still there, being creepy but not doing much else.
Beware decided to check one of the anvils for traps, then carefully open it. Inside were the bones of a small child -- it was a dwarven casket! "No loot on children," he grumbled, letting the anvil close.
The ghost started singing,
blah blah blah be quiet children or something
blah blah blah something about moradin's hammer calming you down
awake and rise up row by row,
go back to sleep blow by blow
...the actual song was a bit better than that. But the gist of it seemed to be that to get past the vault (there was another door in the far side, but without a diamond-shaped keyhole) they'd have to solve the riddle. Beware decided that this meant striking the anvils with the silver rattle hammers they'd found, and went over to one in the corner to do just that.
GM: "Roll initiative."
last session | next session
...but then it was getting late so we stopped. We'll roll initiative next time.