Okay, here’s the last installment of our Saturday, June 3rd Gaming day:
After leaving the hovel the PCs explored south and found the log bridge. Few could stay upon it, with the half-orc simply giving up and began trudging through the mire along side the bridge. They had spotted several large lizard-like beings watching them in the distance, only the eyes and tops of the heads protruded from the swamp. No one made any hostile moves at these things. Everyone had to make several Constitution saves since they kept falling into the mire. All are afraid they may have caught this blight the dragon had.
At the “fork” in the log bridges, the party went eastward and arrived at a small land mass which abutted a large granite cliff facing. The rock facing went high up into the mists with no end in sight. The group explored the island and found it bounded by the mire to the north and this granite tor to the south. They had no way to go but back the way they came via the mostly submerged logs. On a whim, and perhaps my the look on my face, Ragnar1965 had his dwarf explore a small water-filled depression which rested against this granite facing. He saw a small 4-inch hole in the rock, roughly 6-foot above the water! Large claw marks, perhaps made by the dragon, scar the rock about the hole.
The party decides this is worth investigating. Which they do. They spend over an hour and a half in real time trying to figure out what to do. They poke long bones (with a light spell on one end) into the hole. The toss pebbles into the hole. They want to know how such a hole could come to pass. (Why, it seems to be a natural phenomenon the dwarf calls a clay pipeline. At some point in the distant past, this 20-odd foot 4-inch hole was filled with clay. Over the years the clay was displaced.) But most importantly, why did the dragon have an interest in it?
An augury proclaims ‘weal’ to the question “is there something on the other side of this tunnel that will aid the party.” The guys take stock as to what the PCs have. A potion of gaseous form is produced. Hummmmm. Lots of discussion about using this occurs. The elf wizard has spider climb in his spell book but not memorized. Trevor is interested in having his monk climb the granite facing to see if he can reach the top and see if this hole’s end might be seen from above. The party agrees to rest the night to have the wizard memorize spider climb and identify (for the torc).
As they set up for the night, the half-orc heads down to the mire’s edge to heed “nature’s call” (my way of having the random encounter work). The half-orc is attacked by a 30-foot croc! Ragnar1965 has his dwarf grab his axe and race down to help the barbarian. I ask what the barbarian is going to do, and Trevor says, “First things first: ZIIIIIPPPPP!” (making the motion of zipping his fly). We all paused to laugh about that. The croc got a good hit in on the half-orc, and had he not used his attack to retreat away from the swamp, death was waiting for the barbarian as the croc would have pulled him into the water. However, the dwarf, monk, and halfling all assailed the beast. With the help of magic missle all went well.
Later that evening the party could see two “regular” crocodiles come up to sun them selves in the waning light near the dead giant croc. One of the animals had the blight. Alex (the 11/12-year old) simply could not resist and had his wizard shoot of a fireball at the unsuspecting animals. Alex had never had a wizard before and his dad, Trevor, is well known for fireballing everything and anything that may be considered dangerous. Alex had to “try out” his fireball spell. The beasts both failed their saves and promptly died (no experience points to be awarded for that).
During the night the dwarf, on watch, begin to notice a horific smell. Something beyond rotten. Two sets of dim, red-glowing, eyes could be seen just out side the glow of the fire. The dwarf could hear the beings whisper to him to come out and join them. They hungered and wished to know him, etc. The dwarf did the manly thing and, failing a save, puked from the stench. Ragnar1965 made it plain he did this on the half-orc to wake him up! The things retreated into the night and they never did see what they were.
The next day, they have the monk climb, via spider climb, up the cliff. He finds nothing but more cliff. He returns unsuccessful. By now everyone has forgotten the identify spell (as it was now past 10:30 at night, remember Ragnar1965 and I have been going at it since around 10am) and we spend lots more time debating the potion of gaseous form.
Finally, just after 11pm, I reminded Alex that his elven wizard memorized identify for a reason. They cast it on the torc and find out it’s powers but not its command word. The identify spell does note the answer to the riddle is the password. I remember Ragnar1965 commenting on the inscription, “That’s a riddle?” He-he-he. The guys begin working on an answer to the riddle, when Trevor simply blurts out “death!” and bang the three PCs standing in the circumference of the torc become gaseous.
The find the dragon’s horde and read the letter of the dead cleric. They are now primed to head out towards the “other log bridge.”
By now its midnight and I end the game. We are all wiped out but had a blast.
Next week Ragnar1965 and myself are sharing a hotel room in Nebraska as we get training on a new computer system. His dwarf, halfling, druid, monk, and the “red-shirts” will continue this module in the evenings after the training sessions. I’ll post how that goes as well, as time allows.
Harley, this is a fine adventure and is living up to my expectations when I bought and read this last year.