Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Session 8: Punjar Saga II: Dragora's Dungeon 17-18/5/713 NR. Reach Level 4

Erik's Journal:

The realization of our loss slowly sank in as we silently made our way out of the swamp. With a good length of rope and a few jumps, we started crossing a patch of quicksand towards higher – and dryer – ground. Distracted by the proceedings, another giant boa sneaked up on us. So close to the death of Rex, courage failed us and we retreated hastily before losing another member of our party. Luckily, the reptile quickly lost interest and we were left free to examine the expanse overlooking the swamp and welcome Iriediana, a Thiefling bard teleported in reinforcement a few moments before. Apart from a sinister-looking sinkhole, the only way out of this cavern was a little passage leading to a series of tight, dark corridors. Even in these conditions, underground, on a perilous mission, surrounded by monstrous beasts, it didn’t take long to Leon to find some mischief to achieve. The damned rogue almost woke up the spectral guardians of an altar of Zehir. This one’s vices will need to be taken care of soon… Before they kill us all. Our journey into the darkness ended on an even larger cavern. The sheer size of it simply defied imagination. An entire city was sprawling within its limits, hundreds of feet below us. We had just reached the mythical hidden city of the sorcerer-kings of Parhok.

A gigantic orb, floating high in the “sky” of the city, was spreading an eerie glow over the scene and a multitude of campfires could be seen throughout the streets. Safely hidden by the the sheer altitude of our position and knowing the last part of our journey was to be the hardest, we decided to set up camp. The Gods granted us an undisturbed rest, leaving us to tend our wound and contemplate our mission. How could the bastard girl of the Overlord of Punjar have amassed that amount of power? How did she find the legendary city in the first place? Some other evil force must have been at work behind Dragora…

The orb illuminating the city apparently reproducing the surface day/night cycle, we decided to wait for the darkest hour before resuming our journey, climbing down the cliff down to the city. Adell had spotted some strange “birds” during her watch, they turned out to be small drakes, we discovered with horror, when they started harassing us during the descent. They seemed to be more interested in the shiny objects we were carrying that in ourselves though and we were able to reach the ground more or less unmolested. Infiltrating the city itself was a very tense process as the main streets were crawling with an army of ape-men. We kept to the back alley and advanced as discreetly as possible towards a very large pyramid at the centre of the city. A large patrol and a set of guards were keeping the structure secured, but we saw an opportunity by circling around the back of it, where stairs led us directly to the top. And to a big surprise. A big, green, scaly surprise.

We discovered a young green dragon soundly asleep on the pyramid’s platform. We came up short of ideas on how to diffuse the situation until our bard resolved to try and bluff our way past the winged monster. It unfortunately didn't pan out as we hoped and Dragora was swiftly warned. A platform magically rose up from inside the pyramid and she appeared, in all her glory, sitting on the throne of the sorcerer-kings, her magical halo almost palpable. Against all odds, she didn't outright attack us but instead invited us down to her chambers. She turned out to be a surprisingly well-mannered - albeit extremely devious and strangely dressed - young lady. I gave me hope to resolve the situation without further bloodshed and so I tried talking her out of revenge plans. It quickly proved to be utterly useless though, as she was entirely bent on ruining her father’s life. But this conversation turned out to be the perfect distraction for Leon, who deftly stole from her pouch the small orb that seemed to be the focused of her magical power, the very goal of our quest. He discreetly warned us of this fact, a large grin on his face, as the exchange with Dragora was concluding. 

Somehow, this sprung Jenn into action. All of a sudden, she raised her axe, murderous intent in her eyes. The young sorceress was apparently prepared for this, and lashed out at our warlord before she could land her blow. The situation went from dangerous to desperate in matter of seconds. Dragora was as good a warrior she was a sorcerer, her pet dragon join the fray almost immediately and a couple of her guards came to her defence at our back. Focused on containing the dragon, I could only watched as Tasarus and then Iriediana suffered catastrophic injuries from its acid breath and the axes of the ape-men, falling dead in front of the dais. Dragora was not as resilient as her dragon however, and chose to flee by elevating her throne back to the rooftop of the pyramid. Jenn and Leon managed to jump aboard the platform, determined to finish her off. Her scally pet followed her as well, leaving Adell and me a couple of guards to deal with. As they* fell, we couldn’t hear any battle sound coming from above us any more and I had to contemplate the possibility they we were now trapped underground, alone, against a city full of soldiers, a dragon and her lethal mistress...

*GM: One Zain-Kin was killed, one fled.

Quicksand & Boa - 500
Not messing with pit - 125
Grotto, not messing with sinkhole - 200
Not messing with serpent wraiths - 300
Cliff Descent - 500
Navigating through city - 500
Evading patrol - 250
Battle in throneroom - 1162
Total 3537/6= 590
Level 3 major quest - defeat Dragora - 150 XP each
Total: 740+3244 = 3984 XP
3750 XP for Level 4
Level 4 reached.
Erik's account +60 XP= 4044 XP
Need 5500 XP for Level 5.

The surviving heroes of Punjar catch their breath (short rest - can spend healing surges, regain Encounter powers).
In the sunlit world above, Jenn and Leon search Dragora - she has a +2 Resounding Longsword and the strips of leather she wears are +2 leather armour. Her belt pouch held 25gp and the dark red scaly Orb of Parhok.

Resounding WeaponLevel 2+ Uncommon

A thundering peal sounds when this weapon hits, dazing its target.
Lvl 7+22,600 gp

Enhancement Bonus: attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d6 thunder damage

Power  Daily (Free Action)

Use this power when you hit with the weapon. The target is dazed until the end of your next turn.
In the Temple of Tiamat in the city of the Parhok, Adell and Erik search the throne chamber. The treasure chests are stuffed with tapestries, furs, and moldering bolts of ancient silk. While most of the treasure has fallen to the passage of time, some wealth yet remains: 2,000 gp, 5,500 sp, 2 potions of healing, and 5 emeralds v 150gp each (total non-magic treasure value 2000+550+750=3300gp).

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Session 7 Punjar Saga II: Dragora's Dungeon 17/5/713 NR

Leon Varju's Account (Hayden) – Waters of Death
The dusty chamber offered no challenge for the weasely senses of the rogues both finding the secret doors with ease, although no one was able to make sense of the crystalline pyramid at the centre of the room, Leon attempted push open the secret door but merely ended up running on the spot, both Rex and he realised it would take either a great deal of strength to open both the doors or finding a star shaped key. The stone altar at the rear etched iconography dedicated to Tiamat the most evil of the dragon gods had slight depression outlining where such a key would fit should it be found.

With no ideas forthcoming, Erik decided thinking time was over and began pushing against the door Leon had found and inch by inch stone began grate against stone as the door gave way to the paladins might, opening into a corridor at the end of which radiated pale blue portal, While Maldar began inspecting the portal Erik opened the other secret door Rex had found which led into a dimly lit corridor then to a stone bridge which connected to the top of a large pillar, atop the pillar the glint of silver could be seen Rex carefully moved along the corridor which had a very subtle downward slope unable to find any sort of trap mechanisms he continued towards the glint of silver, while Erik, Tasarus waited at the top. In the meantime Maldar's arcane teachings had allowed him work out the portal was only one way he made his way to the others to inform them of this, Leon waited by the portal kicking some pebbles about..

Rex one step away from the glint of treasure felt his foot sink ever so slightly the sudden shifting of stone and chain resonated all the way back up the corridor and to the chamber as a large boulder fell from the ceiling its path already determined by the placement of the pyramid, it rolled through Erik, tasarus and maldar knocking them aside and now building speed down the corridor the stone bridge collapsed under the mass of the boulder, Rex managed to move aside only for the boulder's weight to bring the pillar down throwing Rex and the treasure into the dark void below..

Bouncing in the cobwebs Rex picked himself up happy to still be alive though now in the dark he looked up and could see light emanating from above as his comrades had moved to the edge where the bridge, pillar, Rex and treasure were, Erik was able to get a rope lowered down although still 5ft short of the ground, Rex made a break for the rope managing to maintain his balance in the webbing no sooner had he begun moving than three large bristle back spiders appeared making their way towards him, Leon loosened a shuriken at one hitting it in the back, tasarus launched some lightning which singed the bristles of two of the spiders. Rex failed to get purchase on the rock missing the rope by a hand, once more he tried this time he was able to leap up off the rock face and catch the rope and begin climbing, part way he up he attempted to throw his fire bomb however he fumbled and instead of hitting the spiders it bounced off the rock and exploded with the flammable contents spilling down onto the webbing which lit up and was gone in flash one of the spiders was caught by the burst of flame and fell to its death as they jumped to the rock face. Erik ran back up the corridor as fast as he could hauling rex up the rock face and to safety as the remaining spiders scuttled back into the darkness...

After catching their breath, Leon's adventurous streak kicked in, like the blink of an eye he was gone off through the portal finding himself in tepid ankle deep waters, the others merely shrugged and followed him through the portal. As they made their way slowly they found they were actually in a deep cavern with stalagmite formations, a humid mist hung in the air which held the smell of soil and rotting vegetation, a water covered narrow path which could not be strayed for fear of falling into deeper waters broke to the left and right. To the left Leon could make out a dead tree with a symbol of snake carved into it, seeking advice for which way to turn Erik held the censure aloft with Bahamut once more lighting the way for him and guiding the party to the right. Once more Leon took the lead coming to a stop to check their surroundings he went to move forward realised his foot was trapped beneath roots and vines that were moving around him, leaping back as from the water emerged a tangled mess of vines and vegetation with mud dripping from it the Vine horror moved towards Leon striking him with large earthen claws, shifting out of harm’s way as quickly as possible and allowing the others to attack the horror, no sooner had it appeared it dissolved back into the waters from where it came.

Leon suggested Rex take the lead for now having faced his share of danger, coming to another fork one path leading to the left another straight ahead, again Bahamuts guiding light showed Erik the way straight ahead into area that had partially collapsed and the path turned to mud which began pulling everyone down, quickly the party moved back and headed down the path leading to the left rounding the corner the path led further on alongside a river which was partially fed by an aqueduct not wanting to risk swimming and running into some other unworldly horror they continued to follow the path round to the dead tree which Leon had spotted earlier. Erik, Rex and Tasarus investigated the marking on the tree determining it was a mark of Zehir only for a golden and black mottled Giant snake to rise from the waters near the tree is blood red ruby eyes, transfixing Rex in a stupefying awe of this seemingly bejewelled creature it's jaws snapping at him to see how he would react, it's second strike biting into Rex and not releasing him for the snake then began walking it's jaw down over Rex passing into the snakes gullet. The shock of this rippled through Tasarus and Erik, as the paladin went to move he found himself restrained by vines as behind him and to Leon's dread the Vine horror returned, Tasarus slammed his staff to the ground shooting great bolts of lightning the power of which crackled and danced over vine horror and great serpent, Leon's magical armour turned a strike of the vine horror that would have been a flesh wound to a scratch, he launched his attack dazing it as maldar cast an acid arrow back towards the snake, which everyone one else seemed more concerned about than more immediate danger of the vine horror. Erik managed to free himself from the twisting vines though not before they had left small razor like cuts upon him as the Emerald Crow finally emerged victorious covered in vines and mud only to ask "where's Rex?" as the snake had finished swallowing the unfortunate rogue and began to swim off its golden and black form dipping back under the water.... Erik fell to his knees "RRREEEEEXXXX!!!"

In a city floating atop an infinitely tall spire in a dusty stone furnace lit part of the mortuary a dustman scribe entered the name Rex Deveron as last name on the page and turned it over....

Crushing Globe & Spider Trap: 750
Reaching Level 2 - The Forgotten Jungles of Parhok: 500
Swamp Horrors: 1300
Total: 2550/5=510 XP each
510+2674=3184 XP
Leon's account +60 XP bonus +3184=3244 XP
Need 3750 XP for Level 4.
PCs 3rd level: Leon, Erik, Tasarus, Jenn, Adell, Maldar 

RIP: Rex Deveron