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WotBS Antagonistic Clan Mellorn

My party just had their inital encounter with Clan Mellorn. The party immediately said they were there for the torch and a few very bad persuasion rolls later Clan Mellorn is convinced that the party should not be trusted with the torch. The party has decided to wait outside for several hours to a day before going into Castle Korstull in order to make sure they weren't followed through the storm. They allowed Clan Mellorn to enter first and they headed inside with a last threat that if the party tries to take the torch they will do everything in their power to stop them.

There's a chance that my players will try again to convince the gnomes they should be trusted with the torch, but I want to be prepared for whatever happens. They've reached a point of being willing to kill pretty much anyone that stands in their way of ending the war (one of the players betrayed the party and joined Pilus saying the party wasn't ruthless enough to end the war).

My question is: Does anyone have any advice on running a Clan Mellorn that doesn't want to work alongside the party? I don't think they'd attack outright - as the party is definitely stronger, but they might try to harry their progress somehow even trying to make sure things go horribly wrong as the party gets close to the elevator.

Secondary question: Has anyone figured out the specifics of how the Orb that the monks had works? My party really wanted to find a way to wait and make sure that the Ragesians weren't following them through the storm. How long does the storm stay open? My concern is: if they stay outside of the castle for a couple days waiting, either the Ragesians never show up because they can't follow through the storm OR the Ragesians show up before the party has even begun an exploration of the castle.

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It's a little non-sensical to wait to see if you were followed when you're in this situation. What use is it to find out, "Yep, they're here now", instead of using your time tof ind the thing you're looking for?

If you want to spur them to act, you could have them receive a sending from Pilus saying:

Divinations spotted forces approaching you. I attempted ending weather spell. Couldn't. Possible inquisitor ritual stole magic. Apologies for not expecting that. Two days until arrival.

As for Clan Millorn, I'd say to give the party a chance to save their lives. They hear a commotion and discover the delvers trying to hold a doorway shut with a barricade as monsters converge. Doing make it depend on dice rolls. Let them earn the trust, or verify that they're untrustworthy.

If the party doesn't intercede, have one of the gnomes die, and then the others hide in the walls of the castle and, under the great stress of the situation, decide they have to sabotage the party.

I agree it's nonsensical. They were confused at first about how long it would stay open. I think they expected a couple Ragesians might follow rather than an entire army. I tried to emphasize that it would lead a large gap open for a few days. One party member finally suggested that if they let the Ragesians show up then the Ragesians might just take the torch and it's game over, but the rest of the party didn't really listen to them. I'm hoping that I can hint that they need to get going next session. They don't trust Pilus at all, so a message from him wouldn't work (they refused the earrings as well).

I'll definitely give them another chance to rescue Clan Millorn before I have the gnomes start sabotaging anything.

I also have another question about the elevator. It seems like if they get the code they will have no problem getting up the elevator, but getting up without it is nearly impossible barring some creative solutions. Are they supposed to find the code? Because if they do it defeats the elevator entirely. Or is the code more of a solution they probably won't need. I'm planning on having them find a note on the body of a wizard with some writing that shows he was trying to figure out the code before he died, so they at least have a hint that a code is needed. I just don't know how much I should push it since it seems like an all or nothing problem.

Does the party have a rogue or someone good with traps?

My idea with the elevator is that the first few levels teach you that this thing is hostile, but you have time to try to figure out how to disable it, albeit not easily. At this level I'd expect most PCs to have a lot of tricks, and even getting crushed wouldn't be an instant kill.

Though you might have, like, the dead body be on the elevator, with tons of fractured bones and burn marks as a hint it's really dangerous to go up.

It's a puzzle without a specific solution.

They have a rogue and are very creative at finding solutions. I'm not particularly worried about them dying on the elevator. I'm actually more worried about them finding the code and missing the experience of the elevator. I'm thinking about maybe having the code be slightly wrong or making it much harder to acquire. I see getting the code as a much more straightforward solution that removes a bit of the creativity of finding a way up (albeit with an interesting moral dilemma). I was just wondering if the expectation was that they find the code or if that was more to give them an out if they can't figure out another way.

This is a good idea. I'll see if I can come up with a more interesting way for them to have to figure out the code. Let me know if you come up with anything.


This might be awfully trite, but I tried to make a short rhyming poem that featured not only the code, but hints at the dangers at every point. The positions of the control rod are the capitalized letters... you could just as easily make them a different color or something similiar.

thus begins a climb to death (lv1, no dangers)
Danger growing, hold your breath (lv2, position D, "hold person" spell)
pistons Grinding, flames will rise (lv3, position G, fire effects)
morning star Alights your eyes (lv4, position A, spiked balls)
keep your mind, Beware the stop (lv5, position B, confusion/tragedy)
points of Darkness high atop (lv6, position D, spike trap)
break your chains and Hide your frown (lv7, position H, chain devil)
Everything is falling down (lv8, position E, pitfall)
force of will and Change of fate (lv9, position C, wall of force)
pass into the astral gate (lv10, no dangers)
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If you like the text, here's an image/handout version...


  • 1665282533527.png
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