D&D 5E Rhenny's Travensburg Campaign - Part 7

Rhenny

Adventurer
Travensburg Campaign – Part 7 - 11/16/13 session

We played for 3 hours…3 players and 1 DM controlled PCs – 3rd level PCs – Continuing our Adventure

Erkas the Dwarven Druid of the Land
Fid (the Dwarven Fighter who transformed into a Warforge Fighter)
Fawnsworth the Gnome Illusionist ex-jester
Nalcon the Lightbringer Cleric, noble who doesn’t like to get his hands dirty

The adventurers and all of the town were in the public room at the great hall in Travensburg at the trial of Aldin Trembler. Alexi Traven spoke and worked the crowd into a fury. Aldin Trembler tried to defend himself, but it seemed as if the crowd and the arbiters would convict him. Nalcon and the others told the court what happened when they apprehended Aldin, but they didn’t mention anything about the Forever Stone or that Aldin promised to help the party find the Forever Stone if they spoke on his behalf. They did tell the court that Grek, the orc leader, was working for another unknown figure who went by the name Master Varna. Upon sentencing, Aldin told the Regent that his brother, Marsam – the mage that they town had hanged a few days ago – was a bad seed. Aldin said that Marsam strayed from their goal to search the ruins, a tribute to their god, We Jas, the god of knowledge and magic. That story may have saved Aldin from the noose. Traven decided, with Nalcon’s imput as well, to keep Aldin in a cell until they could find out more about the ruins. Aldin’s hands were bound and he was thrown into a cell.

The next morning, the group asked the Regent if they could use the wagon again and take some picks and shovels back to the ruined mines to do some more exploration. Traven agreed and after packing, the group traveled back to the Old Ironhand Dwarven Mines. They were able to climb down the mine shafts, back to the room where they encountered Aldin and Grek. After a few hours of study and a few trips up and down, carrying water from the upstairs well down to the pillared room, Fawnsworth and Fid found that the strange pattern on the ground, the bowl and furrows going under the walls of the room, were a Dwarven mechanism for opening a secret door in the south wall. When the adventurers poured water into the depression in the middle of the room, the water spilled out down the runnels and activated devices under the walls. Then the southern wall opened to reveal a 300’ oval natural cavern with flecks of electrum in the rock all around them. On the other side of the cave was a mine entrance, the entrance to the Mines of Madness (as Master Varna’s note had mentioned).

(((((Spoiler Alert - The rest of the adventure is a modified Mines of Madness adventure -- So if you don’t want to know about it, don’t read any more).

The party walked into the mines, and noticed the ground was covered in undisturbed dust. Fid and Erkas went ahead, as Fawnsworth and Nalcon followed. After 20’, Fawnsworth and Fid noticed that a glyph that said P.A.X. was revealed when Fid and Erkas passed. It lit up and the entire area around them started to rumble. Fid, Erkas and Fawnworth were able to dive forward before rock and rotten crossbeams fell down. Nalcon was unable to make the leap. He was hurt by the collapse, and he was trapped beneath the rubble. The others worked tirelessly with picks and shovels to free Nalcon, and eventually clear the area so that their passage out would not be blocked.

Inside, the group explored tunnels until they found a cave with an elevated area. Erkas used spider climb to walk on the walls and ceiling, fearful of other traps, and he was able to see that upon the elevated area were two straw nests with 4 large bird eggs inside them. Erkas was unable to figure out what type of birds they were, and because they seemed fragile, the group decided to leave the eggs there until later when they leave, or if they get hungry. After a few hours in the mine, Fawnsworth noticed that the mine had some strange curse upon it. He could feel it in his bones.

The group doubled back and followed a different path. As they entered another cave, they saw four cockatrice, pecking intently at an upside down mine cart. They also saw 3 life-like goblin statues holding spears. The group decided to surprise attack the cockatrice. Nalcon fired a burning hands spell at the two closest cockatrice. Then the others attacked in turn. Although they didn’t kill any of the beasts that round, they had softened them up. The group battled the deadly birds for another 5 or 6 rounds. Fid, Fawnsworth and Nalcon all taking damage and successfully resisting magical petrification. (The were all very lucky) Eventually they slew the creatures and found a live goblin underneath the cart. This turned out to be Hug Hug. He told the group that he and his friends had been sent by the Queen of the Underdark to explore this area. They found a crack that led them into these mines, but he was very confused and could not remember much about where he had come from. He did tell the group he would go with them and help them though. He also told them that he and his friends were very frightened by the Queen. They never saw her up close, but they always did what she said. He said they all do…goblins and other creatures. With their new companion, the group took a short rest to bandage their wounds.

Moving on, Fid tried to open a small door in a tunnel, and the door turned out to be a mimic that attacked the group. After they dispatched the creature (Fid using an axe, a pick and a sword – each of which stuck to the beast so he had to draw another), they traveled further to find a huge obsidian boulder in one alcove. Fearing a trap, the group turned back and did not travel past the boulder. In the other direction, they came upon two mine shafts, and found a Dwarven statue that looked as if it wanted to shake hands. They also saw a spiral stairway going down, with a mural of Dwarves walking merrily down the stairway. Fid was the first to shake the Dwarf’s hand. When he shook it, a magic mouth said “Beware the green dragon.” Then Erkas shook its hand, and he found 100 gp in the mouth of the statue. Then Fawnsworth shook its hand, and a magic mouth said, “The gargoyle knows the command word.” Nalcon shook the hand and found 5, 50 gp gems in the statue’s mouth. Then Hug Hug tried, and it repeated “The gargoyle knows the command word.”

Moving down the stairway, the group came to a stone door. Fid grasped the iron pull ring and said “PAX” as he did it. The door opened into a circular room....a platform 10’ above with stairs leading down. In the center of the room they saw a glowing fist sized gem. There was also a skeleton clad in golden armor on the ground as if reaching for the gem, a short sword and shield nearby. Fid went into the room….but Erkas used his spider climbing to check out the ceiling. He saw hundreds of 6” spikes on the ceiling, and got a bad feeling. Fawnsworth stepped into the room on to the raised platform, but Nalcon remained outside the room. When Fid went closer to examine the shield on the ground, the gravity in the room reversed; Fid and Fawnsworth hurtled toward the ceiling and were both stuck to the ceiling taking damage from the “fall” and damage from the spikes that pierced their bodies. Within seconds, the gravity reversed once again, and the two adventurers fell down, taking more damage. Both of them tried to twist and tumble as they fell, and Fawnsworth was able to land on the platform taking no damage at all, while Fid smashed down on the ground, but took far less than he could have if he had not twisted just right at the last second. Very badly injured (at least Fawnsworth and Fid), the group stepped out of the room. Nalcon and Erkas both used healing magic to restore some of Fawnsworth and Fid’s health. From a distance, Erkas fired a fire seed at the gem, and it passed right through it. That’s when Fawnsworth could tell that the gem was a permanent illusion. To test the trap, Fid tossed a hand axe near the gem, and nothing happened. Then Hug Hug volunteered to move around the outside of the circular room to get to the stairs on the other side. He did so…shouting over, “Hug Hug safe,” so the rest of the group followed Hug Hug and got to the other side. As the group travled to the other side, they were able to collect the chainmail and a pouch with 5, 50 gp gems in it from the shattered skeleton.

After another corkscrew tunnel, the group came to an alcove with a back pack. Fid used his sword to poke at it from a distance. He saw the bag unravel and begin to fall apart, and heard the clinking of glass inside. Carefully, he was able to open the bag and find 4 potions and a scroll. All of the items labeled in Elvish. Fawnsworth told the group he could cast a comprehend language ritual so everyone gave him 10 minutes. Before he could finish the ritual, the group was surprised by 2 rust monsters who shambled up to them from the south. They could smell the Warforge, Fid, so they made a b-line towards him. Fid was hit hard by the first attack…his armor began to corrode, and he took a massive bite (crit for 15 points of damage). The rust eaters pressed their advantage and hit Fid again. Nalcon was able to cure him with a spell, and the others engaged, but the battle raged on. Fawnsworth stepped up to cast color spray, and was able to effect 1 of the beasts, but the other bit at him trying to get at Fid. Erkas, casting spider climb again, was able to stay on the ceiling and attack with his Shillelagh, and eventually the party killed both rust monsters.

Resting again, the group fortified themselves, and Fid exchanged his old, rusted, nearly destroyed armor (the rust monsters did a number on his duds) for the armor they found in the circular room. It felt very comfortable and light (+1 chainmail). Fawnsworth was also able to finish his comprehend languages ritual, so he could read the Elvish script for the potions and the scroll (1 climbing potion, 2 healing potions, 1 potion of invisibility and 1 knock scroll).

Continuing on, the group found another mine shaft in the middle of a tunnel that continued east. Two beams crossed the pit, and as they neared it, they heard a Dwarf below say, “Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Fawnsworth threw down a pebble with light cast upon it, but they couldn’t see any Dwarf down there. Over the next minute, as the group decided what they should do, the Dwarven voice kept saying things. After a while, the group found that it would repeat itself, and say strange almost nonsensical things. Nalcon eventually told the rest of the group that he thought it was just the spirit of a long departed Dwarven miner. They could not find his body, so the group decided there was nothing they could do at this point to help this wayward soul.

Further down the tunnels, the group came to a door with a leering Dwarven face carved into it. There was a 3’ hole in the door and a knob on the door itself. A sign above the door said, “See through me, see through you.” It also said, “One good turn deserves another.” The group took a little time deciding who should open the door. Erkas decided to turn the handle, and as he did, the rest of the group watched in amazement as Erkas turned into 100 electrum coins. They jingled and rolled as they hit the floor. As the others gathered up all the coins and looked at them, they could see Erkas’s face on each coin, along with the slogan, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

That’s where we stopped for the night.

Comments

We are still enjoying our games. The Mines of Madness are fun for exploration, and lots of interesting twists…of course, because it is such a magical dungeon, some people might feel that it is a little goofy and contrived…but I’m willing to suspend disbelief.

The Druid player does feel a bit weak. He uses Fire Seeds in battle, and it is kind of pathetic. Shillelagh is a little better, but he still feels out-matched by the others. Granted, in this session, he didn’t really have a chance to use his control/area of effect spells, so that makes a huge difference.

Illusionist hates Color Spray, and so do I. The results are trivial (especially the middle result that makes the foe attack a random creature near it).

The fighter player feels that second wind is not powerful enough. He’d rather have less chances to use it, but have it be more impactful.

The combination of creatures that have interesting effects (petrification and rust) along with the deadly traps and strange magic encounters in this dungeon work really well to challenge the PCs. My group was lucky to defeat the cockatrices without anyone getting turned to stone, yet Erkas was unlucky when he turned the handle of that last door. At this point, Fid and Nalcon have used 2 HD of healing; Fawnsworth has used 1 HD of healing. Nalcon has used 2 first level spells and 1 2nd level spell. Erkas has used his spell recovery. Fawnsworth has used his recovery. Fid has used his action surge and second wind.
 

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