Shadowend Dungeoncrawl


This campaign doesn't have a fascinating storyline or compelling villains (yet). It's mostly blood, guts, and large piles of golden treasure.

I'd just finished running a "quest" campaign, with campaign-long villains and a Purpose For Adventuring, and frankly, wanted something a bit different (and faster moving). Thus, the Shadowend Dungeoncrawl.

The setting is the Woodmarches of the Shadowend Forest, among the remains of fallen Asavar, Sieriven, and Shalanholt. The city of Shalanholt has been reclaimed from forest and foe by the soldiers of Larenyss, and is currently protected and administered by the army as a base for adventurers. Queen Aliana of the Griffon Throne of Larenyss has promised her hand in marriage to the man who does the most to clear the Woodmarches and make them safe for settlement once more. This attracted a good number of bored and landless nobles, and the promise of a safe base from which to explore numerous ancient dungeons, ruins, towers, and lairs filled with treasure drew many more opportunistic treasure-seekers.

The characters aren't the noble type.

They drink, spend money like water, and when it runs out, drag their hangovers out into the wild and knock over another peaceful pit of depravity and foul necromantic rites. Failing that, they find a bunch of hobgoblins, mug them, and go home to get drunk again.

The Current Cast

Aiselle – Cleric 4/Monk 1 (half-elf). Aiselle is a follower of Oricant, the riddling albino deity of puzzles and prophecy. She has so far shown no signs of the mad whimsy that often affects his faithful. Aiselle wears boots of springing and striding, and a ring of jumping

Azrael - Rogue 3/Fighter 2 (half-elf). Azrael loathes elves and all things elven. As a result, her best friend is a barbaric bridge troll. She wears a golden torc (+2 dex) and carries Rathead, a +1 light mace of venom.

Crombie - Barbarian 1/Fighter 2/Rogue 2 (bridge troll). With the charisma of a unbathed orangutan and the wisdom of a drunken monkey, Crombie desperately needs the dull grey stone of common sense that orbits his head. Fortunately, he's got a lot of tools for hitting people. Bloodfrost, +0 frost handaxe.

Eos - Bard 3/Fighter 2 (roane). Quick with a song, spell, or sword, the lyrical sealkine has not yet been truly tested.

Kajiku de la Rosha - Sorceress 6 (human). Malin's older sister, Kajiku replaced her fallen brother Nemou in the party. Kajiku carries a +1 shocking light crossbow

Malin de la Rosha - Fighter 4/Cleric 2 (human). An alcolyte priest of Cyriana, the goddess of victory, Malin adventures for funds to finance his temple/martial school. He claimed the site of his first adventure (and his brother's death), the Well of Swords, as the site of his future school. He carries a +2 katana and wears a ring of jumping.

More to come,
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After narrowly escaping Certain Death in the Well of Swords, our intrepid adventurers rested, spent all their money, and ventured forth to conquer the Endless Dungeon (debating along the way how to dispose of the armory of evil weapons they had uncovered in the Well). Once the abode of the archmage Savliar (famous for his experiments with transposed demiplanes and sympathetic magics, which made his home both unnavigable and well-guarded), Savliar was last seen nearly two centuries ago. Rumors and a number of otherwise unexplainable events lead most to believe the archmage is alive and quite well, but resident on another plane of existence. He is also believed to find amusement in the strivings of adventurers to reap rewards from his former dwelling, and keeps the Endless Dungeon stocked with risks and rewards both.

Three separate entrances presented themselves to the party upon their arrival at the Endless Dungeon. A ruined tower, a gated cavern, and a crude cave all hinted at entry. Taking the middle path, the party ventured through the gate and the abandoned stable behind it, passing through a set of double doors to a mud-floored cavern and a confrontation with a hungry stone troll. (a Large earth elemental with a trollish form, regeneration 5, and modified statistics).

Four passages led from the stone troll's lair; their choice brought them to a web-choked chamber and it's monstrous spider inhabitants, led by a sorcerous areana. The encounter went poorly for the web-woman, who fled the room via one of the four doors, pursued by the party.

Stepping through the doorway, they found themselves in a cylindrical room, ninety feet in height and diameter. The areana and her surviving spider companion scuttled across the wall and up to a balcony thirty feet above the party, who were in turn thirty feet above the floor of the room on what appeared to be an incomplete bridge. The bridge arced twenty feet out from the wall, and it's mirror image on the other side of the room did the same. The two were linked by a single metal cable.

The party quickly came under fire from a group of crossbow-wielding fighters firing exploding bolts (bolts of blasting), which devastated the platform on which they stood, as well as the party. Leaping across the chasm to the other bridge abutment, Aiselle encountered the invisible wall of force that separated the ends of the bridge; a moment later she encountered the floor fifty feet below the apex of her jump (later investigation revealed the man-sized hole in the center of the wall of force the cable passed through, and the boundaries of the wall). A determined battle finally slew all but one of the crossbowmen (who was later questioned in such a manner as to cause physical injury and death; he provided no useful information).

The door behind the crossbowmen led to a small chamber lined with doorways; some were unopenable, others opened onto a blank wall, and many were trapped and opened onto a blank wall. The opposing door, through which the areana had fled, led to the ruined tower entrance, a final encounter with the web-woman, and a battle with the gargoyle inhabitants of the tower. The last door, opposite the party's entrance, led to the lair of another (standard) troll wearing a ring of fire resistance. The multitude of passages from his lair proved dead ends, save one leading to the cave of two dire wolverines and which proved to be the third entrance to the Endless Dungeon (after the gate and the tower).

Slightly frustrated by their failure to reach the further levels of the dungeon (and the profundity of blank passageways), the party spent considerable time investigating the various rooms, realizing that exiting and reentering a room often resulted a different number of doors, or possible exits. Any key the inhabitants possessed to bypass the confusion was immaterial and possibly unknown to the inhabitants themselves; it seemed imminently possible Savliar had laid certain enchantments to attract "monsters" to guard his one-time home, and imbued them with qualities allowing them to gain access where they wished without them realizing it.

Repeated efforts did bear fruit, however, as the group finally found themselves in a dimly lit natural cavern filled with toadstools of various sizes. The dangers of the room became quicly apparent as Crombie, Aiselle and Malin fell prey to the shrooms' color spray and hypnotic pattern attacks. Aiselle recovered quickly, but Crombie and Malin repeatedly fell prey to the magical assaults before fighting free with Aiselle & Eos's assistance.

Drained by the multiple encounters, and damaged by the poisons of both spider and fungi, the party has decided to make the long hike back to Shalanholt and rest fully before returning to the Endless Dungeon, and the treasures that are rumored to lie deep within...

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