Lost Mine of Phandelver Session #13 We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Myrium the Blessed (played by Sandy) Female Human Cleric of Lathander Lvl 4
Shagga, Son of Dorf (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Paladin of Kord Lvl 4
Gaukus Grom (played by Pete) Male Dragonborn Sorcerer Lvl 4
Elvis Pickersgilly (played by Jackie) Male Forest Gnome Rogue Lvl 4
There’s a fair amount of chatter this session, or at least there’s not ‘loads’ of action- this was mainly because the Blessed Avengers had a lot of things to say to a variety of NPCs, and even more things to say to each other, ah well… you’ll no doubt see.
And so, the Mexican standoff-
The Blessed Avengers can see Pip (and now they’ve remembered his name, or else one of the buggers has been online and looked it up- I know which my money is on), but they can’t see Cecil (the nothic remember). They can also see the five bugbears- throughout the following conversation (such as it is) Shagga (half-orc paladin) exchanges unpleasantries with the bugbears. Shagga is very keen on a rumble (fight) and keener still to let the bugbears know this- he ain’t frightened of them.
So, Myrium (human cleric), Gaukus (dragonborn sorcerer) and even Elvis (gnome rogue) have lots of questions for Cecil, Cecil however has a prepared speech- I slipped it to him earlier, so he ignores all of their questions. The speech goes like this (and in his lisping sing-song voice)-
“The Black Spider has an offer for you, although ‘offer’ is perhaps not the correct term- as you will hear. He wants you to locate a magical forge to the east of here, it is through the lair of the fiery guardian (the flameskull- cue collective sigh from the Blessed Avengers).”
Gaukus is taking notes.
“Find the magical forge- destroy its guardian, and then learn how it works, bring back proof that you have done both of these things.”
“If you accomplish just one task then only one of you friends gets to live- you can chose which is to die- the child or the dirty dwarf, accomplish both and the Black Spider swears he will allow both to leave this place alive.”
“You have 24 hours to see this done, return here at that time to report your successes, or else do not return at all. Their lives are in your hands…”
Cecil the nothic ends his speech with a giggle, and then mentally nudges Pip.
“I’m going to be a wizard!” Pip grins and capers with glee.
It’s enough to break your heart.
There follows an avalanche of questions, a fair few provocative statements, a dozen-or-so insults (alas nothing original), and… well a ton of other chatter. It takes a good thirty minutes to resolve the situation.
The two schools of PC/Player thought can be summarised thusly-
1) Elvis says (although Shagga is leaning this way also), simple- kill them all now, let the Gods sort them out. The caveat is of course that Pip is liable to get killed, and that the Blessed Avengers don’t believe for a second that the five bugbears and the unseen Cecil (they still don’t know that Cecil is a nothic) represent the full extent of the Black Spider’s resources. They fear there are more bad guys close to hand, they therefore also fear for their own lives.
2) Proposed by Myrium and Gaukus, say ‘yes’ to the challenge and buy some time, check out what needs doing and then return here armed and dangerous, and possibly having accomplished both tasks.
Proposal 2) obviously wins the day, but it goes back and forth for a good while- particularly when Myrium begins to think that the blaze of glory ending might be the way to go. Oddly at about this point Elvis starts to get cold feet and switches to option 2) as well- and thus the consensus comes about.
In the end it’s Gaukus that makes their reply.
“We will return in 24 hours with proof that the guardian is gone, and as many details as we can find about this magical forge- at which time you will release the child- Pip, and the dwarf- Nundro Rockseeker (they remembered the name of this guy).”
And with that the Blessed Avengers head off, back in to the mines- still chatting (grouchily) about the task ahead, and in particular the prospect of meeting the flameskull again, they’re less than keen.
Obviously, something bad happens next…
And so, it’s Myrium’s turn to be attacked by the patient ochre jelly- she’s bloodied in an instant and screaming as the ooze’s acid burns.
We pause briefly for Monster Knowledge Checks, this is becoming a regular thing now- Gaukus rolls a ‘20’ and tells his comrades everything he knows about the creature as the fight progresses.
Back to the action.
Myrium conjures her Spiritual Weapon and then gets to work with her mace- two hits, Shagga meanwhile unlimbers his maul and smashes the jelly beast (with a Crit), and my beautiful ooze is more-or-less broken already.
In slow-motion the ooze attempts to flee the scene (because it’s funnier this way) it doesn’t get far (obviously), Gaukus’ Fire Bolt and an arrow from Elvis’ bow curtail its existence, the large jelly SPLATS on to the floor of the mine passage.
After a brief stop for cursing (mostly by Myrium) and a little light Healing the adventurers head on- back to their base, the ancient storeroom- time for more chatter.
The issue is, in summary- we don’t wanna fight the flameskull again. Myrium has an idea-
“Why don’t we try the fungus chamber?”
And as ideas go… ten minutes later and the Blessed Avengers are back at the entrance to the aforementioned fungus chamber, the chamber they previously believed was somehow ‘dangerous’. Today is a new day, and after a good look about (from the entrance only) it’s time for some new checks.
Good rolls follow, and now the adventurers have something to hang their suspicions on, they’re convinced (Shagga, Gaukus and Elvis- again) that several of the varieties of fungi within the chamber are poisonous- airborne toxins.
The Blessed Avengers fashion face masks, wet them, and then in a headlong rush (after another ten minutes worth of chatter) dash through the chamber in the hope that going this way circumvents another trip to the flameskull’s lair (it does, good work).
The fungi sensing the adventurer’s approach burst and blast more of their noxious spores in to the air, the Blessed Avengers keep running- and then make their Poison Saves. The result of which is all four of them emerge in to a much larger cavern on the other side of the fungus chamber completely unharmed, the ceiling of the great cavern glistens like a cloudless night sky- that’s nice.
Also the sound of the Wave Echo is much louder- it’s coming from the north.
They’re not even out of breath.
Myrium is delighted- now where the heck are they? More importantly where the heck is the magical forge.
There’s a fairly intact building nearby, expertly built in to the walls of the cavern- dwarven work, no doubt. The building however is blackened and battered, a pair of closed double doors are cracked and scorched. After a brief Investigation by Elvis and Gaukus, Shagga eventually barges one of the doors open.
A living chamber come office, all within is burnt and broken (and ancient) there was a major fire here sometime in the distant past.
Gingerly the adventurers take a look around, of particular interest is another closed door to the south- as Myrium and Shagga approach it a shadowy black figure floats up through the cold stone floor, blocking their progress.
“Your presence is offensive to me.” Mormesk the Wraith states, darkly and with menaces.
Elvis pops his head around the corner to spy the undead and then replies- “then leave, before you get hurt.”
Gaukus attempts to reason with Mormesk (after the guys make Monster Knowledge Checks and determine the creature is some terrible undead spirit), the dragonborn tells the truth- they are looking for a magical forge and the wherewithal to make it work.
Gaukus’ dice are broken, he attempted two or three checks (I forget which, but Persuasion was in there) but doesn’t manage to break ‘8’. Myrium doesn’t help either- she rolls a ‘1’.
“You shall never have my treasure!” Mormesk screeches and then grabs at Myrium, it’s her turn to take the beatings this week. The priestess of Lathander is almost dead in an instant (down to 4 HP- she manages to make her Con check however, her hit points will return).
The Blessed Avengers fight back- Elvis with magical rapier and dagger (a ‘2’ followed by a ‘1’- not good), Myrium with her mace (another miss), and… Shagga with Talon his magical longsword, with added Divine Smite for good measure. The half-orc paladin bastard hits and rolls ‘8’, ‘8’, ‘8’ and ‘6’ on his 4d8 damage, then there’s his bonuses.
Seconds later Gaukus fires a cluster of Magic Missiles in to Mormesk and the wraith fades from existence.
There’s a lot of joy to go around- the saps are even high-fiving in their pairs (we’re on Fantasy Grounds).
The chamber is thoroughly searched, a bunch of coin found- and some other treasures, and BINGO a yard of ancient texts that seem to be all about the Phandelver Pact, it’s members and… hopefully the properties of the magical forge, including how to use it.
Gaukus (rolls high) spots a section of the ancient text which talks about a magical guardian of the forge- an ‘eye monster’ summoned centuries past.
The phrase ‘eye monster’ doesn’t go down well with the Blessed Avengers for a variety of reasons- the bugbear Mosk way back in the Redbrand lair described Cecil (the guys think- correctly) as the ‘one-eyed God’. Also, a little out-of-game knowledge from the experts (Pete and Rob) and soon after Jackie (Elvis) can be heard asking “What’s a beholder?” Consensus is (again supplied by Pete and Rob) a beholder is trouble.
However, the Blessed Avengers will check the books thoroughly later on but for now they need, and want, to get along- treasures stowed they head north (after more healing for Myrium), up on to an escarpment which is home to another battered and broken ancient building.
The sound of the Wave Echo is louder still.
Again, after another series of checks, Shagga put his shoulder to the doors- and they’re in.
A workshop, ancient and badly damaged- the site of another long-ago battle. A small stone brazier in the middle of the room casts an eerie green flame and crackles with energy. However, of greater import (and interest), is the aforementioned ‘eye monster’.
A floating monstrosity- a ball of scaled flesh with a large central eye, a gurning toothy maw beneath, and four probing eyestalks which snake and dance.
“That’s a beholder.” States Shagga (because he rolled a ‘1’ on his Monster Knowledge Check), however Gaukus puts the paladin right- “actually that is a spectator- a lawful magical guardian, a protector- no doubt.”
“Hullo” The spectator states and floats towards the Blessed Avengers, “my name is Kevin”, Kevin adds.
The adventurers (and players) are stunned in to silence for a while, finally Myrium starts up… and when I say starts up, I mean she tells Kevin everything, from the cart ride to Phandalin and the capture of Gundren and her father, right up to Cecil’s threats.
It takes a good ten to fifteen minutes to get it said, with asides from a variety of her comrades, Kevin is content to float, blink (he does that a lot) and grin.
Finally, she falls silent, the Blessed Avengers await Kevin’s reply.
“Hmmm… That’s a pickle!” Is the considered opinion of the spectator, somehow the Blessed Avengers hoped for more?
The DM hints that they should therefore figure out a way to get more from Kevin.
The questions begin, there follows an hour long (way over an hour) conversation with Kevin, and also with each other- dipping in and out of character. There are some good Skill Checks, and some bad- just as there’s some great roleplay, and some less great.
The Blessed Avengers learn the following, pretty much in this order-
1) Kevin thinks the mine is still up and running- outside dwarves, gnomes and human wizards are about their business. He’s dismayed when he is told, and then shown, that the Phandelver Pact was all a very long time ago. Remarkably Kevin remains up-beat (he rolled a ‘20’ on my Random What Happens Next D20). Kevin is open, it seems, to new experiences.
2) The brazier is the magical forge, and the books the Avengers carry do indeed hold instructions for the forge’s use. Alas the magical power of the forge has waned considerably, all effects granted by it are temporary, Kevin has watched the magic deteriorate.
3) Kevin isn’t guarding the forge- I know- it was a shock to the PCs too.
4) Kevin is guarding a pair of magic items created in the forge when it was still running on full power, a (+1, and more) Breastplate- Dragonguard and (+1, and more) Mace- Lightbringer. Both items were crafted for the church of Lathander.
5) Kevin has been patiently waiting (500+ years so far) for a member of the church of Lathander to turn up and collect the items, thereby ending his watch.
Personally, I think I played a blinder here.
The rest however is more complicated than you would think.
Obviously Myrium the Blessed introduces herself properly, displays her holy symbol (of Lathander) and even sings a few verses of her favourite Lathanderite hymns “Sunrise, she come in de morning etc.”- Kevin believes her.
The spectator is mid-goodbye speech when Elvis stops the show, there follows a whispered conversation between the gnome and Myrium. At first the priestess is reluctant; her reticence however doesn’t last long- so good is Elvis’ idea.
Myrium has new instructions for Kevin, the spectator must continue to guard the aforementioned magical items, which she will be wearing, until she (and the items) exit Wave Echo Cave.
The dice rolls, and Kevin is, after a few reassurances (see below), good with the plan.
Good, because Myrium- her colleagues, and the two magical items will be leading the charge at the bad guys, they are intent on rescuing Pip and Nundro, and in the process doing considerable harm to the Black Spider and Cecil (whatever he is).
Kevin thinks about this, and… agrees to this too.
The dice rolls and the roleplay are all good.
Even Shagga chimes in at one point- “all these years stuck in here, don’t you want to get out for a bit, and do some good?” And then, “are you chicken, Kevin? Are ya?”
Kevin, as it turns out, is not chicken, or any other genus of poultry.
The Blessed Avengers will be accompanied by the spectator until they exit Wave Echo Cave, or until someone tries to take the magic items from Myrium’s (probably) cold dead body.
There follows a lot more giggling, and a lot more chatter- Gaukus spends another three or four hours, as the conversations continue, making a fairly thorough investigation of the Phandelver Pact ancient tomes. The dragonborn figures out how to use the forge to glamour items with a temporary magical varnish (as it were)- basically turning items in to short-functioning +1 items.
All is well with the world, the players are on cloud nine, and up for it- next session, so they say, is the attack- the showdown.
That however is the end of this session- I did say at the start there was going to be a lot of chatter.
It’s good to see that the players are all, at last (but for how long), singing from the same song-sheet, they’re getting on (by which I mean of course- Myrium and Elvis are playing nicely).
More next time.
This one was a cracker.