Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Thirty-Eight

Trolls, Chokers, and Morlocks


22 Longday 508

The party arrives in Rosemeedt and begins to sell off various mundane goods and conduct business in the settlement. It is a particularly hot morning and there is a lot of hustle and bustle in the marketplace that day.

Before leaving Yrda, Surm said personal goodbyes to Girda, Mirka, the three volunteers, and to King Sigurd. Rilka said goodbye to Sigurd and Mirka as well. Before leaving, she takes a wooden ring that belonged to her father. Savaric said his farewells as well, paying special attention to Mirka.

In Rosemeedt, while at the longhouse of Yülthn, they meet a woman by the name Yanna Sorensdottir who is a cleric of Bruni in search of a temple in which to serve. She had been asking about Yrda because she had heard there was a temple there, but rumor had it that the temple had been routed by raiders. She would be happy to restore the temple and serve the village—she sees this as a great opportunity.

Surm also speaks with Ivarin at the longhouse of Yülthn. He says the he, personally, is content with staying in Rosemeedt, but that he knows of one of the younger priests of the All-Father, a man by the name of Valkan Lucansson, that would probably be interested in taking up the post at Yrda. He introduces Surm to the young man, who is extremely earnest and charming, and yes, would be interested in maintaining the post at Yrda.

As far as the dwarven outpost they are seeking out, Surm also speaks with an old woman by the name of Helma there in the longhouse. She says, “Oh, you must be talking about Karak Tuvar.”

When pressed for more she says, “Oh that old outpost has been the death of many a man seeking dwarven gold and treasure. They say it sank into the mountain and got infested with things. Creeping things from the underdark. Chokers and dark creepers and more besides. And that it’s haunted to boot.”

Mõrvar and Surm also notice that Furfur has not been seen since they arrived in Rosemeedt. Mõrvar has also not felt him on his shoulder. Surm speculates that he might be in trouble since they killed a worshiper of Morria that he had sent to mess them up. Mõrvar thinks that it was his pronouncement that he would kill him slowly if the bird was counter-productive.

Surm also meets with horsetraders and gets the soldiery mounted.

Alasir approaches the Ulrich brothers and says that the Steward of the settlement would like to speak with whoever is in charge of this force. “Show me to him,” Mõrvar says and the rest of the party follows Alasir to a heavy-set, well-dressed Northron fellow with his long hair tied in a braid waiting outside their camp.

“Hail and well-met,” the Steward says.

“Well-met and hail,” Surm says.

“I am Tolkar Waltansson,” the Steward says. “I wanted to get a sense if you were intending to bivouac your force her within the walls.”

“We intended to stay within the walls, within our own encampment,” Rilka says.

“I see,” Tolkar says. “And you’ll be responsible for your troops then, should any troubles…”

“There’ll be no troubles from our troops,” Mõrvar says.

“Good! That’s what I want to hear,” Tolkar says. “Well then, have a good day in the settlement.” And the Steward makes his way off into the settlement.

Surm figures that they will travel twenty-five miles north along the Daggerspine and then through a pass another twenty-five miles.

After the day of commerce, Alasir sets watches in the encampment. The night passes without incident.

23 Longday 508

The day is windy and cooler than usual, though still the height of summer. The troupe breaks camp and leaves Rosemeedt and travels north along the foothills of the Daggerspine. The mountains loom to the west, spiky against the sky.

Savaric continues to train his snake, Victor. He also advises Rilka on the training of her new, combat-trained horse.

Everyone but Mõrvar notices that Furfur is still not there. “Has anyone seen that bird?” Rilka asks.

“Last time I saw him, I told him to let me know when that halfling came back around,” Mõrvar says.

“We haven’t seen him since before Rosemeedt,” Surm says.

“An unseen Furfur is more unsettling than a seen Furfur,” Rilka says. “How much do we think that he was an evil critter? Do we think that he gave off an evil aura? I could cast a Detect Evil tomorrow.”

“He didn’t much care for the good-hearted priests,” Mõrvar says.

“I’m pretty sure he was evil,” Surm says. “I don’t have a problem with you doing that. In fact, I prefer it.”

“Thank you,” Rilka says.

In the evening, camp is made and watches are set.

The cool, windy night passes quietly without incident.

24 Longday 508

That morning, no one sees Furfur. Rilka casts Detect Evil on the area and detects no evil in the vicinity.

“I think Furfur’s buggered off,” Rilka says.

“You all had a problem with him, I didn’t have a problem him except when he’d try to tell me what was best for me,” Mõrvar says.

“So we’ve released him on to the world,” Savaric says.

“I found some of his antics kind of funny,” Mõrvar says. “I didn’t dislike him. He gave us some information about Yrda. Some people think he set Yrda up, but that bitch had her vision before we arrived. According to the interrogation.”

“If Furfur was the reason Yrda got attacked, then I’ve got a bird on my list to kill,” Rilka says.

The party packs up camp and carries on toward the pass, where they arrive at midmorning. They decide to press on through the pass.

The pass winds and narrows and widens throughout the day and eventually they come to place with two wide alcoves in which they can pitch their large tents to make camp.

During the first watch with Mõrvar, Alfhild, and Tarben, a fog rolls in from the mountains. “Did you hear that?” Alfhild says.

“What?” Mõrvar asks.

“Scraping of rock,” Alfhild says.

“What direction?” Mõrvar asks.

“Not sure. In the fog,” Alfhild says.

“Prepare to wake the others,” Mõrvar says.

Suddenly out of the fog come two claws that rip into Mõrvar and then rend him, causing him much damage. He looks over as he sees Alfhild getting the same treatment from a second Troll. Alfhild screams out in pain and Mõrvar roars in anger.

Surm Rilka, and Savaric are awoken by the screams. Mõrvar attacks his troll, hitting him with his sword for a some serious damage. Tarben attacks the one Alfhild with minimal effects. Rilka moves double-time to get into position to attack a troll. Alfhild attacks her troll and misses. The troll on Mõrvar misses him with both claws, as does the troll on Alfhild. Savaric grabs his bow and arrows as he heads out of the tent. He runs by the campfire, picks up a flaming log from the campfire, and swings on the troll twice with it, missing it. Surm runs out into the camp and assumes a position to take on a troll and casts Burning Gaze on a troll—but nothing happens.

Rilka faces off against a troll and sees some of its wounds close up. She swings with her magical falchion and misses and then misses again. The troll on Mõrvar hits him with one claw. The troll on Alfhild misses her. Mõrvar hits the troll for a serious amount of damage, but the beast does not fall. Surm moves up closer to Mõrvar and hits him with the final charge in their wand of Cure Light Wounds. Tarben attacks Alfhild’s troll again for a modicum of damage. Savaric swings and hits with his fiery log on the troll. The troll shrieks in pain from the flames. Alfhild attacks her troll for damage as well.

The party then hears the twang of light crossbows and a long composite bow come from the large tents as Einar, Halvor, Leif, and Jerrik fire on the trolls.

Savaric swings on the troll with his fiery log, first missing, but then hitting. Mõrvar then critically hits the troll, causing it to bleed profusely. The creature falls in a puddle of greenish-black ichor, pumping blood continuously. Surm stares at the other troll with his Burning Gaze, but nothing happens. Rilka attacks the trolls and hits it with her falchion, striking mightily with her first hit and then missing with her second strike. Tarben misses with his attack and Alfhild strikes hit and it falls.

They drag the bodies of the fallen trolls away from the camp and catch them on fire to burn them. Then Rilka takes Mõrvar and Alfhild aside to channel positive energy to heal them. Savaric offers to put them under his care as a healer to help them heal faster naturally.

The rest of the night passes without incident, though the lingering stench of burnt troll bodies hovers over the camp.

25 Longday 508

The troupe continues traveling down the pass as Savaric continues to look after the wounded Alfhild and Mõrvar.

Victor has completed his training.

Rilka channels energy again to continue healing the wounded as well.

About midafternoon, the troupe is following the pass and the map and they come to a fissure in the side of the pass going into the rock where the map says is the entrance to the outpost. Part of the fissure is worked stone, part of it is debris. Savaric is elected to check it out and see if it is safe.

He moves forward and checks it out and, as far as he can tell, the tunnel looks stable. He can see some phosphorescent fungus on the sides of the tunnel. He can see deeper into the tunnel and see that it ends in a pile of debris that will have to be climbed over to get deeper into the complex.

Savaric relays that information to the others and then starts looks for traps in the immediate entryway. He finds nothing out of sorts in the entry. He tells the others that as far as he can tell, it looks safe so far.

Alasir asks if the soldiers are making camp outside and is told yes. So he goes about getting the soldiers set up.

Burask volunteers to go in with them and is handed a sack to carry with equipment.

They head into the tunnel single file; Savaric, Rilka, Burask, Surm, and Mõrvar.

About fifteen in, they have to climb over a pile a debris to continue down the corridor. Mõrvar casts light on his sword to light the human’s way. They come to a place where they can either continue ahead or turn to the right and Savaric elects to turn to the right. The corridor continues this direction a while and turns again to the left. As they go, they notice a series of demonic faces scratched into the walls.

After a while, they come to a door. After a discussion of the possibility of demons being on the other side, Savaric checks it for traps, with the Guidance of Bruni. Savaric tries to open to door, but discovers that it is stuck—the doorway has apparently shifted a bit and the door is jammed. He uses a crowbar and attempts to unstick it and it does not budge. Rilka tries—but without success. Mõrvar tries—but fails. He tries again—and fails. He tries again—and fails. Mõrvar tries again—and this time pulls a muscle and injures himself. Burask tries—and fails. Rilka tries again—and fails. Rilka heroically tries again—and finally opens the door.

The line readjusts itself back into its previous configuration, though with Rilka holding the door.

Rilka looks inside a rather large room, unusually shaped. She sees in the center of the room. it is small, hunched over, sort of humanoid. It’s long, pliable, tentacle-like arms end in five claws. She recognizes it as a choker. It’s a small aberration. It looks like it’s been caught by surprise. She also sees the outline of another one further in the room in shadowy glow of the fungus.

“There’s some choker’s in there,” Rilka announces.

It sees Rilka and charges at her, screaming.

Rilka moves to meet it and swings at the choker and hits—it falls in a spray of blood.

She feels two tentacle-like arms try to grip at her from the darkness behind her. She turns around and attacks the choker behind her. She critically hits the creature, spinning it around and felling it. Savaric enters the room with his bow and sees two of these wretched creatures. He fires his bow into one them at point blank range. He then attacks the other as well. Burask moves in. Then Surm moves in. He sees two of these wretched creatures behind Savaric and another at the far end of the room, keeping to the shadows, but not out of Surm’s sight. He casts Magic Missile at one of the ones behind Savaric, hitting it hard and felling it. Mõrvar then moves in. He sees one between Savaric and Surm. It falls.

Mõrvar doesn’t see anymore in his light and announces as such. Rilka doesn’t see anymore either. She does see the entire oddly-shaped room. She sees an alcove with a statue of a strong dwarf with flaming hair and beard carrying a mighty warhammer. The floor is a mosaic with a seal of twin warhammers with crescent moons. Written in High Dwarven is an announcement proclaiming this place to be Karak Tuvar. On the floor are some rags, bones, coins, gems, and other treasures.

Surm announces that there is another one and to fan out and find him. Mõrvar douses the light and everyone starts looking around. Savaric spots him and shouts out, “There he is!” and shoots at him. He hits and staggers him. Savaric fires again and fells him.

The party turns its attention once again to the treasures in the center of the room. Mõrvar takes up a position guarding the open archway leading out of the room. Rilka takes up a position guarding the door out of the room. Savaric searches the room for secret doors and traps and finds none. In the center of the room, he finds rags, bones, rusted, rotted equipment. He finds a masterwork breastplate on one of the corpses. There is a masterwork greataxe and rapier on the floor as well. Savaric gathers it all up and takes it to Rilka, who casts Detect Magic upon them. She finds auras of magic on the greataxe and the rapier. There are 31 platinum, 273 gold, 30 silver, an amethys, 2 bloodstones, a freshwater pearl, an opal, and a smoky quartz. She determines that the rapier is a +1 rapier, but is unsure about the greataxe. Surm determines that it is a +1 greataxe.

Through the archway, Mõrvar sees that the corridor almost immediately turns. Savaric travels around to the turn and takes a look. It’s a long hallway that takes another turn. Rilka, for her part, listens beyond the door and hears nothing. Savaric checks the door for traps and finds none.

Rilka relates that the statue is a depiction of the dwarven god Skondir, the Maker. Skondir created the dwarven people to be lawful and good. He teaches the value of making goods that last, of loyalty to clan and people, of meeting adversity with stoicism and tenacity. It is the influence and example of The Maker that drives dwarves toward excellence in craftwork and staunch defense of what is theirs. Savaric checks the statue for secrets—and finds none.

They enter the next room through the door. It is another oddly shaped room. There are two arched doorways that Rilka and Savaric immediately go to check. There are also a closed door as well.

The upper arched doorway leads into a corridor. The lower arched doorway leads into a room.

Rilka suggests checking the next room leading from the arched doorway. It leads to another oddly shaped room. This room has murals on the wall depicting dwarves carrying gold and gems up from the mines. There is another arched doorway leading to another room, and two more closed doors.

A debate ensues as to whether or not to bring in the soldiers, or perhaps the other porter. Savaric is thinking perhaps the some of the corridors will start connecting, but Surm is not as convinced. Surm thinks if we go get the other porter, that perhaps they should start over with the original turn.

They decide to turn back, get the other porter (Kortash), take what treasures they’ve found back, and instead of turning, go straight down the corridor coming back. They will also tell Alasir that this is a big complex and to give them plenty of time before giving up on them.

Following the corridor straight this time, they come to another wall of fallen debris. Savaric has a hard time climbing over it, but eventually gets over the top. Finally, the entire entourage makes their way over the debris and continues down the corridor. The hallway turns twice and then ends in a door.

Savaric checks the door for traps and finds none. He then opens the door and gazes inside. It is a large, oddly-shaped room with murals on the walls depicting dwarfs celebrating victory in battle and crafting. There is a an arched doorway at the north end of the room. Savaric goes in with his bow ready searching for hidden enemies. Surm follows behind searching the room. Mõrvar follows next and goes to guard the arched doorway.

Nothing of interest is found in the room.

Mõrvar sees shadowy movement within the next room. Savaric heads to the arched doorway. Mõrvar casts Light onto Savaric’s arrow. Savaric looks in and sees movement on the ceiling. He fires on it. The area is lit and he sees a creature with skin as pale as a slug’s belly. Eyes huge and bulging. It’s clinging to the ceiling. Savaric fires again and hits. It hisses at Savaric and Savaric can see two others in the room.

Savaric fires again knocks the creatures off the ceiling. He fires again at the next creature, hitting it as well. The creatures hiss and go to leap toward Savaric. One gets caught up in his own legs falls to the floor. The other one makes it to Savaric and attempts to bite him but misses.

The creature attempts to bite Savaric again from the ceiling, but misses. The one on the floor picks itself up and attempts to bite Savaric but fails. Savaric steps back and to the left while Mõrvar and Rilka form a choke point for the creature. The creature takes the opportunity with Savaric’s step to attack, but misses. Surm starts a game of jacks with the porters.

Coming around the corner is the wretched-looking humanoid, blinking in the light. Another waits in the doorway. Rilka attacks and kills the creature. Mõrvar moves into the doorway, attacking the creature, but missing.

Rilka dances impatiently as the creature attempts to bite Mõrvar, successfully taking a bite out of him. Mõrvar swings on the creature and fells him. Mõrvar chops off their heads. Savaric identifies the creatures as Morlocks, degenerate, subterranean, cannibalistic creatures.

The room in which the Morlocks were found has the remains of old adventurers on the floor as well as 109 gold, 130 silver, and a 1000 copper pieces, a rose quartz, a vial, two scrolls, a wand, and a masterwork rapier. There is an open hallway as well as two doors.

Mõrvar casts Read Magic on the scrolls, identifying them as a scroll of Cure Light Wounds and a scroll of Ant Haul. Surm cast Detect Magic on the vial and determines that it is magical and is a potion of Magic Fang. He also determines that the wand is a Wand of Mount.

Savaric checks the doors for traps and finds, but does find that the foundation has shifted and that they may be hard to move. Mõrvar pulls another muscle attempting to move one of the doors. Savaric manages to shift the northmost door with the crowbar.

It opens up into another large, oddly-shaped room. Murals on the walls depict dwarves going to battle against goblins and orcs. There is a doorway to the south, a door to west, and a door to the east. Rilka goes to guard the doorway to the south. Savaric searches the room and finds nothing of interest. Mõrvar guards the door to east.



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