The heroes quickly pick themselves up after their serious fall into the sewers below the first borough of the Capital they reached. Standing in several feet of cool, rancid water the heroes were first assaulted by a horrible stench. In the gloom figures suddenly loomed out of the water and the team was beset by a clutch of ghouls, lead by a horrible ghast.
The ghast ran right at Red Feather and challenged him with his claws and fangs. Taken by the poison Red Feather found himself paralyzed and faced with the horrible visage of of the ghast licking its lips.
The rest of the group to the brunt of the rush from the ghouls. Throkk and Ivor teamed up to guard the line. Using his rogue skills Ivor wove through the combat, using his rapier to end the undeath of the beasts. Finding himself paralyzed and assaulted by a ghoul, Ivor rescued Throkk just in time. The beast still was able to bite deeply into the barbarian’s shoulder and do serious damage.
The wizard Turok cast a spell he had learned and rose about the team. This gave him an advantage in vision and he used it to cast multiple fire bolts into the face of the ghast attacking Red Feather. Sharasen, did the same, using Spider Climb up the wall and then used his vantage to hit the ghast with a wizard bolt. Unfortunately, Sharasen had to break his concentration for the Spider Climb to do so. While ghast was damaged, and Sharasen fell from the wall.
The assault on the ghast continued until the beast finally fell, leaving Red Feather to shake off his paralysis. In a panic, and to cover the exit from the cistern room they found themselves in Red Feather rushed to the northern door way. Seeing no other enemies, Red Feather turned, knocked an arrow and dropped the last ghoul through the eye.
To the north and east door ways led away from the cistern. The heroes first went to investigate the hallway to the east. Wisely, and with his battle experience showing through, Throkk urged caution. However, seeing a strange brown powder on the walls of the hallway Sharasen threw a fire bolt into the material in an attempt to destroy.
The fire bolt back fired. Ivor, sensing the danger twisted out of the way of the hallway to use a wall as cover. Standing in the middle of the doorway Sharasen took the brunt of a massive growth of brown mold. Using the heat from the fire the mold bloomed, sucking all the heat from the area and doing nearly mortal freezing damage to the small halfling. The water around his legs instantly froze, his skin turned instantly frostbite and death flashed across his eyes.
Red Feather rushed in with his tomhawks to break up the ice around Sharasen’s feet. Ivor moved to move him out of the way. The hallway completely sealed in brown mold and continued chill the room as the heroes backed to the the northern exit. They took a short rest and treated Sharasen’s injuries before the continued on.
The northern hallway lead to a cross-roads. The northern hall was blocked by a think and strong portcullis. To the east, a large flooded room was illuminated by a torch hanging on hook on the far side. To the west the heroes found their way blocked by a thick steel door.
Drawn by the strange glowing lantern Sharasen and Zook Timbers tried to cross the muddy, flooded room. Using a rope Zook advanced slowly into the room. But quickly lost his footing and falling into a pool that was completely hidden by the opaque brown water. Hands and claws immediately grabbed at the panicked gnome. Luckily Sharasen and Red Feather were able to pull on the rope and get Zook out of harms way before the ghouls trapped for eternity at the bottom of the pool could pull him under.
Trying a different strategy, Sharasen used one of his Spider Climb spells to move across the ceiling to reach the Lantern of Everglow. This magical item has a permanent stone hanging at its center which cast light in all directions. The lantern simple needs to be hooded if the light is not wanted.
After some debate, and a bit of friction, the heroes forced open the steel door, and climbed a stairway, only to find a barbed devil ordering a crew of Imps. Shocked and frustrated the barbed devil yelled the order “Finish them!” followed by, “I never get to finish my work in peace.” Before vanishing. The Imps, using their powers all vanish. While the heroes entered the room, which appeared to have been the collapsed exit to the catacombs, looking for the devils. Hanging on the wall Throkk found the tool to open the portcollis, right as an Imp appeared before him and stabbed him right in the chest with his barbed tail.
Zook rushed forward in his Brown Bear form and attacked one of the Imps, as two more appeared and attacked the team. The Imps were dispatched with out much issue, other than the poisoning of Throkk.
Red Feather used his strength to simply pull one of the Imps limb by limb.
Taking stock of the room the heroes found the Imps has been written sigils on the walls which appeared to soften the very reality of the stone.
Turok, offered some ideas. There are beliefs that there were two creators of the universe, the first God and a darker Destroyer. The elves believe there are realms outside of this one that we can see, and the devils may be from those realms. The glyphs and sigils were warm to the touch and various colors that seemed to change as the heroes watched them.
Throkk took the tool he found in the Imp room and jammed it into the slot next to the portcullis they had found. Rather than using the end of the tool that looked like a gear tooth, Throkk used the other smooth shaft end and used just brute strength to open the door. Unfortunately, he could only raise if a few feet, so the heroes had to work their way underneath. Zook had to abandon his bear form to pass through.
The floor on the other side of the portcullis was a metal grate, which Turok found had a mechanism below, as it covered a reservoir of some kind. To their left a solid steel door, with no apparent lock or opening mechanism. To their right a the sewer system continued into the dark. Investigating further the heroes found what appeared to be blocked drains.
Red Feather set to work opening one of the drains, only to be attacked by four mud mephits which had made their spirit homes in the mud and accumulated detritus blocked by the drain. The team again ran to his aid, defeating the nasty creatures but feeling exhausted by the night’s battles. The mephit’s left them coated in muddy slime, the stink of the ghouls still hung about them. Their injuries also needed attention. Deciding they had had enough for the day the heroes decided to use the room with the drains as a safe location to take a rest and recover.
This is the second dungeon of the campaign and I was looking forward to this one. There were a few details that the PCs missed. First, due to their use and reliance on flaming sphere in the previous battles I had them fall into a room full of water. They would still have been able to cast flaming sphere, but it would have taken a full action to hold the concentration on the spell if they had used it against the ghouls. Which they didn’t!
The hallway with brown mold actually led to a room they could have explored, but was designed to only help set the dungeon as a flood control cistern. They wouldn’t have found any valuable in the room and risked exposure to the mold. Having the flame bolt launch down the hall sealed the room (which was fine and saved a lot of time exploring) and also taught the PCs a lesson about the dangers of the world. Sharasen wouldn’t had died from the mold, due to help close at hand, but it dropped him to 1 Hp and could have been a disaster had there been more monsters waiting to ambush them.
The Imps and Devil’s purpose will be discovered much later in the story, but wanted to make sure the PCs understood there might be something bigger going on…
The rest of the dungeon has some random elements built in, so not sure how it will turn out. Continually surprised by the character’s abilities to over come the encounters, so might continue to slowly ramp up the difficulty until we find a better balance between the PCs and danger from their opponents.
Thanks for the fun!