Thursday, 27 March 2014

SESSION 9: An Infestation, a Deal, and a Lesson

Where the PCs find out that following the plans of others can hurt.  Adventure here.

Nick:  Cybella - Magic User 1; Jon-O-Tan - Troubleshooter2  (yup, a level 2 henchman!)
Syam:  Brychan - Fighter 1.
Telfer:  Maredud - Thief 1.
Michael: Pelegost - Cleric 1  (Calina of the Twelve Annihilations)
Theresa:  Fokus – Cleric 1 (Frig - Gluttony and Rutting)

Having met Patriarch Chax the PCs were shown to the ground level mausoleum converted to a bunk room and told to make themselves comfortable.  It became clear that the followers of the Orbital God, Furter were engaged in a takeover of the grounds using electro-mechanically reanimated skeltons and zombies and had at least a dozen acolytes as well.

They were fed and retired for the night.

In the morning Vicar Malokai came to visit them.  Showing that he was perhaps more practical the Chax he agreed that in return for the PCs offer of assistance, he would be prepared to turn a blind eye to why the PCs had come here, and even go so far as to consider retrieving the artefacts they had come for as ‘proper rememberation of the dead’ by fulfilling the wishes of the deceased (Dawn’s grandmother). 

He explained the situation in the grounds, how the pit the characters had seen the night before had struck the nest of a pack of dog sized fleas which are in the service of Jackal Mask the Bone Chewer, and that the Ghouls were the servants of Bezonaught; both examples he said of the degenerate way the grounds had been kept until the followers of Furter arrived.
 He then set out a plan to deal with the fleas, which involved the remembrated dead surrounding the sink hole and the party entering from below and assaulting the tunnels to drive the fleas into the killing zone.
Much to the DMs surprise the party agreed to this without modification.  With the dead in place, the party prepared to enter the westernmost ‘messy’ ossuary.  From the sketch map they were given they were reluctant to enter via the undercrypt beneath Torpo’s tomb, and settled on a plan of entry from the top.

(...And so began the scene in the game which has annoyed me the most so far.)

“An opening lies before you which reaches down into the darkened ossuary below.  The air smells dry and stale.  An old and rickety-looking ladder is propped against one wall of the opening and reaches to the bottom”.

The PCs were initially going to lower Maredud the thief down on a rope, but the DMs scary descriptions got too much for Maredud’s and they hesitated and attempted to devise a better plan.  Getting impatient, and perhaps too slow to realise the danger (5 INT) Brychan took the initiative and started down the ladder, and continued to do so despite the DM generously asking  “so you’re going down the old rickety looking ladder and you’re wearing platemail right?”.

This rather unsubtle hint was ignored however, and one third of the way down a sickening crack echoed around the chamber below and the ladder gave way.  The boy-fighter grabbed for the receding rung above as he fell, but failed his save verse breath weapon (reflex save) and fell twenty feet to the floor taking 2d6 damage which while only causing six points of damage was enough to take the already wounded fighter to negative one and a save verses death which he also failed. 

Alas, why did he have to die so young.  RIP Brychan

The death march was hummed and another player character was consigned to the ‘also ran’ list.

(DM’s note -  I’m not sure why but this really annoyed me, Brychan was a cool character and it was such a waste.  This was perhaps indicative of the general mood at the table that night; probably the least successful session we have had for a couple of reasons).

The characters changed tack, and decided to enter through the undercrypt via the 'tidy' ossuary to the east.

Taking their remberated dead with them for support, the PCs entered the messy ossuary, and immediately became aware of a chittering noise in the direction of Brychan’s body.    Eight fleas attacked, going for the living in preference over the dead and a couple of rounds later seven more arrived.  Out in front, Pelegost and Cybella took the brunt of the assault, and both were soon bitten multiple times and reduced to negative hit points.  Fortunately, both made their saving throws verses death and collapsed alive but seriously wounded.

The next action one of the PC's zombies rolled a '1', and tripped into a stack of bones (a keyed location hazard).  Rolling a 1 on a D6 (my usual 'does something really bad happen' check) the stacks collapse on top of Cybella and Pelgost doing extra damage and taking them both to -7 which is below the -6 threshold for permanent effects.

Maredud ordered the dead into position to cover a retreat (DM note – they should have used them as shields from the start) and dragged the unconscious companions an the corpse of Brychan from the chamber, narrowly avoiding being overrun at the door.  For some reason, rather than continuing to retreat, they made a stand at the door and paid a high price in rememberated dead for doing so, with all but one of their reanimated helpers falling to the fleas before the decision was made to close the door on the last one.

It was late, so we left things there.

LOSSES:  Brychan, the dumb but likeable, alas he was too young!
Be sure to join us here next week, when this list gets longer, oh yeah, the dice go all session4 on their asses!

GAINS:  Allies and information.  Malokai has agreed to help the PCs identify which sarcophagus has Dawn’s grandmother once the situation in the grounds is resolved.

Here we list those brave adventurers who have been tested and found wanting (more hit points).
NAME                           CLASS/LEVEL  PLAYER   SESSION      HOW
Dode Enemy-Breaker     D1                     Nick         2                   Fell into a pit trap.
Fighter guy                    F1        `            Telfer        3                   Throat torn out by Pretender.
Mike’s Wizard               MU1                  Mike         4                  Shot through the back with laser 
Syam’s Elf                    E1                     Syam       4                   Face burned off by energy bolt                       Brychan                        F1                     Syam       9                   Fell down a shaft.