The Undercity: Session 6

After earning nearly 600 gold pieces during their last delve, the party has spent five days resting and exploring the City of Spires. Now, after sweltering beneath the sun for nearly a week, the call of darkness beckons them back.

Dore -- Men in Town

Quick Rule Change

Note: I’ll be using my new wandering monster check rule where I roll 2d6 every turn rather than 1d6 every hour. This will increase my chance of encountering enemies while traveling, returning through old areas, etc. In practice this will mean I’m doing a random encounter check every time I type 10 minutes have passed, or I’m checking multiple times every time more than 10 minutes pass for a single action (i.e., when traveling down a long corridor that has already been explored).

Current Party

Thudok, Fighter 1 (458 exp). HP 9/9; AC 17 (plate + shield); Atk +1 (d6+1 sword); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (7): sword, bedroll, waterskin, ration, hammer, spikes (4), 20′ rope

Horatio, Cleric 1 (480 exp). HP 8/8; AC 16 (band + shield); Atk +0 (d6 mace); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (6): mace, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (7)Spell: Cure Light Wounds

Gadroom, Magic-User 1 (458 exp). HP 5/5; AC 10 (robes); Atk -1 (d6-1 dagger); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (8): dagger, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (5), spellbook, mapping equipment; Spells: Sleep, Read Magic, Invisibility

Xevius, Thief 1 (458 exp). HP 7/7; AC 13 (leather + dex); Atk +1 (d6 daggers); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (8): Dagger, dagger, thieves’ tools, bedroll, waterskin, ration, 10′ pole, 20′ rope

Men-at-arms (4): All standard hires except Guldor, who wears chain and shield now (AC 15). Guldor and Candim, in the second row behind Horatio and Thudok, carry lances to attack in melee.

The Undercity

Undercity: Session 5 -- Map 2
The map after the last delve.

Into the Ruins

The party lights a torch and takes up its traditional formation: Xevius out front with a pole, Horatio and Thudok behind, men-at-arms after with polearms, Gadroom with the torch, and then the final two men-at-arms bringing up the rear. They are moving 75′ per 10 minutes at their current pace, slowed by their heavy armor.

The party moves west as far as they can go, returning to the corridor with the broken ground and the salty smell.

40 minutes have passed.

Dead End

The corridor extends only a few more feet before a massive pile of rubble blocks their way. A dead end–an earthquake or sinkhole must have cut off this portion of the Undercity! They discuss the possibility of clearing the rubble, but change their mind in favor of exploring an as-yet unmapped corridor. They head south and east, aiming to pass through the octagonal chamber and head east.

[Note: it’s awesome that the generator described a cracked corridor and then a rubble-strewn dead-end.]

However, the rapid travel has tired them and they rest when they return to the relatively stagnant air of the eastern tunnels. They take a 10 minute rest before entering the chamber, then light a new torch.

60 minutes have passed.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 1

9. Octagonal Chamber

Is anything unusual in the chamber? -6: x-no

A thin layer of dust has settled over the room since they last passed through. Small brass rings that they dropped when pulling down the tapestries the week before still lie on the floor. It’s clear that the room has been undisturbed since their last passage.

1 hour, 10 minutes minutes have passed.

Corridors

Has the spiked pit been covered up? -4: no

They head east into the corridor and pass beyond the spiked pit before turning south. The air grows noticeably warm and humid as they go. The party tugs at their armor and clothing, sweating now.

A passage opens to the west. There is nothing noteworthy in either direction.

1 hour, 20 minutes have passed.

The corridor stretches south for quite a distance without any change. Eventually, the party realizes that the temperature has decreased again and returned to the static dampness of the underground.

1 hour, 30 minutes have passed.

The party hears light footsteps as they travel, but whenever they turn or look around, they are alone.

They go further, and the passage floors and walls grow dark with mold. They corridor finally ends at a door of thick, iron-banded wood.

1 hour, 40 minutes have passed.

The party stands back as Xevius examines the door.

Trap check: 32 vs 14, fail
Listen check: fail

Hearing nothing and detecting no traps, Xevius pushes the door open–it’s unlocked. He waits with bated breath for a heartbeat, but nothing happens.

10. Frescoed Vault

Their torch reveals another large, octagonal chamber. They tap carefully with their poles and search the room for traps as they enter [there was no trap].

1 hour, 50 minutes have passed.

They find nothing and enter cautiously. Their torchlight fills the room as they enter and takes their breath away. They’re in a room topped with vaulting ceilings, covered floor-to-ceiling with ancient frescoes. Thick puddles of a viscous slime dot the floor, and a scrawled message in chalk lies beside one of the doors.

What do they frescoes show? Awkwardly/Ugly

Twisted half-men climb down the walls in the ancient images, fighting over each other as  they scrabble like spiders away from a ceiling gilded in in some long-tarnished metal. The party tears their eyes away from the frescoes to examine the room. Four doors stand, one in each of the four cardinal directions. A chalk message is written in a frantic hand beside one.

What does it say? Kindly/Messy

“BLOODBATH LIES BEHIND” is written against the door. The party quickly agrees to explore that one last. They close the northern door and settle down for a short rest while Gadroom lights another torch, handed to him by Horatio. The party searches the room while they take a few minutes to rest in turns.

2 hours, 10 minutes have passed.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 2

The party begins by examining all three doors.

East Door: Reinforced wood, trap check fail, locked
West Door: Moldy wood, trap check fail, unlocked

South Door: Rusted copper door, trap check fail, unlocked

After reviewing their options, the party decides to press east if Xevius can unlock it.

Lock picks: 63 vs 17, fail
Trapped? No

Unfortunately, the lock seems to be beyond his skill. Shrugging, they move to the western door, ignoring the ominously messaged southern chamber.

11. Slimy Room

The door opens into a small, slime-filled side room. The party checks for traps as they enter.

The room appears safe, and they enter and search the small room, avoiding the thick, oily slime that seems to be seeping through the cracks in the walls. Unfortunately, the room appears to be truly empty.

2 hours, 30 minutes have passed.

With their options exhausted and not wanting to make a racket loud enough to force the eastern door, the party arms themselves and moves to the southern door in the octagonal chamber.

Listen checks: fail

If there’s anything beyond, they don’t hear it. Xevius pushes the door open, revealing a torchlit closet just 10’x10′ wide.

12. Small Closet

This room, too, appears to be empty. The promised bloodbath does not come out, although the party sees the preserved, empty skin of a previous explorer within, hammered into the far wall with iron spikes. A torch burns in a hook on the wall. The party enters slowly, checking for traps and searching for treasure or secret doors. The presence of a burning torch does not bode well.

Traps: there are none
Secret doors: southern wall

The party realizes that the torch hook is on a light mechanism, and when Xevius moves it the wall shifts inward slightly. They push the door closed, hammer the copper door closed behind them, and take a short rest.

3 hours have passed.

They light another torch and head through the secret door.

Secret Corridor

Just 40′ down the corridor and the party finds a rickety wooden door in the west wall. The party passes it by until the reach a T intersection a bit further.

3 hours, 10 minutes have passed.

Again, they hear footsteps in the darkness, skittering just out of eyesight. [1-2 on a wandering monster check roll–1-1 needed for monster]

The party heads east. They pass another rickety door and move past it and a side passage branching south.

3 hours, 20 minutes have passed.

A few feet further and the corridor opens up into…

13. Flooded Chamber

A small, dark chamber filled with rancid, stinking water. Another corridor heads out through the north wall, filled with the same oily black liquid.

The party spends 20 minutes searching the chamber for traps and treasure as they move cautiously inside. [There is nothing, so no check.] Finding nothing, they head north.

3 hours, 40 minutes have passed.

14. Flooded Chamber

The dark water continues in the larger chamber to the north. This one, too, is dark and quiet, and the water still as ice except for the ripples spreading from their movement.

They pace the room slowly, checking for traps and treasure and secrets. Moving through the room is difficult, so they take occasional breaks in the cold water.

4 hours, 10 minutes have passed. Gadroom lights a new torch.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 3

Wandering Monster check: 1-1 vs 11 — found!

The party’s search is interrupted as they hear a soft splash from the chamber to the south. Something is coming!

Wandering monster: 3 Skeleton Jackals HD 1-1; AC 11; Atk +0 (bite, d4); MV 60′; ML 12; XP 17; Special: turned easily (+1), resist blades

Thanks to the splashing, the party gains warning that they are being hunted and are not surprised. The dark water makes it hard to fight, but the skeletons are slowed nearly as much.

Despite the warning, however, the jackals are fast and gain initiative on the first round. They sprint into the water and bite viciously at Huerl and Thoth, the men-at-arms (who were randomly the closest to the door–lucky!). Huerl takes a vicious nip, but is relatively unscathed. The party then returns the blows, and the men-at-arms swarm the water-logged skeletons and stab and slash with their heavy swords. The blades chip at the bones, but they manage to take one down under a swarm of steel.

Horatio then lifts his holy symbol and calls upon the glory of the light. Gadroom’s torch seems to flare in the darkness, and the two skeletons turn and sprint from the chamber. The party hears them clattering into the darkness.

Catching their breath, they return to the flooded room to finish their search.

Search Results: Find no secret doors

Corridor

Disappointed, they return to the corridor and examine the door in the south wall.

Trap Check: 84 vs 14, fail
Listen Checks: All fail

The thin door looks nondescript enough. Everyone stands back a pace as Xevius opens it…but it’s locked. Frowning, he attempts to pick the lock.

Lock Pick: 9 vs 17, success!

The old lock falls off the latch into his hands. He pushes the door open to reveal another twisting corridor. The party struggles to keep track of their position in this maze.

4 hours, 20 minutes have passed.

Corridor – Ancient Works

They head west into this new corridor, noticing again the surprisingly warm, moist air flowing through the tunnels.

The tunnels here are different–laid out in an intentional patter, sending long branches heading south in regular intervals. The warm air gusts north from those southern reaches, to which the party is loath to travel. The corridors are no longer bare or ill worked stone, either. They mosaics have returned, and in better shape here.

What do the mosaics show? ugly/healthily

Hideous half-men line the walls in the monstrous mosaics, devouring flesh in an orgy of blood and violence. The half-men are virile and their strength can be seen clearly in the images, seeming to gain power as the pile of shattered limbs at their feet grows. Horatio feels ill and tries to hurry the others on.

The tunnel only extends another few feet before it, too, turns south.

4 hours, 40 minutes have passed.

Growing tired, they return to the last door.

Listen Checks: Succeed!
Trap Check: 31 vs 14, fail

15. Incense Room

Xevius pushes it open, revealing a small, 20’x20′ room beyond. It appears empty save for the thick smell of just-burned incense wafting from a large stone bowl sitting on a pedestal in the center of the room. The party searches the room for traps as they enter.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 5

Room Contents: Trap! Fusillade of darts.
Trap Checks: 3, 5, 1, 3 (found!)

The party is about the enter the room when a loose flagstone is noticed–[d4=] Xevius leaps back and slams into Horatio and Thudok just behind him, pointing out the now-obvious pressure plate. They move carefully around the trap and notice a score of small holes in the opposite wall.

4 hours, 50 minutes have passed.

They breath a sigh of relief thinking of the barrage of stinging needles they fortunately avoided before taking a seat to rest in the small room.

5 hours have passed. Gadroom lights a new torch (only seven left!).

Conclusion

A bit of an anti-climactic session. We killed a single enemy and explored several dozen rolls and found basically nothing but twisting corridors. Unless we can find something soon, this may be another profitless expedition like the first few.

Thudok, Fighter 1 (458 exp). HP 9/9; AC 17 (plate + shield); Atk +1 (d6+1 sword); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (7): sword, bedroll, waterskin, ration, hammer, spikes (4), 20′ rope

Horatio, Cleric 1 (480 exp). HP 8/8; AC 16 (band + shield); Atk +0 (d6 mace); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (6): mace, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (4)Spell: Cure Light Wounds

Gadroom, Magic-User 1 (458 exp). HP 5/5; AC 10 (robes); Atk -1 (d6-1 dagger); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (8): dagger, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (3), spellbook, mapping equipment; Spells: Sleep, Read Magic, Invisibility

Xevius, Thief 1 (458 exp). HP 7/7; AC 13 (leather + dex); Atk +1 (d6 daggers); Purse: 152 gp 5 sp 5 cp; Inventory (8): Dagger, dagger, thieves’ tools, bedroll, waterskin, ration, 10′ pole, 20′ rope

Men-at-arms (4): Guldor, Thoth, Candim, Huerl. All standard hires except Guldor, who wears chain and shield now (AC 15). Guldor and Candim, in the second row behind Horatio and Thudok, carry lances to attack in melee. Huerl has taken 1 damage.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 6
Official map for the end of session 6.

 

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