The Undercity – Session 7

The time has come to return to the party stranded in the darkness beneath the City of Spires. When we left them last time, the party was taking a short rest in room 15 after having spent five hours in the sewer system beneath the City of Spires.

Undercity - Session 6 - Map 6
The map at the end of the last session.

The 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 (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:
F0; HP 5/5; AC 15 (chain + shield); Atk d6 (club or lance); MV 30′; ML 9
Candim: F0; HP 5/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club or lance); MV 30′; ML 8
Huerl: F0; HP 4/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club); MV 30′; ML 8
Thoth: F0; HP 5/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club); MV 30′; ML 8

Reminder: You can find character stats, quests, etc., on the Undercity campaign’s Companion Page, and you can find links to every session on the Campaign Logs page.

Into the Ruins

16. Profane Shrine

Five hours have passed since they entered the ruins.

The party leaves the relative quiet of the incense room and backtracks to the T intersection beneath the slimy chamber. They head west this time, passing a rickety wooden door.

Room Description: dark, damp, ancient statue
Contents: Monster only – Thief (level 2)

They notice torchlight moving ahead, and they advance with arms ready as the corridor emerges into a small chamber. They find a man in boiled leather armor within, holding a hand crossbow and burning brand at the ready.

Reaction: 9, friendly
What does he say? prejudice – view – last scene (he doesn’t like what he sees)

He raises a hand when he sees them, saying, “Thank the Red Goddess, you don’t look like cultists.” When the party doesn’t immediately attack, he lowers his crossbow and introduces himself. “I’m Lothar, an…adventurer.” Everyone understands that he means thief.

Lothar: T2; HP 5/5; AC 12; Atk d6 (staff) or d4 (hand crossbow); Inventory: torches (4), thieves’ tools, crowbar; ML 9

Horatio raises an eyebrow. “What kind of cultists?”

The thief waves his torch behind him, casting flickering light against a horrific shrine standing against the wall. Dried flesh is stretched across a frame of human bones, and hideous offal lies on the floor around it.

“It’s an affront to the Red Goddess, having this down here,” the thief says. “I’m not one for spending time at the temple, but it’s more than I can abide having these filthy flesh-eaters crawling around our sewers. Lost more than one friend to the maniacs this year. Even the Iron Hand has had enough–they’re paying good coin for anyone that can kill the bastards and drive them out of the sewers.”

“A noble goal from ignoble men,” Horatio replies. “This profane shrine does not look hard to tear down. Xevius?”

The thief moves forward to examine the shrine.

“I’ve checked it already,” Lothar says, “but you’re welcome to look.”

Check for traps: 5 vs 14, success
Are there any? -3: yes!
Is it a physical trap he could find? +0: yes
What kind? LL: fireball trap

Xevius hasn’t examined the shrine long before he notices a dusting of ash and the faint scent of sulfur beneath the general stink of the sewer. Glancing up, he notices a small hole drilled into the ceiling stones. A fire trap!

“By the Goddess,” Lothar says, wiping his brow, “I can’t believe I missed that. The trigger?”

Xevius shakes his head. “Not putting my hand in that bone pile to find it,” he says, “but you’re all welcome if any of you care that much. I wouldn’t hit it with that crowbar, though.”

Horatio shakes his head. “God above reigns, and this small shrine is beneath his notice. I’d consecrate this if I could, but only in his honor. I’ll not risk lives to do so.”

Can we convince Lothar to come with us? +0: yes
Will he accept a 1/2 share of any treasure we find? +0: yes

Turning to the thief, he says, “It is fortunate for you that we arrived when we did. These tunnels are dangerous for one alone, even one as clearly capable as yourself. Come along with us for now. We’ll offer you a half share of anything we find, and won’t ask you to do more than the other men-at-arms.”

Lothar waffles a bit, but eventually nods. “I owe you my life, apparently,” he says, “and I’d be happy to repay as soon as possible. I’ll travel along with you for now.”

+NPC: Lothar (thief)
+Thread:
bounty on death cultists beneath the City

17. Ill-Lit Chamber

The party returns to the corridor and takes the nearby northern door. Unfortunately, the rickety wooden door is locked, and neither Xevius nor Lothar can manage to work the archaic lock.

“But there’re no traps?” Thudok asks.

The two thieves confer, then agree–“On this side of the frame, at least,” Xevius says.

“I’m trusting you a lot, my friend,” Thudok says. “Stand back.”

Bash Doors +2: 1 vs 3-, success
Toxic Mold check: 1 vs 1, success

The others step back as he knocks the door in with a single, solid kick. A thick cloud of hazy mold fills the air as the old wood crumbles beneath his strike. It fills Thudok’s lungs and eyes and he finds himself soon gasping for breath against the far wall. The attack passes quickly, but leaves him with a painful and distracting burn.

Thudok takes d6=6 damage, leaving him with 3 hp.

The room beyond is empty, save for a small round table covered with half-burned candles. Gadroom sweeps them into his pouch as the party searches the room for traps and secrets, finding nothing.

Horatio prays to Almighty God and heals Thudok for [d6+1] 4 hp (7 hp remaining). The big man breathes a little easier as the painful red irritation recedes from his eyes and mucus membranes.

5 hours, 30 minutes have passed.

Undercity - Session 7 - Map 1

18. Triangular Hall

The party heads west, passing through a short corridor and eventually opening a door into a small room that flares outward in front of them.

Contents: Trap (javellin)
Features: heavy, valuable tapestries

The party moves slowly as they enter, prowling the floors for traps and hidden treasures. It isn’t long before they spot a loose stone–a pressure plate that Xevius quickly traces back to a javelin set into the wall. He disables it using the 10′ pole while the others stand aside.

They spend nearly 30 minutes exploring and resting in the room before deciding that there is nothing of value save another of the heavy, awkward tapestries.

6 hours have passed.

Lothar lights one of his torches and passes it to Gadroom to carry as they journey onward.

19. Barred Cave

They head north and find that the door opens into a corridor stretching out in each direction, running perfectly straight as far as they can see with their torch.

“Which way?” Gadroom asks. “If we head east we have a good chance of reconnecting with the other tunnels.”

“East, then,” Xevius replies. “If we must run, better to run into corridors we know than those we don’t.”

The others agree and they head east, Xevius taking the lead and tapping lightly at the floor with his pole while the others follow closely behind, lighting the way for him.

Soon, though, the corridor opens up into a massive, low-ceilinged cave. The rough floors and jagged rough make visibility poor enough that the walls opposite are lost to the darkness. They move cautiously forward…

Contents: monster (8 kobolds) and treasure!
Special Features: iron gate
What’s special about it? mistrust/exterior

when a sudden, yipping shout cuts through the cave and breaks the stillness. An ambush!

Is there a kobold chief present? -5: no
How many spears are there? d6: 3
How far away are they? d4, 1=melee, 2=close, 3=far, 4=distant: 3, far
Is the party surprised? d6: 1 vs 2-, yes

Kobolds (8): HD d4, AC 12, Atk d4 (knives), MV 20′, ML 6

Surprise Round

Three bone spears fly out from behind a cluster of stalagmites, arcing toward the party. Horatio catches a glancing hit on his armor, knocking the wind out of him (2 dmg), while Xevius is struck painfully in the shoulder (3 dmg). They hear yips and barks as a horde of thigh-high, scaly mutants pour out from behind the stones and charge the party with wicked knives, closing to just out of melee range. (The enemy is now at range 2, close.)

Round 1

The kobolds win initiative, and the scaly, dog-faced men charge forward into the ranks of the party, swiping at ankles and hamstrings. Thudok and Xevius are soon surrounded, but Horatio’s shout draws the attention of two of the beasts. He overbalances as the kobolds turn on him, though, and one of their knives draws a long cut down the back of his hand (1 dmg). The others, though, are able to use their blades and vicious kicks to keep the kobolds far enough away that they aren’t overwhelmed (the kobolds all miss).

Emboldened by the fact that the kobolds are clearly more bark than bite, the party strikes back quickly. Xevius sinks a dagger into a kobold’s neck with an easy stroke (6 dmg, instant kill) and the thing falls immediately, blood gushing.

Morale check: 8 vs 6-, fail

The others see their companion fall and instantly scatter into the darkness. The party swipes at the retreating beasts half-heartedly, but doesn’t bother to try to pursue them into the cave. With the rough terrain and low ceiling, the know they would have no chance of keeping up.

Gadroom lights the candles he found earlier and hands them out, and the party spends 20 minutes crawling through the large cave, searching for treasure and traps.

Undercity - Session 7 - Map 2

6 hours, 20 minutes have passed.

“Over here!” Guldor the man-at-arms calls out soon after. The party follows his voice and finds a heavy iron gate, locked and barred from the other side, blocking the way to a staircase that heads up into a natural rock chimney. “An exit, though whoever built it clearly doesn’t want visitors,” he points out. “Can you pick it, Xevius?” he asks.

The thief takes only a minute to examine the gate to decide he can’t. “It’s barred from the other side, and the hooks are out of reach behind the stone. It would take a battering ram to break this open from our side.”

The others shrug–there are other exits, so this one isn’t imperative. They continue searching the cave and soon come across the kobold camp. It’s little more than a half-dozen piles of flee-infested straw next to a refuse pile and a heap of quickly-turning meat. They almost pass it by when the man-at-arms Thoth spots a clay pot behind a nearby stone.

Trap check: 5 vs 14-, success!
Is there a trap? yes, contact poison

He’s about to open it when Xevius stops him. “That sheen–poison!” he says, slapping the guard’s hand away. Taking his staff, he knocks the pot over. The poisoned lid tumbles into the dark as hundreds of dark coins fall onto the stone.

Treasure: 750 ep worth of ancient alloyed coins, a fire opal (750 gp), two pieces of masterwork red coral scrimshaw (200 gp each), and a finely cut piece of semi-precious jasper (50 gp).

The party is ecstatic over the find. “There must be a thousand gold worth of gems here!” Xevius exclaims.

“At least,” Lothar responds. “These coins predate the old Imperium. They’re worth maybe a half-dozen silvers a piece, if you can find a buyer. And these coral carvings–they’re some of the finest I’ve seen. Worth at least twice what the coral would be worth on its own. We’re going to live well tonight, gentlemen!”

The party’s morale improves significantly, and those who had been grumbling about returning to the surface are suddenly much more interested in pressing their luck just a little farther. “After all,” one says, “if these kobolds found these coins, there may be more nearby.”

It’s sound reasoning, so the party turns toward the northern passages and picks the rightmost to travel down.

Xevius holds up his bleeding shoulder and pulls Lothar aside. “I need you to take point up the next tunnel,” he says. “If those coins are as valuable as you think they are, you’ve already earned yourself a hundred golds.”

Can they convince Lothar to take the point? 6 vs 9-, success

Lothar shrugs. “Makes no difference to me. I was alone down here, anyway.” He takes up his staff and hand crossbow and creeps into the tunnel.

Wandering Monster Encounter

The wide, natural tunnel is soon thick with a dark, dripping slime that the party assiduously avoids, before giving way to patches of an unnaturally colored mold that they avoid just as carefully. Thudok takes special care to cover his mouth and walk forward with eyes closed to the barest slits, still remembering the wicked burn of the mold on the door.

Suddenly, Lothar jerks up his hand–“A light!”

The party drops into position, and Horatio and Thudok rush past the thief to get their shields into position.

Wandering Monster: NPC party, d4+1 = 3 members, T1, F1, F1, neutral
Reaction: 6, unfriendly
What do they say? UNE: inquisitive – command – current scene

“Halt!” a booming voice echoes down the tunnel at them. “Who goes there?”

“We could ask the same of you!” Xevius retorts from the back row. Horatio hisses at him.

Do they work for the city? +0: yes
What are they doing? arrive/hope

The three are now visible in the light of their own torch. The party sees a lithe woman in dark leather flanked by a pair of soldiers in the red regalia of the city guard. “I am Valencia, agent in the employ of the Grand Justice. We are searching for a party of the city guard, dispatched nearly a week ago and expected some days before now.”

The party shakes their heads. “We’ve seen none of the city guard here,” Horatio says, “though these ruins are not as quiet as one would suspect.”

UNE: inquisitive – curiosity – recent scenes

“What are you lot doing down here?” the woman asks. “These ruins are off-limits to citizens.”

“I am a cleric of the Most High, and this is Gadroom, sorcerer adept of the Northern College,” Horatio says. “We are seeking out darkness where it hides to cleanse it. Surely even your Red Goddess would approve.”

Does this allay their concerns? +4: yes

The two soldiers begin to nod even before the woman says, “You don’t look like fingers of the Hand or death worshippers,” she admits. “But I would advise you to cease this trespassing. Not all agents of the Justice are as…accepting…as I am.”

With that, the three press past them and disappear into the darkness of the cave complex.

+NPC: Valencia, agent of the City of Spires

The party moves onward down the corridor, eventually coming to a set of jagged steps that eventually reaches a sharply sloping corridor that heads deeper into the earth. Hesitant to head any further below ground, the party decides to turn and return to the surface.

6 hours, 40 minutes have passed.

Leaving the Dungeon

Unwilling to push their luck any further, the party moves quickly back to the octagonal chamber where they found the tapestries (room 9), and then decides to push on through their exhaustion to reach the exit before their torch burns out.

They were fortunate enough to not encounter any enemies as they left, though they saw many signs of creatures’ passage along the way.

7 hours have passed in the dungeon.

Undercity - Session 7 - Map 3

Back in Town

Bookkeeping

Quite the haul this session, although it all came just as the party was ready to give up. The party spent 7 hours in the dungeon this delve, spread out over two sessions, bringing their total time spent in the Undercity to 14 hours, 30 minutes. Pretty impressive.

Treasure

The party recovered a small fortune in hard-to-move novelties that the kobolds so politely recovered for them. Examining their haul back in the tavern, the party finds that they have recovered:

14 copper pieces (which they immediately spend on a round for the table)
a fire opal worth 750 gp
two pieces of red coral scrimshaw worth 200 gp each
a cut jasper worth 50 gp
750 ancient gold-alloy coins worth 1 ep each

In total, they recovered treasure worth 1,575 gp. Each PC gets a full share (286 gp 3 sp 6 cp), the four men-at-arms split a share (71 gp 5 sp 9 cp), and the thief Lothar receives a half share (143 gp 1 sp 8 cp).

The men-at-arms’ and thief’s shares of the treasure add up to 430 gp, which the PCs must raise. They seek out a jeweler in town who has a buyer for the fine scrimshaw and is happy to give them 400 gp for the pair, but unfortunately can’t offer them more than 300 gp for the opal and jasper combined. They keep these for later sale.

Needing another 30 gp to cover their retainers’ wages, the party finds an old numismatist who is willing to give the party 1 gp for four of the old coins. Lothar insists that they’re being ripped off, but the party needs the cash and doesn’t expect that they’ll find much better returns elsewhere, so they agree to sell the man 200 of the 750 coins for 50 gp.

They distribute the 430 gp the retainers are owed, bid Lothar good luck in future endeavors, and split the remaining 20 gp between themselves.

Experience

The PCs came out relatively unscathed this session, but defeated (or scared off) 11 enemies of <1 HD (5 exp each).

15 exp – Skeleton Jackals
40 exp – Kobolds
55 exp/4 = 14 exp each

The PCs each receive 286+14 exp, yielding either 315 or 330 experience points depending on their ability bonuses.

Mythic

As you’ll see, the party decides to take a break from delving to seek out some employment in the healthier airs above ground after this, so I’m going to start running this as a Mythic adventure at least part of the time. As such, I’m going to start tracking threads and NPCs.

Threads: bounty on death-cultists in the City of Spires

NPCs: Lothar (thief), Valencia (agent of the City)

Updated Character Sheets

Thudok, Fighter 1 (773 exp). HP 9/9; AC 17 (plate + shield); Atk +1 (d6+1 sword); Purse: 157 gp 5 sp 5 cp, 275 alloy coins (137.5 gp); Inventory (7): sword, bedroll, waterskin, ration, hammer, spikes (4), 20′ rope

Horatio, Cleric 1 (810 exp). HP 8/8; AC 16 (band + shield); Atk +0 (d6 mace); Purse: 157 gp 5 sp 5 cp, fire opal (800 gp); Inventory (6): mace, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (4)Spell: Cure Light Wounds

Gadroom, Magic-User 1 (773 exp). HP 5/5; AC 10 (robes); Atk -1 (d6-1 dagger); Purse: 157 gp 5 sp 5 cp, 275 alloy coins (137.5 gp); Inventory (8): dagger, bedroll, waterskin, ration, flint, torches (3), spellbook, mapping equipment; Spells: Sleep*, Read Magic, Invisibility

Xevius, Thief 1 (773 exp). HP 7/7; AC 13 (leather + dex); Atk +1 (d6 daggers); Purse: 157 gp 5 sp 5 cp, cut jasper (50 gp); Inventory (8): Dagger, dagger, thieves’ tools, bedroll, waterskin, ration, 10′ pole, 20′ rope

Men-at-arms (4):
Guldor:
F0; HP 5/5; AC 15 (chain + shield); Atk d6 (club or lance); MV 30′; ML 9
Candim: F0; HP 5/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club or lance); MV 30′; ML 8
Huerl: F0; HP 4/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club); MV 30′; ML 8
Thoth: F0; HP 5/5; AC 13 (leather + shield); Atk d6 (club); MV 30′; ML 8

Tools and Affiliate Links

This is a solo game using Kabuki Kaiser’s Ruins of the Undercity dungeon generator.

I am using Labyrinth Lord and pieces of its Advanced Edition Companion as the rule system for this game (free, no-art versions are available on DTRPG, too). I am using Mythic Game Master Emulator and its Variations I and–most importantly–Variations II for my solo GM oracle.

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