Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arandish Campaign 2010 - Session 7

This week's session provided a fine example of how the PC party continues to work and function well together, and it also ended on a particularly exciting note that I cannot wait to tell you about.

The PCs -- Uncle Junkal (Bard-1), Innominus (Cleric-1), and Hazel (Fighter-1) -- began the session standing outside the charred remains of an office, whose undead occupants they torched last session.  They now searched the charred remains of the wight's desk, and by "searched" I mean Innominus beat the desk to splinters with a mace, then the PCs sifted through the rubble.  The desk -- every single drawer -- was full of bones, partial skeletal remains belonging to a wide array of animals and humanoid creatures.  After a round or two of careful searching though the bone-pile, Innominus found a rectangular ivory tile, roughly 3" x 2" and inscribed with a rune-like symbol vaguely resembling a humanoid-shaped skull.  Uncle Junkal, the party's bard, did not recognize the inscribed symbol as belonging to any particular known religion or cultural tradition.  Innominus pocketed the tile, believing it to be important or at least fairly unique.

Once they had sifted the rubble, the PCs noticed one more item leaning against the wall in a shadowy corner behind the now-destroyed desk: a small painting on a black velvet canvas.  The painting was abstract but grotesque, suggestive of demonic, multi-species sex acts and the like.  The PCs decided to remove the painting from its mounting frame so it could be rolled up for easy pilfering, but as soon as Hazel touched the painting, she vanished from the room!

This is where the PC cooperation piece kicks in: while Hazel calmly explored the small, exit-less room she had been teleported to, her two companions left behind in the office problem-solved how to get to her.  Uncle Junkal and Innominus knew they should not touch the painting themselves, but shortly discovered that if they threw an inanimate object at the painting, the object too would vanish upon touching the canvas.  So they wrote a note -- "grab the rope" I believe it was -- on a broken piece of the desk then thrust it "into" the painting.  They followed this with a rope cast "into" the painting, which Hazel grabbed and was pulled back out into the wight's office.  Victory!

In the exit-less room she had visited, Hazel had found two rotting corpses, one of which she looted, obtaining a nice suit of dwarf-sized chain mail, a scroll of ward against undead, and a New Steel hand axe!

The party ventured to one more wing of the underground complex, encountering and killing six skeletons (Innominus turned them), and subsequently finding another teleportation trap in the form of an immense bas relief.  After looting the corpses imprisoned in the other side of that trap, the group decided they had had enough of mucking about in an undead dungeon; they unanimously voted to head back to the surface and make their way to a larger city / trade center where they could offload some of their recent plunder and buy some much-needed equipment (and possibly magic items).  Uncle Junkal also looked forward to returning to civilization so that he might make some money performing his juggling act in the streets.

So the PCs left the dungeon, returned to Vedik, left Larry the farmer some money, and let two of their Vedik hirelings go.  Two other hirelings, Snikrop and No-name, expressed a desire to accompany the party on their further adventures, and No-name became a follower of Innominus' while Snikrop (already a de facto level 1 fighter) apprenticed himself to Hazel.  Talen, the low-level magic user the PCs found underneath the idol last session, also traveled east with the party since he is ultimately headed to Delzar, his homeland. 

The party headed eastward, out of the Noffel / Western Lands frontier area, over the Freystone Pass, and onto the well-traveled Endyn Trade Route, which would take them to the Free City of Kaladar.  After a couple minor random encounters on the road -- a small caravan of goblins fleeing hobgoblin threats in the northeast, a group of eight skeletons easily turned by Innominus -- the session ended with the PCs booked into a modest inn in Kaladar, the largest single city in Ara and the entire continent's commercial center.  Anything can be bought, sold, or traded here, and so the PCs got right to work fencing their loot and buying new supplies.  We will pick up with their Kaladarian city adventures -- and whatever the hell comes next -- in forthcoming reports . . .

DM thoughts: Well, the PCs are finally loose in Ara, and who the hell knows where they will head next?  Frankly, I don't care.  I am eager to see how the players and I will sort this thing out improvisationally as we go along, now that they're outside the confines of the dungeon and loose in the biggest trade center in the known world.  ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, and we will figure it out spontaneously together, and that is one of the most fun and exhilarating aspects of this particular hobby -- so I am really relishing the possibilities right now.  Great session!


  1. How's the Brave Halfling Bard working out? I'm thinking ponying up the whopping .75 cents or so, just in case a player really wants to play one.

  2. I like it a lot. I also highly recommend BH's Delving Deeper: Ranger if you don't have that already. Worth the price!