Part 4: Chapter 9: Mantua Was Right!
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February 22, 2020 session notes: Canton venue. Full table except for James.
February 22, 2020 session notes: Canton venue. Full table except for James.
5TH OF REAPING 595CY: AFTERNOON - 7+ HOURS BENEATH THE TOWER OF MAGIC
GOLEM FORGE BATTLE
- Hans opens the secret door he just found in the corridor west of the Map Room. Warm greets him and he sees the glow of dancing fire coming around a corner heading south. The rogue waits for the rest of the party to join him and then makes an "after you" gesture to Hawkeye as he steps aside.
- Dr. Vahrn asks everyone to stay put a moment as he links them all again with his last message spell of the day.
- Hawk nocks an arrow and slinks ahead. At the corner he can see that there is a large chamber to the south with two fiery forges light the area. Tools and pieces of oversized iron armor lay about on several heavy work tables. The forges randomly belch gouts of flame in the areas around them.
- Hawk moves closer to see if he can find whomever closed the secret door moments ago. Hans and Mordecai follows nearby. The whole party enters the secret passage by this time. Taking up the rear, Derek closes the door behind him.
- As Hawkeye enters further into the room, he sees that a third forge is around the corner to his right, but before he can step out into the main area, four verbeeg giants pop out of the shadows and up from behind some tables. They wield morning stars and three throw javelins at the ranger. He dodges two but is grazed by the third. The fourth verbeeg moves past Hawk before he can react and heads straight for Hans. The rogue is ready for the charge and flings a dagger but the giant swats it out of the air before swinging his morning star. Hans dodges. Two more verbeeg move and flank Hawkeye.
- Battle begins. Unable to fire his bow while threatened, Hawkeye tries to twist out of the way and dash to point blank range in the middle of the room. The giants swat at him as he disengages and one thumps him well. As Hawk clear the melee and readies to turn and fire, an arrow whizzes past his head. A well dressed humanoid military commander in full plate armor is cursing and nocking a new arrow. He is standing above the room on a small landing at the top of stairs. He has good cover behind a short wall at the head of the stairs. An open door behind him leads to a well-lit room.
- Seeing he will be exposed to the commander's field of fire if he remains in the middle of the room, Hawk retreats around the corner and back through the gauntlet of giants. This time he is able to dodge all of their opportunity attacks and reaches Hans's side.
- Unable to risk launching more potent area attack spells through the line of allies before him, Matthias pulls his hand crossbow and fires a volley of magic missiles into the closest giant, dotting him with bloody welts.
- Mordecai yells to everyone to stand back as he raises the Horn of Blasting to his lips. An unbelievably loud sonic attack ripples forth and concusses all the verbeeg they can see. Three of the six creatures were unable to block their ears in time to avoid temporary deafness.
- The verbeeg reposition and one attacks Hawk but its swing is clumsy and easily parried.
- Back in the passage, Derek hears a click and suddenly he is burned by a ray of fire. Derek's magic sword yanks the northman's arm over his head at the last moment to block a huge red fist from smashing him on the head. He whirls and faces a towering red-skinned giant with two small golden horn upon his brow. The creature's skin smolders and smokes. "Fire Giant!" He calls ahead while counter attacking. The giant is too large to duck or dodge while in the hallway, so Derek easily stabs him, eliciting a throaty roar of pain and anger.
- Dr. Vahrn pokes his head around the corner and says, "Not a Fire Giant. That's an Efreet, an evil Djinni. Very dangerous!" As he says this, the doctor gambles with a charm monster spell, but its will is too powerful to fall for this enchantment.
- At the other end of the battle, the verbeeg reposition and exchange blows. One who can still hear moves out of sight toward his commander. The party repositions as well, and Mathias is finally able to unleash a substantial spell. His cone of cold flashes out, freezing all the giants they can still see. The magical forge fires caught in the blast, flicker and go out briefly before roaring back to life.
- Meanwhile, the Efreet tries to conjure a spell, but his inability to move out of Derek's reach while casting proves to be a strategic blunder. Derek sees the opening and runs his blade to the hilt into the elemental's heart. The Efreet vanishes in a cloud of black smoke after slumping to the floor—a sign that it was a summoned servant rather than one here of its own volition.
- With the path now open, Mordecai dashes ahead through the field of frozen verbeeg and readies with Norebo's Hand to send an arrow at the commander. When he breaks cover, he sees the remaining verbeeg at the foot of the stairs and the commander still manning his perch. Mordecai fires, but the arrow ricochets off the villain's plate armor. The commander smirks and draws and looses two arrows in return. The first sinks into Mordecai's side dangerously close to his gut. The bard swats away a second arrow and notices with pained fascination that some magical effect has also frozen the flesh around the wound. Leering, the verbeeg charges, but the bard still has enough spring in his step to dodge the blow. Hawk and Derek both break cover and come to his aid. The verbeeg quickly finds himself out flanked.
- Odahl moves up and calls from cover nearby to Mordecai to come get healing. Mordecai obliges him and soon the worst of the terrible wound is a memory.
- Mathias moves in, barely avoiding the wildly unpredictable forge fires in order to take position behind a large table. He casts lightning bolt through the verbeeg and into the commander. The giant jerks uncontrollably for a moment and drops in a smoking heap. The commander is blasted back but still stands.
- Mordecai breaks cover again and summons a celestial black bear in the room behind the commander, blocking his escape route. The bear roars and tries to maul its master's enemy but can't find a weak spot in his thick armor. Miraculously, the commander is off balance and unable to hit the celestial either.
- Derek charges to the stair and begins to climb. Hawk fires a blur of arrows at the commander but only one lands home. Mordecai does the same. Mathias's follows all with another cluster of magic missiles that ring like bells when they slam into the armor. The commander becomes desperate to get by the bear, but still can't land a blow.
- Odahl receives a message from Matthias asking if we want a prisoner, so he asks Hawk. The ranger says, "Take him out."
- Derek kills him with one blow.
LOOTING THE FORGE AREA
- Hans emerges from the secret passage, carrying Hawk's sword and Mathias's ranseur, both dropped during the final push to take the room.
- The bear lopes up to Mordecai who gives him a hearty scratch behind the ears before releasing the beast back to its plane. Hawkeye shakes the bard's hand, saying "Your bear strategy made the difference here, my friend. Well played."
- The room the commander was trying to get back into was his living quarters. The room is lit by a beautiful chandelier blazing with several continual flame spells. The commander had many creature comforts and furnishings to investigate, but of immediate interest is a clutch of parchment and dry pens on a table by his canopied bed.
- Hawkeye notices another door in the corner of the forge room is has been left ajar. He and Derek investigate and see a strange chamber beyond. It is a wide corridor with four double rows of light blue pillars. They are all carved to look like bug-eyed wizards with pursed lips. The floor of the room gradually slopes down from all sides to form a shallow bowl in the center of the room. The bowl is about 2 feet below floor level. "This looks trappy," Hawkeye thinks to himself before calling Mathias over to read the rooms auras.
- Hans has meanwhile begun a meticulous looting of the bedroom. When he finishes, he has a thorough list of the commander's.
- Nice full plate
- Nice heavy shield
- Nice longsword
- Magic frost composite longbow (+2 Str)
- Enough arrows to replenish what you shot
- 6 nice morningstars (verbeeg)
- 3 nice sets of smithing tools (worth 10 gp each) ////
- 4 silk blankets (100gp each)
- Chandelier w/Continual Flame lights (2,000 gp, 30 lbs, 35 cubic feet)
- 6 fine tabards w/Iuz insignia (50 gp each
- 2 noble's outfits w/Iuz insignia (75 gp and 10 lbs each)
- Exquisite royal outfit w/Iuz insignia (350 gp, 20 lbs)
- A stack of parchment detailing varied ways to target Greyhawk City with a land attack.
- Hans' plan to somehow pack the chandelier is met with surprise and some mild arguing. Before he realized the chandelier was worth less than he expected, Dr. Vahrn offered to use a scroll from his personal collection that would make the chandelier portable. He says that he'll cast the spell with the understanding that the expense to him will be repaid (he has yet to learn this spell and put it in his books, so would need to purchase it anew). This raises Hans ire and an argument regarding sacrifice and treasure division begins. The point becomes moot when a few minutes later, Mordecai somehow fits the chandelier into his bag of holding.
- Matthias takes a closer look at the commander's papers.
- The commander apparently was planning various ways to attack Greyhawk based on weather and other conditions. Whether this was a mental exercise to pass the time or official strategy is unclear.
- The commander hated living in dungeons and did his best to make himself comfortable by salvaging furnishings from the Tower of War. How they got from one tower to the other is unknown.
THE ROOM OF SLEEPING MISTS
- When Hans has finally seen to the treasure's packing and reported all his findings to the party, Hawk asks him to check the pillar room for mundane traps. Matthias was unable to detect any magical auras of note. Odahl was able to see a large cavern beyond the exit to the room.
- After peering around the entrance and floor, Hans asks that Mordecai join him and they close the door to allow their darkvision to spot anything relying on shadows to hide. They are not there long before Hans feels a toxin trying to knock him unconscious. He holds his breath and shakes it off, but Mordecai is less fortunate and collapses in a heap. Hans opens the door and calls for help and, amidst a flurry of questions from the group, the bard is dragged back into the forge room. Dr. Vahrn checks and finds him slumbering heavily from some unknown toxin. Unable to tell how long the toxin may keep him asleep, Dr. Vahrn tells Hawkeye he has a scroll that should revive him. Hawk tells him to proceed and the doctor produces a roll of velum and chants its contents while kneeling by Mordecai. The bard rouses immediately. "You will be immune to toxins for a little more than an hour now, Mordecai," Odahl explains.
- Immediately seeing the advantage this creates, Hawkeye tells the bard to scout through the sleep poison room to see if he can set off any remaining poison gas traps. After being secured with a long rope in case of emergency, Mordecai sneaks through the room and beyond the exit. Below him is an immense cavernous area. "Gentlemen," Mordecai messages back for Dr. Vahrn to relate, "The room is huge and pocked with large holes. There are wagons of boulders...the sort a giant or a catapult might use. And in the middle is a large, glowing magical portal."
- "Gods!" Hawkeye whispers, "Mantua was right!"
...to be continued...
- The verbeeg were able to move and attack during the Surprise round, but did not appear to be hasted. Strange!
- Hawkeye took a continual flame crystal from the chandelier before it was packed.