FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 510

  • Humal (level 9 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 9 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 9 elf rogue/ranger)

The party pursued the maybe fleeing Bozal-Worm, retracing their path back to the Coenoby. They were delayed by a pair of Kyuss zombies that Bozal-Worm had deposited in the first flooded chamber, and by the time they caught up the Coenoby guards had been transformed into more Kyuss zombies.

Humal used his magic to conceal Sumia from sight, allowing her to easily slip past them. She found Bozal-Worm for some reason attempting to unsuccessfully wriggle his way into one of the gladiator bedchambers. Sumia returned to Corzale and Humal, and after informing them as to what she had seen they—with the help of Humal's magic and chameleon cloaks—took turns sneaking by the zombies.

By that time Bozal-Worm had withdrawn from the room, dragging two unconscious figures along with long tentacles. One was an elven woman that they'd only seen a few times during their stay, the other a male human that they knew to be the eponymous leader of Auric's Warband. Bozal-Worm slurped up the elven woman, but before he could do the same to Auric, Corzale charged in and struck the tentacle: her maul's radiant light reduced it to ash, and Auric's barely conscious form fell to the ground in a heap.

Countless thin, razor-sharp filaments exploded from Bozal-Worm's body as he bellowed with rage. They flailed wildly about, slicing everything they touched. To make matters worse, the Kyuss zombies also rushed to their progenitor's aid.

While the party busied themselves trying to destroy the Kyuss zombies, Bozal-Worm scooped up Auric in his mouth. Sumia suddenly heard Filge's voice in her mind urging her to save him; without hesitation she scrambled up Bozal-Worm's back and began sawing through what she hoped was his throat. Corzale rushed in underneath Bozal-Worm, hoping to make it harder for the filaments to harm her, and struck at its underside. This exposed Auric, and Sumia shouted at Humal to rescue him.

Humal commanded his chimera skeleton to haul Auric out of Bozal-Worm's gullet and carry him beyond the range of the filaments. Bozal-Worm barely managed to gurgle out a protestation before Humal's cockatrice skeleton tore it apart, causing it to melt into a heap of necrotic filth. Corzale was the first to burst forth, screaming in agony and desperately trying to heal herself.

Auric didn't seem to be breathing, but before Sumia could try administering a healing potion a Kyuss-zombie-formerly-known-as-the-mysterious-elven-woman emerged from the filth and dashed towards Auric, dagger in hand. They weren't sure why Bozal wanted Auric dead so badly, but that was enough to tell them that they needed to keep him alive: Corzale blasted her with divine light, Sumia stabbed her with the cursed dagger, and Humal's cockatrice skeleton unceremoniously crushed her underneath its massive talons.

Sumia proceeded to administer the potion, which instantly healed Auric's wounds. Once revived he was understandably confused and frightened. He ignored the characters' questions and explanations as he scrambled about looking for a weapon, but was eventually cornered by Humal's undead minions when he retreated to his team's chamber.

They tried to explain that the massive green worm was Raknian's doing, but he refused to believe them: as a regular at the Champion's Games he'd known Raknian for years, while the characters were both strangers and his opposition. To speed things up Humal charmed him, and while he became far more amicable maintained that the worm-creature must have been an attraction that simply somehow escaped from the monster pens.

With at least a few guards dead and Raknian's plans presumably foiled, the party opted to slip out of the arena after nightfall, bringing Auric with them just in case. The safest place they could think of was the hopefully still vacant lair of the thulid transmuter; they decided to hole up there for a few days to recover, and give Humal a chance to brew up some doppelgangers.

Auric delivered a message to Ekaym on their behalf, informing him that they were still alive, that Raknian had murdered his sister, and had intended to use a massive undead worm-creature to do something that also involved Auric for some reason. Having miraculously escaped the disastrous event unscathed, Sumia snuck out a few times, and while observing the arena and Raknian's home learned that he had mysteriously vanished.

Design Notes
It was nice seeing that the PCs were able to fight Bozal-Worm's undead throng last session, and then keep up the chase without having to rest. Didn't get a chance to see how the wizard's partial mana recovery worked out (it's now 1 mana point per level, per 10 minute period of rest), but Humal had enough to do what he needed to do anyway so I guess that's good.

I'd intended to have the Filge-mind-crystal speak to Sumia earlier (the one she found back in The Hall of Harsh Reflections), but I kind of kept forgetting about it. He's convinced her to implant it in one of the doppelganger's Humal is cooking up, so assuming he's on their team looks like they'll have more necromancy magic at their disposal.

This mostly marks the end of The Champion's Belt: we're just one adventure away from where the original 3rd Edition campaign left off!

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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