Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms, Episode 607

  • Humal (level 10 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 10 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 10 elf rogue/ranger)

Session Highlights
After Humal animates a few harpy skeletons, the party explores a bit of the tomb's surface. There's a bunch of holes, each a uniform diameter of about five feet across, but all but one looks the same: the edge of the odd-one-out is encrusted with a strange fungus that even Corzale can't identify.

Sumia peers into a few, and notices that they expand into tunnels about 10 feet in diameter a few feet in. Otherwise they all look the same, so she randomly picks on and hops in. She follows the winding tunnel, periodically scanning the area for magic. About a hundred feet in she notices what looks like thin, curved lines of magic energy spinning about towards her.

She shifts back to her normal sight (since Detect Magic only lets you see magical energies) just before a boulder smashes into her. Well, to be more accurate it was a roughly spherical object composed of numerous gnomes mashed together and bound by enchanted chains, which is what she was seeing via Detect Magic.

Cut off from her friends and, since the gnome-boulder takes up most of the tunnel's space, what she assumes is her only escape route, Sumia picks herself up and starts running the other way. Corzale manages to entangle the gnome-boulder, and they blast it a bit before it manages to tear free and retreat into the tunnels.

Unfortunately it retreats towards Sumia, and sensing her movement it begins chasing her. Luckily Sumia manages to get to a four-way intersection, diving out of the way at the last second so that the gnome-boulder rolls past.

Obviously not wanting to follow the gnome-boulder, but also not wanting to go back the way she came because she believes it will definitely catch up to her, Sumia keeps running down the passage she ducked into. Eventually, to the rest of the party's surprise, she makes it back to the surface: they all reasonably assumed she had been crushed.

They try luring the gnome-boulder back with one of Humal's solid illusions, but thanks to Sumia's magic senses realize that it's at least smart enough to realize what they're trying to do, and is waiting for them around a corner and out of sight to venture in further.

Sumia carefully, slowly guides Corzale towards the other entrance and through the tunnels, and when she can sense the gnome-boulder sparks up a torch. This allows Corzale to see it and conjure a wall of wood, giving them about 50-feet of wall and preventing the gnome-boulder from going anywhere else. So now it's basically shooting a boulder made of gnomes in a narrow tunnel, as the party hangs back and blasts the thing with assorted ranged attacks until it just kind of falls apart.

Hoping that there aren't more of the things, the entire party files into the tunnel and proceeds to explore the place. After a few hours they realize that the only place they can't get to is a room that is barred with adamantine bars (they also didn't find more of the fungus, which they take to be a good sign). There isn't an obvious way to open it, so Corzale uses her rusting gauntlet: it doesn't destroy as much as expected, but it's still enough for them to squeeze through.

The room contains a few floating silver lanterns, a primitive shrine, and a floating white marble sarcophagus with a Wind Duke carved into the top. There's a square indentation in its chest, and its hands are carved such that it would appear to be holding whatever is placed there...like the metal seal they obtained from Humal's siblings.

Nothing seems to be in the room, and Humal and Sumia can't sense any magical traps: Humal places the seal in the indentation. It clicks in place, and a seam appears all around the sarcophagus near the top, forming a lid. Corzale expects some sort of undead creature, but pushes the lid off anyway because the rod fragment is probably inside: as anticipated a swirling cloud of bone dust bursts forth and forms into a roughly humanoid shape.

What no one expects is for it to begin speaking to them. It introduces itself as Icosiel, and immediately recognizes Corzale's holy symbol. They talk about Kyuss and the Worm Wars for a bit, and it gives them the rod fragment, as well as a magic ring and a pair of magic swords. As a reward for Corzale's bravery, and knowing that the dwarves fear heights, it grants her permanent flight while within the Plane of Air, as well as protection from falling when she returns home.

Now they just gotta get home; unfortunately Humal's siblings are standing between them and the portal.

Design Notes
That pretty much wraps up A Gathering of Winds. Next up: The Spire of Long Shadows (which is where the original campaign left off, holy shit I get to finally run the damned thing)!

Wasn't sure how the party would handle the gnome-boulder, but two ways I thought of were that they could make noise to trick it, or even get to an intersection and dive out of the way: it takes a bit for it to slow down and pick up speed, so that would have made it easier for them to try and pin it down and hack it apart.

The fungus hole contained pods that would turn you incorporeal for a few rounds if you inhaled the spores (which would also have gotten them through the adamantine bars), but unfortunately the party assumed it was really bad and just ignored it the entire time. Since fungus is almost always bad a safe assumption.

Besides changing the tomb and guardians, I also changed the loot:

  • The rod fragment completely restores all lost WP and VP, plus you recover from all lingering injuries, poison, disease, and other things like broken limbs (this is pretty much how the heal spell works in 3rd Edition). Not sure how I want to do the duration. I don't like once-per-day stuff, so but maybe a random amount of hours? This way it would at least be unpredictable.
  • One arming sword deals lightning damage (ignores the DR of metal armor) and grants the Lightning Bolt talent. Anyone can use it, but you gotta pay the Drain cost so if you're a fighter that means you're going to be burning through your VP and maybe WP right away.
  • The other arming sword is a light weapon (so you can use Dexterity for attack and damage rolls), has the +1 Initiative trait, and grants access to the Fly talent (as with the other sword you gotta pay Drain costs each time).
  • The ring grants the wearer access to the Charm Monster and Lightning Bolt talents, with a few changes; the former only works against air critters, and the latter causes the wearer to appear where the lightning bolt ends. In either cases you of course have to pay the Drain cost.

As a kind of boon I had Icosiel grant Corzale unlimited flight in the plane of air, but on the Material Plane she has constant feather fall active, and can spend 1 Favor to fly for 1 round per cleric level.

That's the other big thing I changed: the party gets to speak with Icosiel and learn more about what's going on. This includes the location of the Spire of Long Shadows, so they can figure out where it is themselves (instead of just having Eligos tell them where to go next).

It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, 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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