Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms Side Trek, Part 1

Cast
  • Humal (level 15 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 15 dwarf war cleric/druid)
  • Sumia (level 15 elf rogue/ranger/wizard)

Session Highlights
On the way out of Kyuss's ziggurat, the party frees the skeleton of a gold dragon entombed in the walls. He introduces himself as Arouxluverdand: apparently he was the same gold dragon that carried Grymnir, the previous wielder of Corzale's shiny new holy hammer, into battle against Kyuss.

Luckily Aroux's remains are impervious to the worms (otherwise they'd be dealing with a hostile undead dragon), and even better he can merge with Corzale's hammer: apparently they were both born from the bones of Bel-Amaranth. By expending a bit of divine power, Corzale would be able to temporarily call him forth.

They exit the ziggurat just before it collapses. Xan'tchack swaps eyes with Sumia before leaving (this helps justify her gaining access to the Arcane Eye talent, later), but Rachmiel has nowhere to go: he wants to kill Kyuss, and since they also want to kill Kyuss figures he might as well stick around.

It's about this time that the charm affecting Corzale wears off: realizing what happened, she beats Humal nearly to death and flees into the jungle. The party gives her a good half hour before trying to find her, but she summons Aroux and flies away. Now idea where, but figuring Sumia can use divination to track her down later, Sumia guides them through the Rootways back to Magepoint.

While telling Manzorian Mark II what they learned, they're interrupted by a visitor looking for Humal: it's Ashtoreth, one of his siblings (a lustful seraphim) two mothers removed. She delivers a message from his brother Zeech, who is holding a party now that he's finished conquering the northern region and wants Humal to attend. If he happens to have any companions he wants to bring, they're of course welcome to tag along.

Humal rightfully suspects something is up, yet still wants to go, but they need to find Corzale first. Luckily Manzorian Mark II also has access to accurate and expedient divination magic, though charges them the cost of materials. While he performs the ritual, Humal and Sumia visit the eldritch trader in the bowels of the city. Humal is able to pay off his debt, but Sumia still has a few favors to go.

The party return to Manzorian's tower and he provides them with the coordinates to a dwarven village only a few days north: they head up there, sans the pair of dwarven templar as they've completed their task, and thanks to Sumia's speedy shortcut get there just after Corzale lands. A well-armed party of locals is heading to what turns out to be Corzale's ancestral home, as they've never seen a gold dragon before; the party tags along after Humal convinces them that they are in fact Corzale's friends.

Corzale's parents are home: they explain that the dragon had something to do with their daughter and some holy miracle, and since the paladin leading them cannot detect any evil the militia disperses. Corzale doesn't want to speak with either Humal or Sumia, but her father secretly ushers Humal inside in hopes of seeing if his magic can be applied...lucratively. While speaking with him, Humal learns that Corzale is in fact the wife of the local lord, Garmrtir, but she didn't want to stick around and decided to embark on a mission to deal with all the undead cropping up.

Humal decides to pay Garmrtir a visit, leaving Sumia to keep tabs on Corzale, and learns that he's taken on a mistress of sorts. She's also a dwarf, but takes great pains to dress and act human-like for some reason. Garmrtir is very brief and gruff, even for a dwarf, so Humal doesn't get much information out of him before leaving. It's now dark, so he lights his way using a giant demonic illusion.

At the same time Corzale's on the road going the opposite direction: she spots his infernal light show, and knowing that its Humal ducks into a cornfield to say out of sight until he passes by. Sumia is shadowing her, and does the same, not wanting to risk revealing herself by speaking with Humal.

Corzale's route takes her through the keep's outer wall. She has no problem getting past the guards, seeing as they recognize her and she's got a holy symbol and all, but it's late and Sumia's a new face with a bunch of eyeballs (even after the exchange she's got five more than usual), so she ends up flying over. Sumia then spots Corzale heading into the village's temple of Bel-Amaranth, which prompts a change in her stalking-strategy: she ends up stealing a priest's robe and doing her best to stay out of sight.

Corzale's destination is at the very bottom of the temple, several stories underground. It's here that her sister Iberan, along with the handful of other members of the church's Order of Roots, resides. Sumia eavesdrops on the conversation, confirming what everyone already knew, that Corzale is very angry with Humal, but she also learns that Iberan is apparently more...flexible when it comes to magic and the undead.

Moreso Iberan understands why Humal did what he did, and accuses Corzale of being far too rigid in her beliefs and, given what their order researches and partakes in, more than a bit hypocritical. Iberan even confesses that were she in Humal's position she would have probably done the same. This is already enough to frustrate Corzale, but then Iberan asks if Humal is in the village, because she wants to speak with him.

Corzale reluctantly admits that he is but is adamant against speaking to him at all, for any reason, so Sumia reveals herself and says that she'll go get him. Iberan is delighted at the prospect of meeting him, further angering Corzale, and gives Sumia a kind of temple pass so that she can get past the guards without any trouble. Or having to incapacitate or deceive them.

Corzale waits in another part of the temple, slipping out to visit her husband once she hears Humal speaking. Humal compares notes and exchanges information with Iberan: he learns very little that he didn't already know, but is perhaps more disappointed when Iberan is uanble to offer any advice on how to mollify Corzale. Humal and Sumia leave, and on their way back to Corzale's house they actually overhear her arguing with her hubsand: apparently she wants plate armor, and she wants it now.

Garmrtir of course is having none of her shit, especially this late at night, and tells her that either they will talk tomorrow, or they won't talk at all. Now even angrier than before, she begins storming back home, with Humal and Sumia following at a distance. They don't get far before a shadow passes over the moon, and the wind picks up in long, rhythmic gusts. A massive, dark shape descends on the roof of the keep, causing it to buckle and break.

The moonlight does little to illuminate the creature: all they can see are two glowing, green eyes. For a few long moments it simply sits there, watching them, seemingly reveling in their confusion that gives way to dread. Though they can't make out any details, they recall all-too-well this particular flavor of overwhelming fear.

The dragon had found them. The same dragon that had promised to forestall their destruction until it found the one responsible for destroying her worm-egg. The same dragon that they had barely managed to flee from after rescuing Allustan. Not only had it finally tracked them down, it was just the three of them, Sumia didn't have her owlbear, and Corzale was completely unarmed and unarmored.

Announcements
You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

If you want more adventures, we just released Escape From the Flesh Catacombs: a bunch of 0-level characters need to escape from the catacomb-lair of a gorgon that was slain, causing everything she's petrified to revert to flesh and rise as undead.

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

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!

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).

5 comments:

  1. Okay, You're killing me here. I have read the entire Age of Worms story and I can't believe it just stopped here. What a fantastic running of this adventure path. It sounds like you have some great players. I really appreciate the design notes you have been doing. It is really cool to be able see the how and why of what another GM is doing behind the screen. Thanks for sticking with this. I hope you and your group gets to finish the whole thing.

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    Replies
    1. @Eric,

      Wow. Honestly wasn’t sure how many if anyone gave two shits about these reports. It was mostly a way to keep a record of what we’ve been doing, and also share design stuff and little odd things I came up with as we went (like how I’d do doppelgangers and mimics, and putting the tomb on the plane of air).

      I’m really sorry for the lack of reports: I have at least one more to post (along with about a half dozen other blog posts). We’ve just been super busy with other things. Another thing is that shit happened so we missed about a month (we alternate between this and Godbound), and Humal’s player needed a break until sometime next month.

      So hopefully then we’ll get back to it! I really want to finally wrap up this adventure path after starting and stopping it about a dozen times before. :-P

      Is there anything else in particular you’d also like to hear from us?

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  2. Whoops! Forgot to hit notify...

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  3. Yeah, the holidays can be hard on keeping a game going. As for anything in particular, I just hope you have a chance to finish this campaign and post about how you change it and how it plays out. I did go ahead and purchase Dungeons and Delvers Black Book and I'm enjoying reading through all the material. Is Red Book intended to be an expansion or a replacement?

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    Replies
    1. @Eric,

      Fingers crossed! Haven't heard any worse news from Humal's player. If this campaign does peter out, I can always try again: 13th time's a charm? Maybe?

      And glad you're dicking Black Book! I guess Red Book isn't intended to be a replacement, exactly. Like, Black Book is the Easy to Master D&D black box, and Red Book would be more like Rules Cyclopedia.

      Both work, and you can stick with Black Book if you like the lower soft-level cap and simpler choices. I think it would also be great for younger/first time gamers, or people new to a d20 game.

      But for the Red Book KS we're trying to find a way to make it fairly simple for BB buyers to get in at a lower pledge level (which might just involve giving us your DT email address so we can confirm), but also send out discount links via DriveThru so you don't have to pay full price.

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