Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms Episode 803 Highlights

  • Humal (level 16 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 16 dwarf war cleric/druid)
  • Sumia (level 16 elf rogue/ranger/wizard)

Session Highlights
En route to the graveyard the party is confronted by an angel named Araqiel. Granted he's of the relatively mundane, winged-humanoid variety, but still an angel nonetheless.

He brandishes a holy sword without an ounce of confidence and only a modicum of talent. He is obviously afraid, shaking and stammering out an introduction before demanding that Humal surrenders to him. Corzale tries talking him down, learning that he has been sent by an archangel named Michael.

When it's clear that, despite his fear, he won't back down, Corzale swats his sword out of his hand using her hammer. This causes him to flee, or rather attempt to: Humal binds him in illusionary chains, and he plummets out of the sky about a block away. They have no trouble catching him, not just because of the chains but because the fall also killed him: good thing the party was already heading to the graveyard.

They arrive without further incident, and while looking around Humal and Sumia notice magical energies coursing underground. They find what they believe is the source, but the entrance is concealed by a massive stone plate, impossible for them to lift. While trying to think of a way in, Sumia notices someone watching them: Humal turns her invisible, and she manages to sneak up on the observer.

It looks to be nothing more than an elven woman, wearing relatively plain clothing. Figuring that she's a spy sent by Zeech or someone else that they've inadvertently inconvenienced or provoked in the past, Sumia attempts to restrain her: the elf's frame belies her strength, and she easily frees herself and flings Sumia across the clearing and onto the stone plate.

Humal gives diplomacy a try, and they learn that she's actually a dragon named Tallis, specifically one of Ilthane's daughters. Humal initially believes she's there to get revenge, but once he reveals that they slew her mother he is surprised to find that Tallis is absolutely elated: turns out she's there to loot Ilthane's lair, but there's a bunch of Kyuss mummies lurking inside a pool of acid, and they've already picked off one of her sisters.

Given that Kyuss undead are involved, that means there's now a Kyuss zombified dragon.

Tallis states that she is immune to the acid, so in exchange for their assistance she's willing to carry them. Even better she only wants a portion of the coin and gems: she has no interest in whatever else might be down there. The party agrees, Tallis strips down before transforming into a dragon and sliding the stone plate aside. The entrance is essentially a long shaft, easy for a dragon to traverse: the party arranges themselves across Tallis's back, and she begins a slow descent some two-hundred feet underground.

Ilthaine's lair is a single, large chamber. Narrow platforms run along the edge of most walls, just above the pool of acid, providing safe access to a number of alcoves, like carved by claw. Smashed alchemical equipment and ruined books, scrolls, and other instruments are scattered about: at a distance Humal is unable to discern if any are legible or usable. Numerous lead rods are embedded in the walls and ceiling, forming a grid-like pattern: Tallis explains that they are used to disrupt divination magic.

Tallis warns them to prepare themselves before dropping into the acid. She's tall enough that, so long as they remain on her back they'll avoid contact with it, but moments after landing a dozen Kyuss mummies burst forth, wielding replicas of the executioner mace that Humal observed Kyuss wielding in his dream back in Kuluth-Mar.

The draconic Kyuss zombie emerges moments later: their weight makes it difficult for Tallis to fight, and trying to hang on to Tallis makes it difficult for them to defend themselves against the mummies. Luckily they can all fly, albeit for a severely limited duration, so they each bound to a separate platform along the chamber's edge. Corzale's divine powers and Sumia's silver arrows are ideal for tackling undead, while Humal resorts to his wall of fire since it seems to work on most anything.

After destroying the mummies they assist Tallis in overcoming her sister, partially to prevent her from succumbing to her wounds and forcing them to deal with another undead dragon, partially to ingratiate themselves to her, possibly avoiding a presumed betrayal at her claws. Tallis doesn't seem to care about her dead sister; while Humal examines the scattered equipment and materials, she scales one of the walls and extracts a few adamantine chests.

She leaves one to the party, even going so far as to carry them out before flying off with her own chest coiled within her tail, seemingly unconcerned whether anyone within Alhaster happens to spot her departure. The party checks their chest:it's filled with tens of thousands of coins, a mithril shield of elven make, and several mysterious adamantine vials, one wrapped in a silver mesh.

Before they left Humal also picked up a collection of carefully wrapped bones. They're covered in elven and draconic writing, and he realizes that when assembled into different types of skeletons they reveal different alchemical recipes. Looks like Humal is going to need to set aside a considerable amount of time, both to discover what the vials do, as well as each of the recipes inscribed on the bones.

Design & Development
First off, the Red Book Kickstarter should be good to go this week, next week at the latest. We got Chris S on board as an editor and proofreader, who has helped immensely with design and art in the past, mostly with our Dungeon World stuff.

As for changing this part of the adventure, hooboy...

Basically the party is supposed to show up to the graveyard after finding Ilthane's name in a journal in another dungeon, or by hearing a random rumor on the street that "a dragon living under the traitor's graves got killed". This is because Ilthane is "supposed" to be killed in A Gathering of Winds, though how townsfolk are aware of an event that no one was present for, and that occured hundreds of miles away is anyone's guess.

Also, why didn't everyone go loot her lair a long time ago? Why didn't Zeech do anything about this?

Aaanyway, the players are supposed to go there, fight a nicely balanced encounter consisting of four juvenile black dragons, and then go into Ilthane's lair to fight an acidwraith, which was created when the four black dragons bickered, knocked some alchemical crap around, and the soul of a marid genie somehow animated the whole mess.

I don't really plan things out in a set way, so the party could have fought Tallis or even scared her off, but they just happened to roleplay well and get her to help out, which made the fight against the Kyuss mummies and dragon way easier. I didn't even consider that as a factor, really: they just talked to her and then I realized oh, shit, she's immune to acid.

Next session is Zeech's party (the group is skipping investigating the Ebon Triad lair pointed out by the undead dwarf cleric in a previous session, for now), which I changed up quite a bit because man oh man does it sounds really fucking boring and random in a "just roll a die to see who wins contests" sort of way.

Oh yeah: Kelly, the player of Corzale, apparently really likes the excavation rules in Black Book. He's been hoping to use them for a few sessions, now, but there always ends up being no reason to, or an easier way. I'll have to try and keep that in mind.

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.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

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).

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