Monday, October 29, 2012

It Continues... Again! Part III

Descending again into the source of our riches, we began hunting down the so-called goblin king who had set up shop in my Dwarven ancestors' home.  Following the directions of our fourth NPC caster, we eventually wound up in front of a sturdy, finely made wooden door.  The front of our battering ram somewhat marred the beauty of the craftsmanship as we smashed the door down.

Unsurprisingly, a platoon of goblins stood ready before us.  They had the numbers, 23 to 4.  The green rodents never stood a chance.  When at last their 'king' lay before my feet, groveling for his life and spilling the details on every choice bit of loot he had hidden away, I gleefully took my axe and took a good 7" off of his height.

We set about the task of testing the sniveling monarch's information, which the group informed me should have been done before taking his head from him.  Still, I couldn't have stood his warty verdant visage any longer anyhow.  Turns out, information obtained via means of torture is incredibly unreliable.  Who knew?

Taking a 20 on search really helped, and by helped and mean yielded fuck-all for results.  Eventually, we came to the conclusion that the closest things to riches were what little wealth the little bastards had on them, though their arms and armour were masterwork.  It was a shame that, as a house rule, all non-magical items found out in the world were only worth half their retail price.  23 sets of that, even at half price, was a nice chunk of change for level 2 characters.

Loading ourselves down and quickly realising that having an NPC who couldn't carry anything was just as bad as not having one.  The only real upside was that, since Brainburn was our captive, he did not yet qualify for keeping any of our easily earned gains himself.  I guess it was a good thing that I was Dwarf and that they are the best pack mules money doesn't buy.

Our return trip to the 'elevator' was uneventful.  Pulling the rope, we began ascending.  Almost halfway up, our ride came to a painful halt.  The metal disc that served as our 'elevator' base angled heavily to the right and the Gobbler went tumbling back to the ground.  6d6 of falling damage later and our rotund friend was rendered unconscious and dying.  I barely managed to scrabble to the edge and hang on for dear life.  Paddy's Soulknife had the ability to run on walls for a short distance and he safely go to the cavern floor below.  I yelled for all I was worth and screamed for the guards to lower us back down slowly.

Once I was on the floor, I found Brainburn flying on his leash, defending Gobbler's downed body like a madman.  I think that it was selfpreservation as opposed to loyalty that drove the flameskull's actions, but the end result was still good.  His eyebeams of doom were rather effective against our slug-like foe.

I tried to run towards Jabba but found that to be an impossible proposition.  I took two steps and found myself rooted to the floor.  Apparently, Jabba had learned some tricks from the master of magnetism and was controlling metal.  Since I was wearing full plate (a feature that my Pathfinder Clerics mourn the loss of), that meant that I was incapable of moving, leaving our flying companion and Paddy to fight Magneto alone.

They made a decent accounting of themselves until Sluggo threw a tantrum and had all those masterwork items taken from the goblin 'treasury' flying about us as deadly projectiles.  Just then, a brilliant idea hit me.  I had Soften Earth and Stone prepared as my domain spell.

Barely passing my concentration check (casting when your metal gauntlets make somatic components near impossible is a bitch!), I turned a 20 foot square of cavernjust above the Metalmaster into clay, causing a nicely sized clayfall to crash into the greasy slug.  The 2d6 damage wasn't too terrible damaging, but the Hutt's lungs' inability to process clay did cause the thing to start suffocating.  A few rounds later and I was no longer crushed to the floor like a cockroach under a boot.

Regathering our things, as well as all the metal treasures out of the room that our foe slithered out of, we mounted the 'elevator' once more and again pulled the rope.  This time, the trip was uneventful.  We broke even with our guard pals on the "who will survive" bets and went about selling our newest phaty lootz.  Also leveling, as Magnus-lite was apparently a CR7 encounter due to the nature of the terrain and factoring in the fact that we were loaded to the teeth with metal objects.

Deciding to rest for a while aboveground, we put our riches to good use, whoring and drinking our way into oblivion.  Brainburn was also a hit with the ladies, strangely enough.  Weeks passed by in a drunken haze until my Dwarven clanmates arrived, ready to build an oil empire below Waterdeep.  Funds marginally depleted, we agreed to go back down.  That, and I was really anxious to become a king...

Anyhoo, the four of us and a cadre of Dwarves carrying all the mining gear and oak casks we could afford, found ourselves before the guards, unable to pay their price.  Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed and they lowered us down.  The prospect of facing 50 angry bearded midgets did not sit well with them, apparently.

I led my clan towards the oil river, which was back to full capacity, as expected.  We boarded our canoes and paddled across.  The Jotunbrood Soulknife just waded through.  Being under five feet had its disadvantages.  Reaching the other side, I took them to the cathedral.  Mi familia began setting up camp and expanding the place in the way that only Dwarves can.  Hel, even the mummy got into helping.  Kinship doesn't end for the stout folk, even in death.

My kingdom's base of operations secure, Paddy, Gobbler (and by extension, Brainburn) and I continued scouring deeper into Undermountain.  According to the mummy (a good fellow for a cursed chap going by the apropos name of Thorvald Ragbeard), the section we were claiming had been sealed off from the main kingdom centuries ago.  All the traveling we had done?  A drop in the bucket of the totality of the Underhalls of Melairbode, the ancient Dwarven kingdom that had since been conquered by all sorts of creatures and was now essentially vacant.  Well, vacant like the Mines of Moira, anyway.

Setting off, I took the time to make certain that my kin knew that 10 barrels was our educated guess as to how much we could take and still have our river of fortune full the next day.  We took off in the direction Ragbeard suggested.  After a few uneventful hours, we came across a room that was riddled with tiny holes.  Fearing the cause of the swiss cheese at our feet, I detected evil.  Before I could shout out beholders-your-uncle, hundreds of the little eyestalked bastards swarmed over us.  Beholderkin swarm, we were told, and initiative was rolled.

The fight was easier than it should have been due to Brainburn's 1/day fireball.  Swarms never hold up well to radius spells.  Sadly, they had no treasure, or if they did, we had no reliable way of getting to it.  Looking back, I suppose that I could have molded the earth into clay shapes until we got to the bottom, but hindsight is 20/20.

Moving on, we encountered the Wailing Face.  This thing was a pain in the ass.  It was just a giant demonic face.  One that dealt sonic damage.  Lots of it, starting 50' out.  This fucking thing, we had no way to shut it off and it was the only way forward.  We were third level and, even as a hardy character with a high Con score, I only had 36hp, and that was the highest in the group (Paddy, in a rare showing, did not have a great Con for his PC).

Lacking a way to move forward, we picked Brainburn's, uh, brain for information on which way to go.  He told us of a hidden passage not far from there that would get us bye.  It led us to a room with two exits, one of which was a magical portal to an area a few miles outside of Waterdeep.  This would prove the easiest and most reliable way to transport my kingdom's oil into the city.

After walking back into Waterdeep and meeting our friendly neighborhood guards (who were dumbfounded as to how we had gotten back aboveground), we placed our bets on who would make it back up again next.  The guards again bet as they did last time.  Something in them could not get behind the survivability of a skull on a leash.

Backtracking to my makeshift kingdom, I told my clan of the teleporter and informed them to start building a defensible keep atop the portal's exit point.  Also, we needed more Dwarves if this was going to be a proper kingdom.  We put out the call to Dwarves that were not of our clan.  Also to anyone looking for a better life.  If they could follow our laws, they would be accepted.  It may not have resulted in the people best suited for the job, but it did get results.

Waiting to see what those results would be, we ventured forth once more.  Bypassing the screaming demon, we took the exit that didn't shunt us into a forest.  After a bit of travel we came across a fork off of the path blocked by rubble.  Wanting to know what was on the other side, we began clearing rocks.  Our DM that campaign, Jimbo Baggins, was (as has been mentioned before) lazy.  The Undermountain module didn't cover what was on the other side and he had no intention of making something up.  He informed us of this; we kept digging.  He said that our actions would end poorly for us; we kept digging.  Breaking through, he made good on his threat.

By DM fiat, we now faced a Rust Monster.  We all failed our appropriate knowledge checks miserably (with Brainburn failing by fiat), and thus had no idea of the threat we faced.

Much to Jimbo's disappointment, we defeated out foe without taking any hits from the creature.  Except Paddy, who wore no metal and created his own blade with the power of his mind.  Afterwards though, Jimbo got his wish.

Our group has the occasional misfortune of roleplaying ourselves to death.  This happens frequently and in hillarious ways.  Case in point:

Gobbler was a Gnome.  Said psuedo-fey are curious by nature.  Drawn to the odd coloration of the beast, the man in the iron suit reached out and touched the creature before us.  As soon as the armour had rusted off of the startled Gnome, Gobbler committed ritualistic seppuku before our stunned eyes.  The only thing more shocking than the loss of our comrade was the little Germling that came rolling out on an exorcise wheel.  According to Gobbler, the little creature was a familiar (the Steamcraft class comes with a familiar?) whose mighty efforts powered his suit.  The Gnome's dying words were to take care of his dearest friend.  Then Brainburn's screams began.

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