Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chamber 2-6: Sacrificial Shrine

With a great heave, Joryn smashes the stained glass window of the three-headed Balor demon. The shield protects him from the shards of glass that rain down about the Vryloka cavalier. You are all prepared for something horrific to happen, but nothing does.

Once the glass settles, you see an 10' square alcove behind the the window in which a gibbet hangs. A jawless skeleton sits inside the gibbet, Abyssal runes burnt onto its skull. A ring that hangs from a silver chain around its neck.

Ambrose and Lohmi both can tell that the epic evocation magic they sensed earlier is coming from the ring!

Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chamber 2-5: Sacrificial Shrine

Tharl summons the
Spirit of the Great Flood
The end of the battle comes quickly, thanks to the combined efforts of the party, and especially Ambrose and Tharl, whose magic and spiritual powers annihilate nearly all of the skeletons that just moments ago threatened to destroy them. The two Quasits are killed as well. Only two skeletons remain standing after the onslaught. Joryn's sword makes swift work of one of the skeletons, and Vondal's arrow destroys the other. Seeing the power of the Great Flood summoned by Tharl, you all breathe a sigh of relief, your wounds that you thought were grave being only minor scratches in actuality.
Tech: Great rolls for Tharl, only 1 miss out of the bunch, even overcoming the Quasits' invisibility. See below on the healing effect.


Ambrose and Lohmi focus their efforts against the Mural, and finally manage to subdue it's power! With the mural deactivated, Finding comes to her senses.
Tech: Figured you'd want to finish up the attempt, and only Ambrose had 1 failure; 12 successes and only 1 failure, nicely done. It's only subdued, but if you wish you can deactivate it permanently. Just let me know.

The chamber is now littered with bones and blood. The mural still looks creepy, but isn't trying to take over your mind. Your eyes catch on the silver holy symbol lying in a puddle of blood in the center of the room. You see some odd writing scratched on it, and Lohmi (without touching it!) can see that the writing is Abyssal and is talks of horrific acts and unspeakable curses.



OOC: Dungeoneers, you have survived the fight, but there are still a number of very interesting things to investigate in this chamber:

  • The altar
  • The stained-glass window above the altar
  • The doors leading east
  • The doors leading north
  • The corrupted silver holy symbol
  • Maybe there's other things, who knows?

Last but not least, I processed the regeneration from Tharl's last action for all of you, bumping each of you out of bloodied status, and then applying the +10 hp for "ending the effect" per the power's text. Everyone's doing pretty well, check the Vitals tab for more details.
What will you do now?
MilwaukeeJoe

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chamber 2-4: Sacrificial Shrine

From last post:
Vondal does a careful attack and easily and successfully eliminates Skeleton #19 ... (Worked out with DM in offline chat.)

The onslaught of the skeletons is fast and furious. Arrows fly, swords clang against your weapons and armor, and you feel your time is running out quickly!
Tech: 
Ambrose takes 14 damage
Joryn takes 4 damage
Tharl takes 4 damage

Hypnotized!
Meanwhile, Finding starts to attempt another Dispel Magic upon the mural, and catches a glimpse of it in the corner of her eye. That little glimpse is all the mural needs. Calmly, Finding walks past the skeleton on her way to the water font. The skeleton does not hinder her as she passes by. Just like Lohmi before, Finding proceeds to wash her hands and face in the water-filled font. As the water splashes on her magical Cannith Goggles, they dissolve into residuum dust that clings to her cloak.
Tech: Finding takes 6 psychic damage and is dominated. She has 10 hit points left and is bloodied.  Technically, the skeleton did try for an opportunity attack, but missed. Finding fails her save vs charm at the end of her turn and is still dominated. However, if you post a good "trapped inside your body" post, I'll give you a +1 to your next attempt to save vs charm. Finally, you lost your Cannith Goggles, but gain residuum equal to a 3rd level magic item.

And then if it can't get any worse, bursting forth from the two sides of the northeast curtain are what appears to be two miniature green devils... Quasits! Sporting horns on their heads and barbed tails, they rush about the chamber with a quickness that impresses you, jumping here and there and laughing maniacally! One comes up to Ambrose and bites him in the leg. Instantly, Ambrose can feel the tell-tale signs of poison seeping into his body. Another attempts to bit Tharl in the same way, but Tharl's leather armor does it's job. Then without warning, the quasits turn invisible.
Tech: Ambrose takes another 8 damage (5 of which was poison) and automatically grants combat advantage to all foes (save ends).  Ambrose has 2 hit points remaining. As for the invisibility, you can still see the blurry outline (akin to the Predator movie invisibility), so you kinda know where they are... but they have full concealment from you (-5 to hit them).

Round 2
22 The MURAL (done)
22 Skeletons ( done)
22 Quasits (done)
19 Finding (done)
18 Galad
17 Lohmi
15 Vondal
15 Joryn
14 Tharl
09 Ambrose
Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chamber 2-3: Sacrificial Shrine

Finding uses what knowledge she has of magic in an attempt to undo the power of the mural. Ambrose does as well, and both sense they are starting to puncture the shell of the enchantment around it.
OOC: Two successes, no failures. I added up actions from last round, and each of you had just one action to spend on the Arcana attempts.

A swarm of skeletons!
Suddenly and without warning, an entire score of skeletons step out from the curtains as if passing through a waterfall; 10 on the west side, 10 on the northeast side! (OOC: Or more accurately, on the west they appear where the curtain was.) They swarm around you with longswords drawn, and longbows raining arrows down upon you! Their aim is poor, but their numbers are massive.
Tech:
Galad: 2 hits for 6 damage
Ambrose: 1 hit for 4 damage
Joryn: 1 hit for 4 damage
Finding: 3 hits for 11 damage

Galad feels the Mural's presence attempting to force its way into his mind, but he resists...
Tech: Mural will attack on Galad, miss.

To the north, Lohmi can hear something approaching him. He saw the curtain ripple as if something passed through, but he can't see anything!

OOC: Joryn, you weren't able to go up to the altar this round or do your knowledge checks, as you ran out of actions (standard: help tip over the font, move: move to font, minor: avert gaze). Unless you wanted to spend an action point?

Vitals prior to any comments below
Round 2
22 The MURAL (done)
22 Skeletons (20 - done)
22 ????? (done)
19 Finding
18 Galad
17 Lohmi
15 Vondal
15 Joryn
14 Tharl
09 Ambrose

Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chamber 2-2: Sacrificial Shrine

I decided to use italics for previously posted stuff, and regular for new. Let me know if you think it reads well. -MilwaukeeJoe

Joryn's eyes go wide as Lohmi's sword disintegrated. He runs to the northwestern curtain and flings it open."I'll see this foul altar for myself! What blade are you talking about?"

The northeast curtain is flung wide open, revealing an alcove and altar. The altar itself is made of black stone, inscribed with words in Abyssal. Atop the altar is a pair of iron hand braziers lit with a fire that produces an oily, black smoke. Could be a blade (and some other items?) on the altar too... hard to tell without getting closer. Obscured partially by the smoke, you see a beautiful stained-glass window set 10 feet above the altar. It depicts a three-headed balor demon with its arms thrown up in worship.

OOC: Note: Finding didn't see the stained-glass window on first glance. Bad perception roll.

Meanwhile, Ambrose ambles up to the blood-filled font and casts Detect Magic. He can sense necromantic/transmutation magic about the font, and also another odd enchantment aura from something within the font, perhaps sunk under the thick blood?

Tharl grimaces "I suggest we avoid the mural. I prefer the known element of traps and monsters to a certain unknown." Turning to Lohmi, he sees the sword turn to dust. "That's a bad turn of luck brother. Do you have other weapons? I can give you my spear or my morning star if you are in need, though they are poor replacements for your blade."

Turning to Tharl, "Alas, I don't think either would be a suitable replacement. There is but one suitable replacement nearby." Angrily, Lohmi moves after Joryn. Intent on grabbing the cursed dagger from the altar. That would at least not leave him defenseless. 
Finding whispers to the spirits. "What happens when out time runs out?"
The voices of Nole and Elon sound like they're coming from near the curtain-covered mural, as they respond in unison, "Look and see what will happen to you! Your time is up!" 

As if by invisible hands, the western curtain is ripped down, exposing the mural behind it. It is horrific, disgusting, yet tantalizing, showing demons doing unspeakable acts to the people of your town! You can't help but feel the conflicting forces of disgust and arousal as you take the mural in. 

The mural is attacking your mind!

OOC: Combat begins, but who/what are you fighting exactly?

Round 1
22 The MURAL (done)
19 Finding
18 Galad
17 Lohmi
15 Vondal
15 Joryn
14 Tharl
09 Ambrose

Due date for this post is Monday 23:59. 


Map included above. I guestimated your locations based on your posts, but if you feel you would have been somewhere else, just let me know and we'll get it ironed out.

For those of you who are fathers, Happy Father's Day!
MilwaukeeJoe

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chamber 2-1: Sacrificial Shrine

Leaving the Tainted Gallery behind, you emerge into a new chamber! It looks to be a shrine of some kind, lit by flickering torches mounted on columns in the center of the room. A pair of curtains hangs from the ceiling, one covering a portion of the western wall, the other an archway on the far northeast side of the chamber. This room doesn't have the acid smell, but it's not entirely fresh either.

You also see two stone fonts, one in the center of the room, and another set into the far west wall. You think you see the hint of dark red within the central font. You're not sure what's in the eastern font, if anything.

Crimson stains on the floor lead from behind the far curtain to an ornate door leading north. 
OOC: The trail of stains is on the map in faint red.

Meanwhile, you see the hint of a stairs in the southeast corner of the room, and what looks to be a door at the bottom.

Then you hear a female's voice that says, "Welcome, we are the spirits of the shrine. My name is Elon and my partner is Nole." A second voice, male, continues, "If you seek advice and council about this place; we can answer your questions. We are the spirits of the shrine."

You try to get a sense of where the voices are coming from, but all you can tell at this point is 'somewhere in the chamber'. The voices seems to move about the chamber as they talk.

OOC: Dungeoneers, we are not in combat at the moment, so feel free to explore and converse with these strange voices if you so wish.
 
Also, still time to spend some healing surges if you wish... I'm rushing things I know... just let me know quick if you want to spend some (or go on DM healing surge autopilot).
 
Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Chamber 1-Finale: Tainted Gallery

With baited breath, Finding places the last stone into the slot of the star that has 13 points. Ambrose senses the magic of the doors does not fade, it remains. Something's wrong...

Suddenly, a nimbus of purple-black light appears above the head of the large statue of the Wailing Prince. It orbits the head like a halo just once, then strikes out suddenly at Finding!

Finding's danger sense goes off, and she immediately dodges, ducks and rolls out of the way of the nimbus of light streaking towards her at deathly speed. The nimbus hits the wall instead, and instantly dissolves a man-sized chunk of stone instead. Finding breathes a sigh of relief; had this hit her, it would have been instant death.
Tech: Rolled +3 vs Reflex. A hit would have been instant death by acid dissolving. I eagerly rolled my black d20... but it came up with a natural 3. Alas, my instant death fix will have to wait. However, even on miss, you take 8 damage and are down to 20 hp.

Further Detect Magic and aura analysis is performed by the party, and it's clear that the wrong slot was chosen. The door will no longer respond to further attempts, and it's time for thievery and brute force to get through the doors. However, not all is bad news. The deadfall trap blocking your path west suddenly raises upward and retracts into the ceiling. Your way back west is open again, and you can see from your vantage point that the acid pool has drained fully.

Even after the brief rest, some of you feel odd, perhaps agitated. You're not as calm as you should be. Those affected are Joryn and Lohmi. Is this normal?

OOC: You each lose one healing surge for having to use brute force to get through the doors. However, on the bright side, you have finished Chamber 1! 

Well done, dungeoneers! Nobody died!
  
XP and Treasure
You each gain 120 xp, and I assume you take the treasure from the southern cache. Although nobody said they were going to! What, silver and gems not good enough for you? Well, you each receive 172 silver coins, and the two gems (100 gp each) I'll divide up now for ease of tracking... giving you another 29 gp each.

Extended Resting
In the scoring below, you've earned enough points to take an extended rest if you so wish. It will cost you 5 points to do so. I will not allow you to take extended rests if you lack the points to spend on it, so keep on your toes and solve those objectives! If the majority of you vote to do the extended rest, you will all do so.

Scoring Breakdown

Primary Objective: 
Solve the door puzzle (0 out of 5 points)

Secondary Objective: 
Retrieve the everburning torch (3 points)
  
Minor Objectives (1 point each): 

  • Decipher the inscription on the statue and stop the flow of acidic tears
  • Find the treasure at the bottom of the pool
  • Decipher the clue in druidic contained  within the scroll tube
  • Destroy each skeleton
  • Discover the treasure cache behind the southern door

Performance:
Having no dungeoneers fall unconscious (0 out of 2 points)
Having only one dungeoneer fall unconscious (1 point)

Total points scored: 9 out of possible 15

Puzzle Spoiler
If you are curious about the solution to the northern door puzzle, see below. I have set the color of the text to white, so you will have to highlight the area below to reveal the solution.

SOLVING THE PUZZLE
To open the exit, the dungeoneers must take the two stones from the statues and fit them into the Wailing Prince’s eyes after the acid has been shut off. Then, they must take the stone from acid pool and fit it into the center of the 16-pointed star.

This challenge is a kind of black magic puzzle. The stars etched into the base of statues #1 and #4 are the only two to have a number of sides that have an integer square root (2 and 3, respectively). The 16-pointed star (square root of 4) completes this pattern.


FAILING THE PUZZLE

The dungeoneers fail the puzzle if:
  • They fit the stone from the pool into the wrong slot.
  • They fit the stone from the pool into the door before fitting the stones from the statues into the Wailing Prince.
  • A statue collapses with a stone still inside of it.

If any of these happen, a nimbus of light appears around the Wailing Prince’s head. An arrow of magical acid fires at a random dungeoneer within line of sight (+3 vs. Reflex, target is dissolved on a hit, miss 2d6 acid damage).

In addition, failing the puzzle means the dungeoneers must take the time to force their way through the mundane and magical locks on the exit during their short rest; a taxing endeavor which drains a healing surge from each party member.

End of Puzzle Spoiler



Monday, June 13, 2011

Chamber 1-9: Tainted Gallery

Ambrose does not sense any magic in the new treasure cache room other than what is on the suit of armor. Joryn walks in and examines the armor, identifying it as Gallery Plate Mail. It's special property allows you to purposely turn into a statue for a short time!
OOC: If two or more players want the same magic item, I'll do a roll off to determine the winner. For now, Joryn has it. Joryn - wear the new armor?

With the acid shut off, Finding has no problem climbing up on the statue and places the two stones into the eyes. They fit perfectly, locking into place. Lohmi looks north, detecting something with his arcane-tuned senses. The three crooked stars on the north doors are giving off an active aura. The best Lohmi can tell, the aura means that the northern doors are ready to be unlocked... but how?

The iron doors are fitted with pull rings. Embossed on their surface are three circles in a row, each with a crooked star in the center. From left to right, the stars have 13 points, 7 points,  and 16 points. There is also an empty slot in the center of each star.

OOC: Looking back on the introduction page at http://slamdancr.com/wp/2011/04/weekly-grind-4e-an-introduction/, I don't see that you can't take a short rest here. Therefore, feel free to spend healing surges to bring your hit points back up. Take a look at the Map/Vitals page for current HP and Surge values. 

Tharl, I had you spend 2 healing surges per your last post, bringing you up to 24 hit points. If you guys would like me to auto-spend your healing surges during short rests, let me know. Otherwise, you'll need to tell me how many surges you will spend.

Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chamber 1-8: Tainted Gallery

Tharl cuts his hand and allows the drops of blood to trickle into the statue's throat.

Suddenly, the spike thrusts forward! Tharl was ready for this and avoids the spike. However, the magic seems to pull the blood out of him faster than the cut was designed to do. The spike attempts to retract, but you hear the sounds of mechanical failure within; time has corroded the spike mechanism. Tharl is able to pull his hand away if he so wishes.

Two things happen then, at the same time. First, the tears from the statue's eyes cease immediately. Second, the ceiling of the hallway to the west of you starts to descend, trapping you in?

Nothing springs forth from the southern doors, but they are still closed.

Tech: See map for the area (in red) that is being blocked off. I believe all of you are east of this area, so if you want to try to go back west before the deadfall trap completes, let me know. Success of traversing the area before getting crushed is not certain.

Also, Tharl takes 9 damage and is down to 6 hit points.

Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chamber 1-7: Tainted Gallery

Joryn and Tharl arrives at the base of the 15 foot statue. They see the following:

Northern Doors
To the north and south are two sets of double doors.  The northern iron doors are fitted with pull rings. Embossed on front are three circles in a row, each with a crooked star in the center. From left to right, the stars have 13 points, 7 points,  and 16 points. There is also an empty slot in the center of each star.

Southern Doors
To the south the double doors are also iron door fitted with pull rings. Tharl can just barely make out the faint outline of a keyhole there as well. Perhaps it's locked...

Large Statue
The large statue looks familiar somehow, and Tharl recognizes the statue from the epics as Prince Targen Amalossalso called The Wailing Prince. At the statue's base is an inscription, and they can tell by the style of the wording that it's in the Abyssal language. The acid continues to flow from Amaloss' empty eye sockets (and into the small channel leading west)... his mouth open wide in a silent wail.
OOC: Does anyone know Abyssal? Joryn's defenses are at +2 until the start of his next turn.
 
Meanwhile, back in the chamber...
Back in the chamber, Galad examines the small rock, smooth and round. As far as he knows, he can not find any significance, religious or otherwise.  Finding takes the rock from Galad and proceeds north to the statue (#4). It is easy to switch it off as well, since Finding is so good at such things. This statue has another stone just like the one found at the other statue (#1).  The statues also has a crooked star at it's base... and this one has 9 points.
 
Suddenly, statue's #3 and #6 explode in a shower of acid and rubble! Luckily, nobody was near enough to either one to be injured.
 
Right then, Vondal emerges from the pool of acid with a key and bone scroll case in hand! Dwarves are indeed hearty folk.
Tech: Took some acid damage, but also fired up Second Wind. Currently at 14 hit points. You now have a key and unopened bone scroll case.
 
The room fills with just the sounds of the gentle "waters" flowing.
 
OOC
We're going to drop out of combat timing. The small statues are all either destroyed or deactivated. You can explore more leisurely, but you cannot take a rest until the room is completed.

Due date for replies to this post is Monday, June 6, 18:00.

Next week I will be traveling to Delaware on business. I will post updates during the evening from the hotel, instead of during the day.


Good Luck!
MilwaukeeJoe