Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Session Report: Aldsburg Chronicle [A8]

... for which one of my players wrote a summary ...

The Party
Alois - cleric of the Unfettered Raven
Boreas - winter mage of the Unrelenting North
Ludwig - Warpriest of Sigmar
Pendergast - dusk mage of the Eternal Void

The Setup
With Olaf setting a 7 day ultimatum to clear out the dungeon or clear out of the town, the party gear up for another foray into the cursed mine.

The Statue
After the short hike up the mountain, the party find the mine entrance as they left it.  Tendrils of snow grasp at the characters as they descend, as if to hold them back from certain doom.  The great central chamber is as they left it: the spider statue standing in the center– fresh blood and gore sliding down its side.  The party decides that this statue has to go.  Pendergast chants ominously.  The shadows darken at the edges of vision.  With one final deafening shout, Pendergast slams the palm of his hand, writhing with dark energy, into Ludwig's back.  Shadows pulse around Ludwig’s arms; with each pulse, his muscles growing.  With one mighty blow, Ludwig slams his great war hammer into the statue, shattering the head and shoulder.  Blood erupts for stone, covering Ludwig, and all hell breaks loose.  After a desperate battle with blood flies and corrupted spiders, the party stands victorious.

The Guardian
After taking a moment to catch their breath, bandage wounds, and dispatch two corrupted bandits with the audacity to ambush the distracted party; the adventurers enter a side chamber.  Pendergast is intrigued by the description of the flesh guardian given by Boreas the night before.  Unable to help himself, Pendergast pushes back the finger bone curtain and enters the small alcove.  "Help me" the guardian utters as Pendergast enters.   Brimming with curiosity, Pendergast approaches the dedicated guardian.  From behind, Boreas calls out "the flesh–it moves."  With one final step, Pendergast steps onto the piles of flesh and guts, which immediately spring to life– as if offended by the intrusion–wrapping around Pendergast, nearly suffocating him.  After a successful rescue and some dithering (ok more like an hour), the party again enters the alcove.

This time mighty Ludwig takes the lead, unfortunately with nearly identical results.  Alois goes into try to save Ludwig and is also grabbed.  Boreas goes in and is nearly grabbed as well.  Sensing near certain doom upon the party, Pendergast begins to chant.  Silent words escape his mouth, forming arcane symbols from the very shadows themselves and with each silent syllable, Pendergast appears shrivel.  The dark symbols float through the air towards the flesh, expanding into an inking black screen of smoke between the flesh pile and the group.  The arms of flesh continue to reach for the party, but nothing extends to the other side of the screen; instead the arms enter the void between.  After some additional deliberation, the group realizes that the half alive corpse anchors the flesh pit into this reality.  A coup de gra later, the spell is dispatched and a secret door and treasure (including a sweet, sweet, dungeon pie devoured by Alois) is found.

Carousing
We tried out the new coursing rules for two nights, effectively drinking all the booze in the small mining town and getting permanently banned from the bunk house.

The Demon and the Death of a Friend
Alois, out of commission with a nastily stomach bug (tape worms caused by eating a dungeon pie?), is left behind and the two mages and the cleric again enter the dungeon.  After much debate, the party decides to open the stone door, behind which the shark demon was trapped in the previous session (I know it’s hard to believe what characters, bored with not knowing what to do in one of Dale's dungeons, will do).... But the demon, and water, are gone.  With a great assign of relief, the group proceeds to ransack the cauldron of body parts (finding some, sweet, sweet, loot).

Swelling with overconfidence, the party decide to move onto the next door.  This door, however, is crusted closed with layers of salt and GM warnings.  Headless of the signs, the party slams into the door, once, twice, three times and......Initiative!

The shark demon lunges forward, crashing into Ludwig's shield.  The mages, frozen in fear, snap out of it.  Boreas begins to ransack his pack, pulling a multitude of bits and bobs.  Mixing these arcane ingredients with water from the mountain spring, he begins to chant.  Pendergast, understanding the dire situation, pulls deep one the surrounding shadows–the torches begin to dim.  The words of Boreas and Pendergast swirl and merge together, almost as if the two chants were meant to be one–Winter and Void pulling and magnifying together into one intertwined spell.  With a final word, the chanting stops and an uncanny silence falls.  A second later, the mist begins to swirl, the snow begins to build, and a blizzard of snow and hail flies towards the demon.  As it charges, the pure white blizzard snow, turns black as night–every flake of snow and ice ripping into the demon (10d6 dmg!).  With a wail, the demon is pushed back and falls to the ground;
 down but now out.

"Run!!!" shouts Boreas and he turns to follow his own command.  Mighty Ludwig, though, shouts defiance and a prayer to his god, and CHARGES; his mighty warhammer barely missing the fallen foe.  It's eyes blazing with ominous fury, the demon swings a massive fist at Ludwig, and with one solid blow, the demon casually flings Ludwig 20' through the air, where he lands with a sickening thud.  With no time morn their fallen friend, the remaining group run for their lives, but the demon follows.  The party scatters under the cover of a quickly summoned blizzard.  With utter horror, Pendergast and Boreas stare as the mighty demon charges into the mining town of Bortun, leaving only destruction behind it.

Tapped out, stretched well beyond the natural limits of any normal mage, the two turn their eyes from the wasteland that was once Bortun, and grasp hands around their most prized artifact–The Babylon Candle–and in a flash, find themselves back in the city slums.  The danger avoided, for now.

GM Notes
Thanks to Eric for a great write-up.  I always enjoy getting the player perspective on the game.  I have a lot of prep before the next session, but I'm totally good with that! I'll post up the epilogue shortly.  Good times!