Monday, January 20, 2014

The Assault on Jorgenfist (01/03/2014)

The party had problem. How were they to attack a fortress that had 50 foot walls while the fortress itself was surrounded by a hundred or more giants, ogres, and dire bears? Some comments from the peanut gallery had suggested a frontal assault would be a good plan, but the heroes decided instead to hide in the hills and mountains to the southwest of the fortress to scout things out first and then decide from there. The heroes knew that Mokmurian spent most of his time in the secret areas beneath Jorgenfist, and while a passageway leading underground could be seen within the grounds of the fortress, the heroes were hoping to find a way that didn’t entail going through the front door.

It was impossible to get close enough to any of the camps to listen for any sort of news, and the camps seemed to be more interested in rough horse play then any sort of planning, With the distance of a quarter mile or so from the hills across the valley to the fortress it was clear the party wouldn’t be able to just walk up and ring the doorbell, so they turned their eyes elsewhere.

The valley walls of the Muschkal River had two cave mouths visible to the heroes. The lower of the two caves had several wyverns that would periodically swoop in and out of their roost to fly up and down the canyon basin. The other cave appeared to be unused, but it was about 250 feet up the 400 foot canyon wall. Reynard had several spells he could string together to get the heroes to the bottom of the canyon, and then back up to the cave, but that would require additional rest before he could memorize all he needed, so the party burrowed in for a night of restless rest.

The next morning before the sun was up the party moved to the canyon’s edge and Reynard used his Dimension Door to transport the party to the basin of the canyon. There were sandy and rocky paths bordering along each side of the river but some places were difficult to move through, so their movement was slowed down from what they had hoped. Sure enough, just as the sun arose the cawing of the wyverns could be heard echoing up and down the canyon.

Knowing they would surely be seen by the wyverns if they remained in the open, but still too far away to transported to the other cave, Reynard used a second Dimension Door to place the party ahead about half a mile and directly below the cave entrance, and from there he then cast Invisible and Fly on the party members. As the wyverns began their morning ritual of swooping up and down the length of the river valley the heroes began their slow descent up the walls of the canyon to the cave mouth 250 feet above.

From a distance the cave may have looked to be empty, but once the party stepped into the cave mouth they could see that was not the case. This cave crawled. Countless bloated, many-legged insects trampled one another as they carpeted the floor and climbed the walls, creating a susurrus of a million clicking bug legs. The insects that covered the floor were disgusting but mostly harmless, but they still managed to crawl on the party members or fall off the ceiling into their hair. The deepest part of the cave seemed to be unnaturally thick with darkness and fallen webs, but even in this creepiness the heroes were safe for the moment.


With the hope that perhaps this cave might lead Mokmurian’s lair beneath Jorgenfist the party started to work their way to the back of the cave. There were several nooks and crannies that revealed nothing, but in the back most corner of the cave they found a passage covered with a giant web. In the middle of the web was the husk of a body of a dead giant spider. The spider exoskeleton was still one piece, but riddled with cracks and holes. Smaller spiders swarmed in and out of these holes, but like the insects found at the front of the cave they were more of a nuisance than an inhibitor.

Kheo and Stike cut away at the web on one side of the spider body and stepped through the opening to reveal a second web, also with the exoskeleton of a long dead giant spider stuck in the middle of the web. With a fear that all was not that it seemed Kheo and Stike then cut through the second web, stepped through and found a third web, also with the exoskeleton body of a long dead giant spider.

So far so good, so Kheo and Stike began to saw away at the third web when the three undead giant spiders jumped to life, as hundreds or even thousands of tiny spiders poured from their giant spider hosts. Selinor managed to get off a spell that seemed to burn off many of the small spiders that swarmed around him, but after Kheo struck the giant spider nearest to him the swarm of spiders that surrounded him managed to nauseate him and severely impact his ability to do anything but move. Reynard’s Ice Storm managed to negate the remaining swarm of small spiders, and soon the party eliminated the three undead giant spiders before the smaller swarming spiders could return.

Kheo and Stike finished cutting away at the third web and found the cave to be cluttered with old webs, withered skins, and old bones, along with a dozen longswords (one of them a Large +1 longsword), a +2 halberd, three Large warhammers, a set of full plate armor, and a druid's staff with a spellstaff spell still in effect on it (the staff contained a Rusting Grasp at CL12th). Besides the treasure Kheo was able to detect a secret door that led to a darkened passage that led further into the gloomy depths. Hearing or seeing nothing the party began to creep onwards in the hope that this passage might lead to the secrets beneath Jorgenfist.

Eventually the passage led to a larger room, with additional passageways that led off to the north and east. The floor of this room was a bone-strewn mess. What appeared to be three dens of bones, bits of cloth and leather, and swaths of matted fur lined the walls to the east. The air in here was thick with the scent of animal dung and spoiled meat. With no obvious danger in front of them the party began to creep through this room towards the north. Then one of the piles of fur let out a mighty snore and the party quickly understood the danger that surrounded them.

Any hope of escaping from this room without waking the bears soon ended when one of the dire bears jerked awake, reacting to the presence of the intruders. Selinor cast a Silence and the heroes pounced on the dire bears while they had the advantage. The Silence kept quiet any announcement of their presence to whoever else might reside in the caves beyond, but also limited the spell casting ability of the rest of the party. The dire bears roared to life to defend their lair, but the strength of the party quickly overwhelmed them

The heroes proceeded up the passage that led to the north that led to a huge cavern that contained four large tables set up around a central platform on which sat an immense stone throne. From the ceiling above hung carved stalactites, some fashioned to look like dangling spears, others like dragon's teeth. The flickering light of a large fire burned behind a row of stalagmites to the south. Four stone giants sat around the various tables in the room, unaware of the party’s presence.

Conna the Wise
The heroes used the element of surprise to quickly take out the four stone giants, but not before Reynard used his Chain Lightning spell which, while effective, sent echoes down the still unexplored passageways. The heroes knew they had now alerted any others in the underground caverns to their presence, but as they turned to exit to north they saw another stone giant, a female, and someone that was obviously an elder. She held out her two hands, open and empty, and said, "I don't have much time, but know that if you are here to slay Mokmurian, I am your ally. Come with me to a place we can speak in peace, for I would aid you in your quarrel here - without my assistance you might find only your graves below Jorgenfist."

And we’ll pick it up there next time. For tonight’s efforts the party earned 36,000 XP, giving them (217,800 + 36,0000) 253,800 XP earned so far, with 315,000 XP required to reach Level 13.

No comments:

Post a Comment