29
Aug
12

D&D: Elderyn – Act 2: Session 11

ACT 2: SESSION 11
PREVIOUS: ACT 2: SESSION 10
NEXT: ACT 2: SESSION 12

Grasping one set of chains outside the massive doors, Clotor began pulling the thick links through the pulley system that opened and closed the doors. Through an incredible feat of dwarven engineering, the massive stone doors began to scrape open with minimal effort. In short order, the tomb hallway was open and they crept carefully inside.

As they stepped inside, braziers on either side of the hallway began to ignite with the same enchanted light they turned on in the dwarven tunnels. Doors lined both sides of the hallway as far as the eye could see. Proceeding down the hallway, they checked each door for the markings of Clan Bronze Spear. Finally, they came upon the Paragon’s final burial place.

Clotor grabbed the chains outside the door and started cranking the great doors open. As the massive doors swung open to the Paragon’s tomb, braziers inside the dark tomb began to illuminate the interior. Stepping inside the long entrance hall, they look around the room. Painted along the walls, murals detail the many accomplishments of Paragon Bronze Spear. From the paintings, it appears the Paragon was a renowned smith. His weapons and armor were depicted as arming many Dwarven champions. More notably, he is shown building an army of automotons to fight at the dwarves sides, similar to the dog like constructs Nedda and Clotor encountered just a week prior in Erberek.

Ominously, lining the edge of the room, there are sixteen metal statues of Dwarven Warriors that look strikingly similar to the automotons in the murals. At the far side of the room, a large set of double doors with the image of the Dwarven Paragon carved into it. On both sides of the room, smaller doors lead out of the main chamber. Unlike the entrance, no chains or handles could be seen to open the doors with.

At the center of the room, a raised platform with a pedestal finally drew their attention. Approaching cautiously, the find the pedestal holds a copper sphere covered in Dwarven runes. After a few minutes of inspecting it and cautious poking at it, Harold determines that it’s a sort of Dwarven puzzle, likely one that will open the nearby doors if solved. He and Nedda begin spinning and rotatinig the sphere, attempting to lock each of the runes into the appropriate spot.

As the first two runes are locked into the correct position, they begin to glow with a soft blue light. Confidently, Nedda locks another rune into place, but is met with an angry red glow. Harold slaps her hand away, “No! That was the wrong position, be careful!” As though to punctuate his words, the sound of metal grinding could be heard around the room. Scourage and Clotor drew their weapons and turned as the metal statues around the room came to life and stepped down off their pedestals.

“Keep going with that, we’ll deal with them!” Scourage shouted. As the automatons approached, he and Clotor rushed forward to meet them. The armored hides of the constructs prooved difficult to overcome, but their slow, ponderous movements also made them easy to move around. Finally, Clotor’s sword found a hole in one of the constructs defenses and punctured it’s mechanical innards. The sound of grinding metal greeted her ears as it came to a stop.

In my experience designing combat encounters, these kind of combined challenge/combat encounters are among my favorite to create. This one was pretty simple, with a wave of bad guys being thrown against the players after enough failures on the challenge, they could short cut the combat by completing the challenge or ignore the challenge and focus on the fight. In the future, I’d like to play around with more complex challenges that force the players to move around the battlefield during combat.

On the other side of the room, Scourage was not having as much luck and the sheer number of constructs threatened to overwhelm him. Harold locked a third rune into place, then stepped away from the pedestal leaving Nedda to continue. The wizard moved to Scourage’s aid, unleashing a blast of flame from his hands which cooked several of the constructs. Clotor drove her weapon into one then turned and belched acid from her mouth onto a second. Nedda let out a brief cheer as she locked a forth rune into place, halfway through the puzzle.

Once Scourage had his side of the chamber under control, Herald returned to the puzzle and continued working rough it with Nedda. The paladin and warlord continued to strike down constructs as the other two lock in two more runes.

Grabbing the haft of an axe as it is swung towards her, Clotor rammed her sword through the constructs chest as Nedda locked in the eighth and final rune. The runes glow hot blue and the few remaining constructs come to a halt. Not one to let a threat remain, Clotor walked through the remaining machines, cutting and shredding the gears to disable the creatures.

Exploring the side doors first, the part finds that both doors lead up a flight of stairs to separate mass burial rooms. Dozens of sarcophaguses lined each of the walls with the names of the Dwarven family members that made up the founding members of the Paragon’s new clan. Divided into families, each group of sarcophaguses carries a placard describing the family’s connection to the Paragon.

Finally, they find the inscription for the Hammersmiths. Scourage pulls charcoal and parchment from his pack and proceeds to make a copy of the inscription. Stowing away safely, they head back down to the entry hall.

Heading through the doors at the far end of the room, the party finds the tomb proper of Paragon Bronze Spear. The smaller room on the other side of the doors is as immaculately decorated as the other room. Just inside of the room, four columns support the roof, each with a metal dwarf statue fused into them. The dwarf statues hold large warhammers over their heads with iron wardrums before them. At the far end of the room, a series of steps lead up to a raised platform. On the pedestal, a large metal dragon statue clutches a metal sarcophagus in it’s claws. The sarcophagus, shaped after a Dwarven warrior, clutches the Seal of Clan Bronze Spear to it’s chest.

After pausing at the door, Nedda creeps into the room. Step by step, she deeps by the Dwarven drums and up the steps towards the sarcophagus. As she reaches the second step, however, Dwarven runes carved into the stairs suddenly flare red. The dragon statue behind the sarcophagus begins moving, the sounds of scraping metal filled the chamber. As Nedda began backing down the stairs and out of the room, a thundering bang reverberated through the room. Turning, she saw one of the Dwarven statues slowly raising its warhammer after smashing it down on the iron drum.

The four pounding iron drums was a blatant rip off from the Robot Chicken/D&D webcasts, though it was not as smoothly pulled off in my campaign as the DM in the webcasts, Chris Perkins, managed to do.

As Nedda retreats down off the stairs and into the center of the room, the dragon construct crawls down off it’s perch, it’s body slithering like a serpent. A second Dwarven drum goes off as the statue swings it’s warhammer down with a thundering smash, this time much closer to the half elf. The thundering sound staggered Neda, stunning her momentarily as the dragon crawls down towards her, snapping it’s jaws.

Rushing to her aid, Clotor leads the charge into the room. The dragonorn lunged forward with her longsword, incepting the dragon construct as it lunged for the rogue. As she drive the sword into it’s side, a third drum went off with a thundering crash. Scourage charged in to help the Paladin while Harold stood in the doorway flinging spells.

Before the fourth drum sounded, Clotor and Scourage steered the dragon construct away to a safe distance. The tow kept the constructs attention as they stabbed and moved. Nedda slinked between them and the statues, diving in with her daggers at it’s exposed flanks. Quickly, they figured out a a routine, slashing at the construct and dodging to the side to lead it away from the thundering drums.

The dragon construct began to slow as it’s wounds took their toll. Finally, Harold unleashed a bolt of acid from his hands. The blast of acid hit the dragons exposed core and dissolved it’s sensitive innards. The dragon finally came to a stop, collapsing to the ground. As the construct died, the drumming came to a stop as well.

Climbing the steps, Scourage retrieves the seal from the sarcophagus’s hands while the others dig through the treasures left in the room as tribute to the Paragon. Pocketing the gems and gold, the party finds several masterfully crafted pieces of armor left in tribute, among them a set of legendary Curseforged Chainmail created by Tiefling smiths, heavy Black Iron Plate Armor cavorts by the elite Dwarven Warriors of the Paragon’s time and finally a light set of Sunleaf Leather Armor worn by elven rangers.

Scourage claims the Tiefling crafted chain mail while Clotor dons the Black Iron Plate Armor. Though a little large for her, the halfling manages to fit the leather armor to her frame. Clearly pleased with themselves, the three head for the entrance hall.

It wasn’t until I wrote the log that I realized the ridiculousness of a dragonborn wearing a set of plate armor created for short dwarven warriors and a halfling wearing armor crafted for tall elves. I certainly intended for the armor to go to those players, but I didn’t think my flavor text through very well. Fortunately the players didn’t either.

PREVIOUS: ACT 2: SESSION 10
NEXT: ACT 2: SESSION 12
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