Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

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Pesky
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Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

Post by Pesky » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:10 pm

Welcome alley-bashers, scoundrels, and other unmentionables as I spin the tale of Cyclops Con's Violence for Votishal (Goodman Games DCCL #4) run of two 3-hour sessions. Twitch link: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/596360004
Our cast of seven Nehwonian heroes are the following:

1. The Mingol warrior Batu and his lucky battle axe Wound Licker played by Cody. Batu has tan skin, is bald, has a long mustache, and wears chainmail. Batu is an agent of Issek of the Jug.

2. Batu's soul-brother (their split-soul heroes) the white wizard Jumaash played by Jeff. Jumaash hails from the Land of the Eight Cities, and is dark-skinned, has a white mark on forehead that looks like a jug (marked by his patron Issek), sports a black-haired afro, wears dirty white robes, and uses a monocle.

3. The Lankhmart warrior Galo and his lucky longsword Coin Spinner played by Max. Galo has fair skin with blonde hair, but half of his face is disfigured. He wears chain and favors a shield. Galo is an agent of Mog the Spider God.

4. The black wizard Ozor played by Mike. Ozor hails from the Cold Waste, has fair skin, a short red mohawk, black robes, and carries a poppet in one hand. Ozor is an agent for Sheelba of the Eyeless Face.

5. Another northerner, the thief Ja'mar the Thirsty played by Ryan. Ja'mar wears armor of leather and furs. Ja'mar is an agent of the Gods of Trouble.

6. The thief Radomir played by Robert. Radomir is from the Eastern Lands. He has ruddy skin, black hair, a short pointy beard, a black hooded cloak, and leather armor. He favors the short sword. Radomir is an agent of Kos.

7. Last, but definitely not least, the war-dancing Mingol Bataar and his lucky short sword Khazdag played by Gary. Bataar is especially dexterous, has long black hair, tan skin, wears no armor, dresses like a sailor, and dual-wields longsword and short sword. Bataar serves no patron, and follows the path carved by Khazdag.

Be warned, my gentles, that the remainder of this tale is laden with SPOILERS!

We begin with our party leaving the Silver Eel. A robbed gagged man approaches who silently hands them a scroll and a pouch of silver smerduks, and then walks away. The scroll is from High Priest Valnov of the temple of Votishal; he asks for a meeting and sends them silver for their consideration. The party "considers" the silver by spending it at the Silver Eel gathering what information and libations they can before the meeting.

Arriving at the temple, the party is confronted by a strangely quiet crowd of 50 people gathered outside the temple's locked door. Most of them are gagged, and those that aren't are whispering. A lone gagged priest in an elevated pulpit silently collects alms using a bucket and rope. Bataar pushes through the muted mob shouting the heroes' arrival and letting the priest know that they are answering Balnov's summons. At the proclamation, five ruffians erupt from the throng with studded cudgels and attack the party!

Our heroes make short work of the second-rate toughs. Radomir, also hiding within the crowd, backstabs one who faints from the pain; Jumaash proclaims, "Please, violence is not the way," (hmm, we'll see about that) and incapacitates two with a blinding color spray; following his white wizard soul-brother, Batu decimates one with critical hit by Wound Licker. Ozor unfortunately loses magic missile on his first cast of the game but follows later with flaming hands, while Bataar, Galo, and Ja'mar take care of the remainder.

Once the melee clears, high priest Balnov (who sent the scroll to the PCs) emerges from the temple, removes his gag, and says, "Votishal allows me only a few minutes per hour to speak. Let us make the most of it." The priest flips over a 3-minute hour glass and quickly tells the PCs that troubles began after the previous high priest killed a lieutenant of the extortionist Basharat, who was shaking down the temple for cash. Days later, the high priest was found murdered, then every night thereafter an additional priest was found dead. Balnov offers 200 gold rilks per PC for them to catch the murderer. The priests are abandoning the temple and performing exit rites, but Valnov wants the group to break into the temple after sundown; all of the murders have occurred at night so he hopes the party can find the culprit then. The party thinks to hastily ask some pertinent questions and Balnov quickly sketches some maps of the temple. With the sand timer being empty, he retreats into the temple grounds.

Jumaash searches the bodies of the toughs (Jeff rolls a 1 on his Luck check! Fleeting luck is awarded. FEAR NO RULE!) and discovers that the toughs were hired by Basharat to prevent the Votishites from getting help. Jumaash (a servant of Issek) travels down to the other end of the Street of the Gods to visit Issek's temple an learns of another extortionist Pulg (dear Reader: if you haven't read Lean Times in Lankhmar, do yourself a favor and read it!). Then Jumaash reaches Pulg's crew to try to set them against their competition (Basharat); they reveal that Basharat "may have" approached the Slayers Brotherhood to deal with Votishite priest that killed his man. "Possibly" the Assassins' Order was contacted. By now, your poor judge is bleeding fleeting luck to his players, as this ENTIRE paragraph of investigation was off-script of the written adventure.

Full of information and liquid courage, the party returns to the temple at sundown. They decide to enter through the walled garden's locked door (easily picked by Ja'mar!) and are surprised by two jaguars from the jungles of Klesh! Galo does the jaguar's share (I'm here all week, Reader) of damage to one with a MDoA crit that thrusts Coin Spinner through the top of the beast's muzzle, through the mouth, and out the bottom of the jaw, craters the temple (the jaguar's, to be clear!), and blinds the beast with pain. The blade-dancing Bataar also crits and collapses the wounded cat in bloody mess. Meanwhile, Jumaash imbues his soul-brother Batu with strength (who gets a +10 MODIFIER (like, what Strength score is that?!?) for one round. Radomir puts the beast to sleep with a sleep dart from his blowgun, then Batu bursts into the garden Kool-Aid style (fleeting luck) and "curb-stomps" the feline (now ferociously fractured) and throws it back over the 30' wall, almost hitting Jumaash on the other side. Poor Ozor loses flaming hands in the skirmish. Bataar helps console Ozor with "Magic is extremely unreliable" to which Jumaash responds, "Turn to the white magic, that's more potent." Bataar shuts it down with, "Oh my god, it's like a buzzing noise". Your judge, in tears, weeps fleeting luck to the players.

Entering the temple via the temple, the party discovers the corpse of one of the murdered priests. Inspecting it, they cannot determine cause of death, although the skin has strange burns shaped like sword wounds but without blood. Bataar ponders in his thick Mingol accent, "Someone STOLE this man's big toe. I gotta tell you. I've been broke… I've been SUPER broke - but I've never been like, STEAL TOE broke." (fleeting luck!) Ju'mar (with a 19 Intelligence check) recalls that toes are often used in rituals by the rats of Lankhmar Below (where could this be leading?). So much fleeting luck is on the table, dear Reader, but don't worry. We'll get it back. Oh yessssss…

Entering the temple's dining room, the party disturbs a murderous swarm of insects (corrupted by the temple's new inhabitant… stay tuned!) that had been feeding on food left behind. The party wisely chooses to leave the room (smart!) to contain the swarm within by closing the doors. Battar, the bantering blade dancer, cannot just simply flee! No! He's inspired! He decides to use a mighty deed to employ the dining table itself as a weapon against the swarm (this is how a warrior gets an AoE attack, dear Reader). He gets a 6 on his mighty deed roll!

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Then he fumbles! Nooooooooooo! (About 10 fleeting luck tokens come in. Yessssss.) His fumble manages to break his weapon (the table). Thankfully Ozor comes to the rescue! He crits with a scorching ray, turning swarm to ash but also significantly wounds Radomir. Oops.

This ends the tale of session 1, but our heroes' tale is far from over! Grab another pint of Lankhmar stout and I'll be here to tell you about session 2.
Last edited by Pesky on Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Terry Olson

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Re: Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

Post by Panglossian » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:55 pm

You are a creative DM, and this group was hilarious to play with; lots of witty comments and feats of derring do. This is a fantastic write up of last Friday’s session.
Did you post one for the second session on Saturday?

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Re: Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

Post by Pesky » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:17 am

Thanks, @Panglossian! I’ll have the report for the second session posted by May’s first weekend.
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Re: Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

Post by Pesky » Fri May 01, 2020 11:08 am

Welcome back, friends! Join me for the tale of the second session of Cyclops Con's Violence for Votishal (Goodman Games DCCL #4). We return to our cast of seven Nehwonian heroes: the Mingol warrior Batu and his soul-brother the white wizard Jumaash; the Lankhmart warrior Galo; the black wizard Ozor; the thief from the Cold Wastes, Ja'mar the Thirsty; another thief, Radomir from the Eastern Lands; and the "I've never been like, STEAL TOE broke" Mingol warrior Bataar.

Again, my gentles, SPOILERS ahead!

The session 1 report is here: https://goodman-games.com/forums/viewto ... 10&t=48986

Our heroes have just survived a murderous swarm of insects, dispatched by Ozor's crit with a scorching ray. Unfortunately Radomir was also critically scorched, but he manages to stay alive and heal himself amidst the ashes. The party all exits the dining room and finds their bearings in the temple's entryway. Interestingly, there is a stack of empty bottles in front of the doors leading to the courtyard. The doors open inward, so the bottles would fall noisily if anyone entered from outside. But who put those bottle there? I'm not tellin'. Not yet, anyways. Jumaash thinks the priests left them; he's probably right. Woah, did you see that?!? My nose just grew. Where was I? Our heroes collect these bottles and salvage stoppers from the kitchen…just in case.

The party wisely consults their hastily sketched map of the first floor (recall that High Priest Balnov gave it to them) and goes to the site of another murder, the former high priest, Maamph. Remember that in the first session they found the murdered priest Solmrak in the kitchen. Galo steps in the room and finds Maamph's corpse on a bed. The victim has a slit throat, a "B" carved in his forehead, and a note affixed to his chest with an iron spike. (If you need to ever fix a note to your chest, dear Reader, please try something besides an iron spike.) Jumaash, while inspecting the body, finds a trail of fecal flakes (or, as Bataar calls it, "a poop trail") leading from the bedside and exiting the room. Batu ponders, "I smelled something but I thought it was Bataar." (fleeting luck!) Jumaash thinks to check the feet of the victim (remember that the other corpse was missing a big toe), but finds the feet toe-tally intact (I told you I was here all week). Bataar hypothesizes that there must be two different killers. An interesting thought! As he contemplates such matters, the Mingol blade-dancer searches the room's desk and finds the drawer forced open and looted. He also finds three vials of oil. Both he and Batu apply a vial each to Khazdag and Wound Licker, respectively. Radomir makes the most intriguing find, however, by looking under the bed (fleeting luck!). The wily thief discovers a pair of human-sized feet bronzed together (like baby shoes!). As Radomir possesses the feet he feels power coursing through him and finds some of his thieving abilities enhanced. (If you're wondering, dear Reader, whether the author of this adventure has some weird foot thing goin' on… well… what can I say? He's a strange one, that guy.)

Next the party goes to a large pair of double doors and Bastaar opens them slightly to peek in. He sees a chapel within which a ghostly gagged alley-basher prays at an alter of a giant humanoid spine capped with a gagged skull having two amethysts as eyes. The specter wears a necklace of five severed toes. With "eight million kinds of Mingol superstitions" running through his mind, Bataar explains, "There's nothing in that room." (Fleeting luck!) The party is not convinced, however, and Jumaash enters to try to communicate. Neither the ghost nor the large spined skull approve of his loud speech within the chapel. Melee ensues! The skull fires amethyst rays at the white wizard, who dodges them. Meanwhile the ghost unsheathes a spectrally flaming sword and strikes Jumaash with burning damage (haven't we seen flaming sword wounds before?) and throws ectoplasmic goo which engulfs his head and begins going down his throat, trying to silence and suffocate him! Luckily, his fortitude is strong enough to resist! Poor Galo thrusts Coin Spinner with a precise strike but the blade passes right through the spirit. Ozor and Jumaash both cast magic missiles (note that the white wizard's spell is *not* debilitated if used on a non-living thing), inflicting significant damage to the ghost. Bataar strikes with Khazdag but it glances of the ghost's armor. It GLANCES off the armor! It doesn't pass through as Coin Spinner did. (Remember that Bataar coated the blade, as did Batu, with the oil from the high priest's room). Batu, taking the hint, lands a mighty blow with Wound Licker, almost severing the ghost's head! (Luckily, your poor judge didn't have to figure out how that would work). Galo switches targets to the spine and skull, which is smashing and shooting rays at the party, and lands a precision mighty deed that cleanly separates its vertebrae! The heroes manage to damage the ghost into dissipation. Just as it fades, its spectral necklace of toes becomes flesh and drops to the ground. Our black wizard Ozor gathers the necklace, hoping it will bestow some arcane power. Perhaps the ghost left it as a toe-kin of his respect? (Sorry not sorry!)

Exiting the chapel, our intrepid Ghostbusters note a door with three locks arranged vertically (that's right, a 1, 2, 3-lock box….never mind). Ja'mar and Radomir cannot resist a triply locked door! They crouch in front as Ja'mar skillfully unlocks the top lock, then the second lock, then the third… CLICK. Oh no! Our thief from the Cold Waste triggers a trap. Ja'mar looks at Radomir. Radomir looks at Ja'mar. Time stops as Radomir scolds him, "Soooo cocky!"…. And then a huge stone slab drops from the ceiling! Ja'mar quickly leaps aside to only be slightly hurt, but poor Radomir is too slow and takes a few HD worth of damage. OUCH! On the bright side, Ja'mar DID unlock that bottom lock. Bataar steps boldly forward, opens the door, and finds a stone wall. False hopes! (Psst. Just between you and me, dear Reader, my "neutrality" is always challenged when players fall for this trapped door. It's possible that I feel the tiniest hint of joy when the trap is sprung).

Galo leads the party back to the high priest's chamber and follows the trail of fecal flakes all the way to the temple's latrine. Radomir supposes (correctly!) that the priest's (not priests'… punctuation people!) killer snuck into the temple by coming up through the latrine (fleeting luck!). He says, "Time-tested way of infiltrating a building." (Kind of gross if you ask me. I mean…who wrote this? Oh… never mind).

Consulting their sketched map, our heroes see that Valnov indicated another murder victim in a room off of the temple's courtyard. So, the party decides to investigate that victim and then head to the sewers. Entering the courtyard, they encounter a group of toughs guarding and patrolling the grounds (keep in mind that the priests have already evacuated, so these guys shouldn't be here). Combat is fast and fierce! Four toughs are on the ground, but one is a slinger taking cover behind a short wall on the roof. The party eliminates the ones on the ground, with highlights including a backstab from Ja'mar and a mighty deed decapitation by Batu. For this latter strike, Batu has leapt atop a bronze well (of sorts), then swings from his higher ground and directs the severed head through is legs into the well! (Only in DCC, my gentles). The slinger harries the party effectively, however, but finally Jumaash incapacitates him with a spell check 26 color spray. After some tense interrogation (Ozor makes the blinded tough feel the necklace of severed toes), the party argues morals but decides upon a catch-and-release policy. The thug (hired by Basharat to stop people from helping the priests) goes free.

The party goes the location of the other murdered priest, but finds a locked collection box outside the door. Radomir picks the lock, but guess what? Do you really need me to tell you? IT'S TRAPPED! Radomir is pricked with a poisoned needle and doesn't have the Fortitude to withstand it and takes damage. Will he take even more poison damage later? I won't tell… at least not in THIS session report. The silver lining, or I should say, "diamond-in-amber" lining, is that the box contains 12 diamond-in-amber glulditches. (worth 1200 gold rilks!). Bataar barges into the room beyond, finding the corpse of the Votishite priestess Aruhu (hey, that's Uhura spelled backwards), and confirms that she's missing a toe and has similar sword-shaped burned wounds as the corpse in the kitchen (last session). Your neutral-in-all-things judge asks Bataar for a Luck check, and states for the sake of clarity that he should roll low. "No one bosses me around!" exclaims Bataar and rolls a 17. Will there be consequences for missing that check? We shall see…we shall see…

Well my gentles, I'm parched. That's enough tale-spinning for now. Come back later and I'll tell you what happens next!
Terry Olson

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Re: Session Report of Violence for Votishal (DCCL#4) pt. 1

Post by Pesky » Fri May 29, 2020 4:28 pm

It's that time again, my gentles. Join me for the tale of the third session of Cyclops Con's Violence for Votishal (Goodman Games DCCL #4). We return to our cast of seven Nehwonian heroes: the Mingol warrior Batu and his soul-brother the white wizard Jumaash; the Lankhmart warrior Galo; the black wizard Ozor; the thief from the Cold Wastes, Ja'mar the Thirsty; another thief, Radomir from the Eastern Lands; and the "I've never been like, STEAL TOE broke" Mingol warrior Bataar.

If you're not seeing double, then beware… SPOILERS ahead!

The session 2 report is here:
https://goodman-games.com/forums/viewto ... 86#p123497

Our heroes just raided a room of worship where the Votishite priestess Aruhu lies murdered and missing a toe. If that surprises you then you've got some catching up to do! You may recall that Bataar failed a Luck check searching the corpse. Will there be consequences? Yes! Will Bataar suffer them? No! Read on…

The party finds themselves at a crossroads… sort of. They've investigated all of the corpses on the temple's ground floor. They know there's a victim in the catacombs. (Actually, there are… um, forget I said anything… wait 'till next session report!) They also know there is a victim on the temple's second floor. Do they go up or down? They go up!

Retracing Bataar's steps from when he retrieved that harassing slinger made blind and unconscious by the (supposedly) non-violent Jumaash, white wizard and servant of Issek, the party ascends to the second floor via the courtyard's outer wall. Circling the perimeter counterclockwise from West to East, our alley-bashers arrive at a locked door. Radomir, not to be fooled a third time (or is it a second time?) checks the lock for traps. It seems safe, but the lock is beyond his skills. Jumaar picks the lock easily, however (25 on the check… and not a nat 20… impressive!).

The party passes through the door and finds hallways lit by intermittent candles, though plenty of shadows remain. Bataar and Jumaash lead the group and arrive at the first intersection. The judge, pesky as he is, asks the two for Intelligence checks. Jumaash fails, but Bataar crits! He says, "Bataar. Knows. Everything." (Fleeting Luck!) Whether he knows everything is debatable, but he certainly knows there's a large thug in black studded leather armor trying to sneak up on him for a backstab. Roll initiative!

Batu charges through his allies to attack the sneak but misses, and Ozor charges his hands (see what I did there?) with a hopefully-soon-to-be-devastating Chilling Touch (spell check 25!). Bataar screams "Khazdag biiiiiite!" and swings. (Quick OOC aside: Roll20 rolls damage along with the attack roll. Bataar gets max damage "10" but an uninspiring attack roll of 8. Bataar cashes in all 3 of his Fleeting Luck in hopes to hit, but still misses. Would he have cashed in that Luck if he didn't already know that damage to be done?). Although he misses with the longsword, Bataar follows with Khazdag (a short sword) and pulls off a mighty deed to knock the thug ("Nox") to the ground, but Nox makes his save! Jumaash imbues his soul brother Batu with Issek's strength. Radomir sends a sling stone through the fray to successfully connect with Nox's face! Our other thief, Ja'mar, who has hung back in the shadows, sneaks up with his short bow and shoots through the hallway crowded with six allies between him and his target. Heavily penalized (rolling a d14 to hit), Ja'maar shoots! Since the enemy was unaware of him, we rule this as a potential backstab. He watches in slow motion as the arrow is about to skewer Ozor in the neck, then wills the missile to miss (burns Luck)! He grimaces as the arrow is about to remove one of Jumaash's kidneys and wills it to the side (burns Luck)! He sees the shaft heading for Batu's knee, but does some gesture to move it (burns final point of Luck…which is now down to 3)! And miraculously, perhaps guided by The Gods of Trouble, the arrow pierces Nox in the ankle for 8 damage! Batu connects with a mighty deed to push the thug into a larger space to allow others to gang up on him. Remember Ozor's big Chilling Touch roll? He attacks and fumbles! (I'll take that Fleeting Luck).

Suddenly (most used judge's word ever?), Bataar is backstabbed by a stealthy lithe woman in black leather armor. This is Nox's partner, Nixit. She hits the Mingol warrior from behind with a devastating strike to the head. He has to make a DC 17 Fortitude save or fall unconscious. Bataar crits his saving throw and easily shakes off the darkness clouding his vision! Galo, still focused on the original threat, presses through the throng twirling Coin Spinner with a mighty deed that distracts and slays Nox. Meanwhile, Batu vaults into the air and runs along a wall (mighty deed!) to flank Nixit, striking her as he lands…and crits! She's blinded by pain from having her temple struck! The rogue still fights on and swings her dagger at Bataar. She should have hit but a jug-shaped shield forms and intercepts the blow (magic shield from Jumaash). Bataar exclaims, "First she nearly knocks me out, then she nearly cuts me with a dagger… I'm in love!" (Fleeting Luck!)

The Mingol blade-dancer decides he'll switch to subdual damage and strikes her using the flats of both blades for 18 points of subdual damage with a mighty deed trying to knock her out, but she doesn't submit! Jumaash, ever the voice of non-violent reason, says, "Lady Rogue, you fight with bravery, but you're clearly outmatched. Lay down your weapons." Jumaash gets a 14 on a Personality check, which is sufficient to warrant a morale check for Nixit. She fails and surrenders! Jumaash scolds Bataar, "You tried to render her unconscious, but all you had to do was talk to her." Bataar's replies, "You know nothing about women." (Again, your judge is bleeding Fleeting Luck. I can't make this stuff up!) The enamored Bataar kisses Nixit's hand and asks that she wait for him at the Silver Eel so that they may get to know one another. Before she can answer, in comes the silver-tongued Jumaash! "You've obviously suffered much at Bataar's hand, " he says, "perhaps you'd like to learn about the suffering god, Issek of the Jug." And *he* invites her to the Silver Eel. (At this point, your poor judge is worried he's going to run out of Fleeting Luck to give!) It's time for a Personality check roll off! Bataar gets an 8 and Jumaash a 17! Bataar exclaims, "Round 1 goes to you priest, but this battle is not over!" Nixit leaves to wait at the Silver Eel. As to what happens next with her and the two rivals? That's best left to the imagination!

After the encounter, our poor Radomir takes additional poison damage from that trap he sprung last session. Later, our intrepid temple-cleansers come upon a locked door to the library. Radomir fumbles his pick locks check (I'll take that Fleeting Luck, thank you very much), but then Ja'mar attempts the pick and crits it! Bataar steps in to find THE SAME GHOST THEY PREVIOUSLY DEFEATED (see session 2's report) leaning over some strange apparatus comprised of gems, lenses, and a green-flamed candle. The specter, none too pleased about being interrupted again, attacks! The party knows what to do, but they only have one more vial of the blade oil that enables mundane weapons to connect. Bataar gives the oil to Batu to coat Wound Licker. Batu engages in melee while Jumaash and Ozor cast spells from afar. Jumaash crits a magic shield with spell check 31! There are numerous benefits, including a "battalion of magical shields" that provides +6 AC to all allies that are within 10' of the mage for 5 hours! Unfortunately, Galo was too far away to benefit. (This judge is reminded of that pesky Jeff Goad who significantly spellburned his PC in order to start the session with a 32+ result on magic shield, see the Twitch stream of Rats of Ilthmar on the Goodman Games Channel!). Why would Issek allow his servant to protect the party from suffering? No fair, cries the (completely impartial) judge! Ozor then follows with a 28 point magic missile to defeat the ghost… again. (A word on ghosts, my dears… defeating one in combat rarely relieves it of its un-deadness. One has to "put it to rest." How can our ghostly alley-basher be put to rest? I'm not tellin', not yet anyways.)

I've left something out, though. Let's jump back in time to the start of the battle. Ja'mar, quickly realizing that his non-magical weapons cannot influence the outcome, shouts "words of encouragement" and slinks down the hallway to another room as the melee ensues. He enters the priestesses' bedroom and finds a locked iron chest. Our skillful but neglectful thief picks the lock but doesn't check for traps. When will they learn, my gentles? Of course, you KNOW this lock is trapped. By the way, do you recall Bataar's failed Luck check on the priestess' corpse down on the ground level? If he would have succeeded, he would have found a key that opens this lock without setting off the trap. Speaking of the trap… Ja'mar's pick breaks a tiny vial within the lock's mechanism and a smoke guardian flows from its vial prison, coalesces in front of Ja'mar, and attacks! It hits the startled thief, who screams, "I found SOMETHING!" and flees back to the library.

Meanwhile, back in the library, the party investigates a round bronze door set in the floor. It features a raised relief of a large skull with four gem-shaped holes in its teeth. Our heroes remember that the aformentioned apparatus had gems (along with lenses and a candle). They discover that the device focuses light through a gem and projects the light upon the wall. There is writing within the gems! The gems seem to record the history of the Votishite religion, but one period, Sevens-Cycles 300-349, is missing. (More on that later… maybe). Ja'mar runs through the doorway, reiterating, "I FOUND SOMETHING!" with the smoke guardian close behind. The guardian crits the thief! It curses Ja'mar whose Luck is reduced to 2 (was already at 3) and he suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls until he can get the curse lifted. Bataar, always weary of ghosts, is dubious. Your judge explains to the Mingol that this is creature is made of smoke and doesn't look like a ghost, per se. Bataar's reply, "Yah, tell that to the guy who got cursed!" Nonetheless, the party aids him and defeats the beast, the final "blow" again coming from Ozor with a 14 point magic missile made of phantom skulls that consume the beast as it disappears (Ozor's own description…Fleeting Luck!).

The PCs deduce that the gems are needed for the floor's door. The now-cautious Radomir disables a trap in the door's handle, and the group places the gems in the correct order to open ie. A ladder descends into a small treasure room that's been mostly emptied by the priests before they evacuated. Bataar is the first to enter (as usual) and gathers some scattered and neglected coins on the floor (the chests are empty). More importantly, there are three vials of Votishal's Holy Oil to replace those which the PCs have expended. Bataar notes that there is a red cloak hanging on a peg, seemingly forgotten. The Mingol warrior considers whether it was forgotten or intentionally left behind, and leaves it. Jumaash, however, is intrigued and retrieves the cloak. He finds it warm to the touch and quite comfortable to wear. Time will tell if Bataar's suspicions were justified…

Phew! I'm parched; you probably are as well. We'll stop here. Grab another Lankhmar Stout, and I'll resume with the tale of session 4 later!
Terry Olson

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