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Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 10, Part 1

October 28, 2016

The adventurers pushed open the large bronze door, and crept into the hall beyond. It immediately turned to the left, went up a set of stairs, turned to the left again, and continued on at a 45 degree angle before turning to the right. As the group advanced, a slow tromp tromp sound of many boots on stone echoed from further down the passage.

Orseen the warpriest, upset that he had missed out on smiting the zombie wizard, ignited his greatsword with the fire of Iomedae and charged around the corner. The others sighed and scowled as they reluctantly followed after their reckless companion. Beyond the bend to the right, the hallway came to another set of stairs going up, and at the base of said stairs Orseen was locked in battle with a column of zombie cyclopes!

varnhold-vanishing-session-10-map-1The holy warrior cut down the first giant zombie – these were regular zombies, not the dread variety, and thus not too hardy – and was joined by Satampra the swashbuckler as another undead stepped forward to fill the gap. Iofur the druid summoned a dire lion, but there was nowhere for it to go in the crowded hall. A fireball hurled into the ranks of zombies by Mestinous the elven wizard, while Remesio the cleric said a prayer for his companions.

As the zombies marched down the stairs and into the blade blender, their leader came into sight at the edge of the party’s light. It was no shambling, mindless zombie – it was a tall cyclops clad head-to-toe in heavy armor. Blood continuously leaked from the armor’s joints and formed a fine red mist that surrounded the giant. It spoke in a language they could not understand, and then formed some of the ever-flowing blood into the shape of a blade that it held in one gauntlet.

This blood-drenched figure was the Herald of War/Blood that I had written up previously, although I had bumped him up to CR 10. But I wasn’t quite as prepared for this battle as I thought – I forgot that the blood knight was surrounded by a grease effect, and didn’t get a chance to use his cylopean Flash of Insight auto-crit power before he went down. I was also hoping to make use of his grab + blood drain ability, but flubbed the attack roll on his slam. So he ended up looking pretty cool but not doing a whole lot, beyond some hit point damage. To make up for my forgetfulness, I had him explode when he was destroyed, exposing the front line to his poisonous blood, although only Satampra failed his save. The swashbuckler is pretty reliable like that.

Dingus Hunt

Once Satampra was done puking up the necrotic blood that he had inadvertently swallowed, the party sifted through the remains of the blood knight. The swordsman claimed the knight’s magic belt (+2 Strength & Constitution), which resized itself for his smaller frame. They also found an onyx and garnet idol of a winged woman holding a sword and riding a horse, which radiated magic. The figure was identified as Szuriel, one of the Four Horsemen of Abbadon. The players immediately made the connection between the idol and their recently-defeated foe, which prompted Mestinous’ player to blurt out incredulously, “Is this a dingus hunt?” I had never heard the phrase before, but I got what he meant – some kind of “collect them all!” puzzle or quest. I’m also not sure why he sounded so offended! Maybe he considered such a common trope to be beneath me as a DM. Well guess what, it’s not! 🙂 Even though that’s not what I was doing here.

The adventurers continued on down the hall, which eventually ended in two more giant bronze doors that stood opposite one another. Orseen was so taken by the metal doors that he dreamed of spiriting them back to Stagfell and putting them in a museum – maybe even open up a special Door Museum for them! Everyone else looked at him and said, “Bwah?” Followed by, “How would you get these giant slabs of bronze out of here and all the way back to Stagfell?” The warrior-priest conceded the point, but still held onto his dream that one day, the dungeon’s lovely doors might find a new home in Caerelia’s capital.

In the meantime, the group decided against actually using the doors for their intended purpose, and went back outside to heal up and recover spells.

When the explorers came back in the morning with fresh prayers of air bubble, they found the secret door closed once again. They nonchalantly triggered the door to open, at which point I had them all roll for initiative! I had been allowing them to traipse in and out of the tomb at their leisure for several days of game time by this point, but that was now coming to an end.

Next: the herald of pestilence!

  1. You always summon monsters on the _far_ side of the enemies, right?

    Also, I’ve never heard (or read) the expression ‘Dingus Hunt’ before?

    • Summon Monster/Nature’s Ally are Close range, which combined with his distance from the front line meant that he didn’t have the range to place it behind the blood knight.

      • Makes …. sense. And I’ve seen that happen before.
        but still, they’re level 8 or so, so that’d be 45 feet. That’s a fair distance. That’s a lot of zombies. 🙂

    • Re: the “dingus”, no one else at the table knew that one, either. He meant a “collect this set of things”-type puzzle or quest. Four Horsemen, four idols, one on each mini-boss. But I had actually just thrown the idols in as some interesting-looking treasure.

      • Makes sense.

      • Pinkius permalink

        I mean, I’ve always called them Collection Quests?
        Maybe gather quests.
        Anywho, I’ve been having a blast with a whole buncha systems and games, my RPG density has escalated.

      • That’s worthy of congratulations Pinkius! 🙂

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  1. Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 9, Part 2 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 14, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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