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Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 13, Part 1

December 9, 2016

As soon as the secret door to the “eye” chamber opened, thick noxious fog spilled out into the room that the adventurers were in – another cloudkill spell! Luckily for the PCs, they had just discovered life bubble on the druid spell list, which specifically warded against such magic. But they still could not see through the cloud.

He’s No Daredevil

Satampra the swashbuckler, feeling rather invincible now that he was warded against the deadly fumes, threw caution to the wind and zoomed into the secret room after getting a haste spell from the wizard. And thus he barreled at full speed through a wall of blindness that Vordakai had erected on the other side of the doorway. In true Satampra fashion, he failed his Fortitude save and was rendered permanently blind! Or as permanent as those sort of conditions ever are in D&D-land.

Undaunted, he stumbled forward, trying to reach the large eye carving on the far wall in order to smash it. I looked at Drew, the player in question, quizically and tried to explain that Vordakai was almost certainly blocking the way. There wasn’t anywhere else for the giant lich to be. “Can’t I tumble while blind?” he inquired. “I have to be able to get past him, right?” Trying to explain that he can’t dodge attacks that he can’t see fell on deaf ears, and so I let him roll an Acrobatics check. He didn’t roll so well.

Vordakai closed a clammy hand around the Emporer’s arm as the blind man tried to duck and weave and roll. A cold shock nearly froze the gallant fool’s heart, and were it not for a freedom of movement spell that the druid had cast on him for the earlier piscodaemon battle, he would have been paralyzed as well as blind.

Meanwhile in the room outside, the others dispelled the cloudkill so that they could see, and then dithered as Satampra floundered. They tried to dispel the wall of blindness but were not able to, and no one wanted to walk through it and suffer their comrade’s fate. Iofur the druid summoned a tiger into the room, thereby bypassing the wall, but it got paralyzed by Vordakai’s terrible touch. Satampra subsequently tried to push past the lich with an overrun maneuver (again, while blinded), but the ancient cyclops just knocked him on his royal posterior. “Really, now, Emporer,” the lich rasped, “this behavior is quite beneath you.”

Finally the group resolved to run away. Satampra ate another clammy touch from the Big V as he found his way back to the door, and Remesio the cleric then teleported most of the party out of the tomb. Iofur the druid followed suit in bat form and then headed west to Stagfell. Because of the time taken to construct an undead-bane hammer for the Emporer, they had had only one day to attack the island. With their initial assault turned aside, they gave up and headed home for the Erastus (July) kingdom turn. After curing the Emperor of his blindness and paralysis, of course.

And They Didn’t Even Have Synchronized Watches

Said kingdom turn was free from attacks, although Vordakai did scry and chat with Satampra again. The undead cyclops was mystified that the party kept coming back to raid his home, and saw no reason for continued conflict. As such, he proposed a truce, and even offered to return Maegar Varn’s body if that was a sticking point for the Emporer (who was Varn’s son-in-law). Satampra glibly agreed to said truce, although both he and the lich knew that there would be no ceasation of hostilities.

Late in the week, a rider from Varnhold brought an urgent message from the Nomen centaurs. The missive said that the centaurs had been locked in battle with Vodakai’s forces around the half-buried linnorm skeleton, which was in the process of being exhumed! That sounded bad, but the PCs did not want to get distracted from their singular obsession with that eye-room in the island. Instead they ordered a mounted army to be raised and sent over to assist the centaurs while they got back to business.

A few days after the kingdom turn had ended, the group met at Vordakai’s island retreat and came up with a new plan: Iofur would wildshape into an earth elemental, the casters would hand out long-term buffs, Iofur would glide through the limestone of the island to the eye room, the others would wait for a few minutes before casting short-term buffs, and finally Remesio would teleport the rest of the party to the eye room. The intention of ths rather complicated plan was to avoid whatever had alerted their foe of their presence by skipping all the doors and all the intervening rooms. The first problem with it was that the druid could walk through solid stone as an earth elemental, but he couldn’t see where he was going. So he had to poke his head into rooms to stay on track, and I figured that was enough to set off the lich’s alarm spells. When Iofur reached the eye room, he saw Vordakai appear soon after and begin buffing himself. The druid ducked back into the stone, waited a bit, then stuck his his head in again to see if his friends had arrived. They had not, but this time he was noticed, and he beat a hasty retreat.

The second problem with the plan is that I decided the area was protected by a forbiddance spell. This isn’t in the adventure itself, but it made sense to me that the Big V would have protected the most sensitive parts of his tomb back in the day. The cleric spoke his prayer of transportation while holding hands with the others, but instead of being teleported their bodies were briefly torn apart and then put back together again! Which hurt like the Hells, naturally. At first they thought that they had just gone off-course, but Mestinous the elven wizard was pretty sure that there was a spell preventing them from teleporting into the room.

Soon after, Iofur the earth elemental walked out of the wall, turned back into a human, and told the group what he saw. The adventurers decided to call it a day, but were wary of passing the time on their folding boat as they had been doing previously, for they feared it would leave them exposed. So instead they hid out in the wyvern’s cave until the next day. While they waited, they discussed what they had seen from Vordakai and how they could prepare against it, and before nightfall, they believed that they had a solid plan of action.

Next: a solid plan!

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9 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Hm, with how dead set the adventurers seem to be on entering that room, perhaps Vordakai would see fit to reallocate some of his defenses instead of teleporting into that room every time they come around? That way you can have a non-Vordakai encounter and not deny the party that benefit of spell failure on Vordakai. They did find the hidden room after all, and it’s not like the room screams “break me!”.

    • That’d make sense to me.

    • At this point, the room is indeed screaming “break me!” to the players. It is their singular focus. Or at least it’s Satampra’s, and the others are along for the ride.

      It might have been smart to move more defenses over there, but in my mind Vordakai was enjoying spanking them whenever they came ’round.

      • Pinkius permalink

        I’d love if they started heading towards the eye room, triggered Vordakai to hang out in there, then skpped to do the rest of the dungeon and stole all his treasure while he waited. Because if he left again, they might’ve been waiting for him to leave so they could break the room right?

      • Ha! 😀 That would have been funny.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 12, Part 2 | Daddy DM
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