Saturday, July 15, 2023

New Delvers Session 1

Everyone knows the legend of Calidar - a wizard who went mad trying to seek entrance into Moridis’ Halls, and who opened a portal into the Infernal realms instead - his tower now burns for all time. However, in her studies, Aria learns that, while he was of considerable power, Calidar was an illusionist by craft, and her careful study leads her to believe that the flames eternally engulfing his tower may, in fact, be illusory. If this is the case, then it is possible that Calidar found a hitherto unexplored entry into the Halls. She tells her friends, and they (having learned to trust her judgment in such things), decide to go-a-delving.

Approaching the tower, they come upon three jackals picking at the corpse of a large stonecutter beetle. Two dead jackals are nearby, having taken the beetle’s best shot. The heroes see this from 60’ away, but the jackals do not see them (too busy eating). Gar prepares his blade and shield, Nil will fire a sling bullet at them, and Aria will use an arcane dart. Nil hits with a 9, killing one, and Aria automatically kills one with an arcane dart. The third fails its morale check, and runs away. The fellowship examines the corpse of the beetle; Aria makes her lore check with a natural 12, and they recover its oil membrane. This she is able to pour into a vial. They have enough oil of enchantment to coat three weapons.

At the bridge, they see that it is rickety and looks quite dangerous. Aria and Nil easily disbelieve the illusion (both getting 12s) but Gar struggles to believe that the bridge is safe. He refuses to cross until the others do; they both move across successfully. He finally disbelieves, but is on the other side when the ‘ogre’ emerges from the cave. All three succeed at disbelieving this illusion, and the fight with the zombie is on. 

The heroes win initiative. Aria deals 2 hits with an arcane dart (leaving the zombie at 7), while Nil hits with his sling for 2, leaving the zombie at 5. Gar spends his action crossing the bridge. The zombie misses Aria with both claws. She deals another 2 (leaving it at 3) and Nil misses with a sling stone. Gar enters the combat, hitting with his dagger but missing with his shield. The zombie is at 1. It attacks Gar this time, but misses twice. Aria finishes it with another arcane dart. They investigate the cave, but find nothing of value. 

This time it is Nil who struggles to disbelieve the illusion; he ‘knows’ that the tower is not really burning, but cannot bring himself to approach. It ‘feels’ to him like genuine flame, and he perceives pain as he gets close to it. He needs a few minutes.

Aria and Gar decide to approach, and they find the phantom of Calidar wandering about. Aria tries to greet him pleasantly, and succeeds with her mind check. He remembers hearing of her master at some point, and asks for help in finding his marbles. They begin searching about. Aria finds a scroll (Speak with Stone), and Gar finds a potion (Levitation). He asks if they will check ‘downstairs’ and see if they can find his marbles for him. They agree. 

Nil again attempts to disbelieve, but the illusion is just too strong. He cowers at the foot of the tower. Aria sees this, and asks Calidar if he can help their friend to see that it is safe to come up and help him. Calidar does, and permits Nil to see through the illusion. Because Nil failed twice, he does not get to look for an item like the other two did.

Calidar speaks his name backwards, the magical portal in the floor reveals itself, and the heroes descend into the Halls of Moridis for the first time…  

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