Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dwimmer-Game 12 - My Orc is Binky

Cast of Characters:
Bud, a level 2 dwarven cleric
Mumford, a level 2 fighter
Utor, the elf enchanter (level 2 Mage)
Jarvis, a level 2 fighter
Bart, a level 2 fighter
Marthanes the Summoner (level 3 Mage)
Tancrede, a level 3 cleric of Typhon
Wulfengard, a level 3 dwarf fighter

The players started game 12 back in Muntburg.  It had been a while since the group was going to spend time in the castle, and I wanted to make sure they saw that the world around them was being changed by the incursions into Dwimmermount.  The castellan of Muntburg, Legate Verodart, invited them to a moot with the other adventuring parties to get a view on what was happening in the dungeon.  A few of the interested characters went to the war council while the others trained or went to the bar.

In game, this was more of a  Q&A, but you readers are getting this like an info-dump.  The players learned that the Delvers and Fists of Typhon had discovered the Temple of Law; a number of the fighters in the Delvers had prayed in the temple and converted to paladins, and the two parties were working together to open a pilgrim's path to the temple.

The Seekers had cleared a bunch of slimes and oozes from the elevator shaft to level 4, had dropped ropes, and begun exploring level 4.  They encountered minotaurs, and a succubus.  After an encounter with a dark altar, Marguerine (one of their mages) had gone 'goth' and the Seekers were worried about her mental health and allegiance.

Meanwhile, rumors were pouring in from around the countryside.  The Necromancers of Ythelrom were organizing an adventuring party to come to Dwimmermount.  The Despot of Retep was supposedly mobilizing an army to march on Dwimmermount in the spring, concerned that the Despot of Adamas would gain too much power if he controlled Dwimmermount on his own.  Retep was far away, so it wasn't clear if this rumor was true.  It's currently "October" on the game calendar, so the players figured they had 5-6 months before the spring.  The last rumor was that the High Priest of Typhon in Adamas would appoint a special Inquisitor to come into Muntburg, to keep an eye on encroachment of Chaos - and also make sure adventurers weren't succumbing to the dark powers, or sympathizing with Volmar.

Anyway, a few of the guys really like to think about the larger world, whereas the kids are more interested in getting back to the dungeon.  They were glad when the war council was over.  The party quickly returned to the sub-level on 3A so Marthanes could figure out how to activate the Pool of Life.

Like last time, it took many hours to figure it out.  There were wandering monster encounters with a Gelatinous Cube, and a couple of Gray Oozes.  This time the party was a little more diligent about posting guards and watching for monsters.

When Marthanes finally figured out the controls, they decided to make some orcs.  I described the scene like something from Isengard in the Lord of the Rings, with muscular snarling orc warriors rising out of the pool to see who called them forth.  Utor, the uber-charismatic Elf, waited near the Pool with a Thulian War Mask (which gives command bonuses over Beastmen) and his glamour that makes him seem commanding.  Utor name the orcs as they rose out of the pool… Binky, Pinky, and Pork.  Although Pork was quickly renamed Travis the Orc.  "Thank you for our names, Master.  Is it true that Binky is a fierce warrior name?  I want to be fierce."

Binky, Pinky, and Travis accompanied the players for a few rooms, but Binky and Pinky were destroyed by some gnolls before the end of the session  - their reign of awesome was short-lived.  Travis ran off into the darkness, to sharpen knives in some dungeon corner.  Maybe he's still somewhere on level 2A?

Bart and Wulfengard got blown up in a room full of upright stasis tubes.  Most of the tubes were empty, but a few of them had vague inhabitants upright in them… and Bart and Wulf started smashing the side of the tube with a hammer, which exploded outwards and brought them both to near death (3-18 damage). The wisely used their Rod of Opening to safely open the other tube.

Inside the tubes were 2 Thulian survivors from 200 years ago, Arethusa and Collothus, who survived the fall of Dwimmermount by escaping into stasis.  Marthanes, the party scholar, was quick to befriend them and hire them - while offering to get them 'up to speed' on the state of the modern world.  Collothus was a good follower for a few sessions, but died versus some mummies a game or two ago, but Arethusa is still a henchman as of game 17.  The players debriefed them in between sessions and learned a ton of secret history about the Termaxians.  They realized that Dwimmermount, in its hey-day under the Termaxians, was full of science and machinery.  Arethusa and Collothus were bureaucrat-mages that knew how a bunch of machines worked (magical engineering).

It was inevitable the kids thought about becoming monsters, living in the dungeon all the time, and building an army of gnolls.  But they realized that higher level adventurers would come after them, and they decided to defer building their gnoll army until they were ready to march it out of Dwimmermount.  They did befriend a bunch of wild gnolls elsewhere in the dungeon, and Marthanes took on the mantle of "Master Soap", heir to Varaxes, and set them to guarding the Pool of Life on his behalf.  It is interesting that the kids usually try to talk to the humanoid monsters (and have the charisma and magic masks to pull it off).

The final piece of this session involved getting to level 3A.  Arethusa had a Locate Object spell and helped the party find the stairs down.  In one of the first rooms they encountered on level 3A, they met a squad of soldiers and a war-priest from the Empire of Volmar.  (The Volmarians are half a continent away from Dwimmermount).  There was an active portal between Volmar and the dungeon.  The players knew that Volmarian agents were getting into the dungeon somehow, but didn't realize it was from within the dungeon itself!

The players suggested an alliance with the Empire of Volmar, and Opilio, the war-priest of Mavors, invited them back to Volmar to meet the emperor in person.  This game ended with the players stepping through a portal on level 3 of the dungeon into the sweltering heat and opulence of the Imperial Palace of Volmar.

Next game:  To Volmar!  Dwimmermount continues to show why it's such a fantastic campaign setting.