Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Black City Game 9: Visions of the Future

The game has been going on for a few months now; here's a quick background for anyone new that would like to start following our weekly campaign recaps.

The Black City is my home brew mega dungeon - it's a ruined alien city, on a frozen island far above the world, and the characters are all Norsemen who've come by ship to explore the ruins.  Each summer, dozens or more long ships beach on the shores of Thule Island, a seasonal trading post called Trade Town is established, and many doughty parties of warriors head into the ruins, excavating, fighting monsters, and claiming artifacts and rare pieces to sell in the southern markets.

The players have been focused on slowly exploring the dungeons beneath the city, entering via a huge hole in the ground called the Well of Woe, and working their way north in the sprawling tunnels beneath the city.  When last we broke, they camped over night in the third dungeon they've discovered beneath the city, which they've been calling 'The Mist Dungeon' since it was full of fog and mist when first discovered.

You can also just filter on The Black City Campaign label and browse past Black City posts (both game reports and content) that way.

Mustafa of Arabia, a scimitar wielding desert warrior
Dag the Unwashed, a fighter
Brutok the Strong, a dwarf
Shamus, a Gaelic wizard
Gareth, a Fighter
Borghild, a Norse Cleric
Brick Bunnybreaker, a Halfling

Fighting men:  Bjorn Fjordrunner, Ayerick the Young, Agni, Grimson
Others:  Skoldig (specialist), Bottvild (Cleric)

Last game, the group covered a fantastic amount of ground, mapping a large portion of the south eastern Mist Dungeon.  Strange and wondrous sights were discovered; a gigantic 4-armed polar bear, with a scintillating unicorn horn, apparently preserved in suspended animation behind a glass enclosure; they fought one of the city's massive furry snakes, a monster-sized constrictor that tried to eat them; in a side room, they found the head to the big robot.

Regular readers may remember they found a large metal torso in one of the rooms; in another chamber, they used an alien token to view a holographic projection crystal where one of the city's ancient residents, resembling our modern depictions of 'grey aliens', apparently demonstrates the functioning and control of the large metal automaton of which the torso belonged.   Keyser, one of the players, calls it the "new employee orientation video".  Finding the head vindicated their belief that scattered around the dungeon, they might find the parts to the big metal man, and be able to put it back together.

The level of play was sharp last game!  The group safely eradicated a nest of hairless, mutated giant shrews, using their levitation belt to scout the nest safely from above, and then destroy the monsters with flaming oil from above.  They avoided a nasty slide trap that could have dropped part of the group down into the deeps below the transit tunnels, a level of danger far beyond their 1st level characters.  And they managed to turn the tables on the Dokkalvir (evil faeries) that had kidnapped and  stolen one of the player characters (Agnar the fighter), off the faerie realm of Svartalfheim, a few weeks ago.

The Dokkalvir were met again, chiefly as a wandering encounter, while the party puzzled over a series of heavy duty hatches and levers far to the south in the Mist Dungeon.   The evil elves had come to tell them that their Queen would be returning Agnar to the mortal world in a few days, and that they'd be stranding him in the dungeon - the leader of the Dokkalvir, Aelfwyn, gave the group a crude map on where to retrieve Agnar.  Borghild, who had some previous dealings with the dark elves, had "lent" them some silver and jewels, and used fairy logic and the knowledge that they fey can't break a promise, to compel Aelfwyn to guide them back to his camp and return the treasure.

Just an aside to readers, one of the factors in the Black City is that 'mythological creatures with relationships to the Vikings' - the dark elves, the Dverge (evil dwarves), the Asgardians, and so forth - have sent their own groups to scout parts of the Black City as well, out of curiosity aroused due to their spying and dealings with the Norse.  It's allowed me to have a peculiar and diverse bestiary, doubtless.

Protected by faerie invisibility, the party accompanied the Dokkalvir on a journey that took them far away, out of the Mist Dungeon, and up the large subway-style tunnel that extended far north under the city - much farther than the group intended, I'm afraid.  Stranger sights were seen - the group narrowly avoided detection by a trio of floating "Winged Hunters", flying lobster creatures armed with high tech weaponry and glowing antennae.  The Dokkalvir pointed out where the Winged Hunters had burrowed smooth circular tunnels through the stone with their fell weaponry, granting egress to float up to the surface world and down to the deeper caverns with their otherworldly levitation.

Finally, near the small side room where the Dokkalvir had a camp, a shambling party of Gjenganger attacked.  The gjenganger are dead Norsemen, returned to unlife by unknown properties within the dungeon; the monsters were dispatched after a short combat, with no serious losses to elves or men.

Finally, the elves performed the ritual that opened a way to Svartalfheim, and Agnar was returned to the mortal world.  Knowing this was upcoming, I developed a table for fairy abductions a few weeks ago, and Agnar's result was 'Visions of the Future'.  In his short time as play thing to the Queen of Air and Darkness, she revealed chilling views into upcoming events.  We ended the session then, because we were over time, but I can tell you all one of the visions Agnar will proclaim:  the adventurers all came to Thule as crewmen on a ship called The Isgerd's Fury; in a few short months, Isgerd's Fury will be completely destroyed in a conflagration, stranding them on the island.

More revelations to come.

1 comment:

  1. How did it come about that the Dokkalvir returned Agnar? (You mentioned it was chiefly a random encounter.) Did you roll up the elves, then decide they were returning him, or was it a reaction roll or what?

    Also, I too think it's nifty that the Vikings at the Mountains of Madness idea allows so many different things to be put in the blender.