Friday, December 13, 2019

Brier Patch Tussle

Treas 8, 5540

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, bat familiar
    • Clench, Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, Panther
    • Noona, Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men Dragon
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Crolack, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Saphira Moonstone, Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger Red Dragonborn Ranger
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, Witch
  • Wendy, Terrifying Clown Bard
  • Aria Balakdo, Gnomish Librarian
    • Emily Emerald, Librarian Guard
    • Gunilla Sandström, White Mage
    • Lautaro Rodriguez, Explorer

Treas 8, 5540

After camping for (the rest of) the night in the goblin village, the party journeyed onward. After a short conversation with one of the ancient trees - who didn't have much to say about the location to which they were heading, as trees don't have much concept of travel, apart from their original fall and consequent growth up, down, and out - they used a ring of Command Plant to move the tree aside, letting in sunlight, and letting them easily fly out through the canopy. They traveled on, avoiding any creatures beneath the canopy, and eventually running into a group of young copper dragons. The dragons weren't terribly interested in the "site of great power", saying that their parents had told them it was dangerous, and that they should't go over there.

Ignoring the obvious warnings of danger, the group continued toward their destination. They stopped to sleep, and fought a regenerating hydra, pummeling it with enough damage to keep it from regaining its heads. Once again, they flew onward, finally reaching the location by later afternoon. It wasn't hard to find; the deep, dark forest was entirely cleared around the area. The site was a perfect square, with four large mounds at the corners, and a jagged series of earthen berms forming a sort of simple maze to the center. The berms were covered with strange, jagged things, like enormous briers, with huge, sharp thorns. On closer inspection, the briers were inorganic - stone, not woody plants. Weathered metal signs filled the maze, with images of skulls, running people, people covered with sores, and many more pictures of the dark angel on the maps.

In the very center, there was an irregularly shaped four-sided structure; the architecture was strange, with no line being parallel or perpendicular to another. On each of the four sides was a sign; the forth side had an additional, weathered wooden sign. A helm of comprehend languages could not read the original writing, but it could decipher the writing on the wooden plaque:

This place is a letter message... and part of a system of messages... pay attention to it! Sending this message was important to us. We consider[ed?] ourselves a powerful culture. This place is not a place of honor... no respected act is remembered here... there is nothing appreciated here. What is here is dangerous and retaliatory for vengeful towards us. This message is a warning about danger [specific]. The danger is in a specific location... it increases towards a center... the center of this danger... is of a particular size and shape, and below us. The danger still exists, in your time, as it was in our time. The body [society?] is at risk and can kill [body kills or danger?]. The form of the hazard is derived from energy. The risk peril is only dropped released if you are physically disturbing this place. It is better to avoid this place and leave it unattended.

After a few minutes of puzzling over the message, the party was interrupted by the arrival of five men, clad in somewhat odd leather armor, but otherwise unarmed. The leader demanded that they leave this place; Lorita was the only one who could understand them, and asked why, but was only repeatedly told to leave. After a few more requests for more information, and explaining their quest, the men became even more terse, finally ending with, "Leave or be destroyed!"

The men were... well prepared. Before the fight even started, they spread out to avoid area attacks; though they were only wearing leather armor, the armor was of such quality that they dodged damage like it was nothing. Their bare fists rained down damage, nearly taking down Wendy and bashing the rest of the party pretty well too. Two of the men ran behind a nearby berm, and returned with two contraptions following them - strange mechanical platforms with heavy shields and dual repeating crossbows that shot up the battlefield with ease. One after the other, however, the men dropped; eventually, the machines were damaged, and the last of the men brought down.

Realizing the men were lawful only after the fight, the party began binding their wounds and bringing them back to the land of the living... The leader was restored to full health, with minor scarring, only requiring a night of bed rest; two of the others also only needed a night of bed rest, though while one only had minor scarring, the other sustained damaged genitals (though, oddly, he didn't seem very upset by that fact). One of the fighters sustained a severed hand, and needs a week of bed rest, keeping the two engineers company, both of whom were lamed. The last of the fighters was utterly destroyed, and unable to be brought back without a powerful spell...

  • XP from encounters:
    • 1 Martial Artist leader (2600 XP)
    • 2 Martial Artist (3200 XP)
    • 2 Martial Artist (2200 XP)
    • 2 Engineers (1200 XP)
    • 2 shielded moving platforms (4** HD, 380 XP)
  • XP from treasure: (none)
  • Total XP from encounters: 9580
  • XP per PC: (Laurita, Saphira, Wendy): 1916
  • XP per Henchthing: 958 (Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, Alun)
  • Further XP once you reach civilization and sell treasure: 487 (total)

The moving platforms were reduced to composite parts (and fewer than they started with), but the crossbows were mostly ok. There are four crossbows - automatons - of exquisite design, though two sustained some damage; you don't know much about automatons, but these appear to be quite expensive.

As a note, automatons fall into two categories: those that require an operator, and those that do not. Those that require an operator are essentially just machines, and will not count towards XP - though they do count towards treasure. Automatons that do not require an operator are treated like enemies, giving XP by their HD and special abilities. What that means is, an automaton with an operator is similar to a magical weapon; as long as it is not used, it can be sold as treasure, but researching it removes the ability to get XP from selling it.

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