Sunday, September 29, 2019

Tomb of the serpent King, Session 5: Town and Basilisk

In late July, I ran the 5th session of the the Tomb of the Serpent Kings by Skerples. Sessions one , two three and four can be found by clicking on the links.

4 players showed up this time, unfortunately Twitch's player could not make it:

Elrond, a Low Elf knight and historian. I informed the player that low elves are still much better than humans, and he proceeded to roll better stats than anyone else

Smartas, the human Illusionist. Has a fear of cheese. The new player, sarcastic but momentarily out of inspiration, came up with this fetching name. We grabbed random miniatures and hers was much bigger than the others so it was agreed that this was an unfortunate residual illusion that had never left her, and she appeared to be 7 feet tall. Also has the most HP in the party.

Gildorf the dwarven Summoner. The leader of the newcomers. Here to kill goblin. (player used to be Argus). Not the best entities but good hp at least.

Sabriel the Elven Necromancer. Another new player, still very excited to explode corpses. 

Critically short of supplies, the group arrived in the village of Borgenhoff hungry, purchased a few more rations, and traveled to the city of Elderstone to sell their fat loot. Twitch excused himself, having ... things.... he needed to deal with. No one was sure if he was telling the truth or just taking his share of the money (93 gold was not inconsequential) and running. The party wasn't quite sure how the total added up to 93, but decided to ignore it (I had calculated 93 gold, but I couldn't make the math work... unless there was one more player. I decided that the gnome Min, stuck in his invisible state, somehow got a share of the gold! the player might come back next session).   Every morning, Smartass's enchanted finger (that was now a snake-like weapon) tried to bite her, to her growing frustration.

In Elderstone the loot was sold (Twich did that, but the player being absent we handwaved the details it away). Smartas was delighted to learn that Elderstone had an office (not a full college) of the College of Illusion, but far less happy to learn she owed an enormous sum in student fees (the player forgot.  While this is a funny aspect of the GLOG, it may be less funny for people with actual studen loans?).  She grudgingly forked over 70 gp and used some of the remaining money to buy a high quality mirror.

After buying better armor (Elrond sporting Brigandine now) and equipment, the party still had a few more esoteric items to sell, and were interested in acquiring enchanted equipment for themselves. Gildorf knew of someone - Lurm the Enchanter, in the Golden Field district. Gildorf had done him a favor or two - not enough to get free stuff, oh no no, but at least enough to get in the store and talk shop honestly.

Lurm was not able to identify the small snake statue - it was clearly a broken piece of an entire whole. Elrond traded it, along with 15 gold, for Lurm to enchant his sword - Lurm assured him that while it wouldn't be the work of legend, the knight would be satisfied. The party also sold the Enchanter 2 of the 3 warming eggs for 5 gp each, electing to keep one for themselves. Lurm wasn't willing to pay much for these "clearly limited" items, but he was sure he would find a buyer for the eggs sooner or later.

During conversation about spell acquisition, Sabriel more or less blurted out that she was a necromancer, and Lurm pretended not to understand her meaning - but he flashed a warning glance at Gildorf. He then said he only dealt in proper, legal magic, not things that would lead one to be condemned by the Church and burned at the stake, oh no. The elven wizard, chastised, found a spell she just *had* to have, and forked over 30 gold for a roaring flame spell. Gildorf asked Lurm if he had found any... special... spells. Lurm said he had not, unfortunately, but that perhaps Gildorf could use this bargain wand to his advantage, one that briefly summoned the mysterious entity known as "Dave" and made him sing. Gildorf gladly paid 5 gold for it. Lurm instructed the party to come back in 2 days to pick up the sword.

Having acquired a small fortune and spent a fair chunk of it, the party pondered how to make more money. Gildorf speculated on how money could be saved by herding chickens as rations. He also reminded the others that he had a contact in town that would pay him 100 gp for eliminating the goblins, although he didn't seem very hopeful that the gold would materialized. Sabriel, not impressed by this, wondered how much would a dead Basilisk fetch. This lead to the even more enticing question: how much would a *live* basilisk be worth?

The party pondered how accomplish this. Perhaps the basilisk would be defeated or cowed with the help of a more powerful monster, such as a phoenix. However, no one knew how or where to get a phoenix - it's not on the price list! Inquiries on the topic were unsuccessful, although rumors of a sailing expedition to China were discovered (… I have no memory what this was about).

They decided to try to find scholars who might knew something on the topic of basilisks themselves.  The party was directed to the Round Church in White Wall (a district paved with *skulls* and filled with pestering children) to see a knowledgeable monk, brother Cadfael. Brother Cadfael gave them some rather useful information on the basic biology of the Basilisk (I rolled to see how much he knew, and the dice were kind), and also warned them of the perilous curse that could befall them should they kill it. Although there was some disagreement as to the details, the ancient tomes were unanimous: the Basilisk's slayers always came to a bad end.

After picking up Eldron's sword, the party headed back to the tomb. In Borgenhoff, they purchased 5 sheep and hired a peasant to assist in their endeavor: the shepherd Margery, who was stoic, sleepy due to the incessant hooting of owls, and who smelled of ice-cold water - clear henchmen material if I've ever seen it.

They returned to the Tomb. Smartass, to save on torches, used her Mirror Object to duplicate one. Because of her new nice mirror, the fake torch was much better quality than the ones she had created previously. The tomb was the same as they had left it but... not. There was a strange smell in the air, and high pitched voices could be heard occasionally in the distance. Margery seemed surprisingly unconcerned about driving sheep in a goblin-infested dungeon to feed a basilisk, and helped the party lower them beyond the secret door.

They carefully made their way to the basilisk, and with their hench-peasant's assistance, drove two sheep towards the basilisk, who made quick work of them. Gildorf, summoning his courage, stepped forward and noted that the basilisk was smelling the air, but was intentionally avoiding direct eye contact. They finally got a good look at the beast - it was chained to the ceiling and wearing a bronze collar and wearing a metallic visor. Gildorf came closer and gingerly petted the beast, who seemed to liked it. Gildorf petted with more vigor (this is not a delicate kitten) and the beast indicated that it wanted the collar removed. Gildorf could see that the visors were adjustable, but he couldn't figure out how to operate them. He also saw that, attached to the basilisk's collar, was a large, complex iron key...

No comments:

Post a Comment