D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls” Sessions 9, 10 — Into the Irda ruins

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Sessions 9 and 10 of our D&D5e game, which were held on April 5 and 19, 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’s telecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth EditionAD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten RealmsPalladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 4
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 4
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

After visiting King Obould in Bloten, the group encountered another Orcish patrol. It quickly slayed three wargs, but the Drow squad leader Teleported away. The Orcs surrendered and gave the adventuring party some maps before leaving.

The explorers enter the abandoned Irda (High Ogre) city of Vantal and descend into the ruins of an ancient temple. Stealthy Maddie and Santiddio scout ahead in the dusty catacombs.

Pious Cal and Redrik follow, with arcanists Perogen and Rowan behind them. Sam, who is hard to surprise, brings up the rear. The team finds smooth stones that are warm to the touch.

In one intersection, the party finds iron-bound doors to the north and wooden doors to the east and northwest. Two giant centipedes crawl into the tunnel and telepathically ask if anybody wants to play with them.

One of the arthropods turns into a small demon, frightening Sam. The Ranger casts Ensnaring Strike, keeping the creature from reaching him. A Magic Missile kills the centipede, and Paladin Cal slays the demon with his long sword.

Wizard Perogen identifies the demon as a Quasit, while Barbarian Maddie yanks open a door. Cleric Redrik and Skald Rowan follow.

The next chamber has a door to the west and stairs. On the east wall, someone has scrawled, “No, I said, it had Elven eyes.” Rogue Santiddio unlocks the door and sees a statue of a beautiful woman holding a brazier.

Sam and Perogen say the figure is a High Ogre. They light the brazier, and the statue’s eyes glow purple. She says they may ask one question.

Perogen asks about the “Spider Queen,” whom several of the Dark Elves they’ve encountered have mentioned. The entire squad suddenly sees itself in a shadowy place with sounds of skittering. A female Drow with the lower body of a spider sits on an ornate throne.

The statue says that Lolth’s followers are helping her gain entrance to this Prime Material plane of existence. Perogen is worried because he has heard the Spider Queen’s whispers before and might even be able to summon her. The vision disappears, and the statue’s eyes dim.

In the next room, the spelunkers sense magic. As their eyes are drawn to a glittering pool, Maddie hears something moving and growling. A hell hound steps into the light. Sam and Perogen try talking, but Cal and Redrik Sense Evil and charge.

Santiddio draws his rapier and a dagger and casts Comprehend Languages. Cal casts Protection From Evil on Santiddio. The hell hound breathes fire at the Half-Elf and Sylvan Elf.

Perogen casts Magic Missile, and Redrik heals Cal. Sam draws from the Waters of Destruction, and quick-thinking Maddie shoves the beast into the pool. Rowan makes sure that nobody is approaching from behind.

The hound emerges, radiant. The warriors keep their weapons drawn. Sam notices a carving of a dragon on the pool’s stone rim, and Redrik recognizes it as the seal of Sirrion, the god of alchemy.

In return for 400 out of his 800 steel pieces, Santiddio accepts a “gift of beauty” from the hound of Sirrion (+3 to Cha until transformation). The canine then vanishes.

At the north door, Santiddio hears more scurrying, and Sam senses something infernal. The party falls back to a room where it can lock the doors for a short rest. Cal invokes Kiri-Jolith, lord of valor, to heal Santiddio.

Later that night, Sam and Rowan take Minerva, one of two rescued snow leopard cubs, on watch for exercise. Unbeknownst to Sam, Minerva laps from the glowing pool and magically matures.

The adventurers resume exploring Vantal’s catacombs. To the southeast, Santiddio and Sam find a trap that would release a flail on a chain. They lead the group through a passage to the east to an archway.

Brave Cal and Maddie take up positions at the front of the marching order, followed by wary Santiddio and Redrik. Spellcasters Perogen and Rowan walk behind, with perceptive Sam again bringing up the rear.

Through the arch, they find a large room with a scaffold against one wall. A rickety ladder leads up to a platform. Curious Perogen and Santiddio climb up. The human and Half-Elf find four crates and one chest, as well as glyphs on the wall.

After some debate, Santiddio disables a needle trap and opens the chest. The Rogue finds coins, jewels, a crown of Irda make, and a note saying, “I told you to run.”

Perogen helps lower spelunking supplies, including rope, flasks of oil, and potions of Cure Wounds. The white-robed Wizard also finds a book titled The Art of Dragon Slaying.

In addition, Redrik claims a magical crossbow with Dwarven runes calling it “Dragon’s Bane.” The group passes around spare daggers and a hand crossbow.

Perogen, Santiddio, and Redrik all argue over who gets the crown. Rowan, realizing that it’s cursed, tries to close the case. A figure in red armor appears and says the artifact belongs to its master.

Rowan tries in vain to persuade it to help them find its master. Sam asks the armored apparition about its master, who was apparently on an expedition to find and study ancient texts. The red knight also alludes to a monster in a lower level. Redrik holds the crown and finds his essence being drained.

Perogen says the circlet should be destroyed, and the Helmed Horror draws its sword. Santiddio sneaks in, grabs the accursed crown from Redrik, and tosses it into a bag. He runs, leading the knight and his companions on a chase through the tunnels.

Maddie swings at the red knight but misses, and Cal senses that the being isn’t evil but the crown is. Rowan swings at the Helmed Horror as it passes him, then casts Enhance Ability (Con) on Redrik.

Sam grabs a journal from a crate and casts Ensnaring Strike, which slows the Helmed Horror. Redrik, still under the curse’s influence, chases after Santiddio. Perogen casts Magic Misssile and Shield.

Nimble Santiddio stays a step ahead, rounds a corner, and slams a door behind him. The crimson construct flies into the door, smashing it, and it summons two more hell hounds.

Maddie misses the infernal canines, and Cal casts Protection From Evil on Redrik. As he runs, Rowan chats with invisible faerie dragon Itchum, who is offended that he hasn’t been asked for help more often.

Minerva’s ferocity inspires Maddie, as Sam casts Hunter’s Mark, helping his arrows. Redrik readies Scorching Ray but is more effective in the narrow corridors with a crossbow. Perogen’s Sleep spell has no effect on one hell hound.

Santiddio manages to resist the crown’s allure long enough to throw it into the pool of Sirrion, lord of transformation. The hell hounds harry Rowan and breathe fire, which Cal steps in to take for him. The Paladin responds with a Divine Smite.

Rowan finishes off one hell hound, and Redrik invokes his patron deity Paladine to cast Radiance. Perogen casts Chill Touch, but Cal and Redrik are too busy to notice the necromantic spell. Maddie finishes off the last hell hound.

Thanks to Santiddio’s quick thinking, the crown’s hold over Redrik and the Helmed Horror is dispersed. Rowan takes the vanished red knight’s sword and also dips it into the pool. Cal takes the magical hand-and-a-half sword.

The wanderers prepare to resume their exploration of Vantal before meeting up with their giant owl steeds to return to the Dwarves of Thorbardin….