Campaign of the Month: March 2009

Denizens of the Nentir Vale

Sad Snorbaugh

The Gold Dragon

As one enemy dies another arrives. It be better here than the spirit world though. As he sent me back to my home his thoughts were on the battles of late. It seemed as though he could almost piece it together but just couldn’t grasp the answer. Many hours later I’m returned from the spirit world to an annoying sound of, “Alarm alarm alarm.” And that one creature by the name of Tira kept yelling at the other one Rift, Turn that darn thing off.” Well back I was to the spirit world. Then after more endless waiting I was called back to see before me a creature of spirits too but a very evil one, a shadow lizard! My companion threw a ball of elemental ice. I almost felt sorry for that shadow lizard, but no, it was trying to kill my companion so I had to kill it. Agh, 4 more shadow lizards appeared in the room. Then, the wizard tried that flamey thing of hers, but unfortunately the lizards didn’t seem hurt at all. Nooooo, that lizard bite me returning me to the world of spirits. After I was returned to the real world that ole’ tough dwarf named Barrick went right up into the middle of the room and with courage that amazed me, yelled. “I don’t know what makes you lizards so stupid but it’s sure workin’.” As that dwarf’s axe bites into a lizard we all see the claw of a gold dragon. Immediately my companion thinks: Arumandor, the missing gold dragon who is an ally of the Kengi. Then my companion and I float up and smash our fists into the ground, Sending out a miniature earthquake that nocks the enemies down and soon eliminated and sent back to the land of dark spirits by the master of the bow Erik and the master of the axe Barrick. As the lizards die a single golden claw drops out of all of them. Erik makes a decision for us to follow the tracks of that pesky dracoman Lacertail. He ran a very long way into a swamp. My companion’s endurance is becoming amazing as he waded right across the stinking swamp. The other except clumsy Tira swung across. Tira fell and had to wade the rest of the way. We came across a large clearing that stunk of death. In the center there was a statue of a crocodile that was many feet wide and across. In the eyes of the statue there are giant rubies. A good number of feet away from the statue there was a circle with the symbol of zehir in the center in it. It seems as though if one kneeled in the center of it and held something up something would happen. Tira and Rift tried to take one of the ruby eyeballs and their reward was getting scorched with a gigantic blast of fire. Tira decides to try and kneel in the circle holding up the pendant of the old hag. A black portal appears in the mouth of the statue. We all go into the portal. We come out in a valley somewhere, it seems as though there are snakes everywhere but we couldn’t see anything. We continued to walk across the large path we were on until we reached the edge of a lake that made you dreamy when you looked at it. Behind the lake there was a huge stone block maybe sixty feet or so high. Coming out of the stone block there were large chains tied to a gold dragon with a full body cage on it. Slowly, ever so slowly, the dragon raises his head and says weakly. “I am the dragon Arumandor, ally of the Kengi, you must release me in the name of the Kengi, they need me.” His head dropped down and the water of the lake splashed my partner sending me to the spirit and making him unconscious for a few minutes. We walked to the right of the lake carefully avoiding the shore of the lake. We came upon a large temple. As we approached the enterance to the tempal we heard a troll say. “You come here to be Snorbog’s friend hmm?” We reply that yes we do want to be Snorbog’s friend. Then Snorbog shouts. “Do you like games?” we say that we do. “let’s play smash dwarf!” is his reply. Barrick replies. “No, let’s play smash troll!” so Snorbog flings trolls from his body for barrick and my companion to smash and as Snorbog gets bored of that he says that Tira, Erik, and him should swim in the water that makes us fall asleep but doesn’t effect him. Tira fakes needing privacy and goes down the stairs the yells for Rift to come and help her. But before Rift goes down Rift lures Snorbog away with the sounds of a sheep so we can all go down the stairs. Tira picks the lock on the door we come across and that leaves at our present place.

Comments

Great job and fantastic ingenuity to get past Snorbaugh and his “brothers”. XP: Troglodytes 1400, Shadow Lizards 1500, Skill challenge of tracking Lacertil including the Bog of Despair 1200, Flame Trap at the crocodile portal 500, Lake of Slumbers Trap at Gold Dragon 400, Snorbaugh and Friends plus acid and Pool of Slumber traps 2225 = 7225 XP or 1445 per player + 15,055 previously = 16,500.

Congratulations! You are now 9th level. In addition to an increase in hit points, you get to select a new daily attack power of 9th level or lower. You can also retrain a power or feat. Neither the retraining nor the new power will take effect until after your next extended rest is completed successfully.

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Having snuck past Snorbog, Erik joins Rift and Tira in the hallway. Using his very best perception, what does Erik see?

Erik also asks Rift, “What do you think about placing an arcane lock on the door? Maybe we should save it for a room in which we can take a long rest.”

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A long corridor extends in front of you. The stairs you descended and the closed, locked door behind you are to the north. Tira is confident she could now unlock the door easily. The air is damp. Moss gross on the walls, obscuring carved frescoes of snakes and crocodiles eating majestic Tieflings. The artistry is poor, as though the reptiles were added at a later date. Dim light radiates from strange glowing green symbols on the floor. Erik’s perception tells him that the symbols have tendrils that extend 1 staff length in all directions surrounding each symbol. Erik can also see nine scattered green circular shapes to the east of the nearest symbol. Each shape is about 2 inches in diameter, etched on the wall at about chest height. Carefully examining the nearby ground, Erik notices an area of the stone floor that appears irregular compared to the surrounding stones (triangle). It is dipped slightly below the other floor stones. Then, turning his head, he realizes he almost overlooked a crocodile mouth that has a hidden panel in the wall just to the south of the green etched circles in the wall (blue rectangle). The moss has been cleared away there. Without a sunrod out, or some other source of bright light, Erik is unable to see anything else clearly on the walls more than 4 staff lengths away. Erik can also see some sort of double door at the far south end of the corridor and a smaller single door on the far western wall.

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Erik quickly realizes that no one else can perceive the green tendrils surrounding the symbols or the etched circles, they are so difficult to see.

Torrock can also see the stone floor that is slightly off and the hidden panel.

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“Rift,” asks Erik after explaining what he has noticed in the corridor, “would you please shed some light on that panel on the east wall? We should also have you examine this stone in the floor – it does not look like the others. I will help you all I can.”

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“Doesn’t it seem like this hallway is trapped? I think that we should climb along the wall with Barrick in the front chopping down the moss with Rift being next using her fire spells to make the wall dry and not slippery. If we do this using our climbing gear I think we would have an easy time of it.” Torrock suggests.

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“Yes, it’s definitely trapped”, replies Erik, “but maybe Rift or Tira can disarm the traps so that we can stroll down the corridor rather than hack and slash our way through.”

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Tira walks over to the irregular dipped stone and examines it as best she can without touching it. If she detects nothing, she will use her slim thieves tools to poke around the edges, searching for a hint of something underneath the stone.

Sad Snorbaugh
 

Rift will use her amazing talents to cast light on the panel on the east wall. What do Erik’s eagle eyes see?

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Rift’s light brightly illuminates 9 staff lengths along the hallway and both sides of it. Erik and Torrock immediately see that the next 2 green symbols are also surrounded by tendrils radiating in all directions out 1 staff length. On the nearest wall to each green floor symbol, Erik can perceive more of the nine scattered green circular shapes. Each shape is about 2 inches in diameter, etched on the wall at about chest height.

Without being closer, nothing else is obvious about the hidden panel, though Erik can now point its location out and everyone can see it.

With the light, Torrock definitely thinks he could climb along the decorated wall if only the slick moss were cleared.

Tira moves up to the floor area that Erik noticed, being careful not to cross where Erik saw the strangeness in the floor. Without Erik’s pointing out the slight irregularity, she would never have noticed the small grooves that she can now see all around the area, as though the stone floor in this one staff length by one staff length region moves up and down. Even with letting her thievery training slip, she immediately suspects it is a set of pressure plates of some sort. What they trigger, she cannot tell. She thinks that, with some difficulty but with her tools, she could slightly damage a few of the reachable grooves below the floor level, and delay the plates movement for about six seconds if someone stepped on them. She thinks that completely disarming these plates would be very difficult.

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Just as she stands up from looking at the misaligned stone, Tira feels a rush of positive encouraging emotions. At first, she thinks it must be from her new feelings of experience and growth, but then she realizes that these emotions are coming from her amulet. Not a voice, but a strong, encouraging feeling: to continue on, to seek challenges and overcome dangers. The presence in the amulet is pleased by her recent accomplishments. Then, she notices that the presence she feels in the amulet seems ancient, with feelings of having traveled the world and beyond. It seems glad to be with her and ready to help her on her journey. It is also pleased by her companions and is ready to help them in the adventure ahead. It also has a determined feel to it. As though the amulet knows of foes ahead that it has faced before and wants to disrupt.

She quickly realizes that she can sense powers in the amulet that were formerly hidden from her.

The amulet remains Enhancement: +2 Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Add

Property: You gain a +2 item bonus to Acrobatics and Athletics checks to escape, and to Thievery checks to open locks.

Power (At-Will): Standard Action. You attune an ally to the Elven Amulet. While attuned and within 10 squares of you, an ally can use the Amulet’s powers (but not its enhancement bonus or properties) as if he or she were wearing it. Attunement lasts until the next short or extended rest.

Power (Daily. Teleportation): Move Action. You and each attuned ally can use this power once per day. You teleport a number of squares equal to your speed.

Power (Encounter. Teleportation): Move action. You and each attuned ally can each use this power once per encounter. You teleport 10 squares into a space adjacent to an ally who is wearing or attuned to the Amulet.

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Tira’s eyes return to focused. She looks back at the party, wondering how long she has been listening to her amulet. Rising, she quickly reports her findings on the floor, “There is something under this panel, something that triggers something, and whilst I do not know what it triggers, nor where, I do know that I can disable whatever it is for somewhere between 5 and 7 seconds. Not quiet enough time to run to the far side, but enough for a good head start.”

Tira continues, “My amulet spoke to me; well not so much as it itself spoke to me, but I could sense something from it. ... I think it was my father. He seems pleased with how I am handling myself on these quests, and,” she looks fondly at her friends, “he seems pleased with my choice of companions.” Tira’s left eyebrow rises, “But he also seems to know the enemy we are after, someone my father might have faced in the past.” Tira’s gaze turns cold, “If this dark beast we are chasing has something to do with my father’s disappearance, he will pay for it.”

Tira rubs the amulet with her fingers as she describes the new powers the amulet is providing. “I have been staring down this hallway not knowing how to proceed, but now I have an idea. Erik, I can attune you to the amulet; you can then attempt passage down the hallway, either jumping, crawling, running, avoiding, or whatever you feel most comfortable with. If something bad starts to happen, like the ceiling begins to collapse, I can teleport you back here to me.”

Tira scans the faces of her friends, “It might not work, but we must needs try something.”

DM: Just to clarify, given enough rounds, e.g., standard actions, can everyone be attuned to the amulet at the same time, or is it just one ally?

Sad Snorbaugh
 

DM: yes, over enough rounds, everyone could be attuned to the amulet.

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Thanks DM.

This means that if Erik can manage a double move down the hall without setting off any traps, we are all good. If we want to use both the daily and encounter amulet powers, 18 seconds from now we can all be by safely the SW single door (or at least safe until we open a door). Go Erik!

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Erik looks at Tira with a puzzled gaze. He’s not quite sure about the part where she yanks him back from the clutches of nasty tendrils or the crushing forces of solid stone blocks. [DM: With Tira’s amulet, the wearer or one attuned can only teleport themselves?] Still, Erik draws both his blades and waits to be attuned. He then leaps into action, literally, attempting to jump the section of floor that was judged by Tira to be some sort of pressure plate.

If successful, Erik will continue to move south another staff length so that he is evenly between the tendrils. The idea is that he’ll weave a path down the hall, staying just more than one staff length from the tendrils. Before continuing down the hall, he stops on the east wall to study the crocodile mouth with the hidden panel and the nine circles associated with the nearest tendril.

What happens?

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As Erik moves down the hall, Tira speaks up with a grin, “OK, I cannot so much pull you back as allow you to do it yourself, but I figure once you took the first step you could handle yourself.”

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DM: Erik must wield the teleport powers once he is attuned.

Tira realizes just how much work it is to turn the emotions and attention of the amulet to one of her allies and why the effect must not last. It is an undertaking as significant as any of her Sorceror’s power. It is equally rewarding. She feels the amulet’s enthusiasm at extending to one of her allies. Erik feels the warm, compelling emotions of the amulet reach out to him. He feels even more ready to tackle adventure, seek and overcome obstacles, to be the hero he was born to be.

Erik leaps across the 5 foot section with a running start, just to be safe. He must have been thinking too much about being a hero, or maybe about what he might find at the wall, or maybe about what it would be like to travel the astral plane and teleport, because he just barely makes it, but is able to keep his toes from touching that perilous spot. He does not think that the square itself had any effect on his jump. It was simply poor.

As he turns east, he is now able to discern that on both sides of his present course, there is almost no foot traffic, while on his current path, lots of humanoid foot markings show that this is a well-traveled section of the hallway, even though it is in a strange direction.

Reaching the eastern wall safely, he can see the green circles. Studying them, he is not able to learn anything about what the shapes might signify or mean. He does not recognize them as being anything other than circular shapes with some irregularities. He can also see the hidden panel. He can now see a small keyhole. If he wants, he can try to use his Thievery skills to open the panel in the crocodiles mouth, or he can proceed further down the hall, following his panel of weaving.

He is aware that he could teleport up to 6 staff lengths (his speed) in any direction using the greater power of the amulet but he must remain with 10 staff lengths of the amulet, or he could teleport up to 10 staff lengths using the lesser power, but he must end up adjacent to Tira and the Elven amulet in that use.

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_DM: “must remain with 10 staff lengths of the amulet”
Is this correct? I interpreted that to mean that someone had to be within 10 squares to be able to start the teleport, but not constrained as to the ending location. Like a blast spell, e.g., blast 5, range 10; this does not mean the blast has to be constrained within 10 squares of the caster, it must start within 10, but then can move away another 5, hitting a spot 14 squares away. _

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“Tira, I believe I am in need of your thievery skills”, Erik mutters, still feeling ashamed for being so ungracefully flat-footed in his jump. “Perhaps Barrick, the dwaf, can help toss you across the pressure plate.” This little joke amuses Erik to no end and helps him recover a bit of his ego.

Sad Snorbaugh
 

Tira leaps into action leaping. Wielding her thieves tools, letting the power of the amulet guide her hands, Tira works at the small keyhole.

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_DM: SirEdward’s math is correct. If an attuned ally is up to 10 squares distance from the amulet, a teleport of 6 squares away from the amulet is permitted. But teleporting again would not be possible without the amulet itself moving to within 10 squares. _

With a running start, Tira easily clears the staff length region, even as she contemplates the distances that her new found powers could allow her to teleport and how far they will allow her companions to teleport.

At the crocodile’s mouth, Tira’s tools come close to tripping on a hidden thieve’s trap in the panel’s lock. Guided by the amulet, she steers her tools away from the trap and opens the panel. In it, she finds a series of levers, knobs, and wires that appear to control some of the mechanical aspects of the traps. She realizes that she will need to spend half a minute or more to disentangle the wires and levers, making sure to pull the correct ones to disable the trap. Pulling the wrong wire or lever could activate the trap. It will be quite a challenge to her Thievery skills. She senses the amulet is disappointed but can offer no assistance now that she is past the lock.

DM: What does she want to do?

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Tira glances up and down the hall, seeing no disturbances at the moment, she takes the time needed to disentangle the wires and levers, without pulling anything if possible.
Is she now able to better sense which are the correct items to pull?

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Rift wakes up suddenly from her reverie. “Sorry, fell asleep there!”

If there is room, she will leap over to where Tira is standing and use her thievery skills to aid Tira in her disarming of the trap.

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As Tira begins to explore the wires and levels, she speaks to Erik, “Whilst I am doing this, can you take the next few seconds 3 standard actions, 18 seconds to attune the rest of the party to the amulet? You never know when an additional teleport might be needed.”

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Erik stops peaking over Tira’s shoulder (as one invariably forgets how to disarm traps when someone is watching) and starts to attune the rest of the party. After that Erik proceeds on down the hall, looking for traps all the while, following his circuitous path to avoid the tendrils. Once at the far side of the hall, he’ll listen at and carefully examine both the single and double doors.

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Erik feels the rush of emotions as he taps into the amulet and attunes the rest of the party. Everyone feels at the best they ever have, ready to tackle anything that might stand in their way.

Rift dashes over to Tira, leaping over the troubling staff length, saying quietly but firmly, “no, not the black cord, don’t touch that one.” She provides further advice over the next few seconds as Tira maneuvers the levers and cords. The sharper ends of her tools are extremely helpful in this endeavor and she is aided well by them and by Rift. Just as she is ready to make what she thinks is the last cut and twist, Rift says, “Stop, stop, that one doesn’t do anything but set it off. I’m sure! Turn the one a little to the left” Tira holds off, simply turning the left most knob. Indeed, Rift was right. As Tira turns, the far floor area creaks and the stones rise slightly but stay still. Tira and Rift are both convinced that the floor area (with triangle) was a mechanical trap that is now disarmed.

Erik proceeds down the hall, never finding another such misaligned stone. He can perceive the high density of traffic on his serpentine path around the trendriled 3×3 areas. He arrives at the double door in the south. Listening, he hears several voices in a language he does not know. He cannot sense the purpose of the conversation. The single door on the west is surrounded by a weak red glow. Erik suspects it has an Arcane Lock. He hears nothing in whatever space is behind this door.

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Torrock suggests that we go and try to go through the arcane lock.

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Prescott the elf rogue is on a mission from the elf king of the Wildenval forest east of the Dawnforge mountains and Kengistan (home of the Dragonborn Kengi warrior clan). Three other elves – a cleric, fighter, and a wizard accompanied Prescott in their mission to uncover the source of the spreading Shadow that the Wildenval mages had sensed. The group’s investigation had led them into a hidden valley to a temple of the evil Serpent god Zehir, in the heart of Dawnforge.

In a battle near a Troglodyte camp (a race of noxious smelling, hulking, brutish lizardmen), all of Prescott’s companions had been killed. Not having found the source of the Shadow, Prescott did not give up and approached the temple entrance. There, he witnessed 5 adventurers have an extended conversation with a large shadowy troll who called himself Snorbaugh. Snorbaugh pulled additional Trolls out of the shadows. The adventurers were clever and tricked the dim-witted Troll into following the sound of a sheep, luckily in the direction opposite Prescott’s hidden position. As the group members descended the steps, Prescott was not far behind.

He is currently at the closed, lock door on the most northern part of the map. He has heard the conversation and has just unlocked the door.

DM: What does Prescott do?

Sad Snorbaugh
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