August 17, 2014

Ancients & Aliens: Session 4 - The Babbling Blade

Like most sessions, we begin inside Watchkeeper Hall.  The group is gathered beneath the giant cocoon of Ony the Mutant and listening as the young magi Lithsharric tells them what he has learned about the magical silver sword recovered last session.  Ony had asked Lithsharric to look into the nature of the sword as a final favor for Saruk; whose life was lost in the very room where the sword was found.  Ony also told him that the sword might be cursed and warned him not to touch it directly.

Lithsharric sits with the group and explains that not all of the runes on the sword are magical.  Some of the writing is in an ancient language, possibly Elvish, which he can not decipher.  Lithsharric says that his master might know how to read the language, but he suspects that his master might "keep the item for further study" and never return it.  The older magi compensate adventurers with gold, but they tend to keep any magical item that is brought to them.  Lithsharric has kept the sword hidden in his room for the past two weeks while studying it.

Some of the magical runes are simply beyond his current understanding, but he was able to learn a few things.  This silver sword has multiple magical abilities.  The sword can detect invisibility, and evil, and some kind of necromatic something or other.  It has some kind of restoration magic that isn't exactly healing.  Also, "these runes over here are some kind of anti-necromancy something.  Oh, and there is this very elaborate line of magical runes that swirls from the pommel around the hilt and all the way down the blade.  I don't have any idea what those do, but they sure look impressive."  Finally, Lithsharric tells them that he has an identify spell which should reveal all of the sword's magical powers, but this spell requires that he touch the sword, except Ony had insisted that he not touch the blade because it might be cursed, but Lithsharric doesn't really think the sword is cursed because it has so many enchantments and besides who would put restorative magic on a cursed blade, so I was thinking that....

At this point Sura the Orionixie just reaches out and grabs the sword.   She is one of the newest watchkeepers, and was assigned to the group in order to fill the vacancy left by Saruk's untimely passing (it's the dice, I swear).  Her sword arm begins moving around on it own and holds the sword up near her face.  "Me'atma thainos inth Shivurill" says the sword.  "Hoshin civithil doezen shrive?" after a few moments with no response her moves out toward other people nearby as the sword says "Commastay?" and "Nithliven?".

Everyone just looks around at each other in confused silence for a while.  The sword sighs and mumbles "Sozha impuur".

by 14-bis
Sura suddenly goes into a trance and starts to see images in her head.  It's like a memory that she doesn't recognize.  She sees an oval hallway, a strange door, and then a room with a large stone sarcophagus inside.  After this vision the sword begins tugging her toward the exit of Watchkeeper Hall.  Based on Sura's descriptions of the petrified wooden walls the others think that the sword must be leading them back to the roots of Xylarthen's tower.  Everyone decides to gear up and follow Sura, who can't seem to break free from the sword's grip.  Even Lithsharric volunteers to follow along (played by Glenn since his mutant hasn't emerged from the cocoon yet).

The sword eases up and stops pulling at Sura once she starts walking down the road, but she still can't let go of it.  They spend the whole day traveling along the old dwarf road and make camp at the usual spot where a trail through the forest meets the road.  During the night Jakob the Ratling is watching over the camp from up in a tree.  He hears movement and sees rustling as if multiple creatures are slowly approaching his sleeping friends below, so he calls out an alarm to wake them up.  As he shouts Jacob can see the creatures break cover and rush forward toward the camp.  The party is just getting to their feet and pulling weapons as the first two orcs leap out from the bushes.  Jakob takes aim with his sling and calls out to the others "I see eight of them!"  Lithsharric decides eight is more than enough orcs to justify a sleep spell, so he casts just as some of the other orcs are coming into the light of the campfire.  All of the orcs succumb to the magical slumber and the party decides to light torches and poke through the bushes to find and dispatch them all.

The next morning Lithsharric explains that he has no more magic to aid them with.  He has cast his only spell and he'll have to return to town in order to memorize another.  Like most magi, he does not own a Tablet of Fate (spellbook/Anunnaki iPad) and has to use the communal one that is kept under guard back in Niru.

The group decides to head back to town, not wanting to risk the entering the dungeon without a sleep spell at the ready.  They pack up their things and start walking, but after a few steps the sword swings itself around until the blade points skyward in front of Sura's face and says "Hoshah ibbil vor, asa kleftinduur?"  She says "we'll come back later" and continues walking toward town.  The sword says "Velthix mohn" and swings around behind her pointing down the side trail.  She struggles against the sword, but cannot pull it any further down the road or pry her fingers away from the hilt.  No one wants to leave Sura behind, so they all decide to follow and see where the sword is leading them.  As Sura starts moving toward the trail the sword says "Shonda" and she regains control of her arm.  Lithsharric wonders aloud if the sword might be speaking old elvish.

After a few hours they reach the lake.  They leave the trail and skirt around the southeast edge of lake, then head for the northernmost hill on the other side.  Soon they are at the remains of Xylarthen's tower.  They haul open the heavy round trap door, and see a hand print of died blood on the underside of the lid.  They decide to be extra careful, so Jakob the Ratling goes down first to sneak around and have a look while the others wait up top.  Jokob climbs down the ten foot ladder.  The small landing is lit by the shaft of light coming from the top of the ladder, there are blood stains on the floor and walls here, and dried blood on the rungs of the ladder.  He can also see a dead orc at the top of the stairway going down to the hallway ten feet below.  That's when Saruk shambles into view.  Saruk died on the last expedition, and the party was forced to leave his body behind.  Zombie Saruk staggers up the stairway, much of his flesh is gone now revealing the bones beneath.  A couple of giant maggots seem embedded within and feeding on him as he walks.  Jakob gets the hell out of there and hurries back up the ladder.  Everyone backs away from the ladder and waits while Sir William begins a rumbling growl.  They watch warily as Saruk emerges up and out of the dungeon.  Saruk climbs to his feet and then slowly turns in a circle as if looking for something.  No one is quite sure if he recognizes them before he shambles off westward.  They watch silently as he begins his long walk to Kutha and the entrance to the Underworld.

The sword tugs Sura toward the dungeon entrance.

Everyone goes down the ladder this time.  The trip down to the first landing is somewhat complicated by Rina the Halflingon's new war dog, Sir William.  Rina opted to buy the most expensive dog in town, and he is well behaved as she ties ropes around his legs and body into a makeshift harness.  However, when he is lifted up into the air he goes totally berserk.  Sir William tries to bite Rina once, paws at the air frantically, and starts making these panicked piercing yelps as he is being lowered down the hole.  Everyone gets out of the way and gives the dog some space.  Sir William calms down a bit once his paws hit the landing, but he still whines and paces around for a while.  Rina climbs down and gives him a jerky treat, unties the ropes, and gets her dog under control.

Everyone follows Sura now, as the sword tugs her along through the dungeon.  They defeat a giant python that tries to constrict multiple members of the party at the same time, swing through the room with the giant weasel nest that they cleared out last time, and then enter the room that Sura saw in her vision with the giant sarcophagus.  The sword says "Felthan RELCH issin bessle weir", and Sura regains control of her sword arm.

The sarcophagus is over ten feet long and six feet wide, a big iron chain is wrapped around it and held in place with a heavy rusty lock.  Everyone searches the room for clues, and Jakob finds a hidden compartment with a key.  They unlock and then remove the chains.  A few of the party members work together to remove the heavy stone lid.

The lid flies open and swings aside as a ogre wight sits up and grabs for the party members with horrible long claws.  The sword yells "Shadamor̃gh!" and swings Sura into melee.  The fight goes on for a while.  Shields are splintered.  Rina is hit by the wight's icy tough and feels some of her life force drain away as it leaves a bloody welt on her skin.  Soon after this the ogre wight is destroyed and crumbles down into a pile of dust.
by Vshen
After the battle the sword leads Sura over to Rina and says "Shonda nicht issil halthen, bonna Mazzlien" and then it begins to glow bright white.  They sword says "Mazzlien mortho?" and as they puzzle over the meaning, the sword juts forward and stabs at Rina.  It cuts her, but not badly.  It hurts a bit, but at the same time Rina can feel her strength return as the bloody welt turns into a bruise.

After this they pull out the bag and wrappings that they had kept the sword in previously.  Sura tries to talk the sword into going back into the bag.  It takes some time, but eventually the sword says "konda duvlien" and Sura fingers open dropping the sword inside.

After that they all went back to town.  Lithsharric tried to study the sword some more, but got possessed by it.  The sword marched him around town with his eyes shut and his head lolling about.  It eventually found Rina while she was shopping.  The sword babbled some things at her and then Lithsarric set down at her feet.  He fell to the ground and then immediately woke up thinking that the sword had teleported him to the market.  Rina took the sword, and they've been happy together so far.

The party took another trip into the dungeon after that.  I don't remember much of that except that they found a bunch of orc zombies and the sword started glowing white and actually turned some of the them.  Then the zombies died... again.  Oh, and they found a bunch of treasure under a piles of wight dust.

I'm tired now.  The End.

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