City Campaign & Dungeon of Doom Playthrough

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Re: City Campaign

Post by bernyleung » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:18 pm

Wonderful story!

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Re: City Campaign

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:08 pm

William wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:44 pm
That was either a very long session or was it a few game days in one post?
I dig the continuing story line. Now with time travel...
Thanks for the thread, fun stuff. :)
3 sessions. Been too busy to write them all up until recently. Thanks for the kind words. Next session is on Friday!

BTW, it's fun to have the PCs suddenly realize something that happened a year ago in a play session influences something now, or that with this time travel, if they look back through the campaign, there are tidbits all over of a continuous history that make them go "wait a minute... that sounds familiar..." It's the benefit of a centralized campaign. Everything affects everything in some sense.
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Re: City Campaign

Post by William » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:44 pm

That was either a very long session or was it a few game days in one post?
I dig the continuing story line. Now with time travel...
Thanks for the thread, fun stuff. :)
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( aka: Rock Breaker Bill - Column Barron of BRoM )

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Re: City Campaign

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:54 pm

It's covered by black cloth napkins. They can see the outline, but I don't have to do setup during the game. That allows me more details in the rooms and is well worth the trade off.

Thanks! Glad to know someone is reading our crazy adventures.
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Re: City Campaign

Post by Rabbit Burner » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:20 pm

Wow that was a lot of adventuring and reading .

Really interesting, great job AS and some cool builds - did like Plan B when the skull appeared from the treasure hoard :)

One thing we meant to ask is do the players get special clues from the builds?
Meaning do you build the next part of the dungeon as they discover it or is already visible or is it covered by a cloth or such like ?
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Re: City Campaign

Post by AnimeSensei » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:51 pm

The PC’s return to the surface and Faun heads to the Defenders of the Mother to turn in her mushrooms. She is granted full membership into their ranks, and has access to all sorts of reagents for her spells. The party rests up and heads out into the city to follow up on some loose threads.

The populace seems to have calmed a large amount of their hysteria, but it appears that is due to many Awakened going into hiding or having been “taken care of” rather than acceptance. As the PCs are walking through town, they notice a shop that seems out of place. No one has seen it before, and with everything that has been going on recently and with Almus’s past, it seems odd that its window is full of magic items. Blatantly shown out in the open, this is much different than what they have come to expect in the city with magic being used only in the shadows and protected by the Guilds. No one seems to being paying it any heed, which is even stranger. Not once glance, not one customer. The party decides to investigate.

They step into the shop and notice is is FULL of magic items. An Erinyes is behind the counter. She smiles as they enter, and welcomes them. She then thanks Anthem by name for coming by. He is surprised by this, because he doesn’t know who she is. She says her name is Astrixix, and she recently opened this shop so she could meet with him. She says that she is here on behest of her master Asmodeus, and he wishes to call his favor due. Everyone looks at Anthem; he has told many grand stories randomly in his adventures with the party of visiting far off locales with deities and demi-gods, but everyone thought they were all just boasts. Apparently he traded in a favor for vast obscure knowledge, and that is how he obtained such a wide array of information on the various cultures and enemies they have faced. (He has a huge bonus to his Knowledge checks through his class, and I felt this was a good way to explain how he got the bonus.) She says that all Anthem needs to do is a simple task.

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At this point, the PCs hear a huge crash outside of the building. They look outside and watch as the castle crumbles to the ground. A gargantuan snake monster with 4 arms suddenly appears from the rubble, apparently bursting from the ground. Astrixix doesn’t seem to notice. The snake god-thing then starts leveling the city around it, throwing buildings with its arms, knocking down others with its long tail.

Astrixix says that all Anthem needs to do is go into her basement, exit through the basement door, and go get Asmodeus a crystal from the area past the door. He’ll also need to destroy some snake cult too, but the crystal is the main concern. She says however to not forget about destroying the snake cult.

The enormous snake is closer now, fully obliterating the city in its wake. The party watches as pieces of rubble fly into the street in front of the shop. People scream in terror as they have buildings careen towards them.

Astrixix offers Anthem’s friends a boon if they join him on his quest. The PCs aren’t sure what to do. At this point, the snake god is directly over the shop; the entire block is leveled as the PCs watch in horror. The shop is unharmed; it appears that it is immune to the effects of the snake; that or the PCs think it may be only an illusion. They decide to peek outside and as they do, they hear the screams of the dying and smell smoke, dust, and blood. It doesn’t appear to be an illusion.

The PCs agree to the terms and sign a contract, as they really have no city to go back to at this point. They agree to get the crystal and destroy the snake cult for Elven Chain Shirts for each party member, however Anthem chooses an Ioun Stone for his prize instead. Margit also makes a deal with Astrixix for a map to the soul machine mentioned in the Ulmaeus texts for a favor at a later date. She hopes to find a way to get back to her normal body, or at least figure out more regarding her situation.

Astrixix gives them each a brooch to wear. She warns NOT to take it off, as bad things could happen. When asked what, she says if someone were to take it off, they might disappear, but doesn’t elaborate. The brooches are a pentagram and are obviously the holy symbol of Asmodeus. Everyone hesitates putting it on, but they don’t have much to lose at this point. Dante notices they have some sort of protection magic on them, and besides the holy symbol aren’t infused with much demonic energy; they seem to be a ward of some sort, kind of like an anti-magic field, but not for magic. He and Anthem can’t figure out exactly what it protects the wearer from.

The PCs head into the basement; it is full of old texts, tomes, and vials. It appears to be ancient. It feels odd. Everyone gets a sense that this isn’t just a basement, but they are moving somehow as they traverse through it. It’s very difficult for them to explain. They also notice the sounds of destruction they heard above are completely silent down in the basement; with the destruction of the city, they are unnerved that they should at least hear or feel something as whole buildings are hewn down, but there is nothing but silence.

As they enter the room with the door that the Erinyes mentioned, some creatures appear from the shadows. Anthem notices they are devils, and appear to be they type that serve under Asmodeus. They state they are here to test the party, as Asmodeus just wants to make sure his hirelings can manage the task in front of them before he fully commits to sending them. They attack.

The PCs struggle a bit, but manage to defeat the devils. After the last one is dispatched, Astrixix appears at the bottom of the stairs. She has a strange device in her hands that appears to have a control mechanism and several “arms” that seem to connect around something. She says to put this device on the crystal, and it will help them bring it back. She then directs them towards the door.

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They exit the door and blink as they enter a vast, wooded city. Sunlight peeks through the boughs of trees lining city streets. Birds are singing, and there are hundreds of people bustling about in fine robes and armor. The PCs can see some mountains in the distance surrounding this city, the party quickly notices that the mountains are familiar, but seem farther away. The mountains appear to be the ones that surround the city of Almus, however the peaks seem taller. Either the mountains are taller or the city is lower, they can’t tell which. At the top of one of the peaks is a gleaming light.

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They stop someone passing by, he answers is what appears to be Old Common (lots of “thee, thy, and thines” were said). He says this is the city of Ulmus. It is ruled by Queen Atarcha. Anthem realizes they appear to be in a past time period of Almus, sometime after the ruined city they found underground, but before the present-day city.

(Part of the city history we developed in the beginning of the campaign stated that the city has been destroyed again and again, but rebuilt again and again. This appears to be one of the various eras.)

Dante and Almaris notice some of the architecture is familiar to them as some ruins in the underground. Everyone agrees that they perhaps have gone back in time to an earlier version of the city. The party notices that there are magic users out in the open, some magical items for sale, and even magic being used in the open for some mundane effects. The person they are speaking with states that magic is foul, and is only tolerated for its benefits. He doesn’t care for the magic-using folk. He states they’re only really good for dealing with the rift monsters.

The party asks what he means by rift monsters, and he gives them the “are you stupid?” look. He asks if they really don’t know what the rifts are, and they say they don’t. He asks if they’re form anywhere around here to which they stumble out a response that they are from Killiam, as it’s the only long-standing nation they know of. The mention of Peacekeepers comes out, and he says Killiam doesn’t have Peacekeepers, but Ulmus does. This is strange as Killiam brought the Peacekeepers with them when they conquered Almus before the campaign started. Their contact says that there are rifts that open and beasts fall out of them. The populace has learned to deal with them, and it’s just a way of life.

The party asks about the deserts that surround the city, and the person says there are no deserts, there are just forests that connect the city to the Everwood, which is ruled by Ixabel, Seneschal of the Everwood. (She is the daughter of the vampire the PCs fought earlier; she started a blood fast with her kin, and those descendants mingled with the elves, eventually leading to Almaris’s line.)

They ask about a crystal, and he says the only crystal he knows of is the one on top of the mountain that some wizards put there ages ago. There is discussion among the populace as to what the crystal does. No one quite knows; some people think is has something to do with the rifts, some people think it brings rain, some people think it does nothing. Opinions are widespread. He doesn’t know about a snake cult.

The party waits for a rift to open, but are out of luck when one appears to have opened a few miles away. Apparently they are not on any schedule or locale, and are fully random. The party watches as eventually the corpse of a purple storm giant is carried by on some carts. They follow it to the ocean where the body is dumped. Almaris turns into a fish and looks the seafloor and sees piles upon piles of bones. She finds a few magic items in the boneyard and brings them back up to the surface. The all appear obscure or alien in origin. One is a bag of holding made of interlocking bones; they are inscribed with runes that even Anthem doesn’t recognize.

The party decides to ask around again in the docks area for information on the snake cult. No one knows anything about a cult, but there is a reference to some unsavory types that are held below the city; people that cause trouble for those above. The PCs are actually a little unnerved by the city, as everyone is smiling and happy for the most part. There’s not a blemish to the city really, and it’s almost too perfect. Hearing there are unsavory types below the city actually brings some normalcy of human life to the PCs.

They wander around a little, and as they are doing so, suddenly a rift appears on a street next to them! Then another, then another! Giant bug creatures fall of of the sky and land on the ground. The party looks inside the rifts and see swirling colors and lands on the other side. People hurry out of the way as both the PCs and armed citizens attack the bugs. A peacekeeper standing on a watch tower also tries to help but the PCs manage to defeat the bugs in time, but not before Doud gets chewed on and his armor ripped off. After the beasts are defeated, the rifts appear to be magically forced shut by some outside force.

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Re: City Campaign

Post by AnimeSensei » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:51 pm

In the next session, we have Evan’s PC back from college, so we decide he was HERE WITH US THE WHOLE TIME to make things easier as the party is in an underground dead city with no one around them. They turn their attention to the sword. Evan decides to try to pull it out and grasps the hilt. As he does so, he finds his hands are stuck to the hilt and wall next to him lifts up to reveal another room filled with fire, along with some oily slick on the floor. The oily slick lashes out with slimy tentacles and attempts to consume Evan whole while he is stuck holding the sword. The party is able to defeat the oily monster before it can consume Evan.

They check out the fires and discover they are cold to the touch and actually stick to objects. They carry the fires over to the braziers in the main room and when both braziers are lit, they hear the door to the right unlock. The proceed into the next room and find part of the ceiling has collapsed, covering some device. Dante detects magic and notices the device under the rubble is indeed magical. As the party approaches, a huge fire elemental appears. The party summons a water elemental to fight it and manage to quickly slay the elemental. However, as they do, another appears. The party figures out the elementals are coming from the device under the rubble and so they disable it, which stops the elementals.

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They find two more handprints on the walls. They try one and the wall opens into a small room. Everyone crowds into the room, thinking it may be like the puzzle room from before, but as they do, the door slams shut and the room begins to fill with water. They manage to find the device causing the room to flood and deactivate it, which lowers the water level and opens the door. The next room is eerily silent; as they look into it they see a glimmering jewel in the corner of the room. Anthem enters the room and is suddenly attacked by something unseen. He falls to the ground, unconscious. The party casts spells to see if it’s some sort of invisible creature, and they discover invisible stalkers are attacking! Now that they can see them by way of some magical smoke they quickly dispatch the creatures and take the odd gem.

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The party then turns their attention to the other handprint back in the room with the rubble. It opens a wall that leads into a room that connects to a long corridor with another handprint on the wall about 80 feet away. They get a feeling this hallway could be trapped, so they proceed carefully. They do find several blade traps spaced about every 25 feet to so, and make it to the door. Sadly they don’t investigate the area right in front of the door and spring a trap. They hear a loud grinding and then a thud; they look back down the hallway and see a giant boulder has fallen in the hallway and is rolling towards them! They quickly open the door, run inside the room, and close the door again before the boulder can hit them. The door bends and twists as the boulder hits it, and with that they are trapped in the room. They however had a plan. Earlier in the adventure they had acquired an adamantine axe off of an enemy for just such an occasion! They take another jewel they see in this room, much like the one they saw in the room with the invisible stalkers, and then proceed to hack the door again and again with the axe until they clear an opening they can crawl through.

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They are now out of options; there are no handprints on the walls. Searching reveals there are scuffs on the floor however, and they deduce that one of the walls in the room with the rubble must move somehow. They search for some way to open it but eventually just try pushing it. It works, and the wall slides open.

Inside the next room appears to be an ancient hydra, partially organic but mostly replaced by what appears to be some sort of machine. The thing is so old they quickly destroy it, and it crumbles to pieces. What remains of the hydra’s flesh is mostly dessicated and flaky due to its age. In the hydra room there is a closed door; the party opens it.

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The door leads to a large room with two mechanical constructs flanking the other side of the door. There are reliefs carved on the walls showing people showing Brigh their various offerings, and two boxes next to a golden image of Brigh on the wall. The party assumes the constructs might animate at some point due to the way the temple has been assaulting them so far, and are not surprised when they investigate with disable device checks that they can be deactivated. They do deactivate them and then quickly figure out that “two is better than one” may apply here. They put the gems in the boxes at the same time and another wall opens.

The next room is occupied by a large golem that looks at them quizzically. He says some strange words that appear somewhat familiar but mostly foreign. The party thinks they may be ancient Common. He again tries to communicate with them and they understand a few words and try to communicate back. He appears to be asking what they wish, and after a few back and forths, the party decides to see if he can read some of Anthem’s books he has on hand after he makes a gesture to read. He skims through the books, looks up, and proceeds to then speak in almost fluent Common, now using the correct terms, words, and expressions that were written in Common in Anthem’s books.

He states he is the guardian over the treasury of Brigh, and asks what they wish to deposit. He says he is guardian over the wisdom stored. The party is highly intrigued with this treasury and talks amongst themselves. The feel maybe he is protecting the knowledge of this people, but as the people are long gone, he is only now hoarding knowledge instead of preserving it. They ask him if they can have any of the items from the treasury. He declines, but says they can look at some items as long as he can put them back. He closes the wall, they hear him move on the other side of the wall, and then the wall opens again with the golem holding some old books that are falling apart. They cast mending on the books and learn some of the history of the city.

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The city referenced in the books is called Ulmaeus. It is a city that is both underground and above ground. The people in the city were fond of magic and tinkerers, and had discovered how to create automatons that could store souls which would be placed in the automatons and lead to an almost immortal life for the inhabitant without using necromantic magic for lichdom or the like. The people had built a machine that could extract the soul of a dying individual automatically, thereby leading to a quick transfer to an automaton host (which by accounts, seemed to be very close to a humanoid body) and the person who had been transferred had an almost immediate transfer from a biological body to a mechanical one.

However, years back, hooded figures appeared and used necromantic magic to pull souls from the automatons into gems, thereby rendering the automatons lifeless. The city drove the hooded invaders off, but not before these figures stole the device that could store souls, and not before they had decimated the automaton population, leaving mainly the surviving biological inhabitants. The hooded figures are described as “sliding through the city” and there are references to tails.

The last entries detail a mad sorcerer who believed that all natural life was inferior to magical and automaton life. The city was not able to kill him, but were able to seal him away within the Temple of Wisdom with Brigh’s guidance. Sadly, the way with him and his armies took a toll on the populace, and they were left severely weakened when the Mind Flayers arrived and announced their rule over the city. Most of the city fled above ground, cursing magic and the ruin it had brought. Some went to the Everwood, through the vast forest tunnels above ground.

Those automatons left decided to stay underground, thinking themselves safe from the Mind Flayers. The record ends optimistically, stating the Mind Flayers had proposed a meeting. It’s the last record.

There are also detailed plans on how to create an automaton in the book, however the soul transfer required the machine that could move the soul from a biological creature to an automaton.

The party has a feeling that the Mind Flayers decimated the remaining population; they city appears dead, and they think they came here before when the Masters (aka Mind Flayers) summoned them. They now are certain the treasury is benefitting no one. They decide to raid it.

Doud hatches a plan to see where the treasury is. He hides and the party requests more books to repair for the golem, which he happily obliges. As he is speaking with the party, Doud slips into the other room; the golem eventually closes the wall to return the current books to the treasury and to get new ones. Doud watches him move to a side wall, push some hidden switches, and an opening appears. The golem gently places the repaired books in the treasury, pulls out some more, closes the hidden door, and then heads back to the wall to meet with the party. Doud slips back to the main room and quietly tells the party where the treasury is and how to access it.

Evan magically opens a pit under the golem and it tumbles down into it, unable to escape. They party quickly runs to the wall where the treasury is located, Doud correctly opens the door, and they take what they can. There is another handprint on the wall inside the treasury stating behind it is the tomb of the mad sorcerer. Some of the party are hesitant to do anything with someone so powerful, some are curious. They open the door just to see what’s inside.

They see a room covered in treasure; it appears to be old and decrepit. Evan tries using Mage Hand to grab some treasure; as soon as he does, a glowing skull rises from the piles of treasure and stares menacingly at him. The party slams the door shut and runs out of the dungeon, hoping the door seals the creature back in the tomb and the golem won’t follow them. They run back to the surface.

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Re: City Campaign

Post by AnimeSensei » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:38 pm

Faun finds her way to the Defenders of the Mother in the Garden district and inquires about guild membership. She meets with a recruitment officer who says that she must prove herself worthy of holding the title of a Defender of the Mother before she can enjoy the benefits of guild membership. He says she can venture to the Everwood and collect some soil to plant at the base of the trees here in the city, or she can travel underground to a specified area and collect some underground mushrooms that also can be used as fertilizer for the small forest of trees they have here. She agrees to getting the mushrooms and is told where they are, that they are blue, and glow in the darkness. She is pretty confident she can acquire them with the help of Dante and Almaris, who did adventuring in the underground tunnels for a living.

While this is happening, Dante is working in his new capacity in guild leadership with the Delvers and instructs some of his members to create a magical resistance group to hide magic users and to help protect them until such time it is safe to venture out again.

The party meets up and Faun describes her quest; the mushrooms appear to be slightly deeper than where they have heard the beholder is picking off magic users that are hiding underground so they agree to help her. The party hurries underground past the deep gates.

The party finds the beholder in an underground cave; they hear people talking down a passage to the left, but decide to look right first and encounter the beholder! Is states he knew they would eventually show up and begins an all out assault on the party. Margit’s pistol she got from the Master’s ship a few sessions back explodes when she rolls a natural 1 on the dice. Anthem is turned to stone by the Beholder as the battle continues. The party eventually manages to defeat the beholder and free his hostages, but don’t have a way to cure Anthem. They decide to carry his body back to the surface to the Defenders of the Mother.

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It takes some time but they eventually get there; Almaris as daughter of the Seneschal of the Everwood requests an audience with Talix Andavariel, the leader of the guild. It is granted. They explain the situation about the beholder, Anthem, and the new resistance Dante is forming ot help magic users. Talix is lukewarm to the idea but sees its merit. She agrees to help Anthem and instructs some of her acolytes to cast a Stone to Flesh spell on him. She also encourages Faun on her journey to collect the mushrooms to become a guild member.

The party heals up and heads back down to the underground. Dante and Almaris easily figure out the way to the mushrooms and Faun picks some. The cave continues onward past the mushrooms and has a faint glow to it. They proceed onward and find after a while it gets brighter and brighter until they find themselves in a immense cavern lighted by some phosphorescent fungus on the ceiling which gives enough light to illuminate the cavern as if it were dusk.

The cavern opens into a huge city, as far as they can see. There are tall buildings, ruins, streets, and houses. There is no movement and it is eerily silent. They proceed into the city and find it covered in dust and decay. They notice bodies against buildings, in doorways, and in open areas. Upon closer examination, they notice they are the same marionette bodies like the one Margit has. The bodies are all lifeless, but appear to be humanoid in nature with little to no damage on them. They have aged remarkably well in comparison to the lifeless city around them… It looks similar, and could be possibly the same city they were teleported to to meet with the Masters a few sessions ago.

The party goes exploring in the dead city and eventually finds a book that is falling apart. A few mending spells later, they find the book detailing the daily life of one of the inhabitants; it appears to be a journal. The person makes mention of the marionettes and how they were part of the society somehow. It doesn’t give much detail, but does mention something about the “Temple of Wisdom” which sounds promising as a way to find out more about this place. The party sets out to find it.

Eventually the party spots a large structure the appears temple-like. It is covered in carved reliefs detailing people making various things: machines, artistry, etc. There is some graffiti off to the side that the party reads as “deposit at the same time” and “make the sign of Brigh.” They don’t know what it means.

They enter the temple and find themselves in a large chamber filled with columns. A quick examination leads them to an imprint of a hand on the wall. They decide a good idea, based on the marionette bodies outside in the city, it to have Margit place her hand on the imprint. She does so and the wall slides open, revealing more of the temple. Anthem enters and is greeted by a huge golem of a woman with a mask; she appears to be the same woman in the reliefs on the temple walls. She speaks to him saying “Present the sign.” He hesitates and makes a motion like he saw on the reliefs outside where some people seemed to be kneeling before the woman (which the party assumes to be Brigh), and the golem attacks him with a slam attack which almost knocks him out. He runs out of the room and Margit puts her hand on the imprint again which closes the door.

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The party heals Anthem and they discuss what they should do. Everyone pools what knowledge they have about Brigh together and all they can figure out is she was a God that was worshipped long ago and is related to artisans. Almaris says she has an idea and the party opens the door again. Almaris approaches the golem, who asks her to present the sign. Almaris uses her magic to create a small animal in her hand. The golem looks at it, nods, and says “Improve.” The golems says she will give Almaris 3 “truths” of the temple, which are: “Always watch your back.” “Things are rarely as they seem.” and “Two is better than one.” The golem then returns to a non-threatening posture and Almaris is allowed to enter. The party figures out that the golem is asking for creation, and each PC shows the golem some skill they have been working on. To each, she tells them “Improve” and lets them enter.

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The party is now in a room with two doors and two empty braziers. They try the door on the right but it’s locked. The left door has another handprint. They press it and the wall slides up into the ceiling, which opens to a room that appears to have doors on the left and right sides, and some jewels on the wall. The party figures out the jewels are part of a puzzle to open the doors. Once they start moving the jewels on the wall, the entrance door shuts them in. They have 10 minutes to solve the puzzle. They finish it with a little over 85 seconds left and all 3 doors open. To the left is a sword in an apparatus. To the right is a hallway with a lit fire at the end of it. Margit decides to head towards the fire to investigate and immediately falls down through the illusionary floor into spikes which she somehow manages to mainly avoid. The pit is approximately 40’ to the bottom. She is pretty banged up. The “floors” she fell through is now an open pit, easily visible.

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At this point, some strange mists appear near the fire and some mechanical creatures come out of the walls and start spouting fire at the PCs. Anthem has an idea and decides to test the “things are rarely as they seem” truth and steps on the chasm. He is held aloft on what appears to be a solid floor instead of falling into the pit. The party attacks the machines and dissipates the noxious fog that has been assailing them. They eventually manage to get Margit out of the pit. At this point, the session ends.

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106 Resin and 202 Dwarvenite Sets/Packs Owned

Thunder
Orc
Orc
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:46 am

Re: City Campaign

Post by Thunder » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:08 pm

I recognize that Junk - great model for playing D&D. I use it all the time.

Peace

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Rabbit Burner
Minotaur Lord
Minotaur Lord
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:14 am
Location: Flaming bunny Warren, Valoria

Re: City Campaign

Post by Rabbit Burner » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:00 am

Way Cool AS :)

great story great pictures - do like your aboleth mini :)
Mythrassian Lagomorph Hivemind Minion of the Flaming Bunny Clan

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