Session 3 – “Doom of the Savage Kings” (part 2)
Date: Sunday, 1/19/15
Game Dates: 1/25/3200 to 1/29/3200 E.C. (Empyrean Calendar)
Module: Doom of the Savage Kings by Harley Stroh (and preview of the next module, Intrigue at the Court of Chaos by Michael Curtis)
Current Party Level: 1
Current XP: 35 for main characters, 10 for henchmen
XP Needed For Level 2: 50
||Tamash the Wanderer (1st level Elf)
|| Vallardine the Wanderer (1st level Halfling)
||Amethyst the Evoker (1st level wizard)
||Gazal the Bandit (1st level warrior)
||Katy the Bandit (1st level warrior)
||Aric Twofingers the Zealot of Bobugbubilz (1st level cleric
Henchmen of Tamash the Wanderer: Valannus, Izdrel
Henchman of Vallardine the Wanderer: Domnos the Evoker (1st level wizard, L)
Henchmen of Amethyst the Evoker: Zuzu, Carnelian (dwarf apprentice)
Henchmen of Katy the Bandit: Budabob, Dopey
Henchmen of Aric Twofingers the Zealot: Ludo (dwarf agent), Anana, Thompson
Game Date: 1/25/3200 E.C.
On this date the heroes finished recovering from their adventures in the Serpent Mound and prepared to seek out the Hound of Hirot. Aric the cleric of Bobugbubilz used lay on hands to heal the chaotic warrior Gazal, then cast detect magic on the items recovered from the tomb – and discovered that the other shield and spear they had found were not magical! Nevertheless, they decided not to reenter the Serpent Mound, but rather to head into the Sunken Fens and see if they could find the lair of the Hound.
After an hour of marching to the Sunken Fens (around 3 P.M.) and 2 hours of searching the fens (mostly by following the northernmost branch of the tributary stream), they found some mud springs that threatened to spatter them with boiling sulfuric mud. Tracking back the way they came in the twilight, they came upon a crude stone pillar carved with crude icons – clasped 6-fingered hands, a single baleful eye, a fearsome horned war-helm, a grotesque theatrical mask, and a wedding ring fashioned from a noose. As Vallardine the halfling attempted a closer look, he was set upon by a clutchculus – a monster of chaos composed of several scores of severed hands! The heroes were able to kill this monster with some difficulty. Afterwards, Vallardine thought he saw the glyphs on the pillar glowing faintly, but it might have been a trick of the light. Amethyst recovered some gold rings worn by the hands that had composed the clutchculus.
Since it was now close to sundown, the party decided to seek some slightly higher, drier ground to camp until the next morning . . .
Game Date: 1/26/3200 E.C.
On this morning, after a few hours of searching the party found the sinkhole which seemed to be the lair of the Hound of Hirot. The sinkhole was about 20 feet in diameter, and filled with the thick, roiling mist that prevented them from seeing inside. The party decided to use its grappling hook and 100’ of rope to slowly lower Vallardine into the pit holding the Lion Shield (which the Hound of Hirot was loath to approach or attack). Vallardine successfully scouted the cavern at the bottom about 75’ down. He found a cavern littered with some debris surrounding an inky black pool in the center.
The party rappelled down in their standard marching order to explore the pit. They decided to lay a trap for the Hound. As they approached the Black Pool, however, Aric Twofingers felt a distinct unease, while the elf Tamash and the wizard Amethyst felt the magical power of the pool beckoning them. Tamash decided to ignore the lure of the pool, but Amethyst decided to meditate upon the Black Pool and see if she could harness its power. The dark power of the pool drove her mad temporarily, and she tried to drown herself in the pool. Fortunately, Gazal had been instructed to watch her for just such symptoms and managed to tackle her and help pin her down until the madness had passed.
Meanwhile, the party was sifting through the debris at the bottom of the sinkhole in search of useful treasure. Aric attempted to cast detect magic but incurred the disapproval of Bobugbubilz, and was required to spend an hour in prayer to atone.
Tamash and Aric Twofingers remembered that the Hound always appeared around dusk, so they assumed that the beast would make its appearance around sunset, and planned their trap accordingly. And indeed, at the moment the sun set, the Hound arose from the Black Pool, dripping inky darkness. But the heroes were ready! Amethyst and Aric used the rope that Tamash had acquired from the Mad Widow to lasso the hound and try to restrain it so that it could be killed. Tamash decided to cast his sleep spell, even though for him, this spell is always cast at great cost – when he casts it, someone he has met somewhere in the world dies. But the Hound of Hirot resisted the spell, wracking Tamash with guilt for the person he had just killed to no purpose.
The furious battle raged on for several minutes, with the hound trying to drag Amethyst and Aric into the scalding black waters of the Pool several times, and weapons bouncing off the beast’s tough hide. In the end, Gazal struck off its head with his battle axe, and the beast’s blood one the blade permanently enchanted it as a magical weapon that would be particularly effective against Chaos. Gazal then claimed the head as a trophy.
The party then decided to climb out of the sinkhole and make their way to the Standing Stones where there would no doubt be another sacrifice to the Hound. They could free the sacrifice, and then in the morning return in triumph to Hirot. So they went to the Standing Stones, where they found Mareras the Glassworker tied to the altar stone as a sacrifice. They freed him, and he informed them that over the last few nights since they had rescued Morgan, the Hound had killed five more people. Then, that very night, Morgan was intended for a sacrifice, but she suddenly fell over and died! No one could explain what had happened to her (but Tamash was sure that she was the victim of his mercurial magic, his use of the sleep spell had killed the innocent young girl!). The party camped by the stones until the next morning . . .
Game Date: 1/27/3200 E.C.
On this morning, the party made their procession through the gates and into the town square of Hirot, with Gazal bearing the head of the Hound on a 10’ pole. Mareras the Glassworker accompanied the party, and agreed to give Amethyst a purple glass globe for her staff to make it look more magical . . .
The party met a funeral procession coming the other way down from the sky biers near Meadhold, the Jarl’s great hall. It was the funeral procession for Morgan. The encounter between the Jarl and the party threatened to turn ugly, but the situation was quickly defused since Gazal was carrying proof that they had killed the Hound of Hirot – permanently, this time, it was hoped – and had thus saved Hirot. There was much rejoicing in Hirot that day!
Katy the Bandit returned the sacred warhammer to Father Beacom at the chapel of Justicia, and the jarl’s thegn Oferloch declared the party “heroes of Hirot.” The Chaotic members of the party (Aric, Gazal, and Katy) went off to celebrate, while the Lawful members got down to business . . .
Tamash and Amethyst went to the hut of the Mad Widow with Vallanus the Parsnip Farmer in tow so that he could fulfill the vow to marry her. However, she and her dead husband (!) were about to depart together, so Vallanus was spared having to marry the crone (who had, however, turned young and beautiful again), and Tamash was rewarded with a shirt of golden thread woven from fire that would protect him like enchanted chainmail and protect him from cold attacks as well. Tamash’s studded leather armor was given to Vallanus instead.
Meanwhile, Vallardine went to try snooping in Meadhold, but ran straight into Sylle Ru, the jarl’s sorcerer adviser. In the course of conversation, he ended up realizing that the party might have learned something of the origins of the Hound of Hirot, and offered great treasure if they would tell him everything they knew about it. Vallardine replied that he would accept the sorcerer’s offer, but they would have to show Sylle Ru the Hound’s origin; it could not be simply told. So he agreed to accompany them to the Sunken Fens the next day . . . accompanied by the thegn Oferloch, of course.
Game Date: 1/28/3200 E.C.
After a hearty breakfast, the party escorted Sylle Ru and Oferloch through the Sunken Fens to the sinkhole containing the Black Pool that had seemed to be the origin of the Hound of Hirot. Sylle Ru insisted upon meditation on the Black Pool, and just as it had Amethyst, it drove him mad and he tried to drown himself in the pool. The scalding waters quickly killed the sorcerer. Oferloch was a witness that it was Sylle Ru’s own lust for power that drove him to his death, and that it was in no way the party’s fault.
Returning to Hirot once more, they claimed Sylle Ru’s old quarters (and his spellbook). They decided to leave the enchanted rope that they had used to bind the Hound of Hirot with the Jarl’s men, just in case it should ever be needed in Hirot again . . .
Game Date: 1/29/3200 E.C.
This morning, the heroes finally rejoined the two pieces of the bronze scepter they had found (on in the Portal Under the Stars, the other in the sinkhole of the Hound of Hirot). When the two halves of the scepter were joined, the same strange glyphs that they had seen in the swamp earlier glowed briefly along the shaft, and there was a sound like a thunderclap, and a voice declaring “YOU WILL BE SUMMONED!”
Not knowing what else to do, they party wandered out into the town of Hirot, where a great festival was now in progress in thanksgiving for the death of the Hound of Hirot. They came upon a shadow puppet theater in which a play was being performed entitled “The Court of Chaos” . . . and suddenly they were transported across the planes to the actual Court of Chaos. There, they were greeted by The Tatterdemalion (the Herald of Chaos who had been at the puppet show and had whisked them off to the Court of Chaos), and the Host of Chaos – the five members of the Court -
- Noohl, The Prince of Ruins
- Klarvgorok, The Merciless Gaze
- Dzzhali, The Strangled Bride
- Magog, the Beast
- Hekanhoda, Lord of Grotesques
The Court was also attended by a being known as The Chiaroscuro Envoy, Ambassador of the Balance (representing Neutrality rather than chaos).
And so begins DCC #80 -Intrigue at the Court of Chaos by Michael Curtis!