Monday, 9 May 2022

Dwimmermount session three

Recoup and resupply

Helgot spends a few days in the Flash and Scroll inn, tending his wounds and considering his next move. His morale is low; though he spent time exploring the first floor, he feels no closer to finding the Exarchate of Theana for Jasper, and has become convinced tackling the vastness of Dwimmermount is a far greater quest than he feels capable of achieving by himself.

He swears an iron vow to found a proper adventuring party to better tackle the imposing megadungeon. He wants Jasper’s help, and to gather around him like-minded adventurers, treasure-seekers and loremasters. They will be The Ironsworn.

However, he decides, he would have better luck convincing Jasper of this course of action should he return to the City-State of Adamas successful, with the map in hand. Depressingly, rumours abound of another adventuring party, styling themselves Typhons’ Fists, who have been bragging about the progress they’ve made delving Dwimmermount on behalf of the High Priest of Typhon in Adamas. Helgot hasn’t yet come across them in Muntberg, but surely it is only a matter of time.

He asks around the inns to see if anyone knows them and discovers some promising information — they’re currently making their way back to Adamas to report their findings, so they are, temporarily at least, out of the picture.

Back into Dwimmermount

It seems there is nothing to do but head back into Dwimmermount and continue searching for the map. Returning it to Jasper would not only fulfil an iron vow, but seems the best way to convince him to continue funding a group to explore the rest of the site. Helgot readies his gear and sets out.

The short journey back to the base of the mountain, and then the trek back up the stairs is uneventful, though Helgot does find the Red Doors ajar when arriving — perhaps someone (or something?) has recently passed through. Cautiously, he ducks inside and heads up to the entrance chamber, wary that last time he was here a patrolling metallic skeleton had been present.

Helgot’s plan was to this time head through the doors immediately in front of him, but he finds his way barred — the doors are guarded by a pair of pig-faced orcs, who bristle and ready their weapons at he comes into view.

Helgot has experience with fighting orcs, and he uses their bulk and poor training against them. He deftly manoeuvers around them, skewering one in the gut with his spear before it can bring its short sword to bear. The second manages to land a blow, thumping the hilt of its sword against Helgot’s shoulder, but Helgot manages to twist away and a well-timed thrust sends his spear up through the orc’s jaw, killing it instantly.

A statue of Turms-Mavors

The doors swing open to reveal a long, wide corridor, at the centre of which is a circular area with another corridor at right-angle to the first, creating a cross-shaped intersection. In the middle, a plinth supports a huge mable statue of Mavor, the god of War, holding a shield and barbed spear. The head, however, is clearly Turms Termax, the Thirce-Great, the Man-become-God.

Including the doors through which he entered, there are four exit doorways, one in each cardinal direction. The doors to the east are the most unusual, made of white nephelite — a pearlesent, smooth material, cool to the touch — and covered with soot and grit. They also prove impossible to open, perhaps even magically sealed.

The passages to the north and south are much more mundane. Helgot decides to try north, having largely travelled south on his last visit. He cautiously creeps along corridor to north. There are closed doors at the end of the corridor, two sets on the left, and one on the right. Helgot decides to try the nearest door, one of the ones on the right.

The laboratory

The room is dominated by a long, steel-reinforced oak table, stained in a variety of colors. The walls are criss-crossed with iron shelves, all empty, though many are stained like the table. The floor is covered in smashed glass and scattered with broken and rotten wooden chairs and crates. Having skill as an alchemist, Helgot immediately recongnises the purpose of this room — it was once a laboratory. He picks through the debris, but finds nothing of use — the place has been ransacked.

This abandoned laboratory also offers a further two exits, to the north and to the east. Before he can really decide what to do next, the door on the east wall swings open and a pair of kobolds bound into the room, branishing swords, with another three behind them.

Kobolds are short, dog-like humanoids with cowardly and sadistic tendencies. A kobold’s scaly skin ranges from dark rusty brown to a rusty black colour. It has glowing red eyes. Kobolds wear ragged clothing, favouring red and orange. A kobold is 2 to 2½ feet tall.

They bark and shout in their native language, unintelligable, but one phrase is repeated over and over in their calls: Arach-Nacha! Arach-Nacha!

The fight is short but brutal. The kobolds are armed with short, curved swords which they swing wildly. Helgot tries his best to keep them in the doorway, limiting the number that can slash at him at any one time. One kobold goes down, and then another, but not before Helgot has been slashed down the length of his arm, leaving a ragged cut. Mustering his strength, Helgot manages to impale a third kobold, and as he kicks its lifeless body from his spear, the remaining kobolds realise the tide has turned against them.

They turn and flee away to the west, screaming, and again the words Arach-Nacha! are repeated. Helgot slumps to ground, wounded. He rummages through his pack to gather some bandages and alcohol, and patches himself up.

In the kobold’s haste to leave, they left the far door open, revealing a small storeroom beyond. Helgot is able to find a few coins and some tattered cloth that will make do for bandaging, along with a single unbroken glass vial, which he tucks away with his alchemy supplies.

Discretion is, of course, the better part of valor, and Helgot decides the dull ache in his arm is telling him this would be a good time to retreat. The map is still not found, but the discovery of a laboratory and storeroom seems promising — if science was being performed here, perhaps there is also a library or study nearby.

He retraces his steps and heads back to Muntberg to rest and resupply. And deep within Dwimmermount, the kobolds flee to their master…

Locations explored

1The Path of Mavors
1.1Entrance Hall
1.11Statue of Turms-Mavors


Two orc guardsSlain
Five kolboldsThree slain, two fled

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Dwimmermount session two


Into Dwimmermount

Rising early, Helgot checks his gear, eats a hearty breakfast at the inn, and sets out for Dwimmermount. The stairs switch back and forth as he ascends the mountain, passing through crumbled fortifications, before finally narrowing on the final approach to the doors. Two giant red metal doors are set into the stone, and sure enough, with some effort Helgot manages to swing one open. Cautiously, he steps over the threshold. Stairs, leading down this time, lead him to an entrance chamber.

Ancient and smooth-worn stairs descend from the Red Doors into the entrance chamber of Dwimmermount. The room contains five doors (two of them side by side) and six marble statues. All of the doors are made of hard oak, reinforced with steel. Five of the six statues depict distinct male figures in different poses, wearing archaic Thulian dress, but all with the exact same head and face — that of a haughty, bearded man with piercing eyes. The sixth statue depicts an attractive, but hard-faced woman in plain garb.

Helgot doesn’t recognise any of the statues, disturbing though they are. Two of the doors are in front of him, two lie at each side of the room, and a further door on the wall behind him. Thinking he might need to make a hasty escape at any moment, he decides to take the door to the left, nearest the stairs.

Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount, strong hit: Mark progress and into the corridor leading from room 1 through to room 63; +1 momentum

The door is unlocked and leads to a corridor. On the right, an open doorway into a room, and on the left, a closed door. The corridor opens up into another room in the distance.

Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount, miss; Reveal a Danger: Denizens on guard, orcs

As Helgot makes his way down the corridor, a pair of orcs emerge from the room at the end of the corridor, spotting him immediately. They hurry toward him, waving spears and grunting in their orc-language.

Enter the Fray: two orc guards (dangerous), weak hit: prepare to act

Helgot brandishes his spear and takes a strong stance, charging at the orcs with steely determination. Closing the gap, he leaps forward with a cry, spear thrusting at the nearest orc, catching it by suprise at the speed of his attack.

Strike: strong hit, 2+1 harm

The spear strikes true, piercing the orc’s hide and killing them outright. It squeals and staggers, the deadly spear already being pulled away, then falls to its knees and slumps over sideways. At this, their companion falters, not expecting such a show of violence from the human intruder.

End the fight: weak hit; Endure harm: miss, -2 health, -1 momentum

Capitalising on the orc’s moment of hesitation, Helgot slashes at the pig-man’s belly, sending its guts tumbling to the floor, but in his haste to finish the fight Helgot steps too close. It’s not until after the orc lies dead at his feet that he realises the orc managed to raise its own weapon in time to catch him. A minor wound to his side, but a wound nonetheless. Still; adrenaline and momentum will keep him on his feet.

After catching his breath, and wiping viscera from his spear, Helgot investigates the room from which the orcs emerged. It appears to be a guardpost; there are numerous weapon racks in the room, and disturbingly, they are all empty. An iron barred door is set into one wall, leading to a small holding cell, which thankfully is empty.

Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount: strong hit; mark progress and move to room 64

Chamber of the Face

It seems to prudent to explore the room back along the corridor with no door before opening any more and potentially running into any more porcine patrols, to Helgot backtracks — as quietly as possible — to investigate. What he finds is truly bizarre.

This large room once contained several rows of wooden benches bolted to the floor. Some of them have since been removed, but two remain and are in remarkably good condition. On the northern wall of the room is a sculpture of a bearded man’s face made from rusty metal.

Gather information, miss: Consult oracle, a new danger or foe is revealed; You encounter a hostile denizen: giant rats

Despite the rust, the sculpture is very well done, with a great level of detail. Helgot goes to sit on one of the benches to better examine it, when all of sudden — it begins to move. The mouth strains, as if trying to open, and a low, creaking, scraping noise begins to emanate from it. This needs a closer look, surely. Helgot examines the face, now revealed to be some kind of mechanical or magical artifact, scrapes a little rust away here and there, to no great effect. The mouth continues to creak and strain, with accompanying unintelligable sounds.

When Helgot turns to leave the room, he realises too late that he has been so engrossed in his investigations he hasn’t noticed that a pack of un-naturally giant rats have crept into the doorway behind him. The largest of the rodents is perched up on it’s hind legs, regarding him with beady red eyes. It bares its fangs, and the whole mass of rats surge toward him. Seriously, some of these rats are the size of a medium dog. They’re big rats.

Enter the Fray: pack of giant rats (Troublesome), strong hit: +2 momentum

Helgot swings a wild arc with his spear; there are so many rats advancing on him that hitting at least one of them shouldn’t be an issue.

Strike: miss! Pay the Price, Endure Harm: miss! -1 health, -1 momentum

The rats are nimble for their size though, and skewering one while they’re biting and clawing proves tricky.

Face Danger: weak hit; Endure Stress: strong hit! +1 momentum

The absurdity of the situation. Being mauled to death by rats. There’s just so many of them. Helgot stabs down at the writhing mass of rodent muscle while trying to back away and keep them at bay. He’s staggered and bloody, and he laughs.

Strike: Burn momentum, weak hit: 2 harm

Finally, a good solid stab of the spear skewers one rat and at the same time a well-aimed kick sends another flying against the wall with a sickening crack of bone. A few of the rats turn tail and run away, chittering and sqealing.

Clash: strong hit! 2 harm, +1 momentum

“Maybe,” Helgot thinks, “I could survive this”. Another rat impaled, and another. The pack thins until there is only the largest of the brood remaining, a hulking brute of a rat, all muscle and sinew. Man and rat circle, spear and fang brandished.

End the Fight: strong hit!

Helgot lunges and the giant rat is too close and too slow to avoid the attack. The spear lands home and skewers the beast, thrashing and coughing blood, defeated, dying.

Helgot lets out a long, manic laugh and slumps down on one of the heavy benches. His whole body aches, and thin rivers of blood streak down his thighs where countless bites and scratches have taken their toll. He does his best to tidy himself, ripping some cloth from his undershirt to wipe away blood and bandage the worst.

Heal: strong hit! +2 health

It’s time to leave. By first impressions, this place is massive, and with fresh wounds the walk back to Muntberg will be long enough, even with the stairs to make the descent easier.

Eldritch bones

Helmut begins to retrace his steps back to the entrance.

Escape the Depths: Miss! Reveal a danger: Denizen patrols the area: Eldrich bones

As he approaches the entrance hall, in the distance he sees a horrifying sight: a skeleton, upright and walking slowly away from him, as if having come from the double-doors. It carries a sword and small round shield, and its bones shimmer an oily silver-black. Helgot stops stock still and presses against the doorway, hoping to remain unseen.

Face Danger: Weak hit; Endure Stress: -2 spirit, miss: -1 momentum

The silvery skeleton pauses at the distant doorway — Helgot’s heart hammers in his chest and the pounding of blood in his temples seems loud enough that surely it alone could give him away — but then the reanimated soldier opens the door, steps through, and is gone, the door swinging shut behind it. Helgot waits a moment to be sure the danger has passed, then quickly but quietly ascends the stairs to the red doors and leaves. The crisp mountain air has never tasted so good.

Locations explored

1Floor one, The Path of Mavors
1.1Entrance Chamber
1.63Guard Post
1.65Holding Cell
1.64Chamber of the Face


2 orc guardsSlain
Pack of giant ratsMost slain, some escaped
Eldritch bonesAvoided

Monday, 14 March 2022

Dwimmermount session one

Helgot has travelled from The City-State of Adamas to Muntberg, arriving a few days ago. In Adamas, he bonded with Jasper, a local sage.

Jasper will pay for a map of the Exarchate of Theana that he believes can be found in Dwimmermount, and may be willing to purchase other ancient maps as well. Helgot agrees to obtain the map, in return for pay, and signs a contract with Jasper to that effect.

Swear an Iron Vow, weak hit. More investigation is needed, and we don’t know for sure where the map is (or if it exists at all). I’ll be using Swear an Iron Vow to set up tasks and quests, but the ritualistic aspect of them doesn’t really suit the Dwimmermount campaign setting. They’ll still be mechanically the same, and my characters will treat their vowed obligations just as seriously.

Helgot decides to gather more information after arriving in Muntberg, hoping to find out how to get into Dwimmermount, and if anyone knows about the map. He spends time in the taverns and inns, particularly The Flask and Scroll Tavern, chatting to the locals and other adventure-seekers.

Gather Information, weak hit. We know how to get into Dwimmermount, but nothing of the map.

Luckily, rumors of the gates of Dwimmermount unlocking are the main topic of conversation, so Helgot soon gathers enough information to figure out where the entrance is likely to be. He endeavours to travel to the site the following day.

Muntberg and Dwimmermount are on adjacent hexes and connected by a well-known route, so I will not be using Undertake a Journey to get there; travel between the two seems simple enough. Hopefully the oracle continues to agree with me.