Blundering into the Effigy Mound Spiral

Our adventure-hobos, were completely broke after fleeing from Hadrian’s Rock ( ) and spending their hard earned coin in town. They met up with Cyril, Drao’s best friend, and met three wanna-be-adventurers on the road (Lorem, Gavin, and Tabitha), who agreed to carry some of the stuff and help where they could for a share of the loot. Cyril had heard rumors of an Effigy Mound Spiral (Ludanto’s Adventure here: ), and recruited everyone else.

They found the boulder and the Wizard (with Rune-Wise!) deciphered the rune, and discovered that with time (i.e. with a check during the camp phase), he might be able to reverse engineer the Wizard’s Aegis from the Binding Rune. The Dwarf gathered up some helpers and with a Persona point to tap Delving Nature hoisted the boulder out of the way.

Meanwhile the Halfling wandered off alone in search of forage, ran into Dire Wolf, and managed to calmly back away.

(“Roll an ob 5 Survivalist to get away from the Wolf.” Untrained Survivalist with Halfling Sneaking Nature + Persona was 10 dice, plus fate to open end resulted in a success!)

They started down the snaking staircase. Thief says - ‘hey, I have an instinct to search for traps.’ I say 'too bad you aren’t in the front, Cleric who’s leading the way, roll Dungeoneer). I let the Dwarf and Thief in the 2nd and 3rd rank help because I am such a kind and generous GM, and Cyril the Cleric jumped over the pit.

Some poking around found the nature of the pit. The Thief used her dagger to cut the tapestry into strips, and one failed Weaver roll to turn those strips into Rope, the wizard is in the pit with what later is revealed to be a broken leg (injury now, Healing twist later). Oh, and the new Cleric has rope. Oops.

They party now remembers that they need to be careful when they go into a dungeon, and poke around the statue room- a goblin pokes its head in the room and then shuts the door. They take defensive positions, ready for an attack, and the Halfling finds the door under the furniture. They decide to explore that side, with one Cleric and Dwarf guarding the main chamber while the other Cleric takes point in exploring the sunken chapel. They find the source of the water- a nice clean water spout, letting everyone refill their waterskins, and Lavian the Cleric decides she’ll try prying the gems out of the statue’s eyes.

It animates (of course), and the party decides to Flee. I script Attack, Attack, Attack, they script Attack, Other Two Don’t Matter, since I rolled 5 out of 5 successes on my first action, which was their disposition. Good news they rolled 2 successes, vs. my 3 disposition, so they got a major compromise. We settled on everyone getting away but the Wizard, who of course was hobbled with his broken leg.

“Okay, the statue has you in a death grip, and is slowly pushing you under the water. What do you do?”
“Are there any runes on those gems?”
“Sure, but they’re hard to make out.” (Given that the statue has a command word listed for it elsewhere in the dungeon, it’s concievable that the command word could also be inscribed on the gem on eldritch runes. I’ll go for it.) “Loremaster ob 4, plus lighting penalties and your Injured condition. Everyone else is in the other room, so they can’t help. And if you fail this roll, you’re dead.”

Of course he made it. Persona to reroll failures with Rune-wise and then Fate to open-end sixes.

The chamber yielded two gems and a stash of copper coins, and the NPCs decided that this had been plenty of adventure, and if it was alright with everyone else they’d just be taking those copper coins as their fair share and be going. After some bitter discussion amongst themselves, the PCs agreed to this.

The PCs retreated to the surface (and rolled the boulder back into place), and made camp, but managed to get themselves a little disoriented- they have an accuratge map of their progress so far, but not themselves relative to it. I seem to recall that camp was fairly successful, but there’s still a few conditions in the group and they’ve been going through light and food much faster than they would like.

Woo! Amazing drowning test!

Remember, that the ultimate result would be “You read the runes AND THEN YOU’RE DROWNED BY THE STATUE.” Because death is only a condition. He gets what he’s after, but…

Thanks for posting this. Great fun!

Oooh, had not realized that wrinkle with roll or die tests. Very cool.

Our adventure-hobos went back into the dungeon for more. The Wizard missed a session, so wandered off to do wizard stuff. The Thief, Dwarf, and Halfling had a bit of a hard time finding their tracks back to the Spiral, what with the Dwarf tromping all over the place. Eventually the Thief found their tracks again, but she was Angry at the Dwarf and pretty much everyone else and every thing.

Some discussion ensured whether or not the party had enough food, light, weapons, and other things, and discussed hunting, chopping wood, and other things, but eventually decided not to. I was pleased with the franticness of this discussion.

They deleved back into the mound (I ruled that since they had gone through this boulder twice and would have had a map if the wizard were there I wasn’t going to make them keep testing to roll it back and forth unless they were in immediate peril), and the Dwarf’s Ambush-sensing instinct led him to spot two goblins hiding behind the statue in the first room. He charged in, and they had rigged it to collapse, so pushed it over, the marble collapsing and pinning him in place.

The rest of the group engaged the goblins in a Capture conflict, blocking the door so the goblins couldn’t escape. Cyril the Cleric ended the conflict by tapping Nature to bellow loudly and demand the goblin’s surrender. They don’t speak common, but they understand a commanding voice well enough.

They tied up the goblins and Cyril managed to use gestures to figure out there were five goblins total in the mound (four, after he bashed the skull of the other one in with his mace). The Dwarf wanted to kill the other one, but the Thief wouldn’t let him, and had him tied up on a leash.

Going into the next wing of the dungeon, Goblin on a string leading, the Thief tried to coax the location of the other Goblins out of it. The Goblin made a dash for it, managing to yank itself out of her grip.

They followed it to the kitchen/altar room, where there was no sign of the Goblin. After some searching, the Halfling looked up the chimney and saw the Goblin lodged in it trying to scrape through the rope, and pulled him down. The Clerics tried to get some information about the Effigy, and only got weird, distrubing psychic messages from it instead, and decided to burn it.

Going back, the other three Goblins were lying in wait, but the Dwarf’s Ambush-Instinct keyed them off again, and he rounded the corner swinging his axe, aiming for a kill conflict. The remaining Goblins were furiously wiped out (no compromise!), much to the distress of their captive.

They searched out the rest of that wing, finding the secret goblin coin stash and a rune-warded door they agreed was best to let the wizard take a look at. The Thief is being Good Cop to the Cleric’s Bad Cop, untying the Goblin and giving it food and water. So far it sulkily tags along with them, having nowhere else to go.

They set a camp. One of our players had to be going so we did not finish the camp phase- we did start of camp Instincts, but not any checks, and then the end-of-session rewards. Next session will start with spending accumulated checks, of which the players have gotten many.

Our wizard still away doing mysterious wizard things, we went through the camp phase. Everyone got healed up, except Cyril the Cleric, who was still Exhausted, having difficulty recovering with his 3 Health dice, even with Persona points and/or poultices. Aria the thief easily mended her damaged leather armor, logging a beginner’s luck test for yet another skill. (Damaged from a very minor compromise after one of the goblin fights). She also did a beginner’s luck Mentor test (with Persona!) to teach the Goblin her name, learning that his is Vekhel.

They returned into the dungeon, searching every nook and cranny of the first level before going down to the second level. Vekhel grabbed the gem from the broken rubble of the statue and stuffed it in his pants, which the Halfling proceeded to size up her courage and pickpocket, tapping Persona, and fulfilling her session goal of Stealing a Treasure.

The Clerics attempted to decipher the mystic runes (triggering an OOC argument after my twist on failure about whether or not I had properly interpreted the player’s intent, but the door was open so it was dropped)- Cyril the Cleric was Injured by the lightning trap and Lavian became Afraid. In there they found three tomes of interest, and some useful ink. (Too bad the wizard wasn’t there to call dibs, because it would all get hocked later during the town phase.)

In the Pantry/Effigy Room, the players found a several casks of beer in the north closet (a loot addition to the adventure to accomodate for the larger party size). They searched the other one, and on a hunch Cyril the Cleric tested the cieling and spotted the Silver and Plate on the top shelf.

They lugged most of the stuff to the dungeon entrance, stacking up any extraneous items so they could pick and choose later what to bring out with them.

Delving further down, the Dwarf and Thief rigged up a rope and grapnel to scale down the collapsed stair (in retrospect I probably should have just called this a Good Idea, but I called for a Dungeoneering check at the time), and left the rope and grapnel in place for their return.

They checked out the storage room/jail and got the lock open, performed a cursory examination of the skeleton, and took the vase, then descended into the final chamber.

There they encountered the elemental circling the crystal, bound by summoning runes, and felt the wave of psychic force: “RELEASE ME.”

Aria the Thief: “Guys, this is what all these binding runes are here to keep in.”

Lavian the Cleric and Aria the Thief went upstairs, wanting nothing to do with the spirit.

Cyril engaged the spirit in a short conversation with the spirit, with the Dwarf and Halfling cautiously looking on. The spirit offered the knowledge of a location of a node of power and wealth. Cyril said he needed to check on his friends.

Meanwhile, up on the landing, Lavian caught some glimpse of movement up above, and the rope and grapnel came clattering down. Whatever did it ran away, and they never spotted exactly what did it.

Collectively, the heroes decided not to risk freeing the imprisoned spirit, or even interacting with it further, so they left the dungeon, took everything they could carry back to town (the dwarf broke the cask of Dwarven Beer trying to roll it up the stairs, so they filled up their Wineskins while the rest of it leaked onto the dungeon floor.)

In a nice coastal Busy Crossroads on the edge of the swamp, they learned of a few new hooks. Cyril’s enemy, Jon, father of Drao cornered him in a bar over a drink and told him in no uncertain terms that Lavian was not to return to the Religious Bastion of Bramkirk to tell the tale of their village’s heretical worship, that Cyril was to keep Lavian exploring dank dark dungeons and away from her faith. Cyril made no promises.

A lizardman trader told Wildflower the Halfling a tale of a ship washed ashore in the marsh, full of treasure.

Aria the theif was concerned about the previous rumor that her friend Lamont had left the city guard of Gilthorne to become a mercenary and slaver.

They collectively decided to check out the shipwreck. Nobody followed up any leads to figure out where it might be, so I think just finding the ship is going to be quite an adventure in and of itself.

Also, everyone but Cyril the Cleric and Peel the Wizard have now reached level 2, and many are close to level 3.