Okay. Part 2 of Chapter 2, here we are! Here’s Part 1, if you missed it.
Things get dicey with some dwarves and I make an encounter map. I had fun with this, and fudged the rules just a tad to make things a little more survivable for my characters. Does it actually help? We'll see...
The Adventure (Chapter 2 cont'd)
After crossing time and space to this new world, the adventurers met and killed a dwarven woman, who tried to kill them, and have now been crossing this strange shifty shadowy forest outside the dungeon they came from. We left them breaking camp in the morning after an attack from a large, tentacled, jackalope.
I'm saying that they had a full nights' rest, and I'm houseruling that full rest heals all HP and 1 Ability point, regardless of Spellburn. I also plan on using the 5e short rest rule: if the PCs can rest for 15-30 minutes they can roll some of their class hit dice, HD replenish with a long/full rest. Might make things a little more survivable, although they seem to be doing okay with what's come at them.
In the gray early morning light, the shadows of the trees seem to move, and the trees themselves seem to shift and change. It’s difficult to keep track of the trail…
DC 10 Will Saves:
Bazel, without breaking stride, veers off the path, stumbling into bushes, panicking and smacking at the plants. Agnes and Prudence are able to shake him out of it, but they went off the path and are unsure of which direction they came from...
DC 8 Int Checks:
After a quick look around, they find it easily. A few hours of traveling later, the path seems to widen, and other clearings off of it are found, with evidence of old campfires. Eventually they can see the structure they spied from up on the cliff. It looks like an old gallows platform with some kind of barn or building nearby, and what looks like a large stone in a clearing between the two.
Time for a few Miso questions.
Is everyone in this new place dwarves?
Yes (d12): 9
No (d10): 2
Are they all crazy and/or murderous like Berin was?
Even/yes/Odd/no (d20): 20,
An Emphatic Yes!
I like the idea of the greenstone being the cause for this. Also the reason for the shifty shadows and losing direction and such. Also the ancient statue of the flaming worm succubus thing from the previous chapter was a strange greenish stone as well! This place is feeling very Mirkwoody, I'm into it. The dwarves who live here have been in this crater valley for many years and have all been driven incurably insane by the greenstone. It makes one become very afraid of strangers, triggering a violent and murderous reaction, and can also make one forget things, like who they know, where they are, etc. Hooray inspiration!
How many dwarves live in the crater valley?
This doesn't include the late Berin.
How many dwarves are at the gallows station place?
What are they up to, Adventuresmith?
So, based off these symbols I’m going to decide that the dwarves have been having issues with a nearby human settlement/village/what have you and a cache of ancient (but futuristic) pistols have been discovered by the dwarves. They now realize that with these devices they could easily take over the settlement. Carrying out that raid with these weapons will surely rid them of the humans in the village. So these dwarves have gotten together to talk about this. Maybe they have a prisoner that they will demonstrate this power on? Sounds dramatic, I'll go with that.
Standing around the clearing in front of the platform is a group of dwarves. Further observation tells the party that there are some inside the building as well. They are loud, unruly, and very unkempt. None in the party speak Dwarvish, so naturally they have no idea what is going on. One dwarf stands on the gallows platform, wearing a tall pointed hat and holding aloft a dull metallic object, yelling, spittle flying over their beard. A couple dwarves come and go from the building, carrying small crates containing things resembling the object held by the speaker and setting them down on the platform.
Luck checks to see if they've been spotted:
Some of the dwarves in the crowd turn to look the way of the adventurers but don't seem to notice anything and turn back to the speaker. Some of the dwarves are stepping up and inspecting the metallic objects. Suddenly the speaker raises their voice and gestures at the building. After a moment, a dwarf carrying another person over their shoulder emerges. The carried person is bound, gagged, and struggling. They look to be human, or at least human sized. Unceremoniously, the person is tied standing up to the central gallows post. The party can see that it is a human woman. As she struggles, the gag comes out of her mouth. Her muffled screaming is now full volume.
"Please! Why are you doing this?! Somebody help me please just let me go I won't tell anyone just let me go!"
Her pleads are nonstop until the dwarf that carried her raises his hand as if to smack her. She gets the threat and quiets down, crying. The bruise on her face shows that the threat has been carried out before. Raising the metal object, which now appears to be a weapon, the speaker dwarf says some more words, makes some gestures, and points the thing at the woman. Turning to the crowd, the dwarf says something, gesturing at their ears, then turns back. A fair number of the dwarves in the crowd cover their ears.
Does the party interfere?
Yes (d12): 9
No (d12): 6
They might not understand the language, but they know something is not right with this scene. Bazel has his bow in hand. Agnes touches his arm, praying.
Blessing spell check: 16
Bazel glows briefly, and makes a shot at the speaker on the platform.
Ranged attack: 22
His arrow sticks squarely into the speaker's shoulder, dealing 5 damage, and the object falls to the ground, making a deafening boom noise as it hits the platform.
Who gets hit?
Random dwarf (d20): 20
Speaker dwarf (d20): 13
Prisoner (d20): 12
The Party (d20): 5
2d6 damage: 7
The dwarf who carried out the prisoner drops to ground on the platform, bleeding from a hole in their side, and lies still.
Instantly all the dwarves are agitated, looking around wildly. The prisoner is trying to break her bonds. The speaker is going to pick up the object. Other dwarves are going to go crazy and/or look for the arrow shooter. The party I think is going to split up and hide and try some guerilla tactics or something because otherwise they're going to be caught and killed for sure. I'm going to have the group of dwarves be something of a mob and only have one or two act on a turn. This will help the characters possibly survive. Also I'm not dealing with 18 individual NPCs, because that would just be too much right now.
Let's get some basic numbers for these NPCs.
Randoms: STR +1, AGI +1, STA +2, AC 11, HP 7
Speaker: AGI +2, STA +1, PER +1, INT +1, AC 13, HP 15
Prisoner Woman: AGI +1, PER +1, INT +1, AC 11, HP 5/6
In the confusion they try to hide...
Random Dwarves: 17
I decided to make a quick little encounter map. The pink dot is the prisoner woman, the yellow S is the Speaker, and all the little dwarves are... the other dwarves.
Agnes, realizing their foolishness, prays to the spirits and ancestors for blessings of her own...
Blessing Spell Check: 19
+2 to pretty much everything for 1 turn (10 minutes), nice.
Bazel, knowing he hasn't made it to a better position, decides to get some high ground up a tree...
Agility check: 19
And fire on the speaker again...
Ranged atk: 4
The arrow goes wide.
Still tied to the post on the platform, the prisoner is trying to break her bonds...
DC 15 Str check: 13
She struggles to no avail.
The dwarves in the crowd run, fight with each other, and try to find where the arrows are coming from. One of the dwarves grabs one of the metallic objects, not entirely sure how to operate it, and throws it in the general direction of the arrows' origin...
Dex check from the dwarf vs Bazel's AC (14): 9
The artifact sounds a loud bang as it fires from smacking into a different tree.
Prudence, unseen on her stomach in the bushes, shimmies along the edge of the clearing. Just as her blood powered her magic in the dungeon, so now does she draw more, this time cutting her forearm with the sickle (burning a total of 5 points from STR, AGI, and STA). Prudence speaks the words to summon a choking cloud, being careful to keep the prisoner woman out of it:
Spell check: 18
As the magic starts to flow from her, she reaches within herself to channel more power into it (burning 2 Luck to reach the next result of the spell chart).
A mini geyser of noxious fumes blows from under the dwarves standing in the clearing. The way the gas hovers, it looks like it will be here for a bit (2d4+4=8 rounds).
Fort saves, DC 20:
They all suffer 4 Agility damage, lasts for the next 24 hours.
Everyone in the clearing hacks, coughs, and falls to their knees as their eyes water. Some blood can be seen on some lips (all dealt 2 damage).
The Speaker, in his pointed hat, fumbles around in the haze for the weapon and picks it up. Squinting, he fires at Agnes...
Ranged attack: 4
The shot goes wide.
Agnes charges the Speaker and his pointy hat, He just shot at her, making him a target!
Attack roll: 13
Damage: 2 + 3 fire
She slices a gash across the dwarf's chest. The smell of burnt flesh mingles with the smoke and noxious scent from Prudence's cloud.
Bazel takes aim at a different dwarf on the other side of the group, not wanting to accidentally clip Agnes...
And good thing he did, as his shot went wide again.
The woman held prisoner is now in a panic, not knowing what's going on but fearful of the choking gas.
DC 15 Str check: 15
She manages to rip the ropes from wearing them on the post and grabs one of the weapons!
The group of dwarves are coughing and choking. One of them, having seen the Speaker use the ancient weapon, attempts to do the same against Agnes...
Damage (2d6): 5
Agnes is knocked back a step or three, clutching her shoulder, slowly blossoming with blood. The pain is unlike anything she's felt. Too bad the Blessing spell doesn't help AC!
Prudence runs over to help Agnes and strikes at the dwarf in the pointy hat...
He falls over, his lifeblood flowing from the new slice in his neck. The other dwarves all cough and choke, and spit more blood. (They all suffer 2 more damage.)
Agnes steps out of the fray as best she can and utters a prayer...
Lay on Hands: 9
It is not answered.
Bazel comes down from his tree perch, hoping it will improve his aim, and fires into the group of dwarves...
WTF Bazel? Why do the dice hate you?
The former prisoner woman hides in the underbrush of the forest surrounding the clearing...
Agility check: 6
She doesn't do a good job, but no one's focused on her right now.
The dwarves are panicking and feeling quite ill. The one who shot Agnes takes aim at Prudence now...
Damage (2d6): 8
The wizard clutches her gut in tremendous pain.
Another dwarf, seeing Bazel, charges and swings with a club...
Prudence, in pain and despair, swings her sickle at the nearest dwarf...
And kills it. The other dwarves cough and spit more blood, their eyes blood shot and skin covered in red spidery lines (another 2 damage from the cloud they huffed).
Agnes, fearing for Prudence's life just as much as her own, hobbles over and lays a hand on the wizard's shoulder.
"If the spirits won't help me right now, maybe they'll help you..."
Lay on Hands: 17
Healing (1d4): 3
Prudence's bleeding seems to stop, but the pain remains.
Bazel attempts a mighty deed to try and take out a couple dwarves at once by maneuvering and lining up a shot...
Attack: 21 (only 2 on the deed tho)
His fancy footwork and aiming fails, but he manages to skewer one thru the neck.
The woman continues to hide in the bushes.
The dwarves, having seen these strangers kill a few of their number, attack with clubs!
Attack vs Agnes: 17
Attack vs Bazel: 16
Attack vs Prudence: 18
Agnes and Prudence drop to the floor of the clearing, and Bazel will have a bruise for few days for sure.
Then, all the remaining dwarves cough up more blood, and drop down dead.
Bazel, in horror, checks on his friends...
Roll the bodies...
Agnes (Luck 17): 10
Prudence (Luck 7): 10
Agnes is unconcsious, but Prudence is definitely dead. Bazel sits in shock as Agnes comes to (with a permanent -1 to (1d3(2)) Agility again!). They share a look, Bazel shakes his head. Agnes' eyes become watery. They sit in silence.
Eventually the prisoner woman comes out from the bushes, holding her hands up.
Nods from Bazel and Agnes.
"I'm so sorry."
"I couldn't hit any of them! It was like I forgot how to aim!" Bazel weeps.
"We were arrogant in our abilities," says Agnes. "Why did we come here? We shouldn't've come!"
DC 11 Will Saves!
Bazel looks at the woman, and a snarl slowly comes upon his face.
“It’s her fault! She must be the demon from the dungeon in a new form! She brought us here to kill us!”
He reaches for a dagger…
Even as Agnes tries to stop Bazel, he whips a dagger from his belt straight at the woman…
Attack: 11, Damage: 3
She holds her leg where the dagger embedded in her thigh.
Agnes makes to tackle Bazel…
And holds him down, screaming and shaking him.
“She’s not the enemy! It was the dwarves and Prudence’s magic killed them and saved us!”
Bazel’s eyes seem to clear.
The woman points one of the explosive weapons at Bazel.
“I’ll do it, I’ll use this on you!”
Bazel shouts an apology from Agnes’ chokehold. She lets him go.
“I’m sorry, this place, it clouds our heads and seems to effect Bazel the most. I’m Agnes, a druid of sorts. I can try and heal you if you would trust me…”
“I’m not sure I have a choice. I won’t get very far with this wound, and there are more dwarves in these woods. They’re all insane.”
Agnes nods, shoots a warning look at Bazel, and puts one hand on the woman’s leg, the other on the dagger, and prays…
Lay on Hands: 14, Healing: 5
And successfully pulls out the dagger and heals the wound.
“Thank you,” the woman says. “We need to get out of here, no doubt some of the other dwarves have heard the noise and are already coming!”
Agnes waves her off and gestures at her wound. “Hold on.”
Lay on Hands: 3
She puts her hand on the wound, prays, but nothing happens.
“We need to go!” the woman says.
Bazel gingerly takes Prudence’s bag from her and pulls out the poultices and herbs.
“Think this will help?”
What’s this woman’s occupation?
d100: 92: Trapper
I think a trapper might know how to use some herbs to help clean a wound or something…
“Let me see.”
The woman uncorks a jar, smells it, and gestures at Agnes.
“It could help.”
Agnes lets her apply the salve…
DC 10 Int check: 17
Agnes heals 1 HP, she’s now at 2.
“My name is Drusilla, by the way,” the woman says. “If we can get away from here I can help get you to my village outside the valley. Can you walk?”
Agnes nods, standing up somewhat wobbily. Bazel holds out Prudence’s bucket. It has her gold, net, sickle, and tricorne hat in it. They split her gold, Agnes takes her net and hat. They offer the sickle to Drusilla, who takes it solemnly.
“We should grab some of these weapons, but be careful. If I understood the dwarves right, they called them ‘guns.’ I’m not sure what they are exactly, but I’m sure someone in my village might be able to figure it out.”
They each take one.
“What’s in the shed?” Bazel asks.
Is the hide tunic human sized?
d100 (50/50 human: low, dwarf: high): 84
They rummage in the building, despite Drusilla’s pleading that they leave. Bazel takes the fur hat. Agnes takes the dry food and fishing pole. Drusilla reluctantly takes the backpack, bedroll, blanket, rope, pilgrim hat, and belt of throwing knives. She also had seen the dwarves load the weapons and recognizes the bullets for what they are. They each take some.
This time I think qualifies as a short rest. Agnes will spend her class hit die for the day to regain some HP.
Back up to full health, nice!
“Can we go?” Drusilla says desperately. “We need to go, now. I’m leaving.”
Sure enough, the sounds of some dwarves not far off could be heard as they left the clearing. Agnes and Bazel exchanging looks the whole time, wondering what they had gotten themselves into.
Wow! What a turn that took! Poor Prudence, I liked her… Anyway, looks like she’s been replaced by Drusilla, because I'm liking the idea of her being a level 1 neutral thief. I’m going to level up Agnes and Bazel to level 2. I enjoyed these “sessions” and plan to continue the adventure. Hopefully you enjoyed reading their tale as well.
I’ll have updated character sheets if/when I return with Chapter 3. I love how I let the “oracles” of Miso and Adventuresmith just spit stuff at me. Was a lot of fun, turned into a much more exciting story than if I stayed in the dungeon, I expect.
Anyway, thanks again for reading, I’ll get the next chapter going whenever I get to it!
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