Thanks for the great time, Brett, Josh, John, Jay, Libby and Tammy.
This session was heavy on exploration and roleplaying with a few combats scattered throughout. I love how D&DNext (and a prepared, skillful DM) makes it so that we don't have to fight all the time to have fun. Again, it seems as if D&DNext will work for a number of playstyles including heavy exploration, roleplaying with light combat. Ability checks and contests add excitement, and can nearly sustain us as we build the story together.
Jaxle’s Journal – January 26thsession
We explored more in the underground complex and found another phantom spider. We tried to attack it, but found that our normal weapons did not harm the creature. I showed Elaeven the short sword that I took from the Chitine Woman earlier and he realized that the inscriptions in the strange hardened web sword were silver. He knew everything about those dang spiders, and he said I could hit it with this sword. While Andra attacked the spider to distract it, and Brevick attempted to grapple with the beast, I snuck around and stabbed the creature with the Chitine short sword. To our delight, my blow was true and the spider crumpled to the ground. After that encounter, we went to the south and found a stairways going down. We felt some warmth from below, but decided to stay on this upper level until we could explore and map the rest of this level. We were looking for a key to a door we found earlier, so maybe it would be in some of the rooms we didn’t find yet.
Exploring more of the complex we found many empty rooms some with the strangely lit webs and others that were more desolate. At one point Elaeven inspected some webbing in one room, and he was poisoned just from touching it. Lady Kara and Andra were able to help him fight the paralyzing effect, and we continued to explore this level.
I was sneaking and checking whenever I could. In one room, I saw a chilling image of a skull with an eight sided symbol in its mouth on one of the walls. I decided to exit from another door into the hallway where the others were waiting. That was a mistake. When I opened the door, I heard a horrible voice call me an infidel. It wanted me to kneel before it. Then I felt a black pain stab into me. After I told the others, Elaeven and Lady Kara investigated the symbol and Kara realized that the symbol represented or had something to do with “The Founding Stone.” Don’t ask me what that was…some old thing from a bygone era. While they were gabbing about the image, I tried to disable the door trap, but I couldn’t do it. Man, I have to brush up on my skills.
Moving north, we found a few alcoves with old unicorn statues in them. One statue was really in bad shape; one leg was missing and the horn was gone too. The other one, at the far north end of the hallway was in better condition. I slipped into the alcove and searched a bit. I found that the unicorn’s mouth had a pipe that would undoubtedly spew out something horrible, another trap. My last failed attempt behind me, I was able to crimp the pipe to render it unworkable. Elaeven was able to determine that this trap would have issued forth a horrible and quite magical sleeping gas; one that could knock us out for over a day…nasty. We also found that there was a concealed sliding door to the east. We had to manipulate the unicorn’s horn to get it to open, and when we did, we saw strange lights and then the image of a unicorn charged at us, but before it could get to us, a skull issued forth some beam of light and the unicorn fell to the ground. Looking closer, we realized this was only an illusion. Luckily, as I stepped into the next small hallway, I could see a covered pit trap. I couldn’t disable the mechanism so I climbed into it and across to a door at the other side.
Inside that room was a strange sight. I saw a number of decomposed wooden shelves, but some barrels that were incredibly preserved. I called Elaeven over to check it out because there were other runes and images…a circular eight pointed star, and a dark star. He tried to read magic, but it didn’t help. Then, he said he could do a ritual to comprehend languages. He warned us that he’d have to touch the runes, so I told him I’d check it out just in case it was trapped. I mimicked what he would do, touching the runes to search for traps. That’s when I felt the uncontrollable urge to open the barrel. I can’t remember what happened next. They tell me that I drank the wine that was inside the barrel and started to speak with a deeper voice. Elaeven started to freak out. He called for Lady Kara to help him, and in her rush, she tried to jump the pit trap, but fell. The others hoisted her dying body from the pit, and they tried to get me to go with them. I jumped the pit and they said I kept saying they should drink the wine too. As I ran ahead, Brevick followed. He knocked me out and they all dragged me and Lady Kara into a safe room. They bound me, and kept me there, worried that I was possessed by some horrible compulsion. I have a faint memory of them as foes, but much of that time is just a blur.
Eventually, Andra left to try to leave the dungeon and get some help. Perhaps she’d make it to town and be able to return with healing potions. That night, they say I escaped my bonds and tried to get them. Dunkin and Elaeven pinned me down, and then they tied me up real good. As we all rested, a Drow was able to open the door and hit Dunkin with a poisoned bolt. The Dwarf’s resistance to poison kept him from falling, but before he could attack the Drow, it ran, placing a cloud of utter darkness upon us. Eventually, we all were able to rest the night and I regained control. Lady Kara, who was healed, tended to me, and convinced the others to untie me…actually she untied me. She was sure I was of sound mind again.
We had nearly explored the entire level in this dungeon. We even brought Elaeven back to the eastern door with the dragon head contraption atop it that we could not open earlier. He confirmed that the door was not only locked, but it was done so magically and we needed to know a command word or phrase to open it. Without the knowledge to open the door, we continued to explore further south when we found another room with dead bodies in it and webs in all of the corners. I moved into the room to spot and search, and before the others could enter, a huge swarm of webbirds flew out of their nests and attacked. I was in a bad situation. But, with the help of Dunkin, Brevick, Lady Kara and Elaeven, I’m still alive to tell about it.