The Red Topaz Goddess

My Ruins of the Undercity campaign continues and for the first time one of the characters makes it to second level.

Zoltar the High Priest

Akram, Nameera, Somteva and Zareef return to Cryptopolis to get some sleep. Akram, the holy beggar turned cleric of the Red Goddess, is the first to wake. He goes to the Temple of the Red Goddess. Zoltar, one of the high priests of the Temple, casts a Quest spell and orders him to return to the Undercity at once to retrieve a holy relic for the Temple. The relic is a small statuette of the Red Goddess carved from red topaz, known as the Red Topaz Goddess. A map has been found showing the location of the Red Topaz Goddess in the Undercity.

The Red Topaz Goddess is located in the sixth unexplored room or chamber beyond the grate (49). It is guarded by a random monster.

Akram leaves the Temple to fetch his companions. The party go to Dawd’s Market and the Brishnan Emporium where they buy only the most essential items. They have no time to search for other adventurers to join them. The adventurers then go to the abandoned house near the Temple of the Red Goddess, where there is a stairway leading down into the Undercity.

All characters are moving at a rate of 30′ per turn (exploring movement).

SAM_1331

 

SAM_1349

 10: Empty chamber

Following the map that Zoltar gave to Akram, the party enter this chamber which is dark, moldy and empty. They rest for a while.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: 22 kobolds 90 feet from the party, heading down the entry corridor towards the chamber. The kobolds will reach the chamber within one turn.

Akram lights a new torch (18 left).

17: Pit

The party leave the chamber by the door in the southeast corner. In the chamber beyond there is a pit 10 feet deep. A previous adventurer has nailed iron spikes into the floor at the top of the pit on each side, and fixed a section of rope to each spike so that others may climb down into the pit and climb up the other side. The party quickly cross the pit.

First turn elapsed.

Kobolds

The door to the previous chamber opens and two kobolds step through. They see the party on the other side of the pit. Beyond them are more kobolds, at least 20.

The kobolds are neutral. I decide that they won’t trouble the party.

The kobolds return to the previous chamber, closing the door behind them. The party leave the chamber and, following the map, go down the corridor beyond (45) which is constructed of a weird smooth stone which is a pale green colour and polished like a mirror. The corridor leads to a grate.

49: Grate

Second to fourth turns elapsed.

I decide that Zareef can bend the bars without a Strength check needing to be made.

Zareef uses his crowbar to bend the bars of the grate so that the adventurers can squeeze through.

Fifth turn elapsed.

On the other side of the grate the party rest again.

Sixth turn elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: six flinds 60 feet from the party, heading south down the corridor.

Akram lights a new torch (17 left).

Flinds

Six flinds, lion-headed humanoids over six feet tall, are approaching the grate. They wear armour made from pieces of leather and metal plates. Three are armed with iron clubs and three are armed with flind bars, chain-linked iron bars.

The flinds are unfriendly and may attack.

The first two flinds reach the grate where they pause. They seem to be considering whether it is worth it for them to try to squeeze through the bars to attack the party. They are not stupid creatures and realise that the adventurers would be able to strike them while they were squeezing through. To the relief of the party they return back up the corridor. The adventurers continue down the corridor.

First and second turns elapsed.

95: Room of ancient frescoes

There are four rot grubs in the room. They are crawling over the floor and will attack anyone who searches the room. Beneath the floor there is a secret compartment containing two pottery jars which contain a total of 125 gold pieces.

The corridor ends at a moldy wooden door. Somteva opens the door cautiously.

On the other side of the door there is a covered cesspit. Somteva detects the trap.

The walls of the room beyond are decorated with frescoes depicting the ancient rituals of the necromancers who worshipped the Red Goddess long ago. Probing the floor beyond with her wooden pole, Somteva determines that there is covered pit trap in the floor just beyond the door. The edges of the pit can be roughly determined.

Each character must make a Dexterity check to jump over the area of floor above the pit.

Nameera, Somteva and Zareef successfully clear the pit but Akram lands just short of the pit edge. The floor gives way beneath him and he plunges into a cesspit. He is unharmed and manages to prevent his torch from going out, but is covered in filth. He throws his torch out of the pit, and Zareef lowers down a length of rope so that he can climb out. He has nothing to clean himself off with.

Akram must save versus poison or contract a disease from the cesspit, losing one hit point permanently. He contracts a disease and is reduced to 3 hit points.

Fourth turn elapsed.

Rot grubs

The adventurers search the room. Nameera finds a hidden compartment in the floor, but as she is opening it she is attacked by four rot grubs which burrow into her arms. Akram applies his torch to the wounds. The rot grubs are killed but Nameera’s arms are badly burned. Somteva casts Cure Light Wounds, partially healing her.

Nameera has 3 hit points left.

Fifth turn elapsed.

The hidden compartment contains two pottery jars painted orange with black patterns. The jars contain gold pieces. The party rest for a while before sharing out the gold.

Sixth turn elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (16 left).

Nameera takes 32 of the gold pieces and the other party members each take 31. The party exit the room by the corridor on the right which is constructed of the same smooth green stone as the previous corridor.

96: Idol of Orcus

The corridor leads to a square chamber constructed from the smooth green stone. In the centre there is a man-sized idol of grey alabaster depicting a goat-headed humanoid figure with bat-like wings, wielding a skull-tipped wand. Somteva identifies the figure as the demon lord Orcus, the Prince of the Undead. The party leave the chamber by a moldy wooden door in the north wall.

First turn elapsed.

97: Javelin trap

The adventurers enter a small damp room 10 feet square, with another moldy wooden door in the opposite wall.

Somteva fails to detect the javelin trap.

While crossing the room Zareef steps on a loose flagstone and hears a “click.” He succeeds in dodging a javelin that fires out of a hole in the right-hand wall. The party go through the door in the opposite wall.

Second turn elapsed.

98: Rot grubs

The party enter a square chamber, damp, moldy and dark. There is a moldy wooden door in each wall. Somteva tries the door in the left-hand wall. It is unlocked, but two rot grubs emerge from the rotting wood and burrow into her hand. Akram applies his torch to the wounds and Somteva casts Cure Light Wounds, healing the burns.

Somteva has 8 hit points left.

Third turn elapsed.

The adventurers go through the door.

99: Empty room

The room beyond has no other exits and is damp, moldy and empty except for a human skeleton clad in rusty scale mail. The party return to the previous chamber and go through the door in the north wall.

Fourth turn elapsed.

100: Lair of the Vapourware Rats

The three vapourware rats possess the Red Topaz Goddess in addition to 10 electrum pieces. They have 9, 5 and 5 hit points.

The chamber beyond is filled with reeking clouds of grey smoke. Exploring the chamber the party find three giant rats, each at least three feet long. The rats are lurking around a small statuette of red topaz, the Red Topaz Goddess, and a few electrum pieces scattered on the floor.

Both the adventurers and the rats are surprised. In the next round the party have the initiative and attack.

Zareef kills two of the rats which disentegrate into stinking clouds, and the other rat takes the form of a cloud of smoke and flees. Nameera and Somteva have both been injured by the rats.

Nameera has 1 hit point left and Somteva has 6 hit points left.

The party share out the 10 electrum pieces, with Nameera and Somteva each taking an extra coin, and Akram takes the Red Topaz Goddess.

Fifth turn elapsed.

The party rest in the chamber. The grey smoke has begun to dissipate.

Sixth turn elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (15 left).

The party return to the previous chamber and take the remaining door.

101: Giant centipedes’ lair

The adventurers enter a rectangular room, damp and dark and with no other exits. A slithering sound fills the room and nine giant black centipedes each a foot long are crawling on the walls and floor. A small bag lies on the floor of the room.

The centipedes have 4, 1, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, and 1 hit points.

The party and the centipedes both have the initiative and act in the same round.

Is the bag within easy reach? No.

The bag is on the floor at the far end of the room and Zareef cannot pick it up without attacking the centipedes. He kills one of the centipedes.

Zareef deals 11 hit points worth of damage, killing one of the centipedes which has 4 hit points. I decide that the ‘overflow’ damage can be used to kill another centipede if Zareef successfully makes a Strength check. He fails the check.

The adventurers manage to kill all of the centipedes without any of them being bitten. Inside the bag Zareef finds a fire opal and a jet gemstone. He keeps the fire opal and gives the jet gemstone to Nameera.

The fire opal is worth 750 gp and the jet gemstone is worth 500 gp.

The party return to the room of ancient frescoes and take the corridor in the opposite wall.

First turn elapsed.

102: Underground river

After 30 feet the corridor comes to an underground river 20 feet across. The corridor continues on the other side, but there is no means of crossing the river. The party return to the room of ancient frescoes and take the remaining unexplored corridor.

Second and third turns elapsed.

After 20 feet the corridor ends at a moldy wooden door which is locked. Zareef breaks the door down.

103: Cloaker’s lair

The cloaker has 5 hit points. It cannot be surprised as Zareef broke the door down. Beneath the floor there is a secret compartment containing 10 pottery jars which contain a total of 6,000 electrum pieces.

The rectangular room beyond is dark, damp and moldy and has no other exits. There are frescoes on the walls depicting various subjects; a field of flowers growing around a pyramid, a comet moving through the night sky above the ancient city of the necromancers, and a wizard with a magical wand walking in a garden of palm trees and ponds full of huge fish.

I used the basic set of Rory’s Story Cubes to determine the subjects of the frescoes.

The cloaker has the initiative and attacks, swooping down on Zareef.

A large creature swoops down from the opposite wall towards Zareef. It looks like a grey cloak with claws and has a gaping mouth on the underside and a tail ending in a mace-like appendage. The back of the monster is covered with black eyes. As it approaches approaches Zareef the cloaker moans horribly and a shadowy mirror image of it appears. Zareef dodges the monster.

The cloaker’s moan means that the adventurers have a -2 to hit and damage.

Nameera strikes the mirror image of the cloaker and it vanishes. The cloaker itself wraps around Somteva and Akram in turn, killing them, and kills Nameera with a lash of its tail. Zareef picks up Akram’s torch and kills the monster with his scimitar.

Zareef rests in the room before searching it.

Fourth turn elapsed.

He searches the room.

Zareef fails to find the secret compartment.

Fifth turn elapsed.

He finds nothing of interest in the room. He rests some more and has a meal of rations and wine.

Sixth turn elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: eight jinxkins 110 feet from Zareef; they have just passed the grate (49) and are heading his way. The jinxkins will be uninterested in him.

Zareef lights a new torch (14 left).

After taking rations, treasure and anything else of value from the corpses of his companions, Zareef leaves the room and returns to the edge of the cesspit in the room of the ancient frescoes.

95: Room of ancient frescoes

First and second turns elapsed.

Has the door to the room been closed? Yes.

The door to the room has been closed, leaving only a narrow ledge between the door and the opposite side of the pit. He gets ready to jump the pit.

Because the door has been closed Zareef must make a Dexterity check with a +2 penalty to avoid falling into the pit.

He manages to clear the pit and lands on the ledge, grabbing the door handle. He goes through the door.

Jinxkins

In the corridor beyond he encounters eight small humanoids, each around one foot tall, with pointed heads and lumpy skin. These jinxkins carry small spears but are uninterested in Zareef, passing him by on their way to the room of ancient frescoes. Zareef continues up the corridor.

Third to fifth turns elapsed.

45: Four-way intersection

He squeezes through the grate (49) and returns to the four-way intersection where he rests for a while.

Sixth turn elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Zareef lights a new torch (13 left).

He returns to the stairway leading the abandoned house and leaves the Undercity. The next day he goes to the Temple of the Red Goddess where he gives the Red Topaz Goddess to Zoltar. The high priest thanks Zareef and says that he and his companions may come to the Temple to be blessed before going down into the Undercity again.

Once only Zareef and the other members of his next party can go to Zoltar to be blessed for +1 to hit for the duration of the next adventure.

He manages to avoid paying the trader’s share when selling the fire opal and the jet gemstone. He now has enough gold to pay for one week of training with a sword master. But tonight he will pay 25 gold pieces for a bottle of Merlot Noir and another 25 gold pieces for a night’s entertainment from a beautiful pole dancer from the House of the Pole.

Zareef now has a total of 2,474 experience points and will become a second level fighter after a week of training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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