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AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV
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TOPIC: AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV
#15306
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Puzzle solution given a few replies down

Some Things Best Not Forgotten… – Session 4

Link to previous sessions:

Session 1: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1164
Session 2: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1196
Session 3: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1225

Notable NPC’s:

General Shal’azar – Commander of Imperial Naga forces tasked with protecting Eliken’s domain.

Bacca, Mystic of the First Pearl – Lead mystic (druid/wizard cross) of Imperial Naga forces tasked with protecting Eliken’s domain. Also is the speaker of Eliken’s will when necessary.

************************************************************************

Start

Early the next morning the party awakens to Kaleeda whistling as he gathers eggs from the “chickens” against the fence. Taking some meat from the salt pit he quickly makes a breakfast of omelettes flavored with local spices. Within 15 minutes of that the party, Kaleeda, and the raptor hunting pack are swimming back across the lake.

Reaching shore Kaleeda warbles a note from the wooden whistle around his neck. The raptors respond by fanning out in a 60 foot circle around Kaleeda and the party. Acting as blockers the raptors sweep the areas in front of them as the party moves out. Within 2 hours the party is led into a branch of the valley that begins to narrow. As they approach the end the raptors begin to snort, roar and become visibly agitated.

At this point Kaleeda calls a halt. He tells the party that the statue and monoliths are up ahead approximately 400 yards, but that neither he nor the raptors will approach closer. He asks the party of they can feel the waves of unease emanating from up ahead, but the party feels nothing. Kaleeda finds this strange but states he will stay in the vicinity for the next 3 days to lead the party back. After that he has rounds to make but the party is more then welcome to get back on their own to his island. He states he would also be happy to escort the players back to the cleft if they so desire after they are done exploring this area.

The party then sets on up towards the end of this valley branch. Parting the foliage they come across a clearing. On top of a small escarpment rests two ruined pillars of basalt flanking a huge, pristine statue apparently made from copper and granite. The pillars have various pictograms covering their surface in a language unknown to either the necromancer or bard.

The statue is of a hooded and robed figure made of granite with a copper face sitting on a copper throne. The throne is covered in sigils, arcane writings, and pictograms. Much of the writing is in Draconic. When the statue is touched the head lifts and speaks the following in Draconic:

“For those gathered at my feet,
Listen well for I will not repeat,

Scales shine of metal, rock, or hue,
Whenever flights come into view,

In order of refrain one should sort,
The correct sequence also of import,

Use a rainbow as the key,
For they rejoice in others misery,

From base to precious shall you find,
For righteous are their kind,

In any place that which glitters will await,
For this type cares naught for either trait,

Finally find, touch and speak,
That which all tend to seek.”

After speaking this riddle a panel on the rear of the statue slides aside. Inside a series of buttons and sigils can be seen. There are 3 sets of 9 buttons- a set of squares, a set of circles and one of triangles. The squares are composed of solid colored buttons, the circles are made of metal, and the triangles of gems. The five sigils glow a faint purple. [DM's Note: See below for the panel if you all want to try and figure it out].

After approximately a half-day of thought and some flashes of brilliant insight the party thinks they have the riddle figured out. The monk volunteers to push the buttons and say the word the party had picked out referred to in the last stanza. In this case the wizard taught the monk how to say this word in Draconic. Holding their breath the monk goes for it- upon pushing and speaking the last button the back of the statue vanishes. A set of spiraling stairs can be seen going down into an inky blackness.

Krunk goes down first then comes back up. She tells the party that the stairs go down to a four way intersection with a door at two ends and a long hall that curves at the end on the other. It is also pitch black- which does not cause her any distress due to darkvision. At this point Melianthe picks up a rock, casts Light on it, and the party descends.

Upon reaching the center of the four-way Krunk goes down the hallway to scout it. Meanwhile Merkatrig checks for traps on the doors before picking one of the two. The successfully picked door the party opens and peers into. They see that it leads into a cavern- a cool breeze and the sound of water dripping emanates from the blackness. At this time they decide against entering the cavern and shut the door.

The second door refuses to yield to Merkatrig’s picks. They decide to use the magical ability of the cleric’s helmet (Knock 1/day) and the door clicks open. The party enters a small store room. Sacks of grain, pots of wine and beer, crates of dried fruit, and so on are stacked around the room. All of it looks to be freshly piled- none of the items are moldy or vermin infested. Indeed, none of the items even has a layer of dust on it! Other then these items the party finds nothing during its search.

During this time Krunk comes back with information that at the end of the curve in the corridor there is another door. When asked if it was locked she says she has no idea- she didn’t even touch it. The party then troops back to this door. A listen check detects some low murmuring and the scrape of wood on stone. Merkatrig quickly detects for traps (none found) and unlocks the door.

A hasty plan is made- the necro hides the rock with the light spell on it to have Krunk’s darkvision return to normal. Krunk will open the door and engage whatever is in there. She will then shout for the light at which point the necro will bring the lit rock back out and the rest of the party will flood the room. With a soft countdown from three Krunk opens the door and rushes in.

Krunk sees two very surprised creatures within a large square room. The creatures are ½ snake and ½ humanoid from the waist up (they are Imperial naga). They wear laminated armor and are armed with bows and swords. Both guards flank an opening that leads into a corridor on the wall opposite the door Krunk entered too.

Krunk quickly rushes one, axe held high, but does not strike. Shouting out to come in the rest of the party quickly enters the room. The monk rushes the second naga but also holds his strikes. The naga, in a blinding display of speed, draw their swords in preparation for a fight but otherwise hold their actions. The necro quickly advances to the middle of the room and calls out in Draconic, “Hold friends- we mean no harm but seek the council of the sage Eliken.”

At this the Naga are visibly startled. One replies in Draconic that they cannot allow that- that it is their sacred duty to protect the sage from those who mean him harm or to test that those who do not but need to prove they have the strength and intelligence to meet him. At this point the party goes into parlay mode with the fighters backing off and sheathing their weapons. The Naga do the same. Eventually the party convinces one of the guards to get his commander.

Within a few minutes a much larger naga wearing an impressive helm, lacquered and etched plate armor, and carrying dual swords enters the room. He greets the party stating he is General Shal’azar, commander of Eliken’s guard force. He says that the party’s admirable restraint impresses him and that by not attacking his guards or entering naga domain (i.e. the caverns) has allowed this parlay. The party asks to talk to Eliken at which point Shal’azar refuses but points out that very little goes on in Eliken’s domain that he does not know about.

Eventually the party asks if they can wait inside this anteroom in the hopes that Eliken will see them. General Shal’azar readily agrees with the stipulation that the party is limited to that room, the corridor and the stairs. The party accepts the offer and sets up to take as long as necessary to wait for Eliken to see them- taking stock they can stay about a month if they go to ½ rations immediately.

After two days, where the party observes the guard changing every 4 hours like clockwork, another naga enters the room. The guards immediately and deeply bow stating a title, “Mystic of the First Pearl”, with reverence. The party gets up with most imitating the guards while Melianthe greets this naga with the same title.

Stopping in front of the party the naga suddenly rears up and spreads a cobra-like hood. A string of pearls hangs from its wrists while at its waist a small bag on a belt can be seen. Inside the bag the party spies pearls of many colors- white, gold, black, pink, and so on. Some pearls seem to glow faintly from the inside while others have coruscating waves of energy dancing across their surface. Rising above the party and swaying slightly from side-to-side the naga speaks in Draconic.

“I am Bacca, Mystic of the First Pearl, spiritual leader of all Imperial Naga forces under General Shal’azar and speaker of Eliken’s will. The sage has decreed you are to be shown the area of this lair which is his own. This area is dangerous, requiring a quick wit as well as strength to negotiate. If you survive you will be granted an audience with the Learned One.”

“Eliken has further decreed that the restraint, mercy and wisdom shown by the uplanders shall be repaid. While in Eliken’s area of the lair we naga have been forbidden to attack or hinder your attempt. Usually we harass and attack those attempting to reach the sage with those gaining his door being granted an audience as they had displayed wit and strength. However, in this case it is not to be- your ability to get to the sages door will rest solely on your abilities without fear of naga forces obstructing you. Now follow me.”

With that Bacca glides past the party and down the hall to the store room. Moving some sacks he presses a concealed stud, swinging a secret door out from the wall. Bacca steps back and motions the party to enter. The party can see a corridor curving into blackness. Stepping through they look behind as Bacca bows to them before closing the door.

End of Session 4

The statue and surrounding area:


The party attempting to figure out the riddle and panel:


The panel (Solution will be put up in 1 week):


If the party had pushed the wrong buttons they would have awakened the guardian- a giant bug (i.e. see Geolain's warning in Session 2):


Down the stairs:


Searching the storeroom while Krunk and Merkatrig head for the locked door at the end of the hall:


The party rushes the room, catching two Imperial Naga by surprise:


Parlay! General Shal'azar comes out to negotiate with the party:


Two days later Bacca, Mystic of the First Pearl and Voice of Eliken's Will, comes out to talk with party:


Bacca leads the party to the secret door giving access to Eliken's section of the dungeoun:
Blackhawk1
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#15307
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hawk -

That giant bug; is it one of the 'Tanker bugs' from Starship Troopers?
If so, and that's a good representative of the miniatures for SST, then "I gotta get me some of these!"
That is one awesome looking critter!

As always, the rest of the minis look great, and it seems you've got another winner of a setup.
And, I like that puzzle; I may have to steal it for ReBob's and my Xyzzx Quest game. You don't mind, do you?
Also, great story-telling this week! Good detail without boring me silly (which isn't all that hard to do!).

See ya!

Jim
jkratzer
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#15308
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
That is an SST Tanker bug. They are a pain to put together so be warned (and the King Tanker is the most horribly designed mini from a standpoint of building it up that I have ever encountered!).

Feel free to use the riddle if you want- anyone can use anything I am posting so long as it is for their own, personal, non-commercial use.

The riddle is said in Draconic. The panel buttons are the color/material shown (they are not written on the panel) while the 5 sigils are written on the panel in Draconic. If any player can speak and read Draconic they will have no problem.

ALso- the statue says the riddle ONCE and only once for each person who touches it. So a 6 person party could have it re-read to them 6 times to get it right. The reading takes place at a speed just a little slower then normal reading speed with a pause between stanza's.

Of course the above was for my adventure- you can change it to whatevery you want (i.e. high elf language written on a stone). I'll pu the answer up July 3.

Also- does anyone else read this stuff or should I just bag it? I'm not sure of the interest out there and if I am boring people.
Blackhawk1
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"If one does what God does enough times one will become as God is"
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#15309
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
PS:

Once the party is out of this encounter I will post pics of the complete DF set-up along with my Dundjinni map and notes up in the cool phots section
Blackhawk1
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"If one does what God does enough times one will become as God is"
Hannibal Lector, "Manhunter"
 
#15310
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hawk!

Don't you DARE stop posting this! Almost all of us 'regulars' enjoy reading other's adventures, especially when they include pics of minis and DF stuff. As I've mentioned in other posts, these stories give me ideas for future adventures, for my players when I DM, and for me to use when I'm a player.

Adding the dundjinni or TS maps and other DM material is great, too, because it allows another DM to replicate your game. In fact, IF I ever get MY home page up and running, I'M going to have a special section set aside strictly for Gaming stuff such as this. If that happens, I'll come back to you privately and ask permission to 'reprint' your stuff on my page - with credits to you as author, as well as to anyone you can think of who contributed to the material.

I just hope Comcast will give me enough room; I think I get 7 MB per e-mail account, max of 7 accounts. I'll have to check and find out.

See ya!

Jim
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#15311
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
definately keep posting. i dig reading this sorta thing.
dudebird
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#15312
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Yes, please keep posting the Session write-ups !! I've been too busy to do much of late but do manage to make time for the fun reading !!
Thanks and keep 'em coming ....
Myrthe
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#15313
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Ok dokie. I'll keep them coming then.

ALso if anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them provided I dont feel they will give away anything to the party.

CUrrently Luke's player, Lex, is at Origions. He plans on stopping by the DF booth and saying hi assuming Jeff and the others actually read this stuff too (otherwise they may have no idea who that particular nut is)!

And Jk- sure- I would have no problem having this stuff re-posted or whatever. I keep everything on a jumpdrive at home so it wont be lost.

As an aside- my players completly screwed me up on Session IV- they typically go for the throat first and ask questions later. So when Krunk did not strike I didnt sweat it too much since my son, the monk, typically comes in with a blizzard of hands and feet. Then he held his action which left me pretty much speechless. Then the necro wanted to parlay so I had to do the quick DM thing and wing it! SInce I based Imperial Naga off of samurai with a code of bushido it was fairly easy to wing it. The naga were also supposed to harry them through ELikens side (when in ELikens side there are numerous holes about 6 feet up in the corridors that only naga can squeeze through from their barracks area). SO after showing a "thinking" side I came up with ELiken forbidding the naga to harass the party within his area.

My personal philosophy as DM is to reward a party that can think their way through my stuff. If they bypass things it gets irksome but it is free will- only rarely do I force an encounter. ANother example is the rapids- the player who plays Adenoid specifically said he was lookign for any indication of white water so they could bypass it. He made his sailing roll, realized the river was narrowing and getting shallower, that the water volume did not decrease, and that the rafts were getting faster. So instead of going through my rapids of death they got to bypass it and the waterfall at the end. Of course this puts them on land where I can force the T-rex encounters,but they got to land by their choosing as opposed to clinging to some rock in the rapids or being shot out over a waterfall.
Blackhawk1
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"If one does what God does enough times one will become as God is"
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#15314
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hawk1 -

I hope you didn't "give it away" by telling us about the rapids, the waterfall, and the T-Rex!
While we love hearing the story, I don't think ANY of us want you to slip up and divulge fun and games coming up before the party gets to scream while they go over the falls, or whatever.
Not that I'm intending to censure YOU as GM for how you run it, or as author for telling us. I just don't want you to ruin it for yourself; I know how much fun it can be to drop the hammer on an adventure party JUST while they think it's easy from here! (HA! WANNA BET?)

I, at least, appreciate your stories, your work in creating them, and your willingness to share them with us. And I think most of the rest of us do, too.
Keep 'em coming! Thanks!

See ya!

Jim
jkratzer
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#15315
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Nope. nothing given away. I write about what happened during the session. If the party bypassed the danger I have no problem writing that they did it. Nothing I write about will give anything away to the players.

T-rex encounter is "forced" as that is now Kaleeda is met. No matter what happened they would have had to go off river eventually and then T-rex pops up.
Blackhawk1
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#15316
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Cool!

Jim
jkratzer
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#15317
AD&D Adventure Thread - Session IV 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Here is the solution but let me explain the puzzles background.

First off the buttons are based off of the various dragon types (i.e. evil = colors, good = metallics, neutrals = gems). The biggest hints the riddle is dragon based are the fact that the riddle is in Draconic, the symbols are Draconic, and the riddle hints at it by mentioning "scales", "flights", etc. They are based off the NORMAL dragons found in the Monster Manual- this is very important!

The riddle states that the buttons have to be pressed in order- so all squares, then all circles, then all triangles and finally the key symbol.

The evil dragons must be pressed in the order of the rainbow (ROYGBIV). Infra-red is considered black in the color spectrum so goes below red; white is the opposite and goes after blue. The button orders is shown from 1 to 5 in the order to be pressed.

Good dragons are metallic and the riddle hint is to put them in order from cheapest metal (base) to most expensive. I am a former metalsmith and sculptor (I used to make swords, daggers, etc). The softest and cheapest metal is copper. SOme will argue that bronze is more expensive then brass- this is NOT true - bronze is a less valuable metal. Bronze weapons were made centuries before brass was developed as brass is a much cleaner, harder and more expensive metal. However, there is a trick here to trip up people who do not pay attention.

The trick is that the platinum dragon is NOT included. The plat dragon is a singular demi-god with no offspring. As such there cannot be "flights" of plats. Its a subtle trick that I put a DC 30 Knowledge (DRagon) or DC 35 Knowledge (Arcane) or bardic on. And my frelling party actually squeaked this one by- the killer for them was they couldnt remember if the 5th dragon was brass or mithril. They ended up picking the right one. The riddle has the correct button order

The nuetrals are based off of gems. In this case those trying to solve the puzzle get a small break- nuetrals do not care about such things as order. As such the only thing the solvers have to do is remember which 5 gems correspond to the dragons and they can be pressed in any order.

The last is the symbols- the one thing that can make even the weak strong and that every sentient creature desires is Knowledge. Even a creature with low intel will always want to know something- even if its how do I catch dinner tonight? Not everyone wants power, happiness or the others- but all desire knowledge. Of course the other hint to this is they are going to see a high level sage- so what do you think the sage would pick? The last button is pushed with the word "knowledge" spoken in Draconic at the same time.


Blackhawk1
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"If one does what God does enough times one will become as God is"
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