The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth Adventure Log

Discussion in 'RPG Discussion' started by ScottyG, May 14, 2009.

  1. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    The Party:
    Ferris: 9th level human ranger
    Elros: Gray elf 6/5/5 cleric/fighter/magic-user
    Gwindor: half-elf 4/3/3 level cleric/fighter/magic-user (Ferris’s henchman)
    Milrick: 1st level human fighter (Elros’s henchman)
    Bertrim: 6th level human cleric (of St. Cuthbert) (Maylin’s henchman)
    Fentin: 7th level Halfling thief (Maylin’s henchman)
    Maylin: 9th level human magic-user
    Aranock: 2nd level human magic-user (Maylin’s henchman)

    The adventurers Maylin and Elros, along with Maylin’s henchmen, had spent the winter in Chendl, the capital of the Kingdom of Furyondy. Over the past weeks, Maylin had scribed several scrolls, and each adventurer had picked up a henchman. In late Readying the adventurers were approached by individuals claiming to be agents for the Margrave of Bissel. The agents stated that the Margrave was in need of the party’s services to prevent powerful magical artifacts from falling into evil hands. The agents would say no more.The party accepted the summons. Before leaving Chendl, Maylin and Elros recruited an old associate of theirs to travel with them, the ranger Ferris who, along with his henchman Gwindor, was also on Chendl.

    Starday, Coldeven 1st, 575 CY
    The party leaves Chendl. The journey to Bissel passes without any encounters of note.

    Moonday, Coldeven 10th
    The party arrives in Thornward, the capital of the March of Bissel. There, they are introduced to His Lofty Grace, Walgar, the Margrave of Bissel. Walgar tells the party of Iggwilv the evil Arch-mage, the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and Daoud’s Wondrous Lanthorn, as well as other magical items it was thought Iggwilv had hidden in the Caverns. The Margrave does not want the items to fall into evil hands, so he is sending the party to locate the Caverns and bring back the artifacts before his enemies acquire them. To aid the party, the Margrave has provided them with mountain horses, two weeks of rations each, and a partial map of the area showing a series of trails through the mountains with several places marked as possible locations of the Lost Caverns.

    Moonday, Coldeven 17th
    The party leaves Thornward.

    Moonday, Coldeven 24th
    The party leaves their escort behind, and heads into the Yatil Mountains.

    Godsday, Coldeven 25th
    The party climb higher into the mountains.
    Towards the end of the day the party spots a trio of hill giants heading their way. Maylin begins casting a spell. Several party members fire arrows at the giants. The arrows miss. The giants hurl boulders back at the party. Two of them are hits, wounding two mounts. Moments later Maylin’s fireball explodes around the giants. The smallest drops to the ground, a charred and smoking corpse. The other two turn and run for the mountains. The party decide not to pursue. It Is late and the day and they want to find a hidden camp site.

    Waterday, Coldeven 26th
    The party continued following the trail through the Yatils. In the afternoon, they encountered a group of elves, a patrol from Highfolk. Initially the alves were highly suspicious and considered detaining the party, but the party managed to convince them that they were no threat, and the elves let them pass.

    Earthday, Coldeven 27th
    The party reached the first intersection on their map. As they were trying to decide if they should head north or east, they were attacked by a band of six ogres. The party fired arrows at the ogres as they approached, but most of their shots missed. As the monsters reached the party, Maylin managed to snare three of them with his rope of entanglement. Ferris was drooling at the prospect of fighting ‘giant class’ opponents, and hacked one down with a single blow. One ogre did manage to hit Milrick’s horse with his club. Realizing what they were up against, the remaining pair of ogres decided to flee. One was sliced down before he could take a step, and Ferris and Elros took the other one down with a magic missile spell and a bow shot. They quickly dispatched the bound ogres. A quick search discovered that each ogre was carrying about two dozen gold coins. This time the party decided to follow the ogres’ tracks. A short distance away they located their lair. The initial search turned up assorted mundane items. Right before the party decided to return to the trail, Maylin remembered to look up. He spotted a small ledge/nook about 10’ up at the back of the cave. Elros cast a spider climb spell and climbed up to investigate. In the nook he found an old leather bag. He could hear the rattle of coins as he pulled the bag out. Inside the bag was 900 ep, 20 pp, 5 small gems, and a full metal flask . Elros sampled the flask, revealing it to be a potion of rainbow hues. After completing their search, the party decided to follow the northern branch of the trail. At the end of the day as they were setting up camp, they discovered the spot they had chosen was already occupied. A giant gray-furred snake slithered out of the rocks. The poor reptile was killed by an arrow and a barrage of magic missiles before it had a chance to attack. Maylin decided to skin the snake, thinking it might fetch some gold.

    Freeday, Coldeven 28th
    Early in the day, the party discovered a smaller trail branching off to the west. It was not indicated on their map. They decided to try it. The trail was more rugged than the one they had been travailing, and the going was slower. The day passed without incident.

    Starday, Growfest 1st.
    The party could see the end of the trail ahead, a wooded valley. Wooden and stone structure could be seen as well. The entrance to the valley was protected by a stone wall. A large number of gnomes could be seen at the wall. Fentin and Elros called out in Gnome that they were friends and meant no harm. A group of the gnomes approached the party. After a short Q&A session, in which the party told the gnomes of their encounters with the giants and ogres, the gnomes appeared to take a liking to the party, and invited them into their vale.

    And so our session ended.
  2. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Fabulous stuff. I like that their are only 3 PC's and 5 henchmen. That's a good match. Sounds like they didn't have too much difficulty in the mountains so far...
  3. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    Not yet. Having a ranger cuts down on the party being surprised, so the encounters have begun with a good amount of space between the party and the 'monsters', giving the party the opportunity to form the formations of their choice and soften up the enemy with ranged attacks.
  4. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    Some DM commentary:
    The party hasn’t really been tested yet, so it’s hard to really assess their performance. They’ve been very loose lipped though, very quickly informing both the elves and gnomes that they were looking for the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth on behalf of the Margrave of Bissel.
    By the way, this game is a straight 1E game.
    Reactions rolls are used.
    The party rolled around 40% for the elves, resulting in a negative vibe and them almost being detained, but they kept their cool and were able to convince the elves that they were no threat.
    They rolled very good with the gnomes, 95%, plus several parties spoke gnome, and they had stories of combat against the gnomes local enemies. I decided that unless the party really did something to blow it, the gnomes would be fast friends.

    Morale will be a factor, but it hasn’t come up yet. Both the giants and ogres were described as shying away from competent parties, so I just decided on their actions.

    I’ve been using the by-the-book encounter distance, and it’s benefited the party so far. The giants did mange to get off a round of thrown boulders, but they proved to be harmless.
  5. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    We were anticipating a good long gaming session, but it got cut short when one of the players had to leave early to pick up his girlfriend, whose car had broke down. This is what we got in:

    The Party:
    Ferris: 9th level human ranger
    Elros: Gray elf 6/5/5 cleric/fighter/magic-user
    Gwindor: half-elf 4/3/3 level cleric/fighter/magic-user (Ferris’s henchman)
    Milrick: 1st level human fighter (Elros’s henchman)
    Bertrim: 6th level human cleric (of St. Cuthbert) (Maylin’s henchman)
    Fentin: 7th level Halfling thief (Maylin’s henchman)
    Maylin: 9th level human magic-user
    Aranock: 2nd level human magic-user (Maylin’s henchman)

    Sunday, Growfest 2nd
    The party spent the day in Gnome Vale. The gnomes bought the gray-furred snake skin off the party for 300 gp. The party also discovered that the gnomes know of Iggwilv (many of them were alive when she ruled her domain) and the general location of her old stronghold. They pointed to a blank area on the map to the south.

    Moonday, Growfest 3rd
    The party left Gnome Vale, heading south to the area the gnomes indicated the Caverns were located. The gnomes also gave the party an open invitation to return to visit, or if in need of aid. Once on the road, the rest of the day past without event.

    Godsday, Growfest 4th
    The party headed back south the way they had come. When the reached the intersection the took the branch heading east. Only about a mile or so later, they discovered another trail not on the map provided by the Margrave. The trail headed south and the party decided to follow.

    Waterday, Growfest 5th
    The party continued following the trail south. The day passed with no event of note.

    Earthday, Growfest 6th
    The party continued south. Late in the afternoon, the party spotted a band of 70 goblins on the trail ahead moving in their direction. The goblins were 170 yards away, too far away for their slings, but within fireball range for Maylin, and he sent a fireball into their center. The goblins were spread out in a long column due to the narrow trail, but the fireball took out the goblin leader and a good chunk of their regulars. Their morale broke, and the remaining goblins fled into the mountains.

    Freeday, Growfest 7th
    The next day the party moved further south. The day passed without incident. At the end of the day the party started debating on whether they should continue south, or turn back. They decided to give it another day.

    Starday, Planting 1st
    About halfway through the day, the track came to an end. A cave entrance could be seen on the mountain slope ahead, and the party decided to investigate. The jagged rock around the cave entrance gave it the impression of a fanged maw. The walls and ceiling of the cavern were blackened by soot, and broken and discarded furniture and equipment were scattered about. Further investigation revealed a steep slanting passage heading down into the heart of the mountain. Rough stairs had been cut into the passage.
    At the bottom of a long flight of steps, the passage leveled off. A narrow side passage branched off to the left and a larger chamber could be seen straight ahead. The party could see their light glinting off of something on the walls in the chamber ahead, and they decided to take a closer look.
    In the cavern they discovered six weird faces carved into the cavern walls. The bas-relief images were all slightly different, but each bore a similar doleful expression. Beside each statue was a tunnel leading off from the cavern into the darkness. When Elros approached to investigate one of the carvings closer the face spoke. In a bass, mournfully dire tone, the image stated, “Turn back … This is not the way!” The party members then approached the other images, and the same message was repeated at each. While the faces were speaking, the party noted that teach mouth had a gem in it. The party tried asking the faces different questions, but they just kept repeating the same deep-voiced warnings. After several minutes of this, the party gave up on questioning, and focused on gem retrieval. Fentin examined one of the faces looking for any sort of trap mechanism, but could not detect anything. Suspecting what was coming, but giving it a try anyways, Fentin tried to pull a gem out, but the face snapped on his hand, biting for 4 points of damage. The party then made several attempts to smash the rock around the gems, but were not successful. They decided to move on, but stated their intention to come back later and try again. They debated which passage to examine, and then remembered the narrow cave they had ignored earlier. They decided to go back to investigate the narrow passage. They followed the twisting tunnel for about 50 feet until they came to a small cave, roughly 20’ by 30’. The walls and floor were covered with streaks and blotches. No other exits were visible. The party moved into the cave to investigate. A fluttering of many wings announced the attack of 20 stirges. Maylin and Aranock readied spells, the rest of the party drew weapons. The stirges won initiative, and both casters’ spells were interrupted. Aranock seemed to be the preferred target for the stirges, and he went down by the end of the round. Over the next several rounds, the party battled the stirges, dispatching them fairly easily, but losing quite a bit of hit points to the parasitic birds. Aranock lay lifeless on the floor. The party searched the cave, but found nothing of interest. They decided to exit the Caverns and look for a site to set up camp. Bertrim cast a raise dead spell from a scroll, but Aranock rolled a 98% on his resurrection survival roll, and failed.
    It was at this point that Doug (Maylin) had to leave to pick his girlfriend up.
  6. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Oh, man, death by stirge. How embarrasing! :D
  7. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    You must be fighting different stirges than I am. I’ve always found the little suckers to be a pain. A normally sound marching order doesn’t mean guano. Once they hit, they stick and auto-suck. You can’t just swing your normal weapon at that stirge stuck in your buddy’s forehead, (I guess you could if you wanted to) so attacks are usually made without the benefits of magical bonuses, or specialization. And a flock of 20 means, even with good average AC, there’s a good chance some party members will have one or more of the feathered fiends attached.
  8. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    Being killed by stirges is a downer, but that kind of thing can be expected somewhat when you bring lower-level henchmen into a higher-level dungeon. The real loss here was the wasted raise dead scroll. The cleric who cast it isn’t high enough level to memorize the spell, so the scroll was a valuable commodity.
  9. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Nah, I am familiar with the nastiness of stirges, it's just embarrasing to be killed by them because they *seem* so weak. And that is a terrible shame about that scroll, I suspect it will be needed at a far deadlier encounter in the near future... Muhahahahaaaa!
  10. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    See, emoticons can actually be useful. I didn't get the sarcasm.
    I think that thinking has been the death of many a PC.
  11. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    If you read my "yet another TOEE campaign" CJ over on DF, you will discover that after we seriously wounded the giant lobster in the Moathouse and it retreated back down the pool, my fighter decided to be all guts-n-glory. He striped to to his skivvies, grabbed his spear, and dove in after it where he was promptly chomped to death. Pretty funny stuff... I was thinking of the glory of killing it and took a huge chance - and failed utterly. :eek: :lol: I won't think anymore, I will just do.

    Emoticons rock.
  12. sir jon

    sir jon Spellbinder

    I agree, death by stirge is an embarrassing thing, but more frequent than people will admit. It's happened a few times in my games... at low levels, of course.
  13. deogolf

    deogolf Chevalier

    I hate stirges just for that reason! A big-ass mosquito that's dang hard to kill! :shock:

    Almost like living here in Wisconsin! :lol:
  14. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder


    *scratches Wisconsin off of the list of future places in which to live...*

    edited for grevious spelling error
  15. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    Sorry for neglecting this log.
    I’m not going to write up a complete account of the adventure, but it ended something like this.
    DM: ‘The water is flowing faster in this tunnel. You float down the passage for a few minutes, and then ahead you spot a carved stone bridge spanning the river. The bridge connects two dry passages. The water is flowing faster now. You can hear a rumble coming from the water filled passage passed the bridge.”
    Player: “You mean like a waterfall?”
    DM: “Yeah, like a waterfall.”
    Player: “We go check it out.”
  16. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Wow. :shock: Unless you have a fly or leviate spell ready that is amazingly stupid. :lol: I can't blame you for TPK in that instance
  17. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    It was amazingly stupid, but it wasn't a TPK. One PC did cast a fly on himself and grabbed his halfling henchman, another cast a spider climb and made it to the wall before the boat went over. Five other characters that started the adventure didn't make it. They're usually smarter than that. Maybe it was the long lay off.
  18. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    The big loss here were the 9th level ranger PC. He would have made it to 10th level by the end of the module, and would have been ready to start rolling for those cool ranger followers.
    Also, one of the survivors lost a cleric henchman who was close to reaching the level where he could cast raise dead. The only party cleric is a demi-human and won't ever make it that high.
  19. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Egads, man... Were these pre-gens or did the players start these guys from 1st level?
  20. ScottyG

    ScottyG Chevalier

    They are all from 1st level PCs and their from 1st level henchman.

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