February 08, 2012

Back in the Open Air

On Monday my players completed the dungeon they had been crawling through for (real-time) months, the Singing Hill. In game time it was probably not much more than a week, but I'm terrible at time-keeping so it might have been more, or less! Fair warning, if you don't love play reports condensing months of playtime into five paragraphs of prose please click away now.

The party consisted of two elves, three dwarves, a warrior, a wizard, two thieves, and a pair of peasants played by a revolving cast of characters, hinging entirely on who was local on any given game night. The delve was the capstone to a snowball of tasks that had started when the group took a job guarding a merchant caravan. Repelling a raiding party of goblins riding giants bees led to tracking them back their home base, the Singing Hill. This hill was actually an underground complex named thus because of the huge beehive that took up much of the interior and set the surrounding land thrumming with the buzzing of the giant insects. The goblins asked the group to defend them against the intruders that were creeping into their caves from points unknown, for the price of whatever treasure they could carry back out. The goblins had barricaded the lower levels to keep the outsiders from raiding, so the PCs had to get to the lower levels through the roof of the beehive.

The party broke in through the top of the hill, cutting through goblin tunnels and holding back the giant bees with smudge sticks. They took their first casualty when one of the dwarves stumbled into a dart trap. In the base of the hive the bees grew too aggressive to hold back with smoke. Fleeing from the hive into the caves beyond by crawling through a small tunnel one of the elves made the ultimate sacrifice by lighting himself on fire and collapsing the waxen tunnel of the hive down on himself and blocking the enraged hive from annihilating the rest of the party.

The party soon came in contact with the outsiders, strange, pale, hairless, Innsmouth-looking toadmen wearing weird armor and carrying queerly curved swords. They spoke a dialect akin to ancient dwarfish, but bizarrely inflected and all but impossible to understand. They tramped through the dark tunnels in patrols of six strong, and the party took to stealth and ambush as they looked for where the outsiders were coming from.

Along one hallway the rough stone gave way to worked obsidian, polished and dark and guarded by toadmen in baroque armor. Beyond this and down a long stairwell lay a long gallery of supported by a long line of columns carved like the figures of men, each more hideous than the last.

This level was full of long halls and prisons crawling with toadmen and their minions, guarding a mystical portal that floated in midair like a black wound. They lost another member of their band when they broke into a wizard's laboratory, a twisted toadman wizard wearing a jeweled vest raised a claw and consumed the unlucky peasant with a bolt of black witchfire. The huge prismatic array they found in the laboratory proved to be the key to the portal, and after fumbling with the alignment of the prisms, and nearly killing the warrior with mystical force. They shut the portal down, loaded themselves down as much loot they could carry, and staggered back to the surface and back towards the town of Smoleng.


  1. Sounds like a fun series of sessions :)

  2. It was generally awesome, but the players were ready to get back to the surface and spend the gold.