Saturday, 23 July 2016

II.15: Khyber Cultist Lair

near Newthrone, Q’barra
Dravago 9, 997 YK

See What They Find: Random Common, Discovery(stairs), Danger(trap: ensnaring, slashing) Let’s say that the trap is on the stairs.

The party wants the study, on this floor, first. See What They Find: Random Unique, Themed, Discovery(entrance to another dungeon), Danger(creature, scavenging)

Spout Lore(Anaya): 2D6(6 6) +1 = 13 Success!
Good information

After passing through a connecting passage, the next room that they entered was the Count’s study. Anaya let Nyseris lead the way, the lizardfolk’s bulky form almost filling the doorway as they entered.

Anaya’s respect for the ranger had grown greatly since she learned that the lizardfolk also worshipped the Flame, after a fashion. And Nyseris in particular now had the power to channel the Flame itself, as Anaya herself could. In her training, Anaya had been told that those with a latent ability to draw on the Flame could have that power manifest after being touched by the Flame, and it seemed that Anaya’s healing had brought out that talent in the ranger.

The study would have seemed a large room, if they had not just come from the ballroom. Wood-panelled like much of the manor, the study had several large bookcases full of leather-bound books. Behind a heavy wooden desk, a woman stood watching them enter. She looked around fourty, and wore a long navy blue dress—smart but not ostentatious.

Discern Realities(Anaya): 2D6(5 2) +2 = 9 Partial success.
What here is useful or valuable to me?

Answer: she may know where the Count is, and how to reach him.

“We mean you no harm. Where is the Count?” asked Anaya as she entered.

“Below,” the woman replied. “He spends more time in the temple than in the manor itself.”

“There is a temple below the manor? Who are you? How do we get to it?”

“I am Elisea, the Count’s steward.” The woman answered calmly, seemingly happy with their assurances of safety. “The manor was built on the site of an old place of worship to Khyber. There is a passage behind that bookshelf”—pointing—“that leads to it directly.”

“We will put an end to this demon worship,” said Anaya firmly.

Dragonmark(Concealment)(Vaalyun): 2D6(1 5) +2 = 8 Partial success.
It won’t last very long
Discern Realities(Vaalyun): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
What here is useful or valuable to me?

Vaalyun covertly pockets some loot, d6+d4=8 is a valuable art artefact: small platinum statuette worth 2d6x100 = 1200 gold.

After a brief search, Esthana found the latch that allowed the bookshelf to be moved aside. It slid sideways to reveal a narrow stairway leading down, with stone steps and stone walls once it got below the first floor. There was a light at the bottom.

Let’s update our Perilous Wilds dungeon information: Dungeon: Count Zuokas’ manor & below
Size: medium?
Foundation: Random natural caves
Function: Random Themes: Grand manor house(exhausted), demon cult, Random growth/expansion

And onwards. See What They Find: Common, Discovery (bones/remains)

Spout Lore(Anaya): 2D6(3 2) +1 = 6 Failure!
Think offscreen Monster move(Summon something)

Nyseris led the way down. At the bottom, the stairway opened up into a cave, lit by a hanging lamp, though the unnatural blue light from the lamp gave the otherwise natural cave an eerie feeling. In one corner, there were two individual iron cages, each containing bones.

“Khyber dragonshard lanterns,” Anaya said; she had seen one once before, though they were rare because of the light that they cast was unsettling. “Perhaps whoever found these caves found some Khyber shard fragments here also.”

See What They Find: Common, Danger (creatures, acolytes, returning)

They kept moving, following a tunnel that sloped down and then opened up into another cave. Water dripped from cracks in the rock and ran in rivulets down the floor of the tunnel, and the atmosphere was cool and damp here, but the floor was free of dirt and stones. The party moved warily; Esthana and Nyseris kept their bows out with arrows nocked, and Vaalyun kept turning to look behind them, and then ahead again. Anaya was mostly concerned with keeping her footing on the damp stone. Another dull blue light shone in from the further cave.

They emerged into the lower cave, which had a low, uneven ceiling and wooden props in many places supporting the roof. A few seconds after they entered, they heard a shout from off to their left—“Stop them!”—and four robed figures charged wildly into the room, pointing wands. Bows twanged on either side of Anaya, and two of their attackers fell to the floor immediately.

Volley(Nyseris): 2D6(6 3) +2 = 11 Success!
d8=2 damage
Volley(Esthana): 2D6(5 4) +2 = 11 Success!
d10=5 damage

A, Random Warforged, cultist tries to take out a support beam.

Defy Danger(DEX)(Anaya): 2D6(3 5) +1 = 9 Partial success.
Deal damage: 2d4 =6 damage, 4 after armour

The largest of the cloaked figures halted their charge, and as they raised their gaze to the ceiling, Anaya saw the wood and metal face of a warforged below the cloak. She saw them point their wand and fire an arcane bolt towards one of the supports near her. Anaya dived to block it, and felt the jarring impact and a burning sensation along her arm as the missile struck her shield instead.

Volley(Nyseris): 2D6(2 1) +2 = 5 Failure!
Random Point to a looming threat Monster move(Offer eternal reward for mortal deeds)

Anaya saw Nyseris loose another arrow, catching the other cultist in the hip but failing to bring them down. The cultist fired wildly, and the magic missile richocheted off a wall, shaking the room. As if in response, there was an echoing roar from somewhere deeper in the caves. The cultist yelled “Death awaits those who do not follow—”. He stopped abruptly, and fell to the cave floor, revealing Vaalyun standing behind him, bloodstained dagger in hand.

Volley(Esthana): 2D6(2 4) +2 = 8 Partial success.
Take what you can get. d10-d6=2 damage

Acolytes do not get HP in DungeonWorld ; I take that to mean that any injury or attack is enough to subdue them.

Discern Realities(Anaya): 2D6(3 4) +2 = 9 Partial success.
What happened here recently?

Vaalyun finds Random a gem worth 100gp.

Show signs of an approaching threat

The warforged cultist prepared to take another shot, but Esthana put an arrow into their chest, and they dropped to the ground. The attackers were all down, but another roar echoed through the cave, unnatural and terrifying.

Anaya shouldered her shield, working the muscles in her arm and wincing in pain. “They seemed desperate. Perhaps they were just meant to slow us down. They summoned hell hounds before; I fear they may have summoned something worse.”

“Are you alright?” asked Nyseris.

Cast a spell(Cure Light Wounds)(Anaya): 2D6(5 3) +2 = 10 Success!
Heals d8+4=9

Anaya is back at full, 17 HP. Nyseris is the only one with significant injuries, at 15 / 20 HP.

Anaya reached for the Silver Flame pendant around her neck with her injured arm. She felt the power of the Flame flow through her, purifying her injuries, and the glow of silver light around her brightened the cavern for a moment; then the light faded back to the sinister blue from the lantern above. The pain in her arm, and from bruises from the fight with the hell hounds, was gone. “The Flame gives me strength. We must go on.”

See What They Find: Common, Discovery (magic item: Random : eternal wand) We just had a group armed with wands, so let’s Make a move that follows: skip that room and just have the wand be one of theirs.

Discern Realities(Vaalyun): 2D6(3 2) +1 = 6 Failure!
Random Turn their move back on them: Fictional positioning matters. Three of the four party members seen distracted right now.
Defy Danger(WIS)(Esthana): 2D6(5 6) +1 = 12 Success!

“This looks valuable,” said Vaalyun. Anaya started to turn to him, but Esthana yelled “Look out!” Anaya saw movement in the opening behind Nyseris. The lizardfolk turned at the warning and there was a sharp twang of a crossbow being fired; a bolt whistled past Anaya’s sword arm.

Volley(Esthana): 2D6(5 6) +2 = 13 Success!
3 damage
Defy Danger(DEX)(Nyseris): 2D6(1 4) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Worse outcome: startled, too busy ducking shots to draw an arrow.
Hack and Slash(Anaya): 2D6(3 1) +0 = 4 Failure!
Deal damage: d6=3 damage, 1 after armour

Another bolt whistled past Nyseris as the ranger ducked behind a wooden prop. Esthana loosed an arrow, hitting a human figure in the darkness; there was a yell of pain and a clatter as something fell to the ground.

Anaya saw the two other shooters now, a woman and a halfling man, both reloading. She charged forward, but not fast enough: the halfling fired another shot at point blank range, the point of which punched through her shield and pierced her arm, before blocking her swordstroke with the butt of the crossbow.

Volley(Vaalyun): 2D6(5 4) +1 = 10 Success!
2d4=5 damage
Volley(Esthana): 2D6(3 2) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Use up ammunition: d10=7 damage

An arcane bolt flashed from the left and hit the crossbow-woman, throwing her against the cave wall; her blasted body fell to the floor. Anaya struggled for a moment more with the halfling; she twisted to the right to expose him to her friends, and he suddenly went limp, an arrow in his back.

The third man lay bleeding on the ground, grimacing in pain but reaching for his dropped crossbow; then Nyseris stepped forward and stabbed him with their spear. Anaya saw Esthana nocking another arrow, and Vaalyun holding one of the wands taken from the fallen cultists.

See What They Find: Common, Themed, Discovery (potions), Danger (trap, magical)

Show signs of an approaching threat

They advanced down the tunnel that the cultists had come from. This tunnel was slightly higher than the cave that they had just come from, and drier. It had been mined out to a larger size at some point in the past, though Nyseris still could not quite stand straight here. They heard another roar, not so far away now, and this time it was answered by a different sound, an unnatural screeching, echoing through the tunnel.

The passage shortly opened out into a small chamber with a few palette beds, and an alchemists’ workbench which a few tools and vials upon it. As Nyseris crossed the threshold, a rune appeared in the air. Anaya instinctively flinched but, instead of an explosion, the rune instead unravelled into strands of dark energy that settled on the ranger as they stood beneath it.

“What was–s that,” said Nyseris. “I feel weakened.”

Use up their resources: Nyseris is Weak

Spout Lore(Anaya): 2D6(1 5) +1 = 7 Partial success.
Not-immediately-useful information

“A symbol of Dolurrh,” said Anaya. “It saps life force. There should be no long-term harm, but it is beyond my ability to heal. Whoever cast this is a more powerful cleric than I.”

“Desperate defenders, and now this. They are trying to slow us down, to buy time for their masters to prepare themselves.” Esthana looked grimly determined, and Anaya felt the same: there was no turning back. They must finish what they had started.

Retrospectively, I am inserting a chapter break here, as on review of the whole session this is a good break point (and so there was no end-of-session move here). Next time we will see the conclusion of clearing the cultist base.

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