Monday, February 20, 2017

DCC session report - Blackrock Manor #5

In this installment of Blackrock Manor, we return to our intrepid band of monster killers and treasure hunters, standing over the body of a slain construct of metal and glass in an otherworldly trophy room.  So far, their expedition has made good decisions and possessed good fortune.  The former would be remain the case, but not the latter.

Vanquished at the end of last session
The trophies in question occupied metal plinths, some of which were surrounded by strange fields of light, of which some were stable and others flickered unpredictably.  With little difficulty, the party was able to obtain all the artifacts that weren't protected by constant fields.

Let's pause a moment to take the roll call, in alphabetical order, no less:
  • Brendan, doing his best to prove with Gregh the Warrior that might makes might
  • Gareth, offering the sage judgement of the Wizard Sizarius, and getting the hell out of Gregh's way
  • Stan, whose Courve the Thief always erred on the side of Not Dying
  • Steve H., bravely rescuing fellow dwarfs with his Rune Priest, Martine
  • Steve W., insuring that Grognard the Dwarf gave Martine plenty to do
  • Xavier, pushing Archimedia the Thief's luck to nearly-tragic ends
So what treasures did our gang liberate from this forgotten museum?

This was the haul:
  • a fine two-handed sword (actually a katana)
  • a rose-and-briar motif inlaid suit of plate armor (abandoned in the ruckus to follow)
  • an unsettling bust of a nearly-human figure
  • some kind of weird firearm (Archimedia had seen black powder weapons before)
  • a bronze tower shield
  • a silver star with weird engraved characters and an off-center hole
While inspecting their haul, the characters heard distant clanging and groaning within the complex, so the players decided to hasten their explorations.  They thought to take a last peek at the room filled with objects d'art, as well as the great lizard beast held in stasis.  This decision nearly proved their undoing.

The party attempted to collect one last sample from the great beast, discovering in the process that its stasis was caused by the great platform upon which it stood.  The party quickly roped and retrieved Sizarius, and decided to depart the strange complex, with the head of its former owner in tow as proof of its abandonment.

At that moment, a thunderous boom shook the entire glacier, and all sorts of unseemly noises issued from different portions of the complex.  The lights began to blink, including the lights at the base of the platform.  In the flickering half-light, the great lizard began to stir.

Everything is food to me
That was enough for our brave adventurers - with no delay, they sped for the room across the hall where a fissure opened to the frozen surface of the glacier.  As they did so, they realized that the icy ground in the intervening chamber was a hazard that they had not accounted for.  Most of the party kept its footing, except for the unfortunate wizard.  With the great beast barreling towards her companion, Archimedia put the firearm to her shoulder, attempting to discharge it at the creature.

The player chose to spend the bulk of Archimedia's Luck to insure that she would figure out how to use the device.  However, little did Xavier know, but the weapon was not in good condition, and the firer was required to make a Luck check lest it explode.  With all of Archimedia's Luck expended, she failed this check, and the ancient weapon detonated in her hands, discharging the full force of its remaining charge into her face.

Shouldn't be hard to figure out...
At this, brave Martine turned from her headlong flight to lay hands on her dying comrade.  The massive saurian took a terrible toll on fallen Sizarius, while Gregh  and Grognard turned to aid those who remained behind.

Martine successfully rescued her fallen friend, while Sizarius was revived with the help of his own healing elixer.  Gregh managed to grievously wound the towering reptile with his new longsword, while Grognard was less successful with his own ax-and-board assault; Martine was forced to act quickly to forestall the death of her fellow dwarf.  Meanwhile, Courve exercised the better part of valor, as they say.

After a couple more harrowing rounds of combat, the party was able to lay the beast low without further casualties.  Emboldened by their success but still concerned about the potential collapse of the complex, they resumed ascending the frozen fissure to the surface.  

Unfortunately, during this climb, brave and noble Martine made it most of the way out, before tumbling back down to the base of the cataract.  The fall was fatal, and the party knew that they were much diminished without her.  After all, she was the cleric.

The unforgiving terrain
Finally, the adventurers emerged on to the frozen top of the glacier, and began their trek back to the barbarian village.  On the way back, they realized they were being followed by some kind of white-furred arctic predator.  In response, they set up an ambush, the party's two fighting men serving as bait while the two cutthroats waiting to jump it from behind.  Finally, it emerged: a sabre-toothed ice-bear!

With no delay, Archimedia fell upon the the deadly tundra stalker, wrapping her wire garrote around its throat, pulling with all his might.  Arcing backwards and sawing from side to side, her weapon quickly sliced its muscular neck, spraying her compatriots with its hot blood.  Before anyone knew what had happened, the bear had been laid low.

Vulnerabilities: garroting
The remainder of the expedition was uneventful.  The party returned to the village and Mother Wisdom, retrieving their promised rewards and reveling in the celebrations of their grateful hosts.  Before long, it was time for them to return to Punjar.

And with that, the party completed the adventure otherwise known as Frozen in Time.  Our bold treasure hunters returned with the prize, although one of their number had fallen after performing many great deeds.

Next time: I have no damn idea!  Stan is going to run us through something from Purple Sorcerer.  I'm on record for being a big fan of their digital offerings, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Stan is going to get back at me for all our wonderful sessions.

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