This session was attended by Ave and Will. Trajan and Ben attended via Skype. The session was held at Ave’s house.
The War Council meeting on whether to use Bill the Geriviar giant reached no conclusion. The collective will of the Council felt that Bill could certainly break a hole in the siege wall, but it was unlikely to hold for an evacuation of the city. With Bill not being used as a weapon, the Council decided to simply kill Bill so his heart could be used to construct the ring gates.
Torin, Preta, Amalius, and Terroc came up with an excellent plan for slaying the giant with little risk to themselves. The rented a vorpal sword with Alliance money. Terroc cast silence and invisibility on Torin and gave him the vorpal sword. Terroc scried Bill at night to ensure he was asleep. Once he was Terroc teleported a few hundred feet away from Bill. Torin snuck up with his silence and invisibility. Bill could do little about the situation while asleep. He was helpless and Torin decapitated the giant with his enchanted weapon. Terroc harvested the heart with his butchering skill.
Searching for the Tomb
The following few sessions contain information about the module adventure, “The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali.” It’s published by Kenzer&Co for a party of four 11th level characters. If your DM plans on running this adventure you may want to avoid any Alliance posts that mention the word Tomb.
The Alliance War Council had more goals than claiming the Tome of Agamemnon from the abandoned catacombs/sewer underneath Bradel Fields. The current war was fought between the Second Alliance and Xoria. The First Alliance forty years ago had contained the powerful kingdom of Aractrash. Unfortunately, the First Alliance War went poorly for Aractrash and King Ballard had refused to join the Second Alliance. If Aractrash could be convinced to join the war with the Second Alliance, it could very well turn the tide.
Arendil unveiled his plan to convince King Ballard to bring Aractrash into the war. The king had no stomach for war, but that could be changed. Arendil knew of an ancient artifact known for making people want to conquer and engage in wars, Kharad-Khor, the Bloodthirster. The sword was used by the hobgoblin emperor, Kruk-Ma-Kali. He conquered all of Eastern Cimmeria, but died at the hands of a goblin assassin. He bequeathed his vast empire, “to the strongest.” The various hobgoblin leaders fought amongst themselves for the crown, forever after dividing the Hobgoblin Lands. The Bloodthirster was buried with Kruk-Ma-Kali in a tomb somewhere in the Shacklack Desert.
Recent adventurer reports from the Shacklack Desert claimed to have unearthed the tomb. The rumors Arendil heard did not specify the location, but they did say that an account of the tomb’s location is in the Great Sanctuary of Knowledge, a library at Mars’ Oasis. Torin, Amalius, Preta, and Terroc gathered as much info as they could in Phoenix before heading to Mars’ Oasis. Also, Terroc bound a glabrezu named X-onfonc (Nickname Thug) to his service for two weeks.
The Great Sanctuary is notoriously badly organized. To add onto the nuisance, it costs 10GP every day for access. It took eight days and close to 1000GP looking through various books before the party found the account they were looking for. They studied a map in the journal and saw the location of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s lost tomb on the west side of the Great Valley in the Dominarie Mountains.
The party didn’t teleport to the Great Valley right away. Terroc sent in Thug first to scout out the place. Thug saw a small trail leading up into the mountains on the northwestern side of the valley. The western side of the valley was a burned plain with a solitary tree in the middle of it. The south had two passes leading out of the valley. The east had a small building that Thug could just barely make out on the mountainside. The north had a glacier. The glacier melt created a small river that ran into a lake in the center of the valley. Thug also saw an abandoned city at the north end of the lake and a small village at the south end.
After some discussion Terroc teleported the party to the village at the south end of the lake. The villagers were militant hobgoblins who immediately grabbed their arms upon seeing the mostly human invaders. The hobgoblins began a war dance to intimidate their foes. Amalius was able to calm the hobgoblins with a touch to their minds. He spoke to their chief and convinced him they could work together to find the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. The chief, Krumukh, and the shaman of the tribe, Duvagh, both agreed to accompany the players on their quest for the tomb.
With their new companions the group headed to the path on the northwestern side of the valley. They hiked up it for most of the day. Before the sunset a shadow passed over their heads. They heard something land above them in the path that had now become a narrow pass. Then the pass filled with mist and nobody could see more than ten feet in front of them. Thug used his magic to deduce that a large red dragon was attacking.
Everyone scrambled to react. The red dragon started crawling down the cliff face like a spider. Preta began to panic but calmed himself to blast the beast with cold magic. The dragon breathed fire upon the party in turn. Aldarian, the two hobgoblins, and Shez all died. Erick and Amalius were knocked unconscious. Terroc was badly wounded, so he teleported away, abandoning the party. Torin cast a protective spell on himself and engaged the dragon in melee combat. Preta barely held on and blasted the dragon with another cold spell before falling unconscious. Thug also engaged the dragon with Torin. The demon and the priest working together were able to bring down the dragon and kill it. Unfortunately for Preta, he was directly under the dragon. It’s body fell on him and slowly began to crush the life out of him. Torin and Thug were unable to move the body off before Preta died.
Terroc returned and worked with Torin to help recover from the attack. Torin healed Erick and Amalius back to consciousness. The other bodies were thrown in Terroc’s bag of holding and they teleported away. Aldarian was raised from dead the dead in his natural body while Preta and Shez received the rite of reincarnation. Shez, previously a human, came back as a half-elf. Preta, previously a human, came back as a cervidal, a powerful satyr. The two hobgoblins were not brought back. While everyone else was being revived, Terroc sent Thug to gather spell components from the dragon’s carcass.
Fully recovered the party teleported back to the pass. Journeying just a little further up they found a fork. The left fork was very tight and Thug had to go over that part of the pass rather than through it. Fortunately for the party the tight fit was rewarded with the Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali! The entrance was a small valley with a large staircase leading up to four red marble columns that mark the entrance to the tomb.
Magical investigation of the pocket canyon revealed a few facts. Strong magical winds blew, preventing any form of flight. A magical aura also lay over the area stopping teleportation in or out. Creatures could still be summoned though. A physical examination quickly showed that the stairs were booby-trapped with a falling avalanche trap. Shez was able to react fast enough to stop the boulders with a wall of force. The boulders were cleared by Thug. Thug then went up the steps on his own and figured out which step on the staircase set off the trap. A wall of iron protected him this time. He punched through the wall of iron and then lifted each character over the trapped step. Aldarian marked the bad step with chalk.
At the top of the steps the party found no traps, even though they combed it carefully. They did find a few rattlesnakes that Torin valiantly killed in single combat. There was also, of course, two large bronze doors to the tomb. One of the doors had fallen done earlier on a poor halfling. The halfling had since decayed into a skeleton. The party stepped over his body and into the tomb. Inside they saw a red marble door with a red dragon head carved on it. The party decided it was trapped and sent a summoned fire elemental in to inspect it. The fire elemental touched the door and the dragon head spoke, “A conqueror lies within, his body rot his mind yet keen, his deeds undone his spirit yet burns, his empire dust his name yet rules. Name him true and ye shall pass, name him false and ye shall… passsss….”
After a quick discussion Terroc ordered the fire elemental to touch the door again. The dragon repeated its phrase. Upon a third touching it repeated the phrase yet again. A fourth touching elicited no response (The magic mouth on the door only works three times per day). Terroc told the fire elemental to say, “Kruk-Ma-Kali,” in Ignan. The elemental did so and the stone dragon breathed fire on it. The elemental then disappeared as the magic summoning it wore out.
The party was stumped by the riddle and we decided to end the session there, so they’d have plenty of time to think about what the answer was.
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