Tonight we entered the ruined city of Xak Tsaroth after a long journey. Between the illnesses and dating (two related subjects imo) the adventuring party was made up of just Goldmoon, Raistlin, and Sturm. Tanis joined in for the second half. We ate pizza made fresh from the grocery store and baked in our oven. For dessert, our dessert specialist brought delicious oreo cupcakes, which also turned out to be diabetic-friendly, which is nice even though game nights are decreed to be “Freedom Fridays” as far as food is concerned.
The heroes of the lance were in the swamp surrounding the ruined city. Realizing they had missed the turn, they backracked until they found a side path which crossed a murky pool over a fallen obsidian obelisk. Everyone had to make a dexterity check to cross, and Goldmoon was so adept, she was able to read the writing on the monument as she crossed. Unfortunately she read it from end to beginning:
Home our of grace the in
Us reward gods the
Deeds generous their and
People its of good the to speaks
You surrounds beauty whose
Tsaroth Xak of city great the
Heh. This adventure is so ripe in material, and I was so eager to get to the dungeon, that I missed out on a great iconic scene from the Dragonlance saga in the swamps. I think I will find a way to weave it into next session. Moving on.
Across the obelisk, the swamp opened up into a clearing with a giant black steaming pit on one side and a holy temple with doors shining bright gold in the afternoon sunlight. They tentatively approached the pit but the stench and feeling of evil persuaded them to turn towards the golden doors of the temple.
It was a temple to Misha-kala, goddess of healing, and the statue turned to life and spoke to Goldmoon about blah blah blah, go out and heal girl, but first retrieve the disks in the dragon lair at the bottom of this dungeon. Then the statue sticks its tongue out at Raistlin and turns back to stone.
There are multiple doors exiting the temple. The one they choose leads to a room covered in frescoes depicting ancient scenes of glory. Five hideously filthy stunted creatures scrabble and scratch at the plaster walls, forming globs and piles of the plaster. The creatures eventually notice they are being watched after inadvertently giving away everything they know. They beg for mercy and weep and moan, while the heroes try to figure out what they are.
Eventually they realize they are gully dwarves, universally despised creatures so low that they don’t even have beards. Raistlin uses his beard cantrip to grow 7 inches of beard on each of the 5 gully dwarves who immediately begin grovelling at his feet and worshipping him as a lord. They command the dwarves to show them the way to the dragon, and the dwarves agree but suggest that the first go see the gully dwarf king.
And so they set off down a long flight of circular stairs. Before they set off, the dwarves argue about which one of them will be the guide and they start climbing up the wizard to try and perch on his head. The others join in a game of king of the hill to get to the top of Raistlins head and be declared the guide. Somehow it all works out, but the chosen guide angers Raistlin by leading him back to the wall for some more plaster. Raisltin hurls him down a flight of circular stairs, and they listen to every bone crunching bounce all the way down.
Goldmoon rushes down the stairs and at the bottom, uses her staff of healing to bring the dead dwarf back to life. All the otehr dwarves watch and a feud starts between them as Raisltin and Goldmoon make charisma checks to determine which of them they will follow as their lord. Goldmoon gets two, Raislin keeps two, and one goes to stand by Sturm and declares himslef to be an atheist (whose player Dr Karen Khar is also an avowed atheist) who doesn’t believe in magic. This while Goldmoon is performing miracles and Raistlin is wielding beard magic.
OK so we went on for another couple hours of hilarious gully dwarf action. They met a group of 30 gully dwarves, awed them wth their power, and for the rest of the night a tug of war took place between Goldmoon and Raistlin over who had the most worsippers. Goldmoon was ahead from practically the beginning, even though Raistlin would do anything to impress the loathsome creatures, including taking part in their ritualistic cavortations in “The squirming Chamber.”
The dwarves led them through some old sewer shaft chutes the led to a lower portion of the city, hundreds of feet below the surface. They lnded in the mud of the bakery, or Squirming Chamber as the dwarves called it, and after napping for a few hours, set out into a cavern that they realized was a shop-fronted street of the old city.
There was a swift flowing river, which the dwarves suggested riding down to the next level, but first they were required to make a dwarf bridge so the heroes could search the bank-like building on the other side. This led to a battle with ghosts known as Spectral minions.
They entered the bank and saw a ghostly figure behind a counter. Four spectral guards lined the walls, and when the ghost demanded payment of 500 Tsarothian sculli, Tanis and company tried to bolt. Unfortunately the ghost were twice as fast as the fastest character, could fly and pass through inanimate objects, so fleeing led to them being quickly surrounded beside the river. It was quite an intense battle which was nearly the death of them.
Raistlin fired off as many magic missiles as he could before attempting to flee, taking his dwarves with him. Sturm hacked right and left against the two assailing him but could not hit in fa after four or five rounds of rolling 5 or less I let khar re-roll and re-roll and re-roll on one turn ad she still couldn’t hit! Sturm was eventually knocked unconscious and into the river. At this point Raistlin diverted his escaping dwarves to rescue the knight before he drowned, thus saving him.
Tanis fought a ghost on the dwarf bridge, standing atop the heads of the sputtering gully dwarves, as she swung against an incoporeal opponent. She fought like a wild woman and injured the ghost before a magic missile of Raistlin saved her bacon as well. Goldmoon held her own swinging her +3 staff back and forth with abandon, slaying more than one ghost. Raistlin on the other hand tried his hand at hand-to-hand and immediately rolled a 17, oh yeah… but no a 3rd level wizard does not hit an AC 2 ghost with a roll of 17. Meanwhile 6th level fighters could hit armour class 2 with a roll of 11 or so. Can’t do that without THAC0.
After Sturm’s fall, Goldmoon started using her staff’s ability to Remove Curse to dispel the remaining spirits, then healed everyone up.