Astannas Dawn

May 7 Game.

Yay, massive loot!

May 7 game:

We started off being menaced by four large water elementals, summoned by a conjuration trap. Realizing that the spell would be of short duration, Mark asked the party members to squeeze in around him, and enclosed everyone in an 8’ Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere to wait it out. Tsarra had her remaining Shadow fight the water elementals, but it was quickly destroyed. The conjuration spell ended, and after a few minutes, so did the Sphere, after which Bellatrix succeeded in disarming the trap permanently.

It then quickly became clear that the pile of coins the party had found was merely a diversion, consisting mostly of copper. The party began searching in earnest for Kurthakilkallum’s true hoard. The party (minus Ciri who had stayed behind on land to count the coins) discovered an underwater shaft. Kurt and Decker stayed behind because of likely difficulty with reascending; on descending the shaft, the others found that it led downward, across, and up, ending in an oddly straight and precisely worked horizontal air-filled tunnel leading to a pool of acid. After some discussion it was decided to postpone this for the next day for safety reasons.

The party explored further, eventually encountering another group of four acid-scarred scrags, who were fairly belligerent and insulting, and demanded that the party not venture further into the realm of Gargamel—apparently an evil kelp-like deific-esque being associated with drowning. They did not seem entirely forthcoming, but offered to give more information if bested in the “Pit of Pushing”. The party decided to think it over and perhaps come back later.

Tsarra and Mark then went back to Northwall to bring a wagon. They stayed overnight at the Sea Witch, where Poppin appeared to be enjoying himself. Meanwhile, the rest of the party camped overnight on the small islands in the watery cave.

The next morning, Tsarra and Mark brought a wagon and all four horses back to the lair, and after casting water breathing again, entered to find that Kurt had gone patrolling off to the north. The party minus Ciri and Tsarra, who stayed to cut up the dragon, and Decker, ventured back to the acid pit to find Kurt waiting in the air-filled tunnel, lamenting his cowardice in being unable to bring himself to brave the acid pit. It transpired that Kurt had been afraid that Kurthakilkallum, being a dragon, might possess some world-endangering artifact, and had wanted to get any such thing before the necromancer Tsarra could use it to destroy the world. He had confided this to Bella, but promised not to lie any more in the future.

It was decided that Bella, as the most skilled in locating and disarming traps, would be best qualified to explore the acid pit. Kurt cast Resist Acid and Protection from Acid on her, and Mark gave her Resistance and Bull’s Strength, and also polymorphed her into a wyrmling Bronze Dragon to improve her swimming abilities.

The polymorphed Bellatrix swam quickly through the acid-filled tunnel, which made a U-bend. She passed several dragon scales with writing, one of which was a Baleful Polymorph trap which she narrowly avoided with a little luck.

After this narrow escape, she surfaced some dozens of feet later in a giant air-filled room, roughly clawed into the earth, and filled with treasure. There were lots of gold and silver coins, some platinum, some interesting art objects, some magic items. This was, apparently, the true hoard of Kurthakilkallum. After a quick look, Bella quickly swam back to the other party members, taking an appreciable amount of acid damage when the Protection from Acid was overloaded. She then rushed ahead to show Ciri her new dragon form.

Meanwhile, Ciri and Tsarra had been butchering Kurthakilkallum, removing his skin and (through a mishap) half of his teeth. Ciri was surprised to see another dragon. When the others caught up, Kurt healed Bellatrix of her acid damage.

Discussing the problem of how to extract the hoard, it was decided that Mark, Dontino, and Ciri would teleport in with Mark’s Dimension Door (from next to the acid pool, following Bella’s spatial directions), gather enough treasure to perhaps buy a Portable Hole (for transporting the rest of the treasure), and use Ciri’s Dimension Door to bring it out to the surface, perhaps taking some damage if the range were insufficient. Then the next day, the rest of the treasure could be extracted, either by the same method or by polymorphing to ankheg form and building a tunnel.

In the event, Mark lost four hit points making the Dimension Door spell work properly, which Dontino quickly healed; then Mark, Ciri, and Dontino quickly counted the hoard, and Mark and Dontino identified all the magic items. It turned out that it was possible to load all the visible treasure in sacks and Ciri’s Bag of Holding, and carry the entire load out safely with her Dimension Door. By this time the other party members had succeeded in dragging out the dragon corpse and the diversionary “hoard”, and the whole party met at the wagon. Using canvas to fashion a sling to haul the dragon back with, the whole party returned to Northwall, using Dontino’s Sphere of Invisibility to reduce notice while entering the town.

On arriving in Northwall, Tsarra reanimated the dragon as a skeleton, in an impressive ceremony at the Temple of Velsharoon. The high priest spotted that Bella was an elf, but was warned off by Ciri.

The captain of the Northwall guard congratulated the party on their victory, and (talking privately to Bella at the Sea Witch) demanded that she investigate the problems he had been having with attacks by “savage” elves from the forest, presumably with help from somewhere inside Northwall. Orc soldiers he had sent to investigate this issue had not returned. He demanded that Bella get him information (at least) or spend the rest of her life in the pit.

The party returned to the inn, which agreed to stable the skeletal dragon, now newly named Thaco. Mark had given Kurt the Argonian Crystal found in the dragon’s hoard, and Kurt announced his intention to find some diamonds and revive the pickled dwarves found outside the dragon’s lair.



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