Wilderlands Age of Worms

Session 23: The Spire of Long Shadows

Only One Casualty

Most of this log, including many of the nifty maps, is taken directly from the notes Ed posted over in the forum. He earns several dork cards, one for the writeup, plus some more, noted below…

Spiritday, 20th of Meadowlark (continued)

worminajar.jpgThe party searches through the “Halls of Knowledge.” The room contains several shelves full of books along with 12 jars. The jars look much like those in Vision 4, each containing a single (living) worm suspended in a grayish liquid. The party assumes the books are valuable since the Wormcaller went out of his way to avoid damaging them during the battle that took place here.

One book open upon a podium shows a strange diagram of a rune-covered worm inside a human head. The worm seems to be whispering words into the human’s brain. Anmor interprets the diagram as depicting the use of worms like the 12 in the jars contained here, which are known as knowledge worms and bear ancient knowledge. He is further able to decipher that the types of knowledge for these 12 worms fall into the following categories: Religion, Planes, History, and Arcana. There are three (3) worms of each category.

The party decides that it is too dangerous to play with the jars at this time. They divide the jars between Ulm and Chresin, who wrap and stow them in their Handy Haversacks. They each carry at least one worm from each category. Anmor gathers up the instruction book from the pedestal and adds it to his pack.

While glancing at the tomes within the shelves Anmor becomes very excited when he notices that the author of several tomes is none other than the necromancer, Trask (see the Nethertome of Trask). Unfortunately, no one in the party has a bag of holding, so the party is unable to take the books at this time. They decide to rest and prepare themselves to further explore the ziggurat.

Airday, 1st of Longrass

130toplevel.jpgHaving thoroughly explored the main level of the ancient structure, the party decides to investigate the gaping hole centered in the floor of the Chamber of Ascension. Casual observation shows that the opening extends beyond the range of Anmor’s darkvision (i.e., 60’). They lower an everburning torch into the crevice to a depth of almost 200’…and still no end is in sight. Ulm uses his cloak of the bat to polymorph into a flying vermin. Taking wing, he descends the pit and, using his message spell to communicate with the party, relays the following items:

ZigguratPitCrossSectionView.png1. There are three tunnels irregularly spaced along the walls,
2. Giant worms with humanoid head (Worm Nagas) are stationed at each of the tunnel opening,
3. The pit is actually the remnant of a spiral staircase that was partially destroyed a long time ago,
4. There is a room 500’ below the pit opening, and
5. The room below has several doors/openings and is occupied by six worm swarms.

Map courtesy of Ed. +1 dork card.

Ulm returns to the top of the pit and resumes his gnomish form. The party decides flying is the only way they would be able to maneuver in and around the Worm Nagas. Chresin, invisible thanks to Ulm, does a free fall past the worms then flies around blindly until he finds a place to anchor three ropes of climbing into a makeshift safety net. Ulm uses dancing lights to illuminate the Worm Nagas as the Reprisal Squad (literally) flies into action.

wormnaga2.jpgWorms Nagas are spell casters, so the battle does not go quite as well as planned. Fortunately, only one of their dispel magic spells actually worked, so only Kullen plummets to the safety net below. The Worm Naga’s gaze attack (feeblemind!) also makes direct attacks more dangerous. Chresin uses dimension hop to place Kullen within the lowest tunnel opening. It is not Kullen’s day and he succumbs to the Naga’s gaze. This leaves him with the ability for recognize friends and to fight to defend them, but nothing else.

Ed’s analysis: For anyone else in the party this might have been a disaster, but since it was Kullen, there very little negative impact on the fight.

WormNaga.pngFor a time the fight seemed to be going rather well for the party, but the Nagas decide to cast slay living on several party members and and Granuel fails to make his saving throw. His lifeless corpse falls helplessly into the safety net. A flurry of actions follow: an obscuring mist fills the tunnel, the Nagas begin air walking, flame strikes and scorching rays rain down, and swords clash and clang until finally, the Nagas are dispatched.

This was our one casualty for the session. However, as we see below, ordinary death is no longer a concern for the party, beyond the gp cost. I will have to come up with more horrible fates to inflict on them…

The party decides it is better to try to save Granuel (as opposed to just Grayhawking his body), so they greater teleport back to Ut Prandur. Using party treasure as well as the gold that he had on his body, they get Agath of Thrunch to (true) resurrect Granuel. The party also regroups and re-equips while in town. Anmor makes a side trip to the Citadel of Tomes and acquires a scroll and copies wall of fire into his spell book (important for later). Ulm, Kullen and Granuel buy potions and other supplies. Chresin sells loot and distributes some to each party member before depositing the remaining party treasure (12,280 gp) into an account at the Temple of Nepthtyls. Chresin also repays his debt of 1,000 gp to each of his fellow party members.

Spiritday, 5th of Longrass

The Reprisal Squad returns to the ziggurat with a plan for dealing with the worm swarms. Through the use of fly spells and the cloak of the bat, the party members descend to the bottom of the pit. They position themselves on the ruined stairwell just above the opening into the room, which is described below.

The Writhing ChamberWormSwarm.jpg
At first, the floor itself seems writhe and twist in on itself, but a longer look reveals it to be covered with thousands and thousands of worms of all sizes.

Anmor creates a wall of fire and Chresin casts resist energy: fire on himself. Chresin then flies into the chamber and lands on the ground inside the wall of flames. The swarms mindlessly move towards Chresin, and in the process take fire damage; both from being near the wall and from passing through it.

Killing six worm swarms this way is a slow and tedious process, so Granuel decides to cast an insect plague and the party allows the two swarms to fight each other for a while. Ulm gets into the action as well, helping Chresin herd the worm swarms back and forth across the wall of flame. After another five or six rounds all of the swarms are destroyed. The room is otherwise empty and uninteresting, so the party heads south.

The Sea of Worms
This immense cavern is filled with a horrific sea of writhing green and the nauseating susurrus of millions of slimy bodies slithering over each other. There is no floor—the hallway falls away to the undulating surface of an immense lake of green worms. The rippling surface lies about five feet down from the floor of the passageway, while the ceiling rises to a vault nearly ninety feet above. Low islands of stone protrude here and there from the edges of the wormy expanse, and additional passageways extend out of the sea and back onto solid ground in the wall opposite and in the walls to the left and the right.

wormcaller.jpgLurking on the ledges around the edge of the cavern are two of the spellcasting Wormcaller clerics. The party flies (literally, again, to avoid the sea of worms) into action to attack them. They receive an unpleasant surprise when an absolutely gigantic (actually Colossal, to be perfectly accurate) worm (The Overworm!) emerges from the sea to attack them).

This battle proves difficult, as the Overworm keeps trying to swallow people and Chresin has to waste his time popping them out of the worm’s mouth. The party manages to kill only one of the Wormcallers before Chresin runs out of anti-swallowing spells. At least one other party member is unconscious (or nearly so) at this point, so Chresin dimension doors the whole group back to the surface, where they decide to rest again.

Running away? Unheard of… but wise.

Airday, 6th of Longrass

After resting, the party swoops (or teleports) back down to the Sea of Worms, where they manage (with more or less trouble) to finally defeat the Overworm and the remaining Wormcaller. They retreat back to the first chamber of the level and begin exploring to the west, where they find a series of two similar chambers.

First Chamber of the Long Sleep
Perfectly preserved corpses cover most of this large chamber’s floor, arrayed head-to-toe in neat rows. Thick dust obscures the walls and floors, signs of the room’s great age, yet no trace of decay touches the corpses. The massive green stone blocks that line the chamber are covered with ancient symbols resembling coiling worms.

Second Chamber of the Long Sleep
Dozens of skeletons lie on the floor here, neatly arranged on the ground and surrounded by halos of stonework stained with ancient decay.

The party suspects that the second chamber would have been identical to the first, except that whatever magic preserved the bodies in the first must have failed in the second. Since there’s no danger or treasure here, they go back to the east and open a door to…

The Temple of the Fountainelder.jpg
This chamber is lined with the trappings of religious ceremony in homage to Yog-Sothoth, but in place of an altar stands a beautiful if disturbing fountain carved from black marble.

Herein they are attacked by three more Wormcallers on the other side of the pool. The party charges in to counterattack, but the first party member to come near the pool (The Fountain of Green Temptation) becomes incredibly thirsty and finds himself compelled to drink from its cool, clear waters. The victim (whoever it was) soon discovers the truth—that the fountain is filled not with water but with writhing green worms. Fortunately, he succeeds on save and spits the worms out before swallowing them.

Still, the experience triggers Vision 5 (see here) for the whole party. Once the vision ends, they return to initiative order and smite the Wormcallers, who they’ve had a lot of practice fighting at this point.

Ed kindly provided the map below showing where the party left off. It is quite accurate and pretty much to scale. This brings Ed’s dork card total to 3 for this session.

In addition, the XP totals shown below mean that everyone can level up to 14th as soon as you rest, which I imagine you’ll do right at the start of next session.

* Anmor: 94,952
* Everyone else: 93,113

ZigguratLowerLevel.png

Comments

Nice writeup. Looking forward to nexty time already. Hopefully monthly can happen more or less.

ransomp666 ransomp666

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