Wilderlands Age of Worms

Session 32: Kings of the Rift

Deeper into the Rift

Ed and Eric provided the notes that form the basis of this write-up. Dork cards for each. Andy was not present, so the part of Kullen was played by… someone, I can’t remember whom.

Spiritday, 15th of Sunstrong, 4433

goblin_MM35_PG133.jpgThe party began the session standing on a pinnacle of rock jutting out of the floor of Lighthedge Canyon, the site of a ruined tower (location “D” the on the map of Kongen-Thulnir). The action starts with a familiar scene as two invisible blue and three green dragons begin swooping in the direction of the party. Chresin casts dimension door and then re-groups the party inside a nearby building. While they wait for the dragons to fly away, the party spots a goblin cowering behind some rubble outside the building. As the dragons approach, the goblin flees and leaps through a window into the very same room where the party is hiding. Kullen grapples the goblin and the party beguins to question him. The goblin says his name is Egglak and indicates that his job was to “scoop poop” for the giants. He says he is from a northern tribe near Goblin Hill. He also indicates that he has been a slave for less than one moon.

The DM does not recall mentioning Goblin Hill, but it would certainly explain why Anmor became suspicious. Goblin Hill is around 600 miles to the north and across an ocean, so it makes for an unlikely story.

ominousfabler.jpgAnmor becomes suspicious and sees through the goblin’s (illusionary) disguise. The goblin is, in fact, The Ominous Fabler. Furthermore, Anmor notices that the spriggan now has worms crawling out of his eyes. Chresin casts dispel magic, at which point everyone sees him as an undead Favored Spawn of Yog. The Fabler spits a worm onto Kullen, then teleports away, like he did last time. Chresin chastises himself for being “a terrible Duskblade,” believing his impatience was somehow responsible for the Fabler’s escape. The party is left wondering what the Fabler really wanted from them.

Not sure if this came from someone’s knowledge check, but it’s in Ed’s notes so we’ll keep it here: spriggans are fey, similar in appearance to an elf. They can change their size at will. They are friendly with the giants and are shape changers.

The party uses invisibility to move from building to building, as quietly as possible. They make their way past a fortress-like tower manned by hill giants (location “K” on the map).

Round House
This heavily fortified tower rises to a height of 60 feet and is outfitted with two ballistae and one light catapult on the roof, this bunker. Although it appears to have been targeted a few times by the dragons, it remains undamaged for the most part.

Fang_Dragon.jpgAvoiding detection by the giants in the tower, the party continues in this manner until they reach a ledge (location “L” on the map). At this point, they see two dead hill giants. Chresin hears a greater invisibility spell being cast just below the ridge. He informs the rest of the party. While they prepare, he hears displacement and mirror Image being cast as well. The party soon finds out that the spell caster is actually a fang dragon named Xyzanth.

Not sure if Anmor shared what he knows about Xyzanth with the party, but here it is for reference: Xyzanth is a particularly rare dragon known as a fang dragon. Denizens of the most remote mountain ranges, fang dragons lack the distinctive breath weapon attack of most dragons, yet their bite can drain away life at a horrific rate. Xyzanth dwelt in the depths of the Overdoom Mountains, where he warred endlessly with the cavemen and dwarves of the mountains.

As the party prepares, so does the dragon, casting numerous buffing spells. When combat finally begins, the dragon engages Kullen and inflicts massive damage from a single attack.

218 HP to be exact! See what I mean by “their bite can drain away life at a horrific rate?”

Chrisin responds with a polar ray and a pissed-off Kullen pounds the bastard with his greataxe of stuff.

Chresin’s polar ray is a critical hit for 159 HP! He’s not bad at draining away life either, I guess.

A series of spells are cast and one of the Gifts of Sayren-Lei is employed. Eventually, Xyzanth takes enough damage that he decides fleeing is a good idea. Someone uses (wastes?) a dork card to prevent his escape and the party eventually slays the fang dragon.

Here’s the series of spells from Ed’s notes, since he says they seemed significant at the time: spell turning, greater dispel magic, haste, fly, displacement (probably on Kullen), sound lance, bless, heal, stoneskin.

Detecting magic on the dragon’s body, the party finds three magic items: an amulet and two rings. The party decides to rest overnight. Before sleeping, Anmor tends to everyone’s injures and casts the spell mass heal to get everyone back up to normal.

Here’s the list of magic items:
* Amulet of natural armor +5 (from Xyzanth, taken by Kullen)
* Ring of evasion (from Xyzanth, also taken by Kullen)
* Ring of resistance +5 (from Xyzanth, no indication of who took this, maybe it is an item to sell?)
* Amulet of natural armor +2 (from Kullen, taken by Ulm)
* Ring of force shield (I believe from Kullen, listed as an item to sell, but also noted as taken by Ulm?)
* Amulet of natural armor +1 (listed with items to sell, maybe from Ulm?)

Airday, 16th of Sunstrong, 4433

The next day, the party moves south to a large gate (location “M”) that is now destroyed.

King’s Gate Tower
This forty-foot-tall tower stands alongside a twenty-foot-high set of heavy wooden gates built into a stone gatehouse. The tower and gatehouse now stand partially ruined and empty.

As the party examines the area, it becomes obvious that this area had been manned by both hill and fire giants. All are now either dead or have fled from this position. Evidence of dragon bites and breath weapons are seen everywhere. Though the area is largely destroyed, some guy-wires are still intact. Continuing southward, the party comes upon an arch made of blood red stone (location “Q”).

The Blood Arch
This arch of blood-red stone rises 60 feet above the ledge. Its eastern surface is painted with ochre and inscribed with runes. Beyond the arch stretches an unsupported natural stone bridge, 10 feet wide and 10 feet thick.

Anmor studies the runes covering the arch for a while and indicates that the markings are “warnings against enemies and praise for the valor of allies in combat." Among the runes, the word “worm” is used numerous times. It is unclear whether the word is in reference to dragons or to actual worms.

The party notices that many of the structures to the east have collapsed. They decide to continue southward when they hear a voice calling from the ruins. “Help me. Please, help me,” cries an ogre (near, but not exactly at location “P”). They approach and the ogre exclaims “I am Blessed of the Giant Gods! I have been saved and I will save you all.”

The DM only vaguely remembers this encounter with the ogre. Perhaps it was just a means to get the party moving towards some place interesting, because the DM does remember, in detail, the encounter at the barricade that followed.

Finding nothing of interest in the ruins, the party moves up to a barricaded entrance (the actual location “P”). Anmor speaks for the party and, although he manages not to start a fight (surprisingly), the giants behind the barricade have no interest in letting the party inside. He does manage to learn that the giants call themselves the Khargakhan, which is giantish for “Rift Lords,” and that their leader (who is not at the barricade) is named Achaime Silvereye. Anmor recalls something Eligos said (box text repeated below for reference):

eligos.jpgKongen-Thulnir is the home of the Tiamikal Nul-Shada or “Slayers of Tiamat’s Kin” in Giantish. These giants fancy themselves dragon slayers. Curiously, although Kongen-Thulnir has changed hands among giant tribes over the centuries, the giants who live there have always called themselves Tiamikal Nul-Shada, regardless of the specific tribe or type of giant.

Curious about the conflicting tribal names, the party asks about the Tiamikal Nul-Shada and learns that those giants are “religious fanatics” who live in the big castle across the narrow bridge. Their leader is named Kagro Thundersmiter.

blue_dragon_MM35_PG72.jpgAs this interaction is going on, two invisible blue dragons try to sneak up on the party. Ulm and Granuel see them approaching and alert the rest of the party (so they didn’t get a surprise round). Someone uses glitterdust so the dragons are visible to all of the party members. A combination of some powerful spells (i.e., evasculate, channeled pyroburst, and polar ray) and Kullen and Granuel’s tactical brilliance lead to a quick defeat of the two dragons. The giants behind the barricade also throw rocks at the dragons, with little effect.

The party’s impressive defeat of the blue dragons convinces the giants behind the barricade that these little people are allies. Their captain, a hill giant named Bragi Harthgar, allows the party past the entrance into what turns out to be a sort of palace.

Riftlord Palace
The façade of this imposing edifice is heavily damaged, but its interior remains sound. The giant-sized chamber just past the barricade has several vaulted exits and these appear to extend deeply into the wall of Lighthedge Canyon.

Talking to Bragi, the party learns a few things:

  • There are other, less impressive entrances to Riftlord Palace, but they have also been sealed since the dragons attacked,
  • Achaime Silvereye is not available to meet with the party because he is “tired.” Bragi tells the party that he (Bragi) speaks for all of the Riftlords.
  • There is yet another faction of giants in the Canyon. They are called the Khargak-dwergun, or Rift Crawlers in giantish. Bragi says they are “low-class scum.”
  • In addition to the other defenses used against the dragons, the giants also have dead carrion crawler heads that they employ as ammunition in their catapults.

Thanks to Bragi’s permission, the party is able to rest through the night in the entry chamber of Riftlord Palace without incident.

Waterday, 17th of Sunstrong, 4433

vermirox.jpgThe next day, Chresin goes to the Red Arch and carves Bragi’s name into the stone. Then, with larger, bolder lettering, he adds “The Reprisal Squad.” The party starts to cross the bridge (toward location “R”) but Granuel stops them. He points out two invisible blue dragons hovering underneath the structure. The party buffs (protection from electricity, resist energy: electricity, and true seeing). Granuel and Kullen use bows to annoy the dragons and Ulm successfully casts feeblemind. A third blue dragon, named Vermirox, attacks using an unheard of effect, a cone of electricity. A weird spell kills the feebleminded dragon, but the other two survive. A short, fierce battle ensues, but in the end, Vermirox and the other remaining dragons were defeated.

It appears I didn’t give Anmor the handout about Vermirox, but I don’t think he could fail the knowledge check, so here it is now: Vermirox the Vociferous is a loud and obnoxious old blue dragon that has dwelt in Lighthedge Canyon for nearly 500 years. Rumor holds that his lair is an immense cavern known as Wraithkeep near the western end of the canyon.

To end the session, the party begins crossing the bridge towards the Citadel, a massive structure that towers on a pinnacle of rock a thousand feet above the Canyon floor (location “R,” refer back to the map).

XP totals at the end of the session 32:

* Anmor 157,490
* Ulm and Chresin 155,651
* Granuel 151,888
* Kullen 155,713

Everyone except Granuel should already be level 18. Granuel will likely level up sometime next session, but I already have a level 18 sheet for him.

Comments

I made a couple corrections…all typographical or grammatical clean-ups.

Session 32: Kings of the Rift
ransomp666 edkelly2000

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