The characters for this session
In order of initiative order
Dakeyras, level 1 wood elf rogue wielding bow then switching to stabby things;
Garth, level 1 mountain dwarf fighter wielding warhammer and shield;
Grandor, level 1 mountain dwarf bard wielding longsword;
Thorin, level 1 mountain dwarf war domain cleric wielding warhammer;
Supported on a random basis by Hurey, level 1 human life domain cleric
Our heroes begin on 32xp below level 2 and end on 22
Now that she has been told by Thorin of the nature of the deity to which this ruin was dedicated, Mathienne takes umbrage. “Demons, not deadbeat deities!” she exclaims, and, assuring the others she can walk back to civilization on her own, heads off into the dawn.
And now that he has heard all that, Thorin has enough of a chat with Dazza and Norb to just be sure in his own mind that they aren’t about to slam the doors behind the explorers and gleefully shake hands with one another at yet another party sacrificed! He also checks about the dark corners of the ruined settlement to be sure it is what his hosts have said it is.
I run over how a foreshadowing of this would have worked and remind the group that the village sees the excavation as good ongoing business.DM
“I can’t see in the dark,” Hurey points out as they gaze beyond the 10′ high double doors. “I’ll cast a light on my staff, if that’s going to work for you?”
General conditions: The floor is strewn with rock debris and shards that cause bad going. For 25′ moving, movement is limited to 10′ then 15′ alternating. The “roof” is 10′ at all points. Everything found is stone unless mentioned otherwise.
Round 1: Hurey chants for Guidance on Dakeyras who has a scout in past the second set of doors. It’s a temple worship-hall with standard – if rather truncated – nave layout. Four broad pillars holding the roof up. A couple of wet patches on the floors, and a dripping wet patch over the altar, which is at the far end of the nave in a shallow sanctuary.
The others file up ready to advance. Hurey’s Light falls partly across the chamber.
“Dakeyras, do you see any slimes?”
Dak makes a good (DC15) Perception check and Garth backing him up makes an equally good one.
Looking more closely and with the aid of some real light from Hurey’s torch, it looks as though the pool of wet closest right is oily-looking and may not be what it seems; and that the dripping wet on the roof above the altar may be condensing down onto the floor!
Thorin runs through his teachings on the Arcana of the world and comes up with:
“It’s a Slime!”
“Fireball the whole thing,” Grandor japes dryly.
Round 2: Dak edges away to the left side of the chamber and sends an arrow accurately into the slime nearest his friends. A good shot, and other than rippling a little, the slime ignores it. Garth edges forward to make room for his fellows, swings one-handed with his warhammer, and smashes a big splash out of it!
“Get in here boys!”
Grandor slides around Garth and sneers Vicious Mockery at the inoffensive slime. It quavers and wilts as though its feeling are hurt.
Yep, hard to believe, the slime has feelings
At this point Garth notices that a crusting of rust has formed on his warhammer head. The slime rolls up around Garth and Grandor’s position, and snail-eye-like pseudopods hammer at them. Miraculously (and partly thanks to the Mockery) they both roll clear!
Thorin whizzes his warhammer about by its thong: calls on Silverbeard: casts Guiding Bolt at the slime menacing his friends, and the slime collapses under the Radiant Damage and falls into nothing!
But as they celebrate, the slime on the roof hoops down right onto Garth, hammering him with acid and bludgeoning damage!
He has a momentary swamping rush of emotions, urging him to kill and loot in the name of Abbathor!
INT SV, Garth makes it!
Hurey stays well up, providing good light. “Turn to me my comrade, I have the Healing of Lliiria!”
Round 3: Dak hurls a dagger, it slices deep into the newcomer slime! And the slime divides into two!
“That’s never good!”
Garth has a tough decision to make. He obeys the tenets of his soldier training and hammers the nearest slime! It virtually disintegrates! The small fragments left wobble about and part-reintegrate, leaving a smaller but still active blob.
“I’ve taken dumps bigger than you! Let’s go!”
Grandor unleashes a string of insults (pudding related) at the small slime. It shrinks again. The tiny remnant re-merges with the remaining slime.
Thorin uses Bonus Action Healing Word to restore Garth’s confidence and once more hurls Guiding Bolt!
A tiny remnant is left and it reaches out to touch Garth! And this time his mind is swamped, he is Stunned and falls prone.
Hurey rages! He races forward, grabs Garth, throws Sanctuary on Garth and uses his insignificant strength to drag the burly fighter back!
I get Garth’s player to make this roll and it’s a 19!
Round 4: Dak hurls a second dagger, it slices home and the slime falls apart. Seemingly for good. Dak and Grandor scan around and are fairly certain there are no more suspicious puddles. Dak shifts to Garth’s side and checks the acid-burnt body.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to poke your fingers down there…”
Garth Death Roll 1: OK!
Thorin glances back over his shoulder: he’s stayed at the inner door all this time and the rear is clear of threats. He moves to Garth’s side, casts Spare the Dying, and begins first aid on the burns.
Grandor and Thorin both notice that Garth is muttering something:
“Praise Abbathor! Sacrifice to Abbathor!”
Hurey stands ready to heal…
“Do you think we should restrain him first?” Dak asks, but Grandor says confidently:
“We have two dwarves with warhammers, I think we can restrain him OK.”
Accordingly Hurey pushes Healing mercies into Garth and he revives.
Round 5: Dak retrieves his second dagger but the first is so badly corroded he leaves it. He notices that Garth’s warhammer is corroding and, wiping it off, returns it to its owner.
Garth snatches the warhammer, grabs Hurey in a one-handed wristlock, and wrestles him towards the altar!
Desperate, Hurey struggles mightily and Garth only manages to wrestle him ten feet, shouting “Praise Abbathor!” the whiles.
Grandor rushes at the pair to try to block Garth and wrestle him down, but bounces off a brawny shoulder.
“Haaallllpppp! He’s taking me to a place I don’t want to be!” Hurey yells.
Thorin follows, swings his warhammer, but too concerned not to kill Garth, misses completely.
Hurey decides that aggression is the way to go, and there’s a huge flash of Lliiria’s radiant light! Garth falls again. And this time Abbathor’s influence is burnt away.
“Praise Lliiria! …I suppose someone ought to heal him.”
The party is feeling a little light on resources, but this is what they agreed to take on. The question of how long to rest comes up. Grandor (using his Criminal: Smuggler background) ties Garth up once he is stable, and they sit down for a
Short Rest: Garth gets a max HD roll!
Thorin stands ready to hammer Garth again as he comes to:
“Hello? Why’s everybody looking at me? What happened?”
To Garth this is like a bad dream, but he assures them he doesn’t want to sacrifice Hurey anymore. Grandor grumbles a mite but releases his bound comrade.
Grandor and Dak search the altar but it has no secret to reveal. The party spreads out, with Hurey holding a torch and placing a Light spell at strategic locations.
Loot: two silver coins stamped with the Abbathor sword symbol, found under dust and rubble.
Eighty minutes later the dwarves have marked four secret doors, at 12, 1, 5 and 6 o’clock respectively. The condition of the floor means stone-prying tools will be needed to open them. They head out to borrow some from their patrons.
The two prospectors peer into the temple eagerly. Maybe they could go halvsies if the party continues to explore?
“I think 60:40 is fair,” Grandor proposes.
“Well that sounds fair, what say you Dazza?”
“Yer, I woulda settled lower so 60:40 is fine!”
“We don’t mind 50:50 if you go first through each doorway.”
“No that’s all good, you carry on…”
Dak and Garth use tools – some borrowed from Dazza and Norb – to pry the 12 o’clock door open. Dak sees a T-junction, the left branch rubble-blovked, the right branch heading abut 20′ along to a stone door. The floor is still rubble-strewn and moss and lichen crust patches of the walls and roof. There’s nothing to be heard – not surprisingly.
Dak forces the door open, revealing a plain, somewhat oblong room with bed bases along the opposite wall. Grandor makes a beeline for the right end of the room, which might link to the 1 o’clock position on the temple. After some 20 minutes’ search they confirm that there is just the one secret door. It leads to a smaller, roughly triangular chamber, with a closet-shape on one wall and a glint of bone among the rubble.
This disappointing fragment has no treasure, and nor does the vacant closet, nor a moss-clogged hand-basin.
The next doorway leads to a 4-way junction. The door opposite leads to a chamber choked with rubble, and a more-or-less intact skeleton under one of the lager pieces. Heaving the rubble clear, the party finds it first real loot. The skeleton bears a jeweled holy symbol of Abbathor.
Although the passage away from the temple may lead to a valuable chamber, that’s going to take hours of digging and lifting. They open the panel toward the temple.
As Dak peers in he sees a wet oily-looking puddle beginning to move…
OK, time for a little planning.
After some ten minutes heading back out to the dig site and planning, Dak is ready to fling a skin of oil, and Garth is ready to toss a lit torch.
Round 1: They so do! But the slime has used a Ready Action to immediately roll out, and smashes past Garth’s defenses. He is once again stressed at the intense acid and mashing.
Round 2: Dak Disengages and pulls way back.
“I think we need to fall back,” Garth says, retiring back and using Second Wind. It’s a disappointing recharge. Grandor yells “Thou vile pudding!” and as the slime quivers sensitively, uses his Bonus Action to call, “Fight On Garth!” giving Garth Bardic Inspiration! Finally Thorin, who is partly enveloped, has a chance to act: and raising his warhammer calls on “Clangeddinnnnn!” to provide Sacred Flame, but the slime slithers up the wall, merely forcing it away from him. He retires to the doorway opposite Garth. With Dak away opposite at the rubble, and Grandor back in front of him, they have a chance to mass-attack it.
Round 3: Everyone Readies. As the slime slithers to the kill-zone they attack, but Grandor merely strikes sparks off the nearby wall. Thorin’s Sacred Flame takes its toll! Dak hurls his slightly damaged dagger, and the slime separates into two smaller slimes. The pseudopods lash out but ar easily batted away, missing Garth and Grandor!
Round 4: Dak draws his shortsword, steps past Grandor and bisects the nearest little slime. It stays bisected, splitting in two.
“Friend Dakeyras, I fear you may not be helping,” Hurey points out diplomatically.
Garth raises his near-useless warhammer, smashing the nearest slime but, disappointingly, not shattering it into pieces that can’t recombine. Grandor lays on again with longsword, and the just-bashed slime splits in two.
Thorin uses Sacred Flame again. The slime rolls eagerly into the flame, visibly weakening!
The four slimes attack, and while Garth shields himself from two attacks, and Grandor is missed completely, Thorin falls!
Round 5: Dak makes a DEX: Acrobatics check, dances across to help Garth against two, stabs the smallest: it disperses into useless bloblets! His shortsword is now corroded. Garth’s warhammer is rusting to pieces but he smashes down and weakens the other small slime! Opposite him, Thorin’s warhammer lies beside him. Garth leaps (STR: Athletics) onto Thorin. Thorin auto-fails a Death roll. Grandor stares the one directly in front of him down: “I’ve smelt pus worse than you!” which weakens that one. Hurey advances to fill Garth place and slams his Quarterstaff down, using the Shillelagh effect. It’s slightly disappointing, but on the other hand the staff doesn’t corrode.
The three slimes hammer pseudopods back and this time, even with disadvantage, Dak and Hurey fall! Grandor is about to be smashed – Garth uses his Protection to blunt the attack – Grandor falls!
The DM rolls a pair of nat 20s on that one!
Round 6: Dak misses his first Death roll. Garth sweeps up Thorin’s hammer and – true to his bonds – keeps attacking. The smallest slime collapses! Garth straddles Thorin so that he is at least defended, and adds Inspiration to his Bardic Inspiration.
Garth’s personality features Stubborn/Dedicated, so this fits really well
Grandor misses his first Death roll. Thorin makes his second Death roll. Hurey misses his first Death roll.
The two remaining slimes attack. Garth shields up as best he can, and the pseudopod is easily batted away. Thorin is shielded by Garth, so the last attack slams into Hurey: he auto-fails his next Death roll.
Round 7: Garth keeps a-swinging! A good hit, the next-smallest slime shatters and there is but one left! Grandor makes his next Death roll. Thorin makes a nat 20! He blinks awake! A pair of extremely sturdy Dwarf legs are straddling him. Hurey makes his third Death roll. The only remaining slime smashes at said legs, and Garth falls! “It’s up to you now brother!” he yells, handing the hammer off: Thorin grabs his hammer, two-hands his hammer, and smashes a good blow! He calls on Clangeddin again and as a Bonus Action takes a second blow! It collapses!
“Clanngeddinnn Silverbearrddd!!” Thorin yells triumphantly as his warhammer crumbles.
And as we figure out who most needs Spare the Dying the session ends.