Wednesday, January 7, 2015

K40 - A gathering of friends

This session continues the adventures of the Viceroy of Khazad-dum and his entourage as they reclaim the old mountainhome from orcs, puddings, krakens and an irresistibly charming dwarf bride (Campaign home).

Don't shoot the messenger, maybe

The last that Thordar saw of Khazek was his brown locks flapping in the air as he fell to his death in the endless chasm of Moria. Thordar was himself a sight for sore eyes: pale from the loss of blood, a permanently openned wound oozing from his cheek now revealed since his prosthetic beard got kicked into oblivion. He hung on a chain over untold depths until he managed to swing himself to the cliff's wall. The climb was hard, but he made it to the arch of Hatchet Dwelling where the rangers were waiting. They propted him up, he pushed back and demanded to be taken to the Viceroy.
The Hall fell silent upon his arrival. Thordar looked like death. The absence of Khazek was noted immediately. Thordar explained in an unusually sad tone how his friend had fell into the shadows. People were incredulous, Gror simply didn't buy the story and assumed that Thordar had conveniently eliminated a romantic rival.
The Viceroy was upset at the loss of his chief ranger. He grilled Thordar and got a full story out of him. He summoned the two surviving ranger leader and promoted Donarik. Donarik may have been brazen and insubordinate, but had the respect of the rangers while Gimvar was more a good second in command. They discussed options and concluded that something had to be done to recover the lotus eaters stuck in Lothlorien. Bain dismissed the rangers, and sternly ordered Thordar to get out of his sight.
Thordar found a cot in the infirmary and passed out.




New world order

Khazek's new token... boo!
When Khazek woke up, he was hovering over the impaled body of his former self. The valars had rejected his death and pushed him back into the world. His body was immaterial to the naked eye, he felt no weight but the gravitational pull of his elven sword. In the lack of good options, he followed the pull of the sword until his body touched a bridge over the chasm.
Touching the walls felt like grating to his arms, but he could go through things in the world of the living in which he was but a mere oozy manifestation. He figured out that following the underground Westward road was a decent option. He left, half flying, half walking, as the tip of the elven sword dragged on the cobble stones.

Bain's power nap

Bain found a quiet spot and fell asleep, his amulet on hand. Once in the dream world, he left Khazad-dum and headed for Lothlorien. There, he met Queen Ngaii. They chatted in quiet, good company. Ngaii explained to him that the death of Khazek was an upset to the order of things, that his destiny had to be fullfilled one way or another. She told him to keep looking for him. Cryptically, she agreed to offer to the rangers to leave Lothlorien to help in finding Khazek. Bain waited for Ngaii to come back,and dosed off on the bank of the Sirrannon.
Awake, Bain got himself a meal and an ale. He ate quietly. Gror and Lathmelen had departed a few hours ago to seek Khazek's body on the 4th deep. Once that he was done, he return to his cot and hoped to find Khazek using once more the amulet of Irmo.

Breakdown of civil society

The elements of the Silver attack that Gror ordered to follow him into the 4th deep weren't on top of their game that day. It could have been the remnant of an epidemics of stomach flu, tiredness, and most certainly a good dose of the Balrog's curse that lead them to the brink of mutiny. Gror though that he could keep things under control beyond the clearing of a collapsed tunnel, but it was to no avail.

Don Quixote of the torchlight

As the situation devolved into ridicule, Lathmelen dismissed the dwarves and headed West on her own. As the voices of screaming axedwarves faded, she reached a bridge over the chasm. She stepped on something soft, which she figured out was Thordar's beard. "I'm in the right corner of Khazad-dum", she thought, as she proceeded westward. She could hear a faint noise ahead.
The faint noise came from the ghostly shape of a dwarf. She recognized Khazek, understood the situation. She called for him, but to no avail as wraits cannot hear nor see elves. Khazek, however, got irritated by the torch and assaulted the implement. Lathmelen tried to outrun the wraith, but eventually lost grip as Khazek was striking at the torch with a very sharp elven blade. Khazek inadvertantly drained some of her lifeforce as she fell to the ground, in pure darkness. In the distance, the quarelling dwarves could be heard. She called for help.
Gror heard the calls and rounded up the nearest 5 axedwarves to run to the recue.

Counter culture

Thordar slipped out of the HQ and down to the 4th deep "to stay out of the Viceroy's sigh". He was most surprised to be met with a stampede of whimpering grown dwarves running back to safety. "Run for your life! THEY are kidnapping and eating us up all one by one!", screamed one of them. The Viceroy's butler shrugged and quickened his pace forward. "Cowards!", he yelped.

Too much, too soon for Gror

Gror lead the run to Lathmelen. He found the elf on all four, dodging a thrashing wraith hovering over her. When Gror recognized Khazek, it hit him like a cave-in: he saw through Khazek's eyes both his dead friend and his own mortality. The floor slipped sideways and he collapsed on the ground.
Khazek, dove to Gror to help him to recover from the shock. Unfortunately, his hand sank into Gror's chest and froze his heart over. Gror turned bloodless white. There was shouting, thrashing of living dwarves driving Khazek nearly insane.
This, was before it got truly loopy and Bain's voice started to boom in his head.

Uncle Bain's calling

Bain's sould wandered the old mines, drawn by fate to the depth of the chasm where he found Khazek drainning life out of Bain's own son, Gror. "Hey, back down friend, you are killing Gror here!", he shouted. Khazek lifted from the ground and looked up. The Viceroy and the ranger conversed as Bain tried to calm the wraith down. Meanwhile, the others pulled Gror away from harm.

Does this means that I get the bride?

When finally Thordar arrived on the scene, there was shouts from the axedwarves that Gror had died. The torches were strewn on the ground and dying slowly. Thordar looked up to see the wraith of his friend converse silently with the ceiling of the tunnel.
Thordar drew the wraith's attention. So, Khazek had indeed died but yet lived. Thordar, briefly thought of the implications for the bride up there. Khazek tried to speak, but the noise from the land of the dead came across as a mere raspy murmur. Thordar, unfazed by the sight, used gesture to invite Khazek to return to the surface where things were less unsettling. The curse of the Balrog was weighing heavily at the moment, and all were feeling like they were losing their minds.

Goblins on the war path

The rumble on a large body of goblins grew in volume from a trickle to a scream. A lot of Snagaii orcs (goblins) were descending down the chasm that was now beyond the light of torches. The dwarves reached for their weapons, Bain, sleeping up there on the first level, involuntarily commited ritual facepalm.

3 comments:

  1. Such an amazing session! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. It was indeed great fun. It occurred to me after the fact that we kind of stared at a blank screen for the bulk of the session.

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