Battleshed Diaries

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Tezert's dungeon – part one


After escaping a cultist infested cavern, the two bands of adventures scour the icy ruins of Felstad. They eventually pick up the trail once more, leading them to an ancient dungeon and the probable source of the recent powerful magical disturbances and supernatural phenomena...

Frostgrave mini-campaign, The Diabolist's Scheme, scenario 4 (part one)

Magi Bayaz and Enchanter Cornelius have hurriedly retreated with their soldiers from the stygian cavern. Whilst Bayaz’s merry band are feeling rather confident with their haul, the wizard Cornelius is less than happy. His soldiers fought a tough battle in the caverns against manic cultists lurking in ambush. Although they’d recovered the golden key to the trap door, which some of the cultists had used to withdraw along a hidden passage, they were forced to fall back before they could follow the cultists to their lair. 

The next day both groups set out again to scour the ruins and try to pick up the cultist’s trail. Magi Bayaz’ company are feeling particularly delicate after a heavy night in the Yellow Shovel Inn where, as expected, Nicomo Cosca drunkenly regaled its patrons late into the small hours of his heroic exploits fending off hordes of mad cultists. It was a very long night. So much so that as Bayaz’s company leave the tavern early the next morning, Nicomo is still snoring loudly somewhere inside. 

As dusk approached and the chill increased, Enchanter Cornelius eventually stumbles upon an ancient dungeon. A shimmering portal blocks its entrance. After some debate, apprentice Angus hesitantly steps through. He's instantly teleported somewhere deep inside the dungeon. Its well lit, a maze of stone corridors lined with lamps and braziers. Cornelius and the rest of his soldiers soon follow. Outside, Magi Bayaz and his retinue have followed Cornelius’ trail and have secretly watched as the Enchanter and his men disappear through the magic barrier. They decide to follow.

The set-up

A dungeon environment with at least six rooms of differing sizes and multiple, maze-like connecting corridors. Two small 'teleport' rooms. The dungeon is well lit with good visibility with no restrictions. Treasures can be placed as normal, however given we would be rolling on a monster table for each room we decided our adventurers would have enough to deal with! As neither party managed to follow the cultists through the trap door found in the cavern, we rolled for deployment. Dungeon tiles borrowed from Sam Pate's  copy of the Descent board game.


How it went

There's no sign of the Enchanter when Bayaz’s company teleport inside the dungeon. The corridors are warm and cramped, forcing his crew to walk two abreast. After a few difficult attempts, Magi Bayaz and his apprentice Lancrix the Tall eventually manage to bolster their defences with Elemental shields and set out to explore. Occasionally they come across unlocked doors that lead to other passages. Some of these reveal more solid looking, locked doors. The muscular infantryman Caul Shivers decides he’ll make short work of one using his two-handed axe. It proves much more resistant than expected, his powerful blows hardly splintering the dense woodwork. It takes the combined effort from three of his comrades before the door is eventually smashed from its frame. It reveals a large room. And in it a Frost Wraith shrieks malevolently.

Magi Bayaz and Lancrix the Tall battling the Frost Wraith (replete with beer top Elemetal Shield markers)
Magi Bayz, accompanied by archer Dogman are investigating another nearby room. The archer struggles with the locked door. His curses and kicks doing little to resolve the situation. Impatient, Bayaz breaks a seal on one of the scrolls found in the cavern the previous day. He holds it at arms length whilst squinting at the arcane script inscribed upon it, carefully reading the words aloud. He finishes with a flourish of his free hand. There is a silent pause followed by a loud pop. The scroll disintegrates in a puff of smoke and emerald flame. Bayaz completely disappears.  
  
Further in the dungeon, Cornelius and his crew are still winding their way through long, twisting corridors. The place is a maze. The knight and Infantryman Lennox are leading, their weapons and armour boosted by enchants from the wizard and his apprentice. They eventually discover a locked room at the end of a corridor. They force the door open. And immediately regret it. A powerful bellow and a rush of moist, foetid air precedes the bulky figure of large and a very angry Zombie Troll.
Enchanter Cornelius' vanguard discover a very angry Zombie Troll
Ranger Ferro - additionally armed with an explosive cocktail potion -and Logen from Magi Bayaz’s crew have splintered off to do their own exploring. They too find a solid door and with a flurry of heavy kicks and slams Logen soon has it open. Only to reveal three armoured skeletons, menacingly pointing their rusty old spears and swords. Elsewhere, Lancrix the Tall is facing the Frost Wraith. He glances over his shoulder to give orders to the soldiers but they aren’t there. The buggers have legged it!

Logen Ninefingers and Ferro Maljinn calling on some Armoured Skeleton warriors
Magi Bayaz is in the room. He's walked through the solid wooden door and stands staring at the four Death Cultists milling about the chamber. They're unaware of his presence. Bayaz has used a Plane Walk scroll from the Summoner school. He exists in a different plane, neither in this world or another. Satisfied there is nothing more of interest in the room, Bayaz casually strolls back through a wall and returns to the passage where the Dogman is looking about totally confused. Bayaz concentrates and breaks the spell. There's another loud pop as Bayaz materializes in front of the startled archer, advising him with a grin and a wink to avoid the room.
Magi Bayaz uses a scroll of Plane Walk
Following Ferro and Logen’s lead, Red Hat and Curnden Craw slink off down another long corridor. It’s minutes before the archer, Dogman, re-joins them with news that Cornelius' men are also in the dungeon. The Dogman explains that he’d been involved with a rather awkward duel with Cornelius archer, who was shooting arrows down a corridor from behind the cover of a door; two of Cornelius thugs were helping him, one opening the door whilst the archer shoots an arrow in the Dogman’s direction, the other quickly slamming it shut before he can return fire!

The Dogman said this went on for minutes before he got bored and decided to join his two colleagues. Red Hat suggests the Dogman doubles back using another corridor to try and flank the unsuspecting archer and thugs hunkered down behind the door. So the trio split up, Red Hat and Curnden soon discovering another locked door whist the Dogman sneaks off down a side passage. The two men force the door leading to yet another room. And yet again it isn’t empty. Three Ghouls are waiting! 
Red Hat and Curden Craw preparing to kick some ghoulies
The dungeon maze is infested with undead manifestations and monsters. Magi Bayaz comes to the rescue of his young apprentice, Lancrix the Tall, both becoming engaged in a dangerous battle with the fell Frost Wraith. The ethereal creature can drain the Life Force from humans and is immune to non-magic weapons! Which explains why the soldiers had fled. Bayaz and Lancrix are soon locked into a deadly duel with the Wraith, reliant upon their spells alone. 

Cornelius crew are faring no better. The Knight and Infantryman Lennox charge into the room containing the huge, thick skinned Zombie Troll. More thugs help swarm the raging monster, supported by enchants and Heal spells from the two wizards but the monster is a formidable enemy, knocking the soldiers away with powerful blows, its thick hide deflecting many of the soldier’s desperate attacks. 
Enchanter Cornelius' soldiers charge the Zombie Troll
At a junction of corridors, there is momentary flash of blinding white light as Nicomo Cosca teleports into the dungeon, having found his way to the entrance and discovering a hastily written note of instruction left by Lancrix. He staggers against the nearest wall, resting his head against the cool stone. He’s immensely hungover. Sounds of fighting and strange, unrecognisable sounds rouse him from his stupor. The sounds seem to be coming from every direction. Picking a corridor at random he unsheathes his sword and achingly moves off.
[Bottom, left] What's in the last room?
Having dispatched the armoured skeletons, Ferro and Logen soon find themselves involved in a skirmish with the remainder of Cornelius thugs, including the frustrated archer and his doormen. Black Dow joins the fray, both sides taking wounds in the ensuing melee. Ferro retreats behind a corner whilst Caul Shivers, Logen and Dow choose to duck back along another short corridor. They come to a dead end. A large, single door bars their way. The familiar thrum and tingle of magical energies emanate from behind its heavily carved door, runes and symbols etched into its blackened timbers. Strange, mournful sounds reverberate.

What's behind the last door in the dungeon?