Tuesday, August 9, 2016

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #50: The Dragon's Head of Stronghome

9th of DecDec, 1135  Stronghome
Barthey's Ambassador, The Burning Trogs, arrived in the Halfling land of Stronghome. They are escorted to the main main government building to meet with the top Sheriff.  It was much less formal, which made Zorin much more congenial during negotiations. Upon learning about the deal they made for Danaan's allegiance, the Sherriff wants them to do something for Stronghome before they agree to terms.  This method seemed much more effective to the Trogs than negotiating and bribing officials, so they agreed.

In the western forest was a great green dragon who had desecrated the burial mound of King Alivar   If Evar's head was good enough for Danaan, the might warriors of Stronghome deserved the head of  a dragon.  Fair is fair...

The tomb was near the border with Hermetus and the lingering magics made this part of the forest impassable by foot.    They were to be dropped in by airship to perform the task.  If the dragon was slain, the Trogs were offered 25% of the treasure inside the vaults, subject to approval by the government  for certain items.

Finding local sages, two of the items rumored to be located in the tomb were  'highly magical plate mail' and Fromm Tyre #4.

10th of DecDec, 1135  Tomb of King Alivar, Stronghome
The Sheriff personally flies the Trogs via Mercadian Airship and everyone rappels down outside the tomb.

In short order, they found the entrance. Inside, the walls were decorated with very faded murals. They found a room with a stone sarcophagus.  Bravely (though  foolishly)  they decide to open it nothing is inside, and nothing seemed to happen, save Gwen and Tyweulen growing weaker and clumsier.

Meandering through some more rooms and finding a secret door, they entered a huge room with  big iron double doors. and stone lion statues flanking them.  The lions become animated and attacked, but the Trogs defeated them.

They find the dragon sleeping on a huge pile of gold. Carlino and Mutumbo climbed to a high spot in the room and threw Janus at the beast (while she was casting a Kill spell).  The spell failed and the dragon woke up.

Zorin:  Now we fight.

It breathed a cloud of noxious gas, taking out Tyweulyn and severely harming everyone else. 

As they wailed away on it, it started making physical attacks, swinging a claw the size of Stronghome at Zorin....

The others are simply knocked aside by the force of the dragon.    Janus managed to distract  the dragon, while Mutumbo climbed a pile of gold to jump off and plunge his magic spear into the beast, slaying it.

Before dusk, the treasure was on the tomb's roof, waiting for the airship to return.  With no dragon to alert, the Sheriff would be landing on the roof.

The Sheriff immediately declared that Fromm Tyre would stay there.

With a little more light to work with, the Trogs decided to look around a little more, finding an altar with gold and silver chalices.

As Zorin approached a weird phantom emerged and attacked everyone.  .

More spirits appear and they drain the party of their power. Gwen, Mutumbo, Zorin, and Carlino are all affected before the ghosts are finally slain.  Everyone immediately ran back to the airship and fell asleep on the journey back to Stronghome.

11th of DecDec, 1135 Stronghome
Upon arrival in the capital, a treaty is written, the 25% given to the Trogs, and troops begin mustering for the ocean voyage to Barthey.

20th of DecDec, 1135, Celsior
Returning to Celsior, they conducted some magical research on the treasures bequeathed by the Sheriffs of Stronghome.  One of the items Janus claimed dibs on, was in fact a powerful artifact known as the Death Wand of Ka'neer.  Janus promised to be gentle with it.

Zorin: After some discussion, we decide to investigate what is making Marakeikan troops disappear in Vlachia....

Mutumbo was a reluctant hero from the beginning of session one of the Journey of Mutumbo.  Somehow, he's managed to stay alive, get married, and start a family.  He even got through a depressing mid-life crisis, got back into adventuring shape, and returned one last time to land the killing blow on a freakin' dragon.  Well done, sir.  Well done.

Fighting a full-sized dragon in Hackmaster is an epic feat for just about any party, and the rewards comparable.    I re-rolled the treasure suggested from X10 and used the Hacklopedia suggestions, and ended up rolling up a major frickin' artifact.   Thank god we only had one more session...

Going back for more treasure was perhaps the Trogs' greatest flaw in this entire storyarc.  Even with half-xp-earning Gnome Titans, the dragons its (25%) haul guaranteed everyone was going to level.   Which they did, right after getting hit with level draining undead.    I'm sure if the Trogs ever get their revenge on the slavers, the next action Zorin will do is level the Tomb of Alivar, simply out of spite, taking Fromm Tyre #4 with psychotic glee. 

Next:  Episode #51:  Robinloft

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