Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Lost Galmagia Write Up Session 1.4

Aethra Chatoyant [Magic-User 1 – apprentice of a famous master / elf-sister]; Ayleton the Cat [Familiar 1 – animal familiar / ship cat of unknown port]; Oland [Rogue 1 – Spy / personal keyword not yet defined]; Dungar [Dwarf 1 – Dwarf-raised / Treasure Hunter]; Brömm [Dwarf 1 – Dwarf-raised / Bonded Clockwork Guilds-dwarf]; Azric [Rogue 1 – Assassin / leatherworker]; Richard Stockworth [Hairfoot Halfling 1 – Satyr / Tavernkeeper & Cook]

The crew takes a 10-minute rest, eating rations and using the convenient garderobe, as Azric flips through the journal. The owner, Jon Thompskin, is a customs house clerk working on his ‘flourish hand” every lunch break. 20 pages in we learn that he achieved his goal of becoming chief steward of the Customs House, and he marries his beloved Victoria. He now escorts people to the private vaults (to the first-class waiting room via a lift the eastern storage area). He lays out the roughs of roughs of how one accesses the vaults, but the group opts to keep moving and explore more later.

It's been impossible to track the beetles but their helpful light is shining in the next room, into which flows the stream on the dirt floor. There’s a low archway in the east wall… another drainage grate? There are things sticking out of the floor that they can’t clearly see as the beetles’ lights point up not down. Brömm, Aethra and Dungar approach and find parts of halfling-sized skeletons each with silver circlets, torques, bracelets and anklets. Concerned with Disquiet Dead they start breaking the skulls and scattering the bones, only to find themselves sinking into the wet mud. Brömm, the furthest in, glances madly, spotting another 3’ of door concealed in the mud to their west and surges towards it.

This is when the adventurers learn the fire beetles attack hindered targets. The four in the room deploy mandibles on the slowed adventurers; while Aethra can ward off one with her athame she gets a nasty bite on her other arm. The dwarves are for the moment safe due to their heavy armor, but that plus their short stature may doom them in the mud. Oland beats surprise to leap across the scriveners’ room to spike the door to the ballroom shut, blocking 4 beetles.

The beetles still have the initiative, despite Oland and Azric’s attempts to seize it with risky attacks – if the beetles were interested in anyone outside the mud the rogues would be in trouble – but the beetles only manage a strike on Brömm due to Aethra’s luck and Dungar’s heavy armor. The hearty dwarf ignores the small cut and gives back better, killing one with an axe blow as he reaches the door. Everyone save Aethra is surprised when her familiar leaps from her hood, transforming mid-flight to a cheetah that batters away one of the bugs menacing its master.  Dungar considers making a run for the drainage ditch but pulls his hemp rope free and lobs it loosely to Richard. Aethra grabs the slack of the rope and is pulled free by the doughty satyr’s strength. The rogues’ attacks are frustrated by the beetles’ carapaces.

The adventurers win initiative, and Brömm shatters the concealed door’s latch, shlorking out to a corridor with mud, half of the glowing beetle, and some skeletal remains. Richard yanks Dungar free, and, seeing the bugs still attracted to Aethra’s blood, the dwarf staggers to his feet and hurls the magic-user onto one of the tables to get her clear. Aethra desperately binds her wound to hopefully calm the beetles. Azric hurls her grappling hook and rope across the mud room to latch into Brömm’s open doorway to give them a path. Olands dagger and Ayleton’s claws find no purchase.

This is when the beetles all sphincter their light-glands shut, and the room goes dark. The only light remaining is in the mud room from Brömm’s bisected beetle, and in those feeble shadows the adventurers see the beetles go mad, feel the bugs skittering over them, hear the chittering from the beetles trying to get in from the ballroom, and the blossoming of blood and pain as bite after bite lands as the adventurers are unable to recover the initiative and the horror continues.

“Marines, we are lea-ving!” Aethra yells. Dungar, severely bloodied despite his armor, snags the rope from Richard and vows to be the last to leave. Fearing their light might die Oland yanks open one of the paperwork filled drawers and lights it with flint & steel, throwing light as others scramble across the surface of the mud with the rope for support, as Brömm keeps watch to make sure they’re not ambushed from a different direction. Within seconds the scriveners’ room contains just Oland and Dungar, and the they lose the initiative. They should die here save that Oland seizes it back with a risky attack, wounding one of the beetles as he breaks for the door and across the mud. Dungar finishes the bug, finally getting a clean strike that impales the bug on his axe. He drags it behind him as he runs for the door. He wouldn’t have made the distance before the mud took him save for Brömm yanking the rope and pulling his dwarvish ally to safety. Richard and the now-cheetah Ayleton shove the concealed door closed and Oland spikes it shut. End of session 1.

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