[BoL] Raiders of the Pter Nuum, session 3: the tomb of Bal-Astur
Sorry for the belated update… The last session was spent underground, as the PCs continued their exploration of the tomb complex in hopes of recovering the legendary Axe of Bal-Astur. After defeating an honor guard of lacquered, armored skeleton warriors, the group discovered a secret tunnel leading west into darkness. They eschewed this passage in favor of searching the rest of the complex. They found two mortar-sealed doors at the end of the main passage, and a careful search turned up a third, secret door. Behind this door was a descending staircase that led to some sort of small shrine. On a low, wide dais at the south end was a large statue of the Piati god of war and justice. Examining the dais and statue, the party discovered there was another room of some sort behind the wall, but they could not find a way in. In front of the dais was an altar scribed in the ancient Piati language. According to Rhys’s translation, the writings said something to this effect: “The axe of Bal-Astur rests until Piati evil threatens again. When evil’s evidence is presented, the axe will be revealed.” The party puzzled over this for some time. What sort of evidence must be presented? After several fruitless efforts, they decided that they must have to bring one of the snake-men to the shrine and present it, dead or alive, on the altar.
After climbing the stair again, the party decided to examine the sealed rooms. Both released wights that immediately attacked the group, but fortunately the adventurers were able to overcome the monsters with relative ease. Among the treasure found in the wights’ sarcophagi was a magical copper bracelet that seemed to improve Khelios’s balance when he put it on his arm. They also found a scroll tube containing a map, annotated to state that the Axe had been secreted out of the city to another hidden location. Despite this information, the party decided to pursue their original plan — to capture or kill a snake-man and present his body to the statue in the tomb shrine.
Before leaving the tomb, they decided to explore the secret westbound tunnel. After neutralizing a trap (set to spring on anyone traveling east through the tunnel towards the tomb), they made their way west and then northwest for several hundred yards before the tunnel dead-ended at a door. Looking through the spy-panel, they saw a storeroom lit by a flickering torch, which was soon taken out by a misshapen, hairy humanoid figure…
The session went pretty well despite its brevity — actually it ended at just the right time, as my map for the next dungeon area wasn’t keyed yet! I based the tomb area on Dyson Logos’ Burial Mound of Esur the Red, albeit with a good bit of tweaking. (Thanks Dyson, hope all is well!)
Still working out the monster conversions. Sometimes I feel like the monsters aren’t enough of a challenge to the party, but I don’t know how much of that is monster stats versus luck of the dice. In the wight encounters for instance, the party rolled well and the wights rolled poorly. Only Swervy was hit by their draining ability. Since BoL doesn’t use levels, I had the wights drain a point of a random attribute; I haven’t decided yet the duration of the drain, but since Swervy’s player wasn’t present I feel like I shouldn’t make it permanent.
Until next time!