Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Food for the Worm God

Our sixth session was a quick one where we finished up People of the Pit. We'd lost half the party last time in a large underground battle. A number of "secondary" characters had been left at the top of the pit and found themselves thrust into action.

The Company;


  • Thorkell the Warrior
  • Four angry villagers
  • Brand the dirty sneaky Thief - prisoner of the Worm Cult
  • Alistair the Cautious Wizard
  • Four angry villagers
  • Ryan the no nonsense Cleric of Aristemis - prisoner of the Worm Cult
John (absent, so PC's played by Jeremy, who had a small army at his command)
  • Bezal the halfling
  • Chez the "How do we start fighting here?" Warrior - prisoner of the Worm Cult
  • Chester the thief 
  • Norris the weathered Cleric
  • Jenson the Warrior - left at the top of the pit

The Dead, but not forgotten (well, except for Draug)

  • Grom "I'm a Wizard!!"
  • Daniloth the "my spells kill me" Elf
  • Draug the Warrior that no one really knew. 

When Norris stumbled to the top of the pit and cried out that something terrible had happened to the rest of the party below, the PC's leapt to immediate action discussing the merits of having a pig on adventures. This was followed by a heated debate concerning the ownership of said pig, and who,
Also good for hauling your stuff
exactly, had eaten it. When the dust settled there was a grudging acknowledgment that maybe they should go after the others since a sizeable amount of the group's wealth was tied up in the armour and weapons carried by their companions.

They trekked down into the darkness, finding their way by following the path of corpses and debris. Finally they came upon the dreadful scene of the last battle, with the many cultist corpses and the bodies of their comrades, Grom, Daniloth and Draug. There was little time for grief however as the ominous deep roarings and frequent earth tremors prompted the gang to keep going.

Wearily climbing down a massive worm tentacle with a rope ladder affixed, the band eventually found itself exiting into a deep and massive cavern. The far end was hazy with unsettled dust and there where distant robed figures near a ledge chanting and wailing, with a thundering howl answering them back. Spread out before them was looked like an ancient ruined town of stone buildings, some intact and some just crumbling walls. Eerily there were stone faces on these walls, with low primitive brows, that seemed to stare. Nearer to the band was a passage off to one side, and they decided to investigate before taking on whatever was happening at the ledge. They passed strange formations of alien rock, that befuddled even the dwavern blacksmith villager that had accompanied them. They knocked some chunks off in case it proved valuable.

The small passage lead to a little cave. There was a sandy floor. On the other side were a few skeletons and some very shiny weapons. The party stopped and everyone nodded knowingly, chuckling at the obviousness of the trap. Bezal the halfling deftly lept to the rocky wall and began to climb around keeping well away from the sand but lost his footing halfway along. Falling into the sand he struggled to get back to his companions, barely making it and suffering some suffocation damage as the sand surged about him trying to pull him under. Jenson tried next, making it to the other side and flinging the weapons, a couple of long swords and a warhammer back. Unfortunately he too slipped on the way back and was sucked under the sand. The others realizing they might just lose him, struggled to make a chain to reach him, a couple of others took suffocation damage as the sand, with an unnerving will of its own, pulled and tugged. Jenson escaped, but barely.

Thorkell hefted the hammer and was surprised when it whispered to him. "Hurun" it said.

Looking back out at the main cavern, Alistar the mage sent his cat familiar out to scout some of the low stone buildings. Looking through the cat's eyes, Alistair saw that some of the edifices were filled with and ancient machinery, similar in style to the transportation eggs. He left this stuff alone, and continued sniffing about finding another stone hut with a pile of equipment and weapons dumped on the floor in haste. A few huts further on the familiar smelled the unmistakable odor of human fear. Peeking in he saw a number of prisoners bound together. Just then there came a lumbering figure, a massive apish man, with a pronounced brow, but seemingly partially made of rock and stone. The face looked identical to the faces that stared from the stone walls of the village. The stone ape thing grabbed one of the prisoners and started moving toward the cliff edge where a number of other stone things and robed cultists were entranced with their ritual.

I will be your eyes human...
Seeing and hearing through the familiar, Alistair felt that he understood the ritual to be one of waking. These cultists were obviously waking something old and terrible, but the spell seemed rushed, as if they had been forced into it before they were ready. And with anything magical, rushed meant especially unstable. Now was the time to interrupt.

The band quickly spread out among the ruined buildings, sneaking as best they could. The prisoner was being passed up a line of stone apes towards a blue robed cultist standing on a prominence. Over the edge of the cliff ahead where hundreds of the worm tentacles waving to the undulations and chants of the cultists. Some of these tentacles were truly immense,  as thick as houses, and the air vibrated with a deep underground roaring.

Bows were aimed and swords readied.  Jenson took the first shot at stone ape about to take the prisoner but missed. Incredibly the creature didn't notice the arrow fly over it's head, and Jenson took another shot. This one landed and felled the thing, the prisoner dropping and running. The rest of the cultists were immediately alerted and turned to meet the threat. The main group rushed in while a few of the villagers focused on releasing the rest of the prisoners, including the near dead Chez, Brand and Ryan.

There was a lot of back and forth, as individuals broke and faced off against one another. The group was especially lucky and Jenson kept the pressure on the the Blue robed cultist by firing arrows at him. Unfortunately for the cultists, the tentacles under the Blue robe's control weren't very accurate, sweeping ineffectually at Jenson and others. One of the tentacles did manage to grab a villager and carried him high over the pit. In a last ditch effort, the villager (who also happened to be a jester) managed to slither out of the tentacle coils and back flip to the edge of the cliff, grasping the ankles of a red robed cultist clinging to the edge (the red robe had been chucked over the cliff by Thorkell moments earlier). He managed to scamper up the red robes back. The cultists were joined by more stone apes, as the weird faces in the rocky began to come alive and emerge.

Finally Jenson got a final bow shot through the skull of the Blue Robe and with a deafening and earth shattering roar, massive tentacles whipped into the fray and began plucking up cultists and stone apes alike and pulling them screaming into the depths. Alistair, sensitive to the ways of magic, realized that the waking ritual had now been broken and a price was being paid. Finally the fallen Blue Robe was likewise snatched away and titanic tentacles rose up tearing at the sides of the great chasm, pulling away at cliff faces. For a few awe inspiring moments, as massive boulders started collapsing about them, the band glimpsed other complexes honeycombing the distant walls of the chasm, torn open, their secrets briefly exposed to the world before collapsing into the deep earth to bury the worm god anew.
Rar! Raar! Boy am I mad! 

The band ran into the shelter of the deeper cavern, meeting up with the released prisoners and waited out the collapse. After a long while the rumbling stopped and all evidence of the worm god lay buried, and the terrible monstrosity was presumably slumbering once more. It took many hours but the group managed to find a mostly stable route up the new side of the chasm and reach the now collapsed entrance to the pit.

Making their way back to the village of Lusates, the adventures noticed that what locals where were left seemed to be poking their heads out their doors, hopeful at the sudden quiet and end to the earth tremors that had been plaguing the area for weeks. The tavern master was glad to see them, and though didn't seem quite convinced when they claimed victory over the pit demon, he did give them half off their stay for the week whilst they recovered.

And so ended People of the Pit.

I have to say that while I did enjoy PotP, it felt a little too crawly. There were a few repetitive elements that seemed unnecessary. You could probably trim the dungeon by at least a third and add a more interesting and dynamic final battle. Sailors on the Starless Sea is a great example of this - a relatively short, but very interesting "dungeon" with a fantastic set piece at the end. And Doom of the Savage Kings had that excellent roleplay rich tension between the Jarl and the players. There were times in PotP that it felt a little bit too much like a drawn out slugfest.

We finished the night by doing some leveling - I believe Brand, Chez and Ryan are now level 2 - and treasure distribution. The players selected their main characters and set aside a few secondaries. We concluded with a short scene a few weeks later in the village when the Sonorous Fermentators of Milk and Barely, a mostly halfling trader caravan, arrived in Lustates.

I have many oddities to sell.
My hat is not one of them.
While looking to spend some of their loot, Brand happened to encounter an strange fellow by the name of Zerx who sold oddities. He had two items that he felt that Brand ought to buy. The first was a crude
map of some secret way in the temple district of the great city of Parusaw to the south. It had two names on it. One was "Karmus" the other was "Carnifax". Zerx was sure "Karmus" was a great treasure seeker and was unsure of the other. The other item was a pale gold coin, with some indecipherable markingings on one side and the image of a beautiful woman's face on the other. The strange thing about the the woman's is that it bore a remarkable familial similarity to Brand. Brand, always the one to try and gain treasure was equally eager to spend it and bought these two items with pretty much every coin he had. The map he tucked away, the coin though seemed to call to him. And he felt a cold wind blow through the door...


  1. brand has a good feeling about the map and the coin. If this leads to even greater wealth he thinks he should get a larger cut to cover his investment.

  2. That's what I like about Brand. Always the optimist.