Monday, January 3, 2022

[Play Report] Land's End II, Session 2 - Escaping the Tunnels

Unknown in-game date


Iron-In-Blood, Lizardfolk
Heka, Wildman
Floros, Human
Xenia, Planetouched
Pale-Heart, Lizardfolk
Duul, Wildman
Pallas, Human
Agàta, Human
Kazik, Human
Dimemnu, Chthonic Elf


The slaves continued their exploration of the complex beyond the Room of Stars.

From the central chamber with the fire-shooting statue, they ventured to the right into a small tomb. Seven grave niches held loose bones topped with primitive humanoid skulls - perhaps they were wildmen? Primitive metal armour, weapons & funerary masks were displayed prominently next to each collection of bones.

"Gross," said Xenia, touching some of the bones with one bluish foot. "Maybe these masks are valuable, though?"

As the group sifted through the grave goods, a sinister clattering arose. The mounds of bones sprang to life, rolling in unholy bundles towards the group! The slaves stood in the center of the room, laying about them with their stone picks and the butt-ends of spears. The abominations were destroyed, but not before one pile of bones got a lucky shot in - Xenia the planetouched lay dead, bleeding from a grievous neck wound.

A few weapons and a suit of armour were recovered. They were of antique design and slowly rusting away, but far better in battle than the slaves' crude stone mining picks.

Returning to the central room, they took the left exit. This led to a sort of throne room. A stone chair faced a wall made from grey, cracked glass. Tablets lining the walls depicted winged visitors from the skies granting magical gifts to ground-dwelling humanoids. These earthbound peoples used the gifts to wage war on an army of demons led by a goat-headed, bat-winged monstrosity. Finally the winged beings departed, promising to return at some future time. Were they supposed to be angels, gods or something else?

On a table at the back of the room lay the shattered remains of glass vials, clay jars & tablets. A few intact vials held strange fluids: one clear green & cold, the other soft milky blue. The slaves took these, wondering what they might do. Beside them, a clay tablet showed pictograms accompanied by unknown text: a wounded man drank from a bottle and got back up, a fighting-man drank from a bottle and struck his foe, and a man poured a bottle into a river and then walked over it.

"Hmm, three sets of instructions, but two potions" said Pallas"We'll have to try out which is which later."

On another table rested a small black metal box with a handle on top, adorned with shiny metallic protrusions & crystals on one side. Pallas noticed that a small panel on the bottom could be opened up. Inside was a mess of coloured threads & strange metallic pieces, their functions obscure to him. With a little bit of fiddling, he managed to install one of the threaded metal cylinders they found earlier [last session].

The box came to life! Coloured lights danced around the metallic knobs & dials on the front face. Buzzing, crackling noise filled the room. Frightened of this strange magic, Pallas managed to fiddle with the controls enough to turn down the volume. He could hear distant voices buried in the waves of distortion, but wasn't able to clear up the signal. After some more fidgeting, he removed the metallic cylinder (some kind of power source. Was it magic, or something else?) and the box quieted again. The group brought the black box with them, intending to plumb its secrets a later time.

Through the last door in the large chamber, they entered a darkened room lined with pillars. A shallow pool of water ran through the centre, shimmering with underwater lights. A few lumpen, crystalline golems shuffled towards the group with unknown intentions. They moved slowly, but the slaves weren't taking any chances with a fight. After some experimentation, Kazik realized they were attracted to the groups' lamps. He left one brazier burning in the corner, and the crystalline creatures surrounded it, warming themselves by its light.

Giving these odd beings the slip, the group ventured down a spiral staircase at the end of the room. They next found themselves in a long room with two large tables. Toy battles were set up with tiny clay miniatures showing humans, lizardfolk, elves and stranger beings battling amongst hills, forests and cities. Not understanding this game, Dimemnu the elf took a handful of the figures in case they might be valuable or useful later.

There was only one door left, at the end of the hall of miniatures. It opened onto another room full of clay soldiers - only these ones were life-sized! Under the watery light of a great crystal sphere, a clay general rose from his throne, pointing an accusing finger at the invaders. Seventy clay soldiers began to animate, climbing up from the pit they had been preserved in and moving towards the group.

"Never mind!" said Iron-in-Blood, slamming the door. With no desire to fight ten times their number, the slaves hustled back up the stairs, past the slow-moving men of crystal and back out towards the Room of Stars.

"I hope those clay soldiers can't follow us through this magic door..." Agàta mused.

the deep obsidian caves

The slaves continued exploring, progressing downslope from the Room of Stars. They entered a vast cavern filled with a darkened frozen lake, seemingly frozen in mid-wave! It was not cold or icy to the touch, but some kind of greenish glass. The group could see dim shapes buried underneath the surface, and a few shattered sections that looked as if something once frozen inside had busted out.

Walking on this strange lake was like a maze amongst the breakers. The slaves were accosted by the faint, ghosts of hunched-over, hulking humanoids. Attempts at communication were met with impatient hand gestures. The ghosts seemed to understand a little bit, but couldn't speak themselves. They didn't seem hostile, and the group was at a loss until Floros asked if they knew a way out. The ghosts led the slaves back the way they came, to the edge of the frozen lake. They indicated the group should head up the tunnel to the Room of Stars, then slowly faded out of view.

After this enigma, the slaves returned to the underground river through the Room of Stars. Curious about some of the items they'd brought, Floros decided to don the strange silver helmet garlanded with thin wires. "I can see it! I can-" he exclaimed, before the poor fellow died messily, his eyes exploding from their sockets in a shower of fluid!

Mourning Floros, the slaves explored further into the tunnels. The hopping piranhas were gone now, and the river safe to walk by. Turning back down an unexplored tunnel, the slaves came to a set of three stone statues in alcoves. One of a humanoid man with an elongated, ovoid head, wearing robes and an ornate circlet, pointing a scepter upwards to the ceiling. The second statue was the same man holding a shield, his open hand pointing downwards. The third statue was covered in mineral deposits and unrecognizable. Writing in an unknown language lined the statues' bases and each one had a small bench or step in front of it. 

Duul was interested in the humanoid with the sceptre, and stepped closer to investigate. When he touched the bench, he began to levitate! After some experimenting, it seemed Duul could float upwards or downwards under his own power, but not sideways. The effect wore off after a few minutes. The group decided this was their chance, and each stepped up to receive the statue's blessing in turn - then their friends pushed/pulled them towards the river, before shoving them until they floated to the opposite side. The statue's magic ran out before everyone could be levitated, and Pale-Heart had to jump across into the waiting arms of her companions. Luckily, nobody fell into the swift & cold mountain stream.

Beyond the river, a narrow tunnel extended deep into the mountain. The slaves walked on, with only the flickering coal's light to illuminate their next step. They were all accustomed to fatigue and hunger, but it was impossible to know how much time passed in those dark tunnels. After perhaps one work-shift of walking, at the end of their endurance, the slaves reached the end of the tunnel. A crumbling, rocky opening led out into a lush, rainy mountain valley with a river running lazily through the center. Signs of cultivation were apparent, but nobody was around. 

Have the slaves found a safe place? Will the clay army take over the caverns? What about those ghosts on the frozen lake? What's the deal with that black box? Plenty of unanswered questions remain...

Monsters Defeated:

7 bone-piles


some antique armour & weapons
7 funerary masks
2 colourful potions
tablet with writing & pictures on it
black box that makes noise
a few clay figurines


1000 xp each for escaping slavery


Phew, the holiday hangover is beginning to wear off! Thus shall we work through the play-report backlog. Session 3 and 4 were short and exposition-heavy affairs, shouldn't take too much effort to transcribe although memory does play tricks on me sometimes. Our next session is upcoming in a week, and I am hoping for some action!

Anyway, for this dungeon the gang did fairly well, only running away at the very end when things got crazy. I also removed one of the monsters (in the throne room) because they already had to venture through a monster-infested dungeon just to get there, and it didn't exactly fit the theme.

I don't think you should run a DCC level-0 funnel every single day, but I am glad I gave it a try. It is easy, fun, and a nice introduction for rookie players. Nobody has to pick skills or even classes, or worry too much about anything - we just jump into the game! From such humble beginnings, who knows what heroes will emerge?

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