Once again DM Brig steps up while yours truly, Best Friend Dubs at tw11ter dot com, was away doing very important things. I love the session reports in this dwarf vault dungeon because it shows an experienced DM (and his PCs)giving a dungeon life with the most basic of ingredients. It’s just ogres and centipedes and harlots. The most basic of all enemies in the random encounter charts. You will find that after you’ve DMed dozens of low prep sessions in the brosr style you can do this too.
5/17/23-5/18/23, rest 5/19, active 5/20
When the group woke up, the damsels were gone! Brolly tracked around and found the chains and manacles lying seemingly untampered with. They asked some questions and the house frau of the inn that they were staying in mentioned a group of drunks stumbling out in the wee hours that none of the staff could remember serving. They left peacefully enough so no one thought anything of it. Confused and a little concerned since the ‘girls’ detected as chaotic, (DubsNote: Which broads don’t detect as chaotic?) the crew spent a little time asking around town, rumormongering, etc. They got no real hits though and decided that this wasn’t what they wanted to do for the session so they bounced, heading back to the dungeon, a cursed dwarven vault that had been abandoned some time ago. They ran across an ominous lair on a shelf above their heads during their travel, but they sneaked by and arrived with no further issue.
They made entry much like before, with the beef up front, and descended the wide stairway into the dungeon. The first room still had the giant monitor lizards coiled together in the center and the party was happy to hear that the lizards still weren’t particularly concerned by them. Once they skirted that room, they proceeded through the dungeon back to the place where they rescued the damsels. It was a very large chamber with poor quality rugs, cushions, and couches haphazardly occupying the space. They went south through a previously unexplored door and discovered another entry into the space where they fought and killed a gray worm the previous session. It was all laid out and decomposing, smelling up the joint.
They had Aelways checking their doors as they proceeded and this time he heard the kind of wretched sobbing that only comes from countless hours of despair through the next one. They debated what to do about it but ultimately decided to confront it in case it was another damsel in distress. This door opened into a long dining hall with a massive stone table dominating the center of the room. Whatever seating had been there before was smashed to bits and strewn all over. There was a giant fireplace in the center of the western wall that was lit and burning brightly. Above the mantle was a strange abstract painting of a roughly humanoid shape that emitted the weeping sounds.
The party looked around while Miles detected evil. They discovered the fireplace logs did not pop or crack like wood and were not being consumed. They also discovered other doors leading into the room further down the hall. Miles did not detect any chaotic energy or harmful intent from the area around the portrait.
Nezra stepped up to the plate like Kramer taking notes from Newman about talking to the ladies, Aelways making dumb suggestions and having them repeated to much laughter. Once we settled down, they got some info out of the portrait lady. They were supposed to have had a new clan here, a safe and happy place to live, but they released something from below. Oh the horror, oh the madness, oh the vague tales of terror. Her senses were compromised and dulled, she wasn’t quite sure how long she’d been there, etc. As this discussion went on, some sounds of entry alerted the players to visitors in the southern portion of the room, where an ogre and his buddies were bumbling through one of the doors and chit chatting among themselves. Ogres ain’t particularly worried about alarming anything ahead of them, particularly when there are seven of them.
Discord was all aflutter with RUN and RUN? And RUN!, but the party pushed someone out front, I think Nezra again with the charisma, to make nice with the meat pulverizers. Marvel of marvels, the big dudes weren’t hostile at all, more shocked to see the group than anything else. They chit chatted for a bit where the party tried to learn about the dungeon. Og the ogre put his hand out in expectation of a bribe of some kind, which they joked about throwing a copper piece at and running but Brolly ponied up 100gp which did the trick. Og put it into the douchy shoulder-slung fanny pack that the ogres were all wearing. (DubsNote: LOL.)
The ogres knew about the ‘damsels’ which they apparently had been visiting on the regular, (DubsNote: Gross.) but they said they were mean and showed scratches and claw marks on their arms and legs from previous interactions. They were in fact heading there now and were disappointed to learn of the escape. The ogres didn’t know anything about any scrolls unsurprisingly, but said deeper in there was nerd stuff like that. They didn’t go that way much, with the ladies being present on this level. Of key significance, they told the group they were going the wrong way if they wanted to go deeper. The stairs were the other way. This is when Brolly offered to hire them and for 400gp they did so, with Og agreeing to escort them to the stairway down and guard that room “for a while”.
So off they went, with the ogres insisting the party lead the way. When they got to the gray worm corpse the ogres stopped to poke around, obviously looking for the treasure known to be within the creatures. They got in a fist fight when there was none and made quite the ruckus and wasted some time while the party looked on uncomfortably. (DubsNote: This is masterful DMing making the PCs pay a time and random encounter roll chance for teaming up with stupid ogres.)
They carefully crossed the pattern and didn’t burst into flames, coming to an archway. This one was still masterfully worked, but carved in a much more severe fashion than those on the level above, with sharper angles and fiercer strokes of chisel. It opened into an empty room that had a couple of doors, one west and one north. They picked the northern one and after a while Aelways was able to pick the lock, opening into a larger chamber with curtains hung horizontally along the ceiling and billowing with the new activity. Tracking revealed to Brolly that there was quite a bit of traffic here, specifically some large slithering trail leading towards one door. They didn’t like the smell of slithering things so they went another way, through an archway carved with various laughing faces and into an empty room with another couple of exits. Mental fatigue was wearing on the theater of the mind session with the many options being available in each room causing a bit of headache for the caller. (DubsNote: PWNED.)
In this room they could hear a faint knocking against the southern wall with no discernible pattern to it. They listened for a bit then moved on, into another large room, this one strewn with much debris in the corners. Brolly tracked again, picking up more slithering trails leading to an archway to the southeast and also hearing the knocking sound. The party wanted no part of it so they went west, pulling open a stuck door to reveal two fierce chickens with lizard tails that were not happy to see them. The experienced players groaned and hollered to close the door, but the group had to win initiative to do so. Fortunately the front liners won, Brolly able to slam the door shut just as the cockatrice barreled towards him and slammed its beak into the door. They even staked that door shut for good measure.
It was getting late and they hadn’t found a lick of loot so I think their next decision was “f*ck it, let’s go look at the noise where the slithering trails are that we’ve been avoiding all night.” That might be paraphrasing. Looking into that room, they discovered two hideous giant grub creatures with wildly flailing feelers coming from their heads. One was pointed in their direction, drawn by their activity, the other was banging the armored corpse of a dwarf against the northern wall in that same chaotic cadence. It apparently was getting some catharsis from the dwarf’s helmet ringing from the stones.
The fight was on and Miles the Paladin stood tall in the doorway with the rest of the party intending to shoot or fight from over his shoulder with spears. The first one rushed him and flailed at him with his feelers, missing all eight of its attacks. The party responded by stabbing it and shooting around it towards the one in the back. When shot with an arrow, the wounded creature started banging the dwarf’s head against the wall more rapidly as if saying, “ow ow ow!”
Miles was eventually paralyzed by the creature’s feelers, but the party was able to stab it to death before it bit his head off. They defeated the other one after it threw the dwarf corpse at them and closed. They used their healing potion to restore Miles to action and searched the room over, finding a very fine dwarven foreman’s chain in a pile of disgusting remains. It was getting late so they backed out, heading up to the first level and the waiting Og. The ogres were sitting around playing slap-fight championship. Coming as no surprise to really anyone, Og demanded another payment to let them leave which Brolly balked at. Reaction checks went the PCs way so Og said, “If you big bad, you slap. If you survive you can leave.” Brolly, not being a little b*tch, stepped up and took the first slap which Og grinned at. Og reared back and decked the much smaller Explorer, but Brolly was not in fact killed so the ogres cheered and congratulated the adventurers for not being punks.
The party was able to return to Azen Radokh with no further encounters and plan for their next delve with quite a bit of downtime as far as these things go.
Xp from Kills: 270
Xp from Loot: 900
Total XP: 1170
PC: 0% 260 5% 273 10% 286 Hench: 0% 130 5% 137 10% 143