Session Report: Save To Not Do What You Just Told The Ref You Were Going To Do

Part 3 of 4 sessions exploring the Tower of the Stargazer. Part 1 Part 2

Campaign Date: June 6, 1630 CE
Location: Calcidius's Tower, aka the Tower of the Stargazer
Cast: Bartholome the Fighter, Hadrian the Dwarf, Mystery the Specialist, Peter the True XXVI the Fighter, Seigjagt Crowe the Magic-User, Vesper the Specialist, and a plucky young peat-farmer guide

The session began mid-struggle with the giant stone spider that had come crashing down on Bartholome. After taking a few blows, Bart was able to unholster one of his trusty flintlock pistols and take a shot into the spider's body, causing it great pain. A secret die roll was made to determine whether the sound of the shot was enough to awaken Calcidius, who remained asleep. Hadrian attacked ineffectively, possibly because he was still all like, what the hell, man, freaking stone spiders, man. The spider struck again, and once again had little effect, with Bart effortlessly shrugging off its poison. The next round it was taken out from a poisoned arrow from Mystery, who had carefully taken aim prior to avoid taking out a teammate.

After attempting some quick first aid on Bart, resulting in recovering a single HP, the party surveyed their surroundings, finding steel doors to the left and right. Bart took the lead once again, boldly grabbing the doorknob of the door to the left, just as the Ref was describing it: a clawfoot knob holding an orb. Bart immediately realized that he should slow his roll, but it was too late and he suffered the consequences: his right hand was crushed within the grip of the claw, rendering it heavily wounded. No HP damage was dealt, but his knowledge of field medicine let him know it was uncertain whether he would ever be able to use his hand again normally. In a rage, he attacked the door with his full force, knocking it off its hinges onto the ground. In the next room he and Hadrian found stacks and stacks of treasure chests, which they went about opening. The first chosen by Bart had a lock on it which he was careful to keep facing away from him as he bludgeoned it with a pistol, breaking it off of the chest's hasp and releasing a small dart into the empty air. Bart then decided that he would be extra careful and kick the chest open from behind, in his second ill-considered move of the evening.

Image by Andy Koch, who blogs over at
http://tractatusfantasticus.blogspot.com/
Its sole contents, a jar with a stone figurine inside, tumbled out in slow motion, crashing down on the floor and spilling its contents. The figurine grew into a huge statue of a corpulent horned demon right in front of their eyes, trapping the brave but foolish Bart and the hapless Hadrian inside the room. Our heroes lost the initiative, and Bart was smacked a good one by the statue, causing him to fear that this may be his last hurrah. Bart and Hadrian both did some damage, with a successful roll of Hadrian's Craft skill (a house rule replacement for Architecture)  allowing him to pinpoint a weak point within the stone and sever one of its hands at the elbow. The rest of the party looked on from outside the room, unwilling to fire inside because of the risk of hitting a friend. Next round the statue did even more damage to Bart, bringing him down to a mere 5 HP. This round the party were even more successful, with Peter managing to fire a musket ball (rousing Calcidius from his slumber) into the demon's chest and Seigjagt using Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow to manipulate some of the blood covering Bartholome to attack the idol, working its way into the cracked mass of stone in its chest.. The demon statue at this point had been reduced to a mere 1 HP, causing the Ref to make a roll on behalf of the players. They were lucky, and rather than attacking them, the slow-witted statue tried to dig the animated blood out of its belly, causing it to punch a hole through its own midriff and bring the fight to an end. The next several rounds were spent carefully opening chests, the remainder of which were filled with thousands upon thousands of worthless facsimiles of copper pieces, courtesy of Mr. James Edward Raggi IV.

The party resolved to be more careful from this point on, and Seigjagt very carefully opened the door on the other side of the room, careful not to touch the doorknob. From the doorway he observed a workbench with many vials upon it, and another with a human body laid out. They thought this all was maybe a bit much, and went up through the first floor and opened the door to the second. They found it to be filled with a thick grey fog which held the stench of death and began to spill onto the first floor as well. They slammed the door closed immediately and pondered their options. Little did they know in the meantime that Calcidius had laid magic most foul on Bart's rapier. Seigjagt moved to the fore, opening the door a crack in order to attempt use of Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow, giving Calcidius the opportunity to imbue his saber with the foul curse as well. At this point Seigjagt had exceeded his daily casting limit, forcing him to roll for Risky Casting, which caused the blood coating the floor to animate, but not under his control. As it advanced, he shut the door again, and attempted another Risky Cast, which caused a strange white light to emerge, dealing wounds to everything within the tower equal to the last damage they'd received. Even Calcidius was affected, causing him to cry out and alert the party beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had been awakened. The flash did sufficient damage to kill the tendrils of blood, causing them to become baked and clotted onto every surface of the second floor.

The party then advanced up the stairs to the passageway that Calcidius had sealed, which they pushed against. After applying the necessary amount of force, the barrier broke, dealing a single point of damage to Bartholome, who for some reason was still leading the charge despite his critical condition. They entered the third floor of the tower to find signs that Calcidius had fled towards a shaft filled with mechanical devices.

Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion.

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