The World of Weirth is a setting much like a Hyborian Age, with danger at every turn, Swords & Sorcery magic, demons and mad prophets.
Tribes Of Gnolls And Nomads roam the savanna, while peasants and hedge wizards hide behind the walls of even the meanest thorp. A powerful Ley Line crosses the land, creating transient Gateways to the Faerie Realm.
Meanwhile the influence of Demons And the Belowdark waxes, threatening to cover the world in darkness, a suffocating nightmare that wells up from horror-filled dungeons underground.
Check the World of Weirth tab above for more info, including a draft of the Player’s Guide.
Episode 33: The Blasted Heath
Today’s Date: 6 Hielik 573 (3 June 02021)
DM’s Note: We have been playing a style of gaming session some might call “Press Pause”, where at the end of each session we stop wherever the party is and just start back up again at that point for the next session.
As the Samm-Puul adventure wraps up we will be transitioning to a 1:1 Time Schedule, where one day in the game world equals one day in the ‘real world’. For example, last session ended with the party back in Zan’s Forge on 35 Zazel 573. They needed a couple of days to rest up and heal, then they could start doing things in town, such as selling treasures, learning skills, buying equipment, etc.
Seven days later will be 6 Hielik 573 (today), which is when we will resume campaign play. There is a chance that some characters may not be available for that session (such as Lieres, who needs to level up and needs nine days of training to do so…).
It sounds confusing at first, but it adds an amazing dimension to the game and I am very excited to introduce it here. Today’s post marks the beginning of this transition.
The group has decided to send Adora and Arnbjorg back to Samm-Puul with two wagons and a platoon of guards to retrieve the mead and ale. 30 some barrels should be worth thousands of silver!
Lieres introduces Aziagos and Kosas to his new associate Tamura, as she is a “collector” of antiques. She is thrilled to see the swords they found under Portasbol. She offers to buy them for 750 SP, which Aziagos readily agrees.
He then goes to the Forge Academy and purchases a High Quality sword of his own, making a handsome profit.
Roinseach also visits Tamura, and is informed that her armor belongs to a nobleman’s daughter who went missing some months ago. Roinseach decides to visit the noble in Laralasbol and inform him of what happened to his daughter. (She died on the Witch’s Islet in the Great Swamp of the Half-dragons)
Lieres goes underground to train
with the Guild, to attain second level.
Being at loose ends, Aziagos, Kosas, Shavanoxil (all healed from her shineburn!) and Kalder decide to make a jaunt into the savannah and investigate the burned and blasted area they saw on the trip from Portasbol to Zan’s Forge.
To the Blasted Heath
It takes three days to get there, with mild weather and rather uneventful travel. They managed to avoid a night-time encounter with Savannah Lions and made a stream crossing without running afoul of any Giant Pike, Strangler Frogs, or worse.
On the second day they came upon a burial mound of some sort, likely a very old Telantean site. They investigated briefly, did not enter, and moved on.
Late the third afternoon they came to the edge of the blasted lands. A horrible burning/burnt stench assaulted their nostrils.
Kalder reached out into the ruined area with his magical “third eye”, detecting a source of magical power that reminded him of the wave of energy that rolled over him when Lieres opened the acacia casket. Shavanoxil was unable to pinpoint the location, but Kosas was able to get a better impression of where this energy was coming from.
Casting Clear Vision of Akantha (Detect Invisible Objects) as a ritual powered by torches, Kalder was able to walk slowly out into the blasted sands and find the hidden black slate slab covering the entrance to a long-lost tomb. “Fenmor Rest in Peace” is carved into the stone slab in High Telantean near a shallow groove that forms the outline of a trap door.
Calling for the rest to join him, the party crosses the black sands, though the surface doesn’t feel like sand. It crunches and squeaks as they move across it.
Drawing Spellcraft power from the torches held by Shavanoxil and Kosas, Kalder casts Theanos’ Unbarring (Knock) and causes the trap door to open.
The opening reveals a stair going down some 20 feet to a small landing. Shavanoxil lights her lantern and they descend. At the landing, the passage continues downward ahead, and there is a door to the right. The wooden door slides into the wall, byut it takes Aziagos and Kalder together to move it.
Inside the door is a small room, a chapel, with a large quartz altar. Upon the altar is a grotesque golden chalice, while the base of the altar is carved with runes. Kalder immediately recognizes this as the Blessing of Keuthonimos, a plea to the horrid Chaos God of Death and Disease.
Aziagos approaches carefully, and, while the rest wait by the door, snatches the golden chalice from the top of the altar. It nearly slips from his hand, as it is covered in a greasy film. They stash the chalice in Kalder’s pack and move on.
Descending once more the party comes to another landing, this time with doors on the right and left. The door on the left is made of stone and has a rusty, corroded keyhole. The door on the right is made of dry-rotted wood and has no key or latch. It slides open easily revealing a small room with a low ceiling and tiled floor. At the far end of the room, four chests, two of iron and two of wood, are stacked in stacks of two upon a polished stone riser.
Wary of traps, Kosas takes out a Spider-weed rope, forms a lassoo, and sends it arching gracefully across the room. It settles down upon the top wooden chest and he pulls the lassoo tight. Giving it a good yank, he pulls it off the top of the other chest and it falls to the floor. The dry-rotted and corroded chest smashes open, spilling gold and silver coins and small gemstones about on the floor!
Sulfur Gas Trap
The stone riser begins to lift, exposing a row of holes in the vertical sides, spewing a yellow smoke or mist!
Aziagos slams the door shut and Shavanoxil pulls some spare clothing from her pack to stuff under the door. They then retreat to the stairs leading up, to wait it out. The air in the tunnel slowly begins to have a sulfurous aroma. After about 30 minutes they go back, open the door slowly, and watch as the yellow mist rolls slowly out the door, across the floor and down the stairs.
Until now all has been quiet, and the party has been being as stealthy as they can. But now there is a sudden squawking, as of several birds, the fluttering of large wings…then silence once again. Feeling confident that whatever was waiting below had succumbed to the effects of the sulfur gas, they enter the room to gather their loot!]
Kosas uses a cantrip to sweep away the dusty yellow residue of the gas and they scoop up the gemstones. They then spike the stone rise in place and then dump the second wooden chest, which is similarly filled with gold, silver and small gemstones.
Feeling more confident they do a quick check for traps and find the iron chests aren’t even latched. Inside the first is a dark cloth bag containing a varnished baby human skull and a wooden box containing a smoking-pipe, made of metal but painted to look like wood.
The only kept the pipe.
The second iron chest contained a black leather collar with polished bone studs and a brass tablet wrapped in a thin, fine-grained leather. Peeling back the leather cover, the tablet was seen to contain some sort of prayer or ritual for the summoning or notice of an entity called Uln-R’gaoon, the Child of Whispers. Kalder realizes he is becoming more familiar with Chaos magic than he really likes.
Gathering up some loose gold coins, noticing also that they are of the old Empire of Jamul style (square with a square hole in the center), the party decides discretion is the better part of valor and they should leave this place while they are ahead. Waiting for them, almost right outside the door, is the spectral figure of a man in heavy armor with a shield and sword…
“Who are you and why have you come?” – the incorporeal creature croaks, in a voice that seems far away and deep underground.
Briefly flummoxed, Kalder hesitates, then replies, “We have come to investigate the blasted land.”
Again, the reply is a growl from the very depths of the Weirth, “Who are you and why have you come?”
“It seems you could use our help,” replies Kalder, then he asks it its name.
“My name is Beldax Fenmor, and the only way you can help is to put my mother to rest! She keeps the rest of us trapped here!” the ghostly apparition then moves back slightly, gesturing with its sword-hand to go down the stairs, “You must take the bracelets of Ixon? Enxaa? (Something High Telantean, no one could quite recall) from her and set her to rest!”
Kalder is good and scared now, and says, “We must go and return with more of our colleagues and support, believe me, we want to restore the land!”
“Faithless one, I shall ensure your return. HOLD OUT YOUR HAND!” the creature booms.
Kalder is not afraid of the apparition, rather he is afraid of losing face in front of his delving partners. The thrusts out his left hand quickly, and then, almost faster than the eye can follow, the apparition swung its sword! The sword flashed in the darkness, passing right through Kalder’s wrist. But it is not severed! Instead his entire hand feels useless and tingly. He cannot move his fingers.
“Go now, and return quickly, lest ye be consumed!” the floating figure was nearly transparent now, and it dropped down into the floor and out of sight.
As quick as a split the party members sprinted for the stairs, taking them up two-at-a-time. Upon reaching the surface, they could see the sun was going down and the wagon was where they left it. Sprinting for the razor-sharp boundary between the blasted heath and the green sward, three made it to safety, while Aziagos started to sink into the black sand mixture. His struggling only made him sink faster, and by the time Kosas had managed to pull out his lassoo again, Aziagos was up to his knees in the horrid black sand mixture.
All three party members joined to pull him out quickly, but it was not quite fast enough. Aziagos’ pants were mostly dissolved below the knee and his shoes had been mostly eaten away. The skin on his legs was burned and inflamed.
The group moved the wagon away from the blasted land, about an hour, before they made camp. In the morning both Aziagos and Kalder felt better, though now it seemed that Kalder’s hand was becoming ghostly and transparent. This was a very worrisome development, and Kalder is convinced he must return to this tomb and obey the spectral figure’s wish.
The return trip to Zan’s Forge was quick and uneventful, despite a bit of a detour where they lost their way for a few hours. Kalder was wrapped up in his thoughts of what to do about his hand, which continued to become more and more transparent by the day.
When Adora sees what has happened to Kalder she will tell him, “You are ‘the man with the Crystal Hand’ and this must be the first step in your transformation. It is important that you reach through the Labyrinth to the Tomb of Sand and avoid the Seekers of Emptiness. I am not sure what that means, but the Mystic Paiktus in Portasbol told me this.”
LFG Playtest Campaign 1 - The Shadow of Evil Chaos is an experiment with a new (to me) game system, Low Fantasy Gaming, and a new magic hack designed to bring the atmosphere of danger from the pulp novels of Swords & Sorcery. We are playing fully online over a Discord Voice server, using some home-brew maps, art and characters designed on the HeroForge 3D printing site.
Follow all of the posts here: LFG Playtest Campaign 1.