Part 11: Session 9: Totally Not Ripping Off Moria: Final Floor
Session 9: Totally Not Ripping Off Moria: Final Floor
“So are we finishing up the dwarves, finally?”
“Ach, ye’ll never be done with tha dwarves, lad!”
“…I mean, are we on the final floor yet, or…”
There’s just the one floor left at this point.
“Hang on, did we ever get that gold equipment identified?”
“Yeah, I want to know if the sword does anything more than +1 to parry.”
Great help there, Bob, great help.
What do you want from me? I already told you what it does. Oh, and all the gold stuff comes back negative; it’s just there to sell.
We went to the boathouse to rest and heal again, right?
Hmm? Oh yeah, right, you did that.
Moving on, let’s see, where haven’t you guys been yet…oh yeah, you left before this could happen:
Let’s nab him!
You barge around the corner, and the orc is overpowered before he even has time to realize what’s happening.
Let’s beat him up and take all his stuff.
Um…as you take the three ducats he’s carrying, he shouts, “Manresh is waiting down there to kill you all. You’re all going to die! If you ever get that far!”
So what do we do with him now?
I think Kara would want him to die for being a filthy orc.
That seems kind of mean, though. We already mugged him, should we really kill him too?
But then what the hell do we do with him? If we leave him, he’ll probably go warn someone or stab us in the back or something.
We could take him back to town, but they’d just execute him anyway and I’d rather not go all the way back this early in the game.
Hey, you know what? While you guys are talking about what to do with him, the orc murmurs to himself, “Traps, traps everywhere! They’re all dead.” Then he dies and none of you have to argue anymore.
How convenient. Let’s keep going.
There is a bad thing and a good thing hidden in this water. First, the bad thing strikes:
Suzie, when your character climbs into the water, you suddenly see a shadow shooting towards you beneath the surface.
Um, do I have to go first?
Well, I don’t want to go in there.
Yeah, seriously. Why don’t we make Thorgrim do it?
Fine, you sissies. Thorgrim goes into the water and gets attacked—by a leech.
That’s it? Then why would I see a shadow?
Well, it is as long as his arm. Anyway, Thorgrim feels rather uncomfortable, but rather than rip it off, he waits for the thing to get full and drop off, taking…not that much damage, really. Oh, and he finds this:
Hell yes! Wait, is it any good?
Zweihanders are normally -2/-3 and weigh 160 instead of 90. The modifiers may be neutral, but this sword’s even more enchanted than the one-handed one we found earlier.
Sweet! I want it!
Actually, you can’t use two-handed weapons as a Thorwalian.
What?! But I was gonna get a giant axe…
He’s right, man. Sorry.
But I was gonna cleave everyone in half with a giant axe…
Should have read the class entry better. Actually, the only one in the party who can even use it is Suzie’s Warrior.
Sure, I’ll take it. And hey, Alex, you can get my magic shield, all right?
Can’t cut anything with a stupid saber…
So who gets the sword? I thought no one else had taken sword skill.
Nah, that’s easy to solve. Hey, William?
You get a magic sword now.
So that brings us to two magic swords, two magic amulets, a pair of magic boots, and a magic shield. That works out to one for each of us.
…Except for Thorgrim.
Yeah, but he’s level 12, so screw him. So what’s left on this floor?
Well, there is one thing.
Giant angry face aside, this guardian was set up by someone hiding the book from the world, and once you figure that out (thanks in part to the warnings from earlier) this becomes a pathetically easy set of questions.
Was that it?
That was it.
Then how come everyone kept dying to this thing? That was easy. I could have done it right, and I wasn’t paying attention.
And what was up with that last question? What did disabilities have to do with anything?
I only run this campaign, guys. I only run it. Oh, and welcome to the third level.
This is the floor with all the traps everyone was talking about, right? I don’t want to go first. Make Hal go first.
Sure, that’s why I put all my points into intuition skills. Let’s do this thing.
Thorgrim’s still low on LP, right? I think I’ll let him use some of the dried loneberry. We don’t know how the traps work, after all.
In a small depression on the wall, a strange symbol can be seen. It was hewn from the stone very precisely and is surrounded by a metallic sheen. Lewis?
You identify the symbol as a letter from Zhayad, the magicians’ tongue. Specifically, the letter “R.”
Anyone have some notepaper?
I’ll write it down.
You spot old, dry bloodstains on the ground.
“Och, lads, I’m thinkin’ there be a moighty nasty trap ‘ere.”
Ha, ha. Now roll your Danger Sense.
*Roll* That looks pretty good.
You notice that the bloodstains stop unexpectedly in front of you. William?
You notice a seam running down the middle of the slab.
Probably a trap, then. Make Thorgrim deal with it.
Fine. Thorgrim moves just a tiny bit onto the slab where he discovers a hook linked to a spring. If a weight is put onto the slab, the spring is depressed, and the hook slides free. After several unsuccessful tries, Thorgrim at last manages to pull the hook free. The sides of the slab drop away, and with a bemused expression, Thorgrim plunges into the pit. The floor of the pit is covered with pointed stakes, but Thorgrim gets lucky and falls to the ground between them, taking only moderate damage from the fall.
Can we cross now that the trap is sprung?
Oh yeah, no problem now. It’s only around ten feet deep.
This one you identify as an “E.”
“Re,” got it.
You confirm this when you put a finger down the hole and touch a sharp metal point. Also, nothing happens when you wave your hand in front of the holes.
So there’s a button on the floor or something, we get it. *Roll* I rolled a 15, does that find it?
Um, no. While you’re looking for the floor tile, you accidentally step on it, and twenty bolts shoot out and, by their sheer momentum, slam you against the opposite wall. You take…lucky you. Not that much damage.
I want to kick the floor button until the bolts stop coming out.
There’s only a couple more salvos. After that, they stop coming.
Let me roll for the next trap…*roll* uh oh.
No kidding. Suddenly, Kurzmann steps on a stone tile that gives under his weight. He stops and notices a row of small holes in the wall beside him. However, nothing comes out.
Someone already depleted this one? That was close.
Actually, this one is working fine. As you continue forward, you hit and tear a tripwire drawn across the tunnel. A salvo of bolts shoots out from the holes and takes you down.
“Rem” overall, then.
Uneven roofs are another good sign of traps.
How’d I do on this one?
Well, you didn’t spot the trap. However, as soon as you hear a noise coming from above, you immediately dive forward, out of the way of a large block of stone that comes crashing down. You make it, too, but just barely. The stone block catches your leg, but at least it isn’t smashed. Just a bit of damage, really.
“Och, just a bit, is it?” That makes things so much better.
We’re up to “Remi,” now.
Sadly, you don’t know what this one means.
You realize how little sense it make for me to only know part of an alphabet, right?
Still, it’s part of the clues to get out of here. Since Hal has to roll for every trap, I figure I might as well make you roll for every letter.
More evidence that this is a translated game: you may recognize the symbol above as being the second one we found from before. However, this isn’t supposed to represent “E,” and instead supposedly matches up with the letter we see next.
This is the same letter as last time, and you still can’t recognize it.
So that makes it “Remi--“ where the dashes are the same letter, right?
Ew, squishy orc bits.
Wait a second, orcs have been this far? Then how come we’ve had to disable every trap up to this point?
I guess they’ve been resetting them.
Why would they do that?
To keep people like us from getting to them? I guess they figured they could bypass the traps since they know where they are.
Alright, you got this one. It’s another “I.”
Goddamn, this is getting annoying. So how do we break this trap? Should we all duck while Hal jumps up and down on it, or can we force it down permanently?
How would we do that?
I don’t know, maybe we can wedge it shut with a metal bar or something. Is there something we can use by the dead orc?
Yes, actually. There is a broken saber blade next to the block of stone. You slide the blade underneath the tile and carefully step on top. When you do, there is no sound indicating the trap has been reset.
I jump back anyway.
The rest of us probably duck.
No bolts come whizzing through the air, so the trap has successfully been disarmed.
So now it’s “Remi--io.”
Unless the word is Italian for some reason, the last letter is probably going to be “N.”
Alright, so there are very few words in English that use –ion endings without being either –tion or –sion. That means the word is either “Remittion,” which it isn’t, or it’s “Remission.” I still have no idea why we’d need to know that, though.
Moss? What the hell is moss doing down here?
Kara is intrigued by the presence of nature in this evil dungeon. Can I take a closer look?
Yep. When you do, you realize that it’s not a patch of real lichen, but just some camouflage. There’s a moveable panel underneath.
Well, I’m not pushing it. Suzie, Belle hasn’t been injured yet, right? Have her do it.
Fine. So what happens?
I press it again, holding it down for a while.
Still nothing. There’s some more tunnel left to explore, by the way.
Nothing at all? That’s kind of annoying.
You find yourself presented with a set of three doors.
Am I still in the lead? If so, I say we go right.
For some reason, this line is voiced. And for some reason, it comes out as “Whaddya want?” in a weird Brooklyn accent.
In response, the head panel moves into the ceiling, revealing…
“Remission.” How many times will we have to do this?
Oh, come on. Is there even an end to this?
Are we even making any progress?
Now that you mention it, no. You look back and realize you haven’t gone anywhere since when you started. Apparently, you’ve been traveling down the same section of corridor several times.
We should try the middle one, then.
How does a face in a wall nod?
Has it moved at all?
We should try the moss button again. Maybe something changed.
For crying out loud…
This is basically how the game handles massive enemies. They stand to one side of the combat grid, and all the characters have to try desperately to kill it. Like the earlier demons in the graveyard, this one can only be hurt by magic and magic weapons. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of both this time around.
Kurzmann, Kara, and William have all leveled up now.
How come I haven’t leveled?
You were dead for a while, remember?
As you approach the lectern, Manresh, a giant of an orc, jumps out and attacks.
He looks like a normal orc vet, but Manresh can ruin your front line if you let him. Mostly thanks to that belt made of pure awesome.
DIBS! I am totally calling dibs on this one.
Hey now, I’d like some awesome strength, too.
Can stats go above 20 if they’re enchanted? If so, I think Belle would do pretty well with the belt.
Hey, I just found out that all my starry-eyed dreams of hacking people into kibble with a giant axe will never come to be. Oh, and I should add that, when I have this belt on, the whole front line can move at least 7 MP. Come on, guys, give me some pity!
Well, I guess my Strength is high enough already.
Only if I get to go next for magic stuff.
You already got, like, three. Doesn’t matter that you handed them off to Alex and William, you still got to play with more toys.
Nothing, William. Keep leveling your character.
In the center of the large hall, an altar hewn from solid rock rises up. It is covered with magical runes. On top of the altar lies a skinbound book, and none of you think it’s animal skin. It is opened to a page showing the picture of a minotaur, the demon you just fought against. Even now, you still shudder. Might this be a tome about Demonology? Next to the picture, you see alchemical signs, magical runes and other symbols you cannot place.
So what do we do with the giant, evil book?
Burn it, hopefully.
This one might not go up as easy as the Necromancy books in the graveyard. Besides, we don’t really have a light to set it on fire.
Aren’t there any torches around? How are we seeing right now?
We’re using my wand to cast light, but it’s not the sort that can burn things. We even pitched Thorgrim’s lantern, so that’s out. Destructibo or Burn! might work, but I don’t have enough skill to cast them. William?
Can you cast Destructibo or Burn!? The first one is a Dispel spell that destroys magic items, and the second can set small objects on fire.
Wait, why can’t we—
If you’re wondering why I even care whether the book dies or not, it’s because we can’t leave until it’s destroyed. See?
And if we picked up the book and tried to leave with it, a smaller version of the giant stone head would block our passage until it gets exploded. That’s probably why Manresh and his buddies were still here. And as I put it above, I actively can’t kill the book through any regular or magical means, as I have no spell nor flame at the moment. You’d think it’s an unwinnable situation, but you’d be wrong.
You see, when you decide to drop an item, it can never be retrieved. As in, there is no possible way to find or pick up that item ever again. And as long as the book isn’t on the pedestal and isn’t in the inventory, I can get out of this room. I can’t destroy the book, but I can apparently exile it to dimension X.
So wait, you want to tear the pages out one by one, then tear the pages into little pieces?
Yeah, why not? We could make Confetti of the Damned for the next parade in town or something.
Well…outside of the book, I suppose the pages would biodegrade…yeah, I’ll allow it.
Finally. So is that it? Did we clear out the whole mine?
You cleared out the whole mine. Congratulations.
Great. Time to go into town and sell all this junk.
Hold on, there’s just a bit more left to do here. Let’s see, no one gets harmed by the scree for once, that’s good…hold on, I just got a random encounter here.
They’re your kinsmen, you know.
Yeah, and any kinsman of mine should be able to find their own booze!
Well, they see you’ve got some alcohol and you’re not sharing, so they attack you.
This combat could have gone so much worse if they had managed to break through the chokepoint.
Damn, that’s a lot of booze! And here they were asking for ours, the bastards. Now come on, let’s sell all our gold and get roaring drunk!
You sell your gold and assorted items for a total of 80 ducats. Oh, and you know those weeds William just found?
HOLY FUCK. How come they’re worth so much?
It’s the only thing that allows non-Magicians to meditate.
And meditation’s good why?
It lets you trade LP for AP. Makes recuperation go faster.
You know what else helps recuperation? Ale and whores. And now we’re getting us a shitload of both.