OSR: Veins of the Earth, Session 6

Last session, the PCs fought a ferret, freed a giant, and gained several friends.
The party consists of:
the spiderling fighter. The leader of the group by default.

Bill the wormling Orthodox Wizard. Has antlers and telekinesis thanks to strange potions. Thinks life underground is just peachy.
Swainson the Garden Wizard. Formerly a hawkling, currently a dryad.
Christen Bell the weasel-ling Bell Exorcist. Keeps vanishing and returning, possibly on secret errands, possibly just has a poor sense of direction.
Many Goblins. Full of teeth, bad plans, and poor impulse control.

Tuck the Flealing summoner. Extremely untrustworthy, constantly scheming, but so far both loyal and useful.
Starting by the "Entombed Giant" in the bottom right.

1. The party made a deal with Yorminfulgar, the cartilaginous cave giant trapped under a heap of boulders. If he provided the location of a valuable treasure, the party would retrieve the treasure, return, and free him.

He agreed, provided the party answered one of his horrible and disturbing riddles. The party wasn't sure what would happen if they got the riddle wrong, but didn't want to risk it. "Probably get cursed or something," Swainson said wisely. They managed to get the right answer.

Yorminfulgar told them of "an amulet, a trinket, more precious than life itself" and gave them directions to find it.

2. After getting lost for a few hours, the party finds the limestone caves in the giant's directions. Using Tuck's shadow-summons as a scout, they check the depths of every crevice until they find the amulet. They also find the long-rotted remains of a cave explorer who had died trying to force his arm into the crevice.

3. The amulet was an elegant hourglass in a silver case. Instead of sand, each grain was a miniature skull. Staring into the hourglass gave the wizards a headache, but Swainson and Bill eventually figured out it was enchanted with powerful life-preserving magic and decided to wear it.

Side Note: the players haven't figured it out yet, but the amulet does preserve life. Invariably. As long as someone wears it their soul will remain bound to their body. Death Becomes Her-style rules, so hopefully you didn't die from falling off a cliff. The amulet doesn't dull pain or madness.
4. While trying to find their way back, the party encounters a transparent jelly pyramid with a toothy skeletal maw, eyes, and a digestive system inside. This being the weirdest thing they'd encountered by far, Bill prevaricated between fireball and prismatic spray, his two most powerful spells.

He chose fireball. The blast stopped a few inches away from his face. A few more feet and the entire party would have burnt. Delighted with his magical control (and unwilling to admit it was luck), Bill let off prismatic ray. The acidic bolt he conjured fully healed the ooze.

5. The party discovered they could flee at full speed and still berate the wizard. 

6. They wandered for several hours, totally lost, before finding a cave with a mysterious machine. Its design was inscrutable. It resembled the inner workings of a clock tower combined with a lectern, a pile of metal bones, and an alchemist's secret tools. Most of the party took one look at the machine and decided to leave it alone, but Tuck and Christen decided to investigate its many drawers. They found several "metal leeches", a pile of fishhooks, and a few scraps of wire. They gave the fishhooks and pills to the goblins.

Side Note: Tuck and Christen have entered the dEr0 Conspiracy. Special dEr0 encounters will be noted in the courier font. The goblins are too weird for the Conspiracy to increase the amount of bullshit in their lives. They did enjoy the effects of the conspiracy pills though.
7. After several more hours and a few close calls with strange creatures and noises in the dark, the party managed to locate Yorminfulgar the giant once again. They decided to free him. Using Tuck's summoned rope, the strength of Many Goblins, and Swainson's party trick, the party hauled several enormous slabs of rock off the giant.
Side Note: Swainson's party trick is very cunning. She was transformed into a dryad back in Session 2. As a garden wizard, she also knows the woodbend and obedient stone spells. Obedient stone requires a stone to fit into the palm of the wizard's hand. With woodbend, a dryad's hand can become large enough to enfold a boulder.
8. Once freed, Yorminfulgar thanked the party and slithered away bonelessly. They noticed his gigantic gold and diamond necklace and, silently, cursed their fate.

9. The giant's departure and the general rearrangement of the cave and rockfall had revealed another strange machine. Tuck went to investigate. This device was smaller and had a large red switch on one side. Tuck flicked the switch.

10. The machine began shake violently. With each passing second, the vibrations grew more intense. Slabs of rock began to peel from the walls. A true earthquake began.

11. Tuck opened the back panel of the machine, removed a large and dangerous-looking box, and along with the rest of the party fled the collapsing caves. No one was seriously injured but most of the party sported bumps, bruises, and scrapes. The box seemed to be some sort of magic reservoir made of a dangerous material the party had
previously encountered. The two cables on either side, formerly connected to the arcane earthquake machine, were very tempting to Bill. He guessed that connecting them together would start a magical feedback loop.

12. Cazael took the magic box away from Bill.

13. After sleeping (guarded by goblins, despite their initial reservations), the party set out once again. They encountered a ghoul minefield. Ghouls, paralytic with hunger, had been buried with just their paralyzing claws exposed. Luckily, the party evaded the mines. They decided to avoid the large caves and stick to small, uncomfortable, and difficult passages, reasoning they were less likely to be mined.

14. Some time later, the party discovered the Ghoul Fortress of Baron Sulyvhan. Tuck decided the ghouls might want to trade for information or valuables. The party was unlikely to be attacked if they pretended to be traders.

15. The two wizards, Swainson and Bill, decided that they didn't want to participate in this scheme. They'd provide fire support from a distance. "If things go wrong, just signal me and fwoosh," Bill said, making an expanding fireball gesture.

16. Ghoul Baron
Sulyvhan was not a rich or prosperous baron. His fortress, built into a cave wall and protected by a ghoul minefield, contained him, a single ghoul warrior, one ravening feral ghoul chained in the gatehouse, and several fearful human servants (or possibly mobile larder). Still, the Baron was courteous, and invited the party to a mildewed and dust-covered banquet table, Miss Havisham-style. They traded away some of their loot for gold and oil and a map to the "fungid valley", whatever that was.

16.The Baron also informed the PCs that
Yorminfulgar was, "a pariah among his kind" and that he never forgot a debt. "But not, I think, in the manner you hope. He hates to be seen in weakness and will destroy anyone who aids him."

Worried, the party left the Ghoul Baron behind. Swainson cast locate animal to try and detect
Yorminfulgar. She was horrified to discover that the cave giant was just 300' away from the party, lurking somewhere in the darkness, presumably tracking them by smell. Over the next few hours, Yorminfulgar got as close as 100' before retreating; only Swainson could detect him.

Will the party survive the giant's rage? What will they find in the fungid valley? Will Bill's hoard of magical artifacts spell the party's doom, or will they all die in a goblin-induced clusterfuck?

Find out next session.


  1. Very lovely. I need to add more dangerous magical objects. Are you thinking about ever releasing Steam Hill a la Tomb of the Serpent Kings?

    1. I might, but I'd like to put out a new version of TotSK first. People keep finding little errors and things that could be improved.

    2. What's the best place to give you feedback on the TotSK?

    3. The TotSK megapost if you want to make it public, or coinsandscrolls [at] gmail [dot] com if you don't.

  2. I've been reading your play session entries and I've enjoyed them tremendously! Keep up the good work and thank you so much for sharing with us.

    I am also quite intrigued by your version of the GLOG system and I have a few questions, but I'm not sure what is the proper venue to ask them ...

    1. Probably easiest to ask in the GLOG G+ group or the comments of the Rat on a Stick homebrew post.

    2. Done! To get back on the topic of this post, I did forget to ask about if Cazael still has the liquid air sword...

    3. He does. He doesn't use it a lot underground because the air is warm and humid, so it rapidly becomes a fog generator. Not a huge deal for blind creatures (still weird, but not nessesarily crippling), but inconvenient for sighted people in unfamiliar territory.