OSR: Veinscrawl Session 9 & 10

Last session, the party discovered they were being fought a mind flayer, mutated, duplicated, and meddled with forces they really shouldn't have meddled with.

The party consists of:
Cazael the spiderling fighter. The leader of the group by default.
Bill the wormling Orthodox Wizard. Has antlers, telekinesis, permanent wizard vision, inability to sleep, magic not-dying amulet, etc. Generally considered a liability.
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.
Many Goblins. A nebulous swarm.
Tuck the Flealing Summoner. Despite being untrustworthy, has proved both reliable and sensible. Everyone is surprised.

The map has grown so complex that the map-making player has split it into 2 files. Here's the original map (up to Session 8)
And here's the map for sessions 9 and 10.
I'd really recommend reading the map before reading the writeup below.

1. The party met a village of red-and-black fungus people. They wanted the party to assist in their war against another village of fungus people across the river. The party accepted, traded some items for light and food, and rested in a coal-cave for a few hours. Bill, no longer requiring sleep, kept watch.

2. Klaus the barbarian, who had vanished at some point previously, finally turned up. He'd been taken by "nightmare elf slavers" but escaped their prison-pens through copious violence. The party, slightly embarrassed, mumbled something about a rescue plan and welcomed their friend back into the fold.

3. After considerable debate, the party decided to "deal with Yorminthal the Giant" before exploring the rest of the fungid valley. Using Swainson's locate animal spell to locate the nearest cave giant, the party tried to track the hideous cartilaginous creature as it was tracking them.

4. While creeping back along the river-side path, Tuck located and taunted the slinking cave giant. He was nearly captured for his troubles, but retreated safely using his summoned rope. Yorminthal waded through the river towards the party,  filling his guts with water before belching a small tidal wave towards the party.

5. Bill posed dramatically (wide stance, finger gun pointed, head tilted) and let off a fireball. The blast evaporated most of the water, but it still carried Bill off the path's edge and into the river.

6. Klaus grabbed the falling wizard by the ankle (still posing) and flipped him back onto the path (still posing). Bill fired off prismatic ray, severely melting the howling cave giant. Cazael finished it off with several arrows to the brain.

7. Delighted, if a little damp, the party looted the corpse. Yorminthal was wearing a giant-sized gold torc encrusted with fist-sized diamonds. It was incredibly heavy. Klaus, delighted, stripped off his armour and decided to wear the torc as a sort of cloak or bandolier.

8. The party returned to the fungus village. They traded the giant's body parts for gold and maps and helped the fungus-people fish more giant chunks from the river.

9. With a map to the "enemy" fungus village, the party set off through the coral reef coal-caves. After a narrow squeeze, they emerged into a white fungus-tuft bowl. Inside, moving through the dense spores as if they were water, was a giant fungus... whale... thing. It moved on dozens of stolen legs. Its milky hide was pierced by dozens of spears, rusted swords, and bone daggers.

10. Cazael, slightly terrified, shouted "Whales don't have legs!". Klaus the Barbarian, thoroughly convinced, used his (hitherto secret) sorcerous powers to make the fungus whale's legs vanish.

11. Snapping and squelching, though with significantly reduced mobility, the whale attacked the party. Clouds of fungal spores blinded several party members, but Swainson, assisted by the goblins, managed to pour an entire bottle of giant-killing poison down the whale's throat before it reached their tunnel. It dissolved into stinking slime. A few moments later, the disappeared legs popped back into reality, kicking wildly in the puddle of dissolving whale.

12. Sorting through the rubble, the party found several lumps of fused gold coins, a dozen gems, and a giant magic spear. The wizards couldn't conclusively identify the spear's enchantment, but they were certain it was primordial, incredibly powerful, nearly impossible to break, and designed to kill one particular kind of being. "Angels, maybe," Bill speculated.

13. Cazael was very excited by the spear. His knight and friend, Tschana, had vanished when the Angel of Death showed up during an adventuring disaster several months ago. With an angel-killing spear, his chances of rescuing his friend from the land of unlife.

14. While crawling through a very narrow passage, the party collided with a band of fungus-dwelling humanoids. Rather than the mushroom folk they'd seen earlier, these people seemed to be infected with and adapted to their fungal surroundings. After some negotiations, they invited the party back to their village.

15. While resting, the party was ambushed, knocked out with fungus bombs, and tied up. They awoke in a grand arena. There, Wonderwood Strongbow, one of their former companions, accused them of various crimes. Wonderwood looked worse for wear; she'd become a vampire, but her fungus-zombie-potion flasks had somehow fused to her body. A swarm of necrotic fungus pygmies, with her scowling face, attended her every move.

16. The party protested their innocence, especially Tuck and the Goblins who had never seen Wonderwood before in their lives. The vampire elf promised to kill them last.

17. While Cazael furiously tried to get out of his restraints, Swainson cast light with (as her player gleefully pointed out) "all the properties of natural sunlight." Hissing and screaming, the vampire elf retreated at speed, leaving her fungus-goons to defend her path of retreat.

18. As Many Goblins untied the rest of the party, Cazael and Swainson pursued. Cazael dispatched three of the vampire's guards with his ice sword. Christen knocked out the fourth with her magic bells.

19. The hallway the vampire fled down was trapped. It tipped like a see-saw in the middle, depositing several PCs one level below the others. Those below fought a hideous spider-construct, a wood and web golem that launched poison darts and grappling tarantulas. Those above fought the vampire and her fungus minions.

20. Bill was level drained for 2 hard-won levels, making him a diminished and dismayed wizard. Christen, surrounded by fungus creatures, called on the dEr0 Conspiracy to aid her. It turns out that she hadn't entered the tunnel at all; she was still outside, and a dummy made of straw and glue had taken her place in the combat. Bill, now further dismayed, started screaming.

21. By resetting the trap tunnel, Swainson was able to retreat and shove her light-bearing arm towards the vampire. One round of direct sunlight later and the vampire evaporated, leaving a greasy residue of ash behind. Her fungus minions fled into the darkness.

22. Rather than retreat, the party pressed on. They came to a cave full of powerfully hallucinogenic spores. The swarm of goblins were thoroughly confused and saw a vision of the Beige Dragon Gomstead, their entirely fictitious protector. Delighted, they swarmed across a chasm (along a path the rest of the party could not easily follow) to frolic with their hallucinated friend.

23. Klaus used his sorcerous powers to create a "real" Beige Dragon Gomstead to try and lure the goblins back. The goblins, clambering all over their friend, asked the dragon to fly them to the surface. The dragon complied, flying upwards through a series of narrow chimneys and shafts.

24. 5 rounds later the Beige Dragon vanished. The goblins screamed briefly before falling. The party was pelted with their mangled corpses as they plummeted.

Now goblin-less, but still hallucinating intermittently, the party fled the cave to search for a place of safety. What would they find in the next cave? Have they become permanently lost? Will anyone figure out Klaus is a sorcerer before he explodes from his own hubris?

Find out next time.


  1. Loved how previously vanished characters returned with a vengeance. Any tips on how to make this happen effectively?

    1. Sure! Use one of these tables: https://coinsandscrolls.blogspot.com/2018/04/osr-missing-session-in-veins-of-earth.html

  2. Your combining of animal-characters with multiple-characters is delightful.

  3. This was delightful! A bit sad to see the goblins go though.... but ah well.

  4. "Cazael the spiderling fighter. The leader of the group by default. "

    Good lord. I had no idea. There's our problem right here.

    1. He's the only one everyone will listen to.