Spires of Xin-Shalast – 4

The previous sessions ended with PCs in the dwarven cabin with the main Haunt beginning to manifest. This Haunt persisted over several rounds, and would gradually build up to its full fury. Once it had done so, assuming the PCs survived, the spirit of one of the dwarven brothers would manifest and be able to explain some of what happened, and give them a guide to how to rectify the situation and get the information they were after.

One concern I had was that there was always a risk of the party simply teleporting out and therefore avoiding gaining any information. Their only cleric isn’t much of a cleric so has very little in the way of channelling with which to harm it. They didn’t teleport, but they did run before anything serious happened, fleeing the cabin and leaving the Haunt to run its course without them.

This raised the interesting question of what to do. Since nobody (including the cleric) had much in the way of Knowledge (Religion), I didn’t want to give too much information to suggest that maybe going back and re-experiencing it would be useful, though they were possibly starting to lean that way anyway. In the end, I decided to simply move things forward and have the spirit of Silas Vekker leave the cabin and come out to meet them since I didn’t want to risk have everything grind to a halt. However, since they didn’t really experience the full Haunt, I probably won’t give them all the XP for it.

So Silas told them that he knew where the City of Greed was, and would give them the information if they brought the bones of his brother back to him so that they could be reconciled. His brother was some miles from the cabin, near an old mine of theirs.

Reaching the mine was easy (they flew – I’ve always felt that flight and teleport spells take away a lot of the feel of low tech fantasy stories – so many of which are based around the dangers of travelling from one place to another), and most of the actual combat damage was actually applied to Harsk, their NPC ranger who was acting as guide.

The Frost Worm could have been dangerous in its death throes, but Harsk made his Knowledge check to recognise the beast and realise that killing it would probably be a bad idea. This also raised the question of exactly what was meant by ‘death’ for a frost worm – when it reaches zero hitpoints, or when it actually dies? I decided to settle for the latter, and everyone had time to clear the area before it exploded.

The ghost of the dwarf mostly went for Harsk, simply because everyone else was invisible or too far away, which wasn’t as interesting as it could have been. The ghost of Karivek Vekker was laid to rest though, if only temporarily. With the defeat of his ghost also came the howl of the same creature they had heard when they first arrived at the cabin, and the weather began to worsen. The remains of the dwarf were grabbed, and they teleported back to the cabin to meet with Silas.

And that point seemed a suitable place to end things for the evening.

Samuel Penn