Friday, September 07, 2018

Lark's Landing, Episode 37

Colonial Caerdia: Lark's Landing is a story being told through a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign I'm running at a local hobby shop called the Devil's Bench. If you aren't familiar with this ongoing story, you can follow this link to Once Upon a Tabletop on YouTube to hear the start of it or read the brief summary I wrote when I switched from video to blog.

You can find the previous episode here.

15th of Waxing Fall, 0AL

While the 3rd Watch, along with Stor's recently recovered mother, rest in the cellars of a collapsed temple - with kobolds chipping at the stone overhead - Stor takes some time to examine the strange metal rod with a button on the end that he'd found. Upon pushing the button, the rod releases a blast of magical cold energy, nearly hitting one of his friends. He is excited at the possibilities for this new and magical weapon.

When they wake up, they head back to the bar's cellar, arriving just in time to see Fiaeorri coming down. They introduce her to Hammer and Stor's mother, and catch her up a little on their adventures. However, as they're talking, Fiaeorri spots Dugg trying to follow her down the trapdoor a moment before he's caught by the bar's alarm system and teleported away. The group realize that they can get Dugg to help them sneak back out and Fiaeorri sends him a magical message asking him to buy a round of drinks for the bar.

After a few minutes, Stor peeks out of the trapdoor and sees Dugg attempting to find enough money to follow the instructions, so he tosses some coins over. With Bardroy distracted, everyone sneaks out into the bar - though it takes Hammer several tries. Hammer is very unimpressed with the quality of construct Bardroy is.

They briefly discuss what to do next - they've saved Stor's mother, but they still have to retrieve the idol for the lizardfolk. However, led by a suggestion from Dugg, they decide that first they would like to try out the strange game again.

Logan volunteers to stay outside and run the controls - keeping anyone else from causing a problem - and the other six insert their coins and vanish, entering the game world while out in the bar the few early-morning patrons cheer and call for the big screen to be lowered.

Aided by Logan - who wasn't given the already known information about the game's functions, so he has to experiment - they begin fighting their way through the rooms. In the first room, they fight the same spindly, round and rectangular metal creatures Fiaeorri and Extang had faced on their first time in the game, which are quickly dispatched by a fireball from T'Zaric.

The group moves on to the transition room, where Logan, from outside, uses the controls to show them which door will take them forward in the game rather than exiting it. During the transition to the new room, those outside the machine watch as, drawn on the parchment, a little figure with a broom sweeps up the debris from the previous room.

In the second room, the 3rd Watch find a castle-like room with two suits of armor, each holding two swords, stand on a rug in the middle of the room. Fiaeorri tries to take one of the swords, but it seems firmly set in the armor's grasp. Slightly concerned by this, Dugg fires two arrows into the suit of armor - which crumbles to the ground, but leaves the swords hanging in the air. The swords - all four of them - then attack of their own accord, while the suit of armor marches into battle. Even the rug comes to life, wrapping itself around Fiaeorri and trying to smother her. They manage to blast and smash their way through the enemies, though Fiaeorri comes out of the rug looking a little rough from sharing the damage that was done to it - luckily, Logan manages to heal her a little with one of the game's buttons.

In the third room, they face more - and tougher - creatures similar to the ones in the first room. Hammer appears to develop a competitive need to prove his superiority to all these constructs they're fighting. In the fourth room, they face a golem made of clay, which nearly kills Dugg's giant badger, Laverne, in one blow - luckily, the badger is able to escape.

In each room, they pause to collect the money and items that remain amongst the skeletons of previous challengers of the game. After this room, they try to take a brief rest to heal up a little, but move on when writing appears around them to inform them that the game will kick them out if they continue to be inactive.

In the fifth room they face down another golem, only this one is made of stone. Outside the game, Logan quickly explains the controls as he understands them to Stor's mother, then presses the green button to enter the game himself, joining his friends. Though the golem places a spell over the group, slowing several of them, it is soon dispatched and the 3rd Watch move on to the next room.

In the sixth room, they face two cobras made of iron and four bronze bug-like creatures, all nearly as big as humans. The constructs are once again defeated, but during the fight one of the bronze creatures releases a blast of electricity into the group - most of them shake off the damage, but poor Laverne, just barely clinging to life, is instantly killed by the blast.

With Lavern's body in tow, they move on to the next transitional room. They're beaten and battered, and they're running low on spells, but Bardroy had told them that the farthest he'd ever seen anyone get in the game was the seventh room. The group is determined to beat that high score, so they prepare to move on.

And that's where this game session comes to an end. What new danger will these adventurers face next week in Episode 38?

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