Dwimmermount Session 1: In Which a Wizard Is Mugged

My lovely wife asked me to run a game for some of her friends from work, so I decided to run ACKS Dwimmermount. Most of this first session was taken up by character creation. The campaign background I sent the players is repeated below, followed by the first session actual play report.

Background:

All your life, you have lived in the shadow of Dwimmermount. Carved into this great peak which towers over your homeland is a vast, ancient, magical, subterranean fortress, which is also called Dwimmermount. For hundreds—perhaps thousands—of years, Dwimmermount served as a center for magical research, and as a stronghold for the succession of empires which rose and fell in this region. Dwimmermount fell two centuries ago, when a rebel uprising culminated in a mysterious cataclysm that sealed the dungeon off from the outside world.

Like all brave children of Muntburg—the small, mountainous domain where you were born, raised, and live—you at some point sneaked away from your home, traveled to the base of Dwimermount, and climbed the long stairs to fabled Red Doors that lead into the dungeon. Alas, they did not open for you, just as they did not open for all the brave children of Muntburg since your grandfather’s grandfather’s days. You returned home and went on with your life. When you were of age, you became a soldier in the Legate’s garrison at Muntburg Castle, or a ruffian in the Thieves’ Guild in Muntburg Village, or joined the clergy of one of the temples of the Gods, or became apprenticed to Othon the Astrologer, a well-known mage, or to the Petre brothers’ caravan company. You never expected to think about Dwimmermount again, at least until you had brave children of your own who were old enough to sneak off to the Red Doors.

And then, about two months ago, strange noises and lights began to be visible on the mountaintop, and tales of shadowy groups going into and out of the main gates began to circulate in the taverns and markets. The Legate sent the Dragon’s Claws—a band of young, highborn adventurers—to investigate these rumors, but they found no evidence of traffic up the main stairway or through the Red Doors. Talk of activity at other entrances to Dwimmermount ran rampant, though just where these entrances lay and how one could access them was never clear.

Two weeks ago, a more experienced band of adventurers calling themselves Typhon’s Fist returned to Muntburg Village with tales of their disastrous foray into the dungeon. They claim that the High Priest of Typhon in the great city of Adamas to the south sent them to investigate the rumors of activity at Dwimmermount, that the Red Doors are open, and that someone—or something—has been moving through the dungeon’s halls. Around the same time, rumors began spreading that agents of a famous band of adventurers called the Seekers have purchased a townhouse in Muntburg Village for their masters. Could more flatlanders be on the way to pillage the old dungeon?

You and your friends have decided not to wait to find out. You aren’t going to let a bunch of strangers live out your childhood fantasies of adventure. You are going to explore Dwimmermount yourselves, and learn whatever secrets and claim whatever fortune you can from its depths.

May 1st, 914

The day begins with a group of young adventurers sitting in a rural tavern in the domain of the Legate of Muntburg, a couple of miles from Muntburg Castle and Muntburg Village. They are discussing their plans to explore Dwimmermount together, and the rumors they have heard about the great dungeon. The party includes:

Callet Jes, a veteran of the Legate’s garrison, born and raised in Muntburg Village. He has heard rumors of a gold mine that can be found somewhere on the lower levels of Dwimmermount. However, he is more interested in getting into Dwimmermount before the Seekers, as that band’s adventurer antics cost the lives of several members of his squad a few years back, when he was still a soldier.

Jasper, the son of a would-be adventurer whose career was cut short when he took an arrow to the knee. Jasper has been trained from birth to be the warrior his father was never able to be. He has heard that there are portals to other worlds to be found in Dwimmermount.

Bertelemy, a physicker and an apprentice of Othon the Astrologer. Bertelemy has heard rumors that there is a secret back entrance to the first level of Dwimmermount. His master has also told him stories of a pool of liquid moonlight hidden somewhere in the dungeon.

Verrick of Tyche, a somewhat mad bladedancer dervish with the power of prophecy who has idolized the older and stronger Callet since they were children. He has heard that all locked doors within Dwimmermount are trapped and can only be safely bypassed by someone wearing a special Thulian seal.

Henga of Typhon, a stern cleric who is also a native of Muntburg Village. She has heard rumors indicating that the shadowy figures seeing going in and out of Dwimmermount are actually Termaxian cultists.

The group decides to travel to Muntburg Village to try to talk to Typhons Fist about what they encountered in the dungeon. When they arrive at town, they split up. Henga and Bertelemy head to the Temple of Typhon to speak with the Curate. Callet and Verrick go to the Castle to talk to Callet’s contacts in the garrison. Jasper heads to the inn to see if the Fist is staying there.

Curate Louys does not seem pleased to hear that Henga intends to delve into Dwimmermount, and is not particularly helpful. He tells her that the Fist is recovering and cannot be disturbed, but will not tell her where they are staying. He does tell her that the Fist encountered metal skeletons within the dungeon which Typhon’s blessing was powerless to turn. The Curate claims to know nothing about the “Thulian seals” rumored to be necessary to safely open the locked doors in Dwimmermount. Frustrated, Henga and Bertelemy head to the Inn to meet up with Jasper.

Meanwhile, Callet meets up with some guards he knows at the Castle. They tell him that Typhon’s Fist is staying there as guests of the Legate, but they don’t know any more than that. They suggest he speak to Roguelin Gencien, the Sergeant of the Guard, who is having a drink at the Flask and Scroll tavern. Callet and Verrick thank the guards and head to the tavern.

At the Green Dragon Inn, Jasper is greeted by Asce, the inkeeper, who he knows through his father. Asce tells him that no, the Fist is not staying in the Inn, but that there is another adventurer, Climent, who has been staying here these last two months. Jasper meets with Climent, who explains that he is an Arcanist who has been staying in Munburg while he waits for the rest of his adventuring band, the Red Shields, to arrive so that they can explore Dwimmermount. Climent then plies the enthusiastic Jasper for as much information as he can get about Jasper’s companions and their plans. Jasper asks if Climent would like to join them, and the Arcanist says that he would be willing to do so if paid a retainer of 50gp. Jasper can’t afford that, but suggests they talk to the rest of his party to see if they can pool their funds to hire him.

Callet and Verrick meet up with Bertelemy and Henga as they approach the Inn and the Tavern. They decide to collect Jasper from the Inn and then head to the Tavern to speak with the Sergeant of the Guard. They meet Climent, and invite him to the Tavern to see if they can get him drunk enough to lower his price.

At the Tavern, Callet chats with the Corporal and learns that Typhons Fist is indeed staying with the Legate while several of their members recover from grevious wounds they claim were inflicted by metal skeletons. The Corporal says that he will not be able to arrange a meeting with the Fist for the PCs.

The rest of the party chats with Climent, trying with limited success to get information about his Red Shields. They are also unable to convince him to join their expedition to Dwimmermount in return for just a share of the treasure, without being paid his retainer. While the others talk to the Arcanist, Bertelemy senses power on him, and learn that he is carrying in his pouch something that radiates a magical aura.

The party decides to retire to the Inn. On the way back Callet and Jasper attack Climent. They take the Arcanist by surprise and beat him unconscious. Bertelemy treats his wounds, but it will take Climent a week to recover from the attack. In his pouch, they find a glowing green potion that smells like melon but tastes like urine. Bertelemy identifies it as a potion of invisibility. They also find Climent’s spell book, which contains the spells charm person and choking grasp. The PCs take to potion but leave the spell book. They take the groggy Arcanist back to the Inn, explaining to the innkeeper that he got very drunk and fell down.

They then retire to the common room to sleep, intending to leave in the morning for Dwimmermount.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

PC1: Callet Jes – Lv 1 Fighter; 0/2000 xp; STR 16 DEX 13 CON 10 INT 9 WIS 8 CHA 7; Adventuring, Military Strategy, Fighting Style (Weapon & Shield); Languages: Common
PC2: Jasper – Lv 1 Fighter; 0/2000 xp; STR 16 DEX 14 CON 9 INT 9 WIS 9 CHA 13; Adventuring, Caving, Combat Reflexes; Languages: Common
PC3: Bertelemy – Lv 1 Mage; 0/2500 xp; STR 9 DEX 13 CON 9 INT 16 WIS 9 CHA 16; Adventuring, Alchemy, Healing x2, Sensing Power; Languages: Common, High Thulian, Elven
PC4: Verrick of Tyche – Lv 1 Dervish; 0/1500 xp; STR 13 DEX 15 CON 6 INT 8 WIS 13 CHA 9; Adventuring, Gambling, Prophecy; Languages: Common
PC5: Henga of Typhon – Lv 1 Cleric; 0/1500 xp; STR 10 DEX 8 CON 16 INT 10 WIS 13 CHA 13; Adventuring, Theology, Quiet Magic; Languages: Common

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