The Devil’s Riddle: Session 35

The group set out once more, and after a swift search of the bandit quarters (which reveals nothing but bedbugs and lice) they make their way down the left hand passage Skunk had indicated. The crudely cut smuggler’s tunnel twists and turns, pitch black but for for the soft blue glow of Lisandra’s staff.

“Phaugh, what’s that unholy stench?” Asks Tomas, and all of the party’s nostrils are assaulted by a potent rancid stink that makes the air almost unbreathable. “Be on your guard” Rufus replies through gritted teeth. “It may be some foul creature is up ahead.” But as they move on the smell diminishes. “They could really use a good cleaner down here” Fyn quips.   

After what seems like an age the party come to a T junction. “Which way?” Fyn whispers, peering into the darkness. Rufus reflects briefly, then indicates to the right. “Quietly now, we don’t know what lies ahead.”

At each turn in the tunnel Fyn peeks around the corner to ensure the path is clear. At the next bend he leans around the corner and sees a crude stone archway leading into a small chamber. Two doors lead out of the room. But of more immediate concern are the amber chitin-covered creatures  at the centre of the room, their long antennae twitching in Fyn’s direction. They are perhaps three feet long and really rather cute-looking in an insectoid sort of way.

“Aw, will you look at these guys!” Fyn grins. “Hello there big fella! Lisandra, can we keep one?”

Rufus, following close behind, takes a look into the room and cries out in alarm. “Fyn! Keep away from those things!”

But the warning comes a fraction too late. As Fyn steps into the room there’s a dull orange flash that spreads out from the archway, bathing the whole party in it’s light. “Uh, is it me or is it getting rather hot in here?” Cayleb asks. Then, a second later he lets out a yelp and drops his shortsword, shaking his fingers. “It burned me!”

One by one the others begin to display signs of increasing discomfort as every metal object they carry begins to grow steadily hotter and hotter.

And the rust monsters start to close in…

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One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 35”

  1. Marching order:
    Front: Fyn and Rufus
    Middle: Lisandra and Tomas
    Rear: Cayleb and Idril

    Q: any loot? EXCEPTIONAL NO
    Dungeon Features in corridor: To keep things interesting I rolled to see if there was anything in the corridor, using the d30 DM Companion. A roll of 3/8, 6/6 and 6/30 gave me my unsettling stink.

    To clarify how that works, first I roll a D8:
    1: Dungeon Feature (walls, floor, doors)
    2: Embellishment
    3: Debris
    4: Molds/ slimes/ mushrooms
    5: Trap/ Protection/ Poison
    6: Monster
    7: Nothing
    8: Nothing
    Then roll on the appropriate tables to see what I’ve encountered. In this case the result is a strong rancid smell.

    The party just dismiss this as one of those dungeon things, but that’s not good enough for me; where does this rancid smell come from? Enquiring minds demand to know, so let’s pull back the curtain. In an exercise to see where the power of randomization can take me I visited Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancidification) and learned that this rancid smell is the result of (3/3) Oxidative Rancidity (fat reacting to the oxidising effects of air). Specifically rancid (2/3) saturated fat (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/types-of-fat/ ). And that fat is from (1/10) hydrogenated oil (https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-saturated-fat.php) . Actually no, that was only invented in 1903, and it’s very bad for you, so let’s try again: (2/3) coconut oil (https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-saturated-fat.php ). So clearly something dropped a coconut down here ages ago, and it’s been left to go bad. My money’s on a (2/2) European swallow (http://style.org/unladenswallow/ ).

    Q: left? NO
    Scene Altered: Something is unexpectedly Negative.
    For this on a whim I decided on a trap. I rolled this random trap on Chaotic Shiny.

    Trap:
    Trigger: when entering the next room
    Effect: heat metal
    Radius: somewhat large (most of party)
    Detection: fairly easy (DC 12)
    Special: the trap has lingering effects of some sort (poison, disorientation, etc) (if applicable)

    Fyn Stealth: 14
    Rufus Stealth: 15
    Fyn’s passive perception is only 11, so he triggers the trap as he peers into the room.

    Q: Anything in the chamber? YES
    We already know there’s a trap, so I’m going to rule that the room is occupied. Encounter! The first choice is: easy/ medium/ hard/ deadly
    R: #1: 1/4
    Next we need to determine what’s in there. I figure we have three known enemies so far: guards, dark jesters and undead minions. Let’s add an “other” category to keep things unpredictable.
    The choices now are: one or two enemy types (I’d have included three or four if we’d rolled for a tougher encounter).
    R: #2: 1/2
    Just the one type. And what is it?
    R: #3: 4/4
    It’s an “other”. Now normally I’d have Kobold Fight Club randomly build me an environment-applicable encounter, but with that “heat metal” trap I have an idea that I can’t resist; I type “rust” into KBF and get Rust Monster (CR ½). Three of these is an easy encounter, though if they go blundering in and then have to start shedding armour (for the rust monsters to gobble up) things might not be so straightforward!

    Does Fyn recognise it? Nature: 1 (natural 1!)
    That’s going to give him disadvantage on his Wisdom check regarding what to do next: 11/4. Oh dear!
    Rufus: Nature: 16

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