*Spoiler Alert: This post contains information not meant for players that may someday play Mythmere Game's Tomb of the Iron God adventure module. Your DM will know that you are cheating and your character may die a horrible and painful death! You have been warned!
With a full house this session and one new player, we got off to a bit of a slower start. It also seemed that we would be heading into a possible TPK but the players were resourceful and... well, read on....
Preparing to leave the Chalice and Blade and aid Father Harris in his personal quest to rid the the Iron God's temple ruins of the living dead, our party along with a Stygian Runner named Adara once again climbed the Path of the Dead and entered the Tomb.
They made their way without incident to the main entry chamber for the Catacombs. There they collected the rust colored hoods and the ceremonial axe, incense burner and lantern used to safely enter the catacombs. Realizing that they didn't have enough hoods to go around, they decided to travel to the other entrance on the other side of the dungeon.
Finally, with everyone wearing the ceremonial hoods, and with each member stating their name for the recorder of the dead, they entered into the catacombs, a rough natural passage filled with a powerful supernatural presence. Coming to three passageways, they chose the left. This passage lead the party to a chamber filled with impenetrable darkness!
Trying everything to shed some light into that room, even filling the ceremonial lantern with oil and lighting it, they failed to push the darkness away. Skwanky charged into the inky blackness anyway.
Tibag, Gnarly and Adara entered the chamber blind and feel along the south wall while Gedlesmote and Wolfhere entered the chamber without a wall to guide them. Slick Vinny and Father Harris felt along the north wall.
Once everyone is in the room, they began to make out quiet footsteps of iron on stone and a gentle yet grating voice spoke out and gave them warning. Now somewhere in Slick Vinny's memory he pulled out something that the Gypsy had said about not harming the guardian in the darkness. Stating that quite loudly, mostly so Skwanky would not cause any trouble, they left this shapeless voice be.
Tibag's party felt their way to another opening which lead down a corridor to a closed door which they correctly deduced would open into the main ceremonial chamber. Skwanky felt around on the floor for the source of this mysterious voice and found, what appeared to the halfling to be a textured iron pillar connected to a massive hulking iron mass above. The halfling tired to befriend this 'thing' but no response was received.
Meanwhile, Slick Vinny and Father Harris discovered an opening to the north and left the darkness behind and Geedlesmote and Wolfheir sat in the dark and smoked some halfling weed.
Vinny hailed the rest of the party and everyone slowly made their way to the north opening except for the Dwarf and Viking who mistakenly end up at the opening where they entered.
Finally, the entire party back together once again, cautiously entered a chamber where there are three figures standing over an open chest. The figures turn out to be iron statues of the corrupt priests. Geddleesmote, peered into the chest and saw glorious treasure, but was attacked by a giant tick which dropped down from the ceiling and began to suck the dwarf's blood. The dwarf tried to smash the thing with his fists and a quick thinking Wolfheir burnt the tick off with a torch. Tibag tried to take a swing at it but missed and the tick stuck to the thief's leg. Adara comes in and finishes the bulbous fiend.
Recovering the treasure, the party proceeded through a narrow opening in the north and into a maze of stalagmites. Now, this entryway had carved writing above warning of the Eater of the Dead. My players have been very good about figuring all the clues and puzzles out in this adventure with the exception of this one very important clue. They felt that since they were part of the living they had nothing to fear from this Eater of the Dead who was probably not a threat anyway. But upon entering, they freed this demon from the curse of the Iron God.
They found the Eater of the Dead as a horrific 8 foot tall statue encased in stone all fangs and teeth. After finding nothing of value in the room they left but as they stood again at the entrance to the Room of Eternal Darkness they discovered that this 'statue' was following them, grinning horrifically and just watching the party.
Slick Vinny lets loose a magic missile to no avail. Arrows too were useless. They felt their way back through the dark room thinking that the Darkness would keep the demon at bay. But leaving the chamber, they heard a great battle taking place from within the darkness. A rending of stone and iron!
Thinking the beast destroyed, they continued to explore, when suddenly, the Eater of the Dead is behind them once again. Tibag, having enough of this creature, stepped towards it. The beast did nothing but grin at the Half-elf. Then Slick Vinny had an idea and pulled out a scroll that he had picked up in Zenopus' Tower, a spell that will turn stone to flesh! The wizard casts the spell and the Eater of the Dead was made flesh, though wounded from it's battle with the Guardian of the Darkness! Tibag sliced into it's flesh with his magic sword but then the Demon picked Tibag up and took a bite out of him. He tossed the rigid form of the the Thief aside and lunged at the rest of the party. But our brave adventures sliced this foul demon into pieces. The Eater of the Dead had been vanquished!
Skwanky, concerned about his 'friend' the guardian, rushed into the darkness once again to see if it was alright and finds nothing but a lump of twisted iron.
Slick Vinny, using a tobacco that they had purchased in Caladan to alleviate the affects of poison, shotgunned it into the paralyzed Tibag's mouth but to no affect. Father Harris said that his powers will not help the thief and in fact, the wounds caused by the Giant Tic to the dwarf and Tibag look pretty nasty and can't be healed by his prayers.
With that, the party decided to leave the tomb and head back to Brakken.
Now, this Eater of the Dead could have really caused some major trouble to the party had it perused them until they got into a combat with some undead, and the direction they were heading would have trapped them in that situation. It would have been a grim turn of events but Slick Vinny's thinking paid off and I rolled with that turn of events.
It was an interesting session to say the least. It was a large group of players to manage and I think in situations like that, the atmosphere of the session can be compromised. But as a DM, you have to roll with that and still make the game enjoyable. I think it's always better to have more live player characters than NPCs running around in the party even though the game dynamic can change. It was still a good time. I think the character's personalities are starting to develop and mesh a bit.
Looking forward to the next session!