Sunday, 22 July 2012

Today My Universe Killed A Kitten

R.I.P. the white kitten from the goblin room of Tomb of the Iron God. The elf Sivir carried this animal in her backpack for a month and a half of game time, somewhat implausibly - I never rolled a meow check when the party was hiding, ol' softie me.

As the party went exploring the cliffside of their current dungeon, seeking an alternate route to the tunnels below, they improbably came upon a second cave, the first one having been deemed empty. This cave, rolling for random room contents, I determined to contain a monster and treasure. The monster was a swarm of rats and the treasure was a sack with a few gold pieces.

After defeating the rats, Sivir decided to feed some of the dead ones to the kitten. Well, every one knows dungeon rats have a risk of carrying disease. This one did ... the kitten failed a save, and got sick ... the wood elf henchman tried to cure her, but failed ... the kitten failed another save later, and died. A brief service of burial was held outside the town walls.

Death from bad choices, so no regrets. And a memento mori the party scarcely needs, as the pressure slowly ratchets up in the campaign. How can I even begin to recap? High-level maneuvering among three power centers in the Durrin Hills Confederacy has delayed the consequences of the party's complicity in the partial destruction of the town of Goran's Anvil, via purple worm breach caused by a mysterious flute they unwisely granted to a priest of Ygg*.

But now, something's got a camp of Goranic warriors parked on the road south from the town of Parmentell and scouting the country north, which the party has been traversing to get to the dungeon. Lack of lantern oil is the main thing limiting their exploration of a network of spacious tunnels many miles long, revealed by digging through the clogging cast of a purple worm trail. Information from a panicked, hostile gnome miner leads them to believe that the tunnels lead eventually to the Purple Worm Graveyard, and treasure in crysknife-sharp ivory beyond reckoning ... but by the same token, to a rampaging, live purple worm variously described as "singing" and "piping."

Soon the moment of judgment will be at hand. Equilibrium will break, secrets will be revealed, and more than a kitten's life will be at stake!

*Ygg: with Crom, one of the two chief male gods of the North. What kind of stuff would Odin get up to in his quest for wisdom, if the universe contained Great Old Ones and Underdark realms? And what if the rivalry between him and Crom had a little bit of the rivalry between the Slavic gods Perun and Veles? You have a more sinister religion than our friends from the Church's lands perhaps realized. A bas-relief found in the dwarven shrine beyond the petrified purple worm's gullet shows Ygg whispering to a worm on his right and slaying a worm on his right. A vast worm - said to encircle the world - frames the depiction.

1 comment:

  1. you do know cats have nine lives?

    my family has a habit of drawing stray cats to our door (usually in the middle of winter when i cannot deny my kids the right to feed them). needless to say, whenever one goes missing or ends up losing a game of chicken with an auto, another always shows up.

    could make an interesting curse to a pc (and i'd be rolling for that poorly timed meow).