This is the session log from the twelfth night in a custom Dungeons and Dragons campaign I’m a part of.
Be sure to read our previous campaign sessions.
When last we left our heroes…
The party, along with every available cannon on the city ramparts, fought and brought down an 80-foot-tall iron golem colossus. They also learned that the city is a giant storage unit for magic.
Belt, a beer-brewing dwarf who was previously in the military. (Played by me!)
Svenn, a soft-spoken elf mage. (Played by Mike)
Rhoderic, the Magistrate’s Paladin who investigates unauthorized use of magic (Played by Ian)
Our story continues
The party sets out to investigate where the colossus came from by following the deep tracks it left. Heading west, they travel for a few days across the plains, until they come to the base of a mountain that has smoke pouring off the peak. Continuing to follow the colossus’ trail, they begin to spiral their way up the mountain, until they come to a massive pair of doors flanked by columns. The doors look to be a bit over 80 feet high…definitely tall enough to allow the colossus to walk through.
Belt explores the intricate stonework (spot check, modified 21), and although he can determine that the structure is a bit over a hundred years old, he’s unable to determine the precise origin of it. Svenn is unable to detect any magic in the general area, and further exploration around the immediate area of the doors fails to reveal any form of control mechanism.
Svenn casts Gaseous Form on Belt. He slips through a crack between the two doors; on the other side is a cavernous room that extends for hundreds of feet. All along the edge of the walls are thin, smooth columns. Belt turns around so that he faces the doors, and looks upward. There are more thin columns, but about 60 feet up are two mezzanines on either side of the doors. Still in gaseous form, Belt floats upwards towards the mezzanine on the right.
As he reaches it, he sees a slightly smaller-than-normal doorway, which has five large mechanical crabs moving through it. Ignoring Belt, they scoop up rock shavings and other things that look like byproducts of construction, and push them into cavities in their bellies. Belt enters through the doorway, and finds himself in what looks like a storeroom for the crabs. There are a series of chutes in the walls and floor which the crabs are using to dispose of the construction byproduct.
Belt floats back through the doorway, and over towards the mezzanine that’s to the left of the door. Once there, he finds a man-sized access tunnel. Just inside the entrance to the tunnel is a small room devoid of anything, save for an angled table that’s mounted against the wall. The table is covered in knobs, switches, dials, and other controls. He considers for a moment, then decides that he’s going to try to randomly pull one of the levers. He waits to rematerialize, and pulls on the largest lever.
An unbearably loud steam whistle goes off, followed by a low rumbling sound. The doors begin to creak open. As light floods the massive room, Belt slides down one of the thin columns. With the huge room completely lit up now, the party can see that three or four colossi could easily fit in the space. The party hoofs it to the back of the room, and spot a massive conveyor belt running in the direction of the giant room. The party decides to follow along the walls, weaving in and out of the columns. Hearing clanking noises, they look up and see a large number of spiders scurrying down one of the rails, their gemstone eyes glowing red.
Svenn cooks off a lighting bolt at the spiders from the bottom of the column for 45 modified damage (10d6+5). All six of the spiders fall from the column, and shatter on the ground, sending gears flying all over the place. The party quickly runs back to the front doors, and Svenn levitates the party up onto the mezzanine that lead to the room with the control panel. Standing at the control panel, twisting various knobs and dials, is a clockwork construct the size of a man. The party considers trying to talk to him (“He can’t talk…I mean come on, he’s a fancy pocketwatch” –DM), but quickly realize that the construct isn’t going to be saying much. Belt charges forward before the construct has a chance to attack.
Belt rolls a 28 (+17 modifier, +2 for charging) and hits the construct for 12 damage (d12+10). Reeling backwards, the construct shakes violently. Four arms pop out, each tipped with a gleaming blade. The clockwork attacks Belt for 7 damage. Svenn throws out a magic missile, hitting the construct for 13 damage. Rhoderic attempts to chop at the construct, but it ducks out of the way. Using a -3/+3 power attack, Belt lands a hit (modified 30 attack roll), and does 20 damage to the construct (1d12+13). The construct swings his arms at Belt again, this time hitting him for 8 damage. Sven lets loose another magic missile, doing 17 damage this time. The construct explodes, sending clockwork fragments all over the control room.
As the party begins to advance past the control panel, they notice that the air is starting to get hot.
Continuing down the passage past the control room, the party notices dozens of small tunnels in the walls; humans couldn’t move through these tunnels, but the mechanical spiders could definitely fit with no problem. As they continue walking, they begin to hear what sounds like a forge, as the heat starts to get intense. Finally, they reach the end of the passage, which spills out into a massive workshop. Giant hammers attached to counterweights are hammering out large metal plates, while other machines are building smaller pieces such as rods, cogs, springs, and other mechanical bits. It appears to be a factory for building constructs, but is being run by constructs. Everything looks very mechanical, with almost no magic involved.
Following the production line, the party spills out onto a viewing platform. Down below, dozens of metallic humanoids form an army on one side of a giant room, while the other side has larger humanoid variations and war machines such as catapults, trebuchets, and ballistae. In the center is a colossus that’s early in the construction phase.
After a brief discussion on what to do next, Svenn teleports back to the city to report in. He’s given an order to sabotage the production line, and attempt to find out who’s behind everything. During the five hours it takes Svenn to prepare to teleport back, a pallet is prepared with a number of barrels containing powerful explosives. Svenn then attempts to teleport back to the party, but he miscalculates and ends up a few miles from the mountain.
In the meantime, Belt and Rhoderic have been getting restless, so they’ve decided to explore. They come across a research library that is covered in dust. They are unable to determine how long it has been undisturbed, but based on the amount of dust, it has to have been untouched for decades. Next to a desk covered in books and scrolls is a desiccated corpse. After checking the body and investigating the rotting scraps of clothing still intact, Belt and Rhoderic determine that it’s the corpse of a wizard. Looking around the room, they discover small-scale models of a rudimentary colossus, as well as a wide variety of blueprints and drawings for a range of mechanical constructs.
Using his knowledge of local history (modified 20), Belt realizes who the corpse once was: a couple hundred years ago, there was a half elf that used to assist in putting the finishing touches on the various citadels behind the city walls. He had some kind of falling out with the government and disappeared…the last anyone saw of him was when he headed off into the woods.
Belt gently blows the dust off one of the scrolls, and using his ability to decipher scripts (natural 20), he recognizes that everything is written in backwards Elvish. Rhoderic begins to gingerly collect books, scrolls, and various small doodads.
After having examined the room and picking up many of the artifacts within, Belt and Rhoderic realize that the wizard had built the factory, but once he died, the factory just kept on running itself. After all these years, everything seems to be in place and the factory is quickly building up a mechanical army, presumably set to march on the city. Belt and Rhoderic head back to the rendezvous point.
Svenn attempts to transport back again, and this time is successful. Belt’s eyes shine like rubies at the sight of all the gunpowder, as it’s been a long time since he had a chance to blow something up. After a brief discussion, the party decides that they couldn’t possibly destroy the facility without bringing the research room to the attention of their bosses.
The party decides to blow up the colossus that’s currently under construction, and to collapse the passage that materials are being transported through for the main workroom. In this way, they could slow down production enough to grant them time to get a proper force put together.
After working for hours to get the explosives rigged up, the party lights the fuse, and then Svenn transports them back to the city.
That about wraps it up for night twelve. We had some trouble thinking up a way to get through the giant doors, but once we got inside, things flowed smoothly. We LOVED how the dead wizard essentially built the entire complex with the purpose of building a clockwork army to overrun the city…definitely a cool and unexpected explanation.
We only have a night or two left in this campaign. When it (sadly) ends, I’m going to condense all of the logs down into a single document and post it on Scribd. I hope you enjoyed reading about our twelfth night as much as I enjoyed playing it!