So back in the gatehouse we discuss for a bit, and agree to make the Golem Laboratories our next destination. Team one includes:
- Anya, an Elven Mage; unsure if she’s a Wood Elf or High Elf
- Coronna Tumblebelly, a Gnome Bard
- Sam, a Human multiclasser (Level 1 Fighter, Level 5 Cleric)
- Scoiatel, a Half-Elf Paladin, and newcomer to the party
The other team is comprised of:
- Crystal Evergreen, a Human Cleric, and newcomer to the party
- Gavan, an Elven Mage of the High Elf variety
- Szenden Avere, a Half-Elf Fighter specializing in defense. On a side note, I just learned that Szenden has a surname! There goes the neighborhood
- Tassidar, a Half-Orc Fighter specializing in offense
- Waxon, an Elven Cleric of the Wood Elf variety
Team one teleports into the ‘Iron Golem Foundries,’ while Gavan’s team elects to go to the ‘Flesh Golem Mortuaries’ of the Golem Laboratories.
The room we teleport into is filled with eight zombies, three wights, and a creature we’ve never seen before. Two of the wights and the unknown creatures are at the end of the room in cages, suspended over the floor by metal chains. It’s a rather bizarre sight, and to our left our double doors slightly ajar, propped open by large stones. Since we haven’t been able to rest (i.e. we’re not at 100%,) we try talking to anyone. The unknown creature in the cage asks: “Who?” I jokingly say “The Doctor?” but seriously say the name of the Lich Lord (aka big bad), Szass Tam. That was apparently the wrong answer, because the unknown creature orders the creatures in the room to attack us. D’OH! Despite being outnumbered a little over two-to-one, we actually make short work of these creatures, and in searching the bodies we find a crystal key. Score one for the (mostly) good guys!
The walls of the adjoining room show nobles at a great feast. There is the smell of formaldehyde (eeewww) and there are various tables littered throughout the room. On some of the tables are flesh golems in the midst of being put together, I guess in the vein of Frankenstein’s monster Two red wizards are in the room, as well as two other wizards in dark robes, presumably low-level apprentices of some sort. There are also skeletons in each corner of the room, and an undead zombie mopping up the floor. We make conversation, them suspecting that we don’t belong here. Like an idiot, Gavan asks what they think about the Lich ruling over Thay. I was trying to get a sense if they were possibly aligned with Serana’s rebel faction, but in hindsight, that was not the smartest play, because they immediately hurled insults our way, saying how the rebel faction was reduced to hiring sellswords to do their bidding. A short time later, fisticuffs ensue, and when I say fisticuffs, I mean wizards casting necromantic spells like ‘blight.’ I quote from the D&D Next playtest rules: “Choose a creature within range that you can see. Necromantic energy washes over that creature, draining moisture and vitality from its body…” OUCH! All you need to really know is that it does a lot of damage, to the tune of 8d8 (roll an eight-sided dice eight times and add it all up) necrotic damage. If memory serves me correctly, Tassidar went down with one shot of this spell, though our clerics got him back up rather quickly. Also, Gavan confirms that none of the flesh golems being put together resemble Kelsin, so he’s hopefully alive and well somewhere in the Doomvault.
Speaking of clerics, our new friend Crystal was probably the MVP of this encounter, casting a silence spell that made it impossible for the wizards to use magic within a certain radius. It bought us time, and allowed us to mount a comeback and claim victory. We acquired two more crystal keys, and thanks to a successful arcana check, found the magical junk in this room, over ten pounds worth, to be worth 1500 gold pieces! Naturally, we make Tassidar carry it all. He has a strength score of 20 (the highest possible for a PC under D&D Next rules), and as he’s fond of reminding us, he’s 7’0″ tall and over 300 pounds. We also find a healing potion, which Waxon drinks immediately out of necessity. Overall, we’re doing well, but we’re running out of healing, and may need to access our emergency stash of healing potions.
The third and final adjoining room we enter has walls adorned with carvings of human monarchs, and twenty huge, white pillars. Standing against some of the pillars are three suits of armor, as well as two flesh golems. There are blue sparks comings from the pillars to the creatures. We surmise that they’re getting recharged. Thanks to a successful arcana check, we determine that the armored suits are helmed horrors, which have tons of innate resistances against physical and magical attacks. In other words, getting into combat with them would probably be a bad idea. There are doors leading to the right of this room, which we slowly try to make our way towards, but unfortunately, Gavan moves adjacent to a pillar, which not only teleports him to a random different pillar, but damages him with blue lightning. The blue sparks stop charging the golems, who are now aware of our presence, and see us as hostile.
While not the most heroic option available to us, we pull our best Monty Python and the Holy Grail impression and…
We retreat and teleport back to the gatehouse where we meet up with the other group, also battered and bruised from their venture into the Golem Laboratories, having fought off iron golems and stone gargoyles before retreating. We also gain some clarification on the ‘Seclusion Crypt,’ an extra-dimensional space where we can take a full rest. Every hour we rest there, when we return to the gatehouse, we age one month. After the first time one uses the Seclusion Crypt, when one rests there, one’s maximum hit point value drops by five. This effect lasts until one is able to take a long rest elsewhere, or one is able to cast ‘remove curse.’ Gavan actually has that spell in his spellbook, but it’s a trade-off; if he casts that, he loses one of his high level spells (i.e. fireball, lightning bolt.) But I digress; we end our play session with most of us electing to use the Seclusion Crypt. The spellcasters and healers are low on magic, so it’s a no brainer, really. The only one who elects not to use it is Szenden, who is actually doing rather well.