The Dungeon Run - Episode 2 The Fallen Lodestar

The Dungeon Run - Episode 2 The Fallen Lodestar

In this episode, Fahima, Siv, James, Lily, and Uggo find a way into the mysterious fallen Lodestar, a massive tower from the sky, lying toppled in the forest. Inside, all manner of surprises and dangers await... and possibly some new allies.

DM/GM Intro

As you know, it started as a simple Dungeon Run. Five adventurers all starting over with new lives, answer the call, and delve into a Dragon's Lair hoping to retrieve some treasure. What they found was a magical item trapped in crystal.

Unable to use or even identify this magical item, you all arranged a meeting in a tavern with a powerful wizard, said to be able to free the item from its crystal prison. It turns out the wizard Torvalt the Timid sent his apprentice to the meeting instead, and just as that young boy Suth told them that his master would be able to help them, the tavern was attacked by an army of angry Kobolds.

In the ensuing chaos and fire, Suth opened a portal back to Torvalt's camp, and our adventurers all managed to make it through that portal. But sadly, a local perfume salesman met a grizzly end attempting to get through the portal, and also Suth himself was killed as a new monster unexpectedly tried to pull Suth back through the portal.

Throwing Suth's decapitated head and arms in a sack, our adventurers met with Torvalt finally. Torvalt told them that he was part of a secret order of wizards called The Natural Order. Their task is to right wrongs, and maintain a balance in The Realms of Aïn .

Torvalt tells our team that he and Suth had set up camp, and were investigating a strange structure in the woods, and asked our team to go investigate it in his stead, while he works to break through the magical crystal, and figure out what lies inside it. So bounding through the forests, large parts of which have been cut down systematically, our team of hearty adventurers arrives here at this massive structure...

Part I: The structure in the woods (aka. 'Time for Dogs!')

On a dark cloudy night at the request of Torvalt the Timid, the party set off to investigate a very large, brick structure in the forest. Given that it seems to be cylindrical in shape and lying flat (although some is beneath the surface of the earth) they come to the conclusion that it must have been a tower, in the sky.

Explaining his librarian past, James expressed his concern about the whole venture and the rest of the party rallied to bolster his doubts - Uggo even going so far as to hug James. Siv offered to scale the structure and declined the offer help from the now -2 to Stealth Uggo (due to the application of sickly sweet perfume from the late Dufo Hims). Lily casts Unseen Servant on a piece of wood, named Ferdinand and suggests that he could be company for Digit, James' Mage Hand. James seems surprised about an unexpected item in his pack and Fahima starts a casting ritual.

After checking the area surrounding the structure, Siv stealthily investigates a crevice in what appears to be the base of the tower with a view to entering. He is distracted by James' use of Awakened Mind, but he notices a canine animal that is preoccupied with some bones within the tower's first 'room' as well as a chest of some kind toward the far end of the space. Looking at the surroundings, he sees a fireplace and what would have been spiral staircase with the occasional tree poking through windows of the Tower.

Siv returns to the party and reports his findings. Fahima remembers stories that her father (Conroy Tadhg) told her about Lodestars - magical sky towers populated by mostly flying, mystical creatures. The party then discuss how to enter the fallen tower and deal with the creature inside. Just as Uggo impetuously starts to climb up to the crack, Lily lifts spirits in the party with a song:

'It's Like a Prayer (but it's a song)' -
"In front of us we see a force - it's a Lodestar of course, we may not know what lay ahead, but we listened close to what Torvalt said.
We'll explore it fast and then go home, we don't know what we'll find in here.
We'll explore it fast and then report everything we see; when in doubt we'll make a call to Torvalt on his earring thing; when in doubt we walk away, there is no shame in fleeing!"

Lily then climbs on Uggo's back. James casts guidance on Uggo which enables him to easily scale the 'wall', followed by Siv. After Uggo and Fahima argue about the finer grammatical details of what constitutes an offer, the self confident young Genasi easily scales the distance upward. Once he has dropped to the 'floor', Siv checks the area is safe and beckons the others. Meanwhile James casts Guidance on himself for his attempt at climbing, which he succeeds with no issues.

Lily follows Siv just as the canine creature teleports. More creatures appear and the party rolls initiative:

In the ensuing encounter with the, what turn out to be, Blink Dogs - Uggo's Ancestral Guardians make their first appearance who help him to obliterate, Fahima's love of animals backfires and she burns in return, Siv severely injures then eviscerates, James hexes, Lily mocks and reluctantly kills.

Once the blink dogs are defeated the party further investigate the area. Lily communicates with Torvalt using the earring - he advised them to find the reasons for the Lodestar having fallen from the sky. Meanwhile, Siv makes his way to the next 'room'. After the party finally follow Siv, they hear some unearthly sounds and roll initiative.

Upon encountering a large reptilian monster (Basilisk?), Uggo gets paralysed (but not twice) and subsequently freed by Lily, with the help of James' Darkness, Siv's bow skills and, later, Uggo's impetuous raging and mauling followed by Fahima's tricky Flaming Sphere they defeat the creature. Afterwards, they dedicate themselves to opening a nearby container.

Part ll: The Familiar and non-familiar

Ferdinand the Unseen Servant does his best to drag the previously seen chest toward the party and Siv expertly picks the lock. With are found a small flask which turns out to be a health potion and signed boomerang, which Siv immediately throws out of the tower hoping that it is on its way to its owner.

During the previous encounter, members of the party noticed fiery flashes coming from under a massive stone close to the location of the Basilisk. Uggo, bolstered by Lily's inspiration, relatively easily lifts the rock revealing the trapped fiery creature held captive.

Fahima now coaxes a starving, baby phoenix from beneath the rock who the party call 'Meep' - Fahima's new familiar. While deciding what to do with the newly found phoenix, they learn how to communicate with it and Uggo increases his usable vocabulary.

The party then rest as Lily sings:

'A Song of Rest' -
"Oh no you bumped your head, it could be worse you could be dead, oh no you got a bruise, we'll all feel better when we take a snooze."

The party then make their way to the next 'room'. As James had detected magic previously, he spies a magical item across the way, he finds a brown pouch under a pile of garbage after using Digit to sift through the detritus. Upon further examination, the pouch contains seeds.

Looking through a trap door leading to the next 'room', Siv notices a female, humanoid, figure suspended upside down by spider web strands. Two spiders can also be seen going about their business.

Coming up with some nifty tactics, our heroes start another combat round, this time with surprise. Fahima shoots fire, Siv shoots and misses, Uggo fails to use his element of surprise, Lily hurts the big spider's feelings, and James inflicts damage. The battle itself finds some interesting combat decisions by the party and to-ing and fro-ing of advantage, James investigates the hanging figure and confirms she is alive, despite being blinded, Uggo manages to inflict damage on a spider, but they relatively easily come through due to Fahima's flaming magic and Siv's sharpshooting.

Ever the acrobat, Siv cuts the strands of web holding the captive figure who Uggo then catches. Diptha, her name, turns out to be a steward of the Lodestar; Lily heals the steward and the party questions her about her current predicament and how it came about. She describes 'a great commotion' with 'lightning in the sky and dragon wings' as being the reason for the falling of the Lodestar and directs the party's vision to another Lodestar resting high up in the clouds, glistening in the sunlight above an otherwise murky cloud layer beneath.

The episode ends with Diptha imploring the party to rise to the challenge of travelling into the clouds and resolving the problem.

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