Cataclysm wins again!
Kentucky ice storms have kept me off the internet for a few weeks.
Fortunately, my last game session took place a day or two before.
The characters were holed up in a secret room. They'd just fought and defeated a few of the Ancipitals (5'-6' tall, weirdly double-jointed ram-men with yellow blood) and freed a human they kept as a slave. During the fight, Allen the Halfling was mauled to the edge of death, as
was an NPC.
The freed slave offered them rewards should they escort him to his home, which was further into the depths. They agreed that they would, but first needed to return to the surface to heal, and Allen wanted some armor, having grown weary of being stuck with spears.
Slowly, sneakily, they went back the way they came, and spent a few days healing back on the surface, restocking and (in Allen's case) armoring - and returned again. One of the guardsmen who operated the winch that lowers a basket down to the entry cavern offered them a deal they declined first time - a runestone of safe returning, cheaper than they are sold in the Academy's
shop. This time they took it.
From the entry cavern, there are many miles of a featureless tunnel with no turns or intersections. The first location off the tunnel is an abandoned 'habitat' (there are underworld cultures that have lived/still live in such locales). It was in this habitat that the first session took place. Its entry is marked with a symbol that Allen has been told marks a way to his goal.
They kept walking. Slow and sneaky. The tunnel continues, sloping slightly down, for a long time. Three days at their pace. A couple of encounters avoided, some 'Tuckerish' kobalds with better darkvision than them, a sleeping ogre quickly dispatched (and not looted!(?)), and also a trio of hobgoblins that killed the freed slave they were ostensibly 'escorting'. They left him to lie where he fell.
Eventually (they were bored and so was I, but I kept to hourly wandering monsters and did not roll very many at all) - eventually they came to "The Common Way" - the cavernous underworld that extends for many miles.
Near their entry point is the habitat of the Hator-Yaqui, the undermen-kin of the slave they rescued. They stayed for a day among them, never trying to interact with them at all, until the next day, when the inquired where they would find the habitat marked with the symbol that Allen had been instructed to look for. Once told, they left for it and found it easily, and we ended with them standing at the entrance to this old habitat, which is supposed to lead to a desecrated temple that must be restored.
They were bored, and as a consequence, so was I. Maybe that was the other way around.
Whoever 'started-it' doesn't matter. The searching for secret door issue came up again, to the point that one of the players apologized and just totally lost interest in the game. They didn't interact in any meaningful way with the slave (before he was killed). They asked the Hator-Yaqui what they knew about the habitat that they were heading to and were told 'There is evil there,' and then blithely left to meet it.
I was bummed out at the end of this session, and I know that one of the players was too.
This post is long and has led me to a question. I will post that question separately.