The Rise of Tiamat, session 4

The Tomb of Diderius. The Serpent Hills.

The adventurers had come to the hills in pursuit of Varram, a disgraced Wyrmspeaker who had lost his Mask of Dragons. As the session began, the adventurers came in sight of Varram’s objective: an ancient tomb carved into the wall of a cliff. Ruined buildings, remnants of a long-forgotten settlement, lay scattered about the plain before the cliff. Investigation of these buildings yielded the information that Varram’s party had reached the tomb, but no-one of the party was here; only a few freshly dug graves and a lit campfire indicated that some dire fate must have befallen them… and quite recently, at that!

Two great statues stood before the entrance to the tomb, now damaged and time-worn. As the party advanced, the statues animated and addressed them: “Halt! You come before Diderius, ether walker and conduit of clairvoyance. Behold ye now his wondrous triumphs! Diderius extends wisdom, and Diderius offers knowledge. Which do you seek?”

“Knowledge,” was the reply, and the adventurers were permitted to proceed.

The tomb below was filled with shadows of its past glory, but that was all they were: shadows. Illusions of what once were. Moving quickly through the ante-chamber, the adventurers found themselves in a long corridor, where six statues stood – cowled wizards where the details of their faces were obscured by an unnatural darkness. Into the adventurers’ minds came the warning, “Some secrets are not meant for mortal minds to know. Look away from the darkness in which such knowledge hides.”

This did not stop Ice; the halfling climbing up and peering into the darkness beneath the cowl. Shadows formed in her mind, and she found herself understanding more than she did before… perhaps, a bit too much!

The next chamber encountered by the group had a mosaic, which formed itself into a chimera made of tiles as the party approached, heedless of the danger within. The chimera attacked with its fiery breath, and its sharp claws of ceramic, but it proved itself quite resistant to the arrows the archers of the group were shooting at it. Mordechai, the eldritch warrior, put himself in harm’s way, using his normal tactic of sacrificing his extra attacks for the combination of casting blade ward while hitting it with his sword, and although he took some damage, he was able to protect most of the others from its attacks.

Further exploration discovered a divining pool, but not the way to activate it.

Rock falls blocked some of the way forward, so the adventurers were forced to take an alternative route, which led them to a chamber where a great representation of the wizard Diderius required offerings for the group to pass. Most were willing, but Ice was not. She really wasn’t – wanting to take the offerings herself and completely oblivious to the threat of the great statue above her which was beginning to move…

Eventually, Mordechai was forced to subdue her, tie her up and leave her in the chamber. (Yes, this really happened in the session, and was not one of the best instances of group play I’ve seen. Tip for players: when the rest of the group vote to do something, don’t try and disrupt the result. It isn’t fun – and the player in question very easily could have had their character killed as a result).

Down one sorcerer, the group proceeded to a dining chamber where a group of devils, summoned by Varram, were guarding the chamber – but not against the adventurers. Instead they proved to be quite chatty, as they didn’t like the dwarven dragonspeaker that much. One of the doors from the chamber was boarded up; investigating, they discovered it led to a treasure chamber that was inhabited by wraiths! The group quickly retreated, only to find that investigating the chamber was the trigger for the devils to attack. Thankfully, the wraiths didn’t pursue them out of the treasure chamber, and the adventurers were able to defeat the devils. It was a nasty moment, however.

Finally, the group reached the true tomb of Diderius. His spirit addressed them, and the group were respectful. He revealed that Varram had been captured by yuan-ti, that lived in caves further into the mountain. The group chose to rest (and recover their sorcerer) before proceeding into the caves of the Yuan-Ti…


  1. Sean

    Was there out of game tension over what happened with Ice? Did the player have to sit at the table for the rest of the session?


    • merricb

      There was a little tension, and we had a chat about what you can and can’t do in a game like this. (Basically: don’t spoil it for others). I had much more trouble in a recent D&D Expeditions game, where several players started doing really stupid stuff. I had to talk to them about it afterwards.


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