How Unkkuth

(session spans roughly 2.5 weeks)

XP gains:

2667 for PCs; should be at 51617 total for all the real PCs and Saul, though YM might be a little different.
Finn: 3544
Others 4445

Mythic people get +1 trial (PCs need 3 to get to Tier 6). Finn goes from Tier 2 to Tier 3.
Non-mythic people accomplished a trial but need one little something to become mythic; Thema is almost there (need to think on this myself)

Next session we'll pick with the party finishing loading all of the shrunken golems onto the airship. The plan is to set off toward the North to try to use the army to help break the demon siege on the Zwallen cities. The PCs plan on trying to get in touch with Jotham before going, and they also plan on landing in the lake to the south of Jotham's city so that the airship doesn't get into battle, if they can ensure that even that far south is still safe from massive demon attack.


The Labyrinth

The carved rooms of the labyrinth were built by Mirle and his fellow warrior-priests prior to them setting off upon their quest. The original purpose was to have a contingent army that would keep Mirle's tribes (the to-be-Mierans) safe from the demonic threats in the area, but they were never called upon due to the success of Mirle's quest. Those who were authorized to use them passed down the location over a few generations, but with the various wars and upheavals at the time and the migration of the Mierans away from the newly-spreading Badlands, the location (and eventually, existence) of the labyrinth was eventually forgotten.

#1: The Bas Relief

The cavern in the cliffside bears a bas relief of Farmer Mirle as he appeared before setting off on the quest that would lead to the founding of the Isle of Mist. He is an old man, clearly long weathered but still healthy and strong. He wears old armor (which would have been leather with metal plates riveted onto it) and wields an ancient, simple sword (like a gladius, an unsophisticated, short, chopping blade). Next to the bas relief, a few words are carved in Ancient Mieran; the PCs cannot read them, though Saul can. They can be read with comprehend languages. The carving reads: "Celsus Taylan Mirle: Soldier, Farmer, Father, Hero."

Spot: DC 21 spot check allows the PC to see the seam along the floor where the doorway swings open.
Search: DC 20 search check reveals a latch under the sword's scabbard. This latch would have allowed the door to swing in, opening the entrance to the cavern. DC 24 check reveals that the latch is broken.
Strength: DC 17 Strength check to be able to open or shut the door, as it is very heavy and the hinges are not extremely well balanced.
Disable Device: DC 25 check (difficult due to inaccessability) allows the PC to hook the latch inside the mechanism, unlatching the door.

#2: The Tunnel Down

Slick mud covers this downward-sloping tunnel due to the leaky cavern roof. A stream runs above on the shallow cliff, which is where the water comes from; occasional drips from the cavern roof show where the water leaks in, dripping onto the muddy floor. The first 130 linear feet of the tunnel (just past the dark to where it lights up again) slopes down about 20 feet in total, a moderate grade. Once past there, it slopes back up again another 5 or 6 feet, leaving deep mud puddled at the bottom. Once up the ascent, the ground dries.

Under much of the mud, the ancient Mierans placed obsidian spikes that act much like caltrops. When stepped on, they break off, remaining embedded in the walker's foot. Each 5' step the walker takes within the area of the caltrops, roll 1d20 vs AC 12. If the "attack" succeeds, the walker has stepped on a caltrop, taking 1 point of damage. His or her move is also reduced by 1/2 until the spike is removed and the wound healed (24 hours and a DC 15 heal check) or the walker receives at least 1 hp of magical healing.

#3: The Hellcaps

The marked red areas on the map are thick caps of impure quartz sitting atop incredibly deep sinkholes. The sinkholes themselves are more than 500' deep, and the quartz caps are 100' thick or more. Deep below, though, is a hot magma cap. The trapped superheated air under the quartz caps keeps the quartz uncomfortably hot. Standing on the quartz for 1 round is uncomfortable. On subsequent rounds, the target takes 1d4 points of damage each round unless he/she is immune to fire damage.

Anyone with darkvision can clearly see the hellcaps in total darkness, though the bright infrared from them impedes the user's ability to see further with darkvision. Darkvision is limited to 20' within this area.

#4: The Barracks Entry

Each side of the entry to the barracks is cloaked with an illusory wall of stone (as major image) masking a permanent wall of force. Both are as cast by a 12th-level caster. Both have been hidden by mask dweomer, meaning that detect magic will not reveal their presence, though higher-level spells will reveal the magical aura.

The opening command phrase ("I desire the Company of Armistead" in Ancient Mieran) lowers the wall of force (but not the illusion), while the closing command phrase ("My business with the Company of Armistead is complete" in Ancient Mieran) raises the wall of force once more.

#5: The Storeroom Entry

Entry to the storeroom is blocked by a standard secret door. The door is very difficult to detect in the dark, and shifting of the caverns in the centuries since it was carved has rendered it quite difficult to open. The stone door itself has hardness 18 and 40 HP. Aida forced the door open.

#6: The Infantry

The infantry consists of 276 terra cotta golems shaped like muscular humans. They were usually designed to wield short chopping swords and small shields, though many of them would also carry short bows and a small number of arrows. Their weapons are not with them; they are in the storeroom.

Each golem is marked with a sigil that represents the Destructor aspect of Armistead.

Knowledge (religion): DC 16 to realize that the use of the Destructor instead of the Warrior is significant. DC 22 to understand that the Destructor is more offensive and proactive than the Warrior. DC 30 to reach the conclusion that the Destructor sigil might also relate to the relative lack of control the user has over how the destructive power of the golems is directed.

#7: The Cavalry

The cavalry consists of 46 terra cotta golems shaped like war horses with terra cotta human golem riders. The riders would carry wooden lances and horseman's maces as well as asymmetrical shields meant for horseback riding and bracing the lance. Their weapons are not with them; they are in the storeroom. The human riders cannot dismount from the horses; they are joined and are one entity.

Each golem is marked with a sigil that represents the Destructor aspect of Armistead.

Knowledge (religion): DC 16 to realize that the use of the Destructor instead of the Warrior is significant. DC 22 to understand that the Destructor is more offensive and proactive than the Warrior. DC 30 to reach the conclusion that the Destructor sigil might also relate to the relative lack of control the user has over how the destructive power of the golems is directed.

#8: The Support Stafff

The support staff consists of 8 terra cotta nashorn. They each pull a 10'x20' wagon capable of carrying massive weight, relatively speaking. The wagons are not intact but could be repaired.

#9: Sword Racks

Racks containing the rusted-out and destroyed remains of the short chopping swords used by the infantry. The racks originally held around 300 swords.

#10: Lance Racks

Racks containing the rotted lances and rusted maces for the cavalry. The racks originally held around 200 lances and 60 maces.

#11: Shield Racks

Racks containing the rusted and rotted shields for the infantry and the cavalry. The racks originally held around 300 infantry shields and 60 cavalry shields, as well as 30 tower shields that could be used as shield walls.

#12: Library

Scroll case with rotted and destroyed scrolls. The scrolls, if repaired, would hold some history and religious texts pertaining to the ancient Mieran civilization. One scroll with gilded edges contains the instructions for operating the golems, including the initiation ritual required to activate them.

#13: Storage Chests

Chests with preservation enchantments laid upon them. These chests hold the enchanted clay used to make the golems. The clay can be painted onto soldiers who the golems should treat as allies (a relatively small amount will last 1d4 days). It can also be used to patch the golems themselves. If desired, new golems could even be crafted, though doing so is an expensive process even with the clay. There is enough clay in each chest to make 4 infantry or 1 cavalry; a nashorn requires 4 full chests' worth of clay to craft. Repairs generally require 1/10 as much clay as crafting a golem, as does painting 10 soldiers.

#14: Archery Racks

Racks containing the rotted remains of the archery equipment. There were originally 120 short bows and 6000 arrows. The bows were all mighty +4 but non-magical.

#15: All the Marbles

Rock and glass marbles in a big canister in the ceiling. Pressure plate meant to trigger the trap, but the mechanism is extremely old and may not work. The party avoided this trap.

#16: Vents

Stepping on one of these weak points in the floor (if you weigh more than about 110 lb) will cause the floor to collapse, dumping the person into a 6d10' deep pit. The pit is full of superheated air from the magma pockets below. The faller will take 3d6 damage (fire) plus the fall damage; on subsequent rounds, anyone entering an adjacent square will suffer 1d6 fire damage from the hot air erupting from the floor.

#17: Glyph Puzzle Door

There are glyphs surrounding this door. Viewing them with any kind of detect magic-like spell reveals the glyphs to be weakly enchanted with transmutation magic. The highly-stylized glyphs, clockwise from the lower left of the door, are:

  1. A fox
  2. A rabbit
  3. An osterich
  4. A sheep
  5. A dog
  6. A moose
  7. A cat
  8. A nashorn
  9. A goat
  10. A toy dragon
  11. A cockatrice
  12. A river drake
  13. A pig
  14. A horse
  15. A snake
  16. A deer
  17. A spider
  18. A pegasus
  19. A ferret
  20. A chicken

In order to unlock the door, the bolded glyphs must be pressed within one minute without touching any of the unbolded glyphs. If the combination isn't properly entered, a sonic burst blasts forth from the door. All within 20' must roll a Reflex save or be deafened for 2d6 rounds and suffer 1d6+2 dmg. The burst also alerts any hearing creatures within 200'.

#18: Trick Door Handle

These doors are not obviously trapped. They are locked with a simple latch. If the PC opens the door like a normal person would (by picking the lock and pulling down on the handle), the trap is triggered. When the handle is pulled down, it pulls a wire connected to a trapdoor above. The bins inside are filled with oil, and the implication is that the trap was intended to set the oil on fire as it dumped. That is not the case, however; the door handle only trips the oil. The glyph of flare on the opposite side of the door is intended to ignite the oil.

In order to open the door properly, you need to hold the handle up while unlocking (picking) the lock. Then return the handle to level to allow the wire to go slack. Finally, lift the handle again to disable to open the door without triggering the trap. Darias disarmed this.

#19: Signs and Portents Puzzle

The entirety of the inner "tunnel" between the doors is painted black with small semiprecious stones set into the ceiling and walls. There is a podium near the inner door, upon which sits a rack of small colored rods, each around 12" in length. One is yellow agate, one red garnet, one white quartz, and one is polished granite. The walls are dotted with holes the rods can fit into. There are a total of 120 holes in the wall, but only 4 are correct. The PCs must figure out that the rods represent the parable of Farmer Mirle and the astronomical events of the night. The agate is the sun; the quartz the moon; the garnet the "fireball"; and the granite represents Isle.

The holes themselves are magically darkened, and all other magic is hidden behind the (lead-backed) wall and thus invisible. Placing a rod into a hole locks it in place; the rod has a small notch that holds it into the hole until all four rods are locked into place. If the rods are placed into the correct positions, the magical lock on the door is temporarily suppressed (locking automatically the next time the door is closed), and the rods pop out about 2" and can be removed and replaced in the rack.

Darias and Maleos solved this puzzle.

#20: Mechanical Door Trap

This trap is difficult to detect, as it is fully contained on the far side of the door. Once the door is unlocked, the PC needs to check the far side of the door for the triggering wire. Darias disarmed it.

#21: Glyph Door

This door is coated in magical glyphs. Most do nothing when read; they are just meant to consume dispel magic uses. They were cast at relatively high level (Caster Level 14) using custom magical item creation practices, so dispelling them is slightly more difficult than usual (DC 26 caster level check). Hidden among the 20 glyphs, though, are 2 actual greater glyphs of warding, one on each door. They are programmed to trigger if the PC opens the door without speaking the passphrase (one of the few traps the PCs don't really have the information needed to bypass). If the door is opened without the passphrase, they go off, doing 7d8 damage each (Reflex save for 1/2).

The passphrase, in Old Mieran, translates to "Mirle authorized me to use this cache for the defense of our people."

#22: Demonhome Jones

When this door is opened, a long wire on the back side of the door drops the trapdoor at the end of the hall, causing a 2-meter-diameter heavy stone sphere to roll down the hallway a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The sphere weighs more than 1000 tons. If the trap is triggered, stopping the sphere isn't really much of an option once it gets rolling, and it will bust through all doors and keep rolling until it rolls over the first pit outside the tunnel, bashing through it and falling into the hole. The party disarmed this trap before opening the door.

#23: Alarm!

There was a contingency spell on this door that activated an alarm spell whenever the door is opened. The party disarmed it.


The Golems

The golems are all made of terra cotta and function as Clay Golems, with the exception that the horses and the nashorn are larger with higher ACs, higher DRs, and more HP (though they have no attacks of their own save trampling).

The golems as a group constitute the equivalent of a Mieran company, which is a force to be reckoned with in standard warfare. This company can also punch well above its weight due to significantly reduced support infrastructure requirements and the lack of fatigue.

Activating the Golems

In order to activate the golems, the PCs will have to find the book with the instructions. This books contains instructions for a ritual of activation that must be performed in front of the golems in order to get them to follow your instructions. The other important aspect: you must be one of the pre-authorized commanders.

Controlling the Golems

Once activated, the golems respond to verbal commands. They aren't very sophisticated and can only follow certain commands. All of these commands must be given in ancient Mieran and must be spoken in that same language; they are translated below.

Note that it is rather dangerous to use these golems in battle without careful consideration. For example, if the commander calls them to attack and then is killed without calling them off, it could become incredibly difficult to call them off without destroying them.

  1. Form Up: The golems form ranks and stand at attention awaiting further commands.
  2. To Arms: The golems seek out the closest weapons marked with the Mieran glyph of Armistead and take them up. All of the weapons in the storeroom are so marked. Each golem is programmed to find a particular set of weapons, and they will always look for those preferentially, resorting to a different marked weapon only if the preferred type is not available.
  3. March: The golems follow the commander at a full march. If the commander points in a certain direction, the golems will continue to march in that direction so long as the commander is within long range of them.
  4. Fire: The golems fire upon all creatures before them. Creatures painted with the enchanted clay used to build the golems will be ignored. Fire specifically commands ranged attacks.
  5. Attack: The golems attack all creatures before them. Creatures painted with the enchanted clay used to build the golems will be ignored. Attack specifically commands melee attacks.
  6. Defend: The golems circle up as much as possible around the designated area and attack anyone attempting to approach. Creatures painted with the enchanted clay used to build the golems will be ignored.
  7. Halt: The golems cease all action and stand "at ease" until a new command is received.
  8. Withdraw: The golems fall back to the designated point, only attacking to defend themselves.
  9. Destroy: The golems attack the designated object until it is destroyed.
  10. Make Camp: The golems retrieve all equipment from the golem wagons. If there are tents, they will set up the tents. If there is equipment, they will remove and tend the equipment to a basic level. They are capable of maintaining their own weapons in a basic fashion, but no more.
  11. Break Camp: The golems gather up everything in the area that isn't "nailed down" (e.g., not plant life or permanent structures, nor will they break into permanent structures to take items from them) and load it onto the wagons. Preferential treatment is given to any equipment they set up during the previously-issued Make Camp command, if applicable.
  12. Sleep: The golems shrink and deactivate. The infantry shrink to roughly 1' tall; the horses, to 1' tall and 2' long; and the nashorn-and-wagons to 3' tall and 6' long. This makes them much easier to move, store, and transport as necessary, but once "deactivated" in this manner, they cannot be reactivated for 24 hours. At this size, the infantry weigh roughly 0.1 lb; the horses, roughly 1 lb; and the nashorn and wagons, roughly 15 lb. The only command the golems will follow while "deactivated" in this manner is march.
  13. Wake: The golems return to full size and will once again respond to the full range of commands. If there is not enough space for a golem to return to full size, the command will fail and the golem will remain deactivated, unable to be reactivated again for another 24 hours.
  14. Carry: The designated golem carries the indicated item if possible. The golems are quite strong, but they are not necessarily capable of carrying delicate objects without damaging them.
  15. Obey: The commander can use the obey command to hand off command to another person. Without using the obey command, they only way to hand off command is for the golems to be deactivated and then for a previously-authorized individual to invoke the activation ritual, assigning the golems to his or her command.

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