Lost City of Vatos

Session 2 Recap - Death of the Gunge!

1. The Stumplings Lend a Hand…
**
The oasis-town outside the Lost City of Vatos has been galvanized by news of a crusade against the deadly Gunge. The wizards Merlin and Nadari have put out a call to warriors and mages alike to join together to destroy the Gunge.

After the initial excitement of their call to arms, things seemed to die down. People went back to making the best of their meagre lives in this desert town, perhaps not truly believing that the Gunge could be killed.

The PCs strongest support came in the form of the “stumplings” – a motley crue of beggars, amputees, and victims of the Gunge. With nothing to live for, these scarred and broken men threw themselves behind the two magic-users, body and soul.

Concerned that the stumplings alone might not be enough to threaten the Gunge, the PCs made a wants list of men and resources – including two clerics, more warriors, and… warhounds.

2. Bargaining with Mustapha
**
The PCs went to Mustapha’s general store to get extra equipment. They also enquired about his warhounds – strange dogs that look like a cross between a shitzu and a great dane, but reputed to fight like demons. They were very expensive. Mustapha wouldn’t budge on the price of 20 gp until Dobby badgered the fat merchant with his 20 questions and a few well-timed farts. The poor merchant, gasping for air, and tired of the House Elf’s pedantry, dropped the price, and the PCs had their warhound, which they named “Cerberus”.

3. Recruiting Clerics
**
Two clerics with healing powers could come in very handy when dealing with an acid spraying Gunge. With this in mind the PCs headed to the Temple of Isis to meet again with the High Priestess. Cheerful and bubbly as ever, the High Priestess regretfully informed them that she was the only ranking member of the cult, and not one for adventuring; the others were mere acolytes without any healing powers. The PCs returned to the Happy Beggar to think things over.

4. A Tip from Mose the Barkeep
**
Mulling over what to do about hiring clerics, the half-orc barkeep Mose mentioned that if they were looking for divine aid, they could try the graveyard at midnight – priests of Set were known to sometimes lurk there. The PCs didn’t like the sound of that, but accepted the advice nevertheless.

5. The Cap’n
**
With the cleric question put aside, the PCs turned their attention to hiring men-at-arms. They knew that a fighting man could be bought for about 2 gp, and they had plenty of money. How about getting a captain, an experienced battlefield commander who could coordinate the chaotic stumplings with trained fighters against the Gunge? 75 gp was the going rate for a captain, and the PCs sent a courier boy to proposition the only man in town meeting that description.

A different courier boy returned with a message from the Cap’n – Bardolph! It turned out the Cap’n and Bardolph were one and the same. If you wanted an experienced leader of men, the shifty tomb robber was the only game in town. The PCs learnt to their dismay that Bardolph had organized a “union” of the town’s fighting men, who would now only sell their services for 10 gp each, much more than the usual going rate. The PCs could afford a few men, but not a big cohort, and they were worried about any hireling’s loyalty – would they betray them for Bardolph while in the Lost City?

6. Two Warriors Hired
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The PCs went out to look for some warriors themselves, hoping to find men independent of Bardolph who would settle for a cheaper rate. At a dingy, hole-in-the wall pub they found Lachelmar, a mighty northener in plate mail, but with a very poor command of the local language – everything he said seemed the grossest insult – “this ale tastes like your mother’s piss, it’s great. Please let me have a bowl of your sister’s tits, you pig-faced turd”. All said with the biggest grin and warmest bon homie.

Their second find was Aelmange, an Easterner. They found him at Madam Dalia’s brothel, where Merlin tried to charm person the warrior to get around the whole tiresome business of negotiation. The charm failed, riling the warrior, who was only mollified by the intervention of a smooth-talking Dobby. Aelmange hired on, and the PCs reconvened at the Happy Beggar. They decided to visit the graveyard on the edge of town to see if a priest of Set might be willing to join them.

7. The Graveyard, at Midnight
**
The graveyard seemed to be a combination refuse pit and cemetery, formed by a rising, ring-like bluff with the tombs in a central depression.

The PCs could not have picked a more ominous time to visit the place of the dead. A storm was brewing, skies scudding with thick black clouds, illuminated by jagged streaks of lightning, and thunder rolling overhead.

The first thing they saw was a be-turbanned, goateed man with a cobra-headed staff atop a crypt and surrounded by sword-wielding skeletons. The skeletons were doing their damndest to climb on top of the crypt and hack the man apart.

The man was desperately blasting skeletons with magic missiles from his staff, and smashing at those who got too close, but it was clear that the tide was turning against him. The PCs and their hirelings raced to the rescue.

Five skeletons broke off from the main assault and turned their attentions on the PCs. With higher ground, the PCs had a fair advantage, but the skeletons turned out to be deadly opponents indeed. Within a short space of time, Alonzo, Yana’s paramour, lay dead, Cerberus the hound was killed, and even poor Dobby did not escape the slaughter, run through by a skeleton’s sword.

With three of their crew killed outright, the PCs chose the wiser course and retreated to the Happy Beggar.

8. Waldo and Knobby; the Banner of the Stumplings
**
There was no point in bemoaning their losses; the PCs got straight back to planning their assault on the Gunge. They hired a friend of Aelmagne, a fellow Easterner named Waldo. They made a banner depicting an upturned Gunge, dead and defeated, and with this the stumplings gave a mighty cheer – the crusade against the Gunge was about to begin in earnest.

The PCs retired for what remained of the night; in the morning, they would be setting out with a group of mostly limbless beggars, two stout warriors, another warhound to replace the slain one, and a plan to defeat the Gunge involving… embalming salts.

That night, Merlin the wizard heard a knock at his door. Opening it, he found a House Elf at the threshold, a cousin of Dobby’s named… Knobby. Knobby was very different to his weedy, stomach-distressed relation. Heavily muscled, with strange, pearl-colored skin, and a bizarre “inspection hatch” (a translucent film of skin over his intestines, his digestion visible to all who cared to look), Knobby was Merlin’s replacement House Elf. He revealed he had a special talent – his skin was strangely malleable, retaining the impression of anything pressed against it, be it writing, carvings, etc. It also became clear that Knobby like Dobby, also had a problem – he was covered head to toe in warts.

9. Back to the Lost City of Vatos
**
In the morning, the PCs began preparations to head to the Lost City. Surprisingly, the man they had tried to save at the graveyard turned up to meet them. He introduced himself as Mar-Hotep, a priest of Set, who would serve them in return for their efforts to save him at the graveyard. The PCs had their cleric, it seemed.

Kadas the camel-driver guided the much larger party back to the Lost City, and accompanied the group into the dungeon. The PCs accessed the tomb via the New Entry, entering a fountain chamber. This room contained four fountains. One contained a mercury-like substance, another was scummed over with green algae. Goldfish swam happily in the third fountain. The last fountain contained clear water that if touched caused the skin to tingle.

The PCs and stumplings experimented with the various fountains. A stumpling bathed in the tingly-water fountain, and found his skin complaint completely healed. The PCs took pots of liquid from the fountains to use in their battle against the Gunge, which waited in the chamber next door.

10. Versus the Gunge
**
Opening a barred, wooden door, the PCs and their band beheld the Gunge – it looked like a mass of red, raw, angry flesh, veined and moist, issuing vile sucking noises. It rolled slowly forward to meet the stumplings, PCs, and armed men, bubbling hungrily.

Merlin and Nadari hung back at the rear, directing the battle and commanding their hound. Mar-Hotep stayed at range, too, blasting the Gunge with ‘tongue’ missiles from his cobra-staff. The stumplings, emboldened by numbers and hate for the Gunge, headed straight for the blob, throwing embalming salt, spoons, crutches and more at it.

Kadas, the old ex-adventurer, found himself on the other side of the Gunge’s chamber, where a deep but narrow channel filled with a bubbling orange goo seemed to stop the Gunge leaving.

The combat teetered back and forth. A lucky dagger shot by Merlin hit deep, and the Gunge was wounded. Another throw went wild, hitting a stumpling who lost his footing and pitched into the throbbing, acid mass of the Gunge. Four stumplings, once brave adventurers like the PCs were consumed by the Gunge, adding to its bulk – every life it took fattened the creature!

Kadas used his trusty crowbar to scoop up some of the orange goo in the channel. With his goo-coated weapon, he caused some minor wounds to the Gunge. The other warriors threw sand on the ground, which seemed to irritate the Gunge on contact. Mercury-tipped arrows had a strange effect on the protoplasmic horror, causing it to grow a huge, blinking eye. Salt-coated weapons fared better, inflicting burning wounds. The PCs and their friends were slowly getting the upper hand…

Mar-Hotep chose to exit the room at this point, leaving as the battle turned against the Gunge. Through clever use of salt, sand, and positioning, the PCs and their allies finally bested the Gunge. Their joy at victory turned to panic as they watched the dying Gunge begin to heave and expand. As one, all turned and ran for the exit. The Gunge exploded in a deadly spray of acidic flesh, killing Kadas. In the aftermath of the explosion, they heard a slow clapping behind them.

11. Bardolph, the Cap’n, Again
**
Bardolph, with ten men-at-arms, and an inscrutable Mar-Hotep at his side, applauded the PCs. “Thank you for killing the Gunge. Robbing the tombs will be much easier now. Especially since I now have a map – is this yours?” One of Bardolph’s goons threw Dobby’s dead body at the PCs – his corpse had been left at the graveyard, with the map on his body, ripe for the taking.

Faced by overwhelming numbers, the PCs let the Cap’n and his allies go. Their victory over the Gunge was somewhat marred by Bardolph’s scheme – if only they had recovered Dobby’s body at the graveyard, they’d still have their map!

Knobby, the replacement House Elf, excused himself and lifted his tunic up to display his heavily muscled, warty back – there was a perfect copy of the map imprinted on his weird, impressionable skin. Things didn’t look so bad after all.

Cheered by Knobby’s revelation, the PCs took pause – the Gunge was dead. Areas of the tomb once unreachable were now wide open.

They knew that Bardolph and others would seek to raid the untouched areas before the PCs. The Cap’n thinks he has the only copy of their map – he is wrong. He has many men in his pay, including the weird wizard and priest of Set, Mar-Hotep.

But, the PCs have the surviving stumplings (Bahz and Jheph), brave Aelmagne, Waldo, and foul-mouthed Lachelmar, ‘Mono’ a shitzu-great dane warhound, and the Mr. Universe of House Elves, Knobby. They recovered wondrous treasures from the exploded body of the Gunge – a necklace of “firebaubles” and a ring of protection. If they can identify the magic of the necklace, they might have a powerful weapon against their enemies in town, and in the unknown depths of the Lost City of Vatos, resting place of the Pharaoh Sutekh…

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Session Recap d

The Temple of Isis and a Rough Night at the Happy Beggar
**
With Yana dead, the PCs considered their next move, Nadari keen to cooperate with her new employers. A stop by the temple of Isis led to the PCs making a new ally, as Nadari revealed herself to be a member of the cult of Isis. The priestess of the temple was happy to offer free healing to a fellow believer, and also some counsel on the matter of Yana. She declared that resurrecting the dead fighter was beyond her power, but in the Big City there might be a priest capable of returning her to life – the price would be great, though. The priestess offered to preserve the body of Yana from decay until the PCs could get the funds to arrange a resurrection. Somewhat cheered, the PCs went back to the Happy Beggar.

Perhaps the trauma of losing Yana caused the adventurers to celebrate too heartily – by the next morning, Alonzo was sporting a wicked scar on his face after being glassed by an enraged Dobby. Both Merlin and Nadari decided on a new mission: they would put out a call for adventurers to join in a quest to destroy the Gunge, longtime nemesis of many a tomb raider. Perhaps the free-flowing ale and wine blinded them to the enormity of their challenge, but once decided, they were bound to see it through.

The Happy Beggar and the town are now buzzing with news of Merlin and Nadari’s call to kill the Gunge for once and for all. Warriors are strapping on swords and readying flame and spell to avenge friends lost to the alien blob of the tomb, the Gunge!

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Session 1 Recap c

At the Oasis-town
**
The PCs returned to the oasis-town, guided by a local man, Kadas, who claimed that he was once an adventurer in his younger days. He said that he gave up adventuring when his family were wiped out by monsters.

At the Oasis-town, the PCs stopped by the store of Mustapha, the settlement’s biggest businessman, both in size and wealth. They bought mundane equipment, and bargained for healing potions and other items in exchange for a cut of treasure from the tomb. They then decided to see about hiring extra muscle for their next tomb trek.

Hiring at the Happy Beggar
**
The Happy Beggar is the town’s main watering-hole, so-named for the many ex-adventurers, now amputees and worse, who drink their sorrows away there. The PCs wrote up a wanted ad, posted it, and shared a few drinks to spread the word.

“Looking for adventure? Meet at the Happy Beggar Tavern tomorrow at 4 pm. Please bring references.”

Two people showed up – Kadas, the elderly camel-driver and ex-adventurer, and a young Elven magic-user, Nadari. The PCs decided to hire both, and set off for the lost city again.

That evening, the PCs did some carousing, drinking and making merry – very merry in Yana’s case, as she caught the eye of a rakish swordsman, Alonzo. The pair hit it off famously, and when Alonzo begged to join his new love on a tomb trek, Yana accepted.

Yana Dies
**
With the very talkative Kadas guiding them, the PCs returned to the tomb. The PCs again decided to use the old entry again. They bypassed the Anubis door and headed east, then north and entered a new corridor. The corridor began with a staircase leading down – the walls of this lower area were highly decorated, particularly a blue fresco with the eyes of some god staring out. Thick dust covered the stone floor, in the midst of which was a giant, dead bee. The lower area ascended again to another stairs.

Suspicious, the PCs threw items into the lower area. When nothing happened, Yana descended. There was an ominous click as her foot touched a loose flagstone, and then green gas began pouring from the fresco’s eyes. Yana was overwhelmed by poison gas, and died choking.

Merlin looked at Nadari, and perhaps the pair realized that they were now in charge…

Alonzo, Yana’s very brief lover, was beside himself with grief. When the gas had cleared, he went down to take up Yana’s body. Ascending the opposite stairs, the passage turned west, ending in a secret door marked on Dobby’s map. They listened carefully for activity beyond the door – nothing. They went through, into a reception chamber reeking of rotting vegetation. Defaced hieroglyphs sacred to Osiris, lord of the underworld, decorated the walls. A pile of human skulls blocked a door to the north shown on their map. To the west was another door, with a faint, smelly breeze blowing from the crack under the door. The PCs felt trepidation about their exploration and decided to head back to town.

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Session 1 Recap b

Ba Fentu Battle
**
The PCs and Ba Fentu fought, but neither party had the upper hand in the first few rounds until Merlin decided things with a Sleep spell. The Ba Fentu immediately froze in place. The PCs debated whether to kill them, but decided to leave them frozen to wake after the spell wore off. The monkey-creatures’ bows were taken, along with their meagre treasure. Somewhat bruised and leery of further encounters in the tomb, the PCs decided to head back to the oasis-town a day’s camel ride away.

Meet Bardolph & his Merry Men
**
The PCs returned to the Antechamber just as another adventuring party were arriving. Led by Bardolph the fighter, these fresh adventurers quickly sized up Yana and Merlin, and suggested they might hire one of their ‘special’ guides back to the oasis-town. Yana and Merlin played a skilful game of verbal cat-and-mouse as they assessed the unspoken threat Bardolph and his thugs, Rorik the Filthy, and Hans, Initiate of Set, posed. Finally, Bardolph and his cronies left on their own exploration of the tomb.

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Session 1 Recap

The Ba Fentu Are Watching
**
The map given to the PCs by Dobby had many secret doors clearly marked on it. This was a major boon; other adventurers were forced to rely on their own searches and imperfect maps to find the hidden treasures. Not so the PCs! They passed down the eastern corridor from the Antechamber, and knowing the secret door lay at the end, began searching, soon finding the outline of the door. The door opened on a corridor heading north, and continuing east. Six alcoves with statues therein lined the eastern corridor. The north corridor extended some 40 feet. The PCs began investigating the statue-alcoves, throwing a pick-axe head in their midst to see if any traps would be triggered. Nothing happened, so Yana began walking down the passage, taking note of the strange statues. As she did so, Merlin heard noises from the north passage…

Unbeknownst to the PCs, two wandering Ba Fentu had heard their movements and were cautiously investigating. The PCs caught quick glimpses of the orange-furred, cat-like monkeys. Attempts to communicate failed; the Ba Fentu had bows at the ready, and were clearly ready to fight at a moment’s notice. Dobby panicked and ran back down the corridor, with Yana in hot pursuit. The Ba Fentu took advantage of the commotion and moved down the corridor. Yana tried to show she meant no harm, but also that she was capable of handling herself in a fight. The Ba Fentu took this as an excuse to fight, and battle was joined.

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Lost City of Vatos: Session 1 Recap

It Begins…
**
The adventurers Yana and Merlin have been led to the lost city of Vatos after the House-Elf Dobby presented them with a map purported to show the first level of the dungeon in unprecedented detail. With this ‘accurate’ map, the pair should be able to find treasures untouched as yet by the hordes of other tomb raiders coming from near and far to make their fortunes in the Pharaoh’s tomb.

The Player Characters (PCs) had to choose between entering the tomb via the old or new entries. The old entry was reportedly safer, having been explored by many others, but consequently there might be less chance of treasure. The new entry was just that, and also rumored to be close to the lair of the Fearsome Gunge, an horrific monster that had claimed the lives of many treasure seekers. The PCs chose the old entry for their first foray.

They descended by a rough-hewn tunnel which emerged into an antechamber whose floor was obscured by a sinister green fog. A rock thrown experimentally into the room did not trigger any traps, and the PCs gingerly entered. There was a door to the north, and an open corridor culminating in another door to the east. The PCs chose to head north, passing through the door and coming to face a bas relief of the god Anubis carved on a door ahead.

Attempting to open the door caused a strange green mist to flow from the dog-headed deity’s snout; the PCs made their saving throws and opened the door with a sense of relief. Beyond they found a statue of the god of knowledge, Thoth. Merlin the magician remained alone in the room while Yana and Dobby the flatulent House-Elf checked the east door of the antechamber. As he waited, six ghostly scribes emerged from the walls, sat on reed mats and began scribing. When they finished writing, they fed phantom papyri into the open mouth of ibis-headed Thoth – all very mysterious. When Merlin called out to the ghosts, they turned as one to look at him, implacable and silent.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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