The World Between

Lottery Dungeon: Session Twelve
Bones of the World--the Living Army of the Death Gods

The Harpy

Midmorning, a gaggle of children from the oasis go running by flaunting their trophies; big black feathers, some a couple feet long. Kaedo called one over to tell him about his trophy; the kid got the (stinky) feather from the “booby lady” who is dead on a dune. The boy led them out to see the corpse of the harpy. (All they know about harpies is that they serve death gods, who like to decorate their slaves with various misfitting limbs.)

Kaedo and the others examine the corpse, Kaedo finds a tattoo. Saedenn looks it up in his book and sees it is a symbol of the “Bones of the World.” One of the many armies of death that emerged as part of the Death Muster millennia ago. They never conquered, nor did they leave, and they are made up of many monsters; that’s all the book says.

Kaedo takes news of this to the Frog Khan. The Khan says that Saedenn faced his challenge, this challenge is for Kaedo, who should investigate. They climb up on the shelf of rock overlooking the oasis, and peer at the horizon. Arane’s familiar spider has the sharpest vision, she reports it sees what looks like buzzards circling, far away.

Land Sharks!

They round out their supply of rations, water, and camels, and strike out towards the horizon. Arane and Crazy Bear come along. Saedenn magically protects them from the mutation of the sands.

As they travel, they run across a school of a dozen land sharks, a mass burrowing and cresting away from the direction the crew are headed. (They are five hours from the oasis.) Kaedo draws his sword to see if it senses them as reptilian, so it hurts them more; it does, and that gets the shark’s attention, it moves to attack, three tons of charging fury. Saedenn unloads his whole mass of flaming magic at the creature, mortally wounding it, but it still slams down at the group, doing massive damage. Arane magically poisons it. Kaedo stabs it with his blade and it bites him.

It tries to escape and burrow, and Saedenn misses, but Kaedo charges at it and manages to kill it as it digs away. It sort of ends up head down, hindquarters in the air, with an angry barbarian standing on them stabbing away, then flexing and roaring victory.

The other land sharks continue on their migration. Saedenn reflects that no lore suggests they travel in more than a mated pair; this number is unprecedented in the lore.

They ride on until dusk, then make camp for the night. They see a luminescence on the horizon. A flock flies overhead, blocking out the moon and stars; pterodactyls, dozens of them, flying towards the Oasis. Wingspans from 10 feet to 30 feet. Some have empty saddles.

The Living Army

They are close enough to see their objective. They circle around to a rise overlooking it. Plodding along in a valley between dunes, the Living Army moves, its footfalls like the heartbeat of the desert. Six legs 150 ft tall, into a reptilian body, the skin stretched up to a bone pyramid 350 feet up above the body. Like a termite mound of bone, streaked with foulness, full of holes as a harpy lair. It does not have a head. A mobile living city. Sand still pours off it, dissipating into the air; recently this was buried! Thousands of harpies circle overhead.

Saedenn consults his book. The Death Gods had living servants. This city was a death army unto itself; things like this slew the avatars of the Beast Gods before the sealing of the Ruinous Scar. Chances are there are other things inside that do not wake up as fast as the harpies did.

Kaedo tells the group that they must go into its body, and find some activating element and attack or steal it to deactivate the plodding thing. How to approach unseen? Saedenn scouts ahead through the eyes of his familiar, a fire dragon.

They decide to get out ahead of it and bury themselves, so they can burst out at close range and climb up into its body. Once they get in position they send the camels back to the oasis, and prepare themselves for desperate epic battle.

Infiltrating the Living Army

Their heartbeats seem to sync up with the thudding footfalls as it approaches across a great distance.

As it passes, they burst up from the sand and race over to the leg, climbing the leathery folds that are criss-crossed with ladder-like lattices of wrinkles. They scramble around the unmentionable detritus and up the hide, climbing fast.

The get above the legs, over the mass of meat and lip of skin overlapping the bone, and the ridges on the bone form something like a ladder. The entries into the bone look like dots from the distance, but are almost 7 meters across up close.

They dart into the corridor, sensing that warmer air is breathing out, and there is circulation for both air and heat exchange. Inside it is hotter than standing in the sun outside. Harpies ride the thermal coming up off this thing. The interior is organic; razor sharp bone, translucent enough to carry light. (It doesn’t radiate magic anymore because of its age; it is part of the background energy of the world!)

They find razor-sharp egg shards, and masses of harpy eggs, and shifting chimneys to release heat. They duck through a vast breathing sphincter as they head towards the “front” of the creature. Up sheets of tissue with “rungs” ripped into them. Finally to the ossuary suite built into the front of the thing, and long shelves of bone surrounding view slits.

Pterowizard Smackdown

They hide as 5 people walk in. Wizards with conical helms and leather cloaks. They converse in ancient Vermilion Scrawl. They say there are still no signs of avatars, and they have a clear path to the sea; all they have seen so far are stragglers. The harpies complain when told to start picking up the stragglers. They look forward to darkening the skies of the world; slaughter, then setting up slave pits. They are jolly. They wonders if the cities are big enough to be fun to crush yet. They seem to be waiting for more to come, trash talking “the monkeys.”

The adventurers look to Saedenn for a clue of what to do, since he is the only one that understands them, and he simply waits and listens. Giving up on that, Kaedo leaps out of hiding and charges the one with the staff, the others charging in his wake. The startled wizards are pummeled, poisoned, and brutalized in short order. Saedenn interrogates the envenomed survivor.

The wizard figures it doesn’t matter what happens to him, but they are doomed if they want to resist. They ask how to turn the thing aside, or put it back to sleep, or get to its heart. Saedenn tells him whatever he’s looking for is gone; the wizard is looking for the sea. He explains it is far more formidable in the water. They will bring a new, better order. Turning aside is above his pay grade; his is of the Leathern Order, but he is a caretaker, not to command the machinery of the gods. His masters are Firstborn of the Night, who first bore the power of the Death Gods into the world. They are here, and sleeping. Creatures wake in order of power, and he has only been awake for a day. Energy awoke him, breathing in the movement of the army. The army moves along ley lines, that is how it is controlled.

They are going to where someone imprisoned one of the masters, to free it from its prison to once again lay waste to the world.

Saedenn insists he wants to know how to get to the center; choose any corridor and head inward. Crazy Bear splinters his bones with a hug, and they leave.

Into the Center

Arane’s knowledge of cities and Crazy Bear’s guerrilla background and mechanical training combine to form a battle plan in this living city ruin. They figure out the heat sink is the key; if they can get near it then they’ll be right on top of the army’s vitals. To get anywhere near, they’ll have to endure 300 degree heat. Using various magic and toughness, they push close.

They reach a point where the four main fins for the heat exchange come together in the coolant system. The top of the shaft, with them, provides light to the central chamber that provides the exchange. Lots of hydraulic power in the blood and muscle. The goal: break one heat sink loose and ram it into another one, wrecking the system.

Must cut about 7 meters of tissue loose, then push on the bone hinge to bottle up the circulation long enough to cause a problem. If one of the flanking muscle clumps was jabbed somehow to flex at just the wrong moment, that could help. So Saedenn dissolved the tissue, Kaedo cut the tiny bone spur with his enchanted sword, almost breaking it, Crazy Bear pushed on the small spur on the bone tower, and Arane stung the strategic tissue.

Bone spiders squirmed loose, scarpering over to repair the burning tissue. Bigger repair creatures started activating.

The tower slides just barely out of alignment. Then the crunch, and the ripping; the repair creatures race over to a very urgent issue on the other side. Realizing they no longer wanted to be there, they raced away from the exchange. Cauldron loads slosh over each other, different fluids that should not mix, like bile and blood. Everything quivers and shimmies with pain and dysfunction. All the harpies gushed out into the sky, disconcerted. The back two legs fail with a boom, the city army tilts, the rump crunches to the ground, the front two lift off the ground.

Dust and sand form a 70 meter wall, blowing, curving over the army to bury it in the sands once more!

Saedenn melded into his fire dragon familiar and flew away. Arane used her spider scrambling magic to dart out of the thing (and all the way to the other side of a dune, safety!) Crazy Bear grabbed Kaedo and they leaped out of the thing as they reached the edge, falling down, down, down to the troubled sands. Kaedo cried out wildly to Killane, demanding divine protection for saving Killane’s world.

They all survived, and managed to crawl out of the billowing sandstorm, the Living Army nowhere in sight, and all the harpies roosted and buried, or fled.


They rest and heal in the deep fog of sand. Kaedo makes a small altar to Killane. Saedenn reads mysteries written in the sand swirls as they conceal such a mighty power once more. He also realizes that magic is fraying down below, if something powerful were trying to get out, reaching out to rescuers beneath the sand…

They return to the oasis in a white-out sandstorm. They report to the Khan. He takes the report reflectively, but sends them a bowl of fresh dates. And a groomer for Crazy Bear.

Lottery Dungeon: Session Eleven
Homeless No More!

A couple of expeditions into the Lottery Dungeon level 3. They tangled with some undead on level 2 once, but generally intimidated them out of the way. On level 3 they blew up statues for their precious eyes, smashed statues of children and various things to get at expensive furniture, urns, and chests, and generally dominated the scene.

Kaedo’s partying abilities shone a couple times, and he also bought a yurt for his woman and followers to share with him. He has a chicken coop, chickens, and goats! He is downright prosperous. Also, all the fancy goods from the dungeon he bought from the group to give his woman to fancy up the house and make her feel special and wealthy.

Meanwhile Arane and Saedenn swapped spells from their spellbooks, and noticed there was some instability in spellcasting resulting in globs of their mystic energy rolling off to points unknown. Should they worry?

Crazy Bear was inspired by the yurt, and bought a tent pavilion to rest in, pitching the tent next to the yurt.

The most exciting party moment was when Strings wanted to learn the dodge talent, so he was dressed up as a belly dancer by his “teachers” and tavern patrons were encouraged to throw things at him all night.

The crew did not encounter any threats they didn’t master, and they had a very lucrative week of expeditions into the third level.

Lottery Dungeon: Session Ten
The Malik of Glass

A rash of dervish attacks in the area made the Frog Khan cautious. He sent Kaedo and his Northrons to escort an anticipated trade caravan in to the oasis. Meanwhile, the Lottery Dungeon was closed; in this dangerous time, if adventurers emerged from the depths to find a smoking oasis in ruin, that would be unfortunate.

Dusk Raid

An hour until dusk, a couple dozen mounted dervishes rode towards the oasis walls. Saedenn, Crazy Bear, and Strings slipped out before the gates crashed shut. Saedenn guarded the gates with a wall of acid fog, and battle was joined.

The dervishes threw bottles out to smash on the sand, and they closed in, riding past the defenders with vicious swipes of their scimitars. Crazy Bear and Strings knocked some down as they rode past, and Saedenn fired magic at the mounted archers that hung back.

Then Crazy Bear reared and roared, scaring the dervishes off as strange constructs of sand and molten glass closed in. The defenders made short work of the constructs, finishing off the last mass as Saedenn conjured acid mist around himself and destroyed their cohesion.

Looking at the bodies, they were surprised to see that the normally tough dervishes had burn injuries, and two symbols carved in each of them; one on the chest, and one on the abdomen. The symbol on the abdomen was Saedann’s personal wizard mark! He sat on the road with his book and researched the other, seeing it was a sigil representing the mythic Sea of Glass, to the East in the Scavenger Lands, that could only be found once you were lost.

Lyzeria, a blind Scavenger Master, traveled to the oasis to warn him buy arrived too late. Still, she verified some of his suspicions.

The Journey

Saedenn consulted with the Frog Khan, who encouraged him to pursue this mystery as soon as possible. Strings and Crazy Bear agreed to go along. They mounted their camels with as much water as they could carry, and headed out into the trackless radioactive desert.

They traveled for weeks, and eventually met up with some dervishes at the edge of a powder-sand desert area. The dervishes offered them hospitality, and pointed them towards the Sea of Glass.

When they reached the shore, they met several huge and powerful demon orcs guarding two skate ships. Saedenn wanted to use a skate ship, so he challenged one to a riddle contest. After hours of riddling, Saedenn emerged victorious, and they took the skate out onto the glass.

The Malik of Glass

They closed in on a column of smoke, arriving at dusk. A pit was melted in the glass, with three thrones. They met an old wizard, and Saedenn immediately saw through his disguise and recognized him as the Malik of Glass. The massive Efreet assumed a more majestic form, and animated glass minions with his infernal powers, and they fought.

Crazy Bear smacked the Malik, then focused on his glassy reinforcements as Strings continued to drive surgical strikes into the magical giant. Saedenn unleashed his most powerful magic, eventually blowing up the Malik (who actually just went gaseous and invisible.)

Three Efreeti became visible after the last of the glass minions were defeated, and the Malik of Glass burned into Saedenn with the mark of a Scavenger Master, conferring rank. They left quickly after that.

The Malik of Glass intercepted them as they skated away. Because they defeated him, he granted each of them one wish. Crazy Bear wanted vorpal claw blades, Saedenn wanted a familiar, and Strings wanted the ability to turn invisible. Suitably rewarded, they saw the last of the Malik of Glass (?) and skated back to sand. They got their camels and headed back to the oasis.

Lottery Dungeon: Session Nine
Assault on Hellad Tower, part two

Travel to Langtland

Strings and Blayloch took the camels and guards down the road to Langtland, ready for trouble. Their mysterious guide took Saedenn, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear (along with Ari and her handmaidens) and the Prince of Dust along a secret path through the mountains. The path led up a hidden ravine to a secret way into Langtland.

After getting bathed and trimmed and clad in new clothes, they went to see the king. The king was very pleased to see his son again, and the Prince of Dust related the tale of their journey and the dragonslaying.

The king offered them a great reward, in the Northron tradition: a chance for glory.

The Prince of Dust would lead an army back to Hellad Tower, and the adventurers would accompany them. When they encountered an army, the Northron warriors would fight. When they encountered monsters, they would be slain by the adventurers.


After their audience with the king, they feasted, and Kaedo escalated the feast to a tremendous celebration that bolstered them for the troubles to come.

Afterwards Saedenn slipped off with Kaedo, the books from Hellad tower, and some Northron guards. He was led to where the arcane underground hangs out, and he met with a powerful wizard who traded his books for the Spring Grimore.

The next morning, they went to the armory. Kaedo got a set of Langtland plate, and Crazy Bear experimented to see what would happen if he transformed from human to bear form while in plate. It was extremely messy and ruined a set of plate, inflicting fairly grave injuries on the tough were-bear. Oh well! He got artisans started on his bear-sized plate.

Saedenn checked in with Ari, who promised to be fine while they were gone, then they joined the Prince of Dust. They rode down the center of the city, and met with 200 tough cavalry skirmishers, veteran elite all, who rode out under the Prince’s banner to much cheering.

The Road to the Tower

They did not encounter much resistance on the road, as a significant force. However, they saw scouts, who doubtless reported their approach to the Black Warlocks.

At one point the undead erupted up from the roadway in the middle of the cavalry. The heroes watched with interest as the Northron riders stomped them down.

Then, they heard the hydra, and saw the ambush set for them. A Black Warlock sneered at them, then battle was joined. The cavalry fought the undead with the Prince, and the adventurers attacked the hydra. After a tense battle, they managed to bring it down, and Kaedo challenged the Black Warlock to single combat. The Warlock agreed, they battled, and Kaedo crushed the Black Warlock down then beheaded him! The Black Warlock’s mount fled, but Saedenn burned it in half with acid.

After a brief rest, they continued towards the tower.

The Assault on Hellad Tower

They arrived to find battle lines drawn. Two Black Warlocks held a mass of blurbeasts in check, and a line of tough ogres in full plate armor stood before a seemingly endless mass of animated remains, punctuated by flickering phantoms.

No quarter was asked or given as the cavalry charge raced into the ogres, and past them. Meanwhile, the heroes rushed the blurbeasts, crashing into impossibly strange combat. Saedenn swathed the Black Warlocks in acid fog, intensified to impossible levels, and they died shrieking.

Then the warriors scattered on Saedenn’s command; as the blurbeasts slammed and chipped at his stony skin, he gushed acid fog around himself, burning the blurbeasts to death no matter how clever their displacement fields. He intensified the fog enough to burn himself, but he walked out steely-eyed, bloody, and victorious.

The warriors barreled into the vast melee of the battle, flinging shattered remains to the side. Kaedo slew an ogre as he leaped into the fray, and he and Crazy Bear knocked apart knots of remains menacing downed Northron warriors.

With a roar, the ogre chieftain slew with impunity, only lightly blooded by the Northron’s best efforts. Kaedo and Crazy Bear attacked the massive monster, and brought him down. With that, the last of the Black Warlock force was broken, and the Northron easily mopped up the staggering and directionless undead that remained.


As they rested and healed, soldiers explored under the tower, finding most of the horror show had been brought out to the field of battle.

Meanwhile, four veteran riders swore fealty to Kaedo, who led a revel to celebrate the battle.

They returned to Langtland, fending off the occasional probing attack with no problem. They sent riders ahead, who notified the city, and they arrived in a parade. The King of Dust welcomed them with an honoring speech on the portico, then they were cleaned up and escorted in for a feast. The king rewarded them richly with coin, fine daggers, perfumes, and jewelry.

They had a busy week in Langtland. Kaedo gained one of Ari’s handmaidens as a follower. Crazy Bear hired a mechanic, Johan, by paying off his gambling debts. He started practicing lock picking, and he got custom bear barding. Saedenn growled at anyone who interrupted his study time with his new book, stolen from the secret mystic lore of Ulverland.

Then, with Kaedo’s new followers, and Ari and her handmaidens, they traveled back to the oasis. When they returned, they were celebrated and feasted, with the Khan’s gratitude for returning Ari.

The Khan gave Saedenn, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear platinum tokens that gave them the Khan’s permission to go into the Lottery Dungeon at will!

Raiding Hellad Tower
Rescuing the Prince of Dust

After narrowly escaping an ambush, the travelers regrouped. Saeden, Kaedo, Strings, Crazy Bear, and Blayloch. They were with Arishakel and her two handmaidens, Senna and Lifta.

Traveling north again after a wary overnight, they passed the scene of the ambush and saw that it was all cleaned up.

They reached a guard station with a couple guards of the Dust Road, who warned them that the road north was dangerous. Black Warlocks massed an army and began harassing Langtland, and trying to use the road to the city was risky. The guards had not seen the Northrons that escaped the trap racing north where the rest of the travelers went south, so they were likely in trouble or dead.

The Mysterious Stranger

A stranger staggered up to the camp about midnight, bloody and without his mount. He was badly hurt, attacked by the Black Warlock military. He explained that he was looking for the Northrons that were supposed to be with them; at that point Ari explained that one of the Northron was the prince, heir to the Throne of Dust.

The stranger grimly surmised that the prince must be captured, and that he would probably be taken to an abandoned tower often used as a staging ground—Hellad Tower, not far away. He asked if they would help him rescue the prince. They agreed, as long as the women could be safe in a secret hideout that the stranger knew about.

The Raid

The next morning they headed out, and stealthed up to the area of the tower. The stranger was still badly hurt, so he did not go with them into the tower, but he told them of a secret underground back door. They snuck past a patrol of ogres, and found the entry.

Hacking their way past babblers, they found that the dead (animated, and reserves) were stuffed into the caves under the tower. Using blades and magic to hew through them, they explored some of the reanimating chambers and storage chambers, chopping down three undead bear owls and putting a demented undead surgeon to death.

They tore through five ogres standing guard, and freed the prince and his two surviving guards. They sidetracked slightly to kill another undead abomination, then fled the tower underground as the surviving ogres raised the alarm and overhead somewhere a hydra roared.

They made it back to the camels and retreated with the prince alive!

The Lottery Dungeon: Session Seven
The Dragonslayers

Lanevas 14, 6,995. It was Kaedo birthday, and he celebrated to bleary unconsciousness along with Saedenn, Strings, Blayloch, and Crazy Bear. The next morning they cleaned up and fumbled towards sobriety out by the oasis pool, except Saedenn, who didn’t overindulge so much. That way he could explain to Kaedo some recent events.

In other good news, the plague threat was dealt with. Ellisandra Purelight, a Damsel of the Lady, and some inquisitors rooted it out of Calx. Their efforts were followed by scrutiny from a couple Scavenger Masters, who finished burning it out. So, the road is again open (and that’s how Blayloch found his way back to the Lottery Dungeon, in the company of five hulking Northrons.)

Meeting the Frog Khan

The Khan sent guards to collect them, focusing on Saedenn and Kaedo, with the others invited. The Khan explained that Arishakel, the madame for the brothel of the oasis (and, as an open secret, the Khan’s woman) was headed to Langtland. The Khan wanted Saedenn and Kaedo to be personally responsible for getting her there and back unharmed. They agreed to this task. The entourage would leave at noon.

Blayloch bartered the merchant down to make the price of camels more reasonable, and the party got two weeks worth of food and a camel for each of them before heading out at noon.

The five mysterious Northron warriors went with them, uncomfortable on camelback. Of the Northrons, Sven was the main spokesman, and he liked intimidation and a snooty attitude.

Arishakel and her two handmaidens, Senna and Lifta, were pleasant but a bit aloof. Arishakel rode a fancy white camel named Pug, and she cried out “yip yip!” to make him go.

The Journey Begins

They began a journey of about 250 miles across the Dust Road to Langtland, expecting the journey to take about a week. Fortunately, as a Scavenger Master Saedenn could protect them all from the dangers of mutation on the magically irradiated road.

They met some hopeful adventurers on the road headed to the Lottery Dungeon, survivors of Calx. Then they continued on, and during siesta the next day the relative peace of their journey was shattered.

Dragon Attack

As they rested, a dragon burst up from a nearby canyon, freaking out the camels (and the humans) as it lazily pounced out of the sky. Saedenn fired a nasty mystic attack at it, but it ignored him and targeted the ladies’ pavilion. Strings, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear tried to defend the ladies from the dragon.

It was magnificent; 60 feet long, with an 80 foot wingspan, and a hide like boulders of the Scavenger Lands. It swatted Strings aside, nearly killing him. Saedenn rammed acid magic into it, weakening its hide and bursting dark energies across it (even though it was magic resistant, his powers were too formidable to be denied.)

Blayloch held the struggling camels, preventing them from bolting, as the Northrons nervously stayed clumped together and out of the fight. Kaedo slashed and stabbed with his 6 foot sword taken from the corpse of a Black Warlock, stinging the dragon even after it tore at him, staining the rocks with his blood. The dragon fired a maelstrom of sandblasting gravel as a breath weapon at Saedenn, who managed to stay out of the way of the worst of it, his magical armor pummeled by the attack.

The dragon was freely bleeding by the time it pounced back up into the air, circling for another breath attack, angered and frustrated by taking actual wounds. Crazy Bear lived up to his name, in bear form, leaping at the dragon to try and prevent its escape; he was slashed down, and the dragon took to the skies. To retaliate, Crazy Bear scooped up Kaedo and—flung him at the dragon!

The throw wasn’t dead on, but Kaedo (not wishing to fall) managed to use his leverage and massive sword to gain purchase on the dragon, hacking away viciously as the dragon gusted its breath down at Saedenn.

Frothing as he clung to the dragon, Kaedo stabbed and slashed and hacked. Alarmed, the dragon flew high in the air, snapping at the berserker; but Kaedo climbed on its wing and buried the length of his 6 foot sword in its heart, slaying the dragon.

The dragon fell down and smashed a crater in the ground, and Kaedo survived but fell unconscious.

Corpse Salvage

Still shaking from the adrenaline of the clash, Saedenn hauled out his Scavenger Masters grimore to see what might be most valuable on a dragon.

Meanwhile, Crazy Bear dug out the dragon’s teeth, and salvaged as much of the claw and tail weapons as he could, jealously packing them and guarding them for himself.

Strings and Kaedo received medical attention from the fancy ladies. Blayloch had a brief awkward conversation with the Northrons, neither one mentioning that the Northrons had been seriously considering snatching the camels and making a run for it. Blayloch then went and dragged an eye out of the dragon’s deep socket; it was like a fist-sized pearly gem, onyx, reflecting the world upside-down.

Saedenn read that dragons tend to focus on threats in a fight, rather than other objectives; they do not tend to ignore danger in favor of a task. Only a few Scavenger Masters and Narlathians ever managed to turn the savage desert dragons to their will. He also read that eating some of the dragon’s heart makes dragonslayers mighty warriors.

Saedenn burrowed into the hissing and melting dragon corpse, digging down to the heart. He managed to salvage half of it, it was still the size of a basketball. It had 8 chambers, regulating time/space, magical energies, air, blood, and other dragonnish things.

Saedenn, Kaedo, Strings, and Crazy Bear all ate some of the dragon heart. Apparently the heart did not think Crazy Bear was a slayer, so as he struggled not to die, the others felt fresh power flowing in them.

Moving On

The slayers packed up their gear and moved on, not wanting to stay too close to the magical radiation of the desert dragon corpse. (Saedenn gave them refresher shields against mutation.)

That night they had a visitor; Saedenn felt a disturbance when he woke, and in looking around they found a small foot in a pointy shoe left a track, and little pock marks (possibly from ENORMOUS spiders.) Over the siesta, Blayloch was startled by a hand-sized spider scuttling out of his pack.

Mysteries and Spiders

For the evening camp, they met with a group of a dozen Narlathian pilgrims, some scarred or hunched. The pilgrims were headed to holy sites in Langtland, and were generous, offering a gift of a replacement pavilion for the tent the fancy ladies lost.

The Northrons were oddly chummy with the Narlathians, but the others were suspicious and wanted to separate their camps. The mysterious Northron the others were guarding said they’d camp together, so they did.

During Saedenn’s watch, one of the pilgrims seemed to follow something or follow some sign out of the camp. Saedenn used his honed ability for stealth to follow, but stay out of sight. He saw a hooded figure meet with the pilgrim; a feminine voice. The pilgrim knelt before the figure, and they talked briefly. The figure was a spellcaster with at least some Narlathian magic, and growing suspicious, the caster sent her fire lizard familiar to look for prying eyes; Saedenn managed to pull back to the camp.

The next morning the pilgrims needed to pray, so the travelers moved on without them.


They traveled into a ravine, and hails of arrows sailed down at them! Dozens of archers, and enormous pony-sized spiders rushing down to attack!

Struggling to cope with the ambush, the travelers sent some warriors charging into the trees to deal with some of the incoming spiders as a couple of the Northron were cut down. The rest of the Northron bolted along the road to the north, leaving the rest of the travelers behind.

Teetering on the edge of being overwhelmed by the cowardly attack, the travelers pulled back and raced along the road they had come down, with Saedenn leaving an acid fog wall in their wake.

Catching their breath and patching up their wounds, they discussed next steps. Strings volunteered to take a fancy lady with him, striking out as a diversion so their attackers might think he was with Arishakel; the arrows had landed thickly all around, except around the fancy ladies.

First the dragon focusing on the women, now an ambush—what was going on? She had no magical properties. Fuming over the mystery, the travelers considered how best to deal with the dangers before them…

The Lottery Dungeon: Session Six
Overnighting on Level Two

A plague ship got to port to the south, so for the time being, the Frog Khan’s troops are shooting at anyone trying to come in from the Dust Road and they are living off a secret stockpile of reserves.

So, few people are in the mood to risk life and limb in the Lottery Dungeon. Fortunately, some are. Saedenn, Crazy Bear, Strings, and Shaddak headed down to take a closer look at level 3. They hired a Midianite torch bearer, Eduardo.

Into the Lottery Dungeon

As the grinding ceased, they strolled through the entry chambers, then opened the doors and entered the first level. Somewhat turned around, they explored for a while before finding the way back down to the second level… but the first level was eerie and silent.

They descended to the muggy unpleasantness of the second level, with its black stone and awful smell. Saedenn remembered where the secret door to the rest of the level was, and he ordered the collectors back as he took the invaders through it. By now they changed their mission parameters, instead searching for the holy bolt-hole they once found, to safely overnight.

However, a growing feeling in the group was that there was not much need for a secret hidey-hole. They could just murder anything that messed with them. Why even go out between expeditions? Their power was grown to the point where they should be able to slay things out of hand and do as they pleased, including offing the ghoul king; his protection is a step from worthless, and they could just keep killing ghoul kings until they learned their lesson.

Interspersed with this increasing confidence was the desire to check random walls for secret passages, pressing on vague memory in a place where things look much the same. They took their time wandering the level, increasing tension between Saedenn and Shaddek, with Crazy Bear and Strings feeling casually powerful enough to take any threats.

They found the copper dish, and Strings was quick on the draw with his copper piece, gaining a blessing. They also found the room with the block of green crystal.

The Dungeon Closes

The dungeon rotated, trapping them. Energies of death from the Wailing Labyrinth flooded the level, the undead shrieked, and something big loosed a horrific cry. They retreated back through a couple secret doors to the chill pool, and decided to wait it out. Strings played his fiddle to keep up their morale.

Apparently the pool was a portal to part of the Wailing Labyrinth, some shipwreck victims wanted him to finish his song. Then they were swept away as the level kept churning through the weird energies of the land of the dead.

An ethereal scout found them, but was slain before it could go report, Shaddak’s ravenblade making short work of it. That did not protect them from the ghoul king’s ability to track their marks, however. The ghoul king brought his collectors, and also something… bigger.

The Monitor

It smashed through the secret doors to get at them. Its head was a hazy cloud, and in it they could each see the faces of people they had slain. It had shoulders broad as an ogre or minotaur. Its hands stretched into sharp scissoring claws. Its lower torso congealed into a protoplasmic sluggish form. It reared tall, and offered them death.

They fought. Saedenn’s massive orbs of energy could not hit it, but the others hacked away with gusto. Strings found his arm disabled by its biting chilly might, and their weapons were nearly destroyed by touching it; Crazy Bear swelled up and shattered walls to get at the thing, and ever slap at it wounded his paws (even with their metal supports.)

Much to its surprise, they drove it back, and chased off the ghoul king. Freshly confident, they strutted out into the heavily fogged level.

Eduardo died of terror, in his sleep.

The Ancient Soldier

They encountered a bemused ghost of what looked to be a soldier of the World Above. He told them they were outside the time stream, where he could meet them. (Indeed, time seemed to stop, and the dungeon’s damage was rebuilt before their eyes by invisible hands.) The soldier could not speak a language they understood, so resorted to telepathy, but did not tell them much. He could only meet them because of the hole in the temporal shift because of a powerful being leaving in a hurry—like the Monitor.

Surviving the Second Level

Time resumed making sense, and shortly after the level turned. They hunted for a way out, prodding through the corners of the level and facing rising frustration between those who felt escape was a priority and those who felt it was no big deal.

After a brief argument, Saedenn separated to look for the way out while the others stayed with Shaddak to search corridor walls for secret passages. Shaddak was frustrated to reach a locked door, and he rejoined the others and asked Shaddak to open it. Shaddak did, and they faced a room with six collectors eating a corpse on a table.

Shaddak pointed a VERY rude gesture at them, and they attacked, hissing! The invaders’ casual amusement at the attack shifted abruptly as they faced the paralyzing powers of the collectors. The six were still dispatched easily enough, but there were many more on the level, and the invaders reached a vague consensus that leaving might be good.

They checked a couple exits, and found that the one they entered was again synched up. They headed back up to the first level, and found themselves running. They did not, after all, know which entry synched up with the exit, and they also could sense their time running out. The random and leisurely search for secret doors cost them time that they now wanted back as they raced through the first level.

Gambling on his mystic sight synching up with the weird other-time they accidentally experienced, Saedenn tried to see where the exit was. He got a sense of direction, and they followed him, dodging traps and running through the exit—just as the rotation started! They barely made it through.

The Khan

They got out, and swaggered out before the Khan and the applause of the oasis. Saedenn asked to speak with the Khan before selling his map, an unusual move. The Khan did not want to discuss the matter in public, so Saedenn sold his almost-complete map of level 2 for 200 silver (!) and the invaders celebrated in style.

Only Shaddak had a carousing mishap; he was beaten, robbed, and left hanging upside down from a palm tree over the oasis pool—nude.

The next morning, they met with the Khan, who had much residual energy of that other timespace around him that they saw for the first time. He showed them where the secret bolthole was, and told them he would have use for them in the future…

The Lottery Dungeon: Session Five
Detonating Statues

Shaddek had gone to Langtland to get started on some weaponized claws for Crazy Bear. He returned to the oasis to find Crazy Bear had followed a shamen out to the desert to get some enchantment (he was drunk at the time) and Melursus had sighed and followed him. Neither had yet returned, but they’re fine…

Meanwhile, Arane Sparess, a wizard, and Strings, a gladiator, arrived with a caravan. They put in their names, and they were selected (along with Kaedo, Saedenn, and Shaddek) to head into the Lottery Dungeon.

Down We Go

Saedenn was the group leader. They started in a small room, and fortunately Kaedo’s sharp reflexes saved him from a pit trap in a long, crooked hallway. They fondly remembered this hallway and its kitchen from their first foray into the dark. The veterans managed to guide the group to the trapdoor leading down.

Once they headed down to the second level, they tried to intimidate a room full of collectors, zombies, and skeletons by showing their favor with the current ghoul king. The collectors were not respectful, but they did not attack. Continuing to explore, the invaders found a room with brass statues facing off in combat.

Shaddek remembered there was a pressure plate between them, and he shivved it. He examined the eye gems, not seeing marks of where they were removed last time; he removed them again, unknowingly picking up two curses, one per set.

As soon as he said what the gems were worth, he shrieked and writhed in pain for a minute; Arane tried to counterspell the effect, and recognized a curse. Recovering, Shaddak noted that the pain sucked; he shrieked and writhed for another minute.

He remained speechless for the rest of the adventure. Having discovered the edges of the accessible terrain, and haunted by vague memories of a secret door, they hunted and searched, then gave up and withdrew. They sold their map to the khan’s men and headed for the temple.

Breaking the Curses

They went to the temple of the Laughing Frog, and the priest there took half the gems in exchange for breaking the two curses on Shaddak; he warned them that if they continued to rob those gods, he would not help them again.

They threw a grand party (Saedenn was drunk, standing on the gate, throwing balls to knock things off partiers’ heads.)

Still, they put in for more tickets, and the next day their names were drawn again.

Once More Into the Dark

Saedenn was the group leader. The veterans showed off to the new members by identifying a couple secret doors and how to move through them, closing in on the trap door on the other side of the level with ease.

Much to their frustration, they realized they had gone down one of the two entrances to the limited area they found the day before. As they wondered what to do next, Arane produced a lizard her spider had poisoned. Saedenn managed to bribe a collector to show them the secret door, in exchange for fresh meat.

The collector led them to the room full of collectors, zombies, and skeletons. At the back was a door to a closet with a chest. They left the chest alone, under the watchful eyes of the collectors, and Shaddak found the secret door in the back of the closet.

Continuing their explorations, they found another ghastly dining room, then they found the massive chamber where they had faced the Black Warlock. Without tampering with anything there, they continued looking around.

They discovered a room for discarded bone, where much of the bone had been powdered as the Black Warlock pulled incorporeal undead from it. They also found a closet that was a trapdoor, and only quick reflexes saved them from a nasty spill.

Across the hall, they discovered a closet with a statue of the frog god tipped over face down in a corner. They righted it, and felt a strange blessing from the frog god suffuse them.

Shaddak dug through the grode and gore on a lock, popping it open, and they found a strange altar made of ribs trickling blood into a pool. Rather than interfere with that gruesome object, they withdrew, and continued their exploration.

They found the central ring corridor, and remembered that the trapdoor was in it. Then, they were on their way to the third level.

Motion. Less.

Unnerved by the well-lit third level, they were not pleased that no matter where they stood they were in arm’s reach of a weird statue. Some of the statues held torches. Wary, they continued down the hall.

They discovered a tiled room with a scorpion statue, silver for eyes. They examined the floor for traps, and were very methodical—until Kaedo walked over and touched it. The statue came alive, snapping at the wizard and his ball of flame. Saedenn blew it up. Shaddak pocketed the eyes.

Feeling better about things, they continued exploring, but found themselves in a very limited area. One room they discovered was full of chipped and broken statues, with some furniture and an urn; they had a bad feeling about it, and left that room alone. As they searched more intently for a way out of the area, Kaedo relieved himself on the wall, and discovered a secret passage there.

He also managed to avoid falling into the pit trap that was full of the arms of statues pointing up, fingers spread. They continued into the next area, finding another tiled room, this one with a bull.

Ready, Saedenn blew it up; it took two shots. Shaddack pocketed the eyes, gold this time. Finding their options for exploring run out after poking into a few uninteresting rooms, they withdrew back up and out.

Now with plenty of silver from selling the eyes, they threw a massive party.

Bulette Barbeque

The sand nomads had killed a bulette, and the party pooled their funds and bought it, selling off meat to the locals for booze and favors. They played games with the head, and stuffed themselves and besotted themselves beyond reason, celebrating their victory down in the dungeon.

The Lottery Dungeon: Session Four
Against the Black Warlock

For six days, adventurers went into the Lottery Dungeon—and none came back out. The Khan even authorized more adventurers the last day, and still nothing. An ominous pall gathered over the assembled hopefuls, and desire to enter the dungeon began to wane.

The Frog Khan used his pretty bodyguards to lure two newcomers to the oasis into his audience hall: Blaylock, a Northron fighter, and Zang, a monk from Shamhat. He also invited Saedenn, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear (who was drunk and had to be carried.)

The Khan suspected a conspiracy or disaster was afoot, so he gathered brand-new adventurers who had no time to make local connections, and some tested delvers. He promised them riches, showing them a tray with coins, a jeweled pitcher and cups, pearls, and other assorted wealth—all theirs if they solved the problem and reported back.

They enjoyed wine and dancing girls for the rest of the evening, but they were not allowed to leave the Khan’s rooms until morning after a sponge bath and clear-eyed preparation.

Into the Lottery Dungeon

In an unusual move, the High Priest of the Laughing Frog drew the lottery tiles out of a special box that only had the pre-selected adventurers’ names in it. They faced the dungeon entrance, and headed down as the levels were still grinding below.

They quickly navigated the first level, with only one misstep. Their new Northron warrior, Blaylock, got to haul at the doors, and built up his delving muscles. They had also hired Farouk, a lock’n’trapper, who was nervous but handled the doors for them. Crazy Bear bolstered his nerve by lending him a hammer and a fancy hat.

They saw a phantom, and the terrified Farouk identified him as an adventurer who had come down some months ago. When they tracked down the entry to the lower level, the door was caked with ectoplasmic ice or something like it; paying no heed, Kaedo flung it open, and they descended into the depths of the second level.

Ghostly Ambush

They were baffled by a floor trap, and then corridors that led nowhere. Then Saedenn and Kaedo remembered they had been here before; they opened one secret door and found a pool of water, then opened another to get out past the basin of copper coins (Kaedo made a donation) and out into the wider level.

In a long hallway, they were ambushed by four incorporeal spirits. A combination of ferocity, luck, and skill (along with the assistance of the monk) allowed Kaedo to hack two of them down with his axe; more were coming, so they retreated, finding a door to the central hub as Saedenn coated himself in stone then swirled acid mist around his form.

The undead shrieked and melted in the mystical acid, as Saedenn’s mystical protections shielded him. They headed into the central hub, and found that the phantoms were herding them. They allowed themselves to be herded, and ended up in a nightmare chamber of certain death.

Confrontation with the Black Warlock

The chamber had ten bronze statues, two pools of blood, and a pit with a glowing green block of crystal. In the back, stairs led up to double doors—this was a way out.

Dozens of zombies and skeletons lined the walls, and a mass of collectors uneasily shifted at the back of the room. Then, rising from a pool of blood, the Black Warlock intoned that it was time for them to provide reinforcements.

Battle! Kaedo, Crazy Bear, and Blaylock assaulted the Black Warlock as undead descended on them from all sides. Saedenn melted masses of them with acidic fog as Zang protected him. The Black Warlock’s spell toughened the undead around him, and all seemed lost. Yet they fought on!

Farouk fled in terror, but he didn’t make it very far before the phantoms slew him.

Crazy Bear hammered the Black Warlock down to the floor, and Kaedo pounced on him in a fury in the storm of undead assault. Saedenn swarmed acidic mist all over the collectors, who were hanging back until their troops softened up the targets; many died shrieking. Blaylock struck the Black Warlock’s head from his shoulders.

Long Live the King

The undead paused, and protected themselves. The party continued their assault, focusing on one of the collectors that was bloating out. The newly corpulent collector was the new king, and he warned them against further attack; they paused to listen.

The king explained that this level needed its undead, and were they to slay them all, something…else would come. Saedenn considered his knowledge of lore, and admitted that it was possible. This was something like a zoo, and it was possible that the energy ecosystem could be fatally disrupted by wiping out all of the level’s guardians.

The party agreed to let the new collector king live, and in exchange they could travel through his level for the rest of their lives. The king amended the deal, to the rest of HIS life; subsequent kings would have their own obligations. They agreed.

Saeden, Kaedo, Blaylock, and Crazy Bear allowed the king to mark them with a necromatic scratch. Zang actually came here to slay the Black Warlock, so he did not plan to return, and did not need a mark.

The party retreated warily, carrying the Black Warlock’s gear and corpse (including the head.) They also collected Crazy Bear’s hat and hammer from Farouk’s corpse.

Victorious Partying

The crowd was delighted to see them emerge into sunlight about two hours after they headed down. They went to the khan’s chamber and dropped off the corpse, but they kept a magic protective ring, and the weapons. The khan rewarded them richly, with 150 gold pieces worth of wealth.

They gave the paired daggers to the High Priest of the Laughing Frog, he explained the blades would shatter if used by the living. However, Kaedo kept the sweet sword, and shared the ring with Saedenn.

Then they partied. Crazy Bear was named the BEAARon of the Oasis, and he spent a lot of time as a bear rug for the wiggly dancing girls. He was also mugged at one point, but he doesn’t clearly remember the details. Young Zang (only 15, poor lad) blasphemed against the Laughing Frog and was cursed with insatiable hunger for a whole week.

Blaylock invested in moving the bar out to the oasis for a night of partying, and the big spenders had a magnificent grand party that thrilled all who attended.

In the sticky, bleary aftermath a few days later, Saedenn and Kaedo began to plan for a visit to a city to look for magic.

The Lottery Dungeon: Session Three
Kicking Ass on Level Two

Saedenn, a Scavenger Master wizard, led a motley crew into the Lottery Dungeon. He took Kaedo, the bersker, and Shaddek, the mechanic, as they had worked well together before. The party added Melursus and Crazy Bear, a couple pagans (who could turn into bears.) Finally, they took Poesworth, a zealot eager to smash infidels and abominations.

The Lottery Dungeon had been closed for a week due to the Camel Foot Festival, with half price prostitution and randy sermons in the Temple of the Frog God. After the hiatus, the Frog Khan allowed bigger parties to head down into the Lottery Dungeon.

Unexpected Unfamiliarity

Saedenn and Kaedo were confident they knew their way around level one, but they ended up exploring some areas they were not familiar with. They carefully tread the quiet halls, past the snake statue and the iron garden, through the open chamber and a room where an adventuring party finally fell to the custodians—and their summoned monster too.

As Shaddek scouted ahead, he fell in a pit trap. They hauled him out, and checked out a nearby room with a stone sarcophagus that looked like monster jaws. Inside, they smashed a skeleton, and took the keen elven dagger. Then smashed the skeleton some more, and left.

They found a room with four goblets and four pools, and they tried them out after Saedenn researched in his book. Experiencing benefits, they didn’t push their luck, but they kept exploring.

They began to wonder if the cleaners were no longer functioning as they found another area that did not seem as tidy as they would expect. Finally they found the central round, and backtracked over some territory they covered in previous excursions (like the trophy room and the kitchen.)

Kaedo was strong enough to not worry about the doors, and others tried to increase their strength by pushing the doors open. Shaddek continued to find traps and unlock the doors.

They headed down a crooked corridor, and found the room with the statue of the woman looking at the door, and the trap door leading down. Finally!

Second Level Scuffle

They came out in a dusty stairwell, and followed a corridor leading away from it. They nailed a door guard that was a nattily dressed dead Northron, then burst into a room with a pile of skeletons and zombies, and some of the collectors, and their gruesome king!

A massive fight broke out, with bears and zealots and undead and berserking and balls of acidic magic and lashing tongues and filthy necrotic claws. Shaddek wielded his Ravenblade, offending the undead with its presence, as the zealot chanted prayers and the wizard hurled magic.

They tore through the king’s entourage, and the bloated king was obliterated by a huge blast of magic from Saedenn. Panting and victorious, they felt the pressure of time.

And, the king had been calling for help. As they retreated, they saw the approaching figure of a Black Warlock! Some were torn between standing and fighting, and running, but when most of the party ran they ran too.

Dashing through the cleverly mapped compound, they managed to reach the exit just before the dungeon ground out of position.

All’s Well That Ends Well

They threw a massive party when they came out alive, burning through hundreds of silver for a few days of decadence. Fortune smiled on them, and they continued to process their experiences and mature as powerful characters, their awesomeness shining through in the partying they did.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.