Gygax 75 Challenge Week 2

Week 1 

Alright so first a map. I think from reading two of my inspirational sources Vaults of Vaarn and Barrens of Carcosa and looking over some past ruined land G75's, its clear that a desert landscape is a major mood.

For my map, I wanted to do something a little different, so instead of the vast cerulean sands of Vaarn I decided to go with plateaus that flank a fungal jungle (hey...) around a glittering azure river.

FEATURES of the MAP (highlights just for my sake)

Plateaus: This allows me to place a lot of chromanity towns on those plateaus and it provides a rationale for why they are able to defend themselves from a lot of the threats of V'COSA with more limited resources.

River: Water is always a solid resource, allows "fast travel" down (and more slowly) up the map, and also is a contained biome that allows the insertion of some aquatic variety. 

We can also place some merchant factions associated with the river. Maybe one group only goes down river and one group transports goods back up?

It was pointed out to me that the map also contains two good points for dams. I think that would be a great source of energy in the region. Maybe controlled by an AI faction who barters power cells and re-charges ray-guns.

Fungal Jungle: If the plateaus were safe and river easy to access it might be a rather boring heaxcrawl. So the fungal jungle is there to dial up the danger. And because its dangerous, chomanity towns might deal with a heterogeneous group willing to risk their own lives to pull stuff out of it.

It will also help isolate areas like the dams which might have important and/or high-powered items. So yes a player finds a ray-gun, but chooses to save it for special occasions because getting to the dams is a pain.

And fungus because it allows organo-mechanic imagery to be used and as well as the fungus people from Vaults of Vaarn. And maybe chromanity also has a bit of a taboo against going there because often those who die there come back changed. The jungle captures their soul and puts it in a body.

Map made with the fantastic Hex Kit.


Let's cheat again. I could sit down and write a lot of novel stuff for the G75 requirements above and the 6 x 12 hexes I have. Or, I could just comb through the material I already own for interesting bits and use those. 

What makes interesting material? Its comes down I think to PC choice. Does the encounter in the hex allow the players to make a decision? If so, then it is a good thing to place.  I also think the triggering effect shouldn't be random or so specific that it will never come up. I don't have the time anymore for "empty" hexes. My RPG playtime is one 2-4 hour session per week, so I'd rather have too much happen per session than to little. This also drives interest in keeping the game going.

But at the same time its okay to be restrictive to something the PCs can obtain either in-game or via character generation. So, the effect is triggered by specific facets of chromanity, AI-PCs, certain classes, or in-game objects like Serpent keys. Objects like shrines where you perform an action "at" is also good.

Another good class of hex encounters are those linked to the passage of time. Something often ignored in RPGs. I am looking for one-time events that trigger after a few days/weeks and a few periodic events that occur over and over.

I'll start by combing through Barrens (⌚︎ indicates a timed event):

  1. Edible fungus in the jungle is lime green 6" high but must be cooked to derive healing
  2. The shallow stone basin contains green stone with geas in serpent tongue; guarded by transparent ooze
  3. Lair of the Logician: dome marks a 400' shaft to a giant floating brain; under its tutelage gain +1 INT or fail a save and fall into despair
  4. Osseous Circle: 300' radius of bones around a statue; stepping within the circle causes a god to smite anything organic
  5. Fungus Business: Fungus that wants to eat humanoids, but turns their skeletons into value metals as a by-product
  6. Sentient Crystalline Patch: Intelligent, impervious, will seem inert to anyone with less than 18 INT; can turn organic beings into living crystal
  7. Knights of Annihilation: Vantanic citadel with powerful weapons cache below; dreams of occupying a Gith fortress
  8. Tormancean Spray: Veridian camp. Four marble walls enclose a garden to a lost god; the flowers within make a strong and highly addictive narcotic that can entrance almost all.
  9. Byakhee lair: Twist tower of metal beams (old skyscraper?); 4:6 chance the creatures will attack
  10. Ohnikosno: Crimson town (592/148 F0). Worship a node of darkness deep in the cave.
  11. Shrine: Indigo brigands (F3). Alter sacrifice delivers scorpion mounts from gods-above. Rituals can be read by any MU as its inscribed on the alter.
  12. Lone Love: Mosolium (old cloning pod) contains a Xanthic woman decorated with beautiful ruby & gold necklace (8000 GP).  Opening the pod to retrieve the necklace will destroy the body and draw the ire of a Crimson sorcerer who will track the looters (this I've altered from the original).
  13. Cubic Castle: Viridian keep (16) 100 X 100 X 100 foot cube. Keep of MU Mawiza a ooze & slime wizard.
  14. Faceless Shrine: Contemplative monstrosity is the shrine's lone "monk". Not aggressive unless it or the shrine are attacked. Can give directions to points around it.
  15. Bajasla: Vermillion keep (816/204 F0). Crumbling edifice of an Ulfire sorcerer. The words INCOMING have appeared on a screen in Ulfire. A meteor from the moon Ghoroth will strike the keep in 10 days obliterating it. Chaji the ruler of the keep is friendly, but cautious, to all. ⌚︎
  16. Egg of Cuult: A black egg encased in pure crystal sits in the center of a group of Cerulean and other bodies covered in bio-mechanoid parts. The egg bestows CON 18, but after 9 nights of terrible dreams, those monstrosities will break out of the dreams an attack the PCs. Save vs. Spells to give up control of the egg.
  17. Occupied Shrine: Living god if reduced to 5 HP will bargin for life. PCs chose: 2,222 GP or learn glassee spell. On of the other villages worship this being.
  18. Purple Worm Shoal (D3): Substances in the sand are narcotic to the worms. Searching the grounds risks a 1:6 attack, but 2d6 treasures of precious metal ingots or gems (ray-gun worthy).
  19. Shrine of the Shark-jawed Frog: Cerulean keep (1368/342). Shrine will spawn 100 3' killer-frogs which will decimate keep in 14 days. All the keep has received the same proficy "Destroy the keep" but leaders differ on which keep. "Frogs" are more slaad-like, will trigger the descent of Gith hunting parties. ⌚︎
  20. Lair of the Razor Sphere: Gem studded antinne signals the entrance to a chamber with a brain in a jar. The chamer contains a sphere of razor blades which can disect a MU and impart a random spell into their brain. Non-MUs are just shreadded; only good once.
  21. Dulaja: Xanthic town (679/169 F0). Worth the purple worms in D3 and will not hesitate to capture a person for sacrifice to them. Drapped in precious metals & gems from harvesting. Each home has serpent tongue carving useful for magic and other serpent-related topics.
Twenty-one things feels like a good start. I might also try to create a table to spell/ritual components to help go with everthing to also fill in the hexes. There is more left in Barrens I just didn't want to write the whole thing out. Also Save vs. Total Party Kill has this Carcosa generator which I can use to generate ideas for hexes.


I actually previous had started on a six-level dungeon based on a Dyson map that really intersted me. I was trying to initally keep it mostly based on the OSE classic tome. Sorta an attempt to show with just the basics, you can really generate some amazing stuff.

But with this Gygax 75 Challenge, I might pivot that dungeon into here which won't really change things all that much. And in fact might be more instructive because I can (hopefully) demonstrate and annotate my thought process.

VANTANIC CHROMANITY: A Hole Where A Person Should Be

Vantanic Seer

As part of the Gygax 75 Challange, I wanted to go on a write down some notes about one of the factions for the campaign. Maybe jumping the gun a bit in terms of the document, but didn't want to lose the idea.

Of the eight different facets of chromanity, two are secretive, elusive, and steeped in speculation: the Vantanic and the Ulfire.


There are only three subjects that all of chromanity can agree upon:

One, the Divine Chime must be completed and rung alerting the gods of chmanity's readiness.

Two, Ulfire sorcerors are foolish for using communing magically with serpent empire ghosts.

Three, that Vantanic shadows are so wretched the gods cut them out of reality leaving a hole.


Before and After effect
of the gift of Yibb-tstll

The Union are worshipers of Yibb-tstll, the "Eyes of the Night" or "The Space Between the Stars", a being obsessed with seeing and knowing all. Its blood mixed with other beings allows it's essence to exist in V'COSA's plane of reality where it is still very blind.

Vantanic chromanity is composed of members of all peoples on V'Cosa who have been infused with the blood of Yibb-tstll, a flaky substance like black snow. While dangerous, this injection results in preventing congregates from being "known" via Detect Magic, ESP, scrying with orbs, and even from the gods above/AI on V'COSA. They are in effect erased from reality hence being seen as a biped-shaped hole in reality. This hole is how Yibb-tstll peers into a new plane. It is said members of the Vantanic Union are present when a person feels an eerie sense of deja vu.


These folks turned toward Yibb-tstll because they grew frustrated by the idiocy of the gods above, disillusioned with the Divine Chime,  wary of the Combine of Cuulat, appalled at the hubris of Ulfire efforts with the Serpent Empire, but hopeful with the arrival of the New Moon Ghoroth- a gift from Yibb-tstll.

The goal of the Vantanic Union is to acquire knowledge and material to travel to Ghoroth. On this moon, a new, more perfect home can be formed. A seat above the old gods and in the eyes of the new. 

The goal of Yibb-tstll is to eat the New Moon Ghoroth and have a window into all. The Vantanic Union is unaware of this.


  • Want Power and logic core material from Gith astro-fortresses and keeps
  • Want Schematics and technology related to astral travel & survival
  • Want Ulfire summoning methods for shantak & byakhee
  • Give: Will accompany expeditions to crashed Gith fortresses for 1 full share of the treasure to help bypass mechanical/AI security; will absolutely betray the party to save own skin
  • Give: Brokers of information and location


Because AI is blinded to their presence, the Vantanic Union is headquartered in a ruined AI manufacturing facility. Though damaged, the automated defense systems are still activated and protect the group from all attacks. While remaining oblivious, save for a few anomalies, to their presence inside the base.


The sum of chromanity with
ulfire (apart left) and vantanic (apart right)

NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 11


Infographic of sorts to sum up achievement
(or quantify loss...)

Previously in Nightwick...

The Party

Blossom (Rogue 2)
Handle (Rogue 1)
Mayfly (Magic-User 1)
Hirelings: Curly, Pavel, Tizche, Goswin, Vridale, 

At the Medusa's Head...

A few moons had rolled over Nightwick Village. Bertol and Sumac were off on personal errands. But Blossom, Handle, and Mayfly could not shake the siren's song of the Abbey's riches. They got their hands two gold crowns and a pile of silver last time-- why not again!?

Down a few party members, they quickly scoop up the rabble that regularly visits the Medusa's Head. A zealot Goswin and two brigands-- Vridale and one-armed Jekyll. And off the group goes to the cursed shrine of hubris.

(PC NOTE: 1st Mistake-- Mayfly is sitting on a pile of silver at this point. Roughly ~1000 SP. I should have taken the time to try and outfit the hirelings with better armor and weapons. What is a "better" weapon in Nightwick? Currently, it is spears for 2nd rank attacking and maces to deal with the skeletal dead. This might/will change. Otherwise, a lot of coin is doing nothing for my character.)

RIGHT TOWER: The party returns to the well-trod ground of the right tower due to always fearing the hoard of deermen that reside in the Left Tower. The group decides to avoid the monstrous butcher that resides on the 1st level and instead try their luck with the 2nd level area around the orange juicer
PC NOTE: Oh yes! Fresh squeezed Floria quality orange).

BLOOD ORANGES: Unmolested, the party arrives in the room with the dumpster. To the north is a staircase leading down, south would be the stairs from the first level and also a room of devil men and cultists, east the door to the juicer proper and maybe more oranges ($$$), and to the west, an unexplored hallway ending with a normal steel door-- odd for Nightwick.

Map of Session 11: Midnight Room (west) &
Red Room (north of Midnight Room)

THE MIDNIGHT ROOM: The group decided to give this steel door a try because it will either contain a hideous amount of treasure or a hideous monster(s). Or both! A hireling is sent to investigate and reports back it is painted black and contains a red door to the north and a black door to the south (PC NOTE: Ugh, nothing worse than different colored doors after an already strange door; a choice between "bad" and "worse").

With a nod toward caution, the party decides to spike this door open in order to make it easier to get the hell out should the need arise. Irony arrived shortly because all of Mayfly's inept banging on this spike in a door hinge attracted 8 blind-dead to the room (PC NOTE: A "procession" of blind-dead?)! 

These skeletal beings crowd the doorway where the unfortunate Mayfly (4 hp) and Curly stand in the front rank. The undead thrust their rusted swords bringing both unfortunates to 50% HP. Next round the party scrambles seizing the initiative, reforms the ranks, and fends off another attack doing little damage in return. Third round, more attacks from the dead. However, this time on the party's turn, Mayfly pulls out his scroll and casts Ventriloquism. He throws his voice as far behind the column of the dead as he can and mimics the cry of these skeletal warriors' former foe, "Form the line boys! We'll cut these bastards down!".

This seems to catch the eye-less dead's attention and they turn to combat their old unseen foe.

(PC NOTE: 2nd Mistake- Who forgot to transfer a vocal spell to their spellbook even though they knew there were blind, but sound responding enemies in the dungeon? This guy! Mayfly had plenty of time but figured he was too good for such a simple spell. Well, its just the sort of spell that keeps you alive. Mayfly "defeated" 8 undead with a non-damage spell. Way more powerful than Magic Missle.)

THE RED ROOM: After collecting themselves, the party turns north toward the red door and hearing nothing, carefully open it. Inside they find what is quite clearly a torture chamber complete with rack, iron maiden, a plate of prepared food, and a comfy leather chair. Handel is the first to spot a glint from the rack. And with a closer look, determines its a roll of torture equipment made of silver with gold filigree (1000 SP). Handel grabs it all. Could there also be something in the iron maiden in the corner?

The party deliberates and decides its best to get while the gettin' is good. It is decided to save investigation of the iron maiden for another delve. Fancy "finger-snippers" is enough for one sojourn.

POOL ROOM: Treasure in hand the party moved quickly out and back south toward the stairs to the 1st Level. Through the room where the Lady is depicted luridly, the party fled and they were almost out but brought up short by four floating, grinning cadaverites (PC Note: a "cackle"?). The gods of luck are not with the party and while no one is surprised the subsequent attack is brutal and short.

Jekyll is able to fell one foul creature, but a round later Goswin is rendered a corpse along with Curly. As the fighting continues the rogue Handel is knocked unconscious! Seeing the carnage, Tizche and Virdale flee! With only Pawel, who has been with the party since the beginning, sticking by Blossom. Out of "tricks" and out of hirelings, the party breaks and runs leaving the poor Handel and 1000 SP worth of treasure behind! 


(PC NOTE: DM actually has procedures for leaving the dungeon if you are left behind. Handel survived the attack but was sacrificed in a ritual. So neither he nor his soul made it out of Nightwick. 3rd Mistake- Always pre-split shares of treasure you find in the dungeon so if one member dies or is captured you can still make it out with X-1 shares. We lost all of the treasure D: ...rookie mistake...)

...back to Nightwick Village... 

Mayfly happy to be alive, but angry at himself for losing both loyal hirelings who he enjoyed bossing around and a vast amount of treasure, decided to go carousing. 

Procedurally, I rolled a "7" x 100 SP means that my character spent 700 SP and gained 700 XP drinking and hellraising, but I also failed my Poison Save. So I have to roll a consequence.

Fictionally, that means Mayfly drank, drank, and dank, shouting at anyone with ears about his "heroic" exploits, cowardly hirelings, and being cursed by god. But towards the end of it, some of Curly's cousins caught up with him and took umbrage with Mayfly making light of Curly's death. Mayfly was beaten within an inch of his life and will start the next session at 1 HP.

BUT! The ~100 XP gained from defeating those eye-less dead using Ventriloquism and the 700 XP from carousing was enough to go up to Level 2. And what spell was Mayfly diligently researching while in a half drunkin' state? [Rolls...3...] Floating Disk. Hmm. 

At the end of 11 sessions of Nightwick Abbey, my character stands as such:

MU 2 XP ~2600/5000 HP 7
STR 07 (-1) INT 15 (+1) WIS 08 (-1) DEX 16 (+2) CON 16 (+2) CHA 08 (-1)

Spells: Read Magic, Light, Protection from Evil, Floating Disk
Notable Items: Basilisk Constellation necklace (silver, 200 SP), Scroll(s): Read Magic (x1), Protection from Evil (x1), Protection from Demons (x1)
Wealth: 495 SP

This was a really fantastic session of Nightwick! I think it encapsulated the "agony & ecstasy" of old-school megadungeon play. And all of the above took place in a 2-hour session! It was packed with risk, reward, gain, loss, death, and escape thereof! I've never really had 5e D&D produce as much emotion, suspense, and excitement in the same time period because there's always this "drag" coming from somewhere; like moving through mud.

The mistakes made above lead to some pretty natural consequences. I don't feel cheated, nor was the DM being overly antagonistic, but simply played things out as they would in a malevolent dungeon formed from hubris being burgled by ne'er-do-wells. But I think because these factors matter, it indicates Nightwick is a well-designed megadungeon. I think I'll try to write out some more thoughts about the interplay of all these elements.

But it is this sorta "setback" that makes me salivate for another crack at this dungeon. After this game, I lay in bed thinking about how to do things better. Making lists of equipment and weapons. Strategizing on how I can utilize a platform floating 2 ft. off the ground. Thinking about the enemies encountered so far and how each could be more specifically overcome instead of fought. 

And was it really a "setback"? My MU is now level 2. One step back, but two forward.

Summary of the living & dead
at the conclusion of session 11.



Dungeons & Possums raised the flag on the Gygax 75 Challenge on Twitter. This is a method by which Gygax outlined the creation of a campaign setting in 5 weeks. 

The Otus guided workbook for the whole thing is awesome!

Dungeons & Possums outlines the reasons over here and I pretty much agree with them all: 

  • I do pretty well when given a direction to focus my energies, especially if the schedule is relaxed.
  • I find the older dungeon-centric campaigns charming and fruitful, and sort of nostalgic and cozy.
  • I thought it’d be neat to have a reason to make something like this.
  • I will have an excuse to make a silly PDF or something like that to give away.
As I said on Twitter, if I was a great judge I would do a concept with Mothership or Call of Cthulhu. But I am a good judge so I might stick with BX D&D. I've already done something like this in my "cleric campaign", but it will be interesting to do it from the start. I've also always wanted to run The Barrens of Carcosa and I like the way Vaults of Vaarn present all the materials needed therein-- tables that flesh out a world. 

But I will admit that give Anne's excellent overview of the Gygax 75 Challenge, "dying sci-fi world" is hardly novel. But neither is "fantasy adventure setting" so once again I reach a conclusion that play in a world is more important than novelty of said world.


  • V'COSA has been wracked by centuries of mistreatment. The serpent empire brought chromanity here and cracked the earth with arcane hubris. Strange minds, bereft of bodies, arrived through tears in the horizon and occupied whole cities. Divine emissaries came to the land, but even those titanic heralds fell into despair at the sin of its peoples and went silent to their platinum congregations. In the recent decades, the night glitters with Gith hard-light cannons and their fallen crystal fortresses poison the exhausted land.
  • Multi-hued chromanity seeks to restore their connection with the old gods. And endeavors to build the Divine Chime which will signal chromanity's readiness to return to Grace and be delivered from the purgatory of V'COSA.
  • New-beasts and the mutated view themselves as rightful heirs of V'COSA as the children of this wrecked land. They seek to unite the cities and throw off the heavy hand and judgment of chromanity. Knowledge should be gathered so the land can be born again.
  • The Platinum Congregation, the caretakers of the divine emissaries, now curse the idiot gods above. They long for purpose. Some seek refuge on the crystal fortresses. Others seek to bring back the Founders- the progenitors to chromanity before the serpent empire. Some want to restore the exhausted sun.
  • V'COSA will be a sci-fantasy RPG focused mainly on hexcrawling azure sands under a pale green sky. A key component will be negotiating the insular communities dotting the land each with a primary problem. The central question for the players will be, "What do 


The recently purchased Vaults of Vaarn. But I also have Ultra Violet Grasslands and The Barrens of Carcosa that I have wanted to use. As well as having some great experiences with Lair of the Lamb which always felt to me like a sorta phantasmagoric Swords & Sworcery bent.

I am also a big fan of the new Prophet run which depicts a fallen earth empire built on mutating and genetically engineering clones of almost the same one human to fill all manner of niches from organic transport ships to centepede-like building machines.

Gus L.'s Crystal Frontier adventures especially Broken Bastion.

Books: Book of the New Sun, Fighting-Man of Mars, Elder Being, Gun With Occasional Music, Dorohedoro

DUNGEON REAL ESTATE: Or How Many US Homes Do Kobolds Occupy in B2?

Nice fixer-upper in a prime location
with lots of history & character!

I often have a hard time understanding just how realistic dungeon space is in various adventures. 

When a room is six 10-foot squares by three, how big would it feel IRL? What if we compared it to the average US home?

  • The area of a 10 x 10-foot dungeon square is 100 sq. ft.
  • The area of the average US home in 2019 is 2,300 sq. ft.
  • Therefore, the average US home is 23 dungeon squares (most likely split between two floors)
As found in B2 Keep on the Borderlands

For comparison, the kobolds in the Caves of Chaos (above) occupy an area of ~37 squares or 1.6 US homes in 2019. Here I excluded hallways.

But, Gygax didn't write B2 with a sense of 2019 US homes. He was writing in 1970 when the average US home size was 1,500 sq. ft. or 15 squares 

This would mean that our kobolds occupy ~2.5 US homes in the 1970's. Another question: What does a 1970's floor plan look like if converted into a dungeon?

Not really much because roughly the above house (excluding the porches) is roughly 40 ft x 30 ft or 1200 sq. ft. (so 12 squares). The bedrooms themselves would only be defined by a single square.

It ain't pretty, but it will do

So, it looks like our kobold lair above is something like 2-3 houses at the ends of a couple of streets. And each "house" is large enough to contain 3 bedrooms, a lounging area, and some sorta kitchen. This gives me a new appreciation of how dense dungeon areas really should be and how much room for various activities there is. 

And this gets back to the "white box" issue when combat starts in D&D or when exploration is occurring. The above 4 x 3 room should not be blank at all. Its going to be packed with stuff, especially if occupied by creatures, just like walking into anyone's home.

There could be traps anywhere. There could be gems, jewels, and bags of coin hidden various places. And when the swords come out, its gonna be harder to swing that 2H in these sorts of close quarters.

NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 10


Art by Chris Huth. Crass, art-destroying graffiti by me.

Previously in Nightwick...

The Party

Blossom (Rogue 2)
Bertol (Rogue 2
Mayfly (Magic-User 1)
Sumac (Changling 1)
Hirelings: Curly, Pavel, Kunrat, Assmus, Ticze

At the Medusa's Head...

In the prior days, the party was able to pour over their previous incursions into Nightwick Abbey to decide a path forward. Instead of seeking the deeper depths as before, the party decided to try and "fill in" the center gap on the map. The previous exploration did yield a door to a room with a strange pantomimed dance. Mayfly marked out that this slow dance room must stretch from door to door as in Figure 1 below.

Fig. 1: Our map of Nightwick
at the beginning of Session 9

Now the party has a "request" from Halfdan the mage to descend to the gardens of Nightwick and bring back clippings. And the party did previously find the second level as well as an alternative route to the second level. Finally, an astute player remarked, "the hardest thing on the 1st level is harder than the easiest thing on the 2nd level maybe." Meaning that instead of taking on the Butcher (Figure 1 south) or the Deermen (Figure 1 north), going to the second level might yield easy silver.

However, Mayfly was curious about the empty middle section in the map above (Figure 1). There appeared to be a few doors we could try (marked by an "?") that might yield the silver we seek. So the group agreed to try those routes and finish the exploration. After all we did have a scroll with Fireball on it.

RIGHT TOWER: The party's favorite mainly because the Left Tower contains a faction of Deermen early on. The party exits the many-columned room using the southeastern door. 

GOBLIN COUNTRY: As has happened many times before, the party's proximity is met with a booming voice, "WHO DARES TRESPASS IN THE GREAT GOBLIN KINGDOM!?" Sumac the Changling attempt to converse in goblin, but unfortunately never quite learned the language. Bertol the Theif tries next: "We don't want anything you got, so leave us alone!" Which pretty much does it. Mayfly mentally calculates how much silver he lost paying them off previously...

THE LADY'S ROOM & DINING HALL: The party travels south past the pool and into the four-column room devoted to The Lady. Then turned west toward the dining hall. Hearing nothing at the door, the party enters.

THE DINING HALL: The thieves spread out to check all doors. Listening they only hear the tell-tale THWACK! THWACK! from the west door. Don't want that! The party tuned to the north door to see what riches or death (real 50/50 in Nightwick) were on the other side (Figure 1). And they were met with a suprise...

THE SILENT DANCE: Instead of finding a new room, the party was surprised to find the room with the silent dance going on. They watched as two groups of dead participated in an elaborate dance that was one part folk dance and one part ritualized battle always ending in swords thrust into the "guts" of the other. The halls of the room depicted the grounds around the Abbey at the height of its power. Presiding over this bizarre display were two figures each wearing a golden crown!

The figures seemed to not react to light. Their dance was elaborate enough that attempting to move into the room might result in being impaled on their swords. It was decided to just knock them off. What could go wrong? 

Well, what could go wrong was not knocking the crown off and instead drawn the attention of 10+ undead minions. The party thankfully had initiative, closed the door, and ran full retreat back through The Lady's marked territory (rationalizing they would not pursue... and they did not).

Fig. 2: How the actual space
worked out in Session 10

PILLARED ROOM: So, back north the party went to the pillared room and tried the southwestern door. This too leads to the SILENT DANCE. And so a clearer picture of how vast this room really was began to appear (Figure 2). The party noticed a little further to the west was another door.

RUSTED SWORDS: Opening this western door the party could see a sizable room littered with hundreds of rusted swords. Small puffs of the stuff floated up threatening inhalation. But a glint filled Mayfly's eyes with the promise of treasure. Sumac had a good solution: pouring water would keep the rust-dust from filling up the room as we pilfered the shiny silver scattered on the floor (600 SP). 

[PC NOTE: Solid OSR move using common equipment, water, to avoid a lethal trap, kicking up rust, to get some treasure. Real MVP stuff from the Sumac player. This really is a nice example of what "player skill" means. 

Sumac MVP!]

THE SILENT DANCE: The party was reluctant to leave those beautiful crowns. So three options were laid out involving oil flasks and torches; a gecko on the end of a fishing pole; using our precious fireball spell. In the end, two crowns worth 1000 SP in total were worth the spell expenditure. With the power of literacy, Mayfly read from the scrolls and fire erupted in the hall burning all inside (at a space distance from the party).

...and back to town

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