Ron’s horn and Zox’s inventions

Session 24 April 2022
Enola Yarn couldn't be present at the time, so Farryn was so helpful to report about the dungeon crawling.

It’s just after midday. I’m discussing some innovative ideas for the stinger add-on to Grond with Zox and Calyx. We surely can make it unicorn style, more of a battering ram, or a scorpion tail.

In the meantime, Smokey is interrupting and engaging with Zox. He’s curious about Zoxs’ intentions and shows the purple crystal we obtained from the unidentified flashing object. Even I am distracted from our brainstorm of genius ideas, as Zox claims ecstatically to be looking for this crystal for ages. He wasn’t able to deal with it, and he’s glad it’s now gone.

It is clear to me that Smokey lost his curiosity again, and he decides to take a closer look at the palace. Somewhat later they return and share that Zox his office holds a safe with loads of gold, gems, and books. There is also this characteristic arch – most likely being a portal and a badger.

After group discussion, Farryn hands back the ring to Zox. In exchange, Valentine and Enola can take a look at the spell books of Zox. Unfortunately, Enola only finds the spell Fabricate that she didn’t know before. 

We come back to the precarious discussion of Valentine’s untrusty behavior and hunger for blood and killing. Even the sword says Zox is just a gnome, and the badger is just a badger… Come on, it’s surely not the Wizard Academy again… “We had an agreement with the hobgoblins to kill Zox, and I kept that arrangement as we all should have!” I hear her say. Although she seems to be honest in meaning that, obviously things can change and you should always take changing dynamics into account… Hmpf…

It’s time for action! Well.. time for me and Zox, the sisters are taking a short rest again… Calyx is slowly simmering some mushrooms in a fresh stew. 

With joint efforts, amazing arcana, divine dexterity, and our raw intellectual powers we build a central thick horn on top of Gronds head. We call it Ron’s Horn! It deals additionally lightning damage, and that’s just awesome. 

While crafting, Zox shared information on Trobriand, the famous apprentice of Halaster. He has lost his sake of mind a bit and is obsessed with metal. Deep down in Undermountain is his playground, and he uses our current level as his graveyard for abandoning creations and for recycling. Zox tells us that Trobriands one Ring of Power controls the constructs. Lesser rings, like the one we just returned to Zox, can change some intentions of constructs for a while, also the big worm who’s now guarding the Simulacrux-to-be. 

A moment later, Zox states that one level deeper is not Hobgoblins´, but from another one of Halaster’s apprentices: Arcthuria, an expert in transmutation whom we have seen depicted at the Wizard Academy! She supposedly polymorphed her prisoners into a monster to guard her surroundings, and herself sometimes as well… Zox tells us that to go down that level, we would have less than one hour to go down after the worm passes us on its way up. Otherwise, it will find us on its path…

While happily showing Ron’s Horn to the others, even if that is unable to impress Smokey.. he would like something nice for himself as well. Of course, I can understand that having a new invention yourself is quite appealing. He can choose from a small box, where he picks a wand with a crystal. Good for him. I turn my back to him and suddenly I feel my cheeks widen. With a big grin on my face of happiness, I continue showcasing the new Grond to the others. It turned out that Smokey hexed with his newly acquired Wand of Smiles, ha! Maybe it has some uses for Valentine left…

As we enjoy Calyx’s stew we hear a deep sigh. Zox wants to have mushrooms more frequently, but the forest in the southeast with fertile grounds was burned down to the ground by hobgoblins. It was guarded by a Myconid sovereign, a friend of his. As long as you do not damage the mushrooms, he’s friendly to you. 

Immediately Smokey starts darting around and wants to kill the hobgoblins for their actions. Valentine joins his passions. I still find she has this urge for blood, and she keeps casting covetous eyes upon killing…

Both Calyx and I try to make sense of these intentions. Enola seems to have an internal struggle about what to do with Valentine and her actions. The plan (Yes Valentine, this is a PLAN, it can change MIDWAY if the majority of the PARTY feels too). The idea is that Valentine casts mass suggestion on the Hobgoblin camp to prevent them from spreading bad news about our party to the camp at a lower level. It seems like a good plan but still, there is a feeling that we should silence them forever. The new plan is that Calyx would summon some friends and then we will attack the Hobgoblin. Afterward, we move to the champignon-leader for helping fertile the forest soil and then continue downwards into Undermountain. 

While saying goodbye we decide to give Zox the purple crystal. I manage to get 200 GP for our daily expenses; mainly for Calyx so he can obtain precious herbs and mushrooms for brewing healing potions. Zox embeds the crystal into the castle wall: he was prepared for this! The castle turrets are now activated, so it can be defended against Hobgoblins and others. He is happy and so are we! Valentine looks again a bit unhappy…

The party walks up to the hobgoblin camp, me while riding Grond. Calyx conjures four magma mephits to help us. This is cool! Valentine starts flying and casting fireballs. Smokey dashes into their camp.

Hmpf… I try to jump across the big worm canyon, but feel that it is too wide for me and crawl down. I see Grond taking a leap and easily crossing the other side. I smile. I love it when my crafts come together!

Reaching the edge of the canyon I see a lot of fire blasting Hobgoblins apart. I throw a Molotov cocktail into the far edge of the camp and take out a hobgoblin. Death hounds and other hobgoblins start coming into the camp from the West, and at that time a fireball from the air does its work again. Maybe too much. The wooden cage with hungry rust monsters sets fire and they escape! We win the fight, the rust monsters dig into the plate armor and shields of the hobgoblins and turn them into dust. Luckily we have only magical metal items which are immune to rust…

Taking a deep breath after the battle, Calyx heals Smokey for the collateral damage of the friendly fire.

Off we go to the Myconid sovereign!

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