Halls of the Mountain King Session 1 – Alarm in the Dead of Night

An airship approaches a dwarven stronghold in the mountains.

Halls of the Mountain King was the second 4th Edition Open Design project from Kobold Press, published alongside the d20/3.5 version. I helped with the conversion from 3.5, contributing several monster stat blocks (including the Mammon cultists below), traps, and hazards to the adventure.

I ran Halls of the Mountain King in 2010 as part of the same Parsantium campaign as Wrath of the River King. The adventure begins in Zobeck with the characters on their way to the Ironcrags. They are on the trail of their nemesis, the evil Heinsoo, who has stolen a sacred tome of Ninkash, the beer goddess.

Here’s the first write up. Battles in 4th edition were often very dramatic!

Introducing the Characters

  • Bolval Dwomalk, male dwarf cleric
  • Brave Ella, female elf ranger
  • Khuma Noru, male shifter shaman
  • Krivinn, male dragonborn paladin of Bahamut
  • Saethus, male eladrin wizard of the Summer Kingdom
  • Sharden, male dwarf invoker

7th Quintilis

After their misadventures inside the Great Stross Clock, the exhausted characters head for the Seven Bells for supper. The tavern is frequented by merchants and traders, and Bolval learns there has been a gold rush in the Ironcrags after a paladin named Sir Ronceval returned to Zobeck last spring with a large gold nugget. Since then, quite a few people have struck it rich and come back to the city, but the winter was very harsh and the snow has not yet thawed enough for the passes to reopen, trapping the miners inside the mountain.

One person the adventurers speak to even talks of cannibalism among the desperate inhabitants of the Golden Citadel. Another mentions a series of recent arguments in Zobeck between merchants and their customers over business transactions. Ella learns that the Splitrock Company, located in the Gear District, operates two airships – one, the Drake, set off for the Ironcrags a few weeks ago and has not returned. A second expedition is being mounted tomorrow.

The characters head to the Splitrock offices to see if they can book passage on the airship or at least check what time it leaves. As they get close to the Gear District, they catch sight of the kobold satchel-thief who eluded them last session. Brave Ella gives chase followed by Sharden and Krivinn, while Saethus fey steps on to a rooftop, with Khuma and Bolval hot (not-so-hot in Bolval’s case) on his heels.

The kobold throws the stolen satchel at the characters, then teleports onto a rooftop, leaps down the other side, and makes a run for it. Hearing a commotion from a nearby alley, the adventurers allow the thief to escape and investigate. A group of men in leering copper masks are beating the crap out of a dwarf-sized, gilded construct with crowbars. Gears are flying all over the place as two spined devils look on.

Masked cultists attack a mysterious gearforged

Saethus casts a fireball at the masked figures as the other characters close in to attack. Krivinn blocks the entrance to the alley and attacks the first thug as he approaches while Ella and Sharden attack from range and the others attack from the roof. The cultists throw poisoned darts at the adventures on the roof and the tiefling warlock attacks with hellfire blasts. The cult leader casts command which dazes Khuma, sliding him off the roof, but the shaman is able to grab a gutter and hang on. One of the devils falls to Ella’s arrows but the second one flies on to the roof to attack Bolval and Saethus. Krivinn is blinded by a rapier thrust to the eye and Ella is drawn towards the strongarm cultist by his beautiful shining armour and then bashed over the head – hard! To make matters worse, the leader conjures a pile of illusory treasure which mesmerises the elf ranger. Other, stronger-willed (or less materialistic characters) aren’t fooled by the illusion.

The tide of battle is turned by Sharden’s written in fire prayer which damages most of the cultists and Saethus’ wall of fire which kills a couple more, but also catches the hapless gearforged too. Khuma is “pacified” by the tiefling warlock and charmed into throwing his implement away. He charges with his spear and misses. The warlock falls to Sharden’s offering of justice, Bolval heals the bloodied Ella and Krivinn, and Saethus finishes off the devil with magic missile. Khuma tries another charge (unsuccessfully) with his longspear as Krivinn corners the leader. Not quite finished, the cultist gets in a savage blow on the paladin with his flail before Ella’s arrow goes straight through his head and out the other side! The last surviving thug runs for it and gets away after Sharden misses with grasping shards.

The gearforged thanks the adventurers for rescuing him but it can’t remember its name or much else, although papers in its bag seem to indicate it works for the Splitrock Company. The characters loot the bodies of the cultists, finding boots of equilibrium, 5 copper coins of the miser and a bag of holding containing 700 gp. Their unholy symbols depicting three coins identify the cultists as worshippers of Mammon, Archdevil of Greed. Khuma picks up the gearforged, Ella gathers the scattered gears, and the characters head for the Splitrock offices with their new friend.

If you’d like to keep up to date with my Halls of the Mountain King campaign and other posts, please do join my mailing list – there’s a sign up form on the home page and subscribers receive a free Parsantium supplement.

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Main image by Malcolm McClinton

Published by richgreen01

D&D gamer | Freelance game designer | Writer & publisher – Parsantium: City at the Crossroads

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