Halls of the Mountain King Session 4 – Sabotage!

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. I ran the adventure in 2010 as part of the same Parsantium campaign as Wrath of the River King. Here’s the write up from the fourth session.

Begin here with Session 1 – Alarm in the Dead of Night.

10th Quintilis (contd).

The characters finish searching the bodies of the Mammon cultists; Saethus claims their belt of vigour. Reading through the Drake’s log book pages, the last entry was written four days after leaving the Golden Citadel. Ella finds three sacks of gold ore  in the bushes. This isn’t just gold – this is orichalcum, the rarest and most valuable “gold of gold”. Deciding they don’t want the dwarves to find it,  Krivinn starts piling the monster and dwarf bodies on top of the sacks. The dwarves lower more bodies down from the Drake so they can be added to the pyre. Bolval says a few funeral prayers and Krivinn lights the huge pyre with his dragon breath.

The characters realise from the log there is one human passenger unaccounted for but a search of the area doesn’t reveal any tracks.

Later that evening, Krivinn hears Vianna and Clovis arguing about the gold while he’s on watch. Against Vianna’s wishes, the Manticore will continue to the Citadel.

11th Quintilis

The next day Otto, normally coarse and noisy, is feeling out of sorts – Krivinn tends to him when he’s off duty and he starts feeling better. 

Ella and Khuma talk to Rabscuttle – the construct mistakes Ella for Captain Clovis and tells embarrassing stories about the dwarf’s childhood. Ella introduces Khuma to Rabscuttle as “Dave”. “Dave” asks if he can take rubbings of the swirly patterns on Rabscuttle and the gearforged agrees. The patterns turn out to be similar to the rubbings found on the dwarf cultist, but Khuma realises the cultist’s are rubbings of a relief rather than an engraving.


In the evening, Vianna has been taken ill – Sawbones won’t let Krivinn in to see her, despite him being a paladin of Bahamut which causes considerable indignation for the proud dragonborn.

12th Quintilis

Brill Stamper (the one human in the crew) also becomes ill. Bolval tries to look after him and while he doesn’t get worse, Brill doesn’t get any better either.

13th Quintilis

Bolval helps Brill recover. After Krivinn and Bolval hassle the captain, he insists that Sawbones let Bolval help him tend to Vianna who hasn’t recovered from her illness.

14th Quintilis

Ella, Khuma and Saethus are on deck an hour before dawn with Guigo and Rabscuttle. Suddenly, the ship lurches, knocking the adventurers flying. The boilers have fired!

Sharden, Bolval, and Krivinn are in their cabin when the ship starts moving. Bolval has woken up feeling ill – he has caught a disease, taking 5 pts necrotic damage and losing his action point. Sharden goes to help the crew members trapped in their quarters (someone has locked them in) while the others hurry down to the engine room. 

Krivinn is on the scene first, followed by Bolval, then Saethus. Inside the room, an invisible saboteur is trying to smash the machinery; this guy uses weakness of ignorance to force the characters away from the engines and sap their strength. Krivinn goes into melee with the attacker while Saethus works to undo the sabotage by reopening pressure valves. 

Ella fires an arrow of revelation which turns their opponent visible: it’s Ansgar Flintknapper, one of the Manticore’s crew. Khuma’s spirit attacks the engine with a winter power – this, along with Saethus’ efforts, slow down the boiler’s impending explosion but using magical cold also unleashes a storm of rivets, blasting everyone in the room.

Meanwhile Sharden is still trying to pick the arcane locks trapping the rest of the crew in their quarters without success. Eventually, the dwarves inside manage to smash their way out anyway and Sharden hurries down to the bottom deck with Zangen Billens (ship’s engineer) and Myrkin Understone (scarred and toothless crewman) in tow.

The characters continue to battle the bloodied Ansgar who uses foil the uninitiated to knock several of them prone. As Sharden arrives, the dwarf wizard is knocked out by a critical hit from Krivinn. Zangen hurries to fix the boiler and the crisis is averted!

After the battle, the characters try and interrogate Ansgar but learn little from him, although it does seem as if the dwarf doesn’t want the orichalcum to reach the Citadel. A search of his footlocker reveals ceremonial garb and a book written in a cryptic code – several of these items are marked with the symbol of a flaming pillar. Ella’s questions about the two phrases they found scribbled on the note the cultists had (“Where is the Eye?“ and ”Tears wash away greed“) do get a reaction.

Following the interrogation of Ansgar, Krivinn and Sharden try to unlock the chains holding the chest of orichalcum in place. When this doesn’t work the paladin tries to get the captain to agree to throw the gold overboard but is given short shrift.

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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Published by richgreen01

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

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