Having crushed the troglodytes, the party handily defeated their first foe in Tsojcanth’s Greater Caverns. They had two trog captives, one wounded. The group decided to march their prisoners ahead of them to spring any traps or encounters.
- TSOJCANTH: Session 1 – Quest for the Lost Caverns
- TSOJCANTH: Session 2 – Two Weeks in the Wilderness
- TSOJCANTH: Session 3 & 4 – Living off the Land, Hermit, Wyverns, & Caverns Found!
- TSOJCANTH: Session 5 – The Berserk Clay Golem
- TSOJCANTH: Session 6 – Bat Paralysis, Cricket Herding, Troll Burning
- TSOJCANTH: Session 7 – Dao Brutality
- TSOJCANTH: Session 8 – Gorgimera Menace in the Rainbow Cavern
What we’re playing:
The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (S4)
1982 … Two 32-page booklets + 3-panel cover … Gary Gygax … TSR 9061 … ISBN 0935696725
This is our group’s session report / walkthrough / playthrough of Tsojcanth, one of the all-time classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons modules.
One of my favorite dungeon crawls. Not only do you get a clever adventure written by Gygax himself, but the second booklet is entirely devoted to new monsters and magical items.
Tagren prodded the troglodyte captives ahead. For whatever reason, they did not run off into the darkness.
The caverns went off on every direction, with many junctions. One player quipped that it was like exploring intestines.
The troglodytes were cooperative until reaching one particular section of the caves. Now Tagren was having difficulty getting them to continue. The half-orc slew the wounded trog to put a not-too-fine point to its comrade.
The surviving troglodyte proceeded ahead, slow-walking its way into a chamber.
The party heard from around the corner: “LEAVE ONE MAGICAL ITEM BEFORE ME, AND YOU MAY HAVE YOUR CHOICE OF THOSE OTHERS HAVE LEFT PREVIOUSLY!”
Their curiosity piqued, they entered the room.
This curving place has only one feature which is peculiar — a huge stone idol 10′ tall and very broad. It is roughly chiselled into the shape of a type IV demon. Its eyes glitter a fiery color due to inset gems (2 jacinths of 10,000 gp value each). To either side of it are strangely shaped copper weapons. One is similar to a fauchard-fork, the other is a large sword with a wavy blade and leafed tip. Each rests in a brass stand.
The statue held a chest in its hands…
and the idol grinds stonily as it places the huge iron box at its feet. The lid magically opens, and inside are swords, daggers, maces, axes, javelins, boots, cloaks, scarabs, brooches, amulets, tubes, small boxes and coffers, bags, helms, arrows, bows, rods, wand cases, rings, flasks, bottles, jugs, gauntlets, bracers, gems, jewelry — in fact, nearly everything imaginable!
The party was suspicious, but greed won out, and Rolen grabbed the copper wavy sword.
The statue suddenly blinked out of existence!
In reality, the party heard the statue walking around invisibly, and they prepared for trouble. The “chest” also disappeared… shock, surprise, it was an illusion! The copper weapons weren’t illusory, but were worthless as weapons.
Their foe was in reality a stone golem. The gnome allies were finding their famous slings to be useless – the golem was immune to nonmagical weapons.
Though it hit hard, the party soon destroyed the magic statue. Notably, their troglodyte captive joined the group in the fight. Though its attacks were ineffectual, it did serve as a distraction for the golem.
Defining the Center
The party continued on, exploring. They soon discovered a set of intimidating iron doors.
You see a pair of riveted iron valves. Each door is 9′ wide and 21′ tall. From the look of the hinges set into the stone, each of these great doors must be at least 1′ thick. On each valve are many leering demon visages in bronze. Weird symbols form a crabbed tracery around the border of each great iron portal. In the center of each is a plaque with the following runes:
IGGWILV’S TREASURE RESTS WITHIN
HER CURSE ON ANY WHO DISTURB IT.
SEEK NO FURTHER TO STEAL IT, NOR
TO FREE SHE WHO IS IMPRISONED HERE,
FOR A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH IS
SURE TO COME TO THOSE FOOLS WHO
VIOLATE THIS CIRCUMSCRIBED PLACE.
The group compared this warning with the Graven Glyphs they found in the Gorgimera lair. Those glyphs implied there’d be more of these large portals. The group decided to leave the doors alone for the time being.
The PCs located another set of iron doors, and another and another and another… meanwhile bypassing chambers that looked like trouble. This included a room with bones and crushed skulls, and a bioluminescent chamber with crystals. In so doing, they mapped a good portion of the Greater Caverns.
They returned to the original set of doors, and found they could be pulled open with a lot of strength and teamwork.
Beyond the iron doors is a corridor with walls of red marble. A thick black carpet runs from the entry to an ebony door some 40′ distant. The arched ceiling is of black marble shot through with bands of scarlet. The walls and floor are polished and dust-free. From the entrance you can see the gleam of silver hinges, studs, and ring set in the far door. A dim red glow seems to come from the ceiling. This eerie light pervades the entire passageway.
Yebarinscrud entered just far enough to see the painting on the east wall, but did not proceed toward the single door at the far end.
A painting shows a 14′ wooden boat with a lovely, black-haired lady at the tiller, smiling under a stormy night sky. The boat in the painting has a name on the prow — the name “SHRIMPKIN”.
They spiked the doors open and did the same with all the other doors surrounding the center. Each had a different painting that I called “Iggwilv’s Greatest Hits” – her travelling through various alien planes of existence.
Only then did the party return once again to the original portal, and they all entered together, proceeding toward the door at the far end!
They felt a tingling, and the door at the center opened easily. The giant doors behind them closed, the spikes leaving gouges on the floor! The party saw a brief flash of golden radiance…
…and were transported elsewhere!
Continued next session: