OSE play report — SG1 Perpetual Temple of the Pale Falcon


sean f. smith / he, him
4 min readDec 18, 2023

Rampaging hordes of goblinoids have been laying siege to follies and keeps in the outer regions of the duchy. The palace mage Xi’Gag has formed a plan to blunt the assault, but is missing a key item of power — the time record, which lies ensconced in the mysterious Temple of the Pale Falcon. You have been conscripted to join a party tasked with its recovery.

Chris Malic (the artist — not the skellington)

My Monday night group is taking a turn from its Pathfinder 2E megadungeon campaign to play Dolmenwood in the next year, so after one experiment with the Prison of the Hated Pretender, we’re testing out a little more. I’m running a dungeon of my own creation to give us more time to experience the shift in power and resolution and to give the regular GM a break.

Dramatis Personae

  • WALDER HOGGLETHORN, magic-user: ac10 3hp
  • ZELIARD, elf: ac15 2hp
  • BIG-BEAR JOHNSON, cleric of Cue (trapper aspect): ac12 1hp
  • NOKKIC CRAGMAIL, dwarf: ac16 8hp
  • LITTLE-BEAR, mule ac10 5hp

Dramatic Personing

  • We begin in Herchard’s Ford, where the party have been deposited after taking the caravan trek for the neighbouring kingdom. Nokkic too — he thought he was guarding the caravan until it turns out he had signed on to the relic hunt
  • A pleasant day is had: items are bought, rumours are sought (someone is willing to buy perfect sheds from the giant geckos in the caves near the Temple), and a likely lad named Faffer is hired on for his erstwhile locksmithing interest
  • The party head out early and have a good first day’s hike. No disturbances
  • The next day they’re less lucky: through sheets of sleet, eventually they come across an orc encampment being built — five large marquees, so maybe even half a gross of them. The party opt to peel away from their route, but the orcs send out a party of five. (Orcs here are uplifted boars, Dr Moreau style. Orcs breed pigs and uplift their favourites.)
  • When it becomes clear the orcs won’t leave them alone (the evasion roll is failed) Walder opts to cast charm person, and it sticks. That orc sheaths its weapon, taps the other nearby orcs, and they all put away their blades.
  • Zeliard translates the conversation from Human to Orcun, but refuses to have the conversation himself. Instead Walder repeats the words: the charméd orc (Tusk) remembers when they met that time in that place, yeah? Walder asks if Tusk would be willing to escort the party to the Temple; Tusk agrees, keeping on one of the other orcs (named Jaw), and sending the other three back to the camp.
  • The rest of the day passes smoothly and before breakfast the next day, Walder also charms Jaw, whose lack of sleep made the spell easier to land. (These orcs will have an attempt for it to wear off in one month.)
  • It’s barely an hour to the foothills at the edge of the mountain, to a blocky building jutting out of the very stone itself with a flattish bird of prey at the top. Nearby, a cave entrance, which Tusk clarifies is where the geckos tend to live — the orcs hate the beasts because they come when you’re sleeping (ie. during the day) and eat you alive.
  • Focused on the relic prize instead, the group heads through the main doors of the temple, into a sizeable room whose walls are clad with steel mirrors showing a strangely aged reflections. Faffer spends some time checking for traps and Nokkic complains about the flowstone construction of the temple (flowstone = fantasy concrete) and the group spend some time listening until they hear some quiet conversation to the north.
  • Readying themselves, the party heads in the direction of the voices, stopping before another door to listen more carefully. It’s Zeliard this time who picks up specifics of what’s being said — at least half a dozen humans, discussing the sorts of things you talk about over a beer, but the men sound afraid.
  • The party open the door and the rough-looking men inside breath a sigh of relief. Despite being well-equipped and used to battle, they had seen some walking skeletons and scared themselves shitless. The more direct route they had hoped to take was jammed and they were building up courage before they could pass the skeletons again. Nokkic was concerned at the doors being jammed, realised it was probably a function of the aerated quality of flowstone, and spiked both doors open en route to the exit.
  • Big-Bear was particularly excited to hear of skeletons. As the bandits gathered their stuff and head (having been told to check out the gecko cave because they could sell one of the docile beasts back in town), the party shoved the door open — eight cowled skeletons stood around a great room, each wielding a scythe and with a copper key cast into their sternum.
  • The team rushed into battle when Big-Bear screamed out his holy writ (rolled 6–6 on the Turn Undead check for 11HD of creatures!!) and the skeletons dropped their scythes and shrunk back into their niches. The party made short work of the fell beasts…

1400 experience between four PCs

  • 500xp for besting the orc scouts (100xp per HD)
  • 100xp for securing a guide (100xp per player HD)
  • 800xp for defeating the skeletons

Other rewards

  • FAFFER, amateur locksmith: ac10 6hp
  • TUSK, charméd orc: ac13 6hp
  • JAW, charméd orc: ac13 5hp