Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Session 13: 11/12/14

Party: Xero (T:5), Braggle (H:3), Taylor (F:1), Polarion the Conjuror(M:3), Curate Burkey(C:5), Durbin (F:2, hireling), Ogre(HD:2, lost 2 levels to a wraith, charmed), "Snow Ball"(white ape, charmed)

Summary:
On their return to the land of the Nezumi (i.e. the 3rd level), the party lost a good many of their number. They were suspected of either having gotten lost in the tunnel on the way back, or to have gone off exploring the 3rd level, despite the agreement not to. In any case, their whereabouts are uncertain.

It was with much gut wrenching deliberation that Polarion opted to leave"Snow Ball" at the far end of the tunnel, rather than risk bringing his charmed white ape into the realm of his enemies.

When the party presented the heads of the white apes they had slain, along with some enormous centipede heads, The Shogun Empress Toyoshi was quite pleased, and with the blessings of her advisers, agreed to an alliance and trade agreement with the party.

One of the stipulations of the latter was that the party was to avoid interrupting the Nezumi trade with the other inhabitants of the complex, unless the party could offer an alternative supply. It was in this way that the party learned something of the variety of "nations"in the area, including the Three Sisters and troll lords, and heard of the Dark City, which some of the party suspected may be the famed golden-spired city of Frinnestad, which they had seen in several murals in the levels above.

The Nezumi also shared with the party some unusual statuary left by the dwarven builders, and a strange map of a room in the bottom of a fountain, which the ratfolk had never found in their search of the levels above.

A return to Gorgoroth allowed Taylor to level up to 2nd, and for that he breathed some relief, having survived harrowing excursions against undead and white apes aplenty but by the skin of his teeth.

On their way back to the dungeon for an attempt to clear out the white apes entirely from the 4th level, they noticed a thin column of smoke, as a campfire makes, coming from the woods near Trelleborg. This is not the first time they had experienced such a thing and so they approached cautiously but ready for a fight.

Sure enough, the brigands they stumbled upon were neither friendly nor welcoming when Curate Burkey played up his persistent low-level inebriation and the battle was joined, for a moment at least. Polarion's sleep spell and some unrequited violence done by the party made fast work of the villains. Those brigands not slain were bound and stacked in the buckboard they so obviously had stolen, like so many cords of wood, to be brought to town so that justice might be served.

A dead merchant was found in a tent, and there were signs of struggle and hints and clues that others had been lead away into the woods down a trail familiar to at least half of the party. This time, motivated by the possibility of saving innocents from cruelties unknown, they followed the trail to a large rock. Like a giant hide-a-key, it was revealed to be a cap for a  tunnel straight into the earth, or more technically, a chimney.

Too narrow for the Ogre, he was left to guard both the entrance and the prisoners, with an admonition not to eat them. 

Down the party went, lead by the diminutive Braggle and the dexterous Xero,  where they encountered two separate groups of black robed cultists led by men with skin as red as a tomato.  The cultists were no match for the well armed party, who slaughtered them in the kitchen and the adjoining space. 

An investigation of the kitchen lead to the discovery of a brilliantly shiny and sharp dagger with a pommel of the head of a snake buried in a pot of sludge. Runes inscribed on the blade were translated by Braggle to say "Snake Bite."


To their surprise, the next room the party entered was the very one depicted in the map shown them by the Nezumi. Although the map failed to mention the 24 skeleton guards.

After the last of the bone horde fell to a few hundred silver coins of holy water and burning oil, the party commenced exploration of the immense dwarven hall. On a raised platform at one end, before a roaring bonfire, they found a burned victim of sacrifice which increased concern for the safety of the hostages and the necessity of expediency.

From a chest  that was atop a dais in the middle of a wide pool, the party recovered much coin, a vial of a weak poison, and a dagger with the pommel and guard fashioned to resemble the head and tail of a fox making up its handle.

Unfortunately, having used up their spells, and suffered some injury from their encounters with the cultists and skeletons (some of that was self inflicted with rolls of "1" to hit), the party could not continue further, but instead, holed up in the kitchen for the night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Session 12 : 10/17/14

Party: Braggle (H:3),  Xero (T:5),  Taylor (F:1), Polarion (M:3), the Ogre (charmed, down to 2 HD, thanks to level drain), Grinrut (D:1), Curate Burkey (C:5), Durbin (F:1, hireling), Jezebel (the mule)


Summary:
The party, having picked up a new member, Grinrut the dwarf, in the traditional spirit of adventurer fellowship and unquestioned acceptance of total strangers, returned to the dungeon beneath the ruins of Trelleborg.

Upon reaching the third level, home to the Nezumi people (a term loosely applied here), they found two black metal goblin ashigaru and a large hairy goblin-ish type waiting for them. Xero wisely displayed the pass they had been given during their previous visit and the party was allowed to pass.

Immediately inside, a celebration of sorts took place as the Nezumi welcomed the party in a way typically reserved for diplomatic envoys - paper lanterns, music, dancing, drinking.  

After the celebration the party was led by a young samurai Nezumi and an escort of goblins and bugbear to the entrance to white ape country.

For the first time, they found themselves in caverns and caves, rather than paved and finished corridors and rooms. A pale blue glow, produced by an abundant fungus lit the walls, floor and ceiling. 

The Curate gave the fungus a bit of a taste and experienced only minor hallucinations.

Proceeding left (this time determined by a die roll), they entered into a cavern with faint writing on the walls, and a niche, some 15' up the caver wall, which Braggle and Xero explored (and which Grinrut tried to climb to and fell, but was caught by the Curate) and which appeared to be a lair of some sort.

 
They would meet the resident of said lair a moment later, when, in the adjacent cavern, a sudden shriek was followed by a brutal attack from a bipedal feline with midnight blue fur and yellow eyes.

The caterwaul (see Fiend Folio) was vicious and strong, and things looked rather bleak for the party, and bleaker still for Taylor, who knocked on death's door. Fortunately, fate turned the tide in their direction and the hellish beast was slain.

In no condition to continue they retreated to the land of the Nezumi, where they received, and were confined to, accommodations and spent the next two days resting for their return visit to the land of the apes.

On return, they found a well groomed fungal garden, with tools scattered as if dropped in a hurry. A short time later, they found two cave bears feasting on the remains of a large human-ish creature, which explained why the tools were abandoned in haste. The bears weren't interested in the party other than to growl in warning and pull their meal closer to themselves. Since the party wasn't in the mood to go at it with 2 large ursine, they carefully passed by, keeping a safe distance.

In the next cavern, they came upon three white fury riders mounted atop enormous centipedes (around 15' long, 3' wide) shouting and grunting at a small band of cowering Neanderthals. 


http://arta01.deviantart.com/art/Mukade-Water-colour-162936558
A hail of arrows and sling stones gravely wounded one of the riders and the white ape riders turned to face their assailants. As luck would have it, Polarion managed to charm one of them, and added to his odd menagerie. 

Chaos would ensue:

  • The ogre had to be restrained from attacking the Neanderthals
  • Polarion really wanted to feed one of the Neanderthals to his ogre. Curate Burkey was decidedly against this.
  • The ogre feasted on white ape instead.
  • The party rounded up the centipede mounts and took them and the Neanderthals back to the garden
  • Lacking any means of communication, Curate Burkey attempted to sign to the Neanderthals to farm and feed the centipedes, which amazingly they understood and were wiling to do.
  • Ape reinforcements arrived and were cut down - and the difficulty of communicating with Polarion's charmed white ape became quite apparent.
  • The party explored a cavern with a large fungal forest (The Fungal Jungle), wherein they were attacked by giant grey worms. One was killed and the other badly injured, but not before swallowing Jezebel whole (and then spitting her out from some height).
  • Runes were cast (I'm not sure if that was in character or out of character)
  • Desperate for some kind of treasure, the party cut open the worm hoping to find some coins or gems in its guts.
  • Grinrut decided to start a fire and make worm kabobs which drew the attention of the tuatara in the jungle.
  • While the rest of the party went to take down the tuatara for eating, Polarion and Grinrut sat around enjoying kabobs.
  • At some point THREE more party members arrived, making them a small army.
  • The party drove the tuatara right back at Grinrut and Polarion. Fortunately for them, the lizards ran towards the garden and the Neanderthals.
  • Some of the Neanderthals cowered in fear (a recurring theme) while others scattered.
  • Polarion redeemed himself by casting an illusion of a wall of fire to drive the tuatara back toward the party and several of the lizards were cut down.
  • Some eight white ape cavalry attempted to ride down the party, but Polarion noted they could retreat down the 5' wide passage and limit the apes to riding single file. 
  • This eventually led to the ape slaughter, although one was allowed to escape, presumably to report back to their friends that they don't want to mess with the party.


Victorious, the party turned to head back to the Nezumi, leaving behind several Neanderthals and some roped together enormous centipedes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Session 11: 10/8/14

Party: Brother Burkey (C:5), Durbin (F:1, hireling), Jezebel(the mule), Braggle (H:3), Xero (T:5)

Summary:

With Theonod (NM:0, tanner) left in town to begin selling the party's excess (mostly weapons and armor taken from fallen comrades) out of his tanning workshop, and word being spread about the party's new Adventurer's Guild to bring in some new blood hireling wise, the group set off for Trelleborg.

After sweeping the first and 2nd levels beneath the tower, they used their rope of climbing to descend the elevator shaft to the 3rd level, rather than take the stairs. 

Braggle and Xero climbed down, one after the other. Almost as soon as they reached the bottom (the elevator platform itself) arrows launched out of the darkness. There was some confusion as they didn't know where the shots were coming from and indeed, they assumed it was from an area beyond the portcullis to their front. 

Durbin, not knowing what was going on below, climbed down, only to be pretty badly shot up. 

Although Xero and Braggle found the arrow slits and attempted to use Molotov cocktails to attack whoever was on the other side, things weren't going well for the party. They beat a hasty retreat up after realizing the lever in the middle of the floor was the elevator control. 

Brother Burkey cast some healing spells and the party rethought their approach and took the stairs. 

The first thing of note on the third level, now that they weren't under attack, was that the walls were white washed.

Making their way through the dungeon, heading left as always, they stopped and listened at doors, and then used wooden wedges to, if not fully stop the doors, at least give them a heads up that something had entered or left the room.

At one such door, while the rammed the wooden wedges into the space between frame or floor and door, the door opened suddenly. 


https://www.behance.net/gallery/5853433/Legend-of-the-Five-Rings-artwork
Before them, in safron and white robes, stood a 5' 6" bipedal brown rat with grey whiskers. He was not at all surprised to see humans before him, and after a brief exchange, Daishi escorted the party to meet the shogun of the Nezumi, her Ladyship Toyoshi and her advisers. 


http://calmality.deviantart.com/art/Kimono-Rats-55743101
Toyoshi, more suspicious than the monk, was unconvinced of the party's good intentions, but she was impressed with how they had slaughtered her goblin ashigaru, and agreed to allow the party to prove themselves to be friendly by conducting a raid on their enemies, the white apes. The party, sensing an opportunity to gain a potential ally in the dungeon (especially helpful as they plan to rehab Trelleborg and make it their base), happily agreed, but needed to return to town for some final preparation.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Session 10: 9/26/14

Party:
Polarion the Seer (M:3), Brother Burkey (C:4), Tailor (F:1), Braggle (H:3), Xero(T:4), Ogre(Charmed), Durbin (F:1, Hireling), Jezebel (the mule)

Summary:
Having rested an healed for a few days, the party prepared to re-enter the depths of Trelleborg. 

Prior to doing so, Xero spent a little time and a little coin at the Mournful Phoenix, where he managed to hire, Theonod (Normal Human : 0), the somewhat down on his luck tanner, for his appraisal abilities. Basically, if the party kills something, Xero wants Theonod to tell them if he can make its hide into armor before they go through the trouble of hauling it out of the dungeon.

After a quick check of the tower and first level, the party made their way to the last crypt they explored.

Highlights  (possibly not in order):

Seeing one of the crypts filled with a fungal garden, the party assumed the worst, threw oil into it, ignited it and waited. To perhaps no one's surprise, a dwarf-sized creature completely aflame stumbled out of the room, and was easily brought down from a distance. The burned out room yielded a little treasure.

In another niche, the party encountered a ghostly apparition of a human looking for something. He wore the livery of Hedeby. He seemed to have some quest for them and the party left him for a minute to finish their mapping of the perimeter.

Listening to a door, they heard crunching and munching sounds, so using swat team tactics, Polarion ordered the ogre to open a door and then Brother Burkey hurled his Headlamp of Continual Light into the space beyond. Nothing was there, in fact it was further down the hall. It being a pack of ghouls who upon seeing the party tried to attack them. Brother Burkey turned three of the five. 

The two that remained did quite a number on the party including paralyzing the ogre and Brother Burkey, which allowed the other three to approach. Things looked bleak and hearts pounded as the battle raged and Theonod with Jezebel started the fall back. When the last ghoul was destroyed, the party retreated behind the safety of the door.

They returned to the ghost, found his remains beneath the floor and promised to return his body to town for a proper burial.



Two dwarven mummies proved a bit of a problem, but yielded a nice little treasure, including some potions.

This necessitated a return to town, as the mummy's disease had made magical healing impossible for Tailor, who was more or less unconscious and for the badly wounded ogre.

Brother Burke negotiated with Sister Ingrid for the cure (at a rate double she would charge others, given his 4 charisma)- pretending that the ogre was made to look that way by the very disease for which he needed the cure. Healed, they returned.

The party discovered a second way into and out of the dungeon.

A secret door led to a small passage through which Braggle and Xero crawled to find a room scribbled with an unknown language that told something of a history of the dungeon.References to "the thing below" stood out.



A chatty skull in another room annoyed the players enough to bag it up and leave him in there.

They found a tomb containing two lifelike iron statues, who of course turned out to be animated, but not until the mummy in the sarcophagus stood and attacked the party. Another nail biter of a battle, but the party came out victorious and treasure laden.

They returned to town in need of more disease curing so that the magical healing could be used, and set about converting their treasure to coin with the traveling merchants who stop in Gorgoroth.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Session 9 : 8/15/14

Party:
Polarion the Seer (M:2), Brother Burkey (C:4), Batok (MU:1), Braggle (H:3), Xero(T:4), Zrax (F:2), Thoul (Charmed), Durin (F:1, Hireling)

Summary:

Having enjoyed the accolades of the people of Hedeby, the party set out on foot for Gorgoroth and the dungeon beneath Trelleborg.

The first night, they spied a campfire in the distance and, sensing potential danger, set up a watch schedule. Braggle drew the lucky straw and consequently was the first to hear the crashing through the brush. A giant of a humanoid of hideous proportion, one might say ogre-ish, attacked the halfling as a 2nd swept around the flank of the party.

Battle ensued, with a naked Zrax swinging his sword. (read that how you may) and Braggle, irked at having been attacked, going toe-to-toe with the brute, perhaps far longer than a halfling ought. After the 1st was killed, somehow, and I don't recall the details, the second ogre was forced to surrender. They bound him as a prisoner and Polarion began the first of many many many attempts to charm him into his service. 

You'd think with a charmed thoul he'd be happy, but apparently he has grander schemes.

Upon reaching the small village of Skalafell (for readers of my other blog, yes it's the same Skalafell, but an alternate timeline), and receiving a concerned welcome (a disguised thoul and a bound ogre don't exactly merit red carpets) the party learned of a cave not far from the village, rumored to contain the treasure of a long dead wizard. Long avoided by the townsfolk, our band of heroic merrymakers could not resist the allure of promised wealth.

Leaving the ogre tied up outside, the party moved rapidly through the small complex - decimating a band of satanic black dwarves and destroying a massive cephalopod wraith. The wraith dropped the thoul's level not once but twice!

 A pack of ghouls attempted to take advantage of the otherwise engaged party, but Zrax was there to meet them. Once the wraith was dispensed, the ghouls were easily dispatched.

In an otherwise plain room, sat a bowling ball-sized star saphire. Convinced that it might be magical, Xero used a sack to pull the large gem stone from the small pillar upon which it sat.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Wait! Check for traps!" but alas, you are too late.

The moment the huge stone left the pillar it began to slide down into the ground and the whole place shook and started to collapse. A mad dash began as the party raced for the exit - the Thoul, Xero and Batok were struck down, Batok and the thoul never to rise again.

After some farewells to their lost comrade, the party turned northward again and made the trip to Gorgoroth without additional attempts to earn extra gold: the price was too high. The crowning achievement of the remainder of the trip was Polarion's success at charming the ogre. Finally.

In Gorgoroth they met a new friend, a magic-user I believe, but his name escapes me. After gearing up, they proceeded into the dungeon where they pretty much rolled over everything in their path and made further progress on the 2nd level.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Session 8 : 8/1/14

The Party: Braggle (H:3), Xero (Th:4), Dac'Ti Nooge (E:2)

Summary:

Xero poked around town trying to find someone who could take them to Hedeby by boat. As fortune had it, Cuccio, "Captain" of the riverboat Jaded Seamstress, was headed down river in 5 days time with a full load of timber for the ship yards of Hedeby. Prices were discussed, and Xero rather generously offered several gold for the assistance.

After five days, and unable to convince the rest of the the party to travel by river, Xero, Braggle and newcomer, Dac'Ti Nooge, boarded the Jaded Seamstress, along with Captain Cuccio, his first mate Gonzo, and 8 rowers, for a 3-4 day journey. In his bag, Xero kept the famed standard of the last garrison of the fort at Trelleborg.


The trip started out uneventful, but early one morning, a swarm of 3' long mosquitoes attacked the party and crew. The little buggers were viscious and tough and were only driven off after half of their number were killed, along with two of the crew, while another crewman, Braggle, and Dac'Ti  were severely wounded.


Cuccio was beside himself and begged his generous passengers to permit him to land and take the wounded to a temple for assistance. The party could see no reason not to, and so the boat anchored not far from Fort Hael, and the village of Hael's Shadow.

In Hael's shadow, Xero and Braggle made a generous donation to the shrine of the Iron Tiger there to procure healing for all parties in need. After a night in the inn, they returned to their trip but bad weather overnight had turned the water choppy. Poor Xero and Dac'Ti spent much of the morning hurling breakfast into the river.

During one such expulsion, Dac'Ti noticed a large dark shape beneath the surface of the river and, seeing nothing wrong with this plan, poked it with his 10' pole.  In doing so, he succeeded in angering a very large crocodile. 


The creature thrashed and crashed into the ship, and finally managed to gain a foot hold, all the while Dac'Ti slammed his dagger into it's head. It was of little use though, despite assistance from Xero, Braggle and the captain. The great beast grabbed hold of Dac'Ti in its powerful crushing jaws and descended into the murky river with the body. All that remained to be seen of Dac'Ti were the blood clouds that billowed up from below like peones on the water's surface.

The remainder of the trip was unexceptional and the party arrived finally at the docks of Hedeby. After turning in their weapons with the Ministry of Safety, they entered the city and set off straight away to Castle Hedeby at the city's center, to meet with the Jarl. Penn Dixon, one of the rowers from the Jaded Seamstress tagged along for giggles.

Of course, one does not simply walk into Castle Hedeby and the usual confrontation with the guards came to pass. 

Xero however, in great dramatic fashion, unfurled the lost standard and demanded entrance. Their request was granted but only conditionally - the standard would have to be examined by their expert.


Sure enough, it was the real deal and with that news came great celebration.

No. Seriously. A HUGE celebration.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Session 7 : 7/16/14


The Party:
Polarian the Seer (M:2), Brother Burkey (C:4), Garreth (C:1), Xero (T: 4), Braggle (H:3),  Sabbitha (M:2), Zrax (F:2).

Summary :
Prior to the delve, Brother Burkey, despite a pitiful Charisma, put out the word on the street that he was looking for a meatshield henchman to join the group in the capacity of torch bearer, loot hauler and to be willing to fight. Amazingly, he managed to find a taker, one Durin (F:1), grounds keeper of the Shining Sparrow and seeker of greater fortunes.

[Since this was a short session, we jumped right to where the party left off last time, forgoing the trip to the ruins and descent to the 2nd level. Next session, we'll return to that format. ]

The party continued the exploration of the crypts, with the intent to get a sense of the scope of the perimeter of the 2nd level. 

Zrax and Braggle led the way into the unknown.

http://sirotonogreen.deviantart.com/
Almost immediately they encountered a wraith but Brother Burkey called upon his god, Fahrvergn├╝gen, and drove the creature into the corner where it was quickly brought down with judicious use of holy water. In the burial chamber there, they found a box with a glowing sigil on top.

Xero, who had gathered an undead skeleton's skull last delve, put it on the box and the skull turned into stone. 

Creative use of a 10' pole by Zrax knocked the box to the ground and as luck would have it, the lock mechanism broke and the contents spilled out - a scroll and a small vial among a pile of silver and one large beautiful amethyst sphere. Sabbitha, who runs a small apothecary in town, was able to identify the potion by the scent as being one of fire resistance. 

Neither magic-user has read magic, and so no one has any idea what the scroll contains.

As the party debated some finer tactical points they were set upon by a gang of murderous necromantic pixies, who did some damage but were dispatched without much concern.

In the same set of crypts, the party found the lost standard of the last garrison of Trelleborg. Knowing full well that reward for this is substantial, the party debated making an immediate exit of the dungeon to prepare for a trip south, to Hedeby. For good or ill, they decided to continue exploration, and a short time later were set upon by a pack of ghouls.

They returned to their southward advance and heard screeching and growling and other terrible sounds. SWAT mode engaged, they tossed a lit flask of oil down the hall to light the way, rather than risk being surprised by anything. The flaming pool of oil lit up the crypts and drew the attention of two tall, bulky, fugly, gobliny looking thugs who, seeing the source of the fire, charged. 

http://www.allanalegado.com/
Combat was brutal. 

Braggle was dropped, paralyzed to the ground. Sabitha prepared to cast light directly into the eyes of one of the creatures, but was struck and paralyzed before she could get off the spell. Still, the party killed one of the things (they were thouls) and Polarion cast Charm and ensorceled the remaining monster. Lacking any kind of language commonality, Polarion used the secret signs of Chaos to communicate simple commands to the thoul, who now took a space in the front rank of the party.

The source of the screeching was found to be a bound and gagged harpy and several others were found bound and gagged in another crypt. Taking no chances, the party dispatched them. For their troubles, they found a potion of gaseous form and a rope of climbing (which had been used to bind the first harpy they found).

A brief sojourn down an eastward hall led to an encounter with a pack? of giant tiger beetles. The thoul proved somewhat ineffective in combat until he scored a hit and paralyzed one of the beetles, allowing its easy slaying. One of beetles managed to deal some damage to Zrax, but they were eventually dispatched, with Braggle delivering a particularly smiting blow.

A final encounter with some zombies who resisted turning by both Garreth and Brother Burkey, finished off the exploration for the day. 

With the thoul disguised in a cloak, the party returned to Gorgoroth to rest and to plan a trip to Hedeby. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Session 6: 6/25/14

The Party:
PC2 (F:1), The Dwarf (D:1), Xero (T:3), Braggle (H:2), Sabitha(MU:1), Brother Burkey (C:3)

The Summary:

As the party approached the ruins, Xero, Braggle and Brother Burkey had the sense that, although things seemed the same as last time, someone or something had been here (that feeling you get when you just know that your landlord has let the exterminator into your appartment but nothing appears out of place). 

The "regulars" felt it was worthwhile to check if the merchants were still there before entering the ruined tower. What they found was an abandoned site which would have been unnotable save for the trail of wagon tracks leading in two directions down trails, a large semi-wet spot on the ground that turned out to be blood, and the presence of some human finger bones in the ashes of the stone fire rings. Satisfied that there was nothing further worth exploring here, they returned to the tower.

Careful examination revealed foot prints going in and out of the tower - more going in than coming out. Although some of the prints may have been theirs, there were several more which were clearly not. Finding the trap door to the dungeon open confirmed their suspicions/fears that the merchants were up to no good.

Although a full sweep of the entire first level was suggested by Xero, after the party retrieved their tank and found doors had been burned down approaching the nearest flight of stairs down, but not in the direction of the elevator shaft (where they found their trap was still in place), they abandoned both the tank and the idea to sweep the level.

Down below, they found whoever had been through had not gotten very far before either being killed or abandoning their quest. The party made their way down to the room with the giant winged boar statue and then took the southern door. On the other side, they found themselves in a crypt.

Highlights:

  • Realizing a strange carved stone eye was a trap - which still incinerated two 10' poles
  • Being attacked by a pack of ghouls and narrowly avoiding a TPK because PC2 made his save and the final ghoul's morale broke.
  • PC2's death at the hands of, well, I forget what killed him. Probably something undead.
  • Finding PC1? (MU:1 and PC2's replacement), tied up with all of his gear and unsure of how he got there.
  • Skillful use of some old church pews to bridge across a magically trapped floor to loot the body interred on the opposite side.
  • Turning and then killing the ghoul-in-the-box.
  • Finding a secret door that led to a hidden chamber containing a seated skeleton in lace garments (ordinary dwarf skeleton), a seated figure wrapped head to toe in fabric (mummy) and one empty chair. Behind them stood a seven skeleton guard in plate mail and armed with halberds.  
  • Destroying the above with fire, arrow and sword and netting a significant treasure.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Session 5: 6/13/14

The Party:
Batok (M:1), Zrax(F:1), Brother Burkey (C:2), Vern Dosh(D:1), Braggle(H:1), Xero (T:2), 

The Summary
Over breakfast at the Mournful Phoenix, and after settling up their room tabs with Burzom, the party learned that some smoke had been seen in the direction of the dungeon.They made visual confirmation and proceeded to the ruins where they could hear, from the woods to the north, laughter.

Xero snuck through the woods and spied upon what an encampment - several tents, a wagon, horses, and 4 men drinking at a table. He returned to the party to relay the information, which in turn led to a tactical discussion.

Zrax, of the Chaotic Slacks and man of action, walked into the woods and called out to the camp, and although they responded, they were not interested in coming out to his position. Instead, they told him they were merchants and he should come to join them - they had beer. No one believed the men were merchants.

Brother Burkey, drinker extraordinaire, put on his best drunken appearance and stumbled into the camp, while Braggle, Xero and Vern Dosh spread out through the woods to cover him.

After their initial surprise, the campers were quite taken with Brother Burkey, to the point that they tapped a keg for him. Although the men themselves were observed discretely disposing of the beer from their cups, they made no move to do him in. It wasn't until four more of their number arrived from a hunting excursion that they even tried to make him leave.

As they struggled to move the mountain of a man, in full plate, Vern Dosh observed a tall, well built man in black robe over plate, with skin as red as a Templar's Cross, and glowing violet eyes headed toward the camp attended by two others, who dressed similarly to the merchants. He was not happy to see the visitor, or that the keg had been tapped. Despite being ordered to bring Brother Burkey back, the men let him go before returning to their obvious leader.

While sneaking back to meetup with the party, Vern Dosh snapped a twig loud enough to alert the camp. After a half hearted effort to pursue the party, they dropped back, leaving the party unharmed.

Once inside dungeon, the party retrieved their tank and then finished exploring the first level to their satisfaction - killing some giant centipedes and shriekers (in the ubiquitous fungal garden) in the process, and making a haul of a variety of items, including many which Batok confirmed were spell components. Among the items, dozens of stoppered glass vials.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f2/D%26DShrieker.JPG/200px-D%26DShrieker.JPG

The second level started with an encounter with an obsidian living statue of a dwarvish warrior. It was brought down with relative ease. 

A few rooms later, they interrupted a twisted mass led by a ghoul, preaching to a congregation of zombies:
http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/610x2.jpg
this is not how i imagined it, but i like the picture too much not to use it.

The ghoul definitely raised some eyebrows, but it, and its followers, was dispatched rather handily, by the party, fronted by the duel blades of Braggle and Zrax.

The remainder of the exploration turned up a good bit of silver coin, as well as religious supplies - holy water, candles- and a 25 gallon cask of oil. Some of the oil was transferred to stoppered glass vials for use as half-flask missile weapons.

In the last room they would explore, they came across a 30' tall statue of a winged boar. 


http://subeta.wikia.com/wiki/Stone_Winged_Boar


Cautious after their encounter with the living statue earlier, they made their way around the perimeter of the room searching for secret doors and the like. One of the great black stone pillars was found to make a hollow sound when tapped. 

A quick search by Xero and Vern revealed a secret panel, which, when pushed, sent much of the party hurtling upwards. Brother Burkey alone was spared the effect.

For most of the party, they found themselves stopped just short of the ceiling, but for the two closest to the pillar, spikes awaited them. Xero was lucky, and suffered only a minor injury, but Vern Dosh was run through his vital organs, and died instantaneously.

Such is life in the dungeon.

Inside the pillar, Brother Burkey found a gold statuette of the winged boar, and a sack of silver.

The party secured themselves to the pillar and when the man of the cloth and beer stein closed the panel, the strange effects disappeared. 

After looting Vern's body, they exited the dungeon without further incident, in large part due to their insistence on wedging every door they encounter. Contrary to their suspicions, the red-man and his "merchants" were not there waiting for them outside the ruined tower.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Session 4: 5/9/14

The Party:
Brother Burkey (C:1), Arwen (E:1), Valor (T:1),  Thief Who's Name Escapes Me (T:1), Brickle (H:1), Fallos (M:1)

The Summary
Having heard from the previous expedition about their exploits, and gathering the map and one of the keys recovered, a different band of adventurers set out for the dungeon beneath Trelleborg. After spiking all of the doors in the tower, they reviewed the map and, led by Brother Burkey, developed a tactical plan for securing the 1st level: check each room already explored, then wedge it shut. 

They descended the stairs and took a SWAT approach, hurling flaming oil into the room and unleashing an arrow. Satisfied that the lack of response indicated the absence of a goblinoid ambush, they made their way down. Unfortunately, a pair of fairly tough, giant geckos had taken up residence there. The party might have been a bit too confident in their ability to deal with the reptilian menaces, who initially had tried to avoid the party. Angered, wounded and more or less cornered, they dropped down to attack. 




And things did not go well.

The hits that landed on their thick scaly hides did little to slow the geckos down and both Brickle and Valor were sent to the great dungeon in the sky. Things seemed desperate, so Fallos burned his spell, Sleep, and brought down the geckos, who were then dispatched easily by a vengeful Arwen.

What happened next will be a thing of legend: the party brought the bodies of the fallen out of the dungeon, up into the secured tower, before looting them and redistributing their gear.

Back down into the dungeon, joined by Braggle (H:1) and Valor the 2nd (T:1), the party headed East towards the portcullis. As they approached, they came under fire from beyond the edge of their torch light - the goblinoids had setup a defensive position in the hall using furniture, stones and yari, like quills on a porcupine. As one might easily predict, the hero of the gecko battle, Fallos, was struck and died immediately.

(Fallos was replaced by Dolm the Fighting Man (F:1) )

Utilizing one of the great equalizers in the dungeon crawler's arsenal, they lobbed flaming oil at the goblinoids and unleashed their own arrows. The goblins, casualties sustained, fell back and closed the portcullis. The party heard a strange clanging that grew fainter and when they crossed the barrier, found the goblins were gone. 



From this, they surmised the pit in the room beyond the portcullis was, in fact, an elevator shaft. After waiting out the fire they had started, they dropped a torch into the pit which showed it to be quite deep, at least 150 or 200 feet. Before moving on, the two thieves rigged a trap over it, to cause havoc for anyone coming up.

The goblin escape was not a setback, because the party had a plan to execute anyway. Methodically they went from door to door of each previously mapped room, forced it open to make sure nothing was inside worth dealing with, and then spiked it shut. 

Upon finding two empty cisterns on a wooden wheeled cart, an idea was born. A few turns later, Braggle and Arwen, bows at the ready, were each in a cistern on the cart, which was being pushed along by the remainder of the party.

Yes, they made a tank!

Torches were mounted to the cart but not lit - navigation was handled by the two demi-humans. Although slow, it proved effective.

Unlike the previous expedition, the party braved the latrines this time.

As they peered down into the darkness, they discovered gems and coins in the shit heaps 20' down, not to mention sewer tunnels. Retrieving the treasure, using fire to burn away the waste - a process affectionately now known as "shit mining" - netted a hefty reward for their labors.

Other highlights:

  • Bandits, affiliated with the Red Right Hand Thieve's Guild, came upon the party
  • Said bandits were burned to a crisp, although their leader was shot in the eye with an arrow (natural 20) and then a second arrow followed the same path, split the shaft and pierced even further into his brain (another natural 20), dropping him where he stood. 
    • In a bit of irony, it was the two thieves who showed such archery aplomb and killed this representative of a guild from the largest city on Nattefrost.
  • Some traders who had somehow wandered into the dungeon were bartered/intimidated (same thing, right?) out of their goods - a very nice haul of bolts of fabric - before being ordered out.
  • Another gecko was dispatched. Oddly, human remains on a plate were on the floor of that room, as if someone was feeding it.
  • A note scrawled on one door indicated that they shouldn't enter unless they really liked little furry forest creatures. Of course the party had to enter. Dolm, attacking the pulsating blue shapes on the floor, triggered a trap, failed his save, and is now an anthropomorphic rabbit 

  • To my recollection, at least 2 characters are 2nd level now, and the rest are close. Except the elf and halfling, who have a long way to go.
I almost forgot, there were two in-town events:

  • Brother Burkey, who had been absent since his first delve, had secured the services of Gar Draka to translate the dwarven runes that appeared on the mural of the golden-spired underground city.
  • Valor the 2nd, negotiating on behalf of the party, made an arrangement with Sister Ingrid for the production of two cure light wounds potions. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Session 3: 4/18/14

The Party:
Bealor E:1, Melkiades E: 1, Zrax F:1, Tika F:1, Honest the Bear E: 1, and later, a thief (can’t remember his name) and a magic-user who died in his first round of combat and who’s name escapes me, if I ever knew it.

The Summary:
Beginning the day with the traditional breakfast at the inn, Burzum (inn keeper) sought out Zrax and informed him that a survivor of the most recent caravan attack was being cared for a the Shrine of the Punishing Ox. 

After breakfast, the party tramped over there to do some questioning - and learned a bit about the attackers, who, one member suspected, might be a dragon based on the pattern of flame described as used in the attack. Their questioning limited by the state of the survivor, they pressed on into the dungeon.

Feeling their oats, the party strolled into the tower. Unbeknownst to them, over night the tower entrance had become inhabited by a flock of stirges, who, angered at being disturbed attacked. 



Although one managed a hit, it, more than half were quickly killed, sending the remainder flying off into the woods.


The rest of the path to the stairs down was clear and the party found the trap door wedged shut, as they had left it when they exited last session.


This time when the got near the bottom of the steps, an arrow shot clattered into the steps a few feet in front of them; they were under attack by black metal goblinoid archers. 

Bealor, in his first act, Zrax, he of the chaotic slack wearing, charged the goblinoids, threw himself through the air and crashed into their front line, instantly killing one and knocking down another. From there it was a bloodbath, as the party killed one goblinoid after the other. When one tried to escape, Tika tackled him.


Combine this with the corpse-paint pic from the 1st session
and this is close to what the goblinoids look like.

They grilled him for information - which he provided - and slit his throat. Rooting through the belongings of the leader, they found a key which they believe is likely for the portcullis blocking the corridor to the East.

They discovered the goblinoid dojo, most notable for its training dummies of white ape skins/heads on wooden frames, and training equipment for open hand arts, and a large symbol painted over dwarven propaganda frescoes

Thereafter, they made a systematic exploration of the level wherein:


  • they killed a black metal goblinoid band (not before the drummer killed Melkiades with his bass drum)
  • they killed a bugbear artist painting a disturbingly beautiful mural of a large black goat with 10 legs coming through a tear in the night sky
  • they killed a goblinoid study group wearing Hogwart’s style robes (one goblinoid even wore glasses) and took their book
  • they were attacked by a roving pack of carrion crawlers, who, before their own demise, ended the brief existence of Bealor.
  • Somewhere in there Malikiades replacement arrived, and was promptly killed by some goblinoids before they were killed.
  • The leader of that group, against all odds, was held for questions and allowed to go, under promise that he leave the dungeon.


Of the 7 characters that journeyed into the dungeon, 4 returned to Gorgoroth to rest up and ready for the next delve.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Session 2: 3/14/14

The party: Zrax F:1,Sabbitha MU:1 (mother of Chains the Cleric), Brother Burkey C:1, Halt Th:1, Honest the Bear(Elf with a Comb-over) E:1, Tika F:1 Alera F:1, Mordechai Th:1

The Summary:
Over drinks at the tavern, the original party met several other adventurers who had come into town to followup on rumors they had heard about the dungeon. In typical D&D fashion, everyone decided it would be great to join forces to head into the dungeon as soon as possible.

Still, only Zrax, from the first expedition, was able to get himself out of bed early enough to make the trip in the next morning with the group of newly arrived explorers and ne'er do wells.

Over breakfast, he chatted with Burzum about the mysterious people in black robes the party saw on their return trip. Burzum could offer no help, other than that there had been some reports of raids on caravans and prisoners appeared to have been taken and maybe they were somehow related.

In the predawn hours the party set out. The air was cold with a light drizzle, which turned to a downpour as they reached Trelleborg.

In front of the dilapidated tower, lay two limbless corpses of the type of goblinoids encountered on the first delve, with a large chunk missing from each of their abdomens. The bits of bloody rope gave away that these were, in fact, some of those that were left tied up.

Although Zrax urged the party to head towards the stairs to the dungeon proper, much of the party wanted to explore the tower, and so that was the approach taken. Highlights included:

  • Setting off a sleep gas trap on a metal box containing some silver and knocking out half of the party.
  • Discovering a side view painting of a map of what appears to be the dungeon under Trelleborg
  • Mordechai made an impressive dive under the billowing tentacles of an Air Jelly to reach a chest, and suffered only a minor electrical burn when the party pulled him and the chest out via rope.

Having secured the tower to their satisfaction, they descended the steps they had found previously.

Two goat headed spiders descended upon the party, but were unable to do more than offer some weapons practice for the group. The cleric and Mordecai hacked off the goat horns, for use as daggers or possibly for sale. 


In the second room they entered, they found a skull of what appeared to have been a unicorn (horn cut off), surrounded by a weird goopy substance and some bloodied rusty manacles. A disconcerting, disembodied gurgling sound which seemed to bounce around the room, stopped for a moment when Honest the Bear called out to "Master." The goop was promptly lit aflame with torch and oil, although not before the skull was stowed safely in Halt's backpack.

Not far from that room, they came to a portcullis blocking their passage. Beyond, they could see a room with a 10' wide hole in the center that had been obviously and purposefully placed there. They easily found a lever, for what is presumably the portcullis, but a key hole near the lever dashed their hopes a bit - especially when neither thief could pick the lock. Tika and Zrax tried to lift the great gate but with little success.

Undaunted, they explored one of the junctions they had passed previously and entered into what appeared to be a large dining room. Here they found the remains of a vile feast of rat tails, giant centipede and what appeared to be large humanoid forearms. The wooden cups, and empty keg from the Haunted Keep Brewery, gave evidence that whoever ate this mess washed it down with some good ale.

In addition to the Iron Chef selection of delectables, they took a moment to marvel at the two large murals: one a propaganda type piece showing Dwarven miners toiling at excavating the earth, and another of a beautiful many-spired city of gold, that appeared to be in a cavern of sorts. The latter bore some runes in the lower right but none of the party speaks/reads Dwarf, so the cleric copied down the runes for later translation. 

The attached kitchen bore witness to the party's slaughter of a giant hydra-pede. During their exploration of the kitchen and attached cistern room, a patrol of 5 goblinoids arrived, but they too were outgunned by the party, who promptly killed and robbed them - including taking their armor and weapons. The bodies were left for the rats. 

At this point,with time running short, the party retraced their steps out of the dungeon and back to town to rest.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A More Prosaic View of Gorgoroth

Gorgoroth


Located on the large island of Nattefrost, Gorgoroth is one of several semi-autonomous border towns in federation with the city-state of Hedeby. In exchange for tax revenue, the government of Hedeby offers nominal protection of the citizenry of the villages and towns, and long term jailing for its criminals, on an as needed basis.


Gorgoroth’s government consists of a town council of elected representatives of local trade unions. Order is kept by a town watch, headed by an appointed sheriff and deputy.


The most well-known export of Gorgoroth is The Haunted Keep’s brews, but its lumber, harvested from the Carpathian Forest  is of superior quality to anything to the south and is the primary employer of the citizenry. Demand keeps the wood moving downstream on a steady basis until the cold and cruel Nattefrost winter sets in, but the growth of its logging industry has been held in check by Hedeby contracts for lumber with other city-states (diplomatic maneuvering, you know).

Situated on Morgan’s Creek, tributary of the Tanaelva River, itself a tributary of the Volvo, Gorgoroth is 10 days north of Hedeby by land. Downriver passage on a logging barge to Hedeby can be arranged, but travel north is generally by land, as this is far less expensive than hiring enough rowers to fight the currents.