This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Meet 72, Adv 4, 1/17/15

It was this meeting that the fecal matter hit the oscillation device. Through a number of bad decisions and split party - a few over zealous wandering monsters coming in, and just poor luck, we managed to carve out a possible TPK.

The group also met their first level draining undead - wights. Two at first, they killed them but the wights managed to kill off two of the party - which meant they will rise as wights.

Upon escaping to the surface it was just stunned and exhausted expressions amongst the players and a feeling of despair.

Write up follows:

Using the light of the wheel we noted that the side corridor preceded some 12 paces and then turned at a crisp 45 degree angle to the right. No signs or marking anywhere. Zeta and Tranis worked their lit up wheel forward to the turn, the party pacing behind with care, and looked onward, seeing another 10-12 paces and then another 45 degree to the right. The corridor was also showing more sign of work, the walls becoming smoother, the ceiling and floor more square edged.

At the next corner, the changes to the passage continued until there were no longer any features or signs; the entire place looking almost like it was poured into place. The passage only went 7 paces or so before turning to the left.

Once more Zeta and Tranis made their way to the front, peering around to see what was beyond here. The passage went 10’ and then opened to some chamber at least as large as our light source went and then beyond there. There were either paintings or ink drawings on the walls, starting just before the entrance of the room. From what we could tell they were of Hades and in some he was standing with the other Olympians, in others he was working with his adherents.

We rolled the wheel back and Zeta gave the chamber a good look with his infravision, surprised to see it was warming up from the current 65 through the entrance area all the way to 100 or so at the far end of his mission. There was nothing else in the room. From there we brought the wheel back to illuminate the area and tested waving our hands and arms past the entrance. There was an odd tingling sensation to be sure, but that was it.

Upon finally stepping into the room that we felt a sort of increase in temperate, maybe a handful of degrees. And when we left, we cooled off again over time. Through a variety of trials and errors, we discovered that the further one went into the chamber, the ultimately higher the temperature reached.

We could not see enough of the room so the decision was made to unrope the wheel and send it rolling into the room. The light spell on it should illuminate more of the chamber and let us not get screwed over or caught up in anything we weren’t ready for. So we pushed the wheel in, it rolled almost 25’ and then fell over. The chamber was almost 50’ long and there was another exit on the far side that made a turn to the right, some sort of slope leading down and away.

Zeta was once again picked to check the area out, eventually getting across the chamber with exaggerated care. It grew very hot, 100 plus. He doused his entire waterskin across his body to keep the metal buckles and braces from possibly burning his skin as we as to provide some relief. From what he could see the corridor sloped 20 degrees for 12 or so paces and then turned to the right where the corridor fed into a set of stairs going down.

We talked about our options at length, deciding at long last on two things: 1) we wanted to get the wheel back so we walked into the hot room and rolled it back to the entrance. 2) Zeta could check further but he must bring someone and that person shouldn’t be wearing metal armor. Auri volunteered and the two of them drew weapons and made their way across the room. It did indeed grow warm and then hot, the two of using only their infravision to provide any sight as they walked. The rest of the party watched as they disappeared into the dark and were gone, everyone readying weapons and gear.

Zeta and Auri made their way to the stairs, made sure there was no issue, and began walking down slowly. According to their infravision, the corridor went down steps before coming to another left hand turn with another sloping set of corridor going down. They proceeded with care, moving quietly and surely.

And then something flared near Auri from both walls, momentarily spoiling their heat vision. It came from a pair of Hades’ painted faces, two glyphs, briefly illuminating the stairs. And revealed at the limit of Zeta’s vision (who was the rearmost of the two), an eight count of skeletal figures coming out of a secret room from the “heat room” and heading their way. Seven of them armed with spears and a few shields raced towards the two friends, while the last one withdrew a sling and hurled a caltrop bag at the entrance where the rest of the group was.

Shit. Auri and Zeta swapped positions ready to assault the onrushing undead. The rest of the group backed up, not wanting to get assaulted by the undead in the room (that they still could not see). They did let the wagon wheel light roll forward and fall upon the caltrops, briefly making a bridge over them should the party need to assault forward.

The undead were held back on the stairs by a mix of Auri and Zeta’s skill, noting that one of them was fighting very skilled, dodging blows left and right. Zeta let fly an arcing bottle of holy wine but it was intercepted and laid down with care.

And then Auri killed one of the skeletons. And it exploded.

Sonovacrap.

The blast was like a hammer blow, but the broken bits of bones and raining pelvis pieces only affected the two living friends. The undead were unfazed, instead only continuing their press forward. Tactics needed to be changed. Auri swapped to a spear and began thrusting backwards to the back row of skellies instead, her spear all but useless on their lack of fleshy forms.

The slinging skellie hurled a flask of oil at the rest of the group who was huddled around the corner, unsure still of what they were fighting. But they did hear another secret door open up and another 8 skellies fill the room. A 2nd slinger joined the first and some spear users blocked the way. Liscinia made her way to the front with her tower shield and the party was lining up to bring the rain of blunt arrows down on the skeletons.

But then Funis and others in the back of the party heard running feet…and ghouls came around the corner to attack our rear.

Funis went down in a spray of blood, paralyzed by the ghouls’ attack, and out rear main fighter was out of the fight.

The group was split in two, and one of our groups was now assaulted on both sides. Crossbow bolts and arrows peppered the ghouls while Pawn was brought up front to turn the skeletons arranged against us there. Marcus and Pecheri tried to get behind Liscinia and her tower shield, only barely getting into place when a THIRD secret door opened and 8 more skeletons came out! Now three slingers against the main group and 5 other skellies, while Auri and Zeta were being forced down the stairs by the combined strength and assault of the skeletons there.

For long agonized minutes it was a slog against the press of undead with our spear, sword, and spells; most everyone running out of whatever resources they had. However it became unsustainable after Liscinia and Marcus were forced to give ground against the advancing undead from the skeleton room, forced back around the corner after one of the slingers hurled a hot coal into the oil soaked floor and the blast sent everyone scurrying back.

Auri and Zeta had no choice, the press of undead was too much against them, so they turned and RAN further into the dark and down the slopes and steps until they were deep deep under the ground. Where their infravision picked up a door. A door that Zeta opened, they both charged into the room beyond, and Zeta slammed closed. Where Auri fumbled for a locking bar and slid it home.

Two friends alone in the dark, undead spears and bodies bashing at the door beyond. And they just realized they had been poisoned from the door. Zeta fell over choking on his own blood while Auri stumbled to her knees and fought off the toxic effects. She managed to get a candle lit and tried to administer to Zeta…but the proud half-elf, confused and yet still making his way in the world, died in her arms.

And with the door opening, it triggered an alarm spell which summoned MORE undead from further in the complex. And this time it was 4 ghoul looking creatures, except two of them had an air of confidence about them. We reshuffled our line in order to hold them off, and Flimflam cast Magic Fang on Whosea for the upcoming fight. Marcus whipped out Whipztar’s grimoire and reading from the enchanted tome called out “EMPTY” where the room with skeletons that were attacking our flank…just emptied. The wheel disappeared, the bodies disappeared, it all went empty.

And the undead hit our back line again. It wasn’t just ghouls, it was something more. As evidenced when weapons just bounced off their hide. As evidenced by the disdain it had for the party. As evidenced by the life draining ability it had. We had to break free and go, and go now. Ghouls were dropping more of the party. Marcus lost a level, Sanford lost a level, Pawn lost a level and DIED by a Wight! Then Sanford was torn apart and Scripinius our linkboy was drained by a Wight and DIED! Quintus was killed. Whosea was drained and then…Funis and his paralysis wore off.

The Light footman with his enchanted mace waded into the back of the Wight’s, slamming at them at the same time that Flimflam and his enchanted cudgel and Whosea and his enchanted…teeth hit the front. It took magic weapons to take them down, along with a flurry of disrupt undead and magic missiles we punched a hole through and the party decided to run. Liscinia and Funis held the rear as the party hoisted our paralyzed brethren (Geld and Caeteccius) and we charged out of here.

We reached the bridge and were crossing when we heard our pursuers coming back after us again. So Liscinia and Funis dragged first one wagon base bridge back over the pit and let it fall…and then the second. The last thing the two hirelings saw were a host of skellies on the other side…and our one time companion and Halfling priest Pawn standing there – the priest having blood all over his form, and black eyes staring with undead malevolence and confidence at us retreating. And still the party ran on.

And now in the wagon room we had four zombies to contend with! Fuck! Marcus pulled out his book again and consulting Whipztar’s tome, selected FLIP – turning the busted wagon up and over and ONTOP of three of the zombies! Nice! They were pinned which allowed Funis to do battle with it long enough for the group to get past and away and then keeping up the rear.

We climbed wearily up the slope, through the incense room, and into the store room. From here we navigated the slope up, Tranis using rope all the way back down to help us pull ourselves up. And the wandering monster gods were against us even more as one, two, three of the pale and bloated carrion crawlers crept into the Hades room and tried to attack our ranger.

Flasks of oil held two of them back and one of them made it through as a torch was hurled and others came up to help. It caught on fire and tried to attack us but Flim, Whosea, Liscinia, Tranis, and Marcus all held it off and slayed it while we made our way to the front and escaped at long last into the evening cool air of the Griffanus Estate…with half our members gone or missing or dead.

We lost Scripinus, Quintis, Sanford, Pawn to wights and other undead. Zeta and Auri are unaccounted for, chased further into the dungeon by a host of pursuing skeletons (Of those two, Zeta has dies from Poison and Auri is weak and in a single room without exit, used as some sort of flensing chamber where the local necromancer take flesh from the body).

Escaping to the night air, low on spells or empty, with two of our members paralyzed and some of us level drained by the wights: Flimflam, Whosea, Tranis, Marcus, Pecheri, Geld, Vestanus, Funis, Liscinia, and Caeteccius.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Meet 71, Adv 4, 1/10/15

Talking undead.

Whenever it happens, no matter the group, it always freaks the group out. Mindless undead, snapping teeth, rotting bodies - they can take - but put a voice to that and it raises the "what the fuck is that" level to those that face it.

I have had ghouls talk and spectres merely moan. Whatever the situation, it always manages to drive the party to distraction.


Write up follows:

The group had discussed leaving getting to a split decision on pressing on “one more room” and cutting now, with a few more votes landing on staying and see what else we could find. So we spent more time binding cuts and applying splints, while Flimflam redispensed healing berries to those who needed it. Eventually we were prepared and new lights were lit before we set off once more.

We decided not to take the southern corridor that led to some cramped passage with the sounds of zombies behind it, instead going north and east. The ground was sloped here, perhaps 15 degrees, and went beyond the limit of our lights, although Zeta informed us that according to his infravision, there was nothing “living” down there to concern us. So he went first, picking his way with care, but his spear rang off the wall and he clattered noisily…which drew the attention of a trio of deathdogs from somewhere further along the corridor.

Our scout beat a hasty retreat ahead of the multi-headed canines, just in time for Pecheri to blow two of them up with a pair of detonation arrows…wounding the third terribly in the process. A short volley finished it off and we considered ourselves lucky to have avoided a possibly deadly situation.

Once more Zeta went down the hall until his torchlight revealed…3 humanoid figures hunched over the death dogs and eating the carcasses raw. And one of them said, in discernible Common, “Douse the light.”

Fuck.

Our scout kept them talking and focused on the dead deathdogs, imitating that he was a necromancer’s apprentice to someone they supplied as Karstimis. After stuffing their face they shouldered one of the carcasses and allowed Zeta to retreat while they pressed on back the way they came.

The party waited and discussed…talking undead? Pawn suggested possibly they might be wights? Holy crap…seriously? The long and short of it…based upon what they had said, they might be heading back to the necromancer, which we assumed was the dwarf. And should follow them. Right…follow them.

Terrific.

So we picked our way back down the slope (bloody stains, no undead or deathdogs) and took the turn to the left, following it a bit further until we arrived at a large chamber. There was a set of stairs going up on the right wall, and along the north, 9’ above the ground, was a corridor heading in that direction. No ladder was visible. There were small natural alcove where candles had once burned (although 2 were still there), giving some minor light. Dog shit and old bones abounded.

We looked and noted that there were bloody drips and stains heading towards the corridor 9’ above the ground, leading us to understand the undead had gone that direction. We wanted to follow, but not risk any problems. We checked the base of the floor under the passage and noted fallen rock there. Lots of it. None larger than 25#. But there were enough pieces there to identify that whatever it was was at one point in time a statue of a pony. Broken now, but at one time, life sized.

Zeta opted to climb and check it out, inching his way up the wall until he arrived at the top. More blood stains here, a corridor heading straight and sloping upward before turning to the left. That and lots of horizontal scratches on the walls between 2 and 4 feet in height.

No one trusted it.

So we positioned ourselves along the base and room, weapons out and watching with care. Zeta went along, testing the ground until he arrived at the slop and went up a few feet. The corridor continued along at 30 degree angles and then turned to the left – not a 90 degree turn, but a curve to the corridor. Right. Fucking trap. He was out of here.

It was when he turned around though that there was s button on the ground, right in the center of the corridor. It wasn’t there before, but it was not. 6” diameter, iron looking, shiny, sticking up 3” tops. Right. Not going to touch the damned thing.

And then Auri who was at the base of the passage with Quintus, saw a button there as well. Quintus wanted to touch it – I mean they made it, and it’s a button, it must be touched! No one would let him. And Zeta’s button seemed to glow red when he tried to step around it, making him even more concerned.

But it was Caeteccius who saw another button, this one at the base of the steps on the eastern wall, and not knowing about the other two, said, “That’s peculiar,” and touched it.

Zeta heard something groan up the passage and he turned the run back to the deathdog room (stomping on the button along the way) as there was an unholy racket suddenly sounding behind him.  Auri and Quintus’ button suddenly glowed red and they did NOT push it. BUT they saw Zeta JUMP out of the passage, getting hit from behind and then rolled over by a 9’ wide, 4’ diameter, pointed ended cylinder that crashed with a terrible racket and then rolled to a stop at the other side.

They dragged Zeta out of the way (down to a single hit point) and then heard heavy noises on the stairs. Coming down was a crude approximation of a 5’ tall figure with reversed hooks for hands hanging out of its arms. The statue was of solid stone and trundled along the path the stone had crushed, dragging the hooks on the floor as if it would be picking up anything. Then it went to Auri’s button and pressed it with his head. And then faded away.

Ok, now what the fuck? We suspected it went to the dwarf which was going to make someone wonder where it came from and why it was triggered. Also, what about the wights? Other deathdogs? Now what the hell? We suspected that the statue came from the stairs and NOT from the passage above us. So when it was done and had to come back here again, it would take the stairs. So if we take the stairs we could be on our way to the necro/dwarf.

We looked. At the top of the steps was another dwarven looking hook handed statues. We checked it out, steps went up, crossed 20’ or so of ground, and then went down again on the other side. Simple. Two more dwarven statues up there on that side. Ok. Went to check further and the top step clicked when it was stepped on. Fuck. Brought up broken rock to mimic Zeta’s weight and pulled him off, step rose again. But nothing happened. We spent 20 minutes discussing it and decided to take the stone step apart.

It was a bit heavy, so we flipped it up and onto the landing in order to see what mechanism was under the step in the first place. Spring loaded pressure sensitive pistons and a 4 setting rotating place marker. Ok, but WHAT does it do? We spent 15 minutes trying to figure it out, but didn’t know what it all meant. So we decided to shelve it for now, allowing Zeta to pick his way across the 20’ expanse to the other side. So there went our scout, stepped one foot over the edge of the landing…triggered a pit…a fell 20’ to the bottom.

Hurt badly, he twisted his back and lay there for a few seconds…and 4 spears thrust out of the walls at the 3’ height and skewered the air where he would have been if he was standing. Holy crap! And then the cover closed.

The group spent no time in getting together a plan to bring Zeta free. A light spell was placed on a rock, two spikes were readied, and finally a chunk of the removed stair itself was lifted up – and when the trap was triggered, they filled it with light and then disabled the trap mechanism by jamming it open. Rope was tossed down to Zeta who was hoisted up and more goodberries were eaten…and then the party backed away as the trap mechanism was smoking and giving forth little bits of flame. We waited at the bottom of the stairs until the damage seemed to stop (Zeta was healed) and then crept up to check the area out again.

The pit was 9’ wide by 8’ long, taking up just under half the surface of the 20’ corridor. Quintus was sure there would be another pit on the other half of the corridor and no one disagreed with our sorcerer. But how could we cross now?

That’s when the party decided to go back to the wagons where the Matriarch/Patriarch once were and using their tools, disassemble enough of the wagon’s base planking to create a bridge of sorts to cross the open pit and the assumed next one. Before we did anything though, we distrusted the one remaining dwarven statue on this side, so the party used some poles and crowbars…and tilted it over until it fell 20’ to smash at the base below.

From there it was easy to span the first pit, where the group then did the same with the second (after verifying it did exist…and breaking it). Which led us to discuss how to avoid pit traps in the future. We needed some sort of weight heavy enough to trigger it, but nothing that would get any of us hurt.

What resulted was taking off one of the solid wagon wheels from the wagons (80# plus), string rope through the axle hole, make a sling of rope longer than the radius of the wheel, and use Zeta’s pole as a guide holding it upright over the wheel while the party trundles it forward. Finally a light spell was centered on the wheel and we were ready.

We crossed the bridge, went down the next stairs, but our noises had attracted a 6 count of skeletons who came up to assault the party. And Pawn turned them! Which was a surprise because some of the party members were convinced that Pawn was conning the group and really had no clerical powers at all. 5 of the skeletons ran back down the corridor and to the left and the remaining one was finished off with a four count of attacks. From here we decided to use our “wheel plan” and go follow the skeletons in the direction they had run off to and either kill them, or if not, hopefully find the necromancer/Hades priest there.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meet 70, Adv 4, 1/3/15

The party ran into a single ghoul tonight. It was mixed in with the zombies and did not to attract attention to itself as they all crept closer until it was withing touch distance. And then it struck, fast, sure, and direct. And in two rounds it had taken our the two strongest attackers in our front line.

Ghouls are soft targets and don't have tons of hit points, but for low level undead the 3 attacks per round and paralyzation can spell the difference between a long fight with zombies...and a possible TPK.

Write up follows:

We once more drew into marching order and proceeded with care towards the south east corner of the room, here, a set of stairs wound their way down, curving to the right and left as the brought the group even further beneath the earth. Zeta and Tranis used every skill at their disposal to make sure that the trip down was without issue and no unseen traps or pitfalls were waiting for us. It meant we were travelling slowly, but it made the party feel much safer for the trek.

At the bottom of the steps, the corridor ran straight for 40 feet and then jogged to the right briefly. About halfway down, there was a strange rippling in the ceiling as if it was wending cloth – odd folds and ripples like water or strained silk. In addition, the ceiling itself was sliced from one end to the other across the passage and dropped 4 inches in a perfect cloven line. No one trusted it.

We used poles, spears, and eventually physically getting close to check it out – learning that the stone was not seamed and neither was any sign of tool marks. Where the hell did it come from and why was it left like this? No one knew.

Past here at the end of the straight run of the corridor was…a bolt. A 12” long, 1” wide carriage bolt, the type used in a wagon or cart along the axle, was just lying there. Where did it come from…and why was it there?!? The group decided to toss pieces of the broken shield (from upstairs) at it to see…and although they knocked it aside a few times, it behaved as only a bolt should and nothing untoward happened. We added it to our belongings and then moved on.

The corridor beyond the turn was to the limit of the torch range and beyond, and sloped downward at 20 degrees, making the traversing of it potentially difficult for our less sure-footed party members. There was also a growing scent in the air, moist and redolent of old flesh and rot. The slope was checked with care, a second torch moved along to get a better sense of the size of the corridor. It went maybe thirty feet and then turned to the left. There was a wetness on the back wall and ceiling that trickled very slowly down to the floor and made a slightly scummy greenish pool of god knows what was growing on the surface of that water at the corridor’s end.

No one wanted to touch it.

However, the trip down the slope was going to be difficult for too many party members and we wanted to make it safer – and make sure no one would touch or hit the water. So we wanted to use rope to help everyone get down. But there was nothing to tie the rope to, so the party knew they were going to have to hammer in spikes. One at the top, one at the bottom – and then tie rope to each one – making a railing of sorts to help the group make the trip from top to bottom. So they split the spikes, 4 went down to the bottom (3 to keep watch, 1 to hammer), and the rest of the group was to stay up top and listen as one of member drove in the other spike.

And then they hammered. They tried to synchronize their blows and were mostly successful – but the echoes did run through the subterranean system and eventually after tying the rope to the top and bottom, the group heard the distant sound of shuffling feet coming from back the way we had originally come. Zombies – and many of them.

We all drew ourselves back up slope and drew up into fighting order, maximizing our impact with spear users as well as bow guys. We had our cloistered priest, Pawn, up near the front in order for a sudden turning and the group waited near the bottom of the stairs, allowing for a sizable field of fire and melee. And they came. Zombies – 8 of them.

Arrows fell on the undead in a rippling wave right after the Halfling priest tried calling out to Demeter to turn them away (failed). The zombies ignored the effects and closed until they were in range of our spears – which slammed into the wave with sure and practiced ease. And then it was axe and sword play – with once more Caeteccius leading the way with his debilitating war axe. The zombies did not progress any further down the hall and those that were there, although striking at the party repeatedly (whittling hit points away), were held in place and slain outright one after the other. Until at long last (12 solid minutes!), the final zombie hit the ground and stayed down.

We bound our hurts and healing was dispensed. From here we went back to the slope and made our way down into the dark, using the rope railing we made and keeping ourselves far and free from the filthy water, we proceeded with care down the hall (thirty feet or so) until it opened to a room. However, just at the entrance of this chamber (larger than our torch light could illuminate), the ceiling and walls had that same rippling sort of wended wet silk, twisted watery look to them – as if the rock itself had been twisted out of shape in the past.

The chamber had two other ways out (North West and South west on the south wall), dimly seem in the gloom. But the room was taken up by two wagons that had dumped over and partially torn to shreds. Four skeletal oxen were still in the rotted leather traces at the yoke of each wagon and there was a mass of broken wood, canvas, boxes, barrels, and charnel. We didn’t see any bodies (besides the oxen) but given the sheer amount of destruction and potential cover in the chamber, it wasn’t that surprising.

Zeta opted to check out the room first, picking his way quietly along the southern wall, watching carefully at every shadow, nook, noise, and outcropping. It was when he was more than half way towards the southeastern wall that he espied some movement on the other side of the wagon and a number of figures (bloody, rotting, and dead) stood up. It seemed to be some merchant family and their guards (who were at one point riding in the wagon) gathering themselves up and getting ready to assault the group.

Two of the zombies bend down and grabbed broken sticks (to use as clubs) and some wreckage of wagons (to use as shields) – but them stayed in one place and banged them together rhythmically for some reason. Making noise. Continuously. To attract more fucking undead. Damn it.

The rest of them surged forward, the Patriarch (heavy set older male in his 60’s) and the one we labelled the Matriarch (portly woman also in her early 60’s) holding back for some reason, meaning 4 of them assaulted the party. Pawn stood his ground between Auri and Caeteccius, calling on Demeter to help him to turn the undead from assaulting us.

The prayer didn’t have any noticeable effect, although Pawn did say that he felt some resistance (as if the place was blessed by Hades for some reason). What did happen next though was one of the undead tore through Auri with multiple strikes and bite, paralyzing our strongest fighter and dropping her to the ground. This made the battle open for one of the zombies to grab Pawn and HURL him behind and OVER the wagon – where he hit with a crunch and then fell over in pain.

Fuck – ghouls, and smart zombies. And here came the Patriarch. We fired bolts and arrows, a well-placed shot striking the Matriarch and knocking her on her ass. One of the zombies was smashed hard and sent reeling backwards against the side of the wagon, back broken – unmoving. Nice!

And then Caeteccius, our next strongest and debilitating fighter, was rent by the ghoul and paralyzed. Two minutes; our two strongest assaulting members paralyzed.

We shifted all our blows, stabs, shots, and spells to the ghoul next, finally dropping him in place. Pawn managed to roll into a ball of pain, turn his attention to the two noise making undead – and turn them. Failing. Which made the two zombies turn their attention to the wounded Halfling – without armor.

And we then heard the sound of howling coming from down the northeast corridor. Lots of howling – and getting closer. Just great.

The party redoubled their efforts to bring the battle to the zombies, satisfied with the ghoul down that it would get easier. Spells were sent flying (a real showing of Quintus and his magic missiles), our target split between the Patriarch and Matriarch next. Pawn rolled into the corner of one of the wagons and a summon monster spell shot out next, supplying some cover for our priest. As 2 two-headed dogs charged into the room. Fuck me, Death Dogs.

Flimflam quailed at their site – blessed animals of Hades – two devastating bites that can crush steel and the foulness of their saliva and teeth can cause leprosy. Ok, new threat – everyone target the Death Dogs.

Pawn ran for the southeastern corridor, one of the death dogs hot on his trail, we don’t know if he made it because his screams faded away over distance and the death dog came back around to snarl at the group.

And then the Matriarch placed her hand on the first zombie we killed. Black energy filled it – and it stood the fuck up again! Fully animated and ready to attack the damned party. And the Matriarch was now looking towards the fallen ghoul next. Ok, NEW new threat – everyone target the Matriarch again!

We stabbed and thrust and surged forward. Funis made his way towards the front and more arrows were shot, Pecheri taking a chance on using one of his precious detonation arrows against an intervening zombie. But the Matriarch fell 4 feet shy of the ghoul and we redoubled out attacks on the rest of the group. A crossbow bolt knocked a death dog down and two spear blasts took out the Patriarch next.

But out hit points were fading and the number of painful wounds were climbing as fatigue took its toll on the group. Eventually the number of useful spells dwindled and we were hard pressed in the 15th minute of combat to finally drop the last zombie with a crushing blow by the mace wielding Funis. The battle ended and we heard silence.

Our quarry HAD to know we were here, and he had to be marshalling his forces to slow us down or finish us should we press on. What do we do? Leave? Stay? It was already around 12 and half of the party was down. We were going to need a day at least in the hospice and even then, although our hurts would feel better, the scars would remain. As for treasure? We found a single barrel of zinc ore. 70 odd pounds of it.

We opted to leave after binding our wounds and were going to break the news to the rest of the group (hirelings and henchmen) as to our plan and what was to follow next.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Meet 2, Adv B2, 12/30/14 - Youth Group

This was the second meeting for my daughter and her friend and this time they encountered some enemies. And it went with two retreats at first. Getting back to town to heal up, they hired two locals (Fighter and Cleric - each 1st level) to come with them and they went in this time ready and able.

When the game ended, they wanted to play again (I said we'll see in a few days), and gifted each of them with their own printed PDF copy of the original D&D (B/X) Basic book and a set of dice.


Write up follows:

The two friends inched forward, wary and watchful. It was after some 20 steps that they heard a voice from the darkness ahead call out, “Grag! Dash Pu?” Charlotte looked at William and shrugged. They tried to talk to the figure who eventually emerged – a goblin. Clad in Leather, sporting a spear with numerous fetishes, greasy black hair and reeking of old sweatsocks and rotting bananas. It didn’t speak their language, nor they it’s. But Charlotte and William kept their weapons put away and tried to pantomime that they wanted to back away and leave.

A second goblin emerged from the darkness, this one with a bow and arrow. It kept it pointed at the two friends who managed to back away and fade back to the entrance of the cave. They waited, sure they had not been followed, and then breathed a sigh of relief.

Ok, left passage was not an option; how about the right?

So they went that direction next. The corridor proceeded for 20 paces until it ended at a “T”, with a faint glow coming from the right. William went first, scouting it out, hearing goblin voices and at least three of them. He returned and the two of them had a short and fevered discussion about what to do. They opted to come out fast and shoot and attack, hoping to bring some surprise on the goblins that might be there. So they counted to 3, and then charged.

Charlotte fired, her arrow blasting the closest goblin in the chest and knocking him back, but not killing him (it seemed his leather jerkin stopped the bolt). William was right behind the arrow, sword leading the way, and he and the goblin traded blows back and forth, the fighter unable to hit the squirming greenskin.

There were 4 other goblins here, three around a table playing a game, the last one at a stool eating some dried meat. The three there were scrabbling for spears while the last one drew his belt knife and closed to combat. Charlotte’s next arrow went wide and William couldn’t get a solid blow in. But the goblin slammed its spear through the joint of his armor at the shoulder and did 5 points of damage. And then the knife guy hit him behind the leg for another 2. And like that – our fighter was down to 1.

And none of the goblins were even hurt.

Charlotte screamed and shoved the two goblins, giving William a chance to twist away and run out towards the entrance. The goblins closest were yelling and giving chase and the archer/thief did her best to dance backwards and load an arrow. She dodged a VERY close blow and fired – dropping a cloth yard shaft into the lead goblin’s face and killing him. The next goblin was crying at his fallen brethren’s side and Charlotte joined William outside and the two of them ran away from the caves.

Total time inside? Less than 45 minutes.

The trip back had William losing blood and growing weaker. They hitched a ride on a hay cart and once they got to the Keep went right to the Hospice. Our fighter was treated and told he would have to stay for 2 days solid to heal up. Once he was settled in the two friends talked about their options. Charlotte wanted to make up some fire arrows and they both agreed they needed to hire some help.

What kind? Well, a Cleric would be nice (even if they didn’t have any healing yet – they would in time), and another fighter since relying on William alone was asking for a problem. They didn’t make any money so far but would pool what they had left (71 gold) and hope that would be enough to hire some people long enough to get further in and find some treasure.

So they interviewed what clerics were available first – and there were two. A heavy set priest of Gluttony named Renee (looking for a full share and 14 gold per day) and a devout thinner follower of St. Francis named Loq (looking for a full share and 7 gold per day). The interview left them unenamored with Renee and they would take Loq.

The next day they interviewed three fighters. There was Corg (multi-skilled in all weapons, friendly, clad in platemail and shield), Nicqui (chainmail wearing and spear wielding warrioress who spoke at length about anything that caught her attention) and Durgan (tall, imposing, plate armored and sporting a singular 15# two handed sword). Corg and Nicqui both wanted 5 gold per day and Durgan was looking for 7 – and all of them wanted a full share. They talked about the possibilities and in the interest of saving some money, they decided not to go with Durgan and took Corg.

So the 3rd day they met their two new friends, paid them, and set off for the Caves once more. This time they arrived there at 9:30, lit a torch, and entered with care. The goblin that had been killed by Charlotte’s arrow was not visible (but the fresh bones on the floor led them to believe that the goblins ate their dead). They were not going to go back towards where they had been chased out of, instead going BACK to the left where the two goblins had been before.

So they drew up, pulled weapons, and with Loq holding the torch, the 4 of them jogged down the hall. In almost no time they came upon a guard room with at least 4 goblins visible. And Charlotte let her arrow fly. After the shaft hit, Corg and William went next and hit the lead goblins hard. In just under a minute two of the goblins had fallen and another one emerged from the gloom, arrow at the ready. It shot at the group, shaft blocked by Corg’s shield.

William suffered a nasty spear stab and then Corg received one. Loq withdrew a soaking healing elixir and hurled it upon William, healing half of his damage. William wounded another goblin at this point and then Corg killed a third. For his trouble, Corg was also wounded, but it only seemed to aggravate the warrior. Charlotte’s arrow failed to kill the wounded goblin, but William’s follow up attack did, and the fourth fell.

Corg charged the last goblin, the archer, preventing him from firing again; but his approach revealed a 6th unseen goblin – and this one also had a bow. Loq ran into the room, standing behind Corg, and used another elixir on him, healing him a bit too. William ran in and attacked, dropping the 5th goblin.

And then it was a free for all on the final goblin and the battle was over.

There was a set of stairs in the back of this room leading further into the cave, but for now we wanted to clean up where we were so far. Charlotte bade us to be quiet for a bit and the thief was confident that no one else was coming and we could gather up what riches we might find here.

Letting our breathing ease we spent some time looting the bodies and seeing what was here. There was a cask of water, some chairs and a table. We found 120 copper and 20 silver pieces. But the big score was 20 spears. On their own, not so wonderful – but given what they had found so far, worth at least 20 gold if we could get them back to sell them. So we were going to leave them here for now, explore a bit further, and then on our way out – take them with us.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Meet 1, Adv B2, 12/28/14 - Youth Group

Due to the Christmas break and vacation, I had given the go ahead to my daughter and her friend to sit down and try out D&D if they wanted to. My daughter had participated over the last 2-3 years on and off here and there for a half dozen of so sit ins. But this was her first time as a "real campaign" so to speak. Normally I run B4 - The Lost City as my go to welcome to D&D adventure (knowing it cold and having run it countless times), but I went back to the real beginning and busted out B2- The Keep on the Borderlands for the two of them.

I did my typical slow explanation of the game and rules, sticking to B/X as written for now, and stressed that we can try this out and that if they wanted to, we can continue. There was no forced continue if they didn't want to. So they each rolled up characters, my daughter a thief, her friends a fighter. Scores were good (I did roll 4, drop 1) but far from fantastic. The thief suffers from a 6 Charisma and only has a 12 Dexterity (was nice to see her play something she WANTED to and to use the dice scores as they were - not was was optimal), while the fighter does have a 15 strength (his highest score) and an 8 Dexterity. What was nice is they each rolled max number for hit points and the money wasn't too bad (120 for the thief, 110 for the fighter).

And then, after and hour plus of rules and rolling and learning how to play...we started. And it was wonderful to watch two young people (12 y/o each of them) get swept away by the history that had gone on before and where they came from. Both of them are big fans of history and mythology, so I transported the duchy of Karameikos to Northern France/Germania and re-wrote our history from roughly 750 AD onward.

At the time just when his parents were coming to pick him up we had to stop and I asked if they had a good time and wanted to play some more. And they both wanted to play again tomorrow. I laughed and told them in 2 days we can do it again.


I think I introduced someone else to a life-long hobby today.

Write up follows:

The end of the Roman Empire brought with it the Dark Ages, with the only point of light remaining in the Western World being the Brightness that was Constantinople. As the 8th century came to an end, the mightiest of the Gauls, Goths, Celts, and Druids banded together to craft the strongest spell-prayer they could to break the walls of this unending city. In a time when the world believed in magic, even though the Roman system of science had driven back the march of ignorance.

But in this case, at this time, in another Earth, the Weave of magic and science were two sides of the same thing – and in this instance – with the void left from where science once stood in these Dark times – the spell of magic rushed in and exploded.

The land shook from India to Portugal. The Nile flooded, the Pyramids crumbled, Italy was torn asunder, Greece fell into the sea. Cliffs broke, forests burned, and the world of men was sent reeling. And in the wild lands between the broken states and cities, monsters and beast from legend filled the darkness of the forest primeval. Dragons flew through Romanian Mountains, Goblins prowled the forests of Germania, Orcs crested Hadrian’s Wall and burned along the banks of the Thames.

Man was plunged into barbarism but did not let their light snuff out. They banded together as one, crafting new kingdoms and new provinces. They held the line against kobolds and minotaurs. Holy men bent knee to Christ and Yahweh and Zeus and Pan, calling on miracles and benedictions from unseen forces on high. Wizards learned from the space between the stars and through sheer force of will how to bend the fabric of reality and reshape the prime material to their want. Dwarves came from the Carpathian and Pyrenees to help the world of men. Elves emerged from the dark eternal forests of Rus and Britannia. Halflings ranged from the quiet lands along the Spanish coasts and the deserts of Palestine. All goodly races banded together to hold the line against the Chaos of the emerging Wild.

Here in Charlemekios, in the land that in our world would be considered Northern France, the Duke had waged a holy war against the goblin forces; ending almost 2 decades of constant bloodshed. New lands had been annexed and for the last decade, the lands of men have waged an uneasy truce against the monstrous hordes that once dominated the country. Baron Guilfoil had been established in this the last bastion and keep on the Border, charged with not only keeping the land safe and patrolled, but to find out where the goblinoid stronghold might be and have it destroyed.

Every peasant, yeoman, and local had heard of the stories of various kingsmen and rangers who dared the Wild to find this font of evil. But it was 2 seasons ago that they finally came back with knowledge and proof. Three miles east and north of the Border Keep, was a cleft in the very stone as if carved by a giant’s hand hundreds of feet wide and over 500 feet long. A ravine where all manner of goblin, orc, and kobold made their home amidst the bones and cast off detritus of their kind. Some dozen caves or less dotted the ravine in various places, each one a black maw where the dark creatures made their home.

And they needed to be rooted out.

Since the spring thaw the Baron has been sending out his riders and pages to every Thorpe, village, hamlet, and farmstead in a 20 mile radius. Asking of anyone who wanted a chance as riches and glory to come to the Border Keep and plumb the darkness of the Caves in the Wild.

Charlotte’s family owned a small farm (10 acres) of scrub land and berries along the banks of the river Bibiche where her mother was a neurotic mess and her father a one time locksmith. They had come out to this area in the hopes of resettlement and the knowledge of getting a stipend from the crown for homesteading. To Charlotte, who was just now 18, it was tedium, horrible, and overall numbing. A skilled archer and possessing her father’s nimble hands, she agreed to go to the Border Keep to try her hand at riches and glory. Her father gave his blessing (and his locksmithing tools); her mother gave shrill cries and admonishments.

William Bill’s family were farriers, a skill that helped give William his strength and size, but he was a bit clumsy and prone to moving before looking. Being the third son he spent his time cleaning stalls and shoveling crap, dreaming of something better elsewhere. So when the call came and he learned that Charlotte, his friend, was thinking of going to the Keep, William jumped at the chance. Sporting his grandfather’s sword and a piecemeal purchased set of platemail armor, he left home with his family’s well wishes in his ears and the two friends set off for the Keep.

They arrived together, the Keep standing on a plateau 60’ over the surround land, a single easily defensible road leading to the main gates. The two friends made their appearance known and purchased a variety of supplied they suspected they would need in the journey to the Caves. Eventually the Castellan called the two friends to come to Baron.

In his early 50’s and sporting a salty beard hanging to his chest, he was a warrior that was in the decline of his days and going to pot. He greeted Bill and Charlotte by name (which surprised the two friends) and spoke about the Caves of Chaos. There were many wanna-be adventurers who had answered his call and they have been tramping into the Wild for almost a month now. Many have not returned. Some have come back with riches, some have come back missing fingers and babbling about the horrors they had seen.

The two friends spoke to the Baron at length, asking many questions before thanking him for his audience and heading to the Inn for a last dinner and conversation. They opted not to hire any of the locals, not for this the first trip out. The Baron had let them know that the rangers who have gone before reported that the caves closer to the entrance of the ravine were populated with more goblins and orcs than the deeper caves where more dangerous denizens were rumored to live. So they would go to a closer cave, look around, and if it was beyond their skill, they would return to the Keep and hire some of the locals and potential adventurers to go with them on the morrow.

They had worked out a deal where the Baron would take care of their lodging and meals for the rest of the day and tomorrow’s morning…and their Hospice stay should it be required. That evening they spent it at the Inn and listened in on a number of the potential rumors the locals were talking about. Much of it was a garbled mess but the two friends were able to glean tow bits of wisdom: 1) the various monstrous tribes of humanoids that make up the Caves generally stick to their own cave by their own kind. And 2) there are some cultists that might make their homes in the caves, and because of that and the evil influences – any altars they might run across would be considered bad and full of trouble.

The next morning they set off, checking with the gate guards on when and if the Keep’s gates would be shut (the gates shut at 9 PM and open at 6 AM) – making note of it and allowing themselves at least 2 hours to walk back. The trip there was without peril. The only notable thing was the lack of fauna in the area. Even the typical birds were few and far between, their distant song more sad than merry in the audible isolation.

It was after some walking and when the foot trail turned to the north that the duo began looking in earnest to the western edge of the track and discovered the mounded earth and thickets as described by the huntsmen who had come this way before.

They pushed through and spied the deep ravine that was the source of the greenskin scourge and the house of the Caves of Chaos. Outside of a lonely vulture giving them a stink-eye from a lower branch of a distant tree, they saw nothing else. But the two of them felt as if they were watched and the prickling on their neck was that of something evil in the air.

They looked around for the caves closest to the entrance of the ravine, picking two of them –one on the north wall (but some 20’ upslope), one on the south (at the ravine’s floor). From there they discussed the merits of each and went back and forth until they settled on the south one as the better choice (it boiled down to – if they had to run and flee, it was going to be ultimately safer if they did not have to slide and fall down some 15’-20’ from the entrance).

Charlotte went first, William close behind, both of them with weapons out as they made the walk with care towards the entrance. The ground was covered in a fine layer of ground up bone, bits of filth, and the tell-tale stink of sweat socks and overripe bananas that spoke of goblins. This was the right cave, at least for now.

With her bow drawn, Charlotte crept up to the cave mouth and peered in. It was perhaps 12’ wide, 10’ tall, and opened up to a triangular shaped chamber almost 20’ within. Through the dank gloom she could make out 3 possible paths but there were no guards here. She backed away and told William of her findings.

He lit a torch and held it with his shield hand, sword drawn. He took the lead and the two of them crept in. The cave floor had dozens of bones, much of them human. Almost all of them were split and the marrow gnawed out and sucked clean. Toothy marks covered the dull ivory white which had the two of them retching slightly at the thought of their fellow man eaten.

Once inside there were three choices, right, straight, and left. William shone the torch down all three – the 20’ sparkling of light revealing only more passage as it went. It was the left most passage, with waving sheaves of webbing hanging from the ceiling a few feet down, that beckoned the most to them, so they squared their shoulders, regripped their weapons, and ventured on in that direction…waiting for whatever was in the darkness ahead.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meet 69, Adv 4, 12/6/14

After racing in the last time and trying to catch the fleeing foe, they realized that the underground lair was larger and better warded than we expected it to be. So the party had pulled themselves back, spent 2-3 days healing and preparing better for the trip, and then re-entered - loaded for bear (so to speak).

And that meant hirelings.

With SIX bodies brought along (porter, linkboy, shieldbearer, cloistered priest, light footman, and heavy footman), they had a much denser party with multiple layers and the ability to have 2 facings should they get attacked from behind. Which (to their credit), did happen.

It's early in the trip so far, but we'll see how the rest of this goes. As typical, we are taking off a few weeks in Dec for the holidays and will reconvene with the campaign play on Jan 3rd.

Write up follows:

The party slept well, Flimflam and Zeta @ the Thanach estate, and the rest of the group @ the Mane & Tale Inn in Heatherfield. 6 AM on Watermonth the 25th came and the two respective groups began their morning preparations. One by one our hirelings and helpers arrived, eager and ready to join the group on their foray into the (now understood to be) dwarven/Hades blessed underground lair/fortress. We paid everyone for the upcoming day’s efforts and then went through the massive pile of supplies in place, dividing them out as need be as well as coming up with an acceptable marching order that would protect both sides of the line and those in the middle. Lanterns and torches were put in place and as a group we all ate breakfast.

We talked about what we would be possibly facing and each person’s place in the march as well as their job. Prayers were made and swords and spears sharpened. Only Encrinus, the Halfling slinger that was interested in joining us, was informed that we could not afford his skills. He was dismayed but in the same pique of confidence and overwhelming personality we had seen earlier, indicated that he would hang out with the Thanach’s for an hour or two should the group change their mind and call on his services.

It was after 8:30 when we left the home and approached the eastern wall leading to the Griffanus homestead. There was no guard there, neither was there any sign that anyone was on the estate. We could hear nothing from the barn; see no smoke from the chimney. It was eerily silent. The group was ill interested in using the gate, so we walked towards the far corner, clambered over the wall, and then picked our way along the perimeter of the property sticking to the trees until we came upon the grotto once again.

It took us some time (being it was after 9 now) but we arrived at our destination and proceeded to search for the enspelled entrance – eventually discovering it and causing it to once again become visible. We drew up into marching order, Flimflam handed out dozens of prepared goodberries, torch and lantern were lit, and we proceeded to make our way into the warm darkness below.

There was no obvious difference down the main steps, across the sloping floor, and down the second set of steps leading to the pentagram room. Here we noticed nothing different in the 3 days we had been gone earlier. Equipped now with a better idea on how to cross the bloody path, our leader informed us all to intone Hades’ name once before crossing to avoid the glamour’s affects – and he was correct. From here we went east towards the former storage room (that we had set on fire) and not towards the strange 12’ long crawlers down the northern passage.

The fire that had been here had burned itself out, the couch was a blackened skeleton, the cushions gone, the rug charred remains, even the barrels and millstone were ruined. We looked around only briefly and went now further in, this time to unmapped areas. We ventured north, assuming that this passage would join up @ some point with the other passage, on guard and wary for any of the crawlers.

What we did find were signs of passage. Bloody smears on the floor, there a discarded bit of clothing, here a show, there a broken doll, here a handprint of blood. We suspected the Griffanus’ had been taken by our quarry and brought down here, and from the growing signs of punishment and horror we were passing, it was very against their will and they were either gravely wounded of maybe even dead.

The corridor ended its northeastern heading and then turned sharply to the south, a set of steps leading down from here. At the base of the stairs we could see more bloody rags and signs of violence. Before travelling down, Zeta espied a busted trip wire, curled along the top step and held in place (At one time) by eye-hooks and an anchor along the eastern side of the stair. The wire had run out and down the steps, but whatever trap it had once been was now triggered and no longer an issue.

We walked down slowly, eyes peeled and ready for anything. At the base of the steps the corridor continued 15 paces or so and then turned left to some open space. But it was along the back wall that we saw a mounted crossbow platform – the bolt long gone. Ah, this was the trap that had been sprung. Based upon the angle, it was obvious that the bolt would have tagged anyone in the front.

We heard shuffling steps in the next room and decided to funnel the foes towards us where we could get a solid volley or two in first. So we positioned all of our archers on the steps so they could all fire and had Liscinia and Funis guarding the back ranks. Caeteccius and Auri were our heavy hitters in the front – and then we called to our foes.

They came around – spear wielding skeletons and slower but deadly looking zombies. Eight and three respectively they were – but the zombies were fresh – very fresh. We deduced they were at one time the very militia guards that had been stationed @ the Griffanus estate not a day earlier! And one of them had a heavy crossbow in its chest/gut – evidence of being a victim to the trap Zeta had seen.

The zombies fought with some skill, but had ponderous slowness to their movement. It was also strange to see them fight with spear and shield, something that Pawn, our cloistered priest said was not normal. Arrows had almost no affect on the zombies OR the skeletons, so we switched over to blunt tipped bolts and shafts, getting some results. Our volleys were sure, but the amount of damage done was little at best – and then the first of the skeletons hit our line.

Blows were thrust and met shields and armor with some small affect. But it was Caeteccius and his 20# war axe that cleared the way, felling TWO of the skeletons in the first 11 seconds of combat, his warlike blows driving the enemy back enough to clear the ground before us.

We then had the archers concentrate their fire on the skellies while the melee workers hit the zombies in force. And it was here that we learned the sad truth about the undead before us – the zombies were somehow enhanced. They fought with skill and knowledge, broke shields if need be, had sound tactics in assaulting the group, and were ducetly hard to kill, requiring at least twice the effort one would expect to drop them.

Because of this the battle lasted MUCH longer than we expected and we had to cycle people from the front ranks out and get new fighters at the fore. And the fight attracted MORE zombies – 4 of them, who came from behind us in an effort to close to battle. Our battle lines held in both places and then Pawn called out to Demeter and turned the undead facing the back of us – sending all 4 of them running away in terror.

Freed up once more, we were able to send a final flurry of strikes against the frontal enemy and took the last of the heroic-style zombies down. We then spent 20 to 30 minutes binding wounds, healing, prying the crossbow off the wall (damaging it in the process, but we did get it off) and checking out the next chamber that the zombies and skeletons had come from. It was a bit filthy and there was the smell of brimstone incense, indicative that the raising ceremony on the guards had been done here.

As to the rest of the Griffanus family? Bloody smears leading out of this room and towards another set of winding stairs leading further down let us know that as of yesterday (maybe) they had been alive and led in this direction.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meet 68, Adv 4, 11/15/14

At this point the party learned the major plot point between the two forces they found themselves between and it was a moralistic doozie. One side is right but is despicable in its actions while the other is wrong but honorable in its behavior. It's a classic LE vs CG situation and the party is on the CG side - but they can also really understand the LE side.

So much so that the elven protagonist who's name is Pecheri has been referred to as Douchey by the group for weeks now.

Write up follows:

We had discussed during our meal the merits of the people we had seen and those we wanted to hire. We had been spending money pretty freely and realized that our ready cash was a bit light. So after lunch we took some of the trade goods we had gotten from Dairymeade and wandered around town, selling them to the local merchants.

And we were surprised at the sheer amount of silver and gold we got for our goods.

Once more flush with cash (and the reminder to us once again that not all treasure is coins and jewels) we sat down and met with the possible candidates for heavy footmen, light footmen, porters, and finally linkboys. Once finished, the party talked at length and at depth at what our options were.

Interestingly, one of the candidates we wanted was hesitant to join us if we did not have a cleric in our mix. A touched priest. One who was going to go with us into a Hades blessed area that also had undead present. Obviously, Templars are in real short supply (um…only 1 in the local 4 town area since Device died, and Taryn (the gnome) left our group to join Sanric's), so we then wanted a cloistered priest to give us a hand. We went to the Temples and met with 2 possible choices, eventually deciding on the 2nd one – a Halfling priest named Pawn (obviously a leftover “thief” name from his youth) who was a reformed pickpocket.

With the priest at our disposal we went back over the listing and chose the following: Liscinia the 18 year old (appearing) 1st level half-elven female Shieldbearer, Caeticcius the 27 year old 2nd level human Heavy Footman, Funis the 45 year old 2nd level human Light Footman, Scripinius, the 17 year old 2nd level human Linkboy, and Vestanus the 35 year old 1st level human Porter. These hirelings brought a mix of skills and abilities ranging from miners, to smiths, to gemcrafters, and beyond.

Bolstered and ready, we then continued our own preparations with more trips to the Hospice as well as Flimflam stockpiling the almost maximum number of goodberries he could put together before the trip.

The group spent the next day (Watermonth the 24th) going over their belongings and preparing for the trip. Pecheri should be back this evening and currently Auri and Geld were at the Thanach house, watching over the family and Selene. After a last round of conversations and preparations, Zeta and Flimflam left Heatherfield and went to the Thanach homestead where they sent Auri and Geld back to town – the half-elf and gnome taking the final night of guard duty.

Once sure that everything in the house was fine, they went to the Griffanus/Thanach shared wall to talk with the guard there; a lone figure standing vigil who had a strange and stilted conversation with the party. He then went to get Master Griffanus who came out and spoke with the two of them. Again – it was odd and sort of filled with double meaning. When it was over HE went back to the Griffanus house and the guard came out once more. At the gate/wall, he bid us good night and asked us to depart so he can do his job and watch.

The two of them went to the Thanach house and talked about the oddity of it all and that they were looking forward to getting to the cavern tomorrow and rooting this “whatever” out.

It was here that Pecheri returned to the Thanach home with a different horse, told Thanach to take care of it, then sat at his table and proceeded to eat. He told us of some of the newer supplies he brought and the better preparation he had for the journey against the quarry.

It was here that he finally told us what we were up against, getting the ok and go ahead from his uncle and apparent head of the Silverhair clan. At the end of the Kinslayer War the dwarven and elven empires had declared peace after centuries of combat and there was a document of manumission established that said that there would be NO new slaves (dwarven) born into bondage and those currently in bondage would remain so for a period not to exceed 10 years and a day based upon holdship paperwork. This would give the elven families a chance to make the necessary changes in their operations to offset the loss of the dwarven slave exodus.

When the first “freeings” went off 270 odd years ago, it nearly wrecked the elven economy. Many of the families could not recover from the losses and the remaining elven families that still had dwarven slaves could see that they needed more time with their chattel if they were going to weather the storm.

Many families had come up with ways to extend the dwarven enslavement but it was the Silverhair clan that took it to the next level. With multiple holdings, shops, mines, camps, and other far flung places throughout the greater lands, what they did was caravan their chattel (dwarven slaves) before the 10 year period was up to another holding, have them documented as emplaced at that time with the proper stamps and seals, and then the clock would restart on those dwarves such moved.

It wasn’t perfect, but it did work 8 times out of 10. As the Silverhairs grew and their holdings failed to suffer the same economic hardships the other families did, they found it harder and harder as the decades rolled by to get trustworthy elven caravans willing to move their stock for them.

So they went to other caravans outside the Woodhelven nation to move their stock for them.

And the best of them was the Raugeri Mercantile Transportation Company. For three generations the Raugeri helped move the stock every couple of years like clockwork. They kept meticulous records and were cold and unfeeling in the plight of the chattel they moved. Until the last of them, the final 38 dwarven slaves, were released from the Silverhair holdings about 30 years ago – some 250 YEARS after they were originally manumitted. 250 years of extended servitude.

They were brought to the Beastly Hills and let go right outside the fortress city of Barmeer. And that is where they were left.

It was after that that that the Raugeri family began suffering misfortune. Master Silverhair deduced shortly after the initial attack what was going on and immediately set his people up to defend the next most likely Raugeri target. But instead it was a different family member that was hit and killed. So the Silverhairs shuffled again – and again misjudged their quarry’s long range plans.

One by one, the Raugeri family fell away, three generations slain in a 12 year period in groups of 1 and 2 at a time. Until there was a single target left – Selene.

The fact that in the dwarven culture, children are always presumed innocent, is the only reason the ex-slave-dwarf hadn’t struck Selene sooner. According to Pecheri’s uncle, this is the BEST time to keep the slave’s focus on 1 target – something that hadn’t happened in the past before. To the slave’s thoughts, this girl is the final Raugeri target. So if he is focused on her, we can protect her (as we are doing) and then strike out at him now.

Because according to the best diviners the Silverhair family can come up with, if the girl dies, then the ex-slave-dwarf’s focus will then most likely shift to another slight and target. And since the Woodhelven lands are impossible for him to get to – that means ANYWHERE in Heatherfield could be next. (The Orphanage that housed the girl, the stables that shod the Raugeri horses, the wheelwright who helped make the slave carts, the smithy’s who might have made the chains, etc…)

We went to sleep right after this revelation and found ourselves disturbed. The Silverhair family of elves are xenophobic, slavers, and did what they could to continue to keep the dwarven chattel they had owned under their yoke and control for centuries past their original manumission date. However they are trustworthy and take their words and deals honorably even after the Raugeri family is long gone. In addition, they are expending cash and resources to continuously combat this threat. Contra to this, the ex-slave dwarf though was mistreated and wrongfully kept in bondage for the majority of his life has also been venting his anger and frustration out for decades against one family – many of which had nothing to do with his plight.

Both of them are wrong, and both of them are also honorable in their own way. And it makes what we have to do on the morrow strange and difficult – a moral morass that we are going to have to wade through.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Meet 67, Adv 4, 11/8/14

Diseases, sicknesses and curing spells

CLW and the various incarnations are a staple along with healing potions - so this isn't about that. Instead we are talking about diseases, parasites, and other sicknesses that the party might get in the dungeon. We had three this meeting, 1 from a giant centipede bite and two from just the general foulness one get mucking around with rotting flesh and dead bodies for 15 minutes.

The point is that the diseases were all pretty nasty (Chronic - all of them) and one was possibly terminal. There is a Hospice in town that we gathered at and it would help the situation - but not necessarily cure it - plus it would take days to run the course and get the party back up to snuff. So they wanted to know - is there anyone in town who can heal the disease? A fast look and poke revealed ONE. ONE cleric in town with the right skills and powers that can cast Cure Disease.

They got the job done and more power to them for it - but I think it hammered home the possible devastating effect of such an enterprise that might affect the party so far from home.

Write up follows:

So the party dug and dug from both sides of the fallen ceiling while the rest of us gathered the undead's fallen spears, shields, and even bows and arrows. We gathered up our spent blunt arrows and applied bandages where we could. Upslope, the fire continued to burn, consuming the couch, dresser, and rug – adding more haze and soot to the air that slowly wafted its way up and towards the entrance.

Meanwhile Zeta and Tranis carefully made their way to the corner where they dared to look around – open space, no heat sources, indistinct walls. We needed a light source. Torch was lit and brought over and we were able to get a better look.

And we saw bones.

Lots and lots of bones.

Perhaps the makings of almost 50 bodies, but incomplete at best. There was one missing a rib cage, there another was from the pelvis up. The ceiling rose to just about 10’ in height and was poorly worked, same with the eastern wall – irregular and ill made. About 2/3rd of the way across the chamber was almost 3’ of stout oak sticking up out of the field of bones, canted away from us. A lever? No one wanted to chance going in; besides the bones themselves had a strange almost powdery-like residue on them.

It was at 4:30, the path out had been cleared enough that we can all crawl back and forth across it, which meant it was time to decide to stay…or go. The general decision was to leave – excepted by Marcus, Zeta, and Pecheri. We should press on and get our quarry. The counter to it was – this was obviously our quarry’s home turf, it’s been three hours since the assault, and he’s most likely well holed up and ready for us should we approach. We should back out and re-equip ourselves for an assault through a dungeon and that would also mean getting some hirelings to help out.

We settled on giving the room with all the bodies the once over to check for secret doors, since it seemed there was no obvious way out of the chamber now. Plus there as the lever. Tranis made a lasso and Pecheri tossed it over the lever from 25’ away. Then it was slowly goosed tighter and then…pulled.

And it flopped towards us and dragged across the floor – metal on stone. Whatever it was, it was not a lever, and it was lodged in a rib cage. We pulled it all the way – and it was a sledgehammer. Badly worn, handle cracked, but it had been used to dispatch the current body it was trapped in. Zeta offered to check the eastern walls for secret doors, and Marcus the western. They were both outfitted with ropes around their waist and then sent forth, the opposite ends held by Auri. The two of them crossed the room slowly, stepping over the larger skeletal remains, disturbing the others that were too numerous and small. Then at the back wall they searched that one over – no doors. They did discover that in many of the ledges back here were old signs of candles. And they did find a second sledge hammer which they took with them.

We left the battle site and worked back to the store room. From here we stayed low since the smoke was still heavy and settled at least half way down the clear air. We trudged up slope to the pentagram room and then one at a time, stepped over the bloody lines through the sooty haze – Flimflam noting that the “heaviness” didn't seem to settle around him for some reason.

And finally, 5:20 pm, we emerged from the ground to the surprise of the local militia who were still policing bodies and taking care of the wounded. We talked to them and they agreed that Sheriff Nexius had already been apprised of the situation – and wanted the “hole” guarded. We went next to the Thanach Estate where we verified with Crastori that his wife, daughter, and most importantly, Selene, were all hale and resting. We were offered dinner and we stayed, and to help things along – Flimflam finished the Coming of Age Ceremony for Selene – the young girl formally recognized as an adult to the world and surrounded by her adopted family.

Marcus and Geld offered to stay while the rest of the group went to town to talk to the Lord, go to the aviary, and do some shopping. We would be cycling people back and forth from the Thanach home to keep guard and would return to the dungeon in 3 days time. Pecheri gave Crastori a small scattering of tiny diamonds to buy his horse and was returning to Woodhelven to be better prepared and with more firepower. He will be back on the evening of the 24th in 2 days time.

It was almost 8 when we entered Heatherfield and we trudged to the aviary first. There were no messages for us and we could return tomorrow to send a fresh one (birds don’t fly at night). We spoke to Lord Gelus next and besides eating his apples, told him what was what and sort of left it open ended on what help we might get. He offered to pay for our Hospice for us and was also going to help arrange meetings with whatever hirelings we were thinking about. Shieldbearers, porters, linkboys, slingers, light, and heavy footmen – whoever we could get would be terrific. Three of us (Quintus, Zeta, and Tranis) went to the Hospice while the rest of us went to the Mane and Tail to get some sleep.

During the night things grew worse for a few of us. The parasites, diseases, and other foulness of the dungeon environs were negatively affecting a few of us. Zeta grew feverish in the Hospice and his fever needed to be broken often. His body was wracked in pain and his heart was beating irregularly. Quintus became filled with mucus, the buildup causing him not too little pain as it made him temporarily hard of hearing and unable to breathe without constant help and clearing. He too was lucky to be at the Hospice.

Marcus though was something else. While at the Thanach household he awoke feeling sore and went to the privy where he sat for some time voiding his bowels. When he felt empty he wiped and was bothered to note blood in his stool. And then half an hour later he was once more wracked with cramps and voiding his empty colon. And the pain continued. In the morning, Geld loaded his friend and bondsmaster onto a wagon and brought him to the Hospice where he was diagnosed with a virulent form of Dysentery.

Such diseases were going to take days to run their course and the party could not wait such a length of time. We needed something more. So Geld, Auri, and Flimflam went to the Temple of Demeter to plead their case and were told that there was a healer of some skill at the Temple of Hestia who might be able to help – magically.

So we went there and the three of them were introduced to two brother acolytes who were the liaisons between their aunt (the touched healer) and the public. They fleeced the party a bit for donations and robes and audience fees but when it came time to charge the group for healing, at 600 crowns total it was outside out price range. We couldn't afford it. So then we tried to bargain for a service and she (the aunt) offered to heal all three for a fraction of the price if they would accept a Quest spell to be satisfied after their dungeon trip.

We dickered back and forth and then Auri revealed to one of the brothers that she was indeed a woman – not a man as had been indicated. This was shock and when the brother asked the same of Geld, he said, yes, me too. The quest spell was accepted (Geld did it) in the promise for the shorted amount for the Cure Disease – and when it was done our friends were healed…and Geld had been transformed into a woman. It was terrible for him…her, and we were told that it would remain like this until the quest was completed.

We then (all of us) went back to the Mane and Tail where we met with 5 shieldbearers and 3 slingers. It took some time to interview them all and we were having a late lunch, discussing what the merits and benefits of each were before going on with the interviews for the next batch of possible warriors as well as non-combatant henchmen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meet 66, Adv 4, 11/1/14

Mega-Combat

The big end piece combat for tonight ended up being two sets of combat separated by a 25' long spillway of collapsed ceiling that split the party in two and involved everyone struggling against a 5 count of carrion crawlers and an almost out of control fire as well as 27 skeletons split into three waves assaulting a no-retreat location.


We survived but three of the party members were on dregs and had to rotate out of combat. Our only healer was also located on the wrong side of the collapsed wall which did not help matters none. However it was 21 rounds of combat involving over 40 combatants and it was a blast.

Write up follows:

Pecheri was big on going after the quarry now but was willing to give us a hour to get ready before going in. Selene was escorted along with her family back to the Thanach homestead and Flimflam used bandages to fix what painful wounds he could in our party. We also went to the cask of oil that had not exploded and filled one of the wine bottles about half full as well as Quintus’ lantern. Finally ready and girded, we drew weapons, formed ranks, and headed down into the ground.

The corridor started at roughly 9’ or so wide with varying ceiling heights running from 7’ to 10’. The floors were smoothed but not smooth, the walls rougher, and the ceiling fairly crude. The steps had the sharp edge to them of either newerish construction or lightly used at best. The walls were limestone and other igneous rock mixed in and the feeling was that the corridor we followed was at some point maybe an original crevice that had been worked to its current state.

We left the surface behind 20’ above us and then a short sloping corridor led to another set of steps going 10’ further below the earth. It revealed a large chamber with an opening on the north wall and another on the south east corner. In the center, taking up the majority of the floor space, was an almost 30’ thaumaturgic circle drawn in a 6” or so wide swath of blood; with a similarly painted pentagram in the middle. Maybe 20 or so melted pale blue waxy lumps were situated within and along the bloody lines, and even smaller symbols to Hades were scattered inside – painted or drawn onto the floor itself.

In the southwest corner were half a dozen wooden buckets covered in cheesecloth and some maggoty piles of bloody flesh that came from both livestock and people – used apparently to draw the pentagrams. Besides the obvious there was an undercurrent of unease being near the symbol. It appeared there was no easy was across except stepping over the lines and making ones way across the chamber.

Something no one was anxious to do.

We dared not touch the blood since it was still somewhat fresh looking but by all rights it should have dried and congealed. We dared not touch the blood since it was still somewhat fresh looking but by all rights it should have dried and congealed. We threw stones past the circle and again inside the circle – no issues. Finally the group decided they were going to pick their way across – the lines were not too thick and could be easily stepped over. The party then crossed one at a time, with Pecheri going first.

He complained that it seemed disturbing at first but he made it over. But for each person that went after they also felt a feeling of unease that did not fade – staying with them after they made their way over. It seemed that just Marcus and Pecheri were unbothered.

We then followed the northern corridor slowly, taking care to map carefully and watch around each corner. With Zeta and Tranis in the lead (for tracking and trap finding purposes) they cautiously led us to the first corner some 30 feet or so away and we looked around.

30’ long, turns to the left. And a 4’ tall, 3’ wide blackened section of the wall had a depiction of Hades’ ram’s head symbol on it. Fuck.

We approached, and Flim (being in the lead at this point) was able to feel an uncomfortable feeling again getting closer. There was a corridor going left here (short, maybe 25’ and turning to the right again) but we weren’t going to go past unless we could clean the symbol somehow. We hurled a flask of water at it, and it did work – runnelling some of the water down the wall. So we had Tranis hold his waterskin like a spigot and squeezed – sending a stream of water to run over the surface, and obscure the symbol to Hades after about a ¼ gallon or so was wasted.

No longer feeling the strange oppression we continued past and came to the next corner. A set of sharp edged stairs were here, running down to an open space. Quintus whistled up a light spell on a rock and we tossed it deep into the room.

The chamber (oddly shaped) was filled with hundreds of carapaces of a variety of sized beetles – most of them the size of a finger, perhaps 10 of them as large as a cat. There was a layer of glistening ichor on most items, including the walls up to about 2’ in height. There was some concern on going down and then we saw figures undulating into the room from the far side. One at first and then a second, and finally as many as 5 (that we could see). They were sickly vomitus pale, 18” in diameter, over 12’ in length. They moved like a caterpillar on scores of feet except exceptionally fast. They had no discernable sensory organs, their “face” appearing to be the puckered end of some giant inbreathing worm.

And then it caught scent of us and sped up in our direction. It puckered open spewed out and pulsed, and eight 4’ long writhing tentacles lashed out, sending some goo to splatter against the area. A few of us shot, but for some reason our arrows were ineffective; or shots were poorly aimed and of no effect. That was when oil was dumped on the stairs and set alight. The flames roared up, stopping the crawlers in their tracks just before they got to us, causing them to retreat also amidst a scattering of our still ineffective arrows.

Deciding that this was not the correct way, we made our way back to the pentagram chamber and crossed it again, this time going to the south-eastern corridor. Once more that sensation of something wrong settled on everyone and we talked about what to do next. Pecheri volunteered to go back to the entrance and refill a bottle with oil from the cask that was supposedly still up there. While he was gone, we upended one of the buckets in this room just to see what was inside. Blood. Congealing blood and entrails. Fucking great.

Pecheri came back with 3 bottles (2/3rds full) of oil – dangerous stuff. We split it amongst us and then turned our way to the east. The corridor sloped down here at 30 degrees – fairly steep, to what seemed to be a storeroom. We carefully made our way down and proceeded to look around. A chest of drawers, moldering sofa, 2 low wooden stools, a pedal driven grindstone, 2 barrels, a rolled up carpet, and half a dozen piled large mismatched cushions. There were two ways out of this room, one on the south and one on the north.

The group split up and began searching around, poking and prodding. The chest of drawers seemed to have clothes (apron, hat, toga, slippers) and the barrels sounded full, but it was Quintus poking around the cushions that disturbed a serious number of bugs and spiders…and three almost 2’ long centipedes! They swarmed around his legs and boots, one of them getting high enough up his thigh to bit him, the toxicity of the bug’s venom making his ill and sick. The group raced over and some well place blows killed two of the centipedes while the third retreated to the cushions to hide. Flimflam looked Quintus over and said that the effects of the toxin might (might) fade with rest and sleep. The sorcerer decided to tough it out for now.

We lined up again and this time decided to head south. The corridor went straight for some distance and then jogged right and then left again, the ground sloping down at a slide worthy 20 degree angle. We were walking with care when Zeta and Tranis stepped across an unforeseen trigger, sparking a glyph that fired off…followed by a cracking overhead and the raining fall of dust and stones. Most of the party still under the now collapsing ceiling ran forward: Zeta, Tranis, Auri, Pecheri, Marcus, and Quintus. On the other side of the falling rock, Geld grabbed Flimflam and pulled the gnome druid back UP the slop and away from the mounding rock and falling stone; Whosea, Sanford, and Hugnin also stuck up there. A cloud of dust and grit was billowing out, knocking visibility to a few feet and making the party (on both sides) cough and hack.

And then Tranis’ group heard the sound of movement in the gloom. Movement that was clattering and coming closer. The haze was still heavy in the air and we didn’t see what it was until was just about on us. And then they were there…coming out of the shadowy light: skeletons. Over half a dozen and coming towards us.

We shuffled battle lines fast, seeing that we were going to be facing a number of the undead Auri, Zeta, and Tranis took point, Pecheri and Marcus readied bows, and Quintus (feeling ill) began clambering on the pile of stones, trying to dislodge enough to make a crawl space up top for us to get back. Two of the skeletons that were facing us did not move with the jerky motions of the animated undead – but with clear purpose and skill like that of a warrior – as evidenced by their rapid closing and assault with spear and shield.

The battle lines clashed and Pecheri drew back a red feathered arrow from his quiver, took aim past the front rank and let fire. And the Detonation Arrow blasted the back ranks of the skeletons to splinters. 5 of them blew apart to bones and sinew. One of them at the moment of impact, whirled around and let its shield take the blow, dropping the shattered barrier before snatching a fresh one from the floor and then striding forward.

Our attacks were strangely still not as effective as we’d like, some of our attacks just flat out missing for no reason. We shuffled our weapons around to bludgeoning and clubs where able to and brought the punishment against the few skeletons still here.

And then another 9 skeletons came from around the corner.

Meanwhile Flimflam had ordered his animals to watch the two other corridors from the storeroom and he and Geld tried to tackle the mound of rocks before them.

One of the undead had a bow and before they could get closer, Pecheri pulled out another Detonation Arrow and let it soar down at the back bunch. One of the skeletons with a shield jumped UP in the path of the arrow and took the blow, preventing it from tearing the second wave of skeletons apart, only dropping 4 of them. The remaining 5 swarmed forward and we were facing two ranks deep of stabbing skeletons. Both Auri and Tranis were fighting defensively while Quintus abandoned digging the party out to add his magic missiles to the combat. What few blunt arrows we had were flying against the undead, but the better undead warrior types were not going down easily.

And then a third wave of skeletons came around the corner, two of them sporting bows. And they fired. Quintus was hit and so was Zeta – both of them suffering painful wounds. And then Quintus was hit again, stabbed in the upper thigh and now moving even slower. He struggled with some goodberries and the group realized that their healer was on the other side of the mounded stones.

And the skeletal line grew thicker as the undead tried to press their advantage against us.

Flimflam and Geld had removed only a few of the lighter stones from the top of the pile, opting on making a crawlspace for the druid to get through when Sanford came back yipping and barking wildly. A fast speak with animal spell revealed what we were afraid of – the 12’ long tentacle crawlers had found where we were and were coming from the direction of the pentagram room.

The two of them raced there along with their animals and were sad to see that TWO of the crawlers were already near the top of the stairs. How to stop them? How can they stop them? Fire worked before, it’ll work again. They took one of the bottles of oil and hurled it where it smashed on the stairs, then Geld took the torch he had and tossed it – missing the oil! Again, the feeling of “just not right” was affecting the two of them. So Flimflam told Sanford to race up there and kick the torch forward 2’ so the flame would hit the oil. It had to be now, the crawlers were at the stairs and coming down! Run! RUN!

With only seconds to spare, Sanford hit the lit torch with enough force to send it skittering into the oil and WHOOSH! It ignited! The fire raced up the steps and the lead crawler was suddenly hit awash with flame. Geld had run up to the chest of drawers and was throwing the top drawer and clothing within up the steps to add to the fire and keep the crawlers back. The one on fire raced forward to get out of the flames but moved slower and died, a 12’ line of burning flesh.

The group tried to hold the undead back and Pecheri was down to his last blunt arrow. Quintus channeled his attacks at the better fighter type in the center, magic missiles breaking against it. Everyone else redoubled their attacks at the same warrior until it was forced to splinter its shield on one of Auri’s crazy club swings. And then with the way clear, Pecheri fired a final Detonation Arrow down field and blew up another swath of skeletons. We were now facing just about 14, and Zeta had to withdraw from the front line. Tranis was barely staying ahead of the blows he was taking, eating his supply of good berries and draughts only to have a number of stabs reduce his hit points once again.

The gap in the line was filled by a showing skeletal warrior and everyone in the back ranks assaulted that one skeleton until it fell, and then Pecheri stepped into the breach with his long sword drawn. His blade was not nearly as effective as Auri’s club, but he gamely did his part, hacking and slashing with his blade doing half damage.

Upslope Geld dragged the big grindstone back towards the top of the slope while Flimflam let fly another (the last) bottle of oil to the top of the stair – catching the closest crawler that was already burned and setting it further ablaze. Meanwhile the burning oil had spread across the stone floor and had set the couch on fire. The smoke was turning dark and thick and the room was filling with haze, the air difficult to breath. The two friends dragged the chest of drawers and the two barrels back to the slope; making a crude barrier that should stop the crawlers IF they come back and AFTER the fire burns out.

From there the two of them turned their full attention on making enough of a crawl space on top of the pile to go and help their friends.

The undead were relentless, and the better skilled ones continued to hit the group, whittling hit points away one at a time. Eventually Quintus was out of spells and he and Zeta worked feverishly on clearing enough of a space up top to get their way out of this area and back to Flimflam. One by one we took the enemy down until Tranis had to pull back, unable to fight on. Marcus took his place and the trio of Auri, Marcus, and Pecheri did the best they could on the skeletons.

The numbers continued to dwindle. 8. 6. 5. We could hear Flimflam faintly calling us through the rock pile and those not involved in the long long long fight shifted hundreds and hundreds of pounds of rock.

Finally, we could see Flimflam’s hand through the top of the spill and Quintus helped pull the very welcome gnome through. The space was not large enough yet for Gel…or for us to get free, but progress had been made.

Finally the last of the superior fighting undead fell and the last three became cruder in their tactics and abilities. Still fighting, but more mindless than before. With a final frustrated flurry of stabs and crushes, the last of the undead horde collapsed and the party took much needed stock of themselves and their situation.