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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet 128, Adv 11, 3/26/11

When I started playing there were no use of miniatures in the game so for more years than I can count, the thought of getting them and using them just was not an option for me. It wasn't until I had gotten very sick at the age of 15 and was bed ridden for almost a week near my birthday that my mother had made some calls for me to various hobby shops and found one that sold miniatures as well as paints should I need them (she had gotten the idea from watching a session or two of our games with a new group of friends I had - one of which had brought over his case of painted miniatures).

In this multitude of unpainted leaden figures I had acquired a minotaur and it was this damned beast that had colored my impressions of the manbeast for many many years afterwards. It was thin, not quite emaciated, and had a battle axe held high in one hand, wearing some sort of ringmail armor and it was roaring. I had the "thin minotaur" in my head after that for a good decade or more until I had to come to the realization that the minotaur was most likely not only a bit smaller, but definitely a lot beefier and muscular. More bullish and bulllike.

I like minotaurs and don't get to use them too much which is a good thing. They don't speak common (why would talk the same language of that which you eat?) instead using a polygot of ogrish and orcish and some of their own tongue. They are brutal, deadly, hyperstrong, and I always play them as having a flat 100 hit points and the inability to die at 0 (instead "raging" until they hit -10).

And the party hit a group of 3 of them, one of which was a sorcerer who had a necromantic druid's head dangling from his left horn.

And to top it off, we had Pat Benetar's greatest hits playing in the background in homage to the mangled joke of Benetar/Minotaur.

Write up follows:

We checked out the top of both sets of stairs that went down to Stenthian Manbreaker, the minotaur and his minions, noting that both sets were seemingly the same – about 20’ of steps before the both turned back and out of sight. According to our two monkey minions, the steps went down to a big room, very long, and there was a wire across the floor after the last step that if you hit it, it would fire a sharp stick at you and make a big noise. Alright, crossbow warning trap. We also learned that the two rooms did connect in the back through a short hall. Also, the rooms were set up in such a way that they would echo the front to the back of the room and vice versa.

We did listen and could hear some voices, but they were too distorted to make out anything being said. What to do? We eventually decided on the need for more information. Using Soren’s wand, Detheron talked to King and asked the Carnivorous ape to go down into the Minotaur chamber, look around, and come back. The idea was that the Minotaurs would not know that King was not on their side anymore and should pay the ape no mind. King agreed and did so, returning only after a few minutes with some news.

The left side did indeed have Stenthian Manbreaker in it; the spell using Minotaur was in the back of the room talking to an armored orc in front of the portal. He had a severed head tied onto his left horn and dangling down which King let us know was the remains of someone who could talk to Frey. Hmmmm, druid’s head? Maybe reminiscent of the same thing that Costeval the Fat had going. There was another orc in there but he was a bit closer and seemed bored. As for the other Minotaurs, they were not there but King did hear them in the next chamber and there was still maybe 3 or 4 orcs unaccounted for.

It was time to put together a plan and we had to do it quick or risk being caught out here. Potions were handed about and spells were readied. Rahyk drank Norris’ potion of Stone Giant Strength, Guyus was hit with a strength spell, sanctuary and virtue was placed on Beren, a Bless spell was put into place and finally a silence spell was set on one of Soren’s arrows. We were ready.

Double timing down the stairs with Soren and Gwyn in the lead we made it to the base without being seen or heard and then Gwyn notched a Blessed bolt of Sutur into his crossbow, brought it up to the ready, a cyclone of super heated air flowed around behind him (silenced of course!) and then fired. Like the finger of god, the line of fire scoured across the chamber, destroying furniture and upsetting a huge pile of bones that was near the back end, before plowing into Stenthian and burning the Minotaur horribly. The flame line did not rebound though as expected, instead it passed into the portal and then disappeared on the other side!! Soren acted next, shooting his silenced arrow into Stenthian, followed by two more for good measure. Quiet now, the Minotaur and the druid’s head were unable to cast spells!

Digger and Pisser charged into the room assaulting the closest orc who seemed surprised at all of this, the suddenness of our assault enough to allow everyone else to get to the base of the stairs. The tripwire was tripped and the group started their assault on the chamber. A few orcs burst from the nearby corridor, firing at the party. Some of us took cover where able to and the first orc was already badly bleeding from the party’s attack. Detheron released both the albino apes to attack but had them avoid a headlong charge meanwhile Brother Beren dove behind the pile of skulls and bones as a makeshift cover.

Two orcs came from around the narrow corridor setting themselves up to take shots at the party. Our two shield bearers made it their business to form ranks and block the top of the stairs, weapons at the ready. Between Rahyk and Guyus and their enhanced strength, the 1st orc was hacked to bits. Stenthian grabbed one of the orcs closest to him and hurled the squealing figure into the portal. There was a flash; it turned from blue/green to red, and then a slightly burned 9’ tall strangely dressed purplish skinned ogre stormed out with a 4 count of stones flaring around his head. Stenthian ran towards the connecting corridor and disappeared from sight, taking the silence area with him.

The ogremage took a single look at the group and extended its hand firing a bolt of lightning at the party! It scoured into 5 of us raising sparks and filing the air with the stink of ozone. And then we heard a crash and coming out of the side corridor was another 1100 lbs or angry Minotaur. It lowered its horns and charged, mowing down the two apes and coming up short only after being hit by Rahyk and Guyus.

The fight was getting desperate and at this point Soren ordered Pisser to assault the ogremage. King, Kong, and Digger had all been pretty grievously wounded and started to charge forward and assault any enemy that was in sight or range. Our two fighters bent then superhuman strength against the closest Minotaur bearing the manbeast lower and lower with their blows. Gwyn made it his business to storm forward toward the ogremage, the dwarven fighter the least affected by the lightning attack. Agma and Soren kept up a steady hail of sling stones and arrows. From the top of the stairs we heard Jerold and Malak call out that someone was coming and most likely coming soon. Aghmar ran up the stairs to help, the mage coating the steps with a layer of magical grease.

The ogremage was having a frustrating time with Pisser digging at his ankles and then to his dismay, Rahyk threw his armor class to the wind and ran across the battlefield to slam his enchanted blade repeatedly at the ogremage’s side. King eventually joined the fight and Gwyn was there a moment later. Guyus was slamming out at one of the other orcs and now we were able to hear noises and chanting from the other room as the silence was either delayed or stopped or cancelled.

From the top of the stairs we heard the pounding feet of the 3rd Minotaur as he started coming down at the party but then slipped on the magical grease and tumbled to his ass, hitting the wall with a titanic “thwoom!”. And then Norris tossed his lit torch over the shieldbearers’ head and set the Minotaur and the grease he was lying in on fire.

The animals were biting and snarling and chewing and assaulting while our trio of Guyus, Rahyk, and Gwyn kept up the main battery of blows and battering, killing the last two orcs and eventually dropping the ogremage down. We raced into the next room where we beheld Stenthian (not as wounded as he was earlier), a closer bow wielding orc, and one further away with some fetishes on him. The battle was joined with sword and steel. Detheron and Soren began to move up slowly while Agma ran back up the stairs with Thodrek to help finish off the floundering Minotaur up there.

The further orc caused all the nearby torched to explode which burned a small part of the assaulting party, but it was the druid’s head dangling from Stenthian Manbreaker that caused a Flaming Sphere to appear and roll across the gathered party and animal companions, causing a further whittling of hit points. The Minotaur was dishing out what damage he could but was still surrounded by 5 or 6 of the group. The minotaur (affectionately referred to as “Pat” – as in Pat Minotaur) at the top of the stairs was badly faring and the other orc that had snuck up with him decided that the fight was going poorly and fled deeper into level seven instead.

Finally a deadly blow was struck against Stenthian – but the Minotaur refused to die!! The flaming Sphere hit the party again and magic missiles began to whistle about, hitting the group terribly. The spell casting orc was still working against us but it was the severed druid’s head that called up the latest terror for the group. We half expected a Flame Strike – but instead it was a choking, cloying, terrifying cloud of stinging, biting and burrowing insects.

Visibility immediately dropped to about 15’ as we tried to block and avoid the stinging terrors. The plague was so large that it filled up both room and went up the stairs as well. This many terrors caused all of our animal companions to run away in terror, followed also by Galf and Thodrek – the 6 of them running as far as they could to the only place they knew was safe – that was back across all the pits. Rahyk and Guyus hacked at the druid’s head and it was split in twain. We tried to find some safe haven from the bugs but it was almost impossible. Aghmar dropped a stinking cloud around the party still at the top of the stairs, the vapors more than enough to drive the bugs back for a short time. Detheron had a vermin barrier erected around himself and one by one, moved towards the other party members and gathered them up around him.

Eventually the apes, wolverine, war dog and our dwarven footman and porter calmed down and returned to the group while Detheron walked slowly about the chamber and we gathered up bits of obvious treasure before hiding behind the door near the pits. We were shot, exhausted, and very bad off. Little was left in our “tanks” so to speak and what little precious healing we had left was doled out as well as a handful of potions. But the feeling was that the battle went very well and we had a good plan.

It took over an hour and a half for the insect plague to dissipate and then we could gather around what we found and see what was available for us. Through a number of detection spells we found a decent sized box with a seal on it that was magical, the ioun stones that were around the ogremage, and a large cache of coins. The ioun stones were given out (one helped dexterity, charisma, protection, and one absorbed all spells up to 4th level for a time!). Norris opted to open the sealed box and when he did there was an inrushing of wind around him and the box seemed to glow from within – the light very bright and then dimming out to nothing. Odd, what was it? Inside was only ash.

It was right after that that he realized that ALL of his magic had been sucked away. Everything he owned was no longer magic – just normal and inert. Damn it!!!

We went over our options. At some point another conversation was had with King and Kong, the two carnivorous apes filling in a bit more information for us. The area beyond the Minotaurs was a tiled floor, have to step on the yellow tiles or crossbow bolts shoot you. Past there was either a spinning corridor that could set you on fire or some sleeping chamber with a tall ceiling where a two headed figure was known to stay. Past that guy was a room with golden globes on the ceiling – and according to what we had learned from the oracle before we had left on this mission, was where the Sun Sphere was.

Weary but determined to press on so close to our goal, we drew up into marching order, bounced some equipment around, and readied our weapons and equipment. We snuck out of the door beyond the pits and there were still insects around, but very few of them and they were not acting as a cohesive group anymore. We walked on past the two sets of stairs and stopped at the next room. Fairly large, there was a table on the far end with a small pile of gems and jewelry, the left side had 6 heavy crossbows with rapid fire boxes affixed to them, the right side had an opening near here and out, the floor was a random cascade of green, blue, red, and yellow tiles. We did note that most of the yellow tiles were NOT near the crossbows.

Gwyn REALLY wanted a rapid fire box and some thought was given on how to get it. For now though we wanted to check out the way out of the room. We tested a yellow tile with Gwyn’s 7’ pole and…nothing happened. When we tested a blue tile though we were surprised to see ALL the crossbows aim at the area around the tile we touched and SIX bolts fly out and hit the far wall. Ok, not so good. We did get a bit ballsy and tried out all the tiles, until after 6 steps on other tiles, the crossbows were dry firing.

For a moment we felt it was all peaches and cream for us when we heard some heavy stepping in the hall beyond and we got ourselves ready, surprised to see a crude 10’ tall stone and steel form of a humanoid stomp into the room with a large crate in its arms. It walked up to each crossbow, reloaded it, and after doing all 6 it turned and stomped out and back down the hall. It ignored the group entirely. A golem of some sort. We decided NOT to refire all the tiles again and instead one by one crossed to the exit (ignoring the gems that we now felt might be fake) and into the hall.

It was not too long, maybe 50’ total, and at the end turned to the left. However at that juncture there was a depression in the outside corner and standing there with its box in both arms, was the crude stone and steel golem like figure…just motionless. That’s where we ended it roughly 3:30/4:00 as far as our characters were concerned.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet 127, Adv 11, 3/19/11

Some DM's have an adverserial relationship with their player - terms like Killer DM and the like being bandied about with reams of dead characters littering the floor like a Tomb of Evil convention. Other DM's have an almost fatherly relationship where the party never dies and gets stronger and more powerful and then at 20th level they check them off and roll up their character's children to do it all again.

I feel myself to be a middle of the road guy, with a faint leaning to the latter. I don't try to kill the party and often times make the adventures and encounters stimulating without overly doomsday-like.

However in this session I had the opportunity to kill of two characters and seriously burn one of them almost to death. One was an NPC but he died swiftly, greusomely, and with such sudden shock that at least two people at the table said, "Wow, you're a dick." I know they said it with wonderment and respect and that's the way I took it.

All DM's need to have a thick skin as well.

Write up follows:

Workmonth the 16th, 8:45 AM, 7th level of Double Dagger Dungeon. The party was in the guard room and was deep in discussion on where to go next and how to get there. Also, there was much talk about the merits of pulling the 7 levers or not. We opted not to pull them. But we also discussed the benefits of bringing the last pony keg of oil with us. It was after much talk that we decided to leave it – and so we did.

We left the oil keg in the guard room, checked to make sure the coast was clear, and then opted to move on. As for where to go next, the talk was first on going through the secret door to the other corridor but it was also voted on going BACK to the room that seemed to cant to the left with the torches on the wall. We ordered up, readied our weapons, and went off bravely.

The group was coming up to the chamber when Pisser, Soren’s adopted guard dog, began snarling and whimpering. A short speak with animals revealed that he smelt something coming – and it was 3 large spiders – the size of small ponies! For all their fearsome appearance, it was practically no effort before they were destroyed – except for the last which Detheron was able to speak with – thanks to the benefits of his still running Speak with animals spell.

The spider was hungry and meant no harm to the party. The druid spoke to it, getting it admit that it knew how to get past the torch room. We followed it there, it crawled onto the wall, went across, and let us know that the floor became slick with oil if anyone deviated from the rightmost wall. Rahyk was a bit put off that the spider was let to go, but understood. We spent a few minutes at the room, eventually getting the three torches extinguished. Then a short time was spent triggering the trap – which had oil piss from the ceiling coating the floor, the floor tilted further, and then spikes shot out from the left wall – and it would have been very bad for whoever was in here.

Knowing now how to get past, we decided to leave the room and try the secret door area – hoping that it would lead us to the END of level 7. Would the Sun Sphere be there? How about the Minotaurs? Did not know, but we would take a look to find out.

The other secret door opened to a short 20’ corridor that then opened to a long 12’ tall hallway. Cadassial checked carefully as we walked on, well over 30 paces until it opened to a wide corridor. About 20’ wide, 12’ tall, and as far as our light sources would reveal, the sides were clad in big plates of copper 8’ square – affording a gap 1 ½ foot at the bottom and 2 ½ feet at the top. Once again our hired thief was sent forward to check out the area as best as possible.

The plates were firmly affixed to the walls and when he got too close to them, the rivets and bits of metal he was wearing began to heat up. Backing away and they cooled off. It didn’t matter top, bottom, either side – effect was the same. Aghmar summoned forth some dancing lights and sent them ahead – revealing that the corridor was comprised of 7 sets of plates – making it almost 80’ in length. Plus, at the end of the corridor was a lever in the upright position and a corridor continuing on.

We discussed ways to get through and who might do it, eventually Agma the Halfling slinger opted for the job and stripped down to her underwear and nothing else. Then, the Halfling crab crawled under all the bottom edges of the plates until she arrived at the other side. There were some tense moments as she tried to bring the lever down until it slowly fell and with a pair of clacks went into the bottom position. We asked her to stay on it, in case it suddenly went up again, and Cadassial volunteered to cross the long distance to verify that there were no other nasty surprises for us.

It was when the thief was most of the way across that a trio of howling huge albino carnivorous apes burst from the dark corridor and charged into the room. Agma froze, terrified that she was going to be attacked – but they shot past her and threw themselves on Cadassial The thief got as far as drawing his sword and swinging it once when he was scratched and bit and torn and rended and bits of gobbling flesh was jammed into the apes’ mouths. He was knocked down and his arm was twisted wildly around, ripped free from his body and then clubbed into his shocked skull while the albino dungeon apes destroyed his, repeatedly jumping up and down on his broken body while they feasted on his flesh. We drew weapons and charged down the hall, crying for Agma to stay still.

The dungeon apes dropped bits of Cadassial and threw their AC to the wind to tackle the group. Guyus was hit like a bag of bricks, the paladin stopped cold while the nearest dungeon ape shredded the paladin’s arms and hands, biting and slavering all over his. Brother Beren was viciously assaulted, one of the apes getting his arm between his teeth and worrying it back and forth, down to the bone and causing the priest to swoon dangerously and his left arm a few moments shy of being torn from his body. But it was Rahyk who was bashed about the head by the 400 lb apes, his helm knocked aside and them the albino primate buried its teeth into his skull and drilled holes in, killing the fighter in a single critical hit blow.

What the hell was going on!!!??? Two members down, the priest on the verge of being maimed, and the apes practically undamaged during the entire struggle. We had to get them OFF Beren and Rahyk and do it now. Detheron called to Frey and used his divine power to bring two of the apes down from a murderous rage into a fugue-like state of unmoving quietude. As for the last one still feasting on Rahyk, we plied everything we could against it until it slumped over and long after it should have died, it stopped moving with a gurgling rasp.

Healing potions were poured into Rahyk who had drifted to -1, bringing the fighter back to the living but not much more beyond it. He eyed the two calm albino apes with a practiced eye and said, “When all this is done, I want those apes to follow me.” Nutty fricking fighter. We used our healing unguent on the fighter and cleric until it was all gone, and spent some time binding wounds and checking out the area. Cadassial was very dead and the party went through his belongings making note of what was his and what we could salvage. Rahyk needed some deep sleep to be effective and the group secured the area after seeing two ways down in the corridor beyond the lever.

Detheron used his druidic powers to befriend the two apes who he named King (the male) and Kong (the female). They gave the party some brief idea of the layout of the nearby area and that we were very close to the Minotaurs. Rayhk was placed in a healing sleep and Aghmar studies his spellbook for a few other quick spells. We ate lunch and then afterward looked at our options once Rahyk woke up strangely recuperated (and filled with healing spells!!).

The two stairs from here – the one on the left went to the 8th level, the one on the right spiraled down to a small room and then climbed up to a series of pits (4 of them) and then to either the minotaur room or a room with colorful tiles on the floor and crossbows. We also heard from King that there was a room that spun that you had to run through, a sleeping chamber, some room with glowing globes on the ceiling, and eventually a flooded hallway that they didn’t like to go down. The glowing globes matched what we had learned a while ago from the oracles as to the location of the Sun Sphere so we knew we were close.

But we wanted to go after the Minotaurs and do that first. So we went down the spiral stairs, climbed up the rungs to the top again, and looked out on a roughly 80’ long corridor ending at a door. ON the ceiling every 20 feet or so was a stout iron bar about 2’ in length that ended at a broad “T” on the bottom. The apes had told us that they were over some sort of pits and they crossed them by jumping, grabbing, and swinging. We did not trust ourselves to do that and wanted to make it more possible for us to do.

Many ideas were entertained but we settled on a solution; we would use our rope and a handy spider climb spell from Detheron to run along the ceiling and tie/loop a continuous length of it from here to each “T” and eventually the door. Agma was voted most likely and the Halfling slinger took the silk rope and started her run after being enchanted.

One by one she worked her way upside while striding across the ceiling, looping the rope with more than enough slack between the handles until she arrived at the 3rd “pit”. It opened and a four count of slimy greenish tentacles came out, flopped around, and went back in. Dungeon squid. She finished her run and tossed the rest of the rope out the other door past the 4th pit and came back (again, enticing the dungeon squid to flap about for a few moments). She informed us of what we could not see – the pits were each about 25’ deep and the dungeon squid seemed to be in about 8’ of water.

We tossed about ideas on how to take care of the dungeon squid without going into the pit when Guyus had a good idea. He took Jerold and Malak back with him all the way down the rungs, up the spiral steps, and across the hall of copper plates. Then they snuck into the hall by the grey mist archway and opened the secret door to the guard room where the party had left the pony keg of oil. The two shieldbearers stayed in the hall watching carefully while Guyus grinned, seeing the keg where he left it.

And three of the levers had been moved.

Something wasn’t right, something was off. He quickdrew his sword, Eagle Talon and attempted to detect evil when an invisible orc in front of him gave a rapid chop at the paladin. Guyus smote evil, calling to his god to aid in his fight and the orc was quickly wounded. Seeing the possibility of the battle going the wrong way, the orc swung its axe wildly in an upward arc until it missed Guyus – but smashed into one of the glowing light crystals on the ceiling. Which rained sparks and flame straight down.

On the leaking pony keg cask of oil.

The conflagration consumed the orc and SERIOUSLY wounded Guyus who was dragged back into the hall by the shieldbearers where they proceeded to extinguish the burned paladin. With nothing to show for it and some short sips of a potion of healing or two, the three of them went back to the party empty handed. Some more healing was given out and a few jokes at the paladin’s expense but we were back to square one – a dungeon squid with no seeming easy way to attack it.

Detheron once more came to the forefront with a solution. Using one of his more powerful powers he reached out with Frey’s strength, felt where the water was in the squid’s area – and lowered it until it was only a thin line on the pit’s floor. The squid immediately went crazy as it was asphyxiated, its tentacles reaching and groping, trying to lift its bulk up and out. We heard it wheeze and blubber and squeal until its movements slowed and then stopped. Detheron had us wait even longer until he was sure it was dead and then he raised the water level once more filling the pit entirely and then the water ran to the left and right filling the next few pits as well so that if someone did slip, they wouldn’t get too hurt.

From here it was very easy for the party to work their way across until we were all on the other side. Past the door was a short hall that went 3 directions. Left and right went to another set of stairs that swung down and back, while straight away went to some large chamber with multicolored tiles on the floor. According to King and Kong, the stairs went down to where the Minotaurs were and both room connected in the back. One of the rooms had a portal on the wall that Stenthian Manbreaker used to make strange animals come through.

We talked about possible plans on assaulting the 3 potential Minotaurs and up to 8 eight orcs before ending it here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet 126, Adv 11, 3/5/11

Save or die.

A staple of any old school D&D or AD&D player from the late 70's and 80's. And I've commented before it was something that as a player I somehow grew to hate. I think it was because I was DESPERATE for a campaign at a time when all my players and DM's were interested in one shots. So banging out characters and having them die was nothing special.

So I slowly weeded it out of my games until it was almost never heard of.

Until recently (eon spanning - of course) that is.

Instant death poisons, turning to stone, getting your head chopped off - it's all back and as a DM, as long as it is NOT the norm and used sparingly - it still has that impact that even the most prepared and ready personages and adventuring group can fall victim to wandering cockatrices and poison mist.

Write up follows:

It took some time to raise Beren from the dead and an almost equal amount of time to work on Norris as well, the bard having been reduced to -8 at one point and now would be suffering at -4 on everything for the next 2.6667 days. Detheron spent some time bandaging up wounds and applying poultices to those suffering. Healing potions were dispensed and we spent about 20 minutes just cleaning up from the massive fight.

During this time our druid had cast a detect magic spell, showing two outside expected items of interest: the 20 gallon cauldron the fat orc was cooking in, and a 10’ section of wall to the right of his sleeping furs. The cauldron was something, but what we did not know. As for the wall, Cadassial checked it out and it was revealed that it was passwall, allowing anyone to walk through to the other side.

The space beyond was roughly 30 paces long and about 10’ wide, ending at a door on the northern wall. Some checking was done and once we assured that there was no one on the other side, we cracked it open to reveal the very 1st room of the 6th level complex. What the heck? It was concealed from the opposite side which is why we hadn’t found it. Alright – a short cut through the entire level – unfortunately we couldn’t find it until we completed most of the level the hard way.

By this time we were confident that we were going to press on, even though it was after 4 and the party was feeling weary. We gathered our belongings, picked up what treasures we could, and then made our way towards the stairs heading down. It was a long descent this time, over 70’, until we came to a square chamber. The far side had an archway of large stones – with one stone on the left, the keystone, and one on the right glowing with a random color that changed roughly every 10 seconds.

We watched for a time, divining no apparent pattern and then thought about how to get past since the arch was filled with some sort of roiling dark gray mist. No one wanted to touch it. We then spent some time thinking about how to get past and did the typical put stuff through and whatnot – getting nowhere.

At one point we touched one of the glowing stones and the sensation of energy flowed up our hands and the color…stayed while the other colors continued to change. There were ten different colors and the group decided to use some of the patterns we had copied from the halls on the 6th level to help us divine the archway. Our first choice resulted in the smoke clearing and what seemed to be a dark hall beyond. But again, no one wanted to walk through. So we went upstairs, got one of the bodies of the orcs and tossed it through into the dark area. It faded away and the smoke returned.

Right – still no answer. So we did it again, except this time we tied a rope to the 2nd orc and tossed. It went in, faded away – and we ended up with 7’ less rope. This wasn’t working. So we hacked off part of Costeval the fat, tied it to the rope and this time tried one of the earlier patterns that we had discounted; Green Blue Black.

And it went through and we SAW it land this time. A few of us dashed through and after 30 seconds the mist returned. From the other side the hall was fairly long and eventually turned to the right – and the 3 stones were already faintly glowing only Green Blue and Black. We could see the party but on the other side they could not see us. Eventually the code was reentered and in groups in 4 we cycled through to other side.

Once together we joined up and went on our way down the hall. The corridor turned to the left and there was a strange smallish chamber with drawings and pictures of what seemed to be a treasure chamber painted there. Cadassial checked it out carefully and let us know that four of the chests and boxes painted on the wall were actually set out slightly – with real hinges and latches. He gave them a look over and was sure they were not locked or trapped – should he open them? The party opted for a conditional yes.

We found old spoiled sacks and scraps of bags a few coins, but it was the last one that opened to a pit under Cadassial’s feet and only a swift jump and scramble was our thief able to avoid the dangers of the pit – which seemed to be over 50’ deep! It closed of its own accord and we made sure it was safe to walk on before wanting to continue. But it was at that moment that we heard a tapping clucking sound and a 3’ tall lizardine looking rooster with a serpentine tail came about the corner and the party all hissed to themselves and hollered for Cadassial to run back – for a cockatrice had just arrived to menace the party. It bobbed and cackled and hopped towards the group. Rahyk dared to attack it and was struck in return for his derring-doo, but made a successful save and did not get turned to stone.

We beat the cockatrice to death and one dead, shoved it in the corner and away from the group. As for where to go next, we marched on – two choices a door a short distance away, or left to a winding long corridor – we opted for the door. After making sure it wasn’t going to blow up in our faces, we looked on an oddly set up room. It was canted to the left at a 10 degree angle, ending at some sharp looking spikes set against the far wall from 4’ up to the floor. ON the right hand side were 3 torches burning on long fixed metal sconces. A few holes were on the ceiling and wall and across the 40’ expanse of the floor, the hall continued on and turned to the right.

Half the party wanted to cross the chamber, half wanted to go the other way. We got to bickering about it for a bit until we opted (half of the group with ill disguised disgust) to leave this room and go to the other corridor instead. It wove its way north until it ended a door. Cadassial checked it out and once it was declared safe but strange (the hinges on the other side were pressurized so the door would force itself closed unless propped open.) we took a look in.

Nice sized chamber but very devoid of anything – only an arch of stone to a dark corridor diagonally away from this corner led onward. Somehow Norris opted to go check it out. He took Brother Beren’s helm with the light stone lodestone and went in. The door refused to have a spike drive under it, the stone just not allowing itself to be chipped in any manner.

It was when Norris shone the light into the arch that he heard a hissing sound and something light puffed against him and he fell over – dead.


We dragged him back (thank Odin for the rope tied around him) and Brother Beren went to check him out, some sort of greenish dust was on his clothes. And the cleric was sure he had been poisoned – and then he too fell over – dead.

Double Fuck.

We washed off the two bodies and using both an anti-toxin from Norris’ bags as well as Detheron’s Neutralize Poison got both of our companions back on their feet again. Ok – this was not going to work. We were pretty much out of spells and Brother Beren and Norris had practically (and literally!!) died twice today, most of the rest of the party on vapors and duct tape themselves. Where to rest?

There were no obvious good places nearby so far – the group thinking the Ogre chamber on the 5th level was the best bet – almost 2 hours from here walking. Not a chance. We did not want to walk that far and thought there had to be someplace closer. After some discussion, the party settled on the “hidden” area between Costeval the Fat’s room and the entrance chamber to the 6th level.

We dragged our tired personages up there and began to settle in for the night. Healing was dispensed as well as salves and bandages. Gear was lowered and we broke out our rations for a decent meal. It was towards the end of our eating that something poked its head through the illusionary wall – the tendril-like feelers of a rust monster. Our fighters backed away quick and we tossed some caltrops towards them, the beetle-like denizens eating up the rusting spiked jacks. A quick flurry of spells and arrows followed and the beasts retreated. It was at this point that we talked it over and came to the conclusion that this was not a good place to rest.

Where to go? Do we go back up to the 5th level? Is there someplace down here to stay? A five count of the party opted to go and look over the 7th level again, hoping to find some sort of secret area to sleep in or an alcove we might have missed. Aghmar still had a few spells left and one of them was the ability to find secret doors.

They went carefully to the 7th level and cycled through the archway once more. On the opposite side our mage recited the arcanic words…and almost immediately found TWO secret doors on the right hand side!! It took a few minutes to figure out how to open them and we looked – the left one went into a small hall and then a door – and the right was a sloping chamber that was obviously at one point a guard post but according to Soren, hadn’t been used for weeks. It would be tight for the 17 members of the party, but certainly better than sleeping in an open hall.

We gathered up the rest of the group and bringing all our belongings, went down to the discovered guard room and shut the door to help us settle down. We noticed a few things almost immediately – the room became “cleaner” looking, lights emerged from the ceiling, and the door was transparent from this side. There were 7 levers on the wall in the “down” position but no one (including Norris) was going to touch them. We set up watches for the night and got down to sleep.

It was during Rahyk’s watch that we had our long expected appearance down here noted. The room gave a strange “ping” and then announced that a cockatrice was approaching. It pinged again and then the monster passed, another ping followed deeper sounding and then finally after long last a final one. Ok…got it.

Then the same thing happened with “orcs”…and minotaurs…and then there was LOTS of excited orcs and minotaurs going back and forth and through the one way door it was noted that at 3 minotaurs were seen and they had found the two orcs we had slain earlier and Costeval the Fat. Crap.

No one came to the guard room and after many hours the activity died down. The party finished its rest and we woke up. Norris was hit with a Nap spell to hopefully speed up his weakness of his near death experience. We ate our breakfast, paid the porters and hirelings, and talked about what our goals were and what we were going to do next.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meet 125, Adv 11, 2/26/11

The group had run into rust monsters before, nasty buggers to be sure but something they had always fought from a distance. I don't think they ever saw any rust monster closer than 15' before. So when I rolled another double set of wandering monsters right after the owlbears ripped the hired thief to shreds I was surprised to see it was rust monsters.

And they hit the party almost head on taking the fight into three of the metal wearing warriors - one of them throwing away his shield and running away to avoid being hit. It was comical that creatures that don't do any damage could have the party so fixated on running away.

They also hit the number 2 boss of the 1st 7 levels (where they were anticipating ending the foray into Double Dagger Dungeon) - Costeval the Fat. He was not particularly dangerous - 9th level priest with 2 7th level orcish warriors at his beck and call. What he did have though was 4 potential globes that would cast spells from his pool for him. So he was pissing through spells VERY fast, but it was still a shock for the party as it was like facing 5 spell casting priests in a single round. With multiple sanctuary, bless, heals, protections, and commands hitting the group they were reeling. Eventually the number of spells did come to an end and Costeval went down, but not before I had killed one of the party and dropped another one to -8.

Write up follows:

We paid our porters, henchmen, hirelings, ate our breakfast, studied, and prayed in expectation for the next day’s activities. Once ready to face the challenges ahead, we started by looking about the chamber we were in. There were 4 doors, and of the 4, two had been “blocked” yesterday by what was apparently illusionary falling debris. We looked at the other two “unblocked” doors and spent some time checking them over. One was locked and the other was trapped…and of the two “blocked” doors, 1 was trapped.

What to do…We decided on opening the untrapped locked door. Cadassial worked his magic and the lock was sprung and then Norris gave the door a heave-ho – revealing a small room 10x10, with 4 shelves along the back wall. The top two had a moldering burlap sack on each, 3rd one down had a beaten up wooden chest/crate with a hasp lock obviously torn off, and the bottom shelf and floor had old casks and barrels which might have at one time held foodstuffs.

We were uncomfortable with the set up and Norris threw an axe at the box, but it hit flat side and spun back, whacking the bard in the neck. We knocked the two bags on the top shelves a bit, spilling out silver coins and the box was taken to the floor and opened, revealing about 40 compartments, some broken glass, and 4 “healing” potions. Party couldn’t understand why anyone would leave 4 potions sitting around, but took with care.

We then went to try out the northernmost door, which had 3 magic missiles fly out and slam into Norris. There was nothing behind it. So we went to the southern door and Norris and Cadassial went to disarm the trap there, a pressure plate under the door. But something got screwed up and the thief leapt away in time – the bard did not and was slammed down under 600 lbs of collapsing stone. Norris was getting wroth and angry at all these traps. And of course, behind the door was nothing.

There was one door left and we KNEW it was trapped. Cadassial and Norris disarmed it successfully – revealing another narrow hollow and nothing else. Crap.

We went back to the hall and regrouped, deciding this time to go back to where the mage was and proceed past to where the orange beams were on the ground. On the way…another white robed mage was there, not the same as last time. He was smirking and motioned the group closer, asking them if they wanted to see a magic trick. This time we said no, and he grinned at the disrobing Guyus and disappeared.

Grumbling we marched on and was going to have Cadassial pick his way past the orange beams of light on the floor but decided instead to have Jerold block the hall with his tower shield and then Cadassial break the beam and keep it broken – 3 bolts went off and then no more. We crowded down the hall and came to the next one – doing the same thing again.

From here the corridor “T”’ed and we had a choice, north went to MORE halls with beams of lights and south looped back around and went eventually to a long hall stretching north. Once again, our hired thief was sent northward to the next beam and when he tested the trap, three more bolts flew out – but from the BACK way. Oooh, that would have been a nasty surprise. The passage went on a tiny bit more, turned around again to a fourth damned beam in the hall. Ok, enough was enough.

We called Cadassial back and decided that we would go the other way, this way was too trapped and asking for a problem. We lined up and proceeded down the hall at a steady pace until we arrived at long last at a door. There was some scratching on the western wall that gave another listing of colors not to use. We noted it and then moved on to the end of the hall.

A double set of doors were here, a pair of turning handles set in the middle. Norris opted to once again step forward and do his duty. He grabbed each handle firmly and before he went to turn them, he noticed that his hands were stuck. Some sort of glue had come out and affixed his hands to the door. With a number of twisting wiggles and very nimble fingers, he pulled his hands free from his gloves and we looked at the door again.

This time he grabbed his gloves and twisted – and the doors were ripped from his grasp. The area in front of the doors was a deep pit dimly lit and spiked below…and then from the ceiling a faint rain of acid fell right over the pit. Pretty much, whoever was holding onto the handle would have been screwed. The room was lit from the ceiling with chunks of crystals glowing and there was a faint humming music coming from the walls.

We peered in and there was another door on the same wall, 40 odd feet away. To get across we would have to jump to bridge the pit. We used Malak’s tower shield catty-corner and four or five of us entered the room.

And promptly fell asleep.

Norris used his countersong ability and awoke the sleepers, walking slowly into the room to provide a bubble of safety. Once we were all in, Cadassial checked out the next door, noting it was not locked or trapped. Out thief opened it – and was promptly mauled by a huge owlbear. The thief dropped and a second one pushed his way in, assaulting the shieldbearers. Once the surprise was over we pressed forward taking the 2 monsters out slowly but with little extra fuss.

Once they were dispatched we were in the hall and looking to harvest some of their choicer feathers for scroll writing when it occurred to us that our noises had attracted some more wander monsters. From the southern corridor came three heavily carapaced beetle like creatures with whiplike antennae and from the east hall came a half dozen ravenous ghouls!

The rust monsters hit the party’s front line fighters hard, dissolving platemail, ring mail, weapons, and even Rahyk threw his shield and dragged both Norris and Soren in front of him in his mad dash to back away. Thodrek’s entire suit of full plate turned into brownish slag in a single turn. And then the ghouls hit, but to our amazement, they did not work with the rust monsters, turning some of their hatred and paralytic touch on to the rust monsters as well as the party.

When finally able to Brother Beren called to Tyr and blasted three of the ghouls away to dust while the rest of the group changed over to wooden weapons and the like to combat the rust monsters. It was very difficult going but eventually the last rust monster was slain and thanks to Guyus’ protection from evil, the ghouls were held back long enough for the party to finish them off.

Cleaning up more wounds we then spent some time swapping armor between everybody as best as possible, some of our non combatants reducing to padded or leather armor that we had snagged off the half orcs long before. Finally ready we looked at our three potential choices of where to go. North opened to a square room with 8 statues of iron cobras about 6” tall spaced evenly about the room along the wall, East eventually went to a big chamber with over 200 dead bodies stacked in some places 4 or five high, and south went to a long corridor 20’ wide running south with a strange circular flagstone every 10’ in the middle of the hall.

No one wanted to go to the cobra room and the room with the dead bodies was also passed as an option, that left south. Detheron was letting us know that he believed that there was some sort of deadfall type trap in there (remnant of his prior spell) but could not be sure and suggested care. So we had Soren look around the area to see where the monsters had walked and we noted that they had stayed to the left.

Cadassial went first carefully and came back shortly, saying that the walls were set up to swing across should anyone walk down the middle of the hall. We lined up and started our walk. As we progressed down the long hall, over 70’, we came to a set of swinging double doors behind which we could smell something cooking as well as a low humming. Daring to take a look, Norris crept forward and peered between the slats.

The chamber was largish, with the back portion devoted to some kitchen area and stove, a rather corpulent almost 7’ tall orc was standing there wearing stained leathers, a collar around his neck with a four count of chains and globes dangling. Most likely the Costeval the Fat personage we had heard about. There were also a pair of militant looking orcs in there, sporting broadswords and wearing scalemail.

Upon noting Norris, Costeval stopped humming and suggested that Norris, “Come on in.” And our bard did. He asked if we had seen any rust monsters as he wanted to use them for cooking in the stew he was making. Norris lied and said he hadn’t seen any, so the fat orc suggested he tilt his head back and Norris did so for some reason – allowing Costeval to slit his throat in a single cut and drop the half elf to the floor.

The party made to charge in and the two orcs immediately got to the ready. The globes around Costeval started to glow with strange light and weird chanting was heard. Odd light swarmed around Costeval and the group started to charge in. Guyus wanted to attack the fat orc – and couldn’t! His assault was blunted. The same thing with Rahyk! Norris was on the ground bleeding and Costeval was commanding the party member to “die!” clerical commands rocketing around the chamber.

Arrows were shot and our crazed fighter got close enough to assault one of the two orcs guards – getting a VERY lucky critical and lopping the greenskin’s head from his shoulders. Fire was shot at Costeval and the orc responded with protecting himself from such fires. The globes around his neck were firing off clerical spells as well, healing the orcs and bolstering him and the other with him with various protections and blesses.

Detheron snagged one of his precious greater mistletoes and called on Frey for a dispel magic, centering it in the room – And he was very successful, killing all of the protections Costeval and his globes had instilled including the debilitating sanctuary spell. Which meant Rahyk and Guyus were slamming swords against the fat orcs’ side.

One of the globes shot a hold person spell freezing part of the party and another one turned the stone under Thodrek’s feet to clay and then encasing the dwarf’s feet in solid rock again. Brother Beren was trying to save Norris and sling bullets and arrows were tearing through the chamber. Costeval and his globes were still dropping healing spells and the like but they were growing weaker in power. Aghmar greased the area under Costeval and the fat orc fell to his ass.

The 2nd orc was growing weaker and Thodrek was beating the stones around his feet with his hammers in an effort to save himself. Costeval’s globes grew bright one more time and a flame strike spell scoured the area slamming into 4 of the party members in the corner entrance of the chamber – one of them being Brother Beren. The same cleric carrying a pony-keg filled with oil – the equivalence of 20 flasks worth. He went up like a candle and died, dropping Norris back into the negatives. The party was hemorrhaging hit points very swiftly now and Costeval’s globes continued to heal the corpulent orc.

It was with a concentrated assault of swords and steel and another 6 count of arrows before Costeval teetered over and died with a final blast of cursing. We took the time to put out what fires were in the room, extricate Thodrek from the rocky ground, check over Norris and try to heal him (using the fake healing potions at first but opting to not continue when it seemed to only make the dying bard even worse off), and stem the worst of the bleeding and beating the party had taken so far.

We did have a scroll of raise dead but were missing the pile of diamonds to power it. It was only after we had looked over Costeval’s chamber that we discovered the orc had a thin box with two potions of regeneration, 4 decent sized diamonds and 4 decent sized rubies. Detheron and Guyus used their skills to decipher the scroll we had gotten of Raise Dead and two of the diamonds and breathed new life back into Brother Beren.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet 124, Adv 11, 2/19/11

There has been lots of talk to death about the merits of the thief class vs. not having the thief class and ODD and little brown books and Arneson and Gygax and Moldvay and Mentzer and blah blah blah. Long and short of it, people like to play thieves. Robin Hood, Grey Mouser, Gord, even Conan for a time (although as had been mentioned, "he's to big to be a thief") - they all have an allure to people to play. Some people are really good at thieves and other just suck at at.

So in true big assed dungeon fashion, there has to be some sort of theif-centric trap filled level. And this was the level here. Of course the group could have bypassed the entire thing if they had searched for secret doors in the 1st room which had a short cut to the last room of the level but they did not. So they had room after room of traps and trap like items to contend with.

And it was here also that I put in something that I believe came from either Bard's Tale or Wizard's Crown game from my youth. You walk into a room and there is a wizard there and he asks if you want to see a magic trick. Say no and he disappears. Say yes and he fireballs your party, steals your stuff, and disappears. Yeah, did that to the group here. And the look the player who ran the paladin gave me would have KILLED me under normal circumstances right on the spot!

Write up follows:

Cadassial and Norris checked the stairs carefully: no levers, rocks placed there for signaling below, or pressure plates. They descended far enough to tell that there was a chamber at the bottom, not too small, with 2 doors in it on the opposite end. There was also some sort of current blowing towards us, steady and constant. Satisfied in their investigation they returned to the group and we regrouped for marching order with Thodrek, Gwyn, Rahyk, and Guyus in the front for any potential problems to come.

Once closer and with a steadier light source, party noted that the room had 5 skeletal bodies here in old and ruined/rusty equipment. They in were no discernable placing on the ground. Across the chamber were two doors, and in the middle was a single key with ruby chips on it. The party immediately suspected trap.

We checked out the chamber carefully, both Norris and Cadassial verifying that the breeze was coming from the right door. Neither door was locked and the left one was tight as if pressed against the other side. We decided that the left one would not be the likely choice and figured the right had a spear trap or some such against it. Guyus opted to open it and the party retreated across the room and on the stairs. He counted to three and threw the door open, hunched across the side of it. It wasn’t a spear; it was a cloud of caustic gas.

Guyus took a full face of it and Rahyk, Cadassial, and Norris took a lesser blast. The poison would have slain Guyus BUT he was recently hit with a protection from poison spell otherwise we’d have had a dead paladin. The other 3 were ill and coughing. Detheron and Beren spent some time working on the 3 of them, hoping that their ministrations would prevent any further poisoning later on (including some delay poisoning as well!)

As for behind the open door there was only a simple 10’x10’ room with a series of pulleys attached to a bladder and bellows to administer the poison. We disabled it for future use and then went to the 2nd door. Rayhk and Guyus went to open the chamber and as soon as they opened the door, it tore from his grasp and flew into the room. The breeze stopped and then swiftly became a sucking breeze INTO the next chamber! The two fighters slipped and fell, grabbing onto the floor to keep from sliding into what seemed to be a 10’ wide black maw.

The bones on the floor clattered against them and both Gywn and Beren had their heavy crossbow and large shield yanked away. It hit the two fighters and then flew over head and down into the maw. Guyus could see the south wall of the next room became opaque and then transparent, revealing a corridor beyond…that was NOT affected by the wind. Meanwhile the party was driving spikes into the steps and Beren was taking out the rope ladder.

The ladder was unrolled into the wind and once it was near the two fighters they proceeded to grab on and with everyone struggling, they were pulled out of the room and away from the wind, back towards the stairs. As this was going on the wind was dying down. We beheld the chasm was closing, a set of jagged doors sliding across the top...and then it shut and the wind stopped.

We stood up and took stock of ourselves, watching the next room…and the door closing slowly. Norris wanted to go and hold it open but couldn’t get there in time and then it clicked closed. A moment passed and felt the breeze coming back out from under the door, making us fearful that the trap had reset.

Plans were made on how to get past and we decided on opening the door again and waiting it out. Spikes were driven and safety lines established. Gwyn’s 7’ metal pole was hitched against the wall and we readied ourselves and the door was opened again. Wind blew and then sucked and the gaping maw slammed open and we waited again. After 4 minutes like before the cover slid over and the wind died and stopped. Spikes were driven under the door and with the door open it did not reset the trap.

We went to the field at the south end of the chamber and saw that it did stop air movement but not people. It was a 10’ wide hall running east and we lined up and went down. We travelled slowly, almost 40 paces or more before it ended at a door. On the north wall scratched into the rock were the words, “Tree’s Leaves, Sky High, Pitch Ditch, You Through.” We puzzled it over but decided we didn’t know what it meant. The door was opened and it showed a VERY large chamber, over 80’ long and 40’ wide. A pair of paths were on the ground, one blue, one green, running zig zaggingly to the other side.

A magic mouth opened up and said, something about a room full of gaping pits and two paths and one is good and one is bad. Hmm…Neither one looked any different than the other and we were a little gun shy after the last chamber. Talk was made and eventually it was decided that Detheron would use his spell to detect pits and traps…and walked along the room, looking with his enhanced sight. Immediately he noticed the green path had a pit right in the middle of it and the blue path seemed to skirt the covered holes. Thodrek went with the druid as he walked to the other side safely, yelling back that we should take the blue path.

The party came to the opposite door and it was checked (silent, unlocked, no traps) and we looked through. Long corridor, beyond our light range. We walked carefully down for some time until it turned a bit and we saw a new writing scratched on the left wall, “White to Green and then to Red is not the order to not be dead.” Hmm, we noted it but noticed that the other one didn’t seem to help either yet.

The next room loomed up and it was a doozy. Well over 30’ square, with an opening on the other side, the walls, floor, and ceiling were covered with blast marks. Half a dozen bodies were in a semicircle around a pedestal in the center of the room, their flesh blasted from their bones and said bones burned brown from some intense fire. On the pedestal was a pair of golden skeletal claws and then holding a glowing orange faceted gem stone almost a foot tall.

Yeah…no one wanted to touch it. Norris was voted to go across the chamber and he did so with exaggerated care, 10’ pole tapping along, avoiding the bodies and the glowing gem in the middle of the burned area. Once safely across he turned around and went to head back when three ogres came up behind and asked, “EH! Wot chu dewin’?”

Norris talked fast and glib about how he was on the way to Costeval the Fat and dropped a few other names from above and the ogres seemed to believe him. They led his back across the chamber, advising his to not touch the gem as it “Goes big boom” and then they beheld the entire party…no one had a weapon out (thank Odin!). They said, “Wow, lotsa you guyz gowin down, eh?” Yep, that’s us..nothing special and nothing to see here. The ogres waved farewell and went on and we collectively sighed in relief.

We made our way across the chamber and although we entertained the idea of taking a potentially exploding gem, we decided not be obviously stupid and left the treasure behind…for now. (as one member said, we can always try and take it afterwards.) We followed the corridors for some time until we had a choice: head south to a largish looking chamber or continue on and head north to a decent sized room with some sort of blue light in it. The group didn’t want to leave anything behind so the decision was made to head north…but we would check out the big room on the south.

Norris and Guyus went carefully first, looking around the place with a careful eye. It was once some sort of magical lab and sleeping chamber and there was another exit on the opposite side. Standing there all by himself and quite comfortable and relaxed was a human male of his mid-40’s and wearing traditional wizard garb; hat, cloak, robe, shoes, staff – all in white. HE motioned us over and said, “Hello” in a cheery voice. Come closer, he added. With care and trepidation the two men walked a step or two up but did not come any closer than 15’ feet.

The wizard then asked, “Do you want to see a magic trick?” Guyus and Norris turned to each other and said, “Sure.” The mage then smiled and shot a small powerful fireball at the two of them. Norris was still under a protection form Fire spell from Detheron earlier so suffered no ill effects (it seemed) but Guyus took a face full of flame. The paladin snarled and dragged out his sword to assault the mage who was fading out of sight. He hit him twice which angered the mage who then reached out and touched Guyus before disappearing.

And when it was done, ALL of Guyus’ gear had disappeared: everything. Clothes, armor, weapons, all of it. The mage was entirely gone and the group could not find him. And then Norris noticed that his money pouch was empty. ALL of his coin and gems were gone. Damned mage!!

As a party we started to give up belongings and weapons and armor for Guyus, cladding our paladin and outfitting him. Meanwhile we looked over the chamber and noted that it was as we figured before but was also at one time used by the Maker (potionmaker from the 2nd level). We found one of his note books and Detheron took it to be deciphered at a later date.

There was a corridor beyond here and we checked it out, it turned around and showed a 50 foot corridor that turned again, with a red beam of light about halfway down, around 2’ off the ground. Yeah…trap. Cadassial borrowed Detheron’s staff and threw it at the light – and then 3 crossbow bolts shot out at 6’, 4’, and 2’ in height.

Our thief went past the beam (stepping over it carefully) and went down the hall – seeing the same thing on the NEXT hall. He carefully stepped over it and the corridor “T”’ed here, going north and south. He checked them both out (North went to another red beam area, and South down to some long corridor) and then returned.

It was 6:30 PM here and we were getting exhausted. We decided to go back to the blue glowing room and see if there was a place to rest beyond it. The blue room was lit by two columns of light 2’ wide and in the middle floating about 4’ off the ground was a broadsword. Hmmm…not a good idea to touch them. We went onward and left the lights and swords behind.

Eventually we came a long corridor, a single door on the left about halfway down and another door at the end of it. We went to the 1st door and checked it out, hearing dogs beyond. Dog, that we could do. We readied ourselves and then burst in, weapons at the ready. There were 10 of them and we shot stones and arrows swiftly. Each dog that died (and it was tough to take them down) turned to dust with a mournful yelp. A number of fumbles affected the group but at one point we did have Guyus surrounded by 6 of the dogs. And the paladin jumped dodged, leapt, twisted, blocked, and avoided almost 21 consecutive attacks!!

It wasn’t much beyond until the last dog was destroyed and then we heard a roaring above and the ceiling started to cave in! The party ran for the door and once outside we watched rubble spatter about the room. It was safe at long last and we came back in. There were 4 other doors in here, but 2 of them were blocked by rubble. It was very late and we decided to rest here. Rubble was piled in front of the other 2 doors and part of it was blocked in front of the door we came in from.

Once safe we ate, dispensed what little healing we had left, and went to sleep. During the watch about 1 AM Malak woke us up and we beheld the room was NO LONGER covered in rubble, all of it was gone, and the ceiling was undamaged again. What the hell? Magic? Illusion? Do we stay or leave? We decided to stay. Some spikes were driven under the doors and we went back to bed, trying to get our 8 hours of uninterrupted rest.