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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

2nd Campaign. Meet 1, 4/23/11

The first game with my daughter took place 5 minutes after character creation and like all good Basic D&D campaigns, took place at the guard tower in the back of the rule book. Ran it as written except for the prisoners located in the basement. She did not clear it out but that's ok.

She was most proud of the green slime and EVERY where we went, she wanted to search for traps (after hearing the normal game for years she had picked up on that trope very quickly). She also had only 1 spell and after going through the list of 12 available, she wisely chose sleep without any input from me. I will admit she was very close to taking Charm Person but opted to go for the better choice instead.

All told we got the mission done, a pile of coin, and immediately got hired for the next one - leading us back to the gatehouse of the keep and to the next level down.

Write up follows:

The old keep on the edge of Brevoy had been rumored to be haunted over the last 2 decades, strange sounds echoing from within, odd lights now and again. Most of it had fallen to ruin but a few of the outer gate towers still stood. Lord Rasmus the Fifth had made noise over the years to have it razed but nothing had ever come of it.

There have been strange sightings in the streets at night, cowled and hooded figures skulking about, the stinking rotten banana reek of unwashed golbinflesh redolent in the air from their passing. And as of this morning, there were 12 counts of missing persons. The baker’s daughter, two pages, old man Jenkins the well house guard, two journeymen cobblers, a dairymaid, the bell maker’s wife, Squithic the elven puppeteer, and two beggars – all disappeared between 6th hour and morning walk.

Lord Rasmus the Sixth (newly lorded and running the lands since his father’s passing two months ago) was beside himself and a call went out for daring personages who would risk investigating the old keep. And it was here that Lina Inverse, Elven warrior mage from Greenholm and her Halfling companion, Thimble Mooserider, stout and doughty fighter from Erylond took up the quest from Lord Rasmus. He promised them 100 crowns total if they were able to find the lost townsfolk and bring them safely back.

Mounting up on their steeds the two adventurers rode to the edge of Brevoy where they dismounted, made sure there was feed and water for their horses, and tied them up at the edge of the keep’s perimeter. Up close the keep looked just as bad as people had said. They took the time to explore the area around and the two of them did find numerous goblinoid tracks near the eastern guard tower. Lina dared to creep up to the door and peer through the crack, her elven sight allowing her to see the cooler interior of the keep’s short entrance hall.

Pressing her shoulder to the portal she shoved hard and the heavy door slid with a scrape to the right, lodging itself open against the dusty floor. A plume of grit and dirt billowed in briefly, showing a short hall maybe 15’ long. There was enough light filtering in for now to show the corridor all the way to the opposite door frame. Lina held Thimbles back and eyed the floor critically. “We should check for traps,” she said. The two companions carefully probed ahead, thimbles with the butt of his short bow, Lina with the edge of her boot. And sure enough, they felt a gap in the floor.

With a firm stomp, they opened the 5’ pit trap that went down about 10 feet, old bones and bits of scrap metal on the bottom. The Halfling uncoiled his rope and hook, set it on the edge of the pit, and climbed down, the elven fighter-mage followed. At the bottom they goosed the grapple off and flung it up to the other side, climbing out of the pit again.

At the door the two companions checked it out carefully, hearing nothing on the other side. It seemed stuck so Lina once again forced it opened. There was a hall running to the right and the left, both short, both ending at a closed door. On the left side there was also a turn to the right. We hissed some ideas back and forth, deciding to check out both doors first. Thimbles lit a torch from his pack and the two friends moved on.

The right most door opened up to what had once been a barracks but had now flooded. The floor had dropped away and the ceiling bulged downward, resulting in a pool of murky water in which a single bed floated serenely along with the rusting hulk of an iron statue showing a female warrior. A door was on the opposite of the chamber but the two companions opted to go and investigate the other door from the main hall first.

Lina shut the door behind us and we walked quietly down the hall. A look over the door showed no obvious traps and they once again heard nothing. There was some pushing and we looked in on another room, some sort of sleeping chamber. Two beds, couple of chairs, a table. A layer of fine dust was sitting on everything.

The two friends went in and looked around, carefully checking over the entire chamber but found nothing. Once satisfied of the situation, they ventured back in the hall and thought about their options. Option 1: continue north from this hall or Option 2: go back to the sunken chamber with the pool of water in it and skirt around to the other side. They opted for the 2nd choice.

Once here the two friends gave the room a once over, avoiding stepping in the pool but having no problem with shining a torch down near the surface or probing the depth with the tip of their swords. Thimbles noticed the torch was guttering out so he withdrew a new one and lit it.

They found nothing so went across the chamber to the other side, gave a cautious listen and look at the door here and then dared to open it. A short hall ran to the left where at the corner there they had a door on the left, a door on the opposite wall, or a turn to the right. Strange sounds seemed to echo in the distance, setting the two of them on edge.

Lina led the way, inching down to the corner where she looked right. The corridor went a short distance and turned to the right again. Many footprints littered the ground here as well as some damp drag marks. We felt we were on the right track. However, the two companions did not want to risk leaving the two doors here untouched so they opened the one on the left first after verifying it was not locked or trapped.

The room beyond was dull and gritty in the torch light. Before entering they looked around with care and this time Lina’s concern was rewarded with a revelation. The ceiling had some foul muculant greenish slimy mass adhering to it, just on the inside of the door. Drips of ichor fell from it, hissing on the floor where they hit.

Neither one wanted to enter the room but they didn’t want to leave the slime just hanging there. Taking Thimbles torch, Lina held it to some of the small drips and was satisfied to see them hiss and pop, turning from fibrous green to desiccated brown. She stood up and held the torch to the mass of the slime and it began to burn, dropping from the ceiling in wet chunks where the smaller pieces were also burned.

Once satisfied we had done what we could, we checked out the room only to be dismayed on finding nothing of value within. The two friends went on to the 2nd door and performed the same actions, only this time the chamber did not have a green slime on the ceiling.

They were growing hungry so they went into the room, shut the door, and ate what dinner they had packed with them: salted pork, noodles, fresh vegetables, and dried fruit. It was at the end of their meal that they heard voices in the hall getting closer. Lina felt it was reminiscent of hobgoblin but the dialect was all wrong. Most likely was goblin. She drew her stout sword and Thimbles backed up a few steps with his short bow out, an arrow nocked and ready. Just as the voices were outside the portal Lina tore the door opened and sliced down at the lead goblin.

It screamed as he was hit, the pale greenish creature twisted away as it fell. The goblins stunk of old socks and rotten bananas, their skin was covered in strange lumps and sores, and they wore what seemed to be scavenged bits of clothing and armor. Thimbles shot past the goblin at the 2nd and although the Halfling did hit the creature, it was a glancing wound and did not fall down.

The two goblins remaining entered, both plying their crude spiked clubs against Lina, but the elven warrior’s platemail and shield were more than enough to turn aside the greenskin’s blows. A few more arrows were shot and then Lina got a lucky strike, dropping the 2nd goblin and then the third in short order.

Our elven warrior-mage was lightly wounded, more likely just winded from the short fight, while Thimbles was out of the direct melee. They checked over the 3 enemies finding 12 gold crowns for their efforts which they split and pocketed. Then they dragged the goblins into the room, lit a 3rd torch from Thimbles’ pack, and shut the door behind them. The idea was that if there were a patrolling trio, their presence would be missed sooner rather than later so it was best not to waste any more time.

The two companions continued on their way up the hall, following the drag marks on the floor. The corridor came to the end and turned left and left again. There were two doors here, one close and the other at the end of the hall. Some faint noise was heard from the nearest door and Lina confirmed it was goblin voices, only this time a lot of them.

Since we still had not found the prisoners yet, we decided to do the same as we had done last time with Lina ripping the door opened and Thimbles right behind with his bow. It was the sight of the barracks room with 6 bunk beds and home to 12 goblins within that gave the two friends pause. Most of the goblins were asleep but the closest 4 were staring at the two with shock and growing hatred. We had to act now – attack or flee.

Lina took matters into her own hands. Calling on her elven heritage she recited the arcane words of a sleep spell and put all the closest goblins still awake right to sleep! Then the two friends entered quickly and using their swords they one by one dispatched all the sleeping goblins until they were all slain. Huzzah!

It was a few minutes afterwards that they had gone through the bodies and found almost 50 more crowns which they split and pocketed. Feeling very bold from their endeavors, the two friends readied their weapons and went on to the next door in the hall.

Thimbles thought he heard something down the hall but it seemed to have been nothing since no one became visible. Outside the last door Lina’s keen hearing finally picked up some voices a few moaning in Common and a handful snarling in Hobgoblin. Alright – this should be it!

Our tactics had been working so far so it was a quick pull on the door and we attacked, Thimbles getting the first shot this time and pegging a Hobgoblin in the shoulder. The Hobgoblins were taller than the 5’ goblins, almost 6 and a half feet tall, still greenish cast to their skins but they all sported thick wiry orange hair on their heads, arms, and chins and to a one they each had almost baboonish like flattened blue noses. Holding their spears and sword up high, the 4 hobgoblins stepped forward to attack.

Lina took a nasty swipe on her arm and then a 2nd one across her stomach. She returned the blows by hitting one of the hobgoblins so hard that he crumbled across his torn up thigh and went down with a silent wail. There were now only 3 and Thimbles pegged another one, wounding the tall monster and causing it to hiss in pain.

We had been given a healing potion each by Lord Rasmus before we had left and Lina was sweating very heavily as she tried to keep the hobgoblins from surrounding her, her sword whistling about like a scythe. When he had the chance, Thimbles stopped firing long enough to open his own healing potion and pour it down Lina’s throat, the magical elixir closing up all of Lina’s many scratches and breathing new life into her swings and blows. She thanked her Halfling companion and her every waving sword struck the wounded hobgoblin and ended his life.

Lina tried to convince the Hobgoblins to give up and their lives would be spared but the two remaining monsters wanted nothing to do with her words and commenced their attacks. But it was for naught for in a few short minutes the last two were slain and Lina was sheathing her sword once more. Thimbles had fired about half of his arrows but only a few of the feathered shafts were still salvageable.

The two friends shut the door and went to the 2 prisoners on the floor. They rummaged around the Hobgoblins and found a ring of keys, a fancy necklace, and a box of gold and silver coins that we pocketed for now. As for the keys, one of which opened the manacles. The prisoners said that they had been brought up for sport (pointing to a capped area of the floor where a ladder went down to a basement) with the other 10 townsfolk still down there. There were supposedly other goblins and hobgoblins down there and they were waiting for someone called “the General” who was going to come and take the prisoners somewhere else.

We talked about what was to happen next and Lina wanted to go down into the hole and rescue the other 10 down there. We helped up the two that we had saved and instructed them under no circumstances were they to open the door. She then took one spear and one sword from the fallen Hobgoblins and armed the two townsfolk.

We went to the stairs and Thimbles opted to go down first. Holding his torch with one hand and picked his way down the 20 feet to the basement where we reported to Lina there was a room here about 30’ square with two doors, one on the north leading to some 11 cells and the one on the south was dense heavy wood with bands of iron running across it.

She climbed down and the two friends made their way to the north door where another key on the ring opened it. There were cells here and moaning prisoners that we freed one at a time until we had way too many townsfolk milling about. Lina instructed them all to be very quiet and to climb up the ladder rungs to the floor above, making no noise to the goblins that might be nearby and could hear them.

We were lucky and the two friends knew it as they were the last out of the basement and commenced their way back up to the main floor. Once here we gave the last two swords to the strongest looking of the prisoners and then listened to the door back into the hall. And Thimbles this time heard goblin voices.

Lina wanted to make this quick as most of the prisoners were not going to be able to help in a fight. So we opened the door and hit the three goblins there with all we had. Arrows flew and swords sliced and even two of the prisoners helped out with wild spear thrusts and swings of their own weapons. Lina took another crack on her shin for her efforts and her shield was getting very dimpled but the three goblins went down at long last.

Thimbles lit a third torch from his pack and handed it to one of the prisoners, telling Lina to lead them out and he would take up the rear. The group now numbering 14 snaked their way out of the guard room, past the barracks, around the corners and through the sunken pool filled chamber.

It was past here that things did not go well as Lina was surprised by a pair of goblin scouts walking. She was hit but unwounded and the elven warrior-mage pushed and shoved and hit the two goblins, her mighty strength more than enough to drop a single goblin in one blow. The 2nd one was surprised at this, took a look behind him, and ran with shouts echoing ahead of him.

Most likely getting help.

Lina urged the prisoners to go fast through to the exit, the townsfolk bottlenecking as they picked their way along the edge of the pit. She called for Thimbles to hurry as goblins were most likely coming, the Halfling at the end of the line of prisoners and unable to push his way past yet.

As she had feared the goblin had gone and gotten two of his friends who came back down the hall in a mad dash to hit the elven fighter. She set herself up near a corner so that she could only face one of the three at a time and made her stand to protect the fleeing townsfolk. She traded blows with the first and he fell, getting a slice across her shoulder from the 2nd as she struggled to hold him off. When she had a chance she took her own potion of healing out and drank it down, smiling as the enchanted fluid restored her vitality again.

The 2 goblins were dismayed at this but even more so when Thimbles arrived and shot arrows past Lina, killing one of the two still standing here. It seemed like the last goblin was going to break and run but he didn’t and he was slain as well within the next few seconds under sword and arrows.

Not wanting to get caught they left the fallen foes here and Lina and Thimbles ran out to the waiting ex-prisoners and mounted up, urging them to move quickly back towards town. It was around 7 that night that the tired troupe arrived back at Brevoy. Lord Rasmus the Sixth was very pleased and awarded the two friends the 100 crowns as promised. He heard their tale and that of the captured people and then asked Lina and Thimbles if they would seek out this “General” and bring him in for justice; offering them 150 gold crowns if they succeeded.

The two friends agreed they would do so and expected to leave on the morrow after a good night’s rest and some shopping at the trading store for some more goods.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2nd Campaign! Background

My daughter has been bugging me ever since my friend Mike C gifted her her 1st D&D set at age 6. Ambitious, yes, but he wanted to make sure the groundwork was laid early. I promised her that she could play when she was 8 (incidentally the same age that my cousin Jeff had come to my house one summer attempting to teach me how to play – but I did not take him up on it at that time) – and somehow she became 8!

It was a rainy weekend and she had already broken her teeth on Heroquest and various other similar games so after allowing her to convince me I told her that we would roll up characters. Over the years I had introduced probably 20 or so people to the game but honestly, no one as young or as important to me as my daughter. I wanted to think about this and do it right so I had to think about WHY and HOW we play and explain it in such a way that an 8 year old 3rd grader could understand and appreciate. I took some time to think about it

So below are the 7 policies regarding Dungeons and Dragons and what I talked about with my kid before we even cracked a book or picked up a pencil. They are worthwhile to repeat and it does not matter what age or experience your players are.

1) Winning at D&D means you show up. That’s the most important lesson – unlike Chutes and Ladders or Monopoly – there is no end game and the game ends when you stop playing. As long as you come and come with 3 things: 1) A willingness to listen, 2) Respect for others around the table, & 3) A good attitude; you will always win at D&D.

2) There is only one Rules person at the table. Being the DM is hard and you should always respect him or her. That means that if a rule is made or something is told to you regarding how an action plays out, there is no clamoring for a change or a reroll or can I instead do this. This goes back to the 1st point in which there is NO winning. Sometimes your character will die and sometimes you will get hurt – but there are also times when you will do the same to the foes arranged against you.

3) Teamwork – This is not a solo endeavor, there will be other people in your group. Some will be players, some will be characters the DM is controlling – but the long and short of it, it is a group effort and there are going to be times that your character can shine and times when someone else will be the main focus. Be respectful of both instances. Share the spoils always and always remember that no one should be left behind.

4) Good Sportsmanship – Sometimes the dice are going to be in your favor, and sometimes they won’t. What matters is how you compose yourself at the table. Cheering when the results are good and not complaining or calling out “not fair” when the results are poor. There is going to be the desire to cheat or fudge a dice roll – but a good player will refrain from doing that.

5) Social Gathering – This is a social event, just like a party or play date. It’s a chance to get together with friends and family and do things with them that everyone enjoys doing together. There will be shared laughter and joys and groans and stories. And when you see these people again even if it is not a game day, there will be that shared experience that binds you together.

6) Math and Reading skills – There is much to be learned in regards to statistics, addition, subtraction, estimation, probability, how to read a chart, as well as learning new words, definitions, sentence structure, manners of speaking, and further personal enrichment of this and other similar topics. (Words I had to define just during character creation: Alignment, Class, Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma, Paralyzation, Ventriloquism, Portal, Pole Arm, Platemail Armor, Tinder Box, Waterskin, Morale)

7) Historical Facts – Although it is a fantasy game, there are hundreds of things to learn about the past that you would most likely glean just from casual play even the first night. What’s the difference between bows and crossbows? What’s a Keep and why was it used instead of castles everywhere? What’s a dairymaid? What’s a cobbler? Why are some roads cobbled and others dirt? What IS a cobbled road? Why doesn’t everyone own a horse?

Another thing I did that I don’t normally do is I dropped the DM screen and rolled all dice in front of her. When able to, I allowed her to roll her own dice as well. Kids love dice, heck we all love dice, so seeing how it plays out and telling her what number she was looking for to achieve what goals she wanted was not only a kick but very appreciated.

As for systems, I went back to my 1980 red book Basic D&D set – the same one that I had used and learned when I was a kid. It meant jettisoning most everything I’ve tacked on over the years but it was a pleasurable experience to go back to the basics and play as it was originally inferred. Things I was happy to relearn – healing potions do 1d6+1, all 1st level characters need a 10 to hit AC:9, Initiative maxes at +2, short range on missile attacks get a +1, Halflings hide at 90% when outside and 2/6 when in a dungeon.

And lastly, I kept the actual game play time down to about 2 ½ hours. A short goal, defined solution, and a trip back to town all wrapped up in 1 fell swoop. We could have played longer but I did not want to burn her out and instead wanted to leave her hungry (if she was interested) for more and to come back when she wanted to.

Allow me to say, she very much wanted to (and still wants to!) come back and play again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Meet 131, Adv 11, 4/16/11

Escape from the dungeon.

Sometimes its a general walk out, other times its a run for your lives, and once in a while, its a pitched fight. And that's what the party fell to.

They left a level and a half of enemies at their back in their quest to the 7th level - and in their "passing", the enemy was given the heads up of the party, some of their strengths, and told what to look for and how to arrange it to be the most difficult to take the group down.

4 sites were originally figured: the first was foiled as the guards did not notice the group and were surprised and overrun (orcsish archers), the 2nd was even as the kobolds knew of the group and the group knew of the kobolds (the owlbear and giant frogs and green slime were enchancements), it was the 3rd site: 28 orcs with liuetenants, defensible positions, ballistas, crossbows, and a demonic cat that the party had an issue with.

I knew it was going to be difficult for the group and was hoping to lure a single person or two away - in this case I ended up bagging the party leader, the elven ranger. And through a series of bad negotiations and poor reaction checks, I ended up killing.

I don't like doing that to players but it did happen and the group chucked it into high gear and raced on for the exit.

Write up follows:

We queued up and returned to our long walk across the perimeter of the 5th level in our trek out of Double Dagger Dungeon. We refilled Agma’s lantern with our dwindling stock of oils and pressed on. At the end of the hall we came to a door that would lead up back to the main “choice” room and the party stopped, giving the portal a good listen. And we heard voices, kobold, on the other side.

Hmmm, they were originally on the 3rd level, and now they were here. Were they ready for us? Warned somehow? We don’t know what went on during the 2-3 hours that Stenthian Manbreaker the Minotaur and his troupe had marched about. It was very possible that the kobolds were set in place assuming we tried to leave.

Some of our fighters were brought near the front and we readied weapons and spells and then charged in on the assault. There were 9 or so kobolds in here armed with javelins and atlatls, 2 giant frogs, and in the halls beyond were 3 sets of 3 kobolds armed with spinning slings. And not too far away were other kobolds and the fecundic odor of an owlbear. One of the kobolds was fairly well armored and had his arms behind his back. Rahyk targeted that one and him and Guyus charged in.

A few stones were shot to no real effect and the battle was joined. Swords hit and kobolds fell. The leader absorbed most of Rahyk’s attack and then retaliated, his hands actually black and red demonic looking claws that seemed to hit a lot harder than expected. Norris charged in, flanking the leader. Frog’s tongue hit Rahyk who loped it off. Digger hit the nearest frog, Pisser charging to the right to tackle 3 of the kobolds. Arrows were shot and the room became crowded as we filled the empty spaces. Hammerhand and the other 3 pseudo-undead were told NOT to attack in the fight and to just wait.

Most stones were shot and Norris was knocked down. A few kobolds in the back did not toss stones, but instead fired green slime filled vials. One hit Beren’s shield, one hit the side wall, one hit King. The owlbear tore into the carnivorous ape and Kong was assaulted by javelin sporting kobolds. Detheron shoved Heimdall’s Bulwark into his ape’s side, bringing King back up and staving off the green slime assault briefly.

Beren was trying to shake off the shield and drag Norris back when he was knocked down, the bard barely missing getting slime on him. Some frantic tugging released his arm from the shield and he kicked it away. Pisser tore one of the kobolds to shreds and hit the next one. One of the frogs was dead, the other badly hurt. More javelins and stones flew. Guyus hit three of the kobolds at once, taking two of them down and driving the 3rd one back. Rahyk was having some difficulty with the leader who was soaking up damage heavily. Gwyn swapped to his hydraspear and joined the fight against the leader.

With a groan the leader went down but his demonic hands disengaged from his forearms and continued their assault, causing Soren, Gwyn, and Rahyk to jump about and try to end the fight. The kobolds were fading in groups of one and two and a few started to run away, Pisser giving chase to one of them. Detheron kept pumping charges into King who finally was getting the better of the owlbear who was ALSO suffering from the green slime.

One of the hands was “slain” and it exploded, hurting everyone around it which also killed the other hand, which also exploded and killed everyone around that. At this point the last of the kobolds was taken down the owlbear was killed and we backed away, dragging our hurt and wounded into the side room where the green slime was set ablaze and we stayed behind the closed door and took care of our many wounds. King was cleaned of the slime and we took stock.

Once satisfied we pocketed what coin we could find, reloaded on stones and bullets and javelins, and went off towards the stairs to the 4th level.

Carefully we walked around, noting a few changes. The main door was forced open and the hinges were beaten, preventing the door from closing again. Also as we walked around we could not find Gustuv where we had hidden him. The big half ogre and his great sword, Ragnarok, was missing. Lovely. We came to the end of the level and saw the other main door had been treated the same: forced open and hinges beaten.

It was as we were getting ready to get out of the 4th and go to the 3rd that we talked. We had bypassed the entire level 3 and most of the 2nd level before – leaving untold number of orcs and kobolds there. The same creatures that most likely know of us and our possible return. Soren volunteered to go up the stairs to the 3rd level and listen. He placed his ear against the door and the door opened and a bag was tossed over his head, cinched tight, and truncheons were hit on his skull – knocking him out.

The rest of us heard nothing. It was after 5 minutes that we took a look – no Soren. We gathered together and drew out a quick map of what we had seen of the level and carefully we opened the door. To our left we had the stairs going right up to the 2nd level and beyond this turn off we saw the main guard room, now empty of most furnishings except for a few dumped over stools and a smattering of cards and dice. Two long tables had been set up sideways, blocking the 2 exits from the room. Behind one was a ballista and behind the other was a crossbow wielding orc.

It was possible to avoid the orcs and sneak up the stairs – but no Soren was seen. Some parlaying commenced. The orcs seemed to know who we were and wanted us to leave. We had taken out Costeval the Fat and Stenthian, so they had our leader in return. We were told to go and never return. We wanted proof they had Soren so a few moments passed and his boot was flung into the room – with the elven ranger’s foot falling out of it. Someone did comment that it could have been anyone’s foot but was quickly sushed.

There was a mix of getting ready and getting out of here, with the party spreading out for a frontal assault. Detheron commented that the ballista was the biggest threat and was going to target both tables/corner of the room with a Flame Strike. More comments were tossed and the orcs wanted us to leave. We were stalling for time and Soren’s hand was flung out next. Fuck. Another joke went on with that we were helping Soren escape one piece at a time. It did not go over well.

Finally at the end of things, hoping we could still parlay, the unseen orcish speaker grew wroth and there was a sudden scream followed by a thunk – and Soren’s head was thrown towards us. Detheron stepped into the area, accepting that he might get hit, took aim at the corner of the room and called down a flame strike spell – which went off JUST before the lone crossbow bolt hit the druid in the chest.

Hitting him with a Magic Killer bolt. Which turned off all of the druid’s active spells – including his connecting to Frey…and his connection to his three animals. The three druid touched animals that now believed he was dead. The 3 animals that berserked in the hall and tore into the party. King beat Brother Beren from behind, the albino ape rending the cleric horribly and then tearing his left arm off at the elbow and beating his to death with it. Blam – Brother Beren down to -7 and missing his left arm.

Kong assaulted the group and Peter the spider jumped on Digger and tried to poison the wolverine. Detheron was struggling back against the wall, howling in pain and trying to keep the bolt from jiggling in his chest. The flame strike destroyed the ballista and the 2 orcs in the area, the sound of divine flames and fury ripping across the chamber. The party was too spread out and disorganized for this and a number of the group yelled for the undead dwarf Hammerhand, to help.

The dwarf took off his great axe and laid into Kong, knocking the ape off of Guyus and then cleaving its skull open. With a backhanded swing he dispatched the giant spider from Digger and scrambled forward. Meanwhile King caught sight of Detheron and stopped its attack, VERY puzzled as to what was going on. Detheron was hissing at the group NOT to attack his ape, and with a crazed pull, tore the magic killing arrow from his gut and tossed it away. His connection with King was reestablished immediately, but his spells were all still gone for now (although he could sense Frey was still with him).

Guyus opted to stand ground and act as rearguard, Gwyn, Jerold, and Malak standing with the paladin. Rahyk and Norris took point and proceeded to lead the party out towards the entrance. Hammerhand picked up the fallen cleric who had been given a quick stabilizing healing, and we ran on while the orcs were gathering their strength to attack.

At the top of the stairs Rahyk lead the way with Norris’ help, picking our way through corridors back towards where the Six Pints of Blood bandits had once roosted (along with the Maker). A few orcs saw us and fired bolts our way. The call to Guyus to “get his ass up here” and hold these new orcs at bay was yelled back and the party snaked their way towards the end of level 2. The room where the orcs were we heard a trundling and a cask of oil was rolled towards us – breaking open and spilling oil across a spreading expanse of the dungeon floor.

At the end of the hall there was a shimmering screen in front of the room and Rahyk did not want to pass through it. Norris said that it was the left over illusion from before and stepped through first to show it was harmless – but the bard was wrong and his body broke the death ward and the half-elf was dropped to 0 hit points and killed. Rahyk roared for “someone’s who’s been here to help us out of this damned place! To come up here and guide him!” and Agma came forward. Norris was too heavy to carry for her and she led Rahyk towards the stair to level 1.

We followed the fighter and the Halfling with jogging steps as they made the stairs, eventually Detheron helped Norris with a quick healing potion, and we made the top of the dungeon level. Rahyk was directed left and we stopped at a door. We knew we had to go left through the door and then it was a jump to the steps and out. A last ditch of low level orcs tried to bar our way but the party hit them like a hammer against anvil and we made our way to the surface and out of Double Dagger Dungeon.

We stopped briefly to check on Norris (stable) and Brother Beren (stump bound and breathing but unconscious). Our dwindling supply of potions was drunk and we talked about what to do. It was 7:40 at night, dark, raining, and we were in troll infested mountains at least 2-3 days from any civilization. The group was inspired to head to Fulgore Keep which we knew was only about 2 or so hours from here.

So we walked through the dark, relying on our damp map, the faint trails on the ground, and the flashes of lightning to guide us to the keep and keep us clear of the trolls that haunted the Dusty Mountains.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet 130, Adv 11, 4/9/11

Interparty fights happen. Let's face it, it is a social game and people are going to clash. Hell, most of us a 50% genetically identical to our parent and we fight with them - why would a pile of strong will friends around a table for 6 hours talking not eventually get under someone's skin?

When I was younger I reveled in it - someone burns me as Julo the Fighter, my next character is chaotic evil and I knife Julo the 1st time I'm on watch. That ended quickly as the games broke down to one shot messes. So we scrapped the campaigns and I started to layout what was going to end up being my own game world for the next 26 years and it was with the idea that this was a social game and a team effort and we would not have that sort of screwing around at the table.

There are still times though when something just goes the left when it should have gone right and tempers fly and personalities clash both in character and out and then BLAM implosion. This had happened and I'd like to think that some growth was achieved as a group from it.

Write up follows:

While most of the party was in shock and grief over Aghmar’s demise, looking over the edge of the precipice down into the softly glowing scum covered water below, Soren and Rahyk were verbally at each other’s throats. Words were exchanged, barbed tossed, and snarling attacks on each other’s character were bandied about.

It was boiled down to a few issues: Soren continuously fails to show appreciation for anyone in the party’s efforts, Rahyk too often leaves on his own to do what he thinks best, no formal deal was remembered by too many of the group on who was getting any shares of the treasure, Soren lost his patience over leadership one too many times and gave up on the group, Rahyk has to accept that everyone does their job to the best of their ability, and lastly – no one was ever to again let another person in the party die if it was in their ability to save them.

Was the matter solved? Probably not – but it would do until we got out of the dungeon and back to civilization. For now an uneasy truce was established between Soren and Rahyk.

We lit lantern, giving it to Agma, and the group pressed on, looking for the way out. There were a few twists and turns and then the group smelled shit. Fresh shit. Ahead was a large faintly odiferous pile of it. Our druid gave it a once over and assured us it was herbivorous droppings, and if it was a typical amount, the figure that dropped it was close to 400 lbs in size. We saw nothing that would identify what it might be but we moved on carefully.

Eventually we came to a door and it was closed but there was a faint smear of feces on the handle. Norris gave the door a good once over and declared it safe (although filthy). Using an extra shirt we had picked up we cleaned off the door and opened it up. Room was big, 40 x 30, and there was an oversized 4x3x3 stone/wood/iron chest in the middle. Floor was covered in about an inch or two of dirt and there was an opening on the opposite side of the chamber. Humanoid large two toed prints seemed to run across the room towards the chest and then out towards the other side.

Everyone felt the chest was a trap but was unsure of what to do. Whoever was just here ran towards the chest and then out. We used a pair of shovels and cleared out a small section of the floor, showing normal stone beneath. Giving the soil a heavy glance, Soren drew out a small pinch of his ivy seeds and threw them onto the dirt – satisfied to see them quickly grow into 8’ lengths of pale green ivy. The soil was the same quality as the soil from the 4th floor. Detheron called on to Frey to detect any pits and uncovered a huge one almost 40’ deep taking up most of the room and centered under the chest. The soil had the tendency to dissolve leather and flesh so we one by one took off our shoes for what was to come.

We kept clearing away more of the soil, concentrating where the footprints were, eventually uncovering the lip of a closed pit. Ok, getting somewhere. Whoever it was in here before had run over the pit and did not trigger it. Soren volunteered to try and the ranger backed up a few steps and then charged over the pit, following in the same path the other person had gone. The floor felt like it was going to give way beneath the elf until he arrived at the area around the chest. At that point he heard a click and the floor felt solid as he ran the rest of the way across.

Ok, that worked. Do we want to open the chest? Most likely a trap but we’d save it for the end. We had Soren run back, following the same path – this time the floor felt solid until he arrived at the chest where he heard the click and then the floor felt bouncy. We checked our rope and learned that we were running out. Taking tow 30’ lengths, a quick mend spell spliced the two ends together and we tied a portion of it to Soren who ran BACK across (again: bouncy, click, solid). The other end was tied to a grapple and situated near the entrance.

After this we got the party across by staying in the same path until Norris was last. Our bard then went up to the chest and placed himself over it. After riding on top he cleared out the area around it and revealed a place for him to stand. He checked it out, no traps, and then using the keys from Taramis opened the lock. With a steadying breath he lifted the top and suddenly yelled out and the floor dropped away everywhere – pit opening was 20 x 30. IN fact only the CHEST remained in place- hovering in the air. Norris was holding on to the edge and pulled himself up, swinging one leg in. Inside written on the top were the words “Ha ha” written in elvish. He went to scratch it out but defacing any of the inner surface of the chest made the magic holding it 40’ off the floor shake and spark so he stopped.

The rope was tossed to the party who started to pull – and in fact pulled the chest across the air! Very nice. It took some doing but we got Norris and the chest on the right side of the pit and took stock of what we had found. Chest weighted 90 lbs and seemed to float and stay in position after it was moved somewhere. Sort of a cross between Tenser’s floating disk and a levitation spell. We could lift it up and it would stay there, or we could angle it down and it would sink. We also loaded it up with chests and people and it still felt like it was 90 lbs. Norris wanted to take it and so we dragged the chest along, eventually allowing Galf to place his chest inside of it and the porter instead just pushed the floating chest along.

Corridor eventually split and we took some time mapping it out, the right/straight option eventually led to a pair of corridors that turned in on themselves and went in circles while the left meandered around to two doors. The first door was closed and the second had a sensation of pressure behind it after Norris checked it out. We believed that one was trapped so went back to the first. We heard nothing and went to open it when water started blowing past our knees through the open portal. It took 3 of us to reclose/relatch the door shut and check to make sure the water in the hall was actually just water. Ok, that room had some maybe 2’ of water covering the floor.

Going back to the trapped door, Norris offered to remove the pressure plate trap and was about halfway done when he slipped and the door cracked open, a spear driving straight down and into his back, pinning him in place. A 2nd spear did not fire but could at any moment. Guyus stepped over Norris with his shield blocking him, Soren used a piece of the rust monster’s antenna we had picked up to rust the other unfired spear, and Detheron/Brother Beren helped free the bard from his position.

One free and bound up, we were dismayed to see the door did not lead anywhere. Now what? Water room or back to the two corridors that might turn back into each other? We opted to check out the corridors and hoped to find stairs there. Upon looking we found 3 bodies there, pale, unmoving, dead for what seemed like 2-3 days and totally naked – two humans and a dwarf. The other corridor looked to be the same, 3 more bodies, tow humans and an elf. Both corridors did reconnect at the end.

Do we mess with them or not? Norris decided to take a chance and tossed a coin at one of the humans. Nothing happened. We were talking about going down to check it out or just leaving when the body he had hit reached up and scratched where it was hit. Fuck. A detect evil was enacted by Guyus but he felt nothing! The body then groaned and said in a heavy accent, “What the hell? Where’s my pants?”

We had conversation with it and learned that it was a guy named Denathi and he was in a tavern in Tarkis and he thought it was 120 years ago. Was drinking and woke up here naked. He moved slowly and jerkily like a zombie but was not evil and had full control of his speech and memories and faculties. In fact he wanted pants. We gave him a set from our group and even Norris was able to shake it/his hand and had no ill effects. Brother Beren was torn and felt a resistance from his god on just turning the seemingly undead Denathi.

At one point Denathi went to wake up another of the fallen bodies, but when he touched it, there was a flash and the body turned to dust. Denathi seemed to straighten up and was no longer moving so jerkily, plus the pale deadish look faded and he seemed to be normal looking. We debated over it slightly and then settled on waking up the other 3 bodies, getting more of the same except from the dwarf who said he was an adventurer named Hammerhand who was part of a group that was going against some necromancer called the Mottled One about 90 years ago.

We figured that it was the same necromancer that was a part of Double Dagger Dungeon. We also learned a bit about the Blackblood resin – necromantic rites can be used to keep the blood flowing from a magical creature and the blood can be used to shortcut some potion makings, “monsterize” animals, or provide a protective unguent for undead. We opted to take the 4 undead with us out of the dungeon, outfitting them with some leftover equipment and clothes we had.

But with no where left to go we went back to the water door and decided to work it opened. Gwyn used his auger and drilled a hole about 4” from the floor. The water rushed out and we waited as it filled the hall. Eventually we did note that at the corner, it did not turn left but seeped under the wall! Hammerhand shoved hard and the wall slid up – secret door! Whoo hoo.

Once the water did stop we opened the door again and took a look. Very big room and 4 dead bodies here, 3 orcs and 1 minotaur. We went in to strip the bodies and once again, when our new undead friends touched them, they turned to dust and the 4 of them did not appear to be as zombie-like anymore. Hammerhand did touch a 2nd one and a sort of black glow surrounded him. We were getting less confident as time went on.

Equipped now with more armor and weaponry from the dead orcs and minotaur we lined up and went towards the secret door. The corridor wound in an “S” pattern for a bit until we came across…a large spider! It occurred to us that it might be the same spider that Detheron had spoken to a day or two ago so another speak with animal spell was enacted and our druid talked.

Sure enough it was the same and we asked the arachnid where the “fire room” was that we had originally encountered it in – and were told that we were almost there. The spider seemed concerned and wanted to travel with Detheron and the druid thought about it, and then decided that having an almost 3’ spider with us could only be a good thing.

We arrived at the fire room and worked our way across easily after we had snuffed out the torches. It was when Brother Beren was going across, riding in the magical floating chest, that he had the cover pulled closed and the chest just dropped out of the sky. Damn it. Norris was pissed and we tried to open the chest again to get it to float but it just would not, even though it was confirmed that the chest WAS still magical. We split up our belongings and carried the chest with us as we made our way across the floor.

From here it was a short walk past the guard room, through the smoky portal with the 3 color code on it, and to the stairs up to the 6th level.

We checked out what was Costeval the Fat’s chamber, seeing it empty, and continued on to the secret corridor, eventually ending up at the start of the 6th level. We took the stairs to the 5th level and started the long walk around the corridors where we had the fight with the orcs before. We listened, and there were some more of them back, guarding the corridor again.

We drew out into lines and then charged as quietly as we could down the dark long hall to crash into the orcs, armor class thrown to the wind. King and Kong were first, the 2 carnivorous apes tearing the orcs to shreds with roars and cries. Norris, Guyus, Rahyk, and Hammerhand all followed right behind with Soren shooting overhead into the packed orcs. The greenskins stepped back and a few tried to fire at the apes but they broke and ran instead. Axes were hurled and we pressed on. King pursued, Kong was slowed down thanks to Detheron’s calls.

We ran on, legs pumping hard in an effort to make it to the orcs but the last one turned the corner and King gave chase. We heard the twang of crossbows fired and then a heavy thud as the ape fell. Norris assaulted one of the orcs hard but it was Hammerhand who viciously took out the last of the orcs, dispatching each of them with a flurry or singular sharp edged blows from his war axe. And with each one he killed, he grew more fluid and the dark glow about his grew stronger.

And the party was very concerned.

He was still not evil, but there seemed to be a shift in his attitude as he was not so eager to “move on to the other side”. A few spells were tested (including a turning) and nothing seemed to work. Also, the spells that were aimed at him from Brother Beren he was able to capture and pass on on his own – Hold Personing Norris in the meanwhile.

We wanted to get out and took the 4 undead friends with us still, but now looked on them with some trepidation and thought about how to handle it and them once we were top side once more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Meet 129, Adv 11, 4/2/11

At some point someone in your group will go off on their own and have a solo adventure. When we were younger and played multiple times a week, that was ok to take a half hour or an hour out and solo run Dumbass the Fighter on his hunt for the bugbear, or Greedles the Thief as he went to steal the innkeeper blind. As I've gotten older and the game time has shrunk from 8 hour stints twice a week to 4.5 hour stints 3 saturdays out of every 4, solo time has been subtly squashed where able to.

But I have a player at my table who is not the best role player but damn it, he's shown up more often than most everyone else and whenever he does get into something, I like to promote it for him, because honestly I am happy when he WANTS to be a bigger part than second fighter on the left.

So Gwyn the dwarf had his own foray with a pathetic obese ettin trapped in a dungeon too small for himself and even though his reasons were selfish for taking the ettin with him, he did it in such a way that for a time his character was nobler than he normally gives himself the credit of being.

And now he had a rapid fire crossbow box - something I had sworn personally to keep out of his hands. Damn - that's going to bite me in the ass I just know it! ;)

Write up follows:

We looked down the long hall – the 9’ tall stone and steel golem holding the big box just standing in the corner alcove. No one wanted to risk walking up to it, and no one was keep on passing it either. We lit Soren’s lantern for an extra light source and debated the situation briefly. Eventually it was decided that Rahyk and Guyus would risk passing the golem, watching carefully to see that the construct did not start to move. At no point would ANYONE dare to touch it. We watched the two fighters get closer and closer – and then pass the golem without issue. Feeling a sigh of relief, the rest of the party followed suit until everyone had gotten by.

The hall turned left and then left again. We spied past and saw the hall was lined with torches and beyond the corridor seemed to be rounded and painted alternating black and white striped. There was also an opening to the left where we heard some heavy breathing coming from it. The breathing might be from what we assumed to be the ettin the two albino apes had described to Detheron earlier. No one was sure about the spinning looking corridor and we talked long about possible ways to assault the ettin. Unfortunately we spent so long in the hall talking about it and our voices did rise that we bothered the ettin who called out in both Ogrish and Giantish from both of its heads, the “Stop jabbering and just come on it.”

We carefully entered and Gwyn was shoved forward, our dwarf having the ability to understand and speak Ogrish. The room was at one point a guard chamber but had seen better days. A few counters and cabinets in poor shape were on the south wall, a door was in the far corner near a 14’ tall two headed pretty damned fat looking specimen of an ettin. It was not wearing anything, its grotesque gut overhanging its giantish…package. There was a soup cauldron in its arms and it was dunking chunks of strange meat into it, slurping the greasy mixture between its heads. It was sitting on a bed of crushed and strange animals – not hides, just flattened and rather oddly deformed animals.

The room was much too small for the ettin who would have to crouch should it stand up. It wanted to know what the party wanted and Gwyn said to pass. It said ok, give the word. We didn’t say we didn’t know it, but waited long enough until it said, well give me something to eat or something shiny. Soren quickly pulled out the hallucinogenic mushroom soiled meat we had been carrying since the 4th level and told Gwyn to give it to the ettin. It slurped it down and said that 3 of the party could go past.

We looked through what we had and most of the rest of the bear steaks and other “turning” meat products we had were passed forward and given to the ettin, identified as Taramis, who looked at the bounty and said the group could pass. It seemed friendly and was honest about its plight – came here some time ago from Stenthian, the dungeon is too small for it, nowhere to go and can’t fit through most of the doors. It seemed to want to chat but we walked on by, wishing the two headed monster well.

The next chamber seemed to be the one in question that we had suspected the Sun Sphere to be in. There were two other doors out of here and the ceiling had a 9 count oh hemispheric globes pressed tight against the stonework. Each was painted with a heavy layer of faux-gold paint. The floor of the room was 6 inches lower than normal and we gave the ceiling a once over. Detheron called upon Frey and tried to find magic, noting that 3 of the globes contents was glowing with magic.

We were tired though and there was nothing except a few spells still at our disposal. We looked over the two possible doors out of here; the one on the left was a long corridor that smelled of mildew, the one on the right was a set of stairs going down about 9 feet to some water filled corridor. The group talked and decided that we would stay here for the night. We took a length of rope and tied the two doors closed and then the rest of us shared what water and food we had before setting ourselves up and going to rest.

As time went on and the group kept watch, Gwyn who was on 2nd watch noted that the ettin, Taramis, was talking to some creature, orcish, that was rather loud and angry sounding. After the orc had gone, the dwarf opened the door and chatted with Taramis. The orc was upset over the death of Stenthian and wanted to know if Taramis had seen what happened. Gwyn and Taramis spent the next two hours talking to one another, playing cards, and just generally bonding – the ettin even though evil, was miserable in his situation and just wanted the opportunity to get out of here and go home.

Gwyn thought. He wanted the possibility of getting a rapid fire box for his crossbow but with the golem nearby, it wasn’t going to happen. So he tried to convince Taramis that they would have to take out the golem and one they had done so, then Gwyn could help the Ettin get to the portal. Taramis let Gwyn know that the portal would not work if it was red, only if it was blue/green. So Gwyn lied and said it was ready. There was some serious discussion until Taramis was swayed that he would have to knock the golem down and take its arms and legs off.

So the dwarf and the Ettin (who was crab walking hunched over down the corridor) headed back towards the golem, Gwyn sneaking past and then Taramis reached out, grabbed the golem by the head, and punched (only to yelp in pain at the hitting of rock). The golem animated, dropping its box of quarrels and grappled with the ettin. They struggled for a moment while Gwyn looked on with surprise and then Taramis gave out a might roar, hoisted the multiton golem OFF the ground and rolled backward, hurling the constructed creature over his flabby body and down the hall.

Gwyn charged to the crossbow room and made sure that the tiles were pressed and shot off the loaded bolts one by one, and then cut each and every string in there making sure there would be no chance of someone getting accidentally shot. Meanwhile the golem and the ettin continued their fight and it was loud and terrible to hear. Carefully Gwyn walked down to the corner, Taramis was badly hurt, nursing his left arm that was twisted the wrong way, many scratches and bruises covered his form. The golem’s head and right arm was missing, and its left leg was bent the wrong way, forcing the construct to have a shuffling gait. And still they battled on.

The dwarf reached down, grabbed the end of the quarrel box and started to run down the hall with it which caused the golem to deliver a vicious kick to Taramis’ midsection and stomp over the ettin to give chase. The box was heavy, the golem was wounded but running, and the gap between the dwarf and the pursuer was closing. Gwyn ran into the crossbow room, out the other entrance, and towards the corridor with all the pits. He threw the door open as the golem rounded the corner, shoved the box until it clattered 25’ down, and then jumped across the pit as the golem finally closed to touching distance.

It stepped over the edge and fell, crumbling on the bottom of the pit and trapped there with no way to get out. Gwyn carefully leapt back over the pit gave one look at the golem down in the hole, and went back to Taramis. The ettin was not dead, just very badly hurt. Gwyn sat with his new friend for a pit while Taramis wanted to know if Gwyn would go with him to the portal and see if it would work. There was some hemming and hawing but Gwyn agreed and the two of them crept towards the stairs. They looked out and the portal was indeed bluish/green. A lone orc was in front of it, reading some book.

Taramis wished Gwyn well and the dwarf watched his lumbering friend charge across the chamber, both heads screaming. Not wanting to see what happened next, Gwyn ran back up the stairs – the sounds of the orc shrieking filling his ears along with the dual roars of the ettin and then some other strange calls. A sense of unease washed over the dwarf as there were some crackling noises when the portal fired up but Gwyn decided NOT to further investigate and instead ran back to the party and take up his watch again.

We rested late the next day and Gwyn filled us in about Taramis and his departure and the “no more golem” issue. It was now time to look into getting what we came here for. Aghmar fired up a floating disk and Norris climbed on while the rest of the group retreated to Taramis’ room. Positioned under the north eastern hemi-sphere Norris turned it counterclockwise until it finally came free and we beheld – the Sun Sphere! (Hooray!!)

Using the flat of his dagger he scrapped the paint away from the other surfaces revealing a crystalline area below that we were able to look through. It took some time but we found lots of clothes and personal belongings as well as a black iron box, a sack, an oil lamp, and a few other items. The bag was a bag of holding filled with at least 4,000 copper, it lamp was magical but we didn’t do anything with it, the box held some potions.

Rahyk and Soren got into a discussion over the lamp and it ended up with neither one being satisfied. This was a foreshadowing on other issues to come.

During all this Gwyn and a few others had snuck back to the crossbow room and dismantled one of the rapid fire boxes from the weapon, taking it back to our chamber and attaching it to Gwyn’s crossbow. He then loaded it and we drew up into a marching order. No one wanted to go down either the mildew smelling corridor or the water filled passage. So instead we went back to the “spinning corridor” just north of Taramis’ room and looked in and on. We heard that there were bugs at the end of it but not sure what and where.

Norris scouted and came back telling us that there was a turning corridor and then some sort of chamber as well. Detheron called on Frey and discovered there were some 100,000 flesh eating beetles in that “room” beyond. There was a corridor beyond it but no one wanted to risk it. Instead they had Brother Beren erect an anti-vermin barrier near the entrance of the room and then the party ventured down slowly into the corridor.

The barrier held and the bugs within went somewhat nuts in their attempt to get to the party but to no avail. We kept going past and eventually the corridor ended at a single door. Norris checked it out, determined it was trapped, and we rigged up a rope to open it – and two spears shot out. Beyond the door was…nothing. Damn it!!

We went back to the bug room and with a series of carefully looking and checking around, determined that there was another way out of this chamber. But storming in was not going to work. Instead, Detheron called on Frey and pounding hail smashed into the chambers, filling the floor with slushy ice and the subfreezing temperatures helped kill off the bugs in here.

We walked across to the other corridor out, and it went down 9’ or so to a water filled corridor. There was thought that it went back to the other one from the globe room but wanted to make sure of it first. So about 5 of us went into the 3’ deep water and started walking when Rahyk got a funny feeling and asked for one of Detheron’s quarter staves. Sure enough after a few feet the floor of the corridor dropped away – pit hidden under the water. We backed up slowly and the party then went back to the globe room.

Gwyn had informed us of the uncomfortable sensation of the area around where the portal was and the other two passages out of here were a bust – which left only the corridor smelling like mildew.

We queued up and went down the corridor two by two, eventually getting closer to the end where we stopped in shock and dismay.

The room was cavernous, ceiling stretched some 30’ above our head and the floor was hidden far below we assumed under the surface of the scummy water some 35’ below us. Clumps of glowing fungus abounded giving the chamber a greenish aura. As we watched slimy shaped of dungeon squid disturbed the surface of the water. And suspended from the ceiling were a series of braided ropes that supported disks of wood between 5’ and 10’ in diameter, acting as steps and a path from one end of the room all the way to the other. A few plinths of solid rock stuck out of the water about half way across.

There was no desire to go this way but there was also no desire to go back. We had to try. A few ideas were bandied about and we were settling on possibly roping 4 of us together and making our way from platform to platform. Rahyk pulled out the “rope” wand we had grabbed some levels above and the fighter aimed it at the nearest platform’s rope and experimented with it. Learning that he could raise, lower, and adjust the rope as well as “pull” himself towards it.

We watched as he made his way from one end of the room to the other using only 2 or 3 of the magical charges. He did offer to share it with the party, but for some reason no one answered him. He offered again and again was ignored. Yeah, that was pissing him off.

Detheron called to Frey and gave himself the ability to climb like a spider, where he then made his way from one end of chamber to the other, standing next to a growling and simmering Rahyk. As for the rest of the party, pretty much on Soren had no problem leaping from platform to platform, making his way back and forth with ease. We roped ourselves together and then had the idea of Aghmar using his Floating Disk spell to carry even more of us.

It was only on the third platform that disaster struck and a couple of us slid off the end of the wooden disk. It was a frantic hold for a bit while Gwyn and Soren pulled up the terrified group. Then we slowly made our way to the plinth and rested. From here, Aghmar shoved his floating disk across the intervening space until it ended about at the exit where the fighter and druid were and we began shuttling everyone over one at a time. When the first batch was done we got the next batch over and then finally the third until on Norris, Aghmar and Soren were left.

If was here that things started going pear shaped. While getting our way over Aghmar slipped and ended up dangling down over the water. Then Norris slid off as well, the bard and mage tied together. Norris’ rope was tied to the platform and Soren was struggling to help lift them up when some of the dungeon squid tentacles started reaching up and grabbing at Aghmar. The mage was shouting and yelling and the tentacles gripped tight and began pulling – the dungeon squid’s face poking out of the slimy water and another squid next to this one.

Jerold began hurling darts down into the water, Soren tried to take aim and fire with his bow, Brother Beren called out to Tyr and shot a spiritual hammer down at the squid. Aghmar was kicking wildly and Norris shot a fear spell straight down, scaring off one of the squid but not the other one and Aghmar was now shrieking in terror.

Then Soren was shouting for Rahyk to use the wand and the word were exchanged and stupid this and rude and selfish that and back and forth and Rahyk was furious at the ranger and instead of using the wand, sent it tumbling over the edge of the room towards the water! Only a frantic grab by Malak saved the magic wand but the damage was done as the rope between Norris and Aghmar parted with a rip and the mage was dragged screaming down into the water where he disappeared under the slimy surface.

The party was stunned. Norris worked his way over to safety followed by a furious Soren who proceeded to lace into the angry Rahyk who was yelling back at the red faced elven leader. And that’s where that game ended.