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, May 30, 2013

Meet 33, Adv 2, 5/18/13

This was the wrap up of Candlewick Keep for the party, involving them crawling over places they couldn't get to before and maybe getting some questions answered. There was some treasure to be found and the group did so without issue - nothing overpowered for a group of 2/3/4th level players. And certainly nothing that'll get them rich. Should have enough to pay off the retainers, train, re-equip, and get a few small cool items and then off again.

The followers of Hestia were left alive (wounded of course) @ the end and in the long term, I am going to use that bit of crumpet. And for the paladin, there was the continuous defiling of the Chapel of Zeus which also will have its own impact @ some point.

Write up follows:

It was 10 to 10 on Birthmonth the 25th when we left the Chapel and made our way back to Candlewick Keep and made our way to the now seemingly silent 2nd floor. After all the people and life we had seen and experienced, it was disturbing to walk around the keep with it so quiet.

We checked the eastern corridor, still blocked by the barricade of furniture the yuan-ti had set up some time ago. We felt no presence of evil, and saw no easy way through. We then decided to look over the door there. Fist’al assured us it was free of traps and unlocked, and after opening it, saw it was at one point an armory for the keep, now abandoned. Translucent snake scales the size of coins abounded but other than that, there was nothing in here. A 2nd door led to the north.

We opened it and looked carefully. We exited on the other side of the barricade in a 5’ wide hall that ran to the east ending at a door (which we assumed would lead to the eastern side of the parapet). There were two corridors here running north, both of them with doors on both sides, reaching off into the gloom. According to our map, it seemed this was originally servants’ quarters.

We wanted to check them both out, but after going back and forth, felt very uncomfortable about either. So Bill summoned a monster, getting a giant, 15# rat to appear. Marcus applied a light spell to the rat and then the Halfling sent it up the closer passage first, where it ran about half way and then stopped, refusing to go past the 2nd door on the left. Bill called it back and then did the same to the other passage, where it went almost to the end and stopped again.

The spell ended and we went over our choices, deciding on the right most corridor. We proceeded with caution but a touch with calamity befell us when coming from one of the right hand doors, a 5’ asp slithered out and bit Fist’al on the leg. Luckily it only struck his boot and then the reptile raced under the adjoining door on the left. We hit at it, but the snake escaped.

No longer wanting to risk this, we left the corridor and returned to the armory room. Here we all put on boots if we had them, and thought about how we can block the base of the doors so no other snakes could come out and bite us. We went back to Kronig’s room and took the bedding from there, estimating we had enough to block 3 doors. We were going to need more.

We searched over the former half-elves area, nothing of use. We did go back to the crazies/Hestians area and found some very soiled clothes, nut no sign of the Hestians. We guessed we had enough now to block off 8 of the doorways so went to head back to the former yuan-ti side, opting this time to check out the barricade closer to Kronig’s room.

It was here we saw a change. The barricade had been dismantled and spread to either side, offering a narrow passage through to the room beyond. An internal portcullis was down here, preventing anyone from getting in. We looked around for a lever to lift it and found none. So Fist’al crept up to the bars and used his mirror to look around the corner and see if he could find a lever.

He did so. Along with less than half-dozen of the followers of Hestia. They were crouched there, each one naked, covered in dried feces, and sporting very old ceremonial weapons they took off the wall.

We had conversation with them, Borthek (the speaker) was complaining that we ruined everything. We tried to counter that the Crimson Sanctuary was probably never supposed to last 15 years and it degenerated to snarls and complaints and then outright violence as we tried to physically lift the bars and they sent two of their men forward to stop us with spear thrusts. We countered with arrows and they fell back screaming.

That was when Marcus cast Charm Person on one of them and begged him to lift the gate. The remaining Hestians tried to stop him and a struggle ensued. At this point Ben and Marcus each grabbed one of the bars of the portcullis and began wrenching left and right, the metal squealing until they snapped off. We were in.

The battle (was it even one?) after that was short and brutal as we killed one of them and wounded the others. The fight out of them, Borthek moaned and railed against us but we came in, took the statue of Zeus that we wanted (as well as some other treasures!) and then left. The Charmed Hestian, Geld, came with us and wanted to get cleaned up and wear clothes again. We detoured to the former Bullywug area and used their baths while the majority of us then went down to the main hall and dismantled the goblin door mechanism…especially since it was built on top of a cart!

It was going to take many hours and Fergus was going to be doing much of the work. Meanwhile we then explored Tindoreg’s area, hoping he had left something behind we could use. Some of it was there, but anything of serious use was taken. There were some books about Candlewick and some of the bugbear’s notes filled the margins. In our reading we learned about other doors that were hidden that hadn’t been able to open, as well as one of them in Sisspak’s area that the frustrated yuan-ti had liberally had his minion spit poison all over it until it was deadly for anyone to touch.

We went to the goblin secret area first and behind the midden was another door. We opened it and discovered: 2 bags of food and 2 water skins (empty each), Medium metal shield, 3 broad swords (1 ornate), 4 daggers, 2 footman maces, 4 scroll tubes, and a small wooden box with healing draughts, potions, and potions of rejuvenation. Whoo hoo!

As for the upstairs door, we wanted some new spells ready and Marcus offered to study while we got our items ready. A few of us continued to explore and discovered that one of the tower’s bases did lead to the moat itself, but it seemed dangerous to cross (diseases). By dinner time spells had been restudies and Fergus was done with the cart, assuring us it would need to be pulled, but would carry 500 lbs without danger of falling apart, more than that it began to get dicey.

We went up to the 2nd floor to the door we expected was marked with poison and was locked. A Detect Poison showed it was VERY poisoned and we did not want to touch it. What was inside? Was it worth the risk of dying? We weren’t sure and then had an idea. We drilled a hole in the wood with our auger, but could see nothing. So Marcus drilled three more holes close to each other in a square pattern and then smacked the weaken wood off with a hammer.

It was a small room, only maybe 5’ deep. There was some armor visible in the hole and some words above it. We decided to risk opening it, but again, the door was very poisoned. So we got another brainstorm. Bill went up to the door and cast summon monster through the opening…and this time he summoned a Zombie!

It took some work but he made the zombie understand it had to open the door (after is staggered around for a bit) and we were in! We found Lord Candlewick’s royal armor: Bronzed-steel banded mail, helm, large metal shield, trident, and steel broad sword, all chased in royal blue and bearing a candle crest on them. On the wall was a large stone semi-circular plaque that read, “Even the darkest night is broken by a single candle’s flame.” A candle sconce was just below it.

We took the armor and then decided to put a candle in the holder and light it.

The entire Keep seemed to lift beneath our feet and shake briefly. Light was streaming in from the outside windows. We raced to the windows and looked – the top of each of the towers now sported a 10’ tall bonfire flame of yellow and white. A beacon, probably visible for miles around.

We extinguished the candle and went back to the 1st floor where we rest and ate.

Flimflam and Fist’al went to go and talk to Davers, the dryad, but on seeing the comely elven scout, it was Flimflam who had the desire to walk away and the elf was taken to the dryad where they had a very enjoyable night together.

On the morn of the next day, Flimflam tried to go to Davers to get her to give up Fist’al, but the dryad said she would tire of him in a few years. Eventually Flimflam had to do a favor for her, she handed him some acorns from her tree and told him to plant them and then press his hands to the ground and make the plant grow. They would grow and eventually each tree would have dryads of their own. She the mother, him the father.

He agreed and Davers let Fist’al emerge from her trunk, happy, dirty, sated, and dully responsive. He guided the elf back to the party and we began the process of putting our affairs in order and finally leaving Candlewick for the long journey home.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet 32, Adv 2, 5/4/13

This was the final big fight of the campaign. The way I had envisioned the adventure was that Sisspak and his 2 other yuan-ti were the equivalent of the Bogey man, terrifying to hear about but you don't want to meet them ever. They wander about, fast, genius level intelligence, but merely observers unless they are physically assaulted.

Kronig and his chamber was always the lynch-pin.

Easiest way to get to the Altar of Hestia was through the former lord's panic room, across the parapet, and down the north-east tower to where the spymaster had set up the altar 15 years earlier. The secret door was not operated like the others in the Keep, hence why Kronig never discovered it. And even if he had, it was too smal for him to use.

Alternative way would have involved the party crossing via the parapets through the other doors on the 2nd floor (easiest was by the Bullywugs) but would have involved risking contact with the stirges. So a night-time crossing would have been better. A work around of the stirges was hinted at by the local crazies - smear yourself in fecal matter or at least carry it on you - it repels the stirges. And thanks to the horses and Fergus' stomach sickness, we had plenty of crap to make this happen.

Kronig being slain was a 50/50. He doesn't spend all day in his area and is fond of visiting the Bullywugs and the Half-elves, so risking a trip into his chamber was more than possible. The flip-side of that of course were the yuan-ti who were constantly watching Kronig's area and were opportunistic should a chance to strike arise.

Overall, I really liked the way the party handled it.

Write up follows:

We spent roughly 20 minutes going over tactics and what our plans were. Nerill and the half-elves were going to be equipped with bows; Fiona Silverhair was going to bless the entire party with the force of Ares. Murgo and the Bullywugs were going to jump into the room, Fergus and Ben filling in the gaps, the 6 of them holding Kronig in place. The rest of us were going to fill in the other areas and support the front line fighters with spells, shields, and bow work.
Assuming we did drop Kronig fast, we were then going to make an effort to drop the sanctuary as fast as we can before running into Sisspak. What about Tempi? We hoped to find him fast and save him as soon as possible.
We left the elven area, crept back to the overlook, snuck up to Kronig’s room, and drew ourselves up, ready for the combat. The Bullywugs were crouched low, spears up and ready, poised to jump. The knob was turned, door thrown open, and there was the one time royal bedroom, now used as Kronig’s area. Near the bed was the 9’, 775 lb Ogre, holding Tempi aloft and slapping the half-orc back and forth across the face. He seemed to be unconscious, cheeks are bloody and red.
The Bullywugs then leapt. Their jumps cleared across the intervening space as the hit the Ogre, spears first. Some of them were batted aside; one of them scratched his arms. At the last moment though Kronig was able to lift the half-orc up and blocked one fairly deadly thrust with Tempi’s body. Fergus and Ben charged next, Ben hurled a spear, but struck shaft side. We roared, shouted, and snarled as we filled the room. Fergus was concentrating, the holy aura of Poseidon flowing about him.
Kronig lifted Tempi over head and hurled the half-orc into the massing fighters. One of the Bullywugs is knocked down from the flying half-orc. The room filled up fast as we filed in. Kronig whipped up Korlok’s axe and sneered, “You’ve made a tremendous mistake” as he tore into the throng about him.
The half-elves hurled arrows all over the place, almost a dozen clothyard shaft peppered around the Ogre, one of them critically hitting Kronig. With a furious cry, he swept his axe back and brought it whistling around, one Bullywug ducks behind his shield but it is crushed, a 2nd Bullywug struggled briefly but managed to avoid getting slain outright. Flimflam called out to Demeter and lined Kronig with burning fairie fire lights.
Bill, very drunk on Bullywug wine, was shouting out the words of his spell, summoning a zombie which hit the Ogre. However a wild surge happened and a 2nd zombie appeared – this one appeared over the Halfling and hit him – effectively dropping him to zero. Flimflam and Whosea struggled to stand over the Halfling, trying to block any of the blows. Marcus tried to blind Kronig but the ogre dodged and the light spell shot past.
We shot arrows at Kronig, once again hurting the ogre. However, during the exchange, Fist’al critically fumbled, his attention off to the side, and then was struck in chest and would be dead in an hour or less. He stumbled over and smashed his skull and was knocked out. Marcus sent his own flaming arrows into the melee.
Kronig swept his axe sideways, critically smashing into Fergus whose own shield fell apart. He snarled at the paladin who was shouting “URTHAR! A SHIELD!!” that his luck was over. Axe came over and JUST missed, slamming into the floor. Bullywugs (only 2 remaining) stabbed out, whittling away a few more precious hit points from the Ogre. Kronig smashed one Bullywug over, causing one of them to be stabbed and slain instantly.
Whosea and Flimflam were taking the zombie down and Urthar frisbee’ed a shield to the paladin. Kronig’s axe slams out at Fergus who manages to block the weapon with the tines of his trident. Trying to twist it around, he held it long enough to screw up any other assaults from the Ogre. Ben lashed out, more hit points whittling away.
We continued to press the attack on Kronig, while Marcus read his scroll of Monster Summoning III, getting a GIANT tick to appear! 75#, 5’ tall, 6 legs, it assaulted the Ogre immediately. This appearance though terrified Fergus who turned and fled the battle. He made his way out of the room, shoving everyone out of the way. Once outside the paladin hit the hall and started to run faster – however he was surprised – by a 7’ tall snake-man who spit a globule of venom at his face.
Poison in his eyes, he coughed, slid, and fell onto his face. Before passing out, he did shout, “Yuan-ti!” The group shuddered, we could NOT fight Sisspak OR his minions as well as Kronig at the same time.
We poured on our attacks, arrows, spears, and swords flashing. The Ogre was bleeding terribly, and then the Yuan-ti in the hall spit another globule of poison, this time in the room where he struck one of the half-elves. He too fell over. Kronig tried to tear the tick from his midsection, succeeding but doing terrible damage to himself. His axe came up one last time and crashed down on the last Bullywug who sacrificed his shield.
Seeing Ben down and Fergus have run, Ploog, the last Bullywug loses his morale and ran out of the room, jumping to the hall. Kronig fell over, dead at this time. The yuan-ti there tried to spit at the Bullywug but missed. Meanwhile the remaining party members swarmed the hall and with Marcus’ tick, hit the yuan-ti hard and fast. Flimflam meanwhile raced for Fergus and used his anti-venom to get the paladin back up.
The yuan-ti was having a difficult time with the combat and after a short round, attempted to flee, barely making it back to the barricade in time and slithered through, arrows dogging his steps the entire time.
We dispensed healing, bandages, and whatever anti-venom we had, taking time to see what resources we had left. Rattireg was still here, as well as Nerill Silverhair, Fiona, and 2 other half-elves. Kronig was dead and the yuan-ti now knew we were here.
We searched over Kronig’s chamber for anything, finding a secret door on the eastern wall. It was too small for Kronig, and the opening mechanism was too fine for his to use. We opened the secret area, the passage a small 4’ tall, 1.5’ wide opening; and it revealed a 20’ x 30’ secret cache and panic room.
Inside were 6 sets of leather armor, 6 shields and swords, 12 spears and daggers, barrels of food and water (currently empty), 12 sets of clothes, 6 backpacks, 12 cloaks and boots, 12 blankets, 6 50’ coils of rope, 3 iron strong boxes, and 1 potion travelers case. There was also a door on the north wall that we assumed would lead to the parapet.
We agreed to share the bounty of the room with the half-elves, and agreed to give a portion to Ploog the Bullywug who lived but did flee @ the end. The boxes were filled with crowns and nobles. The majority of the box was filled with healing draughts and potions, as well as a few invisible potions and a fly!
From here we opted to go to the north door, checked it for traps and unlocked it, revealing indeed the parapet. We went to the right, going to the tower there. The door was opened without issue and we were looking in the 20’ round chamber. There was a trapdoor in the ceiling and one in the floor, each was 3’ x 4’. We lifted the one going down first and shone our torch down. It was 20’ down to the floor and there was some sort of candle light burning down there already.
We tied rope to the crenellations closest to the tower and tossed it down the hole to the base of the tower. Fist’al was lowered down to the base of the tower, 2 other doors in here, South and west. Another trap door was along the east wall. On the north wall was an altar; altar cloth, bowl, chalice, talus, two candle sticks, and two lit candles. We seriously expected it was Hestia’s altar.
Fiona joined Fist’al at the base of the tower. We talked about what to do next and Fergus was adamant that we needed to take apart the altar in the inverse that it was assembled. There was some sort of red dust in the bowl which according to the books we had taken from the Reeve’s office was most likely some crushed garnets.
It took us some time to decide what to do first and eventually made the decision to have Fiona blow out the candles. As soon as they extinguished, we noticed Fiona was not there. We reignited the candles and Fiona reappeared, unconscious from some sort of enchanted exhaustion. This was not the order.
So we now needed another plan. Fergus was lowered down to the floor of the tower and lifted the bowl instead, putting it aside. Whew. He then touched the chalice, moved it aside, put it down –and disappeared. Damn. We replaced the chalice and Fergus reappeared unconscious. Ok…what to do.
We had a series of back and forths, going through 6 of our party until we succeeded in dismantling the altar completely and without issue. As soon as the last piece was removed, we felt a strange pressure running through the Keep and those on the upper portion of the tower looked out at the parapet and watched a seemingly red tinted aura creep up the very air and up to the sky, ending with a ‘pop’.
The Crimson Sanctuary was lifted.
We decided to rest here, sleeping for the night in the tower for ease and the wait for our people (our party and the half-elves) to awaken from their magical sleep. The next day we all woke up, had a great meeting with the half-elves, went back up to the panic room, split up the gear, and checked out Kronig’s chamber. No change.
We walked across the 2nd floor, met with Ploog and gave him his share of the found bounty. We learned that he heard a mass exodus of bodies leaving Candlewick, the Bullywug wanted to wait until it was safe. The half-elves went back to their area and gathered all their belongings, bidding us farewell and then left Candlewick. Ploog also bid us a farewell.
From here we went down to the main floor and it was quiet. And we heard the remaining goblins address us and learned that most everyone had gone, only 9 goblins stayed. Rattireg was suggested to strongly go with the goblins left and to leave Candlewick now. Rattireg and Bill were sad to lose one another but it was going to be for the best.
We went off to the Chapel to check on our cart and were terribly dismayed to learn it was taken. It was 9:30 AM on the 25th of Birthmonth when we discussed what our next action was going to be and where we were going to look for the statue of Zeus.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Meet 31, Adv 2, 4/27/13

This was a fairly quiet night for the party. Lots of conversation and adventuring, much opportunity to role play. They knew they were going against Kronig, and they also know that he was not a fight to be taken lightly. They had a finite amount of time to "rescue" Tempi and needed help. That led to the Bullywugs, reasking the goblins, and then eventually the half-elves and humans found on the 2nd floor for their aid. The feeling was to use the same tactics used against Korlok - overwhelming force against a singular foe.

Write up follows:

The floor here fairly empty, both stairs leading up to a common landing. A series of arrow-slit windows dominated the south wall, while a great hall ran north toward a series of noble bedrooms. Two side corridors ran from here to the east and west, the east dominated by piles of mounded furnishings, the west open and dim looking. Finally a set of doors on the east and west side were visible as well, the western door marred by water stains all over the floor.

Not wanting to chance anyone spotting us from the main hall, we actually climbed up the railing along the last few steps and entered the 2nd floor foyer, weapons out and ready, as we made our way to the western door. Quietly we knocked, trying to get the Bullywug (we hoped!) attention without making enough noise to attract Kronig (or alert Sisspak). As a precaution, Fergus did scan around, finding that an evil snake-like presence was watching us through the furniture barricade. We attempted to communicate with it, but it back and then away, gone from the paladin’s range.

The Bullywug’s did open the door for us and we entered, meeting 4 of the amphibian creatures. Murgo, who we had befriended earlier, and his three brood-mates: Ploog, Glarp, and Golup, We were in what had one time been a barracks but had been refitted by the Bullywugs for their purposes. Very wickedly sharp spears were in abundance, and there were 3 decent sized tubs that had been brought here from somewhere else. Holes had been knocked in the ceiling and we saw the base of a cistern of some sort overhead, a few crude copper pipes shunted into place. The room had dozens of algae-filled bowls and cups placed on most of the available shelves and surfaces.

We talked for a bit. The Bullywugs once numbered over 30, down to 4 now. Been here for a few years. There were various attempts to escape but the best was through the well, supposedly it had led elsewhere but the remaining Bullywugs could not prove it since those that did not come back up either died from lack of air or escaped. The growing number of stirges and the pitched battles they had in the past with the goblins had decimated their numbers so much that they had not dared to try to use the well again.

Instead they had saved the bones of their fallen comrades (stored in the next room), found some equilibrium here, and made it their point to barter their algae-wine for whatever they needed. Composed of various fungi they allowed to ferment in a mix of their own skin secretions and algae growths they cultivate, it smells like chocolate and packs such a powerful kick that its effects can make even the most level-headed person drunk in a single quaff.

Sadly, to prove this, Bill traded the battered ship’s compass we had for a sample of the Bullywug wine, which got the hobbit completely wasted and laughing his ass off. Fist’al purchased two of the bottles and we talked about the lay of the land up here and who was around.

The crazies were just to the north of the Bullywugs, off folk who would often beat themselves. Beyond that were some rooms the Bullywugs shared with the half-elves, growing specialized fungi in the damp darkness. Then there was clearing area that overlooked the garden. Down the main hall eventual it led to Kronig’s chamber. The entire right side of the 2nd floor was property of the yuan-ti.

After some time we wished the Bullywug’s a fine good day and left, taking the northern door and finding ourselves in the narrower confines of the 2ndary halls. The corridor went north where we heard some muffled noises from the right hand side, it also continued to the west where it ended at a reinforced door. The group opted for the door first.

Mentally drawing up Fergus’ map of Candlewick, we suspected that this was a door to the parapet and as the others we had seen to date, was locked. A quick go round with the Spymaster’s key ring found us a likely choice and we used it, but first oiled the hinges. The door was stiff, but did open. Sure enough, outside. To the left, some 80 plus feet away was the south tower where the stirges were, to the right, a bit further along to another tower.

We opted NOT to use the parapet here, as it would not be a smart call with the stirges fairly close and no place else to run. Instead we closed it and thought there must be another way to get to the northern area of the parapet wall and try to find the shrine to Hestia and lower the Crimson Sanctuary.

We regrouped and travelled north, passing the doors to the right where there was rhythmic chanting, slapping, and moaning. Fucking? Who knew – we were going on. A bit further up we came upon the half-elven platoon and decided to be open and forthcoming with them.

Their leader was named Nerill and there were 6 of them. They had a priestess of Ares with them and we learned that they had been here some 2-3 years. Were over 20 at one point. They had been dispatched by Elven Keep to find out the locales of the former Guardian Keeps and discover if they were still viable. Identified as Orange Platoon, the elves of Woodhelven were often embarrassed of their half-breed cousins and would band them together and send them off on these ridiculous missions. The feeling was though that after 12 years of service, even half-elves would be allowed to own land and have a half vote in the elven council meetings, so many half elves joined the army.

Nerill and the others felt abandoned and betrayed by their full blooded kin, thinking they were sent here to die by attrition. There was no proof of this, but it was in their minds anyway. This led us to then discuss the capture of Tempi who was still alive and in Kronig’s possession. The half-elves took the gear and came here to discuss what was to happen next and talk about whether they made a mistake by having any dealings with Kronig.

We talked, begged, cajoled, swore to the gods, and used every persuasive thought we could during our prolonged conversation with Nerill until the half-elves agreed to march on Kronig with us. It was mostly due to the consensus that we can and will bring down the Crimson Sanctuary.

We even had a brief run in with the crazy’s that were to the right, a group of 5 or so humans, followers of Hestia, who were sent here (according to their own twisted belief) to honor the virginal goddess and repopulate the place by having constant sex. They offered to come with us but it was squashed as not a good thing and decidedly crappy to do to the unwashed hippies.

From that point on we talked about tactics, the layout around Kronig’s place, and what tactics we would use to take the ogre down. Flimflam did try to re-recruit the goblins as well as Tindoreg, but both rebuffed the gnome.

It was almost 6 PM and if we were going to mount a rescue for Tempi, it had to be now and soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Meet 30, Adv 2, 4/20/13

The group had run afoul of Kronig, the Ogre, and arguably the 2nd most powerful figure (to fight) in Candlewick. Sisspak the yuan-ti is the 1st, but they have had no real contact with him. The roster ran:
Sisspak (yuan-ti)
Kronig (Ogre)
Korlok (Lizardman)
Funtarig (Goblin)

If you wonder who the other "power" combats could have been you would have to include:
Tindoreg (Bugbear)
5-Headed Hydra (in lizardman area)
Davers (Dryad)

It's strange because the other 4 are there, but not expected for combat purposes unless something goes horribly wrong.

And the first four WILL wipe the party across the floor if they try to go toe to toe with them. To paraphrase what my freind Mike is fond of saying, "Not every problem can be solved with a hammer."

Write up follows:

With Korlok down we had the opportunity to look over the chamber. There were 4 other corridors out of here, two on the north and two on the south. They were dark and filled with water, the same as the main chamber we were in. IN the quiet we heard nothing and blocking the torch light allowed the elves to look with care, seeing no heat sources of any kind. Finally a handful of arrows were sent flying down them but resulted in nothing but faint“tik” as they hit the far walls.
We listened then to the two doors on the eastern wall, the one we came in from and the 2nd that we had blocked with a shovel. We heard nothing. Not sure if the lizardmen (we suspected 1 or 2) were still nearby but confident that the sound of our tremendous fight would have given them pause that assaulting us would be a deadly and stupid idea. We took the shovel out from under the door and then discussed our options and what to do next.
We opened the door and looked, seeing a corridor roughly 20 paces long that turned to the left. A door was just at the entrance of the hall on the left hand side and through it we heard lots of deep, regular breathing. What was it? Did we want to attract it? Fist’al assured us the door was open and unlocked and dark inside. We decided not to shine a light inside.
No longer wanting to go down that hall we went back to Korlok’s chamber and gave the side corridor’s a serious once over – finding nothing except for places where they joined one another back and forth. The party then wanted to check out the rest of the basement and see if they could find anything they might have missed.
We left via the original corridor we came in and proceeded back the way we came, turning northward down the passage that the 2 flying compys had come out of. We proceeded with care, seeing nothing yet except for the ankle deep water and the base stone walls. Eventually the corridor turned to the right and we travelled on, feeling a disturbance on the floor under our feet, a section where the floor was cracked and water was oozing up through the faint crevice. Past here was a door on the left, closed and tight.
Convinced it wasn’t trapped we were going to open it but decided not to and pressed on. The passage moved to the left where it went for some distance, turned to the left again with another long travel, and then the left again. By this time it was getting close and back to where the breathing was coming from. That and Marcus and Fist’al were convinced that something was following us. Was it lizardmen? Doubtful, unless they were also suicidal. Yuan-ti and Sisspak? Most likely –they had been shadowing us now for 2 days, watching and observing.
We back tracked, finding no one until we arrived back at the firmly closed door. Some shoulder action forced it open and then we heard WHAM as a ballista bolt shot out and just missed Ben and Fergus, blasting into the stonework on the other side of the hall. It was a training room of some sort, although outside of the ballista there were no other weapons present.
The group worked the bolt out of the wall and began to look around the room when we heard figures in the distance and getting closer. Heavy, big, couldn’t understand the language due to the distance and intervening walls. We thought about it and guessed on Kronig, the ogre that supposedly lives on the top floor. Taking Flimflam’s advice we retreated into the training room, shut the door part way, and drew up into lines with bows and arrows at the ready.
Kronig and company (which we now were able to deduce as the half-elves based upon their voices and the polygot of elven and common words being spoken) tromped on till they got to Korlok’s chamber where there was much conversation and moving about. Some 15 minutes of tense time passed until we heard them coming back out of the chamber and back down the hall they had come from.
The decision was made to make contact, especially after we heard Kronig complaining to his companions about us, the trouble we’ve caused, and that we are currently in the Chapel in the Courtyard. Not wanting to let them find Tempi we spoke up and tried to arrange some sort of alliance. Kronig didn’t take well to it, and we found ourselves talking in circles and the ogre only growing more wroth at the thought of allying with us – even against Sisspak. He left but we waited 10 minutes to make sure they were gone before daring to come out.
Now what?
We went back to Korlok’s chamber and were dismayed to find all the bodies gone as well as Korlok’s humongous axe. Also, the other door was open and beyond that, the door with the breathing seemed to be ajar.
We drew up battle lines, Fergus and Ben taking spots closest to the door, and using his trident, shoved it open. Something with an alligator’s head came snaking out on a long neck and bit at the two heroes! Spears and tridents were plied as it bit and savaged the two of them, Ben’s shield being chewed through and folded in half. A second head came over and we heard something heavy moving. Ben and Fergus shouted for the party to flee and then Ben was bit! The fighter was mauled terribly as he slid over, only a well-placed aid from Fergus kept him from being eaten. Either way he was at -6 and dying. Marcus came to help carry the fighter away when the paladin was also bit, also badly wounded and barely able to stand.
As for the retreat, Link had broken his nerve and was leading the way out of Korlok’s chamber and down the corridor. He hit the corner…and blam – giant frog! It wrapped its tongue around him and he twisted and pulled and struggled…and managed to make his strength check! Flimflam and Fist’al hit the corner next, circling around and leading the attack to the giant frog who released Link and moved to defend itself. Arrows flew, the last giant rat we had with us was eaten, goblins added their missile fire to the melee. Finally it was Flimflam who landed the final blow and the giant frog fell over dead.
We limped and cried and staggered, eventually making our way to the stairs and then out of the lizardman compound. The last few goblins (not Ratterig who was staying with us) spoke to us of honor and respect and how they watched what we did and recognized there were other ways to not only fight, but work together. We wished them well and suspected that we would not be having much dealings with Duuk Garthic and Meredint again.
It was after 2:30 when we returned to the Chapel where we found the priest’s quarter’s busted in, dead horses, 2 dead half elves (stripped of everything) and no Tempi. We looked over the place and deduced that Kronig and the half elves came in, killed the horses, took the useable meat, and Tempi lashing out in his simple fashion killed the two half elves before being taken along with all his gear.
We needed a change. We healed what we could, our stores of goodberries exhausted now and healing spells pretty much gone. Them we geared ourselves up, Link and Urthar admitting that they wanted spears too until they could help get Tempi back, and we left going to Tindoreg.
Reentering the Keep was odd and we were anxious for any possible attack. The door to Tindoreg’s area was closed and we were informed by Jether and Loink to “Go away! Scram!” Lovely. Now wanting to anger to resourceful bugbear, we discussed options and voted on going upstairs and trying to meet with Murgo and the Bullywugs – just to get a lay of the land so to speak. We ascended the stair to the second floor from the Grand Foyer, weapons out and palms sweaty…wondering just what we were going to find.