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, February 28, 2013

Meet 24, Adv 2, 2/23/13

Two pieces of thought in this pre-posting musing.

The blogosphere had a back and forth on "empty rooms" in a dungeon and whether it adds or detracts from the game. I want to rebut and say there is no such thing as an empty room. There is always something in there: old furnishings, discarded whatever, even just a difference in the air pressure or what might be on the floor or walls. Not every room is an encounter, not every room is a fight/puzzle/trip/trap/treasure.

When designing Candlewick Keep, I made sure that there were rooms that would be empty. It's not a zoo, its a place. I also hid a few caches of goodies about and gave thought as to what might be left behind by the former inhabitants (and unfound by the newer ones). In typical DM/PC relations, my group has already stumbled on 2 of them and claimed them on the 2nd day of being in the place so maybe they weren't as "hidden" as I suspected, but as for the 1st part of the statement, there are plenty of empty rooms in the Keep as broadly defined by the blogosphere, but in realty, not empty at all.

The other thought/rumination is that this was a different adventure/crawl than most of my group had been used to as of late. It's not a buzz-saw adventure (where you run forward, get chewed up, relax heal, run forward and combat the next section, ad nauseum), and if you try it, you will get steamrolled. There would have to be some sort of "siding" with one of the factions in the keep, and the group chose the goblins. It wasn't planned, could have been the lizardmen.

I look forward to seeing how this plays out as the meetings go on.

Write up follows:

There was a divided conversation on whether we should go to the Chapel next or the Ferrier. The group was discussing the matter when Sanford (the fox) began making yipping noises and getting agitated. Flimflam used his powers to talk to the fox and learned that it heard something coming, smelled like bad blood, and was closing in. It indicated up and the group looked.
About half a dozen flying creatures about the size of a beagle with bat like wings and long narrow beaklike faces were diving at the party from the Southwest tower. Marcus whirled and immediately hit the door to the ferriers with his should, bursting it off the hinges with a crunching thump. “Inside, now!” he ordered, the hirelings and some of the group hastening to make their way in. Ben, Fergus, Tempi and Fist’al stayed outside, weapons at the ready as the flying beasts hit the group.
Ben was able to impale one of the flying creatures on his spear while a second one plunged its beak through a joint in his armor. One his Fergus up in the shoulder, another was stopped by his shield. Another actually managed to strike Fist’al. And each one that hit the party wrapped their eight legs and feet around whatever part of their victims that they could and proceeded to “suck” – drinking their blood with gleeful abandon.
Tempi swung his greatsword at the one closest to Fergus, not actually drinking from the paladin, cleaving it in two with a clashing blow. He then dropped his sword and wrapped his arms around the one with its beak IN Fergus’ shoulder and chest. In his fervor and excitement, the burly half-orc squeezed the stirge hard, actually causing a fountain of blood and stomach contents to flow into the paladin and then rain about the battlefield. It was vomitous to say the least.
Marcus tore off some of the bins in the smithy and taking a large hunk of iron ore, shattered one of the few windows open and then took up position there with his bow at the ready. Meanwhile Link and Urthar were drawing pairs of torches from the supply bins at the elven fighter’s order s and lighting them in order to try and burn the stirges off.
Fist’al had gotten close enough to grab a torch and beat one of the flying beasts from his chest where he stomped it to death. Ben was next in line. Fergus was trying to get the stirge off of him, feeling ill from the mix of blood and guts pouring into his open wound. He grabbed a belt knife and tried to stab at the stirge but Tempi was whipping the three of them around in his efforts to dislodge the beast that the paladin inadvertently stabbed himself. Snarling in fury, the half-orc redoubled his grip on the stirge and tore it free, the monster squirming about.
Marcus called out that 2 more were coming, these two diving out of the sky and aiming for Tempi. He drew aim and fired, dropping one of them from the sky, but his 2nd shot failed. The last stirge was dive bombing Tempi who at the last moment whirled around, using the stirge he was holding as a shield! Impact! The flying monster impaled the held one and the two of them hit the ground with a crunch. At this point it was just mopping up the last of the flying creatures and the battle was done. There was a mess everywhere and we no longer felt safe in the open. Keeping a ready eye on the SW tower, we did note other stirges up there but they were not inspired to attack the group at this time.
While bandages were being passed about, the group looked around the smith’s and decided to take the couple hundred pounds of iron ore and tin that was still here, walking it to the cart in the stables to pass the time. Eventually we closed the stables doors and crossed the courtyard to the chapel and adjoining priest’s domicile. Both appeared to have suffered some damage in the past but were in fairly decent condition. Ever mindful of the stirges on the SW tower the party decided to check out the priest’s house first.
20’x10’, effectively one large room with a small eating area and private shrine to Zeus, there had been conflict in here some time ago. There was a passage from the north west corner of the room to what we guessed would be the Chapel itself. While Fergus was fixing up the shrine Flimflam and Fist’al were checking out the bed and wall. While the rest of the group was watching and paying attention to the distant stirges.
We did find written on the wall by the bed, in blood, the words, “Sisspak is free Bewa”. Who is Sisspak? Did not know and hoped we didn’t need to find out any time soon.
The door did lead to the Chapel and the group entered with care. The Chapel to Zeus was sizeable, maybe 50’ deep and twenty across, pew seating for 80, a confessional, altar, even the remains of a holy water font. What was odd though was the feathers. There were a variety of plucked feathers scattered about the room, with most of them being located by the front door nave. As far as the front door was concerned, there was a bracing bar that could be slid in place, making this building a secure point should the party need it.
There was nothing else to be found and the party broke for lunch before making their way to the main door of the keep at sometime after 12.
The door was well traveled and used and we entered with exaggerated care. There was a foyer, a great hall running down the center and into the gloom of the keep. Two sets of stairs spiraled up from both ends of the foyer to the 2nd floor. On the right side was a battered doorway and on the left was a corridor that was choked with piles and piles of furnishings filling the entire opening. Looking at the map we had, we decided that we wanted to go to the 2nd floor to the den.
As we approached the left stairs though, we did hear voices on the other side of the barrier and coupled with the stink of sweat socks and ripe bananas, we suspected that goblins were nearby.
We got into a conversation with them behind the barrier. They were curious about us, had been here for years, and wondered if we were going to be an aid to the Two-horn tribe (lizard men we eventually deduced). When we told them about statues and Zeus and going upstairs, we were then told that Sisspak was up there and it was NOT a good idea, and maybe the Trader Tindorag could help, and finally their own leader, Funtarig of the Duuk Garthik tribe had a statue they could look at and we should talk with him. This was mostly facilitated by Flimflam telling the goblins that he was the Doglord and expected a modicum of respect when the greenskins were talking to him.
The barrier was moved aside (it was actually build on a cart, allowing the goblins to roll it back far enough to get it. They were VERY concerned during the moving and hastened us in without any waste of time. We were led past many apartments and former offices that the goblins had repurposed for their own uses. There were also lizard man skin shields, some scale mail, and many spears that were made with lizard man claws and teeth. We learned the goblins captured by the enemy were often gutted and their intestines made into ropes, twines, and bow strings.
After passing many goblins (who were not bothered by us, and we discovered very much outnumbered us) we made it to Funtarig, the leader of the goblins. He was huge and muscular (for a greenskin) and had a 6 count of half naked goblin women at his side as personal guards. There was a broken lizardman figure hanging from the ceiling in a cage, fingers snipped off and teeth broken out. We treated with Funtarig fairly and honestly, learning that he did have a statue in the garden we could look at (right size, wrong material) where were expressly told NOT to touch to oak tree (a bad 20’ specimen in very poor condition). They were growing lots of cucumbers and other vegetables here, and there was a mass of leather and rope on the left side of the open air garden that we were told was a goblin balloon, floating in here some 8 years ago.
Which brought us to the question of why there were so many different diverse groups here and there was something called the Crimson Sanctuary in place that made sure they could not leave. This was in line with was Kahr Konig had told us that the mage and spymaster were doing before they had left Candlewick. We left, thanking Funtarig and agreeing to be back at some point after we visited the Trader (Tindorag) and to steer clear of Sisspak. There was an ogre on the 2nd floor as well, named Kronik, but he was no friend of the Sisspak OR of the goblins.
We made our way back to the Grand Foyer where the goblins let us out and sealed up their bolt hole again. We did note that the other side of the hall seemed more menacing now that we knew what was in there (Two Horn tribe, lizard men, and the leader named Korlok, the Devil’s Fang) and made our way north down the great hall. We assumed the Trader would be in the Throne Room and made our way there; passing the Reeve, Castellan, Spymaster, and Mage’s offices respectively, as well as another larger hall that went to the kitchens and dining room.
At the Throne room we knocked and then entered, finding only garbage (in abundance!) and many rates, some of them the size of large cats! It was when one of them dared to take a nip of Fergus that we shut the door and rethought our direction. The Trader should be down here (maybe the kitchen?) but we opted to look over the offices first.
The mage’s office was somewhat wrecked. There were also two goblins and one lizard man body here, dead for a while, with their heads seemingly sunken in. scattered books abounded. A top shelf had a few knickknacks on it. We were going to leave but Flimflam decided to detect magic, and we found a wizard mark on the wall. Marcus looked it over with care and opted to try and open it, suspecting that it needed to be traced perfectly. He took his time and did so, and the back wall opened up! We found the wizard’s private sanctum with 8 spell scrolls, 2 empty spell books, about a dozen magical theory tomes, a half dozen potions, a wizard’s hat, and a plethora of inks and scrolls. We took everything and felt really good about it. As for the wizard’s hat, Marcus took it and learned that it improved his reading ability as well as gave him the ability to read other languages he did not know (not magical ones).
From there we went to the Spymaster’s office and it was a bit different. There were 6 dead bodies in here (again gobs and lizardmen – as well as 1 rattlesnake!) and the desk was pristine and clean. Yeah, didn’t want to chance it. Fist’al said he could do it. Examined the room and suspected poison gas (eventually corroborated by vent holes in the ceiling). Would have to go to the desk, chair was permanently mounted to the floor, some sort of roller lock on the front.
He took the new potion we found that would raise his Fortitude save and entered. As he closed on the desk, he noted the lizardman had a note in his grasp, he took it, could not read it, tossed it to the door. Marcus was able to make out some of the words, identifying the numbers “452” on the page, but couldn’t decipher the rest of the note.
Fist’al looked over the rest of the bodies and one of the goblins had a note that read, “No one” and “starts with a 6”.
He went to the roller lock and looked – 5 digits long, numbered 1-6. In order to open the 4 drawers, he would have to operate the lock. In order to operate the lock, would have to sit in the chair to release the pressure plate holding the locks in place. He sat. The chair sunk slightly and he felt a prick at the base of his thigh but the roller locks moved. Fist’al thought and spun the dials to read “63452” and then pulled the lever…
And the desk unlocked. We found a Vortex Cloak (absorbs direct spells if worn), a ring of poison resistance, a ring of enhanced healing, and many vials of anti-poison (needs to be administered within 4 rounds of being poisoned). We took the items and were feeling really good. It was almost quarter to 3 and we were discussing where to head next.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meet 23, Adv 2, 2/2/13

For this adventure, our 2nd with the newer characters, we had some bookkeepeing to do for the level increase, and then it was "let's go to that keep that we agreed to go to some months ago". This led us to a hexcrawling situation where we had some opportunity to get a down and dirty feel for the area at the fringe of the Endless Forest.

The Endless Forest is a place that in time I'd love for the party to dive into and do their damndest to plumb to the center. I've seriously enjoyed the place the last 2 or 3 times I've had parties try to plumb its depths and expect in time the group will make the same foray.

They also had the pleasure of meeting a local druid, Kahr Konig. I find druids, especially the older ones (8th circle or better) to be fucking odd. Seriously, they are outside the flow of time, more at home away from civilization, have no real need for money/riches, and and after awhile unable to relate to normal people.

Write up follows:

Over the next 2 weeks the party healed, trained, and reequipped themselves with whatever gear had worn out or gotten destroyed. The spring weather grew warmer, planting and spring harvesting were proceeding apace, and there was a good feeling amongst the townsfolk and populace around Shakun. We had even heard from travelers from Timberton and Ferron about the better road conditions since the banditry that had been rife earlier had been cleaned up.
Eventually as the weeks progressed we talked about our contract to go visit Candlewick Keep to the north and west of Shakun, along the former borders of the Endless Forest. We had commissioned to bring back a 4’ tall marble statue of Zeus with blue eyes for the price of 900 crowns. Our factor had assured us that the statue was still there and supposedly that the goblin assault had not overrun the keep during its active and manned time.
We then approached Zarik and spoke the Consul about the possibility or hiring some people to come with us. We went over our lists and needs for a bit and settled on a porter, a linkboy (or torch bearer), and a shieldbearer. As for the porter, Urthar who we had used earlier was very happy to come with us and signed on. For the linkboy, a local merchant’s 13 year old son, Etterig (that the group quickly dubbed as “Link”) was chosen. And finally Zarik was able to get us aligned with a sturdy and stalwart warrior and shieldbearer of some skill who we had shortened his mouthy name to “Ben”.
Equipped, ready, and anxious to get going, the group set off from Shakun on Birthmonth the 18th and travelled west toward the Roaring Treant Inn. We spent the night in some comfort and was off again the following morning where we took our troupe as well as two horses, a pony, and a cart northward into the wilderness. The land rose and fell in slow hills, old battle signs and shattered copses of trees made travel less than optimal. The weather held fair, with only some rain to mar the trip.
We had some knowledge as to where Candlewick Keep actually was and decided that on the morn, we would take the time to search as diligently as possible the trees and plains for the elusive structure. The dawning of Birthmonth the 20th was warm and rainy and we arrived at the green tree-line of the Endless Forest without any issue.
From here we took many hours covering the miles. One of the first things we discovered was an older goblin battle wagon rusting away in the forest. There was numerous goblin fetish markings and from what we could tell by the marks, the battle wagon was some sort of way point for the local travelling greenskin tribes in the area. As for the battle wagon itself, it was some 20’ long and maybe 12’ wide, perhaps 9’ tall at the top and there was a blunted lance that stuck out perhaps 7’ from the upper third of it. And instead of a series of 4 or 8 wheels, there was a complex set of 16 wheels, 8 on each side piled on top of each other, with a metallic belt that ran over and under all of them.
At one point Fist’al went to climb on top of the battle wagon and see if there was anything of interest inside but upon getting on top of the wheel array he grew tired and weary, as if he could feel the weight of his 100+ years on his shoulders. Unnerved he climbed down and a few minutes later the sensation passed. We left the battle wagon behind and pressed on.
We did find a hunter’s cottage at one point, unused for some 3-6 months; various stuffed and mounted trophies inside (including what seemed to be 2 of the largest damned rabbits we had ever seen). During our travel we also came upon a squirrel, but not any normal sized one – perhaps 4 lbs and it looked at us briefly from the tree above before scampering away. We wondered at the larger than normal sized animals in the area and so far we had found no sign of the keep.
It was here that Flimflam called out to Demeter and asked her to allow him to speak to animals. Immediately he attracted the attention of two finches who came down to him, one very wary, the other almost ridiculous in its fawning. He plied the bird with berries one after the other while he asked it about any structures or piles of stone nearby. We did get something about a pile that sticks out of the trees; 3 hours flight north of here, but it was during that time that Flimflam heard another voice talking. It was speaking of the tasty finch, and getting closer, and don’t fly away, and I’m going to eat you.
And then a red fox burst from the underbrush and tried to get the finch which flew easily away. Flimflam turned to the fox and hit it with a Charm Animal spell, calming it down and getting it to stay nearby. We learned its name was Sanford and the gnomish druid spoke to it of stone structures, which it answered the finch was nuts and wrong.
By this time it was late in the day and we headed back to the hunter’s cottage where we set up some snare traps around the area and bedded down for the night, switching off for watch every two hours, and rested the night away with no issue. The next day we awoke and wandered the snares, finding one of them had a large spider in it! (maybe 3’ tall!!). We shot it from a distance and Flimflam and Fist’al tried to get the poison from the arachnid’s glands, but succeeded in only cutting the foul arachnid up.
It was then that we saw the large squirrel again, and this time we followed it. It was some time later that we came upon a tree that had fallen over and someone had carved a home into the side of it. And then other animals came out of the forest, an even larger squirrel, a tremendous wolf, a jaguar, and even an eagle sized falcon. And then came a naked 70 year old looking hair gnarled man who addressed the group in a raspy voice and called himself Kahr Konig.
We spoke to Kahr for a while, learning he was a druid of some skill but very little renown, keeping to the forest and removing himself from the doings of cities and people for many decades. He did tell us of the Candlewick Keep and where it would be, as well as rough estimations of the other nearby keeps. He also told us that the original knights of Candlewick had dealings with him and he even supplied us with a rough map.
He did ask for some of our blood, which we gave, and eventually after much conversation was willing to shorten our journey there via some teleporting involving the local trees. His parting words were that the keep was under some sort of either curse or spell, something cooked up by the Keep’s Hexmaster and the Keep’s Spymaster – as they were the last two left behind and they were setting up a nasty surprise for the goblins (this story goes back some 15 years or so at the start of the goblinwar).
We stepped through the nearest oak and found ourselves just outside the environs of Candlewick. The keep was sound and whole from what we could see, the encroaching trees came up to a moat around the locale and in a few places hung to the wall. There was an outer wall 30’ high, 4 towers (one at each corner), a set of guard houses and a barbican guarded the front entrance where the drawbridge was in the down position. The actual keep itself behind the bailey walls was closed off and according to the map we had gotten from Kahr, there would be a sizable courtyard just inside.
We had Ben, Link (my name is Etterig!!), and Urthar stay behind with the horses and cart while the party crept upon Candlewick. The moat was perhaps 15’ across, sloped earthen sides, and the base of it was filled with a miasmic orange and green sludgy mix that seemed to be a breeding ground for clouds of gnats and mosquitoes. A sort of reddish dust or flakey material was loosely scattered about the ground. We peered through the entrance and saw the rusted remains of a battering ram’s carriage and some chunks of stone work like shattered statuary but nothing else. It was quiet.
We entered with care, taking in the raised portcullis and the fact that they were very rusted in place. If there was anyone in the barbican they would have seen us and been able to raise either an alarm or an easy assault on us. Neither issue happened.
The courtyard was open, easily 30 paces across and over 60 paces running wide. A chapel and priest’s house was on the right and on the left was a stables and farrier. The doors to the keep itself were closed and from where we were we could see sets of stairs going up to the walls and parapet above as well as other doors that would lead into the guardhouses and local towers.
We waved our hirelings in and even with the rumbling the cart made across the drawbridge, nothing came out and nothing seemed to notice our presence. The party made their way to the stables and decided it would be the best place to house the horses and cart for now. The door was hanging on its track, three of the wooden guide wheels had fallen apart due to age and neglect. And when the group made to open the door, they had to bodily lift it and shuffle it open as it did not roll properly and the track itself was in poor repair.
Inside the stables were six stalls with very old and dusty scraps of hay on the bottom. The thatched and shingled roof was in seemingly good repair and there seemed to be a large number of bees along the 6th stall by the back of the stables. We moved the horses in and shuffled the cart around so it took up part of the left side of the entrance way and then took a look at Kahr’s map to best decide where we should look for the statue of Zeus next.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meet 22, Adv 1, 1/26/13

I remember vividly many years (MANY!) while crawling through B2 with Kevin, Jerry, Jason, and Dan that at one point we had left the caves of chaos, went back to the inn and sold the unbelievable pile of swords and armor we had gathered off the dead, before returning to the caves again to continue clearing out. Imagine my horror when we went into a room that we had scoured clean and we found ourselves attacked by some kobolds that had moved into it!

Shenanigans! How could the DM change the map? I had memorized B2 and the layout and monsters before this and thought the DM was being unfair. It was then that Dan informed us that we had been out of the caves for a week and the monsters were not going to leave the uninhabited room completely empty and abandoned. It was "natural" that they would migrate into the areas we had cleared and maybe new monsters would come into the cave system from outside (or even under the ground).

To my 13 year old self this was surprisingly novel, grand, and amazing. Why would a dungeon remain static?

Here it is, almost 30 years later, and I'm still "updating" a dungeon after the party has come in and played Ginsu-warrior with the residents within.

Write up follows:

It was 2 in the afternoon on Birthmonth the 6th and the party had gathered outside the hill on which Malven’s cavern was underneath. The outside appeared to be undisturbed, no different to the way it looked when we were here a few days earlier. With some care we approached the actual entrance and peered in. Again, no difference. We attempted to enter when 4 steps down we felt something strange underfoot. We looked and noted that 3 of the stairs had been painted with glistening layer of animal fat, making it terribly slippery.
No wanting to risk falling and breaking our neck, we burned it off (it took some time and smelled terrible) and continued down. Tempi was first at the step’s base when his hard soled boots and careful walking encountered our 2nd issue, caltrops – lots of them. He cleared a path with his sword and then the party using torch light and some care gathered up almost 6 pounds of the metal spikes and put them in the half-orc fighter’s purse (yes, don’t ask.).
The original rolling supplies cart doors were not here anymore so we were forced to travel down the sloping corridor. As before, we had come to an area where there were a number of rocks set up to cascade down and warn those below, but this time the goblins had used animal fat just before the rocks, which would have meant anyone not paying attention would have slipped down slope and into the stones. We used some bedrolls and baladranas to make a pathway for us to cross the hazard and continued on.
A bit further we found three dead goblins. They had been killed maybe 2 days earlier (by us!) and left here. We noticed some chalk symbols beneath them and Fergus advised us NOT to touch them as they might animate. We tried a variety of tests but nothing had the goblins arise. Eventually it was established that we could move them, so we dragged them to the wall and using a hunk of the paladin’s rope, began binding them together. It was here that Hagan, one of our hirelings, decided that we should remove the goblins’ arms and proceeded to butcher one of them for two solid minutes until he was able to remove one at the shoulder.
This had the party wondering what the hell he was doing and ordered him to stop it and to put the arm back in the goblin pile. Fergus finished binding their arms and legs to one another and we continued down. Eventually we arrived at the first room and noted that most of the barricade had been taken down, leaving only a small token piece across the hallway. We pushed it aside and there was a brief flash as we broke the chalk line below the timbers and back up the sloping corridor, the three goblins became animate.
We trekked back up there and proceeded to beat them to hamburger meat, ensuring they were very dead (again) and no threat. From there we returned to the first room and moved on, watching every step with exaggerated concern. Malven had to know we were nearby and we didn’t want to tip him off that we were here now.
We gross the chamber to the other side and continued along until we came upon the room that had the undead chickens. There were now small mounds of corpse fungus covering the floor. We were going to enter but it was thought to toss some rocks in first, in case the fungus was poisonous. Instead, we set off two shriekers around the corner we did not see. The 3’ tall purple and pale yellow mushrooms were bellowing out the wailing shriek that they were named for and we raced in to silence them.
However it was already too late as coming around the corner were three goblin zombies. Fergus and Tempi confronted the walking dead while Thrish and Codron hacked at the shriekers (which were tougher to wipe out than we expected!). Swords hacked and arrows flew and Tempi was badly wounded by one of the zombies. Flimflam and Whoesa raced into the fight and Marcus came up as well as the number of goblin zombies increased to 5.
At this point one of the shriekers fell silent followed by the second. When the battle was over Fergus and Tempi were sporting aching muscles and new bruises that even a few goodberries was not going to make go away. We shouldered our gear and plodded on, further into the goblin warren.
We eventually came to the area where the corridor had a 4-way divide, and this time we suspected that there were not only zombie goblins nearby, but live ones as well. The corridor had a painted layer of slick fat upon it and no one wanted to risk walking on it. Were there zombies in the dining room? We wanted to flush them out. We sent Thrish back into the shrieker room where he dragged a goblin body over. We lifted it and tossed it across the hall and into the entrance of the dining room.
Sure enough 2 zombies emerged, beat the unmoving body a few times and then went back around the corner. Could we lure them out? We got a 2nd body and repeated it. We noted that the zombies seemed to stop and stare, head tilted like they were listening to something, and then returned. This time we tried it with a third body and the zombies didn’t take the bait. Instead they wandered to the entrance of the room, looked at us, and went back into the dining room.
When they came back a few moments later, they were sporting one of the dining room tables like a tower shield as they came towards us. We held our ground as the zombies came at us but come not stop them from getting any closer. And then we heard coming down the hall more goblins, these were the “living” kind. Deciding not to get caught we turned and ran, leaving the zombies and goblins there.
We regrouped at the shrieker room and waited. We heard nothing. Flimflam dared to go back down the corridor, the gnome sneaking to the corner. He saw nothing, no wavering heat sources. He tossed a stone, then a second, then a third. A few moments passed and it was returned. Feeling brave he hurled a handful of them and then ducked back. Something heavy scraped upon the floor and hurled down towards him. He ran back to the group and they all waited, a new torch lit.
Eventually they went back and looked. The table had been tossed down the corridor at them, lying on its front. We debated on using it and had Codron and Thrish pick it up. Holding it in front of them he marched back towards the 4 way intersection when three fire arrows flew out of the other room, two of them hitting the table front. The table that had been liberally soaked in oil. It flared huge, causing the two men to drop it and cover their scalded faces. Thrish actually broke and ran while Codron held his ground.
A sleep spell was fired off into the next chamber and we heard a variety of figures drop. Charging in, expecting to see zombies as well, we were surprised to only find 5 goblins here (none of them undead). One was a cleric, another had a battered claymore. We killed 4 of them, leaving the cleric for last. As he woke up, Marcus hit him with a Charm spell and we had some answer sessions with him.
There were not many goblins left. In the temple was Malven and his 3 subordinates as well as a goblin zombie or two, as well as the Subaltern (a goblin fighter mage) and 2 or three guards. As for others, there was a sleeping chamber outside the “elf” room where 2 goblins, 4 camp dogs, and maybe half a dozen goblin zombies waited. Outside in the guard chamber where the party had their big fight 4 days ago were 2 goblins whose job it was to wait for the group to arrive where they would bang the doors and shout out how many of us they saw. And in the elf room was most likely a cleric and guard.
Were there any other zombies? Yes, 3 hidden in the kitchen in the stove. They will sneak out and cut us off when we get to the narrow corridor. Malven had some way of seeing and hearing through the zombies he created. And finally how to get in the elf room there was a 2nd secret way that can be found with infravision (wall is a degree or two warmer that the surrounding area) but it was tight, 4’ tall and a foot and a half wide.
We gathered the information and then dispatched the goblin cleric. First we went to the kitchen where we dragged the heavy counter to the over door and blocked it, then lit the firebox underneath and waited until the wood was burning. Eventually we smelled some cooking meat and considered our job here done.
Then it was to the water chamber where Fergus informed us we crossed a marked line under the water and would have woken up the zombies in the oven – but they were neutralized as a threat for now. We continued on until we arrived at the narrow corridor and then our mage snuck through, followed by Flimflam on his dog. A sleep spell was fired off and it dropped one of the goblin guards. The 2nd was unsure what was going on and stepped forward when Flimflam and Whosea took him out swiftly and silently.
The group filtered in and we located the secret door. Our goal was to rescue Fist’al and the other captured elves. Our secondary goal and ONLY to be done is we had a terrific chance of success was to assault Malven, but truly we felt a bit overmatched attempting to take on the goblin cleric in his place of power.
As for entering the room, that was going to be Marcus and Flimflam, it was too narrow, small, and risky for anyone else. Marcus put on the cleric’s Hades headdress and we got the two of them into the secret chamber while we stayed quiet and guarded the doors.
Marcus and Flimflam/Whosea crawled down the 20’ to the opposite end where the door was opened and our elven fighter/mage was able to look in. The room was very sizeable and for a moment, Marcus couldn’t see clearly past 10’, and then like a fog clearing, was able to see and hear the entire chamber. There were 6 elves chained to the walls by ankles and necks, one of them Fist’al. A single goblin cleric was tending to a series of tables and changing stations in the center of the room, and along the south wall near an alcove was a single guard.
Gripping his sword firmly Marcus took in the sight of the goblin cleric and charged across the room, allowing Flimflam and Whosea to come in next. To the gnome, the room was not visible beyond 10’, apparently the veil was lifted by the wearing of the Hades headdress.
Marcus hit the goblin full on and the two of them struggled, upsetting the tables and the elf hacked into the goblin with wild abandon. Eventually the goblin was able to pull out a mace to better defend himself and the two of them traded blows back and forth. Meanwhile Flimflam and Whosea crossed the room slowly, unable to see beyond 10’, until they eventually came in sight of the guard. The lunged at him as he turned to assault the gnome and guard dog and was laid low at roughly the same time Marcus buried the length of his sword in the goblin’s gut.
The two of them freed the elves and equipped them with what weaponry they could find. There was a rod that manipulated the chains and a few knives the elves had pointed out the goblins used for getting the heart’s blood. A couple of potion gourds and they all left the “elf” chamber and returned to the rest of the party.
It was almost 5 PM and we had heard from the cleric that had been charmed earlier that at that time the portal to Duuk Tsarith would open and some goblin women and supplies would come through. We had to be gone before that. We raced out of the cave, through the water, past the intersection, the shrieker chamber, guard room, up the slope and out into the evening air. From there we gathered our horses and fled the goblin’s cave making the long 5 hour trip back to Shakun where we met with Baron Taugis and told the lord of our successes.
The bounty was paid and we went back to the Hall of Heroes where the group as one just collapsed in exhaustion, while the 6 elves were taken to the Hospice where they would receive a few days of much needed care.