Diseases, sicknesses and curing spells
CLW and the various incarnations are a staple along with healing potions - so this isn't about that. Instead we are talking about diseases, parasites, and other sicknesses that the party might get in the dungeon. We had three this meeting, 1 from a giant centipede bite and two from just the general foulness one get mucking around with rotting flesh and dead bodies for 15 minutes.
The point is that the diseases were all pretty nasty (Chronic - all of them) and one was possibly terminal. There is a Hospice in town that we gathered at and it would help the situation - but not necessarily cure it - plus it would take days to run the course and get the party back up to snuff. So they wanted to know - is there anyone in town who can heal the disease? A fast look and poke revealed ONE. ONE cleric in town with the right skills and powers that can cast Cure Disease.
They got the job done and more power to them for it - but I think it hammered home the possible devastating effect of such an enterprise that might affect the party so far from home.
Write up follows:
So the party dug and dug from both sides of the fallen ceiling while the rest of us gathered the undead's fallen spears, shields, and even bows and arrows. We gathered up our spent blunt arrows and applied bandages where we could. Upslope, the fire continued to burn, consuming the couch, dresser, and rug – adding more haze and soot to the air that slowly wafted its way up and towards the entrance.
Meanwhile Zeta and Tranis carefully made their way to the corner where they dared to look around – open space, no heat sources, indistinct walls. We needed a light source. Torch was lit and brought over and we were able to get a better look.
And we saw bones.
Lots and lots of bones.
Perhaps the makings of almost 50 bodies, but incomplete at best. There was one missing a rib cage, there another was from the pelvis up. The ceiling rose to just about 10’ in height and was poorly worked, same with the eastern wall – irregular and ill made. About 2/3rd of the way across the chamber was almost 3’ of stout oak sticking up out of the field of bones, canted away from us. A lever? No one wanted to chance going in; besides the bones themselves had a strange almost powdery-like residue on them.
It was at 4:30, the path out had been cleared enough that we can all crawl back and forth across it, which meant it was time to decide to stay…or go. The general decision was to leave – excepted by Marcus, Zeta, and Pecheri. We should press on and get our quarry. The counter to it was – this was obviously our quarry’s home turf, it’s been three hours since the assault, and he’s most likely well holed up and ready for us should we approach. We should back out and re-equip ourselves for an assault through a dungeon and that would also mean getting some hirelings to help out.
We settled on giving the room with all the bodies the once over to check for secret doors, since it seemed there was no obvious way out of the chamber now. Plus there as the lever. Tranis made a lasso and Pecheri tossed it over the lever from 25’ away. Then it was slowly goosed tighter and then…pulled.
And it flopped towards us and dragged across the floor – metal on stone. Whatever it was, it was not a lever, and it was lodged in a rib cage. We pulled it all the way – and it was a sledgehammer. Badly worn, handle cracked, but it had been used to dispatch the current body it was trapped in. Zeta offered to check the eastern walls for secret doors, and Marcus the western. They were both outfitted with ropes around their waist and then sent forth, the opposite ends held by Auri. The two of them crossed the room slowly, stepping over the larger skeletal remains, disturbing the others that were too numerous and small. Then at the back wall they searched that one over – no doors. They did discover that in many of the ledges back here were old signs of candles. And they did find a second sledge hammer which they took with them.
We left the battle site and worked back to the store room. From here we stayed low since the smoke was still heavy and settled at least half way down the clear air. We trudged up slope to the pentagram room and then one at a time, stepped over the bloody lines through the sooty haze – Flimflam noting that the “heaviness” didn't seem to settle around him for some reason.
And finally, 5:20 pm, we emerged from the ground to the surprise of the local militia who were still policing bodies and taking care of the wounded. We talked to them and they agreed that Sheriff Nexius had already been apprised of the situation – and wanted the “hole” guarded. We went next to the Thanach Estate where we verified with Crastori that his wife, daughter, and most importantly, Selene, were all hale and resting. We were offered dinner and we stayed, and to help things along – Flimflam finished the Coming of Age Ceremony for Selene – the young girl formally recognized as an adult to the world and surrounded by her adopted family.
Marcus and Geld offered to stay while the rest of the group went to town to talk to the Lord, go to the aviary, and do some shopping. We would be cycling people back and forth from the Thanach home to keep guard and would return to the dungeon in 3 days time. Pecheri gave Crastori a small scattering of tiny diamonds to buy his horse and was returning to Woodhelven to be better prepared and with more firepower. He will be back on the evening of the 24th in 2 days time.
It was almost 8 when we entered Heatherfield and we trudged to the aviary first. There were no messages for us and we could return tomorrow to send a fresh one (birds don’t fly at night). We spoke to Lord Gelus next and besides eating his apples, told him what was what and sort of left it open ended on what help we might get. He offered to pay for our Hospice for us and was also going to help arrange meetings with whatever hirelings we were thinking about. Shieldbearers, porters, linkboys, slingers, light, and heavy footmen – whoever we could get would be terrific. Three of us (Quintus, Zeta, and Tranis) went to the Hospice while the rest of us went to the Mane and Tail to get some sleep.
During the night things grew worse for a few of us. The parasites, diseases, and other foulness of the dungeon environs were negatively affecting a few of us. Zeta grew feverish in the Hospice and his fever needed to be broken often. His body was wracked in pain and his heart was beating irregularly. Quintus became filled with mucus, the buildup causing him not too little pain as it made him temporarily hard of hearing and unable to breathe without constant help and clearing. He too was lucky to be at the Hospice.
Marcus though was something else. While at the Thanach household he awoke feeling sore and went to the privy where he sat for some time voiding his bowels. When he felt empty he wiped and was bothered to note blood in his stool. And then half an hour later he was once more wracked with cramps and voiding his empty colon. And the pain continued. In the morning, Geld loaded his friend and bondsmaster onto a wagon and brought him to the Hospice where he was diagnosed with a virulent form of Dysentery.
Such diseases were going to take days to run their course and the party could not wait such a length of time. We needed something more. So Geld, Auri, and Flimflam went to the Temple of Demeter to plead their case and were told that there was a healer of some skill at the Temple of Hestia who might be able to help – magically.
So we went there and the three of them were introduced to two brother acolytes who were the liaisons between their aunt (the touched healer) and the public. They fleeced the party a bit for donations and robes and audience fees but when it came time to charge the group for healing, at 600 crowns total it was outside out price range. We couldn't afford it. So then we tried to bargain for a service and she (the aunt) offered to heal all three for a fraction of the price if they would accept a Quest spell to be satisfied after their dungeon trip.
We dickered back and forth and then Auri revealed to one of the brothers that she was indeed a woman – not a man as had been indicated. This was shock and when the brother asked the same of Geld, he said, yes, me too. The quest spell was accepted (Geld did it) in the promise for the shorted amount for the Cure Disease – and when it was done our friends were healed…and Geld had been transformed into a woman. It was terrible for him…her, and we were told that it would remain like this until the quest was completed.
We then (all of us) went back to the Mane and Tail where we met with 5 shieldbearers and 3 slingers. It took some time to interview them all and we were having a late lunch, discussing what the merits and benefits of each were before going on with the interviews for the next batch of possible warriors as well as non-combatant henchmen.