After defeating the vampire and picking up some rations (and a spear for Iral), and with new companion in tow (Trustyson, played by my dad), Gideon, Iral, Alvis, Armis and Tomlinson head off on the journey back to Jainesville; fully expecting to bump into undead on the several day trip.
Four hours in, as they are just about to leave the dead forest, this is exactly what happens; but despite being ambushed by a couple of ghouls and their entourage of zombies and skeletons (four of each), they were sent scampering away by the might of Alvis’ turn undead spell he had memorised that morning before setting out.
They travel for another six hours, over hills and skirting the mountains, avoiding the trail left by the hordes of undead. In the distance, on poking over the horizon they spot the ruined gatehouse they saw on their way to Death Mountain. Thinking that it might be a good place to find shelter, as it is getting dark and overcast and they need to rest, they head towards it. Stopping nearby, they send newcomer Trustyson to scout the place out: this he does, finding nothing more than a ruined gatehouse with a loose flagstone inside, leading to something below.
He heads back and informs the others and they all hike over and start to explore, finding a tunnel beneath the flagstone. Leaving Armis and Tomlinson on guard, Gideon and Iral take the lead and head into the tunnel, closely followed by Trustyson and Alvis. They emerge into an old and debris-ridden wine cellar with animal bones scattered about and large piles of dung (some fresh) in the corners. Three stone doors, all half-hanging from rusted hinges and standing ajar lead out. There are no noises they can hear, and the place is damp, musty and a bit smelly.
Through one door they discover a room littered with bones and offal. As Gideon sneaks in to have a look, a large insect with bulbous eyes on stalks jumps out and take a swipe at him with its claws. He swings back, and the others all pile in, mostly missing, but slowly chipping away at it while it scratches a few lines on Gideon’s arm. As they fight, Alvis spots something moving in the room beyond and turns to see a nine-foot long furry snake slithering up: he yells out a warning to Iral, who spins round and lets loose a powerful magic missile [d30 rule] that blows it to pieces! Good shot that elf.
The insect dies soon after, with no one particularly injured. Alvis does a curative spell, and they continue searching. They get Armis and Tomlinson down to stand guard in the wine cellar, in case anything else pops out. Further exploration reveals an old shrine dedicated to St Harriet, patron of soldiers, and a lair full of bones. A stuck stone door leads out of the room, which takes a bit of effort to open. Foul, stale air gusts out and sends everyone but the elf coughing. Inside, hanging from a rusty chain in an otherwise empty room, is a golden bell the size of a head. Trustyson gets on Gideon’s shoulders and uses his turban to muffle the clanger, then unhooks the bell. They stuff it into a sack and carry it back to the shrine; where they make camp, and bed down for the night.
End of Session
Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider, 6 ghouls, 1 troll, defeated a party of three adventurers (but let them go free), 1 gelatinous cube, 1 ape-creature, 5 ogres, 1 plant, 1 hideous undead thing, 1 vampire, 1 insect monster, 1 furry snake, turned undead (2 ghouls, 4 skeletons, 4 zombies);
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 3 (Bran, Oswald and Geoff)
Shields Splintered: 11;
Total XP: 33,049.