The Eternal Empire

Arrival at Jainesville
Wherein our party go looking for bandits...

The Characters

Iral Darkstar: elf (former cook, vain, has a samurai mask and a pet spider)

Jym Hawke: specialist (former miner, glutton, has a Robin Hood hat, pet canary and a mule called Bob);

Randalf: magic-user (former quack, superstitious, a witch/warlock, with a black cat and a broom).

All Level One. Randalf knows Jym as they use to be in the same mercenary company; Jym knows Iral, because they shared a horse that recently died; and Iral knew Randalf because they were both caught in the treasure vault of a merchant in the town of Bute’s Triangle, barely escaping with their lives. All came together and headed off to the frontier village of Jainesville, following a rumour that the local constable was having trouble with bandits.

The Game

Late spring, late afternoon, the three adventurers arrive in Jainesville after trekking along the road from the nearest market town of Appleby (about a week away). They get a few odd looks, mostly curious, from the farmers they pass and head straight to the constable and ask him about the bandits: the friendly constable tells them there has indeed been trouble, and that sightings have been made near the old Baron’s Keep (on the hill, ten minutes walk), the old abandoned inn six or so hours up the northern trail (near the old, empty copper mine), and down south by the strange tower that attracts lightning.

He offers them 5 sp a head (or an ear) for each bandit they take out; more if they get whoever leads them.

They then head off to the local tavern, talk to Barney the innkeepers (getting the same details, plus the fact that the keep is abandoned due to a ‘monster’ that roams the place at night). They also talk to a local farm lad, who wants to join them but is turned down; he lets them know of further opportunity for adventure miles to the west, in the ruins of the old prison, Stonehell. The lad, Douglas, is given Jym’s mule to look after, while they head off and do some scouting.

After a brief discussion, the three of them decide to investigate the old keep first, and wait until dusk to do so. They skirt around the woods, scramble up the hill and as the sun begins to set, Jym throws his rope & grapple up to the battlements, and all three climb up.

Once there, they see there is indeed a monster, roaming the courtyard below and as yet unaware of them: it is a large four-legged lizard with steam pouring off its body. The rest of the keep, as far as they can see, looks empty and largely intact.

A plan is formed: Iral casts his faerie fire spell and outlines the lizard in green flames, giving Randalf time to aim and let loose a rock from the sling he borrows from Jym: he misses, and the lizard spots them and scurries across to the wall; it tries to climb, but fails to gain any purchase.

Seeing that the lizard can’t get to them, the three bold adventurers start slinging and lobbing rocks at it! Some hit, doing minor damage and making the lizard hiss angrily as it keeps trying to scale the wall; but most of the rocks bounce harmlessly off its thick, scaled hide.

Then the lizard finally gains a hold and scrambles up the wall, shoving itself between Iral and Jym; they pull their swords and hack away, but only one hits [I think it was Iral], and then the lizard swipes at Jym: luckily, he raises his shield just in time, but the force of the blow shatters the wooden shield!

Randalf quickly analyses the situation and decides that, what with the thick hide and sharp claws, the lizard can potentially kill them all! So, he casts his memorised spell, sleep, and puts the beast into a deep slumber. They kill the monster before it can wake, and shove it off the wall. It splats on the hard earth.

They quickly check out the walls and towers, finding them empty but spotting signs of recent occupants in the form of booted foot prints. They then start to climb down the ladder that leads into the gatehouse, as night falls.

End of session.

Tallies

  • Kills: 1 monster;
  • PC deaths: 0 (but came close);
  • Shields Splintered: 1;
  • Total XP: 100 (monster).
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Bandit Brawl
Session Two

As night fully falls, the three adventurers, Iral Darkstar, Jym Hawke and Randalf, descend into the gatehouse with torch lit.

Inside they find nothing except boot prints; someone has been here recently, no more than a few hours ago. The rest of the gatehouse is empty, so they cross the courtyard (spotting the well, where they expect the creature came from), and make their way to the two-storey building that acts as the keep.

The door opens easily and inside all looks quiet, dark and fairly free of dust. A few scuff marks show that someone has been this way too. Several doors lead into other rooms, and a staircase leads up. The first door opens easily, and reveals a cluttered room of rubbish. While Randalf keeps watch (believing that there are bandits nearby; he heard a bird caw, and thought it a signal), the others search the room: they find a bolt-hole, the door hidden behind all the broken furniture and rat droppings. They open it and find the skeletal remains of a man, possibly a priest. He is wearing a silver signet ring (which they take), a bronze necklace with a figurine of St Barry (patron of warriors) hanging from it (also taken), and a locked iron strongbox, which the elf puts in his pack.

They continue exploring the ground floor, finding empty rooms (a former kitchen, a couple of storerooms, the great hall), and also a room with a staircase leading down…

…and from which torchlight flickers. Despite trying to be quiet, someone hears them, and Iral Darkstar hears voices from below:

“Barney, did you hear something? Go and have a look. I’ll hold the torch”.

Footsteps are heard on the stairs, and Jym Hawke quickly puts out his torch, and ducks into the storeroom. Iral Darkstar takes a step back behind the door to the stairwell, and Randalf hides behind a pillar in the hall, sling at the ready.

It is virtually pitch black now, with just a couple of shafts of moonlight shining through cracks in the walls. Only the magic-user can make out a figure appear at the doorway, although the elf hears him.

Randalf lets loose with his sling: and a well-aimed shot, and perhaps a little luck, puts the stone right between the man’s eyes; he falls down, dead.

Jym Hawke quickly relights the torch and they waste no time looting the body: finding a pouch of coins, a short sword, dagger, light crossbow with 10 bolts, and the leather armour the man wears. They take an ear too, as proof of the kill; for this can only be one of the bandits, surely. Randalf takes and loads the crossbow, and gives Jym Hawke his sling back.

They sneak to the stairs, and hear voices down stairs. Another bandit, making two, whispering. A voice calls out: “Barney, you there?” He calls a couple more times, before Iral Darkstar tries to bluff that he is Barney, but to no avail; the bandits aren’t coming out.

A quick discussion and a plan if formed: they will use the dead body as a shield, pushing it before them, as the three adventurers go down to deal with the bandits. Despite some reservations from Randalf, they all agree and put the plan into action.

Iral Darkstar gives a gurgling scream, then he and Jym Hawke carry the body down, weapons ready, with the magic-user at the back with his new crossbow. They enter a cellar, where two bandits stand, crossbows ready: they fire, and while one misses, the other grazes Jym Hawke’s cheek! They dump the body and charge into the room.

Straight away, Iral Darkstar stabs a bandit through the heart, and the man falls dead. Jym Hawke spots the other bandit moving a door, into a corridor lined with cells. He follows and takes a swipe, but misses; and sees another bandit at the end of the corridor, armed with crossbow. Randalf comes up behind Jym and shoots at this third man, but his bolt flies wide. That bandit returns fire, and his bolt hits the magic-user right in the chest, and Randalf falls to the ground, unconscious and bleeding to death. The elf comes to join Jym, and they both attack the bandit, which falls to the stabbing sword of Jym Hawke. They move up to the last bandit, and after a few exchanges, the bandit’s blows all parried or dodged, Iral Darkstar slashes him across the throat and the bandit falls dead.

They quickly tend to Randalf’s wounds, making him drink the healing potion that the magic-user fortunately has; he wakes up, feeling fine. They loot and the bodies, cut off more ears, and the magic-user finds a suit of leather armour he can fit into, and dons it, feeling better protected.

They decide to press on and search the cells, locating another secret door at the back of one cell. They open it carefully, finding a tunnel; which they follow, to another door, with voices behind it.

Hoping to surprise whoever is there, they push the secret door open and storm in; but no one is surprised, and the two bandits guarding a room with three doors off it, open fire with their crossbows, but thankfully miss. The one nearest a door starts kicking it with his heel, whilst reloading and shouting “We’re under attack! Get up, you lazy sods!”

Moving into the room, more bolts are fired by all sides, all missing. Iral Darkstar slashes at the bandit before him, but only scratches him. He parries the counter-attack. The other bandit crosses swords with Jym Hawke, who charged in and missed; the bandit scores a hit, stabbing the human in the chest and drawing blood. Not wanting to fire into melee, Randalf draws the sword he looted and moves up to help Jym, and succeeds in cutting through the bandit’s armour and kills him!

Beyond the door, shouts and noises of people donning swords and armour can be heard. The adventurers combine their attacks on the remaining bandit, realising that their luck is about to run out and that soon they will be overwhelmed: they need to deal with this bandit and flee!

Blows are exchanged, and Iral Darkstar takes a hit, then Randalf managed to hit the bandit twice, but only wounds him; leaving it up to Iral Darkstar to deliver the killing blow.

Quickly, they loot the bodies and chop out ears, while Jym Hawke tinkers with the lock on the door to the barracks and locks it. Then they retreat through the secret door, locking the cell behind them, and hurry up and out of the cellar, out of the keep (via the forest), and make their way safely back to the village and the tavern.

There, the barkeeper looks surprised and a little alarmed at their state, but they reassure him that they are fine, order some ale and food, then retire for the night to tend to their wounds and count their loot.

End of Session



Tallies

  • Kills: 6 bandits (total: 1 monster, 6 bandits);
  • PC deaths: 0 (but came close again);
  • Shields Splintered: 1;
  • Total XP: 262 (monster, bandits & loot);
  • Loot Found: 56 cp, 32 sp, 2 gp, a silver ring, a necklace, and weapons, armour and bolts.
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Session Three
Death of a Wizard

After their first foray against the bandits, the three adventurers spent the next day shopping for new shields and quarrels, getting their bounty from the constable, and resting up.

As night fell the tavern filled with a party of merchants, a couple of mercenaries, and assorted locals. Knowing that there were at least a further half-dozen bandits in the keep, and that they might be expected, the party decided to see if they could get some help: so Jym approached the two mercenaries and after a few rounds of ale and some flattery, the two men agreed to come along. They were called Bran (honest face, talkative, wearing leather and carrying a hefty club) and Laysee (scarred face, laconic, wearing chain mail), a couple of mercenaries looking to make some easy money.

As night fell, the larger party once again headed out to the keep, by the same route as before (skirting the woods, coming at the keep from the east side). As they crept up to the borders of the woods, they all spotted a bandit on look-out in one of the towers. Forewarned, the party headed to the north wall, and quietly scaled the wall using Jym’s rope and grapple. Silently they all reached the top, unseen.

A plan was formed: the two new recuits would stealthily approach the tower, while the others (with their crossbows, those they looted from the dead bandits) took aim and prepared to fire; if the bandit was still standing, the two mercenaries were to charge in. This turned out unnecessary, as a well placed shot from Iral took the bandit right in the back of the head, and the man fell dead without a sound.

They spy another bandit in the other tower facing the village, and skirt around the walls and once more try to catch the look-out by surprise. This time the two mercenaries make a noise, as Bran kicks over a stone and mutters a curse as he stubs his toe. The bandit hears them, and fires his bolt: but it goes wide. Bran and Laysee duck down as Randalf, Jym and Iral fire their crossbows: Jym scores a hit, but it is Iral who once again kills the bandit.

As they hurry up to loot the body, a third bandit climbs out of the gatehouse trapdoor, and is surprised by Jym, who has come this far to scout ahead: he leaps forward, stabbing him in the back; the bandit slumps, but is still breathing; but after a hopeless swing, Jym nips in and stabs him through the heart.

A fourth pops his head out, and takes a bolt between the eyes as Randalfshoots him down.

Believing it safe, Jym and Iral jump down into the gatehouse, and find themselves faced by another two bandits, who let loose with their bolts: such is the force of the strikes, that the newly bought shields splinter from the impact, and are cast aside as Jym and Iral rush forward to engage the bandits: blows are exchanged and parried, then Bran and Laysee leap down and join in, while Randalf keeps watch. The two mercenaries get their first kills, and the two bandits fall down.

The gatehouse cleared, they head towards the main building, checking rooms as they move into the darkness. As Jym lights a torch, right in the doorway of the hall, he illuminates two more frightened bandits: they fire, but miss. Iral fires back and sticks a bolt in one bandit’s leg; Laysee does the same, then Jym takes one down and the other throws down his sword and surrenders.

Randalf interrogates him, learning little other than a dozen more and their leader are still out being bandits, and maybe a dozen more are down in the cellar and dungeon. He then coldly kills the man, much to Bran’s disgust: the mercenary warns the magic-user that another such act, and they are on their own. Bran and Laysee are mercenaries, not murderers!

Down the stairs is torch light. Jym sneaks down and spies a guard hiding in the room, using a pillar for cover. He fires, hitting the bandit enough to make him stagger; Iral runs down after Jym, and shoots, but his bolt ricochets off the stone wall. Jym jogs in, sword stabbing, and cuts down the bandit: only to notice another guard taking aim. Randalf spots him as he enters the room, fires and miss; but the guard is quickly taken down as Bran and Laysee wade in. Through the door and into the corridor they go, and two more bandits catch them unaware, one shattering Randalf’s new shield, the other falling to Laysee’s sword. The other guard flees, heading through the secret tunnel: the party follow him, reloading their crossbows and taking purses and ears off the dead bandits as they go along.

Through the secret door, into the tunnel, and opening the other door, and the room beyond has three more bandits! The party swarms in, firing bolts swinging swords: a cry goes out, and the door where they last heard bandits behind opens and three more bandits are revealed! Laysee’s shield is shattered; another bandit falls down; then Bran takes a fatal hit as a bolt slams into his chest; the honest-faced mercenary falls down, bleeding to death. Seeing that the odds are now stacked against them, Randalf lets loose with his sleep spell, taking out four of the bandits; and just in time, as another door slams open, and a bandit comes out, spies Randalf and shots him dead with a bolt in his back! The magic-user dies!

It looks bad. All are in melee now, Iral takes a wound, as does Laysee, and then: a savage chop severs Jym’s arm, and the human staggers back, blood pumping from his bloody stump; but he still stands!

Laysee lets his frustration out with a roar and cuts down one of the three remaining bandits (another appears from a corridor, scared but determined to carry on fighting); Iral takes out the one who just chopped off his friend’s arm; and the last one shoots Iral, but the elf is still standing tall: he and Laysee turn on the last man, and hack him to death.

Silence reigns. All is quiet, save the sound of sizzling flesh and a muffled cry as Jym cauterises his wound and almost faints. Knowing that they are too weak to go on, they gather their fallen comrades, loot what they can, and leave the keep and return to the tavern; 19 bandits down, but at the cost of two of their party.

End of Session



Tallies

  1. Kills: 1 monster, 25 bandits;
  2. PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm, and 1 NPC died);
  3. Shields Splintered: 5;
    Total XP: 339 (monster, bandits, loot).


    Notes
    First PC killed after a fatal wound, bled to death.

One lost his arm; all had their shields splintered (NPCs included)

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Session Four
New Friends

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis (cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Corporal Trent (fighter L1) and six privates from the Imperials garrison.

The Session

On the morning of the third day, Randalf is buried in the church yard; although if they knew he was a magic-user, they would probably have burned him instead. At the brief ceremony, Jym decides it is time to settle his debt and heads off with his coins, telling Iral that he might come back, in time.

Meanwhile, the constable has a talk with Iral, and after much discussion agrees that he can use the old Baron’s Keep as a base, if he repairs it and looks after it. He can do so rent free, and the local magistrate might even put him in charge of the place once it is finished. But first, the keep has to be cleared and secured.

And it just so happens that two newcomers to the village, a clergyman called Alvsi and his mercenary companion, Gideon, have been asking about the keep; seems that the cleric has had a vision that evil lurks beneath it. The local priests have talked the garrison into lending a hand, since the keep is on their doorstep, and Corporal Trent and a unit of privates are going to go with the party back into the keep.

By afternoon the arrangements are all finished, supplies are bought, and the new party heads back to the keep. It seems much the same as last night, with even the dead bodies still lying where they fell. The pile of weapons and armour that Randalf stuck in a corner are still there too, and Gideon takes a sword for himself.

All is quiet as they approach the ruined building, and after a search all appears as it was. Two of the soldiers are posted on guard outside, and the rest of the party descent into the cellar, lanterns lit.

Downstairs the bodies still lie, and through the secret door the party goes, leaving another guard behind them. In the room where the magic-user met his death, bodies are still piled up. Three doors lead off, and a fourth has been boarded-up with planks of wood, showing signs of recent repair. The first door leads into a dormitory, which is looted. The second opens into a large storeroom, and inside is the accumulated loot of the bandits: barrels of ale, bottles of wine, weapons and even a suit of red chain mail (which Gideon takes and puts on). An iron chest sits in the corner, and is quickly unlocked: Iral is pricked by a poison needle as he opens it, but his elven physiology protects him from the deadly poison. Inside are sacks of coins, which are looted.

The third door leads into what must be the bosses bedroom, with a shelf of books on arcane lore, herbs and local history. A chest, disarmed and picked by Gideon (who must have been a thief in a previous life) bags them more coins, a spell book and a thin wooden wand that they suspect is magical. These too are looted.

The boarded-up door is pried open, and inside are the bodies of the dead bandits from two nights ago. Also, a staircase leads down into darkness. Two guards are left upstairs, and Trent and Private Boris follow the party downstairs.

The stairs open into a hallway, coat hooks along one wall, old and crumbling plaster adorning the stone walls, once a painting of some sort. At the end is a large pair of bronze doors. As Gideon steps into the hall, he hears chanting voices from behind those doors; but no one else can hear them until they too step into the hallway. Worried and cautious, the approach the doors and check for traps. None are found, the doors are not locked, and with a push Iral shoves the doors open…

…and the chanting suddenly stops. Beyond all is dark, silent, and it appears to be a large hexagonal chamber, the opposite walls only shadows at the edge of the lantern light. They enter, sweeping the light around: there are statues along the walls, and a mosaic on the ceiling, all depicting a winged woman with clawed hands and talons for feet. A depression in the centre of the chamber, reached by steps leading down on all sides, holds a blood-stained and scarred altar, centuries old. Another, smaller one of white marble stands opposite. Several doors lead off, and a long corridor with small idols and busts of the winged statue leads off opposite the main doors. The floor is thick with dust, and it seems that no one has been here in many years.

Treading carefully, they begin to explore. The first door they check has another large statue, and what appear to be relics on stone plinths (a skeletal hand, and a shroud), with other plinths broken and empty. Not wishing to disturb anything, they leave the room. The next is a small prison, with five iron-barred cells leading from a small and empty guard room. At first it seems empty, but then a voice calls out from one of the cells, asking for help.

A man, obviously long dead and virtually mummified, grips the bars. “Have you come to free me,” he asks. Gideon replies and tells him that he is dead, sorry and all that. This, unfortunately, drives the dead man into a wild rage and with surprising (and not altogether unexpected) strength, he tears the bars free and swings at the nearest person, which just happens to be Iral: the elf hacks at him with his sword, and the dead man literally crumbles to dust as the powerful stroke cleaves him in two.

The next room is a dormitory with old bunks and a stove, all lacking anything of interest. The last is some sort of training room, with a combat pit, racks of old, blunt and rusted weapons, and another large statue. Which leaves only the corridor to deal with. One by one they walk down it, Trent, Alvis and Gideon easily reaching the end where another pair of large bronze doors sit.

Iral and Private Boris, however, find that not only have their friends suddenly disappeared, but that the corridor is endless, now in both directions. They walk on, and on, and it is only when Gideon opens the doors that the spell is broken; otherwise they might have been walking until they died of starvation and thirst.

Beyond the doors is a large cavern, with a column of limestone squatting in the centre, All around it are stone sarcophagi, unmarked and plain. Feeling decidedly uneasy, they begin a slow circuit of the cavern, and find a plain door set in the wall; other than that all there is are dozens of coffins. They leave them alone and open the door, finding an entrance hall and another door. Iral steps in, but triggers a trap and a flurry of darts fly out, ripping his shield apart and injuring him. Thankfully, once again his elven constitution protects him from the poison on the darts.

Gideon uses his 10’ pole to trigger the trap three more times until it is spent. Then everyone piles in, and after checking the next door for traps they carry on and find themselves in a corridor, of a different construction than the temple they have passed through. They see a couple of doors ahead, open one to find a disused and uninteresting bedroom, and head towards the next…

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 25 bandits, 1 dead man;
Total PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm, and 1 NPC died);
Total Shields Splintered: 6;
Total XP: 339 plus more, TBC (monster, bandits, loot, and more loot TBC).

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Session Five
More bandits

We paused last week as the party entered a different part of the dungeon beneath the old keep.

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis (cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Corporal Trent (fighter L1) , Private Boris (fighter L0); four mercenaries (fighters L0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, Ericson and Tomlinson.

The Game

No sooner have the party entered the newly discovered dungeon, they decide that it is too risky and backtrack all the way out; the board up the doors that gained them entrance, and help the soldiers carry out all the loot and the bodies of the dead bandits. As night falls they are back in the village, handing over much of the loot in exchange for silver; after some shopping, and the placing of orders for items that the local trader has to import from the town of Appleby, the three members of the party decide that they need to stake-out the keep and watch for the rest of the bandits, which they expect to arrive sometime in the night.

Alvis heals Iral of his wounds, calling on the power of the Prophet to cleanse the wound, restore his vigour, and with the hours spent resting, the elf feels better. At the tavern they hire some mercenaries who had recently arrived; a deal is struck and the services of these men obtained for the next few days.

Bolstered by greater numbers, the party head back to the keep and set up watch. Not long after, Iral spots approaching bandits, led by a man with a raven perched on his shoulder. He signals the others, and they sneak to the walls, Alvis and Gideon armed with crossbows, Iral with a longbow looted from the bandits. The mercenaries descend to the old gate, ready to charge out to attack.

None were expecting a dozen bandits to arrive with their leader, despite being told there were that many out thieving by the bandit they interrogated yesterday.

As the bandits stealthily approach, several scouting ahead, Iral, Alvis and Gideon open fire: one bandit gets a bolt in the leg, another falls as Gideon’s quarrel strikes him in the back; Iral takes aim at the leader, but his arrow flies wide.

The mercenaries charge out, as the bandits bring up their own crossbows and open fire. The leader of the bandits, Raven, casts a spell! A shimmering shield appears before him, warding away arrows that come his way.

Ericson and Tomlison fall immediately, but are merely knocked out, their hard helms protecting their heads; but both Geoff and Oswald are wounded. Iral takes out a bandit with an arrow between his eyes; then kills another, while a lucky shot impales Gideon; but the sturdy fighter stays standing. Alvis runs into the open, and calling upon his goddess he heals the wounds of Tomlison, bringing him round and sending him to the gatehouse; the cleric staggers as he draws too much power(1), but shakes off the fatigue and heads over to where Ericson lies still; he heals him too, then sends him back to the gatehouse, following. Meanwhile, Oswald takes out a bandit, then also retreats.

The bandits keep reloading and taking aim at the figures they can see, but the battlements of the keep protect Iral from their bolts, and Gideon, now descending to join the fight below, chargers into combat to prevent any more shots coming his way. The mercenaries grab the crossbows off the bandits they killed, directed by Alvis, who seems to have suddenly become their leader. He then sees that Gideon is having a hard time, and moves in to help, smiting the bandit with his mace and smashing the poor man’s skull. He and Gideon retreat to the gatehouse, climbing the stairs to the walls and reloading their crossbows, followed by the mercenaries. All this while, Iral is exchanging shots with the bandits, injuring some, dodging bolts; but most of his arrows catch the wind and miss.

Up on the walls, the party start loosing bolt after bolt, taking out two more of the enemy; one of the bandit’s catches Alvis’s shield, ripping it free and sending it crashing to the floor, where it splinters.

Then Iral takes out another, and the remaining three bandits and Raven retreat into the wood, and flee.

The party keep watch until dawn, then loot the bodies, chop off some ears for the bounty and stack the bodies up. Alvis buries them with last rites, and in the bright light of dawn, they leave some of the mercenaries to guard the keep, and take Geoff with them to try and track where the fleeing bandits went.

Gideon follows the tracks, and they journey for several hours, following the river that they know eventually leads to the Glooming Forest. They give up halfway there, wanting to be back at the village before night falls. They return, their trip uneventful.

Back at the village they eat, repair their armour, buy a new shield for Alvis and get the silver for the bounty. They buy some more supplies, and head back to the keep. There they discuss what to do next, and eventually decide to stay for a week, while they arrange for the gates of the keep to be repaired, and send word out that they want to hire some guards to look after the place: and after talking to the constable and local priest, it is agreed that, for the time being at least, that the party can use the keep and fix it up: and while they wait, Iral takes the late Randalf’s spell book, and the one they found in the bandits lair, and studies some of the spells therein.

The week passes.

End of Session


Tallies

  • Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man;
  • PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
  • NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
  • Shields Splintered: 7;
  • Total XP: 3325.

(1)using my house rule; Alvis used it a few times to summon more healing, and we ruled that he could not do so to heal himself, since that would break the simple rule like glass underneath a dwarf’s hammer!

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Session Six
The Grinding Gear: Part 1

After a week of rest, shopping, negotiating repairs to the keep, the party of adventurers and mercenaries decide it’s time to continue their adventures.

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis(cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Three mercenaries (fighters Lv 0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, and Tomlinson.

The Game

Packing their bags, leaving Ericson behind with the three hired guards to watch the keep, the party take their mercenaries and head north towards the abandoned inn that once serviced the miners of the old copper mine; a place known to the locals as The Grinding Gear.*

Five hours later, as the afternoon draws in, they arrive at the inn, where a stables, chapel and the inn reside. In the courtyard is a statue, surrounded with something 20’ deep: closer, they see it is a pile of decaying bodies, goblins, wolves, humans, from skeletal remains to one fresh body that lies atop the pile, still clad in chain mail. Alvis carefully creeps over the bodies, and drags the fresh corpse into the clear ground. He inspects it and sees puncture wounds on the man’s neck (vampires? Surely not). The cleric cleans himself off using the water from the well nearby.

With the mercenaries standing guard, Alvis, Iral and Gideon check out the chapel, finding largely empty, save for an idol with a head shaped like a key, and a broken urn with ashes. They take the key-idol, noting that this chapel is dedicated to Saint McIver, patron of tinkers and engineers. Next the check out the stables, and find five healthy and fed horses resting in the stalls. There is no sign of anyone around. They get the horses ready, for a quick escape, not worried at all about stealing the horses.

The three adventures, with Tomlinson in tow, enter the inn and start exploring. They find a locked strongbox in the bar, receipts inside. Lots of empty guest rooms, dusty and obviously not used for years, perhaps decades. Upstairs, more of the same, and the floor above that is largely empty. They do find a library, but other than labelled bookshelves, there is nothing of value; in a workshop that find a birdcage with a dead sparrow, attached to a gold thread that links to a small crank. Winding it sends a spark through the thread, setting the bird on fire, and burning away the paper it lies on. In a cupboard they find some gold thread; they take the crank and spool of thread, and next search the master bedroom: here they find a page from a journal, something about building a tomb on the premises; they suspect that there might be a hidden tomb in the cellar, which they haven’t yet checked out.

Finally, they come to the attic. Pulling down the folded ladder, Alvis climbs up and peers inside. With the light beaming in from a hole in the roof, he sees an attic full of junk, along with nests and roosting mosquito-bats, as well as glints of gold. Gold, they think, is really valuable. And bats, they’re rubbish.

One-by-one the rest of the party climb up, positioning themselves around the trapdoor, taking aim at the agitated bats, with crossbows and longbow. One-two-three, and they fire: most go wide, the dim light causing them to miss. And the mosquito-bats take flight, and swarm to attack; and attracted by the squeals, others start to fly in from the hole in the roof.

Immediately, three of the bats attach themselves to everyone; but Iral manages to cast a sleep spell, sending the bats to slumbering; but two still fly, and attach onto Gideon, the other blocked by Alvis’ shield. Gideon rips the bat free, throwing it to the floor. Drawing on his inner strength*, Iral casts another sleep spell, felling more bats; the others stomp and slash, killing several. Alvis steps in and calls on the Prophet to heal the elf and Tomlinson, who is badly wounded from having his blood drained.

But more mosquito-bats swarm in, trying but failing to latch onto the fresh blood; and the adventurers are also hopeless, their swipes and slashes missing. More sleeping bats are crushed, more fly in, and Iral draws on his own life-force, casting another sleep spell and sending a few more bats to sleep. But yet more bats sweep in, and one lunges at Iral, injuring the elf and knocking him unconscious from the blood loss. The others, seeing that more bats are swarming in, decide to retreat and drag Iral back through the trapdoor; a lone bat manages to fly past as they slam the door shut, but Alvis kills it with a crushing blow. He heals Iral, and then they catch their breath and decide what to do next.

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 8 mosquito-bats;
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
Shields Splintered: 7;
Total XP: 3368.

the LotFP adventure;
*
using my house rule; Alvis used it a couple of times to summon more healing, and Iral used it to cast more sleep spells.

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Session Seven
The Grinding Gear: Part Two

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis (cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Three mercenaries (fighters Lv 0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, and Tomlinson; one Lone Wanderer (fighter Lv ?): Oscar.

The Game

The party head back outside, where they meet back up with Oswald and Geoff. After a quick discussion, with the day drawing on into late afternoon, they decide to camp out in the chapel and keep a watch on the inn and stables, to see if anyone turns up. To keep out the mosquito-bats, they board-up the broken panes of the church windows, and make camp inside.

They take turns keeping watch, one PC and one Merc, three hours apiece. While Gideon is on watch he spies a lone wanderer stealthily entering the courtyard; this figure heads into the stables, and does not come out. He tells the others, then swaps places with Alvis; and on the cleric’s watch he sees seven balloon-headed goblins, armed with crude spears, cautiously approach the statue. Alvis wakes the rest of the part, and they watch as the goblins spend some time arguing (no one can speak goblin), then send two of their smallest to the statue: after some pushing and shoving, one of the goblins is seen pushing the plaque on the statue, and a secret door swings open in the base of the pedestal. Immediately, gas spurts out putting on goblin out cold as the other flees; a few seconds later, attracted by the smell or noise of the gas, a swarm of mosquito-bats flies out of the attic, and within minutes the goblins are all dead, and the engorged bats head back to their nests to digest their blood-meals.

The party go back to sleep, and as dawn breaks (day fourteen of the campaign), Alvis spots the Lone Wanderer exit the stables, check the bodies of the goblins, then start examining the statue from afar. He sits down and pulls out some jerky, chewing it while he ponders on the statue.

While the stranger does this, Alvis rouses the others, and he and the elf sit down to memorise their spells for the day; whilst the others keep an eye on the wanderer. Once the spell casters are prepared, they agree to try and talk to the stranger, and see what he is up to.

Iral and Gideon head out, hailing the stranger, who hails them back; although obviously guarded, wary of the pair, he seems pleasant enough, with an honest face and a shock of ginger hair. Under his cloak he wears a suit of chain, carries a rounded shield, and a battle axe is slung over his back, resting against a modest pack. They chat, and eventually agree to join forces, since it is obvious, and then confirmed, that they are all here for the same reason: namely, searching for the hidden tomb and whatever loot lies within.

But first, there is still the cellar of the inn to explore. The whole party head in and down, finding nothing except an empty cellar; a cold storage room once used to keep meat; and then, thanks to the elf’s keen eyes, they find a secret door that opens into what looks to be a torture room or some sort, with manacles on the wall and a rusted box holding cutting tools and knives. But there is nothing of value, and no more rooms to explore. So the party return to the courtyard and discuss the best way to get through the secret door at the base of the statue, avoiding both the gas and the mosquito-bats.

Iral comes up with a simple plan: one of the party (Gideon is volunteered), with a wet rag covering his mouth to protect him from the gas, will trigger the secret door, while everyone else guards against the bats. Then everyone will rush through the doorway, once the gas has diminished. Sounds simple, and all agree.

First they convince Geoff to clear a path through the dead bodies, which he does with delight (seems he enjoys ‘dirty work’, as Oswald puts it). Then Gideon wets a rag using water from the well, and hurries over to the pedestal. He triggers the secret door, which pivots open to reveal a ladder going down. Gas spurts out all around him, but he holds his breath and does not succumb; he hurries down the ladder, and while down there he lights a torch.

Meanwhile, three mosquito-bats fly out from the attic: the rest of the party take aim with their missile weapons; except Alvis, who lets loose a bolt that flies wide of the mark, and Tomlinson and the wanderer, Oscar, who move to the edge of the dissipating cloud of gas, ready to run to the open door.

As the bats fly nearer, followed by a further five, Oswald fires and takes one out, and Tom shoots, injures another, and Iral fires and wounds one too. Then, before the bats reach them, they all pile down the ladder and push the secret door shut: in the torch light they find themselves in a 20’ by 20’ room, a single door leading out, and a cryptic message engraved on an old, worn plaque riveted to the stone block wall.

Iral pulls out his parchment and charcoal, ready to map their progress. Alvis lights his lantern, and with Gideon leading, the rest follow. He checks the door for traps, finds none, and opens it to reveal a corridor that has 1’ diameter holes every ten feet in the ceiling; seems to be a small network of tunnels above. Slowly, checking for traps as they walk along, they move down the corridor, to another door. Iral checks for traps this time, and spots a hidden needle on the handle. They open the door carefully, avoiding the trap, and find another corridor, with more holes in the roof, and another door opposite them. In the light, above the door they just opened, they see the words “Family Crypt: Do Not Enter” carved into the stone.

At which point, a giant spider plops down amongst them, clearly surprised to find them there; but the party have been expecting something to fall from a hole, and quickly dispatch the monster before it can lift a leg. Wiping their blades of gore, Geoff checking the guts for gold and silver (and finding nothing), they carry on. The corridor leads to more doors at either end. They head north, checking that door, opening it to find another room. Inside is a glass bulb hanging from the ceiling, a half-melted candle unlit inside. Iral spots a secret door at the other end of the room, and he ushers the party inside. They shut the door.

And that is where the session ended. Five turns have passed since they entered the dungeon.

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider;
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
Shields Splintered: 7;
Total XP: 3408.

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Session Eight
The Grinding Gear: Part Three

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis (cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Three mercenaries (fighters Lv 0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, and Tomlinson; one Lone Wanderer (fighter Lv 3): Oscar.

The Game

In the room with the light bulb, Iral opens the discovered secret door to reveal a hidden compartment, with a lever inside. They push it up, and leave it there after nothing seems to happen. The elf then lights the candle in the glass bulb, and words form in the light magnified by the bulb: “Richrom Dares you!”; the name on the statue in the courtyard.

They head south, into a room painted with a starry sky with the full moon on the ceiling. Inside they find another compartment, hidden and holding another lever. Again, they push it up, but nothing seems to happen. Next they head east, down the corridor to a door at the end. Gideon tries to open it, but finds it barred from inside. He knocks, and everyone is surprised when a voice answers: “Who’s there?” About the same time, Iral finds a secret door in the corridor, which he opens to discover stairs going down into darkness. Gideon and Alvis try talking to whoever is in the room, who tell the party to leave, least their greater numbers come out and deal with the party. Threats go back and forth, then Alvis suggests they all hide behind the secret door, with the mercenaries lurking back at the crossroads, with the intention of ambushing whoever is inside, presuming they leave. This they do, hooding their lantern, keeping the secret door ajar with an iron spike, and waiting. Half-an-hour passes by, and just as the party are considering leaving, the barred door opens and light spills forth. A voice says “I think they’ve gone”, and footsteps soon follow. Three men, two dressed in leathers, one in robes, exit the room, looking nervous.

Which is when the party spring their ambush!

Their surprise is spoiled somewhat as Alvis trips over the iron spike, and both Iral and Gideon mistime their swings, aiming to knock the men out, and miss. From the corridor, the mercenaries charge down; but Tomlinson and Oswald fall asleep as the robed man casts a spell. One of the armoured men, wielding a long sword, swings at the stumbling cleric, shattering his shield, and dodges a return blow. Gideon strikes out, wounding the other man, and parries his stabbing sword.

Then Iral steps up and casts his own sleep spell, and everyone, friend and foe alike, fall into a deep slumber. The elf quickly ties the enemy up, wakes his allies, and they drag the sleeping bodies into the room they just vacated: inside the bare room is the men’s equipment, plus some items of value (a statuette, carved idol and some coins), and Iral locates another hidden compartment, with another lever; this is pushed up, but again nothing seems to happen.

While the rest of the party rummage through the loot, and rest, Alvis goes out to check the other rooms to see if anything has changed. He does a search for secret doors in the central corridor, and finds one, but he can’t find any way of opening it and brute force avails him not. The other rooms seem unchanged, and he returns to the others, to find the three captives are now awake.

They interrogate their prisoners and learn that they are adventurers too, that the fresh dead body and horses belonged to them, and that they were attacked by the mosquito-bats in force and were lucky to survive. The party decide to let them go free, but keep the treasure, some rope, flasks of oil, a 10’ pole and a heavy crossbow and battle axe. They then escort them to the entrance, and watch as they flee; the hatch is shut before they see if they survive the gas and any bats.

While in the entry room, they look for any secret doors and lo! they find another hidden compartment, which reveals a fourth lever; as soon as it is pushed up, they hear a deep grinding sound. They rush over to where Alvis found the unopenable secret door, and find it has swung open. They pile inside and follow the corridor down, coming across a door with a shelf on which sits an idol of St McIver. The door leads into a short corridor, ending in a locked door. Behind it the sounds of animalistic growling can be heard.

Gideon uses his dagger to crudely pick the lock, succeeds and opens the door. Beyond are three rooms, connected by archways, each with not only a door leading out, but three deep 10’ wide wells in the centre of each. The middle well holds an angry troll; the left holds three ghouls who beckon them down and lick their lips, and the right side holds a mass of black-pitch goop, bubbling and writhing. None seem able to reach them, so they breath more easily and investigate the doors; all three lead to the same corridor, and another door. Above it a plaque reads “Private Chapel”. The door is locked, but turns out that the carved idol key that they have fits it perfectly. They use it to open the door, hearing something click inside as they do so [the trap disarming]. Inside is a chapel, with a large brass statue of St McIver and a skeleton with blunt sword and a backpack; inside of which is a map, of another dungeon level. They pocket it, then return to the rooms with the pits.

After some discussion, with Alvis leading the case for destroying them, they decide to deal with the ghouls by pelting them with missiles until they are dead. A dozen or so bolts and arrows later, the ghouls are dead. Gideon volunteers to go into the pit, via a rope, to have a search. He finds lots of paper, possible research notes for a spell, but nothing else, despite much searching. He is hauled up, and after some more discussion, they also decide to put the troll out of its misery and use fire to kill it. They find nothing in the pit either, just ashes of paper that burned away.

With no other way to go, they head back to the secret door with the stairs, and descend, relighting their lantern as they go. The stairs descend a fair way, and ends in a blank wall; but Iral‘s keen-eyes spot the secret door and they find themselves in a corridor, which leads to some stairs going up. Alvis takes the lead, and on the landing at the top of the stairs, where it turns a corner, he triggers a trap and the wall (all but a foot or so at the bottom) flies out and strikes him, sending him flying down the stairs: thankfully, though bruised, he is only knocked out and recovers a few minutes later, well enough to heal himself using his divine magic. Judging the gap large enough to crawl under, and using the 10’ pole to jam the wall, the party crawl across the landing to corridor beyond; each time the pole bends a little, and as Geoff comes across last, the pole snaps. Each time the wall trap resets, but now they are all across, facing a long corridor into darkness.

They have now been in the dungeon for about 4-and-a-half hours.

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider, 3 ghouls, 1 troll, defeated a party of three adventurers (but let them go free);
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
Shields Splintered: 8;
Total XP: 4483.

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Session Nine
The Grinding Gear: Part Four

Player Characters

Iral Darkstar (elf L1) / Gideon (fighter L1) / Alvis (cleric L1)

Non-Player Characters

Three mercenaries (fighters Lv 0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, and Tomlinson; one Lone Wanderer (fighter Lv 3): Oscar.

The Game

Down the corridor the party go, Gideon taking the lead. It goes on some way, up and down stairs, until they reach a junction just before another stairway descending; at which point, Gideon and everyone else is surprised by two ravenous ghouls that leapt from around the corner and from its hiding place at the top of the stairs. Gideon is clawed three times, but stays upright as adrenaline pumps through his torn frame, but alas he succumbs to the paralysing touch of the undead creatures and stands frozen.

Iral takes aim with his longbow, while Alvis hurries forward and pulls the stiff Gideon away from the ghouls as the mercenaries advance, and Oswald also takes aim. Tomlinson is eager to shoot, and fires his crossbow, but the bolt goes wide; but Geoff’s aim is truer, and a quarrel sticks out of one ghoul’s torso.

This doesn’t deter them. The lead ghoul attacks Tomlinson, shattering his shield with a mighty snap of its jaws, then rakes him with a filthy claw and causes Tomlinson to stiffen as paralysis sets in. The other ghoul goes for Geoff, clawing him and paralysing the mercenary. Oscar backs off, pulling the frozen Tomlinson with him, allowing Alvis to step in and use his divine magic to unfreeze Gideon, who grabs Geoff and pulls him free; allowing Oswald and Iral to let loose with their missiles, hitting one, and Iral’s arrow going straight between the ghoul’s eyes and sending it to its new death. He quickly fires again, as Oswald reloads, Alvis removes the paralysis from Geoff (using his own strength and vitality to power his spell**), and Oscar and Gideon go on the defensive, using their shields and swords to parry the ghoul’s attacks, which they do successfully. Then, after Alvis weakens himself further, to heal some of Gideon’s wounds, the fighter presses his attack and slays the ghoul with a mighty stroke.*

They catch their breath, waiting for the paralysis to wear off Tomlinson, eat a little food, bandage their wounds and drink some water. Once everyone is ready, they head down the junction and find three doors: one is unmarked, another holds a picture of a mountain, the third the sign of a flame.

Tackling the flame door first, Iral quickly deduces that it is trapped, spotting the white metal rim hidden by the door frame and the flint and steel that’ll spark when the door opens. Using the spool of thread and spark-inducing contraption that found at the inn, they rig a remote trigger and successfully set off the trap: the door explodes, but thankfully no one is near to be hurt. They investigate the room behind, which has paintings covering the walls; but the party are more concerned with possible secret doors, but after a good search they find nothing (but they do note the carved stone idol of Saint McIver, who they have started to really dislike).

The opposite, mountain, door appears safe. Gideon opens it, releasing a flurry of darts from the wall: one nicks Iral, but doesn’t seem to have any effect. Of more immediate concern is what they see in the room behind: a paper altar, with a paper idol atop it. Two candles burning away at leather throngs attached to bladed pendulums and a chained rock hanging over all. They have but moments before the candles burn through, releasing the obvious traps and destroying whatever is inside the paper: so Gideon makes a quick decision and rushes over to grab the idol, even as Iral looses an arrow, aiming to shoot out a candle, but misses.

Gideon raises his shield in time to stop the fiery blast as the burning candles set off the paper altar, but as he grabs the idol he has to use his head to stop the rock from falling, and his shield to stop the blades, which shatters in two: but he manages to stagger back, injured but with the idol. It is heavy, and removing the singed paper reveals nothing more than another stone idol. Worthless. They throw it to the room, and Gideon dusts himself off, feeling miffed.

The last room is coated in algae and green slime. A tunnel leads off to the ghoul pit from before, the burnt carcasses of the ghouls still there. There is nothing else of interest, save a wooden cart holding another stone idol. They retreat from the room, avoiding the slime, and head back down the corridor and the stairs.

It has now been a good six hours since they entered the dungeon.

Following the tunnel they go down more stairs, around a corner and come to a circular room with a deep pool of water. Above it hangs a chandelier with another idol resting in it. Seeing no way of getting to it, and not wanting to risk dealing with anything lurking in the water, they head back. After discussion, and referring to their maps and the one that they found, they decide that they must have missed a secret door somewhere along the way; so they go back, carefully searching, and eventually find one at the bottom of the corridor near the sliding wall trap. It takes them about two hours to find it, and they hold a further discussion as to continue on or return to the surface and rest for the night. They agree to carry on, following the new corridor to a tunnel with alcoves holding stone statues of St McIver, another corridor at the far end. They start searching the alcoves, and Gideon once again is ambushed by a transparent and virtually invisible 10’ cube of jelly that tries to engulf him; the fighter leaps away in the nick of time, but the cube proves no match for the power of the Prophet, as Alvis steps up and with a divinely inspired swing of his mace, he splats the cube***, killing it and sending goops of jelly everywhere.

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider, 5 ghouls, 1 troll, defeated a party of three adventurers (but let them go free), 1 gelatinous cube;
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
Shields Splintered: 10;
Total XP: 4805.

as per my house-rule.
h6. *
using the 1d30 house-rule (a player can roll a 1d30 to replace any roll once per session).
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Session Ten
Grinding Gear: Part Five

Non-Player Characters

Three mercenaries (fighters Lv 0): Oswald the Brave, Geoff, and Tomlinson; one Lone Wanderer (fighter Lv 3): Oscar.

The Game

Wiping themselves clean of the goop from the slaughtered gelatinous cube, the party on intrepid adventurers carry on further down the tunnel. Gideon and Oscar take point, swords out and shields ready, backed up by Iral, Oswald, and Tomlinson, followed by Alvis, leaving Geoff to bring up the rear. They come to a sturdy iron door, check it for traps, pick the lock and find a spiral staircase going down. They all filter into the room, the door silently closing and locking behind them. Gideon steps onto the stairs, and is about to descend when a discussion arises as to whether they should rest now, or carry on. It has been eight long hours since they entered the dungeon, and a good night’s sleep, maybe some more shields and a 10’ pole would also come in handy; but ultimately they decide to carry on, at least to find out what’s below. Seeing the door now shut, they pick the lock again and spike it open, in case they need a quick exit.

[And unbeknownst to the party, when they stepped on the stairs, it triggered a huge sliding block of immovable and impassable stone, that now blocked the way out. And unbeknownst to the players, their DM was having an evil chuckle].

They descend and come into an empty room. Alvis takes out the map they found, and points out where there should be a secret door. They find this, but also find another in the opposite corner, as Iral searches the room and spots it with his keen eyes. They opt to follow the map they have, and head down a corridor to a tomb, which they leave alone. More secret doors lead to a plundered treasury, with smashed chests and a few missed coins. But Iral, always good at these things, spot a second secret door in the room: beyond it is a small chamber, and a huge chest full of copper coins [10,000 it turns out]. They leave them for now, and carry on past another secret door to what their map tells them is a series of trapped rooms. Each room is a ten-by-ten chamber, stone doors on either end, a cage of steel built inside each. On the back of the doors are questions that mean nothing, and on the west walls slots (the sort you could slip a blade into) and what seem to be multiple choice questions, or a row of numbers or letters. All the doors are ajar, and none of the rooms appear trapped. They cross them, very, very carefully, expecting something to go wrong at any moment; Alvis in particular expresses his worry every minute or so. At the end of the supposedly trapped rooms is another tomb, the sarcophagus smashed and the skeleton inside mutilated. There is nothing of worth, no way out, no secret doors. The map says there is treasure, but it seems obvious that whoever had the map already looted the place; but, the second secret door wasn’t on the map, so maybe they missed something?

They head that way, coming to a room with three levers and three buttons. Another secret door is discovered (again, by Iral) but he can’t open it. They guess that the levers and buttons open it.

By they are growing weary, so they finally decide to head out of the dungeon and rest. But on their way back, they come to a stone wall blocking their way and discover, to their shock, that the way out is blocked! They have no option but to return to the room with the levers, with their lantern running low on oil and a handful of torches between them. No rest, time is running out, so they start playing with the levers and buttons.

It is Alvis who comes up with the right combination, and the secret door opens. Behind it is a short tunnel, blocked by a rock fall. They send their mercenaries to see of they can clear it, while the rest search the room and corridor for more secret doors, hoping for another way out.

It takes some time, but eventually Iral find another in the corner. They pass through, into a room with chairs facing a stage, on which sits a grand church organ, pipes reaching to the roof. Across the room is a door, surrounded by more pipe, and a plaque that tells them that to pass they need to play the right tune.

Iral sits at the organ and tries to remember a hymn the priests say to St McIver. He recalls one, and sets about playing it: the noise is awful, but worse are the rot grubs that fall from holes that slide open in the ceiling. Everyone but Alvis and Geoff are struck by the grubs, and they start to burrow in!

But a quickly cast sleep spell from Iral sends everyone and the grubs asleep, allowing him (being an elf, he is immune) to cut the grubs free and squash them dead. He wakes the party up, tries the door and find it is open. Beyond is another corridor and a door at the end.

Taking a deep breath, they head that way.

End of Session

Tallies

Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider, 5 ghouls, 1 troll, defeated a party of three adventurers (but let them go free), 1 gelatinous cube;
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 1 (Bran)
Shields Splintered: 10;
Total XP: 5805.

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