The Eternal Empire

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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