Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

Ziggurat of the Chained God: Part One
Session Fifteen

6th to 7th of Wealsun, 591 CY (low summer)

The bespectacled man came into the tavern and looked around at the few mercenaries and assorted riff-raff that sat nursing their pints. In the corner, one dwarves and three humans, looking weathered but oddly happy, sat watching another dwarf chug down a jug of rich, foamy ale.

He approached them and introduced himself as Halisham, a scholar, historian and keeper of records, looking for a company of adventurers to escort and protect him on a short journey into the Dim Forest, to investigate a ruined temple. As the foursome were already planning on heading into the forest, they agreed and accepted his payment of 100 gold ahead.

Soon afterwards, with a barrel of ale mounted on their mule, the party of adventurers and their scholar, headed off into the Dim Forest. After an uneventful day hiking through the shadowy, thick forest, Ungrid the dwarf drinking copious amounts of ale and getting heavily drunk– much singing and brotherly hugs accompanied them, but thankfully attracted nothing– they camped and stood watch over the night. Ungrid managed to work out a way to satisfy his thirst, but maintain a sober (or at least a light drunkenness), and in the morning when they continued on, the dwarf was feeling much better.

By the afternoon, partly thanks to Idni’s tracking skill, they reached a clearing of sparse vegetation, twisted trees and dead soil. A vine-covered ziggurat stood in the centre, the very one Halisham had been hoping to find.

Leaving their mule tied to a tree at the bottom, the party climbed the large steps to an entrance at the top. Inside, stairs going down, and a skeleton of some poor soul. Behind it, scratched into the surface of the stone, Zarkov spotted a jagged spiral, and identified it as the symbol of the Chained God, the Nameless and Evil god, Tharizdun!

The descended to the next level, exploring several empty rooms. Idni and Corvin discovered a patch of yellow mould in one room, which didn’t respond to Idni prodding it with his spear, nor when he poured oil on it; but as soon as he set it alight, spores exploded from it, and Idni breathed some in, and staggered back, trying to breath. As the fire burned the mould away, Halmary and Corvin held Idni down while Zarkov used his herbs and healing expertise to make Idni cough up the spores, thus saving his life from a suffocating death!

They descended another flight of stairs, and came to a room in which they could see something roosting on the rafters, through the door hanging off its hinges. Halmary kicked the door open, and a flock of Stirges awoke and flew to feed on their blood…

The fight was lengthy [9 round], fraught with danger as the creatures kept latching on to the adventurers, trying to suck their blood through the needle-like proboscis. Zarkov shot one out of the air with his crossbow; Halmary took two out in a hefty swing of his mace [cleave]; Zarkov found himself with one on his back, but crushed it against the wall. Idni stabbed one, then swung the haft of his spear and crushed another; and soon the flying pests were scattered around the floor, crushed, sliced and diced. As the clerics tended to the wounded, Halmary and Corvin searched the room and found several gemstones amongst the nests.

The stairs carried on down.

End of Session

Kills: 12 Stirges; 1 yellow mould.
Levels Up: Zarkov (now level 2); Halmary (now level 3).

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Hammers of the God: Part Four
Session Fourteen

Waterday, 5th Planting, 591 CY (low summer)

Leaving Corvin to rest after his ordeal with the zombies, the rest of the party re-enter the tomb, Idni scouting ahead. They check out the room at the end of the corridor, that they had so far ignored, finding sandals, cloaks, swords and more shields. They take some, and head back to the well where they saw spurts of fire from below.

Zarkov puts back the stone book he read, and picks up another [#70]. Then they proceed to the well. First they lower a shield down on some rope, hoping to attract the attention of anything down there, but after nothing happens the party volunteer Idni to go down to have a look. He does so, pokes his head out into a cavern below, and spots a giant slug oozing fire; it spits at him, singeing his hair, and he hollers up to the others demanding to be hauled up swiftly; they do so, and he avoids being charred further. They decide that they need some bait, to lure the creature beneath the well, so they can shoot it from above; the human bodies in the room of corpses seems ideal.

For once they they are not cautious as they head to the room, and Idni runs straight into five more of the zombies, which immediately attack. Halmary and Ungrid form their usual shield wall as Idni backs off behind them; but the zombies grab Ungrid and pull him into their midst, forcing Zarkov to step up to close the gap.

This battle turns out to be the longest one ever, 13 rounds of near-misses as both the party and zombies fail to land a hit; but over the course of the fight the zombies are slowly picked off, but Ungrid is beaten and bitten and half-way through he falls to the floor, trampled over as the zombies close in. Idni takes a vicious bite as well, as does Halmary, and Zarkov uses the Staff of Healing to heal as he can, but only Halmary’s lay on hands manages to stabilise Ungrid.

After the zombies are defeated, turns out that Ungrid is now crippled. Both his legs are crushed. With two party members down, they decide to abandon the tomb and return to their cave, to regroup and recover. They travel, slowly, safely back to the smugglers cave and decide to travel all the way to Hochoch, to see if they can find a cleric to restore their missing limbs and useless legs. Luck is with them, and despite taking three weeks to arrive at the city, they avoid any encounters along the way.

At the city they are in luck and find a cleric who can restore life & limb over the course of a few days. They donate hundreds of gold to the church, and the spells are cast with great ceremony:

  • Halmary has his hand regenerated, and feels blessed by his god;
  • Ungrid has his legs restored, but is now consumed with an insatiable hunger for alcohol. He is now an alcoholic dwarf [needs to consume a pint every hour or suffer -1 to all saving throws];
  • Corvin may or may not be cured of his addled-brain.
    They stay for a further month in the city, allowing the restored party members to recover. While their they learn that the armies have moved on to Preston and wiped out the giants there, and a call has gone out for adventurers to clear up the forest. Meanwhile, the armies are moving slowly towards Gorna. They also learn that the Dim Forest has places to adventure, and decide that what they need to do is gather more experience and treasure, before taking on the giants in their hometown.

So that is where they are heading next, the Dim Forest.

End Date: Earthday, 6th Wealsun, 591 CY (low summer)

End of Session

Kills: Five dwarf zombies;
PC’s KO’d: Ungrid (mortally wounded, needed a month’s rest, had both legs crushed).

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Hammers of the God: Part Three
Session Thirteen

Turns 30 to 41

Moonday, 3rd Planting, 591 CY (low summer)

Still on the beach in the cavern in the dwarf tomb complex, the party watch as Corvin and Idni climb up one of the cranes, discovering the cabin at the top holding one of the dwarf zombies: Corvin ties himself to the scaffolding, and manages to lure the zombie out, swinging out of the way as it attacks, and sending it plunging to the ground, where it splatters into little pieces of flesh.

They use the crank to retract the cable, dragging a submerged submarine some distance from under the water. They gather around it as it beaches on the shore, and Ungrid prises the hatch open: releasing a cloud of mould spores; everyone excepy Indi manage to avoid breathing any of it in, and Idni suddenly decides it would be a great idea to douse himself in oil and light himself on fire. Thankfully, Zarkov and Ungrid wrestle him to the ground and hold him still until the madness passes.

They leave the submarine alone and send Corvin and Idni up another crane; again they find a dwarf zombie, but this time as they lure it out, it doesn’t fall, and manages to kick Corvin off, but he’s tied to the scaffolding again and simply swings 5’ in open air; as Idni stabs at it, Corvin braces his legs and shoots arrows, which miss, leaving it to Idni to finish it off. Then they clamber back down, where Zarkov uses the Staff of Healing to heal some of the thief’s wounds.

They check out the last submarine, opening it to reveal six zombies inside! Despite trying to hold them off at the hatch, the zombies manage to force the party back, taking the fight down to the beach; zombies fall, but it starts to go badly for the party and Corvin finds himself fighting for his life. A zombie kicks him in the groin, and as he doubles over, it kicks him in his face, savagely, then clubs him down to the ground, where he stays, unconscious and bleeding. Halmary moves in to lay on hands, following it up with a CLW and saving his life; meanwhile, the others manage to finish off the last of the zombies and breath a sigh of relief.

Corvin is made comfortable while Ungrid and Halmary get into the submarine, with Idni working the crane, to test it out. They manage to submerge and drag themselves back to the beach, but realise that inside it will be pitch black, with limited air. They debate whether to all pile in and investigate where it goes, leaving Corvin on the beach, but decide to take him outside and make camp in the cave instead; they’ll spend a couple of days tending to their cuts and bruises, making sure that Corvin is getting the rest he needs, and then the rest of the party will return to explore further. They make it safely to the cave, and make camp.

End of Session

Kills: 8 dwarf zombies.
PCs KO’d: Corvin (grievously injured, needs two week’s rest, and is now addled [-2 on proficiency throws, -10% XP].
Levels Up: Corvin (now Level 3, and two levels ahead of Zarkov, who is still level 1).

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Hammers of the God: Part Two
Session Twelve

3rd Planting, 591 Cy (low summer)

30 turns in the tomb

Leaving the re-dead dwarf corpses piled in the corner, they manage to get past the shifting monster in the other room, which seems unable to move far, and enter another room with layered walls; a wall leads down into some dark cavern, wherein Corvin sees flashes of flame.

Leaving that alone too, they return to deal with the shifting monster, and with a combination of molotov cocktails, arrows and a bit of luck, they kill the creature, which dissipates into crystalline dust that softly fades away.

The party return to the room with the dead bodies and the purple mist, where Halmary and Idni replace their shields (lost when fighting the shifting monster that spat goo at them and melted their shields). Corvin takes the gold mining tools, and as he does, two more dwarf zombies rise from the mist, quickly falling under multiple blows. They head north, finding a room that looks to have once been a barber’s saloon, where they find some golden shears. Back to the misty room, through the opposite door, they find a room full of purple mist, the source of which comes from three smouldering seeds in a fire pit. More dead bodies, humans, lie inside, as well as a bald dwarf that looks to be meditating, and alive, although he doesn’t respond to anything. Halmary douses the seeds, stopping the smoke, and Ungrid pockets them, while Zarkov finds a scroll of clerical spells that he takes. They hear noises, and another three dwarf zombies shamble into the room, and are once again slaughtered.

Ungrid and Zarkov pick up the meditating dwarf and carry him back into the other room, laying him on the altar. As they do, the top shifts and they discover a false top with words inside. Zarkov spots a secret door behind the altar, but a search finds no way of opening it. Halmary figures out how to open it, using the tools to strike the meteorite; Zarkov strikes it, and the door opens to reveal another chamber. As they all begin moving through, after Corvin spikes the door open, another three zombies walk out of the mist and into the light. Corvin lets loose an arrow, wounding one of the corpses, the backs off to allow the others to make their, now common, shield wall. Zarkov kicks the spike out of the door, as he sees a lever on the other side. This fight takes longer, as the zombies keep grabbing Idni and Ungrid, and Idni is bitten by a zombie as it tears a chunk from his arm; Zarkov heals him with a whack of the staff of healing. The zombies collapse, and the party hurry through the door, shutting it behind them.

The room has four fancy fountains, runes on each that Zarkov translates. A stairway leads down into a cavern, from where the sound of water is loud and rushing. Everyone except the two dwarves wash the blood from them, and taste the water; then they head down the stairs, into a cavern that turns into a beach, water swirling off the shore. The cavern is so large that no one’s light can reach. Three tall structures of steel, a cross between scaffolding and pylons, rise from the beach, each trailing cables of steel from arms vaguely spotted in the shadows above. Two of the cables lead to torpedo-shaped metal things resting in the water, the third disappears into the water.

Ungrid and Idni check out the northern torpedo, finding seats inside and a winch, but nothing else. As the others stand by the shore, wondering what to do next, Corvin and Ungrid head to the nearest tower, intent on climbing it.

End of Session

Kills: 1 shifting monster, 8 dwarf zombies.

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Hammers of the God: Part One
Session Eleven

1st to 3rd of Planting, CY 591 (low summer)

While waiting for their delivery of smuggled goods, the resistance fighters decided that their next task would be to investigate the dwarf tomb that they had a map to; to find treasure, and possible magic that would aid them in their fight against the giants. After the goods came in, and were stored carefully away in the Smugglers Cave that was now the party’s home, they head off into the mountains.

It takes two, uneventful, days to reach the site of the tomb; a shallow cave with a stainless steel door engraved with ancient dwarven runes and a symbol of a hammer. Tendrils of purple mist writhed around the edge of the door. Zarkov recognised the symbol as belonging to an ancient, long forgotten demonic dwarf deity known only as The Miner.

Lighting lanterns, they opened the doors to reveal a corridor thick with knee-high (waist-high on a dwarf) purple mist obscuring the floor. Undaunted, but cautious, they entered; sending Corvin ahead with a spear to prod the floor and keep an eye out for traps. At a side passage they paused, turning east into a large room that was also filled with mist. Scenes of ancient dwarf life were engraved and painted on the walls; and hidden in the mist, as Corvin discovered by standing on them, were dozens of bodies that looked like they had recently died; a mix of humans in ancient armour, and defenceless dwarves. At the end, an altar with a pair of golden mining tools, and a chunk of meteorite. Doors lead out. They left it all alone, planning to returning later, and went through the east door into a corridor free from the mist. Turning south they discovered another door, which Ungrid opened to reveal a room with a pool (and what looked like gems glittering inside), while Zarkov and Corvin discovered a library of stone books in a room to the south.

The party spilt. While Corvin and Zarkov checked out the library (Zarkov took a heavy stone book down, and found a catalogue) the rest looked into the room with the pool. Idni poked the gems, tried to pry one loose, and triggered a spurting of inky gas, which put both himself and Halmary into a slumber. Ungrid woke them up with a few slaps and kicks, and they joined the others in the library. After realising that no one else but Zarkov could read the stone books, they decided to check the other room out, and discovered four zombie dwarves had quietly wandered down the corridor: both Halmary and Zarkov fail to turn them, Idni stabs one and Corvin is bit; he backs off, allowing Ungrid and Halmary to move to the front, forming their shield wall. The zombies quickly fall as Halmary crushes the skull of one, Ungrid cleaves one in two, then takes out another, leaving Idni to jab the last through the head.

They investigate the pool room, finding the walls to be layered in lattice runes telling the story of some ancient dwarf’s life. Side rooms hold more of the same, although one also turns out to be infested by vipers, which tries to bite Zarkov; the dwarf just chopped it in half. Another room held a gassy blob that kept changing shape and attacked by spitting black slime; one struck Halmary’s shield and dissolved it, and proved immune to bolts and arrows. They left it alone, and once again stumbled into a wandering group of dwarf zombies; again, turning had no effect, but the zombies fell even quicker, and although Ungrid took a savage hit, Zarkov used their recently acquired Staff of Healing to cure his wounds.

End of Session

Kills: 8 dwarf zombies; 1 viper.
PCs levelled-up: Ungrid, now level 2 Vaultguard. All except Zarkov are now level 2.

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Ghouls!
Session Ten

Godsday 11th Coldeven, to 4th day of Growfest, CY 591 (Spring)

After dragging the bodies inside, Corvin and Idni reach the top of the stairs leading to the dungeon below and are spotted by a pair of guards coming up to investigate. They back off as the guards hesitate; and are pushed aside as Ungrid charges down the stairs and buries his axe in one guard’s chest, killing him. His brother, Zarkov, loose a bolt, the quarrel grazing the other guard’s arm; and then Ungrid finishes him off with an axe to the head.

Inside the dungeon a third guard barely has time to lift his sword before he is cut down by Ungrid, and they find the smuggler, Morten, in one of the cells. They free him, loot the sheriff’s chest upstairs, and set fire to the place as they leave. Luck is with them, and the party manage to sneak back to the inn without anyone seeing them, hiding Morten in one of their rooms until they can take him to the safe-house in the morning. They carry Halmary along, acting as if he is drunk, and lay his to rest. Thankfully he survives the night, and awakes in the morning, but is in no fit state to do much more than rest.

In the morning, leaving Halmary to recover, the rest of the party take Morten to the safe-house. There they arrange the delivery of various goods, mostly raw materials to allow Corvin and Zarkov to craft their own armour and weapons; all to be brought to the Smugglers Cave in about a month’s time. They collect the other equipment they ordered, and a couple of days later, with Halmary still in bed, they decide to investigate the cemetery where bodies had been going missing.

They discover a few graves have been dug up, and some news ones freshly laid. They hide in the trees and bushes, Idni helping everyone camouflage themselves. Then they settle in for the night, to see what happens.

At midnight, the entrance to a tomb opens, and three corpse-like creatures crawl out, accompanied by a figured dressed in armour and a horned helmet. The undead immediately head for the fresh graves, and start to dig. Idni decides its time to act, and shoots the horned-one with an arrow, cutting a line of red across its leg. It hollers, and shouts out to the undead, ordering them to attack: every single party member is spotted, their hiding skills unless against creatures with infravision.

Idni continues to shoot arrows at the horned-one, who retaliates by commanding him to ‘fall’; and the explorer promptly falls out of the tree, straight past the undead that has started to climb up after him. The other undead rush to the trees, some climbing, others about to, and Zarkov fails to turn any of them.

Idni scrambles to his feet, grabbing his spear and thrusting at the undead creature in the climb, hitting a branch instead. The horned-one turns on him again, and Idni finds himself held in place as his limbs suddenly stiffen! One of the other undead reaches Zarkov, and with a vicious swipe of its dirty claw, the dwarf finds himself paralysed, and the party realise that they are up against ghouls (the bane of many adventurers). Another badly wounds Corvin, who shouts for help, attracting the two guards who were meant to be keeping an eye on the cemetery. As they rush in, Ungrid gets the first kill, hacking the head off the ghoul climbing to reach him. The dwarf jumps down from the tree, moving toward the evil priest; who simply points at him and commands him to sleep: the dwarf collapses, momentarily out. Corvin tries to flee, but the ghoul trips him up; but the guards arrive in time to prevent the thief from being mauled, injuring the ghoul as it turns on them.

The evil priest calls for a retreat, and the two surviving ghouls and himself disappear back into the tomb. None of the party wish to follow, and tell the guards that they can deal with it now. So they return to the inn, tend to their wounds and sleep.

After a few more days of rest, Halmary recovers well enough to travel, and the party move out. They take the long way back home, avoiding patrols on the way, and after two weeks they arrive home without mishap.

However, all is now well. They discover that their mentor, Hochtritt, is dead; he was caught sneaking in by the ogres and paid the price. After an interrogation his head was stuck on a tree in the town square, and his body given to the ogres to eat. The safe-house was discovered, looted, and trashed.

Driven out of their town, the party make the Smugglers Cave their new base of operations, and over the next few days get messages to the 100 or so able-bodied men and women of the town, seeing who is still willing to fight. Most of them do.

And so the resistance fighters start to make plans, left alone to determine their fate and that of the town.

End of Session

Kills: 3 guards; 1 ghoul.

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Jail Break Gone Wrong
Session Nine

Moonday, 10th Coldeven, to, Godsday, 11th Coldeven, CY 591 (Spring)

After arriving at Hochoch, in the morning the party go looking for their smuggler friend, Morten, and find themselves at the Last Word tavern by the docks. They settle themselves in, drinking while listening to the gossip around them, waiting for Morten to appear. They learn that there was a recent battle, against some giants about twenty miles west, and that the Grand Duke himself is due to return within the next few months. They also hear that bodies have gone missing in the cemetery, recent graves dug up. There’re aren’t any spare men to investigate, nor clerics, all bust tending to the wounded, and planning the war of liberation.

Night falls, and still no sign of Morten. Zarkov talks to the barkeep and is pointed to a pipe-smoking woman in the corner. They send Halmary to talk to her, and once he tells her who they are, she recognises them from Morten’s descriptions and tells them that he has been arrested, and is due to be tried and hanged in three days; the governor wants to make an example of him, as he cleans the town up before he has to vacate it and hand it back to the Duke.

The party agree to free him. They arrange to meet the woman, Gwen, the following day, and take rooms at the Dukes Arms. Then Idni and Corvin sneak out, avoiding patrols (as the city is under martial law) to scout out the sheriff’s office, in whose jail Morten lies. They find a stone building, barred windows, only one door in. They plan on blocking the chimney and smoking the guards out, and decide to do it the following night.

Next day, Gwen meets them and tells them she has arranged a safe-house for Morten to hide in, so long as they can free him and get him there. She’ll meet them there at night. While they wait for night to arrive, the party splits up and goes about their busy: Ungrid and Zarkov go shopping, placing orders for as many supplies as they can get; the others check out the mercenaries camp and get a feel for what they can hire, passing by the graveyard on the way to see if the rumours of disappearing bodies is true; it is. They meet up at the inn, where a brawl between the Geoff Army of Liberation, the Gran March Army of Retribution, and a disgruntled company of mercenaries, is narrowly avoided.

As night falls, the party sneak out into the dark, again avoiding the patrols. They make their way to the sheriff’s office, and move into position. Corvin climbs on the roof, blocks the chimney, and they wait for the smoke to drive the guards out: it works, and the sheriff and a pair of guards start to come out. Straight away, Halmary commands the sheriff to sleep, and Idni pushes the two guards back into the smokey room; each party member has wet rags over their mouth, and the guards are completely disorientated by the smoke; which starts to clear as the door is open and Corvin removes the blockage, climbing down to join the others.

Halmary wades into the smoke, swings his mace and knocks one of the guards out straight away; but the other proves harder to put down, shrugging off one blow, and, as he recovers and realises what’s happening, parrying others. Zarkov, Ungrid, Idni and Halmary all fail to land a solid blow, and are forced to defend themselves as he attacks back; and outside, the sheriff wakes up, and staggers under a blow from Corvin; but has a hard head and turns on the thief, sword out.

Then Idni decides that trying to knock the guard out isn’t worth the hassle and, as the guard parries a swing of Halmary’s mace, he lunges with his spear and stabs the guard through the back, killing him instantly. This motivates everyone else to turn to killing rather than knocking people out, and Halmary– albeit with reservation– steps out to deal with the sheriff, allowing Corvin to back away. As the cleric and sheriff exchange blows, Zarkov and Ungrid start searching for Morten, finding stairs leading down to the jails. They hear voices from below, and return to the others; just in time to see the sheriff cut Halmary down, severing his hand in the process. Ungrid, enraged, charges across the room, leaps over the fallen cleric’s body and cleaves the head from the sheriff’s shoulders.

Quickly, they drag the bodies inside, shut and bolt the door, and tend to Halmary’s wounds. He lies unconscious, but alive, missing his left hand, and is in a critical condition.

And from downstairs, a voice calls out: “Norris, what’s going on up there?”

End of Session

Kills: 1 guard, 1 sheriff; plus 1 guard knocked out cold.
PCs KO’d: Halmary (lost his left hand, currently at -4, needs to be brought up to 1 hp within a day, or die; then needs a week’s rest to recover).

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The Shopping Trip
Session Eight

Sunday, 23rd Readying, to Sunday, 9th Coldeven, 591 CY (Spring)

After tending to their wounds, the party waited to see what the ogres would do next. The two injured ogres started to pull out trees, pick up stones, and began to throw the debris into the entrance, intending to bury them.

Corvin sneaked up, to see how far outside the entrance the ogres were; they spotted him and moved to attack. He ducked back, letting loose an arrow as he backed away. He pushed past the others, letting Ungrid and Halmary to take up the frontal position, with Idni grabbing his spear and moving into the second rank. The others, Corvin and Zarkov, made ready with their missile weapons.

Halmary scored a hefty hit, his mace crunching the bones in the attacking ogre’s hand. The ogre made ready to belt the cleric in the face with its spiked club, then yelled in pain as Idni speared it in the chest, felling the beast!

Ungrid, hungry for more ogre blood, rushed out to engage the other ogre, who had back off out of sight; right into the ogre’s swinging tree-trunk. The dwarf crashed down the stairs, unconscious and bleeding from his mouth.

Halmary threw a lit flask of oil, blindly, but got lucky and the oil hit its target: the ogre yowled as the flames caught. Zarkov rushed out, spotted the ogre rolling on the ground in pain, and slew it with a bolt in the eye.

With the ogres dead, the two priests tended to Ungrid’s wounds. He was alive, but injured, lost several teeth and in need of a week’s bed rest. The rest of the party made a stretcher, and carried him home.

Back at their safe-house in Tika Town, their mentor and boss, Hochtritt, gave them their next mission: to head to the freed city of Hochoch, to buy supplies, get the local news, talk to the smugglers, and look into hiring mercenaries. After a week of rest, they headed off into the night.

Five days went by, with a couple of close encounters with hill giants on patrol; both groups were evaded. They made their way through Otywood, and encountered a group of Sylvan Elves, led by an elf called Finrod. They exchanged tokens of friendship (Finrod gave them a brooch, Idni gave him his dagger), and agree to help one another. The elves escorted them safely through the wood. By the end of the week the party reached Hochoch, and were escorted through the gates by a patrol of guards.

End of Session

  1. Kills:* 2 x ogres.
    PC’s KO’d: Ungrid (lost several teeth, needed a week’s rest).
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Arrows
Session Seven

Sunday, 23rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

Continuing their exploration of the dungeon, after defeating the centipedes and rats, the party enter the room that Halmary kicked open. As he does, Corvin rummages in the rats’ nest, filthy once more, and comes out with a statuette of a leering toad.

The room turns out to a temple dedicated to Hextor, God of Murder, Tyranny and other things. A quick search reveals nothing, other than a bronze unholy symbol on the obsidian altar. They carry on, heading north, and encounter a few more giant rats– quickly slaughtered, bronze chess pieces looted from the nest– and a couple of carnivrous giant flies, which are not content to buzz around and are ignored.

Coming full circle and back at the entrance, the party decide to pay the kobolds a visit and see if there is anything in their lair; since so far they have found nothing that they thought the giants might be after. After Corvin listens at the door, hearing movement within, Halmary once more kicks the door open, and the party move in to confront the remaining warrior kobolds.

Two fall immediately, one to Ungrid’s axe, the other to Corvin’s arrow. A bolt shot by Zarkov flies between them, wounding a third, which Corvin finishes off. The remaining kobold backs away, but Halmary simply walks up to it and smashes its head in. They move to the chief’s room next, breaking open the door and attacking the last kobolds: a couple of normal warriors and the chieftain himself. Idni shoots one between the eyes, while Ungrid cleaves another in half, leaving only the chief alive: but he too falls, as Ungrid hacks him down with his axe.

Another room leads to the kobolds nursery, where dozens of wailing brats and their mothers cower. The party leave them alone, but lock them in. They loot the chief’s room, finding a potion, some coins but nothing else.

Going over the map, they start checking out other rooms in case they missed anything, and soon end up back in the temple. There, Halmary finds a secret compartment in the altar. After Corvin checks it for traps, declaring it safe, Idni uses his spear to open it, and Corvin removes three fancy arrows from inside. Zarkov identifies them as magical Arrows of Giant Slaying, which must be what the giants were looking for.

Still wanting to fully check the dungeon, they return to the room where the pool of stagnant water was, which had an underwater tunnel leading into the other pool where the rats laired. Corvin, already covered in rat dung, offers to go swimming. As he disappears into the murky water (ultimately finding nothing), the rest of the party– spilt between the two rooms– are attacked by wandering giant centipedes.

Idni kills one, but is bit in return and his ankle begins to swell, as poison enters his system. His vision begins to blur, but he fights on, killing another and shrugging off the poison of a second bite. Halmary crushes two beneath the head of his mace, and the other two fall to Zarkov’s axe and another spear jab from the weakening Idni. As Corvin and Ungrid join them, Zarkov uses his healing skill and herbs to remove the toxins from the poisoned explorer.

They rest a short while, then return to the entrance. Outside it is early afternoon. The faint sound of snoring comes from above. Corvin sneaks out, quickly spotting a sleeping ogre and two more on guard. He tries to sneak up on the sleeping one, wanting to slit its throat, but it wakes and spots him: he runs back to the dungeon, and everyone gets ready to loose arrows and bolts if the ogres come after them; which they do, and arrows are loosed. The ogres squeeze into the tunnel, the injured one remaining outside and bellowing orders.

Ungrid and Halmary form a shield wall, allowing the rest of the party to retreat, through the archway that they are sure the ogre can’t squeeze through. The ogre suffers a few hits, but manages to whack Ungrid enough to make him stagger down the stairs. The party back off, Halmary getting clubbed in the process, but they manage to get through the arch. Then ogre pauses at the broken doors to the first rooms, and begins ripping them off; it hurls them into the room where the party are hiding, while they in turn step forward and fire arrows. Ungrid gets hit by shards of the door, but the barrage of arrows wounds the ogre, with a final shot by Idni taking it in the eye: the ogre falls down, dead.

The other ogres back off, out of sight. Zarkov and Halmary tend to the party’s wounds, and everyone waits to see what the ogres will do next.

End of Session
Kills: 3 giant rats; 5 kobolds; 1 kobold champion; 1 kobold chieftain; 6 giant centipedes; 1 ogre.
PCs Ko’d: None.

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Betrayed by Kobolds
Session Six

Sunday, 23rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

Backed up by he rest of the party, Halmary stared down the chieftain of the kobolds, who surrendered. He told them that they were just minding their own business, after being driven out of their homes by the giants. The party agreed to let them live, so long as they kept out of their way. The kobold chieftain agreed.

Actually, they were lying. As soon as the party left, the chieftain sent out his men to surround and attack the intruders as soon as they were distracted. To aid this plan, the chief told Halmary that there were unexplored rooms possibly holding treasure; he directed them to the room with the zombies.

The party headed out, following the chief’s directions to a door that was board-up and from behind the sounds of feeble knocking could be heard. Getting no answer from whoever, or whatever was inside, they party spread out in the corridor. Halmary took the lead and started pulling free the planks. As soon as he had the door open, the inhabitants crowded into the doorway: zombies! Dressed in the uniforms of soldiers from the Gran March, six in all.

Ungrid and Halmary stepped up to block the doorway, whilst Zarkov stood behind them and called upon his god: one of the zombies cowered and backed away; none paid any notice Halmary when he tried to turn them, but Ungrid got their attention by hacking one of their head’s clear off.

Behind the front-liners, Idni and Corvin fired arrows into the rear zombies, scoring hits but failing to take them down. Zarkov turns some more, and Halmary brains one as it flees. The rest, cowering now, are quickly dealt with. Amongst the bodies Corvin finds a jewelled ring.

The room below them holds nothing of interest, so they continue to explore, looking for whatever it is the giants are after. They come across more cells, from which pale light shines. Corvin stumbles upon four fire beetles, which only get hostile when Ungrid takes a swipe at them.

Meanwhile, the kobolds have spilt into three groups and sneak up the passages, surrounding the party. Zarkov spots two of them hurry past, and goes to get an eye on them, moving away from the main party.

As Ungrid engages the beetles, and Idni and Corvin shoot arrows at the others, Halmary joins them, leaving Zarkov alone guarding the passage. He spies some kobolds and moves up to get a better look, to see what the little pests are up to. A gang of them jump him as he passes the corridor leading to the lair.

Corvin heard his yell for help, and coming round the corner spots kobolds surrounding the dwarf and more further up the corridor. He takes one of them out with a well-placed shot. Idni follows, while Ungrid and Halmary starts whacking the beetles. The explorer takes out another kobold, and Corvin slays one of their champions with a single shot through its beady yellow eye.

As Ungrid and Halmary finish off the beetles, and the cleric goes to help the others, taking his light with him, Ungrid is left in the dark. From what little he can see, the dim light of disappearing lanterns casting some illumination, he sees and hears a gang of kobolds charging him.

On the other side of the passages, Zarkov stumbles under a series of blows from the kobolds’ spiked clubs and bleeds all over the floor. He doesn’t go down, for once, and manages to back away when Idni grabs his spear and skewers one of the kobolds surrounding the dwarf priest. The explorer gets a whack to his head for his troubles, but tis’ but a scratch. Away from the rest of the party, Ungrid blocks attacks, deflects them with his shield, and cleaves a champion kobold in twain.

Idni takes out another kobold, and then another, ‘cleaving’ with the butt of his spear, crushing the skull of a kobold. Corvin takes out one of the kobolds not yet in melee, and on the other side Ungrid kills one, then cleaves another kobold on his back-swing, drenching himself in their blood. The last one flees.

A surprisingly brave kobold carries on fighting, his fear abolished when he breaks Idni’s rib; but the explorer gets his revenge and kills his attacker. The last kobold backs away, then turns and runs!

Meanwhile, Ungrid runs after his fleeing kobold and hacks it down, then carries on into the next corridor to see his comrades finishing their fight. He rushes up to join them just as the last kobold makes a run for it: Idni throws his spear, wounding the creature, making it stumble; and Ungrid finishes it off by charging up behind it and striking it in the back.

In the aftermath, Zarkov tends to his wounds, as do the others. A few bandages, stitches, and use if herbal remedies, and the party are fit to carry. Vowing to deal with what remains of the traitorous kobolds later, they carry on and find some stuck doors. As they try to break them down, they attract the attention of some giant centipedes, which are quickly dispatched, although one bites Halmary, but with no effect. They kick one door open, a closet with an urn that has a gem hidden inside. They move on to the next door, and Corvin spies some giant rats, both slain as they charge towards the party.

End of Session

Kills: 6 zombies, 4 fire beetles, 11 kobolds, 2 kobold champions, 8 giant centipedes, 2 giant rats (the last killed marked the party’s 100th kill).

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