Saturday, July 24, 2010

Arandish Campaign 2010 - Session 14

DAMN, what fun it is to have the Labyrinth Lord group all back in the same (geographical) state and gathered round the gaming table once again!  After a two-month hiatus, the Innominus (Clr-3) - Hazel (Ftr-2) - Uncle Junkal (Bard-2) party is back in action, furthering their exploration of the second level of a huge underground complex they know only as the "Stony Hell."

It was remarkably easy to get started again.  Last session (on 4/14/10) the party ended up sealing themselves into a room with several dank pools in it.  This past Tuesday's session began with the three PCs -- accompanied by hirelings Gorgo (Dwarf-2), Steak-Breath (Ftr.-1), and Locklear (Ftr.-1), plus Harry the Halfling (Half.-2), an NPC they rescued from a giant spider last session -- venturing out of the pool room, heading east back through the spider's lair, and making their way generally south and east through Level Two of the "Stony Hell."

In a southbound corridor the party came across a door, locked from the outside, that they wanted to open.  Harry the Halfling (a roguish fellow with a knack for traps and locks) inspected the lock, and, deeming it safe, unlocked and opened the door.  Beyond the door was a dark, silent void.  Innominus tied himself to one end of a rope and, with Uncle Junkal's charmed rock troll holding the other end, he entered the "void" space.  This turned out to be a smallish room with nothing of interest within -- a kind of sensory deprivation chamber where no light nor sound could penetrate.  Innominus exited the room, closed the door, and the party ventured further south.

The next square chamber they came to offered many enticing prospects -- a closed door, a rubble pile -- yet the group opted to move swiftly through this area, exiting to the southeast and then proceeding due east down a long corridor. On the north side of this eastbound corridor were two doors.  The first one was rather rotten and grimy, and was barred from the inside.  Harry the Halfling listened at this door and heard muffled voices, but couldn't make out words or even what language the speakers were using.  The party opted to move on to the second northern door.

This door was rather more well-kept than the previous one, and had a religious symbol etched on it.  Uncle Junkal the Bard was able to recognize the symbol as that of the Followers of Korath, an ancient pre-Noffellian sect of humans believed to have lived on the Komar Peninsula in the long-distant days before Noffel was settled.  But what would a Followers of Korath symbol be doing here, in southwestern Minoch, all the way across the Bay of Noffel from the presumed home of the long-dead sect? 

The well-maintained door with the Followers of Korath insignia on it was unlocked, so the party opened it and entered what was obviously a shrine or chapel of some kind, complete with an altar set against the eastern wall.  Steak-Breath and Locklear stood guard near the door while the rest of the party split up and began searching different areas of the room.  After two turns of searching, Harry the Halfling found a secret door in the west wall that opened onto a passage blocked by rubble, and Uncle Junkal and Innominus working together found a secret compartment at the base of the altar, but also noticed (thanks to their combined successes in the second round of searching) that the compartment was locked with a poison-trapped lock.  They asked Harry for assistance in inspecting the poison lock, and meanwhile Uncle Junkal went on to search the east wall near the altar for more secret doors.  He found one a turn later, and discovered a small treasure chest with approximately 100gp worth of mixed coinage.

Meanwhile, Harry blew three turns trying unsuccessfully to disarm the poison lock on the secret compartment at the base of the altar.  The party instructed Uncle Junkal's rock troll to start digging out the rubble-filled passage in the west wall, and Hazel and Uncle Junkal continued searching other areas of the chapel. Shortly (after only one more turn of searching as I recall) Uncle Junkal found a bundle of valuables stuffed under a fallen stone pew: an intact robe of a Korath Priest, a key with a Korath symbol etched into it, and a scroll containing the Cleric spells Snake Charm and Neutralize Poison.  Quite a find!

The party tried Uncle Junkal's newly found key on the lock at the base of the altar, and voila! it opened harmlessly.  Inside they found a small but heavy iron strongbox with no apparent hinges, cracks, or opening mechanisms of any kind.  They took it with them but haven't been able to open it yet.

The rock troll finished digging through to the next room west: the room with the muttering voices the group heard behind the first door.  Gathered in this room were five of the disoriented, gollum-like creatures the party had previously seen (4/14/10) in areas northwest of here.  The PCs messed with these gollums for a bit but ultimately let them flee.

Finished with the Korath Chapel and the gollum hideout, the party headed east to a three way intersection, then veered south and east again.  They saw some rooms I don't feel like describing, but eventually came to a roughly-hewn passage leading into some sinister caves, and, hungry for battle, entered.  They were promptly assaulted by five charging lizardfolk with tridents.  Gorgo was gored and Hazel was fairly seriously wounded, but the party prevailed, even without the help of the rock troll (who could not fight in the low-ceilinged passage).  They crept onward to a large cave chamber with a 20' diameter, 15' high dried mud mound in the center.  Sinister wisps of steam rose out of a dark opening at the base of the mound. 

Innominus proposed that the group light up some oil flasks and firebomb the hell out of the mound.  Meeting no serious objections, the plan was enacted, and Innominus, Hazel, and Uncle Junkal all lobbed flaming oil flasks at the mound entrance.  One flask flew wide of the mark, but the other three went in, and soon there were screams and sizzling noises as the living creatures within were quickly incinerated.  After the flames died down, Hazel moved forward to inspect the singed corpses, but no sooner did she reach the mound entrance than she inhaled some deadly gases and became instantly nauseous. 

Hazel's nausea kept her out of most of the final battle of the session, which began once five more lizardfolk -- including a big leader with an ornate longsword -- came running in from the south to investigate the fire in the mound chamber.  The party fought these lizardfolk bravely, though in the fray, the hireling Steak-Breath was killed.  Having dispatched these foes, the group (minus Steak-Breath) prepared to hole up for a rest period in the mound chamber.  Hazel recovered from her temporary illness and revealed that the fried corpses inside the mound appeared to be those of six more lizardfolk.  The PCs have now made some enemies in this region of the Stony Hell!

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