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Brindenford Notes Page 3

Page history last edited by Gillian 12 years, 10 months ago

Page 2, Page 4

 

Session 10 (June 26, 2011)

Still in the dungeon, following Chasmal's interesting remarks about "a wizard's bedchamber" being found somewhere in the halls behind the scorpion room (and more scorpions!), the party goes exploring. However, Griptoe was not feeling well, so he remained behind with Chasmal. The remaining PCs and their henchman, the elf-ranger Arith, descended into the pit and followed the passage out of it back to the west. After turning south, they investigated an interesting alcove-dead-end passage, where they heard scritching noises. Pressing forward, they were attacked by four small scorpions, each a bit smaller than their absent grippli friend.

 

Two of the creatures engaged the fighters in the front row (Val and Arith) but the other two ran up the walls and past them to engage Cord and Elrohir. Val and Arith both missed attacks of opportunity, and Arith was forced to drop her bow to draw her two swords. A round of combat left Arith's scorpion dead, and both Elrohir and Cord's wounded. However, moments later, Cord (at the rear, having backed up to blast his scorpion) is assaulted by a fifth, much larger scorpion - the size of the one they killed two days previously!

 

While the fighters finish off their small scorpions, Elrohir enlarges Arith, giving her a boost in strength and reach. However, Cord is grabbed and stung by the large scorpion, and soon is unconscious from his wounds. When Arith delivers a mighty double blow to the monster, it grabs up Cord's body and attempts to retreat. Val throws a dagger after it, piercing it deeply, but not slowing it in the least. Arith chases it down, her great size allowing her to match it's scuttling pace down the hall. A single blow later, it drops. Unfortunately, in the process it does one more round of damage to the unconscious Cord, and when it collapses, he falls from it's pincer in two pieces.

 

Deciding that they must take their friend's corpse back for burial, they leave the dungeon with only one quick glance behind a small door; they find a cloak closet and pick up one nice tarnished silver cloak clasp. It detects as magical. They manage to flee the dungeon and reach town with no other encounters.

 

Once they return to town, they take Cord's body to the temple of Elanora for burial; while preparing him, the priests there make the discovery that his holy symbol is reversible; on the rear is the symbol of Mikol - god of darkness and trickery! This explains a LOT about Cord to everyone. While searching his belongings, the party realizes that he must have some secret hideout they are unaware of (his cottage) because about 500 sp in coinage that should be in his possession is not in his possession nor in his room at the Lost Shepherd, and all of his costumes except those he kept to disguise himself as his "gypsy-girl" persona (Evanya's "lover") are missing. Elrohir asks the sheriff to alert them to word of anyone in town who lived alone or at one of the Inns who turns out to be missing in the near future.

 

Lastly, as Elrohir and Val post yet another sign for "adventurers wanted", a rather odd and distinctive group of folk descend upon the Lost Shepherd. They include Burr-buggle, a grippli wizard (boastfully announcing that he and his companions will begin "conquering" Dragon's Delve tomorrow morning); Brother Fortress - a large, sturdy fighter type who seems equally boastful and buys a round of drinks for the house; Meinhard is a youngish man, maybe woodsfolk, also wearing heavy armor - he's a priest of Safreth, the forest-god; and lastly, the quiet one - Renitasss the catfolk - perhaps a rogue, who chats up the innkeeper and then comes over to converse with El and Val. Once he confirms that they have indeed been exploring the Delve, he offers them 50 silvers for a decent map of the first level. They pass on the offer, but suggest (he gives them 25 silvers) that he and his friends head either east from the stair landing (into the Chapel of Glarias, which they have never explored) or straight ahead, into the lair of the Bestial Host, which they believe they have vanquished.

 

Session 11 - Ten days pass after Cord's funeral. Burr-Buggle and his friends make several trips to the dungeon, and boast that they killed ghouls in Glarias' temple, found lost books, and discovered one of the twelve secret sigils of the Dragon's Delve. The PCs are grumpy about this, and don't really believe it to be true. One day, as they sit in the Lost Shepherd, waiting for anyone to answer their posting for "new adventuring companions", a strange sight appears. A man, dressed in shining plate mail, wearing silver dragon symbols, comes walking in. He is identical in physical appearance to Raston/Cord. Elrohir immediately presumes he is Raston risen from the grave. He casts color spray at what he fears may be an undead creature. Val also reacts offensively, trying to charge into and overbear the possible walking dead. El's color spray fails to affect the man, although another customer collapses. The stranger steps quickly over and catches the collapsing farmer. In the process, he avoids Val's rush. Arith merely stares and retreats against the wall. Other folk  scramble clear of the fight. Elrohir casts flare, trying to blind the stranger, and yells at him to "go back to your grave, Raston!" Val also yells brokenly about the dead walking, and tries again to knock down the stranger. The stranger dumps the unconscious farmer in a chair, and charges at Elrohir. El whips out his sword and fends him off. The stranger bleeds copious,  and quite normal, blood. At this point Juddelo, the halfling bartender, intervenes, shouting at everyone to calm down. Val steps between El and the stranger, who is now shouting something about "I'm his brother! Is he dead?". A little peace is gradually restored, and soon the stranger reveals that he is Cord/Raston's brother Max, come from Greenvale looking for his ne'er-do-well twin. He's not too devastated, but a bit angry, to discover that his brother is dead. He accompanies Valkrist to his brother's grave, where he posts Cord's proper name, and helps Val take down the wind-chimes hung over his grave (he doesn't follow this local custom, either). They both notice fresh flowers on the grave. On the way back through town, Evanya (dressed all in black and heavily veiled) throws herself at Max, refusing to believe he is not her beloved Raston come back to her. While Sirus never makes an appearance, wherever Max goes around town, people seem surprised or appalled to see him. Several tell him he's unwelcome in their shops (the junk shop owner, Badger, in particular; the adventuring store owner Fascher doesn't seem upset, though). Max is put out, but resigned to the problems.

 

Max is a paladin of St. Justin of Dragon's Isle, a heroic saint of Kehret who performed good deeds at the side of the Silver dragon Duranda. His followers still go about performing deeds of heroism, chivalry and honor. Max seems to be just the type!

 

The next morning, the party prepares to go back to the Dragon's Delve. Just as they are leaving, a slight man in his late twenties, who calls himself Jasper, introduces himself and asks if the party needs someone who is good with a bow and handy with his tools. Lacking Griptoes (who seems to have decided that the risk to his delicious froglegs is too high), the party agrees to take him on. Jasper seems to be a practical, useful man, but not much of a farmer (he claims the recent "drought" ruined his crops). They hike back out to the dungeon, descend and wend their way to Chasmal's room, where they give him another letter from Dressa, and a pack of food. He's pathetically grateful; when introduced to Max, he immediately mourns that Raston will never be able to help him break his curse. Max immediately writes him a contract promising to spend the first coin he earns to break Chasmal's curse (Chas reveals that Griptoes gave him six hundred silvers, so he only needs 200 more).

 

The party then ventures down to the hall where Cord met his fate at the hands of the giant scorpion; Max suggests that it was Cord's own bad tactics that got him killed, and Val doesn't disagree (though it might just have been the language barrier). They move on to the room Chasmal told them was "a wizard's bedchamber". There, they discover that Serrestique may still be alive, because her homunculus is still active, though she's been missing for a decade. They find a potion, a scroll, and a stack of notes in a secret hollow in a pillar. Jasper pockets the key he also found. One of the notes is in draconic, which no one can read. The others are all common scribblings of no value.

 

Moving further down the hall, they rediscover the room where Serrestique "worshipped" the Mages Four. They investigate, Jasper nearly fails his save vs the whispering portrait, and they recover the wooden staff. A fight vs the fiendish crocodile is surprisingly easy for the five party members. No one even takes a bite before it is dispatched.

 

Session 12:

After finishing their search of the worship room, the PCs take time to examine their map, and realize they have just a few areas left to clear up on this level of the dungeon, and perhaps find their way to the stairs down that Chasmal mentioned to them, several visits back. They decide to return to the beholder room, where there is one door they have not yet investigated. Jasper is quite intimidated by the beholder, who today is floating at this level, watching their every move. The door they investigate is quite cold, and they can hear harsh winds blowing beyond it. Upon opening the door, they see the blizzard that lurks within. Max daringly steps within, and is almost immediately forced against the west wall, tho he is not injured in the process. He also begins to feel himself sapped by the cold. He ties a rope around his waist and pitches the end back out to his friends. Elrohir then casts continual light on the paladin's helmet, and he sets off across the room. Because he has a light source and is against the wall, he passes the pit without a problem, though he does notice something dark on the floor "out there". He reaches the door at the far end of the room after 5 rounds, and cannot open it. Rather than go back after the rogue, who has indicated that this is a room he'd rather NOT enter,  Max smashes the lock open with  one lucky blow. Entering the small chamber beyond, he is very pleased to get out of the icy wind. However, the mosaic almost immediately stumps him. After warming up for several minutes, Max sets back out across the room, promptly fails his Fort save, and takes a nasty tumble. He decides to ignore the shadow on the floor, which he is now fairly certain is a pit, and slithers out of the room, mostly on the floor. It takes a considerable time for him to warm up after exiting, and the other PCs are not willing to undergo such brutal conditions for what may be nothing on the far side. Elrohir realizes, though, that if he can rest overnight, he can memorize five chill/warm cantrips, which should assist the PCs in resisting the worst of the cold. So they decide to put off penetrating the area until tomorrow.

 

Instead, they double back, go south of the worship room, to the southernmost door they've found in the dungeon. This leads to the tryptich room, where they are attacked by the animated statuettes. This fight is almost farcical, with grease spells, multiple missed arrow shots, and only one statuette actually landing any blows. Had the PCs come from the north, where they could have been attacked from all sides, the fight might have been different, but by coming in from the south, the statuettes had no chance to surround the PCs. Use of the light cantrip also circumvented their attempt to blind everyone.

 

When the fight had ended, they spent considerable time deciding how to carry the tryptich out; eventually they made a blanket and rope sling, and the ranger, wizard and rogue carried it between them, leaving the paladin and fighter hands-free to defend themselves. They decided to retreat to Serrestique's bedchamber at this point, as an easy and comfortable spot to rest up and defend. On the way, they met a wandering swarm of rats, which they had more trouble dispatching than the statuettes. Elrohir finally cast color spray on the paladin and rat swarm. The paladin fell unconscious, and the rats were merely stunned, but it was enough to allow the rest of the group to stomp them to oblivion. Many fled, to reform in the future...

 

A night spent with the homunculus fluttering around cleaning their gear and doing their laundry while the paladin took a luxurious bath refreshed everyone. Jasper found a nice wool cloak, heavy mittens and a hat with ear-flaps, so he decided he could forego the warm cantrip; this was good as it meant El could cast another light on Max. They had no trouble this time, all roped together, bespelled, and working as a unit, to cross the room. The mosaic was a bit more of a challenge. *Here I deviated from the written adventure a trifle. I knew my wizard did not have dispel magic, so instead, I allowed a touch from the staff found in the worship room, and the use of the name "Serrestique" to reveal the true pass-phrase on the door. Elrohir just barely made his save vs the Sepia Snake Sigil, and they were able to safely enter the room.

 

Several searches later, they had disarmed the traps on the chests (they only set ONE off, and the rogue just survived it, with 1 hp), and recovered much loot. To my amusement, they did not discover a secret in the room, but carried off all the loot they found, packed into chest 3. While leaving, Max decided to make one final attempt to get to and search the pit in the blizzard room. He succeeded, though he nearly fell into the pit,  and while searching the bottom, found the frozen corpse of a halfling adventurer. Hauling it out, he insisted on carrying it back to town for proper identification, (looting), and burial. It's a good thing that Paladins of St. Justin are less interested in absolute honesty, and more in being just and fair; Max has stunned the party several times with his seeming greed!

 

The pcs have no encounters on their return trip to Brindenford; they contemplated visiting Chasmal, but decided to wait until they sold all their latest treasure before giving him the last 200 sp he needs to pay for his curse removal. They are able to sell the tryptich for 800 sp, and all the other stuff for enough that each of them gains over 1,000 sp each (Arith getting a half share, of course). They spend a few days around town; Jasper pays off the debt on his family farm, and decides that he likes adventuring - he puts out word that he wants to hire some tenant farmers to work the property. Val pays the final amount she owed the temple for care of her mentor, and hires a servant to look after him while she's away for days at a time. Max continues investigating his late brother's mysterious doings, and eventually locates the small hut Cord had purchased to hide his disguises in. Max decides to keep the property for himself, and splits the money he finds with Arith, El and Val for their "trouble" putting up with "Cord's obnoxious ways".

 

That afternoon, as the PCs are all hanging about, they witness an odd arrival in town; an old man, apparently weaponless and harmless looking, comes walking into town from the direction of Tallaston; he is leading a mule heavily laden with saddle-packs. They are greeted loudly by any number of villagers by name (Ofergenga and Bicwiden), and the old fellow announces that he'll be "set up" in the market square "first thing in the morning". Jasper, who grew up in town, recognizes him as a traveling merchant who often has odd goods for sale, from love potions and lucky charms to more potent magics, and that he never has any trouble on the road, no matter how dangerous things seem.

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