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Brindenford Notes Page 5

Page history last edited by Gillian 12 years, 8 months ago

Page 5 of Brindenford Campaign Notes

Page 4   Page 6

Level 2 of the Dragon's Delve


Session 16 9/6/2011

In this week's installment, the PCs managed to accomplish a great deal, though they also got dangerously separated at one point. They finished searching around the gnoll lair, and entered Chaster's room. As they picked the lock and moved into the room, they heard the door on the far side close, as someone else left. Deciding that hot pursuit was too dangerous, they instead searched the room. They found a lot of blank paper, some nice inks, and a lot of food. They also found that everything was hobbyt-proportioned. Elrohir was especially interested in the books, and was frustrated that there were no magical texts. He took the poetry.


Finally, they tried to leave by the western door, but ended up having to bust the door off it's hinges. I judged that this screwed up the teleport mechanism, and they found their way into the western entry hall. Valkrist saw the writing across the opposite wall, and stepped out to read it. She then glanced south, saw the eye-construct, but before she could warn anyone, the ray caught her, she failed her save, and fell asleep, hitting the floor bonelessly. Brave and valiant Maximus went to her rescue, carefully avoiding a look to the south so as to minimize his chance of falling asleep, himself. Meanwhile, Jasper used a mirror to see the floating eyeball for himself. The others shook Val back awake, and she shouted "there's a giant eyeball!"  A horrified fight at once commenced; I threw in the vesh I had forgotten last week, and it was quite a challenge. Val ran to the attack, the vesh leaped out of hiding, and bull-rushed her into the water. She managed not to sink with a very good swim check, and was able to tread water. Two more Vesh grabbed her ankles and began to try to grapple her down. Fortunately, she made her rolls, and was able to stay up. Rocky ran down the stairs and bashed one shorebound Vesh on the head, killing it instantly! Max also came down, sword swinging. Elrohir and Jasper remained on high ground, shooting and throwing fire down upon their enemies. At one point Elrohir cast grease on Val, enabling her to wriggle out of the grasp of the other Vesh, and she climbed out of the water, unwounded but soaking wet and very peeved. The Eye-construct succumbed to a mighty blow from Max, and peace was restored (for a few minutes).


At this point, they decided to limp back to Chaster's room and wait for a while to see if he would come back. For whatever reason, they seemed totally unworried about reinforcements accompanying him. Sure enough, less than an hour later, Chaster returned, alone, to see if the enemy had retreated. He cast invisibility on himself, and shield, and went in with his sleep wand in hand. He managed to put Jasper to sleep, but Max grabbed him, Val slammed him into the wall, and Elrohir snatched his wand away. Chaster, once stripped of all his gear, was willing to talk, but about all he would say is that they should drink the water, take a nap, and serve the font! When they got tired of his repetitious nonsense, they tied him up and gagged him, and got a good few hours of rest. NO wandering encounters! Even Wiel, the ranger gnoll, decided not to come looking for them.


After resting, they went west, skirted the water, fought the giant centipede easily, and entered the lab. They found a good bit of stuff there, though not everything, and then  turned to leave. Here, I had Chaster's broken teleport start working, and Valkrist fell victim to it. Max, turning back to see she was gone, plunged back into the door, and was also caught. Val ended up in 54 with her back to 54a, and Max ended up, a round later, in 53a.


Val spotted the bugbear, who was just wary enough to skirt the chapel and duck out the north entry, going down the stairs and heading for area 50. She then investigated the door behind her, triggered the Choker ambush, and fairly easily killed it. She was very puzzled by the ancient religious figures in the chapel, especially the appearance of her god, Kehret, as a minotaur wielding a trident! After a few minutes thought, she decides to follow the bugbear down the stairs, but is appalled to see a second eye-construct at the bottom of the wide steps. A ways beyond, she hears clashing and fighting; she can just see the bugbear, near one wall, fighting something standing just out of her sight in a side passage. Not knowing who or what it might be, she elects to shoot at the eyeball.


Maximus, by this time, has searched the empty room he appeared in, finding only old bread ovens, rubble and rats. He elects to leave via the door in the side wall rather than the passage that might go north... and then creeps down a hallway and around a corner. He sees a wide, lit passage ahead, and advances with caution. Still, he's taken aback when a bugbear steps across his hallway, sees him, and shouts out some sort of curse ("dammit, more invaders!" was the gist of it, in goblin). They attack each other. The bugbear lands a solid blow, but Max misses. Val continues to fight the eye-construct, which tries to sleep her, but this time she makes her save. She runs down, swings hard, and crits, nearly killing it at one blow. Max and bugbear exchange misses. Val is "gooed" by the eye, but saves vs poison. Max hits and is hit by the bugbear. Eventually, each manages to kill his or her foe, and they soon reunite.


In the meanwhile, Elrohir and Jasper go back to their prisoner, Chaster, and demand to know where their friends are. Chaster explains that they've been "brought closer to the font". When offered a choice between being drowned in the waters of the font, or leading the PCs to find their friends, Chaster assures them that "the font will take them all in, soon enough", and assures them he'll lead them to their friends. He takes them back to the gnoll lair, through the secret door (where they meet and fight Wiel). Wiel crits and takes Rocky down with one set of attacks, and Elrohir breaks out his baddest spells, blasting with LOTS of fire. Jasper manages two very effective arrow-strikes, and Wiel falls without further ado. Jasper restores Rocky with a potion, and then the dwarf heals himself.


Chaster says that the other PCs are likely to be "at the chapel, or near the old kitchens", so they should head south... right into the path of the angry owl-bear, who has just retreated from fighting Ramscorn. A quick battle ensues, and lo! Max and Val hear the commotion and head straight for the fight, managing to pinch the owlbear between them. It tries to run, but in confusion, forgets where safety lies and heads straight back to Ramscorn. Too bad!


We broke our session here, and will pick up with the GRAND Battle of Ramscorn vs the PCs!


Session 17 9/11/2011

The owlbear fled straight back to Ramscorn, and the PCs followed close behind, after greeting their separated companions with a quick hello. They ran to the east, and found themselves in a large old barracks. Within the room were the owlbear, confronting four orcs, two degenerate humans close behind, four goblin archers at the back, and Ramscorn in the center of the room. They immediately joined the melee, taking a rain of (ineffectual) goblin arrows. Jasper shot at one orc and wounded it, while Val fired at Ramscorn. Elrohir fireblasted an orc. Max fired an arrow, and one orc dropped. Rocky missed. The owlbear, already badly wounded, went down. The orcs advanced on Max and Val, the front line. More goblin arrows missed, and the men threw javelins. Ramscorn threw himself into a rage and advanced, throwing a handaxe but missing. Val killed one orc, and Max wounds another. However, in the return blows, Val was critically hit, and went down. Rocky healed her enough that she didn't bleed out, but she was out of the rest of the fight. More goblins entered the fight in the third round, moving in from the south, but their arrow-fire continued to be ineffective. The very next round, as Max engaged Ramscorn, he too nearly went down, and Rocky used his second cure light spell to keep him on his feet. But a hail of arrows and fireblasts from Jasper and Elrohir eventually whittled him down, and Max finished him off. The degenerate humans, too, fell to archery fire, and then when Max charged them, they fled. Elrohir and Max managed to take one down each as they fled, but six got away.


Rocky cast another cure on Valkrist, and got her to her feet, but nobody was in good shape. They decided now was the best time to retreat. Taking only time to loot the bodies, they went back to their safe room hidden by the stairs, camped there one night, healed a bit, and then went back to town. Oh, in the course of this they did pass through an odd, almost shaftlike round room, wherein they found a handsome iron chest with a cat-faced lock and cat feet. Jasper was charmed by it, and they hauled it back to their room. He opened it there, and found a number of scrolls documenting the creation and history of the Font of Dreams. They also examined Ramscorn's belongings, identifying his axe and armor as magical, and then finding the secret papers hidden in the bracer. Remarkably, they still made it safely through the dungeon without any random encounters...


Back in town, they rested a couple of days to heal up, and took care of a few bits of business. First - Chaster. They took him to the temple of Elanora, but Mother Iris informed them that she could not break his enchantment, as it was arcane in nature. They went next to old Master Piven, and he seemed quite pleased to see them. Unfortunately, he explained that the only way to break Chaster's curse would be for a whole group of mages together to cast a ritual powerful enough to sever the link to the fountain. Piven eventually agreed that he would keep Chaster locked up and "imprisoned" for a week or ten days, to give the PCs a fair chance to find and destroy the Font, which they are convinced lies somewhere deeper down in the dungeon.


Max and Jasper then leveled up to third level, catching up with Val and El. Rocky remained level two, and will stay one level behind everyone else from now on, or until he dies... Max bought him a set of full plate, and they gave him Ramscorn's Greataxe, which he informed them "is dwarf-work!". He's quite pleased.


Jasper informed his farm tenants that he was now a follower of Glarias, and gave them prayer-books so they could learn to worship the goddess of wisdom. They agreed to give it a try as long as they could still visit the temple of Elanora, too. He said that was fine, and one of them said her grandmother had followed Glarias, a long time ago. Jasper was very pleased.


Elrohir and Valkrist took the papers from Ramscorn's bracer and examined them. They discovered that while most were business they didn't understand, one document was an unsigned deed of sale for a manor house south-west of Brindenford. They took it back to the listed seller of the document, one Jarrack Nostell. He's quite pleased, and asks if they would please return all the documents they found. Elrohir asks him about the manor house, and he tells them he was in the process of selling it to a buyer from Greenvale when he was robbed on the road between Tallaston and Brindenford by a band of brigandly orcs! When they ask him how much he was going to get for the property, he tells them 400 silvers; they're amazed at how little he was prepared to sell a 9 room manor house and 8 acres of property for; he tells them "it's very run down". They offer to take it off his hands for 100; he agrees that in reward for returning the other documents (far more important to him!) he'll let them have the deed of sale for 200 sp. They, too, are pleased! Val agrees that the property will be in Elrohir's name, but with her listed as his heir. They move Torsten (Val's injured but recovering mentor) and a number of workmen out to the site to begin cleaning it up.


Max invests the rest of his income in a new, magical breastplate from Aesa, the smith. She says it will be ready in three weeks.


One final incident occurred during this visit to Brindenford. Burr-buggle and his group of companions return to town after a week's absence - they set out to follow a group of Bestial Host to the north, and after apparently slaying it, fell in with a band of Bear-totem Woodsfolk, who showed them a set of old ruins. While exploring it, they apparently uncovered a stash of old magical weapons and armor, and considerable wealth. Returning to town, they proceeded to make a thorough nuisance of themselves, with Meinhard getting drunk and brawling, Brother Fortress behaving as if he is commander of the town watch, and Burr-buggle being accused of shoplifting! Even Renitasss is earning a reputation for being a dishonest dice player.


After three days in Brindenford, the party returns to the Dragon's Delve. They're eager to find and destroy the Font. But on the way into the dungeon, as they pass through level one, they make two discoveries. The Bestial Host has apparently entirely abandoned the temple, and Jasper makes acquaintance with Duke Chordille's ghost-dog, Hunter. He's intrigued, and as the dog wears a collar studded with crescent moons, he takes this to be a sign of Glarias' favor. They were also assaulted by a pair of dire rats as they descended the spiral stairs on level two; one managed to slash Max quite viciously in a surprise attack, but they were quickly defeated; one fled, badly burned.


Returning to the second level, the PCs investigated the oven-room and found stairs leading down, deeper into the dungeon, just beyond it. At this point, they decided not to go down. They re-examined the chapel where Max had found the minotaur symbol of Kehret, and were interested to discover that all the "human" gods were represented there in forms more common to humanoid worshippers. From there, they went south. Finding a very odd room with a glass door, they spent some time examining it; unfortunately it was arcane locked, and Elrohir had no knock spell memorized. Eventually deciding that to smash the door might be harmful, they left without entering the room. Max did detect evil, and discovered that the statue they could just barely see on the far end of the room was evil to some degree; they also discovered that the flickering light coming from the ceiling was "sometimes evil", and the whole area was magical.


Finally, they reached the Garden of Doom! Wisely applying a dose of the smelly plant banishing powder, Jasper sneaked into the room. Unfortunately, Max tromped in immediately after! They stirred up the Assassin Vine, and it tried to grapple Max. A few short rounds later, it was dead...


Session 18 (9/24)

After killing the assassin vine, the party briefly advanced to the edge of the water, saw the waterfalls to the north, and the bridge to the south. Luckily, nothing saw them, and they decided they didn't want to go in that direction at this time. Instead, they retreated west, and went down the southern steps. Disregarding the warning written on the wall, they bravely plunged into the smelly animal lair appearing room. Max veered off to inspect the straw for identifying characteristics of whatever laired here, Rocky at his side, fearing it might be nearby. Val lingered a bit behind him, and Elrohir remained in the hallway.  Jasper crept up to the opening that faced east, and got out his mirror to peek around the corner. Suddenly a vast roaring sound filled the room, and Jasper  vanished in a powerful uprush of air. Keen-eyed Val noticed the southern door click shut only a few seconds later...


(Note: at this time I had everyone roll initiative, and until the group was reunited, we played out each round in init order).


Jasper found himself tumbled about, bruised and battered, and dumped in a large stone room, all by himself. He was confident that he had not gone terribly far (no more than 100'), but in what direction, he could not guess. In the room with him he noted two decomposing bodies, and a pile of bones - which stirred and began to rise up into a huge skeletal form! Seeing that his only way out appeared to be a portcullis at the south end of the room, he dashed that way, calling frantically for aid. When no aid was forthcoming, he threw himself behind one of the bodies, hoping for some amount of cover. He snatched up a heavy shield, and went fully defensive. Next round, he threw a tanglefoot bag at the skeleton, as it advanced on him. Fortunately, he managed to glue it to the floor for 3 full  rounds, during which it could not break free! Unfortunately, he discovered that his arrows were totally ineffective against the bony creature.


Meanwhile, out in the other room, Max forced open the southern door, revealing a seeming dwarf - who launched a vicious attack on him, critting him and nearly taking him out in one swing! However, Rocky healed him in a few moments, and Val stepped up to join him in slaying the evil bearded one. They (and El) took it out in two rounds, and quickly determined that while the lever it was operating triggered the trap, Jasper was not in this room. Val chose to run down the hallway to the east, while Max pitched the body (sans shield and weapon) under the vaccuum and pressed the lever. Jasper was not amused when the body landed near him. Everyone was appalled to recognize that the "dwarf" was actually a doppleganger.


Reaching a room filled with curtained dividers, Val began sweeping them down. At once, she ran into a second 'ganger, who immediately imitated her. But fortunately, when Max rushed up behind her, she was still oriented in such a way that he was not confused by who was who, and they again quickly took it down. Elrohir helped with a couple of firebursts, too. Max tore into the next two curtained segments, and found the portcullis, behind which he could hear some loud sounds (as the tanglefoot bag finally failed, and Jasper was forced to throw his second bag. The troll-skeleton saved this time, and advanced on him. He was just about within swinging distance when Max looked in and saw Jasper. Quick work operating the lift mechanism allowed Jasper to tumble free safely in the nick of time.


At the same time, as Rocky moved closer to heal them, the last doppleganger present made himself known by stabbing Rocky in the back. He had been hidden in one of the other curtained off cells, and lunged out as the dwarf turned his back. Rocky was badly hurt, but the doppleganger was again slain without any opportunity to surrender (one critical hit from Max took him down in ONE blow!).


Searching revealed the 'ganger's supplies and gear, which the PCs were quite suspicious of. The worst was the constable's patch, which made Max certain that one or both of the constables in the village must really be dopplegangers... They took some of the gear, including the dwarf-ganger's nice shield and flail. They then camped in the lever-room for a day, resting and letting Elrohir memorize a knock spell (for the glass-doored room). While they were resting, they used the vaccuum trap to catch two separate lots of giant rats, killed a grick that avoided the trap, and finally caught two dopplegangers who came down the secret shaft from level one. The dopplegangers, seeing their dead friends, and being caught squarely in their own trap, surrendered at once. Max detected no Evil on them, and since they begged for mercy, he gave them parole. After a discussion on the rights and wrongs of killing people on your doorstep without speaking peacefully first, the PCs and the 'gangers agreed to a truce. In fact, Jasper even returned the constable's patch to them, but said that any and every time they came into town to trade or spy, they had to report to him afterwards... if they didn't, he and his friends would consider them traitors and come back to deal with them. (Later, they hired the 'gangers to carry Chaster's belongings and the marble font statue out of the dungeon).


After "making peace" with the dopplegangers, the party went back to the glowy statue room. Elrohir used knock to open the door safely, and they all entered the room very cautiously. Max went first, and he and Jasper ended up conversing with the Font. It continually invited them to join it, insisting it had been instructed to "protect" itself by controlling everyone. Anyone it didn't control, "left", it claimed. Soon, they understood "left" to mean "died". Eventually they mentioned Chaster, and Max saw Chaster's spirit hovering at the ceiling. They tried to speak to him, but got no reply. Eventually, Rocky ordered him to begone, turning undead. Chaster's spirit fled, and they hope he was freed rather than dying!


After removing the door from its hinges, and carting the statue out of the room (which didn't affect the Font at all, I ruled), they left this area, and circled WAAAAY back around, to the other side of the water-passage. Again, they went south along the edge just to the next side-hall, managing not to catch the Vuldrog's attention. (The dopplegangers warned them about the Vuldrog, and even told them that was what it was called. They are quite afraid of it on description alone, and intend to do some research in town on its capabilities).


The next encounter the PCs had was with their "old friend" the beholder. It "sicced" the marionettes on them. Elrohir burned one, and took a hard push in return. Eventually Max and Val caught and smashed both, while the beholder laughed at their injuries. However, he wasn't pleased at the loss of his toys. By the time the PCs meet him "in person", he's going to be quite irritated and happy to try to kill them!


Beyond the beholder's room, they found Chaster's bedchamber. There, they found his secret stash. El was very pleased to recover his spellbook. The rest of his belongings, Jasper carefully packed up, intending to return them to him (at Max's insistence; Max also says that once El copies the spellbook, it will be returned as well). Val was interested in the flute, and Jasper tried to read the T-shirt, but nobody recognized the logo! I think Jasper hopes Max will "forget" the feather token is Chaster's...


At the very last, they found Chaster's workroom, and took his second book. However, they didn't open either door out of the chamber, and Elrohir warned them to be very cautious in handling all the compounds they found. Again, they hope to have the dopplegangers pack everything up under Jasper's guidance and bring it out of the dungeon to sell...


Here, they decided to return to town for several reasons; they want to see if Chaster is really alive; Max wants his armor and his wardog, which will both be ready in another day or two, and they all want to do some research into Vuldrogs. Next session - the battle of the Font!


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