Session 5: The Dungeon Complex (
16th May 2012)
The cast of heroes
Arken (Half-Elf Cleric) – leader of the party
Bardan (Human Fighter) – the muscle
Knil (Elf Ranger) – the tracker
Rioja Hyrule (Human Mage) – the wizard
Korum Proudfoot (Halfling Thief) – the scout
Damien (Human Fighter) - the extra muscle (absent from this session)
The Corridor of Traps (part 2 - day 19 continued)
Making secure the wooden bed-plank bridge across the second section of traps allowed Korum to resume his duties as scout. He proceeded to cross the bridge and was soon contemplating what to do at the third section. He didn’t encounter the invisible barrier as expected. Tentatively he started to put more and more pressure onto the floor. After a short while, a pressure plate below him shifted and two medium sized square holes opened up opposite each other in the wall of the fourth section at chest height for a human; there appeared to be pipes of some kind contained within them. Returning to the party he explained what he had seen and they decided things were becoming too risky to continue in this fashion. A plan was devised that the Halfling would have Spider Climb cast on him, and he would crawl across the ceiling trailing a rope or two behind him, spiked at a variety of places to allow others following behind him to have good purchase too. He managed to complete his traversal of the rest of the room without incident. Suspended from the end of the rope, he tested the floor of the seventh section of the room by dropping stones onto it but they just skittered away randomly as stones would. He decided to drop his spare short sword. This disappeared upon reaching the floor and a clattering sound behind the rest of the party startled them. It was not an enemy they noticed to their relief but Korum’s sword. The final section was a teleport of some sort. To test the trap again, Korum threw one of his pebbles with force whilst the party watched for its arrival at the other end of the room. It appeared about four feet off the ground and pinged to the floor.
There were now just a few short seconds before the spell wore off, which gave him just enough time to open the door at the far end with his feet and swing into the next room – another rest area with the usual food stuffs and beds. He called back to the party to grab his sword and follow him across the ropes. They all managed to do this without mishap.
Now was deemed a good time to rest up and prepare new spells in readiness for any new challenges ahead. Now that he was feeling better (the lurgy had spread to Damien at this point) Rioja was handed all of the magical stuff that was found in the previous few rooms and asked to work out what they were. He discovered that the party were in possession of a Ring of Protection (+1), a Cloak of Protection (+1), and two spell scrolls (Miracle Growth – the spell that had badly backfired in the wizard’s tower, and another that still needed a little further study). The protective gear was given to Bardan the fighter to make him more effective in combat and Rioja tucked the scrolls away into the voluminous sleeves of his robes.
After a well-earned rest and the divvying up of magical treasure, the party opened the other door in the resting chamber and proceeded down the spiral staircase to be greeted by a door slightly ajar.
The Guardians of the Pit
Korum peered through the door and noticed a small room with a high vaulted ceiling and a door opposite the one he was peering through with a motif of an archer above it. He entered the ante-room and crossed to the door. He tried to open the door but it seemed to be seamlessly shut with no external means of entry. He called in the rest of the party who took a good look around the ante-chamber. Knil spotted a small stone protuberance in the centre of the ceiling. He knocked an arrow and hit it squarely in the centre. The seal on the door disappeared and the door slowly swung open to reveal a large room with a balcony to either side, a large, deep pit that traversed the entire width of the chamber and a drawbridge opposite the party’s entrance suspended by what appeared to be two chains. On the balconies were four man-sized figures with bows in their hands.
Knil shot an arrow at the first figure, but his arrow seemed to just ping away with the sound of steel on stone. The stone warriors returned fire. Korum added his light crossbow to the fusillade and a fire-fight erupted between the party and the stone guardians. After several fumbles on either side which resulted in Knil snapping his bowstring, one of the stone guardians dropping its bow and another stumbling into the pit to a long six second drop, the guardians were eventually overcome. The ranger and thief now had free rein to try to dislodge the drawbridge by shooting at the drawbridge chains which did not pass through the wall to a lowering mechanism as expected, but were attached directly to the wall behind. Knil’s shot was true, but Korum missed. The supporting chains turned out to be painted ropes and cut easily. With only one rope cut, the drawbridge began to twist and buckle. Knil quickly knocked another arrow and fired true again. The drawbridge hit the party’s side of the pit with a wrenching clang. It had landed in a twisted fashion and was most likely damaged.
Behind where the drawbridge had previously stood vertically was another door. This door had the image of a cowled scholar reading from an open book before him. Korum took up his usual position at the front of the party and tentatively crossed the fallen drawbridge. The rest of the party followed without incident. Korum was about to test the new found door for traps and open it, but Bardan had become a little weary of the time wasting and itched to get into violent action. He pushed aside the Halfling and booted the door open. The party were faced with a large room with a floor covered in a grid of ten by ten squares and another door opposite.
The Level Square Room
Bardan stormed in and stopped on the first of the squares. On the wall opposite appeared a set of glowing runes. He left the room to tell the party his findings, but as he left the runes disappeared. Confused, he re-entered and the runes reappeared. Each party member took their turn and as they entered, a set of runes appeared up on the opposite wall at the end of one of the rows of squares; but always in the same row for each particular party member. Rioja was able to decipher the runes which basically gave the names of a variety of class level titles. They tried force and magic, but were unable to open the door opposite due to some sort of force field protecting the handle. After trying and failing with several logical sequences consisting of the party members’ classes, their current levels, level 5 (these were the levels to which the class titles referred) and so on as positions to stand on the rows of squares, they fell back on the cleric asking for divine intervention. His god imparted the knowledge of the riddle’s solution to him and the party assumed the positions suggested (on the fifth plus actual level attained by the character square in their appropriate column). Nothing happened. Bardan was within an arm’s length of the door, so he tried reaching over to open it. There was no sign of the force field and it glided open smoothly to reveal another of the resting rooms.
The party decided to rest up and relearn spells before continuing on.
Into the Darkness
After resting, the adventurers set off again in their usual party order. Korum, leading from the front decided to scout ahead. What greeted him beyond the door of this room was darkness. This was the first room they had encountered in the complex below ground that was not magically lit. Torches and lanterns were lit, and Korum proceeded down the revealed spiral staircase. At the bottom of the stairs was a rotten door; only one third of which was still attached to its hinges. The party clambered through the gap in the door made by the lack of wood when Korum happened to glance down and spot a design on some of the rotted and splintered wood. Piecing it together he made out a symbol that included a pair of crossed swords the same as those on a previous door, with some open books below, and a holy symbol overlaying it all. The party made a note of the symbol and continued on down another set of stairs that led to a small, narrow corridor no taller or wider than a human, which led onto a T-junction.
There was a cloying smell of decay pervading the corridor, so the party took a quick consensus and decided to turn left. After a short walk, the corridor widened and a faint scuffling and clicking sound emanated from ahead. Into the lamplight advanced four skeletons; a blue fire of malevolence dancing in their eye sockets. Arken called upon his deity for protection from such unnatural beings and two instantly fell to the floor and turned to dust. The other two continued their baneful advance. A melee ensued between the two remaining skeletons and the fighters in the party. All of their hits seemed to cause minimal damage to the undead, but the damage doled out by the skeletons was certainly felt in full force. Bardan, covered in many cuts finally caused one to fall to dust but the final skeleton was still in action. Whilst it fought Bardan and Arken to the front, Korum had got behind it and struck it a fateful blow, severing the spinal chord and causing it too to finally fall to dust.
Breathing heavily and sore from their ordeal, the party moved on, following a series of twisting corridors that ended in a large room. Korum, scouting ahead again was able to approach it and peer in without being seen. In this room was a massive pile of dust and a large chest in one corner. Korum threw a torch onto the dust in the hope of destroying anything before it formed, but his actions only resulted in clouds of rancid smoke. The fire was quickly kicked out by Bardan. Korum approached the chest but was unable to open the lock. Bardan, however, impatient as ever, smashed the lock off with his great axe. Inside were three potions and a large pile of gold coins. Whilst the coins were divvyed up by Korum, Rioja identified the potions as potions of healing. The party decided to rest up, heal and make up several vials of blessed water.
Away in the other direction from the chest was another corridor, which ended in a T-junction. The party decided to turn right this time. Korum, scouting ahead saw that the corridor ended in a small room with another skeleton in it. This skeleton, however, seemed to have a glowing ball of fire within its belly. Returning back to the party unnoticed by this new threat, he collected two vials of Holy Water and returned to the room. He took careful aim and let loose. The vials hit, diminishing the size of the glowing orb of fire but not seeming to perturb the skeleton which advanced upon the source of its drenching. Arken called upon his god’s help to turn it but this failed, so the rest of the party steamed in. Bardan struck with his great axe, Knil with his bow and Arken and Korum managed to loose off another couple of vials of Holy Water. The skeleton reached into its body to remove the greatly reduced ball of fire and launched it at Bardan. Luckily this only really singed his eyebrows and burned off his beard but this angered the fighter no end. He careened into the skeleton, driving it to the floor with his greater bulk. Arken casually pulled the stoppers of his last two vials of water and poured them directly over the skeleton. The skeleton was reduced to a pile of dust.
This room contained nothing else of interest and no other exits, so the party returned to the T-junction and tried the left hand corridor this time. After traversing a few more twisting corridors the party were called to a halt by Korum, who mentioned that there was a large room ahead, with two very large armed and armoured skeletons guarding a fountain and pool of what looked like water.
Arken strode into the room calling upon his deity to aid them in their time of need, but it seemed that he was ignored again. Rioja, who until now had played a decidedly reticent part in combat, conjured up some Magic Missiles. These struck the first skeleton true and caused a massive amount of damage, but the lumbering hulk of bones began to bear down on the party, closely followed by its uninjured companion. Arken realised that these skeletons were of a more robust type than those previously encountered, so he cast a Bless spell on his companions, to stiffen their resolve. Barden charged headlong into the combat and Knil notched an arrow, but again luck was not on his side and he fumbled his shot for the third time by dropping his bow. Korum meanwhile scouted around the combat and headed for the fountain, wondering if this held the answer to their dilemma.
Rioja, again, chimed in with his Magic Missile spell and the first skeleton crumbled to dust. Knil, his bow retrieved, made a superb shot that staggered the remaining skeleton. Bardan’s axe combined with Arken’s Spiritual Hammer finished it off, just as Korum had finished searching the fountain for a clue to the undeads’ demise. Not realising the battle was over he cupped his hands and took a large gulp of the liquid. Strength flowed through his limbs, so he invited his companions over to imbibe. All were rewarded with a feeling of greater strength, clearness of mind or ease of movement.
Taking stock of the safety in their surroundings, the party healed up and started to discuss their next options. The needs of the fighter having greater defensive capabilities were discussed, as well as those of the thief. Perhaps when they were able to get back to civilisation they could pool their resources and buy a decent set of magical armour for Bardan and redistribute the other items around the party members who needed them the most.