Here is the write-up of last night's adventure...
In the Hall of the Mountain King (29th May 2013)
The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight (NPC’d)
Hillson – Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian (NPC’d)
Solaran – Elementalist (NPC’d)
Karban Telos – Sorcerer
A Strange Feast Hall (Day 33 (113))
Sir Erich, Karban the sorcerer, and Aethelfrith quickly tied up the madman and carried him back to the ship. They tied him to the mast, and Sir Erich decided he would stay back and attend to the bedraggled man whilst Karban and Aethelfrith went back to investigate what was buried deeper within the hill. Hillson the warlock decided he would join them as work on collecting provisions was going on quite well without him.
The three adventurers returned to the buried palace and made their way to the foyer. At the top of the stairs they saw a huge double-valve studded oak set of doors. Aethelfrith set his shoulder to one of them in anticipation of it being very heavy, but it glided open quite easily.
Upon entering the room beyond they saw that it extended for a mile or so into the distance and was around half-a-mile from side to side; in no way should it fit under the hill it was positioned beneath. To either side were two sets of tables and benches and a further set of ornate chairs were set to another table at the far end of the hall. The smell of cooked meat and ale, and the very faint sounds of a feast in full swing wafted towards the adventurers, reminding them that they were due for their next meal. The tables and benches appeared to be normal sized even though they were a great distance away. In the centre of the room was a large fire, its heat could be felt from where the party stood. Obviously this was some kind of illusion which Aethelfrith backed up by pulling from his mind an old childhood memory of home – the hall and benches reminded him very much of the description he was given of the Trickster’s Hall.
“The Trickster’s Hall, a staefheall built to gigantic, even godlike, proportions and said to lie somewhere in the mountains of Thuland.”
If this was indeed the Trickster God’s hall, then he expected his mind to be playing tricks on him.
Karban asked Aethelfrith to throw a stone to see how the illusion worked, but the stone flew exactly as it should do and made the right sounds and bounces when it landed. As the hall seemed to be quite harmless, the adventurer decided to investigate the nearest set of table to their right. As they drew nearer, each of them saw their companions slowly turn into what they could only imagine elves would look like, but they themselves remained human looking. The closer they got to the tables the more they could hear the sounds emanating from the tables and realised that the voices were definitely not speaking any known tongue that any of them knew.
Karban decided to investigate further, so he jumped up onto a bench to see what he could find out. As soon as he sat upon the bench, food and drink appeared in abundance upon the table and the voices around him gathered in strength. He took a few mouthfuls of food and then threw a chicken leg at Aethelfrith to taunt him, but nothing could be seen by the warrior; he decided that either his mind was playing tricks on him or the sorcerer was mucking around. The sounds at the table became stronger in Karban’s ears and he was becoming more and more tempted by the fare on offer. He took a sip of mead and boasted of its taste and quality to Aethelfrith. The Thane remembered a little more about his childhood folk tales and shouted a warning for the sorcerer to be careful of what he ate and drank. As the warrior voiced his concern Karban snapped out of his reverie and made to leave the mead bench and table. As he started to slide off of the bench, a shadowy shape beside the sorcerer quickly took shape and looked at him in horror.
A cry of “Human” rent the air as the elven warrior grabbed his shield and spear and gave chase to the rapidly retreating mage. Aethelfrith saw this and ran to interpose himself between the escaping sorcerer and the elf warrior. He stabbed the elf with his magical short sword causing it a great deal of pain but the elf ignored him in its single-minded pursuit of Karban. Hillson, aware that combat was about to become a reality cast a spell of quickness upon himself and ran to intercept the elf. Unfortunately he arrived at the melee just after Karban had been stabbed by the spear the elf was carrying. The skill of the elven warrior then turned Aethlefrith’s blade, and his next strike at the elf then hit his companion. Karban crumpled to the floor an inch from death. The elf quickly turned about and headed back towards the table, quickly disappearing as he got nearer and nearer to the festivities held there.
Hillson quickly moved in and healed his companion but it took a few more spells from the warlock and then the sorcerer to move him away from death’s door.
The Trickster’s Table
The adventurers quickly made their way away from the elven table towards the large fire in the middle of the room. As they moved away from the table, their elfin looks slowly dissipated and the adventurers appeared normal to each other again. On their approach to the fire, it appeared to be six feet high no matter how far they were away from it and the heat it gave out was as it should be if it was a real fire. The wood on the fire appeared to be burning normally and the heat at its heart was as hot as a normal fire. The party decided that this sense of scale was another illusion cast by the Trickster in his hall.
They left the fire and made their way towards the second set of tables and benches on the right hand side of the hall. The nearer they got, the more they could hear the feasting going on, but this time they did not change shape. They assumed that if the first table was for the elves, then this set of tables must be for men.
The adventurers continued their journey on towards the more ornate table and chairs at the far end of the hall. This table and chairs was larger than the other two sets, and rather than benches there were seven individual chairs; all wooden except the much larger central one made of what appeared to be gold. As they got closer to the table they noticed that each place had wooden utensils (plates, goblets, bowls etc.) arrayed in front of it, except for the central chair that had everything the same but in gold.
The companions looked around the chairs to see what was between them and the wall at the end of the hall and noticed that each had a sigil upon it; the golden throne had a fire sigil, one had a bow, another a wave, a well, a boar, a lute, and one that they couldn’t quite make out at the time – symbols of the old gods, with the fire sigil being that of Loki the Trickster. Karban, decided to see if the golden throne could be moved so enlisted the he of his companions to try to move it. It did not move at all; even if it was made of solid gold it would have had a certain heft but their efforts realised this was also something magical.
Failing in his efforts to move the throne, Karban decided to try sitting on the cushion on the seat. As it was quite high (giant-like in proportion – Aethelfrith thought it could fit a frost giant like the one he had met in the forests outside of Worsted) he needed to be boosted by his companions and it was this that probably saved his life because as soon as he sat upon the gilded cushion flames began to burst from the chair around him. Aethelfrith and Hillson quickly pulled their companion off of the chair before the flames could grow large enough to harm him.
Wondering what the trick to solving the puzzle might be, Aethelfrith placed his bow upon the chair that had the bow sigil carved upon its back. Nothing seemed to happen but the way he placed the bow meant it touched the back of the chair in an unusual way. He picke dup the bow agin and thrust it at the back of the chair. It appeared to enter into the chair back as if it was made of clay and then started to bend. Karban reported that even though a good foot of the bow had entered the back of the chair, there was no sign of it coming out of or affecting the back.
Aethlefrith removed his bow carefully and then tried it on the next chair with the same results. The party realised that things were becoming more complicated and as they were becoming quite hungry too, they decided they would leave the hall and return the next day with their other companions to see if they could shed any further light on the mystery. As it was, they still had a good twenty minute walk to get back across the huge hall to the entrance on the far side.
Return to the Ship (Day 33 – late evening)
They decided to go back to the entrance via the left hand side (or right hand side from where they were now standing) so that they could investigate who the other tables represented. The first table had them slowly grow as they approached the benches and they quickly assumed that this was a giant’s table. The last table in the hall had them shrink and take on the appearance of dwarfs.
After what had been a good three or four hours, the adventurers left the hall in the rapidly encroaching twilight. They hurriedly made their way back to the ship to be greeted by their companions and a newly awakened mad-man.