Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 20

[The Revengers follow a treasure map and find a shortcut…eventually.]


[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]


PCs (The Revengers)
Adam – male human Magician (4th level Mage)
Godric – male Dwarven Craftpriest (3nd level Craftpriest))
Boris the Fighter – male human Exemplar (5th level Fighter)
Daphne – female human Blade-Sister (5th level Bladedancer)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Scout (1st level Explorer)


NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it, hired by Boris
Proximo – male human Footpad, Godric’s henchman




Cromsday, July 10th, through Magusday, July 16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman


Adam hosts an open party in Helix.  While good, it is nowhere near the scale of previous celebrations and got poor reviews as a result.  Many partiers leave Helix and go back to either Ironguard Motte or Bogtown.


During that week, the Revengers paid Tripp to make copies of all their maps of the Barrowmaze.  They realized that if something fatal happened to Boris [who currently handles the mapping], they would lose all their stored knowledge of the dungeon.  The copies are deposited in Daphne’s storage chest at Turgen’s Trade Goods.


Comparing the one of the maps they were gifted by Felix [who appeared only in Session 17 and is now off on a quest], Boris worked out that one of them connected areas they knew about to another surface entrance, one they had no knowledge of.  Boris discussed it with the other Revengers and all agreed that it was worthwhile to investigate another potential entrance.


Magusday, July 16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
As the week-long party wound down, several members of the Revengers arranged for their favored hirelings to be available and Daphne decided she needed a porter of her own.  Boris hired Durgos as guide and ‘Len as a torchbearer.  Hrglclxin re-hired Nolig as porter and Daphne hired Vorgand, a university student using working the summer to pay for her admission fees [she may also have been very drunk at the time].


Cromsday, July 17th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Early in the morning the Revengers formed up at the Mercenary Guild building, meeting their hirelings there.  They headed south into the Barrowmoor, on their way to the field of barrows.  Along the way they ran into a pair of giant toads, but quickly dispatched them [only 2 rounds of combat].


Shortly before Noon, they arrived at the field of barrows and made their way to Barrow 12.  They found the rope down, indicating that someone else might be in the dungeon.  On their guard, they descended down the rope, one at a time.  Boris was first, and when he stepped off the rope, he noticed some of the shadows in the room moved in ways they shouldn’t.  He was calling up to ‘Len to hold the light steady when three of the shadows detached from the walls and attacked him!


Daphne and Godric shimmied down the rope to help Boris defend against the shadows.  While Boris was nigh-invulnerable due to his magic plate armor, Daphne was hit twice and Godric once by the shadows before they were defeated.  Luckily, the amount of strength drained from the two of them was minimal [because my dice rolls were low].  They knew their strength would return, but it would be a while [8 Turns or 80 minutes], so Daphne unloaded some of her equipment onto Vorgand to lighten her load.


From there they moved down the long corridor to the 2nd door on their left [Room 5], which was still empty.  With a small sigh of relief they walked across the room and peeked through the door on the other side.  The hallway and room they could see [Room 20] appeared to be clear, so they walked through, and then Boris checked the ceiling and spotted four giant centipedes on the room ceiling.  Boris called a warning to the rest of the Revengers and then charged the centipedes, cleaving through them quickly.


With that “threat” dealt with, the Revengers went east, following the treasure map past the stinky room [Room 19] to secret storage room [Room 16], which Boris pointed out to the new members of the group.  Just past that was an empty room [Room 18], which was the furthest the Revengers had explored in this direction.  The treasure map they had showed a long corridor behind the door in the east wall, with doors and side passages.  Near the end of the corridor a side passage lead [eventually] to a set of stairs that appeared to lead to the surface.  This was their goal.


Boris opened the door at the back of Room 18, beyond which was the long corridor the treasure map showed.  Thirty feet down the corridor was an open pit, that was not shown on the map.  The Revengers discussed how to bypass the pit and settled on rigging a rough rope bridge using spikes driven into the walls.  Proximo climbed across to set the spikes on the far side while Hrglclxin provided cover with his bow.


Once the adventurers bypassed the trap, they came to an intersection.  The passage north was indicated on the treasure map, but not explored.  There was also a bricked section, possibly cutting off a southern passage or room.  The main corridor considered east, as shown on the treasure map.  On the floor of the intersection were some chalk symbols.  An arrow pointing east was marked out, a second mark pointed west.  The chalk marks seemed recent and they suspected Dr. Venom West might have made them.


The adventurers continued east [planning to come back later to investigate the northern passage and the bricked off area].  The next door along was ajar.  Peeking in, Boris observed several giant flies, feeding on strangely preserved corpses [Room 41].  Boris rushed in and slaughtered all of the giant flies by cleaving them.  After some discussion, the group searched the burial alcoves lining the walls, finding platinum coins, a potion of unknown power, and a large ruby.  All these were placed in the loot bag and the group went on.


The corridor continued east, past a set of double doors to a room that was more a widening of the hallway on the left, where a broken and defaced statue sat.  There were doors on the southern wall, but the map indicated whatever was behind them was dangerous.  The adventurers debated whether clearing the rooms was more important that getting to the stairs on the map.  They eventually decided that getting to the stairs was more important and they could come back to clear the rooms once they establish where the stairs go.


The adventurers continued east to another intersection.  They looked north and east to verify what was on the map before turning right to head south.  Forty feet on they found the narrow side passage the map indicated led to the stairs up.  The dust and cobwebs here were disturbed, showing people had passed through here, probably in the past month or so.  [The players recognized where their characters were, even if these particular characters have never been here before.]  They followed this side passage to a set of stairs up.  At the top of the stairs was a rock slab with grips carved into it and a mechanism release.  Triggering the release allowed the slab to be moved sideways, exposing the interior of a barrow [Barrow 20].  To the side they could see stairs lit by daylight. 


The adventurers entered the barrow and discovered that the stone slab was the bottom of a broken sarcophagus decorated in bas relief with skeletons dancing in the Underworld.  Godric and Proximo investigated the sarcophagus to discover how to open the secret passage from this side while Boris and Daphne went up to the surface to see where they were.  On the surface the two of them climbed on top of the barrow and looked around.  They spotted Durgos sitting on top of Barrow 12, several hundred feet to their west-northwest and waved at him.  He waved back, somewhat confused about how they got there.


Satisfied they had a solid shortcut into the Barrowmaze, the adventurers descended again to investigate some of the side rooms with odd labels on the treasure map.  They went north to the last intersection and turned right to investigate a room to the east labeled “Teeth” on the map.  There they found an octagonal room lined with burial alcoves and with eight human teeth in the center of the floor, arranged to form an arrow pointing east, back the way they came from originally [Room 55].  They decided to not mess with the teeth, but searched the burial alcoves and found a number of platinum coins.


They next investigated a trapezoidal room down the north passage [Room 56].  The found a pyramid of stones along the northern wall, some graffiti on the wall stating “Don’t go on!”, and a door in the northeast corner.  The map did not indicate what was beyond [the previous explorers took heed of the graffiti perhaps], but the Revengers were not going to let that stop them – although they did knock first.


Boris opened the door and saw what appeared to be an old woman crumpled to the floor.  She weakly called for help, which seemed to make Boris quite suspicious.  He looked around and spotted the mongrel men waiting in ambush as they attacked!


There were only three mongrel men facing the seasoned adventurers and the fight was soon over.  Examination of the room showed piles of coins the mongrelmen had been sorting.  The adventurers scooped up all the coins into the loot bag, along with four emeralds of good size.


Having linked in their minds that mongrelmen indicate secret doors nearby, the Revengers searched the walls for secret doors, finding one in the southeast corner.  Beyond the secret door was a ten foot by ten foot empty room.  They searched again and found another secret door on the far wall.  This door opened to a grand hallway running north and a little bit south [“Room” 92].


The Revengers explored the grand hallway, finding two doors and two corridors leading out of the grand hallway.  Proximo also found a concealed pit when he fell into it, but quick reflexes on his part kept the damage he took to a minimum as he got his feet under him before he hit bottom [I rolled a “1” for damage].  On the western wall was first a door that had been smashed in long ago [Room 90] and then one of the corridors out, which lead to another door, this one closed [to Room 89].  On the east wall the corridor and bashed in door both appeared to lead to a room and parallel corridor that connected [Room 100].


Aware that their planned departure time was approaching [they always leave the area around 4:00 to have enough time to make it back to town with the sun still up], they investigated the bashed door on the western wall.  The long narrow room beyond was covered in thick dust with destroyed funerary baskets and three broken stone sarcophagi inside.  Proximo and Godric started searching while the rest of the party rested.  Proximo found little, but Godric was investigating the sarcophagi and after clearing off some of the dust, discovered that the sarcophagi were covered in gold filigree.  He had the tools to remove the filigree [being a craftpriest], but it would take a couple hours to collect it all.  Two hours was more time than the Revengers felt they had left to spend on this trip, so they scattered some of the dust to hide the exposed filigree and left, returning to the surface through their new shortcut.


On the surface they walked over to Barrow 12 and collected Durgos.  On the way back to Helix, a walking pile of plant-matter approached them.  At first they thought it was a shambling mound, but then Hrglclxin noticed the stone fists peeking out of the plants arms.  Every adventurer in the duchy had heard tales of the animated statues released from the barrows, seeking the glowing sword stolen by the Motley Crew – the same sword Boris sheathed at Boris’ hip!  Boris attacked with his enchanted axe, but the axe was ripped from his hands as it got tangled up in the plant-matter wrapped around the statue.


The rest of the Revengers pressed the attack and brought down the animated statue.  Boris retrieved his axe from the vines while Hrglclxin knocked the fists off the statue to take back to town as trophies.  This left two more statues still wandering the Barrowmoor.
End of Session


[So work and life got very busy and I did not get this typed up last week due to lack of time.  I think I need to do another edit to check for tense and grammar, but I’m still pressed for time and want to get this posted before I have three sets of notes waiting to be typed up.  I might get last week’s session typed up later this week, but I can’t 100% promise that right now – we’ll see how much time I have.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK


The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18
Session 19


Session 21 [Not yet written]



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

No Barrowmaze This Week

Last week, we were down two players and my wife had food poisoning, so there was no game.  With no game last week, there is nothing to post this week.  In the meantime, I'll tell you about the other campaign I'm prepping.

I play in a monthly Rise of the Runelords game using the Artesia game system.  The GM for that is out of state for several months training for his new job.  Rather than risk having the group disperse from inactivity, I volunteered to run a game to fill the gap.  I call it HRE 1650: The Miniseries.

Set in a version of the Holy Roman Empire, just after the Thirty Years War, the PCs will be the friends and hangers-on of the 4th son of a minor barony - low-lifes.  The game starts on the 19th birthday of their patron and all are at a shady tavern just across the border, celebrating.  Then events happen that catapult the 4th son of the Baron into suddenly being the Baron (assuming he and the PCs survive the night).

The new Baron needs to find out who just tried to take over his barony, but cannot leave or the barony will fall apart and be consumed.  He turns to the PCs to be his trusted [and potentially disposable] agents, asking them to dig into the conspiracy and "fix things".

There should be enough for the players to do to cover 4-5 play sessions with this setup, including a "level boss" for the players to defeat.  If our original DM ends up not returning to Houston to work (which is a possibility), I can switch to HRE 1650: The Series and run it as a longer campaign with a final boss stepping out of the shadows.

I'll be using the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System including the ACKS Player's Companion, Domains at War, and Guns of War supplements.  I've been diving into the history and maps of the Holy Roman Empire to find an appropriate place to tuck a barony.  I've also been making notes how history is different due to the fantasy races.  Pagantry is recognized as a religious category in the Empire and covers just about anything not Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism.  [As Terry Pratchett pointed out in his Discworld books, it's hard to deny the existence of gods when they can come by and throw rocks at your house.]

I'm creating a map in Adobe Illustrator using a map of the HRE from 1400.  My assumption is that the added issues of a fantasy world would slow down the historical consolidation of lands.  Plus, I like the look of the map in 1400.

That's about where I am right now, still collecting data and warping it to meet my campaign needs.  The German Wikipedia has been extremely useful for this (as you might expect) and Chrome's translate capability is good enough that I can understand the articles.  I'm filling up my own wiki with the results (using WikidPad) for hopefully quick access during play.  I'll also produce a small gazetteer of the immediate environs and anything major the players will need to know.

That's it for this week.  There will be a Barrowmaze session report next week and I'll do occasional updates on the HRE 1650 campaign, which starts at the end of this month (September).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 19

[The Revengers return to the site where their first expedition stopped and press on, getting an idea why it is called the BarrowMAZE.]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Hrglclxin [pronounced: her-gull-klack-sin] – male human Scout (1st level Explorer)
Daphne – female human Blade-Sister (5th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Magician (4th level Mage)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Acolyte (2nd level Craftpriest))

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it, hired by Boris
Proximo – male human Footpad, Godric’s henchman


Moonday, July 7th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Godric and Proximo returned from their caravan job to the capitol with news.  The capitol was in a great deal of unrest.  The previous king had died and a new king now sat on the throne.  Rumor had it that King Shurik had died of natural causes…for a king.  This included options like poison, dagger-sprout, or spontaneous sword wounds as well as simple heart failure.  Due to the unrest, the caravan Godric and Proximo were guarding left almost immediately after delivering its goods [mostly recently acquired religious documents sent from the Temple of St. Ygg in Ironguard Motte to the Cathedral of St. Ygg].  This was unfortunate for Godric, who wanted to shop around for some magic armor while at a major market.

Hernesday, July 8th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Wanting the option to avoid unwanted counters in the Barrowmoors, The Revengers took on a new recruit, the difficultly named Hrglclxin, a fledgling Explorer.  After listening to tales of the Revengers adventures, Hrglclxin went to the Mercenary Guild and hired a porter for the next day - unencumbered movement seemed to be very important.  Boris also arranged for Durgos and ‘Len to be available.

Magusday, July 9th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers met up with their hirelings at the Mercenary Guild building early in the morning and then headed south, into the Barrowmoor.  On the way south, the group caught sight of 5 ghouls moving through the moor.  Although Hrglclxin never saw them himself, he was able to route the party around them with easy.  [Hrglclxin was the only one surprised by the encounter, but then rolled a 19 on avoiding the encounter.]

At the field of barrows, the Revengers walked right up to and entered Barrow 12.  They climbed down the rope suspended by the rusty tripod to access the Barrowmaze itself – their goal was to open the secret door they found in the room with four velvet gloves [Room 20, Q2 for those following along at home].  The travelled down the main corridor to the second door on the right.  As this was the source of the steel skeletons, they prepped up for a fight, weapons at the ready, before opening the door.  Inside was a coffer corpse, a monster type they had fought before.  Boris walked in and attacked it with his enchanted axe, dropping it and destroying it in one swing.

That room cleared [again], the adventurers went through the door on the far side of the room and turned right, entering the room there [#20].  There was a faint bitter smell on the air here and a large scorched area around the door in the southeast corner.  Boris explained his plan to lure the rot budding out into this room so the entire group can attack it.  He warned them about the pus that squirts out from wounds made by slashing attacks and then switched over to his bow.  Boris arranged the adventurers in an arc around the southeast door with the hirelings behind the adventurers for their safety.  He then opened the southeast door and backed up.

The rot pudding was still in the small room behind the door and moved forward to feast on fresh adventurers.  Boris and Proximo fired arrows at the monster until it entered melee combat with Godric.  After that they held off their shots, waiting for an opportunity for a clear shot that never came.  Hrglclxin was better at precise shots and able to keep shooting without hitting Godric, who was the monster’s favored target.  Luckily, Godric was able to avoid most of the monster’s attacks [I rolled terrible for it] and was only hit twice before he, Daphne, and Hrglclxin eventually brought it down.

While Daphne cast Cure Light Wounds on, and Adam performed his healing arts on, Godric, Boris verified the room the rot pudding came from was now empty.  Once Godric was mostly healed up, the group went through that room to the next room, the room where they found the four velvet gloves.

Boris moved the funerary boxes sitting on the four pedestals aside, exposing the hidden levers under them.  He then put on one of the velvet gloves and tried moving the levers.  The levers moved freely and reset after he manipulated them, but nothing else happened.  Realizing that all four levers needed to be thrown at once he asked for volunteers to assist.  Eventually Godric, Proximo, and Adam volunteered and Boris handed each of them a glove.  They then pulled all four levers at once and the secret door opened with a loud creak.

The 10x20 room beyond is literally filled with cobwebs and dust.  They can just make out a stone slab with a corpse laid out on it.  They cut through the cobwebs to the slab to look at the corpse.  It was wearing priestly vestments of the Green Man!  They decided to leave the corpse alone, but took the magical cudgel next to it.

The adventurers cut their way through the cobwebs to the door to the south and entered the hallway beyond it.  They observed signs that the mongrelmen they chased off last time came through here, from one, blank, featureless wall to another.  Heavily suspecting secret doors, they checked the wall to the south and found one.  They opened it, finding the 10x10 room beyond with no exits, but a small bag of silver coins.  Again suspecting a secret door, they searched and found one on the left wall.  They opened that secret door and found themselves in the back of a small crypt.  Looking at their map, the one door at the other end of the crypt most likely opened on the nauseatingly smelly room with the corpses speared to the wall.  They decided to backtrack at this point and take the other secret door, which opened to a short passage that ended in a door.  That door led to the room where Boris had killed a mongrelman while rest of the mongrelmen fled [23B].  The body was still there.

That room had a door to the south the adventurers had not explored yet, so they did.  Beyond was a short corridor with a turn to the right.  There was a door at the corned and one at the far end.  After some debate, the adventurers decided to try the one at the end of the hall first.  Beyond that door was an apparently empty room with a rubble pile in the southeastern corner of the room.  Suspicious, the adventurers searched the room and found two things: a secret door in the southeast corner and the “rubble pile” was actually a cache of equipment camouflaged with a tarp.  The Revengers availed themselves of some arrows [restock for Hrglclxin], 4 vials of oil, and a Potion of Healing!  They carefully re-hid the cache before opening the secret door.

The walls of this crypt behind the secret door were carved with the likenesses of six armored knights, six feet tall, and six feet apart.  The “heads” of these knights were recessed into the stone walls and in each niche sat a skull.  A 3x3 foot stone bowl stood atop a pedestal in the center of this room with an empty bronze water jug next to it.

This layout provoked a great deal of debate.  The Revengers have learned that many statues activate in the Barrowmaze, so they’ve learned to be very cautious when they find statues.  Once satisfied the carvings were very unlikely to animate, they turned to discussing the bronze water jug and stone bowl.  Eventually, Boris poured most of his waterskin into the water jug and then poured that into the stone bowl.  It was enough water to put a shallow puddle in the stone bowl with no other reactions.  The adventurers estimated that it would take close to 10 waterskins of water to fill the stone bowl and they had only half that.  They decided to leave well enough alone and left the room.

The group backtracked to the short corridor with a turn and investigated the door on the southern wall.  This door opened on a 20x20 room with a skeleton face down in the middle of the room, a wisp of some sort floating above it, and a hallway out on the east wall.  The walls were lined in alcoves, each with a clay burial urn in it.  The adventurers moved in and suddenly the wisp caused one of the urns to fly out at them!  Godric identified the wisp as a poltergeist, which required an actual magic weapon [something better than a sword with Continual Light cast on it] or a silver weapon.  Boris had a silver dagger and used it to eliminate the poltergeist.  The adventurers then searched the alcoves, but only came up with 164 cp.

The adventurers carefully went down the corridor, checking doors as they went.  The first door [on the left] opened to a 20x20 room with alcove covered walls.  They spent 30 minutes searching this room and came away with 150 sp and a tooled buckle [worth 25 gp].  The next door down the corridor [on the right] opened to a 30 ft hallway that then turned left.

Feeling they were running out of time for the day, the adventurers decided to head back to the surface at this point.  On the way out, they picked up the corpse of the Green Man priest to take back to Helix for re-burial.

On the way through the moors back to Helix, they encountered a group of six lizardmen going about their business.  Both sides politely acknowledged each other and moved on.

Back in Helix, The Revengers turned over the corpse of the Green Man priest to Quillian [who was of that faith] for proper reburial.  They did not turn over the cudgel, but sold it for coinage.  Adam then spent his share on a celebratory party and gambling at The Foul Pheasant.
End of Session


[So while working on a map for a different campaign using ACKS, I re-learned that outdoors movement and range scales are in yards, but with the same values as indoor/dungeon scales.  I had forgotten this and had it obscured by the encounter ranges table which uses feet for determining encounter distances for both indoor and outdoor encounters (it just uses a lot more dice for outdoor locations).  This explained my frustration with encounters in the moors starting at an average range of 44 yards.  At indoor ranges, this allowed the PCs 3-4 rounds of bow fire, which seemed wrong.  That’s because it was wrong.  With movement outdoors being in yards, that only allowed the PCs one round of ranged attacks before the opponents were on them.  I think this would have been clearer if the outdoor encounter ranges used the same number of dice as indoors encounters, but measured in yards instead of feet and forcing the GM to convert the scale.]

[Microsoft Word trick in case you are curious about how I keep Hrglclxin from being tedious to type every time: To avoid typing and retyping difficult words (like Hrglclxin) or phrases you can use Word’s AutoCorrect feature to make it easy.  

  1. Go into File/Options and then the Proofing tab.
  2. Click AutoCorrect Options.
  3. Under “Replace text as you type”, enter a shorter or easier term (like “Hrgl”) under “Replace:” and the full word/phrase under “With:”.
  4. Click Save.

Now you can just type Hrgl, and the AutoCorrect feature will replace it with Hrglclxin as  you type.  There is more you can do with this feature (like auto-numbering figure captions with fields and providing consistent formatting), but that’s the basics.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18

Session 20 [Not yet written]


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 18

[Down to half the players due to work and health, the remaining players decided to go take a look in the Barrowmaze anyways.  We started with the things we had to skip at the end of last game session due to time.]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Daphne – female human Blade-Sister (5th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Magician (4th level Mage)

Unavailable Due to RL
Jaxby – male Elven Theurgist-Swordmaster (3rd level Spellsword)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Acolyte (2nd level Craftpriest))

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Daphne
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it


Freysday, June 20th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Daphne and Adam arrived back in Helix with Felix’s corpse and the chest they pulled from Barrow 37.  After depositing Felix’s corpse at the Shrine of St. Ygg for safekeeping, they tracked down Tripp and paid him to unlock the chest for them.  They forgot to mention it might be trapped and Tripp, no longer maintaining an adventurer’s level of paranoia, didn’t check.  This made the poison needle an unpleasant surprise and his death from it doubly so.

Somewhat embarrassed by this turn of events, Daphne and Adam deposit Tripp’s corpse at the Shrine and then disassemble the hinges to access the chest, breaking the front of the chest when they lift the lid [the down-side to this method].  Inside the chest they found over 6000 gp and two coffers.  They chose to open the first coffer and found 5 pieces of valuable jewelry.  They took one piece of jewelry over to The Rosy Quartz Jeweler and Money Lender and sold it to H.H.R. Huffnpuff.  [This was a bit meta as they did this so they could level, but I chose to allow it as the Abomination fight was pretty major and leveling fit the flow.]

Yggsday, June 21st, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Daphne and Adam traveled with the corpses of Felix and Tripp to Ironguard Motte to get Restore Life and Limb cast on them.  They arrived early enough to get the spell cast on Felix that day.  It did not work.  The priests did some divining and announced that St. Ygg will allow a second attempt the next day, but Felix will need to go on a quest for St. Ygg.  Daphne and Adam shrug, and agree to these terms.  It’s Felix’s money they are spending.

Sunday, June 22nd, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Daphne and Adam spend the day buying the supplies for another week-long party/wake in honor of Jaxby.

The Prelate cast Restore Life and Limb on Felix [again] and this time Felix revived, but he was now blind.  Luckily, the Prelate, Donatien Smoothhands, could fix this [for another donation to the temple, of course] and cast Cure Blindness on Felix.  Felix was still weakened by being brought back and will need bedrest for a month before he can go on his quest.  [At this point, Felix is officially retired as a player character and joins Tripp in NPC status.  Speaking of whom…]

Moonday, June 23rd, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Tripp is revived with a casting of Restore Life and Limb by the Prelate.  He will need 25 days of bedrest.  He suffered two side-effects: his knee is now fixed from the pterodactyl wound and his hair grows at an amazing rate [clean-shaven to one-inch beard in 8 hours] and it never stops.

Satisfied they have fulfilled their duties to Felix and Tripp, Daphne and Adam make their way back to Helix with a wagon-load of supplies for the party/wake.

Hernesday, June 24th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
The party/wake starts.

Moonday, June 30th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Final day of the party/wake honoring Jaxby.

Boris the Fighter, finally done with his bedrest and fully healed from his last outing to the Barrowmaze, stopped by The Axe and Anvil to pick up the enchanted axe he commissioned from Karg Barrelgut a month ago.  The workmanship is excellent and Boris gladly pays the balance of what he owes.

Boris met up with Daphne and Adam to discuss options.  Adam “has a good feeling” and wanted to head back to the Barrowmaze.  [This might or might not have been the booze talking.]  Daphne was also ready to resume adventuring, so the three agreed to head out the next morning.  Daphne spoke with Osen of the Mercenary Guild, requesting Durgos and ‘Len [who is pleased to be “back in the game” so to speak].

Hernesday, July 1st, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
The three adventurers and their two hirelings met at the Mercenary Guild building early in the morning before heading south.  Along the way, a giant toad foolishly attacked the small group and was killed in less time than it took to write this sentence.  [I didn’t bother to roll dice after no one failed a surprise check.]

Arriving before Noon, the adventurers approached Barrow 12 as their choice for entering the dungeon.  The rope at the rusted tripod was down and there was no sign of the steel skeletons – apparently others had traveled this route since the adventurers were last here.

The adventurers climbed down the rope and entered the Barrowmaze proper.  They carefully made their way down the primary hallway, stopping at Room 5 to see if the steel skeletons had retreated back to this room.  The room was empty, which was both a relief and puzzling.  The group crossed the room and peered out the doorway on the opposite side of the room.  The hallway beyond was empty, as was the room to their right, just as they had left it the last time they were here.  The one difference was the door in the southwest corner was ajar.  [The mandatory “is it a door or a jar” jokes were made by the players.  Sigh.]  With no other obvious disturbances, curiosity drew them to the door.  They followed the hallways beyond and a second open door until they reached an open pit trap.  At the bottom of the pit trap was the body of Dr. Venom West.

Using rope, Daphne climbed down into the pit to examine the body.  The body had been partially looted.  All of Dr. West’s money and his silver dagger were gone, but the Gauntlets of Dexterity [+1] were still being worn.  Daphne carefully removed the gauntlets and put them is a bag for later cleaning.  [Note: no experience was assigned for the gauntlets as they were not new treasure.]  After Daphne climbed back out of the pit, the group decided to backtrack [plus the pit trap was the width of the hallway and they had no way to bypass it safely].

While backtracking, Boris noticed a part of the wall was made of bricks and not the stone blocks the rest of the walls were made of.  Boris pulled out the sledgehammer and smashed through the bricked up area, exposing a corridor with three doors on the left side.  There was also some graffiti on the right wall that read “Rhymes with numbers.”  The group inspected the doors and found all three were locked.  With no capability to pick the locks [and slightly creeped out by the whole situation], the trio decided to leave the doors alone for a later trip.

Continuing their backtracking, the adventurers opened a side door they had bypassed earlier and found a small room with six mongrelmen in the process of leaving through another door.  Boris immediately attacked, killing one of the mongrelmen.  The rest of the mongrelmen hastened their escape, pulling the door closed behind them.  Nonplussed at this reaction, the adventurers decided to not pursue.

Returning to the room with the initial open door, the adventurers opened the door in the southeast corner.  The adventurers were ready for a fight, as the last time they opened this door, several zombies attacked them.  Behind the door this time was a Rot Pudding, feasting one the remains of the zombies.  Boris attacked the pudding with a strong slash from his axe.  The axe wound spurted pus all over Boris.  He immediately started feeling poorly [failed his save] and the group pulled the door shut.  The Rot Pudding started oozing under the door to get at the adventurers.

Both Daphne and Boris pulled out flasks of military oil.  They quickly decide to use Boris’ and pour it over the extruding pudding.  ‘Len lit it up with his torch.  The burning pudding started giving odd noxious smoke [in addition to retreating back under the door], so the group immediately retreated back to Room 5.  To keep any smoke from getting past the door, they used some rags to jam the gaps.  As they rested from the exertion, Boris slipped into unconsciousness from the pus infection.  Adam used his healing knowledge [and some herbs] to cure the disease.  By the end of the rest, Boris was able to walk again, even if he was a little wobbly.

With the path forward blocked by the fire and smoke, the adventurers backtracked a little further to the main hallway and went down a side passage they had never explored before.  Following the passage down around a corner, they found a hallway with three doors on the left [closed, ajar, and broken open, respectively], a bricked up door at the far end, and a closed portcullis on the right wall.

The room beyond the portcullis appeared empty, so they ignored it.  The ajar door opposite the portcullis seemed to open onto a mostly empty room with an inanimate skeleton in the far corner.  Just before entering the room, Boris remembered to look up and looked directly into the face of a giant crab spider!  After a quick round of attacks, the spider was dead and none of the adventurers wounded.  Adam took a moment to harvest some of the spider’s venom.  Inside the room, in a bag next to the skeleton was a large handful of electrum pieces.

Moving down the hall to the broken door, the adventurers carefully looked into the room.  Inside was a phantom that rose from a corpse and stared at the adventurers.  Daphne and Adam were able to control the fear that washed over them, but Boris and ‘Len bolted.  As ‘Len had the light source, Adam and Daphne were forced to follow the two as they fled all the way out of the dungeon and back into the moors.

After 20 minutes of panicked flight, Boris and ‘Len were able to gain some control and came to a stop.  Thoroughly exhausted, the group took a rest and discussed what they would do next.  Deciding they were not done with the dungeon, the group returned to the field of barrows.

Re-entering the Barrowmaze through Barrow 12, the group proceeded further down the main hallway, checking a door on the left wall they had repeatedly ignored previously.  This room was a plain 20x20 room.  Standing in the center of the room was a dusty table with three polished skulls resting on it.  After looking around for a bit and finding nothing, Boris took the skulls from the table and the group moved on.

Further down the hallway on the left was a broken section of wall.  Beyond it was another 20x20 room with no other exits.  The broken wall appeared to have been broken outward from the sealed chamber.  Somewhat unsettled and perplexed, the adventurers moved further down the hall to the next door on the left, bypassing a bricked up doorway on the right.

Opening the door to this room triggered a crossbow trap, which skewered Boris.  After removing the bolt and applying a bandage to the wound, the group searched the burial alcoves on the walls.  This took 20 minutes, during which the group needed to take a rest break.  They found 108 gp scattered among the 51 burial alcoves.

The adventurers then backtracked to the bricked up doorway.  Boris smashed down the bricks.  Beyond was a 20x20 room with the statue of a vile demon squatting in the center of the room.  Next to the statue were two full bags.  The walls were lined with octagonal burial alcoves containing skull piles.  After vandalizing the statue [to verify it won’t animate], the group started searching the alcoves.  They eventually found 666 sp.  One of the bags next to the statue was full of silver and the other gold.

Satisfied with the loot they now have, the group decided to head back to town.  When they returned to the surface, they saw that it was later than they thought, but in the deep of summer, they still had plenty of time to get out of the area.  [It was 30 minutes past their self-imposed time to leave, but being underground, they didn’t realize how much time had gone by searching that last room.]

Back in Helix, they sold off their loot, including the jewelry from the last expedition and the gems in the second coffer [also from last session].  Then they threw another massive party.

End of Session


[So the first part was properly wrapping up from the previous session, which ran long.  We normally get about three hours of play in, but sometimes things run a bit long.]

[The reason for all the big parties is the characters are banking more experience points for their next character, knowing death can come at any time.  I think I need to print out the domain rules an make them available to the players.  They are high enough level that they will need to start thinking about saving up for domains and strongholds.  Plus, they are cresting into 5th level, when several can make potions and scrolls.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17

Session 19

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 17

[A reduced crew of Revengers head back out to the Barrowmaze with a new recruit and pull off a desperate gamble at a high cost.]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Daphne – female human Blade-Weaver (4th level Bladedancer)
Felix – male human Burglar (4th level Thief)
Adam – male human Theurgist (3rd level Mage)
Jaxby – male Elven Theurgist-Swordmaster (3rd level Spellsword)

Recovering from Injury
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Daphne
Colemore – professional porter, hired by Jaxby
Thesa and Hyrion – female human and male elf bodyguards, hired by Jaxby


Freysday, June 14th, through Cromsday, June 19th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
The Revengers spent a week in Helix, waiting for their injured comrades to recover.  Godric and his new henchman, Proximo, took a job acting as caravan guards for a cargo of goods from the Temple of St. Ygg heading to the main Cathedral in the capital as payment for having Proximo’s blindness curses removed [Godric’s player missed this session and the next due to work related issues, so his character is going off-stage for a bit].  That trip will take several weeks, leaving only Daphne and Adam in Helix.  Looking to bolster their numbers, the two performed a small recruiting drive and found Felix, a burglar who traveled to Helix looking for the “dungeon in the swamp.”  He came prepared with a Flametongue sword, Boots of Traveling & Springing, several potions and scrolls, and a strong acrobatic talent.

On the 19th, Jaxby finished his bedrest and sent messages to the Mercenary Guild for Colemore (his porter), Thesa (one of his hired bodyguards), and Hyrion (his other bodyguard) to be ready the next morning to head south.  Daphne hired Durgos to guide the group again, but not ‘Len, as most of the group now had glowing weapons and a separate torchbearer was no longer needed.  ‘Len was disappointed.

Freysday, June 20th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
The Revengers assembled early in the morning at the Mercenary Guild building to meet up with their hirelings before heading south, into the Barrowmoor.  They evaded a giant leach on the way, arriving at the field of barrows just before Noon.

The group decided to re-evaluate the sealed door in Barrow 40.  They walked past the two statues of Set [now missing their emerald eyes] and to the sealed door across the room from the entrance.  Felix activated his Flametongue sword and easily cut through the rope and wax seal sealing the door.  The 30x30 square room on the other side was a bit of a letdown.  It contained a single sarcophagus and not much else.  Felix and Daphne flanked the sarcophagus while Jaxby and his hirelings waited just outside the room.  Adam opened the sarcophagus and found a skeletal corpse and two clockwork scorpions that activated!

Felix and Daphne both attacked the clockwork beasts and both missed.  Jaxby, hearing the commotion, rushed in and smashed one of the devices to pieces.  Adam fell back and cast Magic Missile at the second clockwork scorpion, heavily damaging it.  The clockwork scorpion moved out of the sarcophagus and attacked Felix.  It did minor damage to him with its claws, but due to the damage from Adam’s attack, instead of stinging Felix with its tail, it accidentally rammed its tail into the back of its own head, killing itself [I rolled a 1 on its attack with the tail and it only had 1 hit point, so a targeting malfunction seemed the most likely fumble].

With the clockwork scorpions dealt with, a gold circlet was retrieved from the corpse in the sarcophagus and then the Revengers left the barrow.  They walked over to the irregularly shaped Barrow 39 and found that it collapsed long ago.  Looking around, the next likely barrow was Barrow 38, so they walked over there and then took a rest.

Adam took a turn with the sledgehammer and after 20 minutes of hammering, cracked the sealing stone open.  Felix descended first to look for traps.  This crypt was odd – instead of a stone floor, the floor was made of metal plates, shaped to look like flagstones.  Additionally, the crypt was only 10 feet wide, but 40 feet long.  At the far end, Felix could see the light from his flaming sword being reflected by something made of gold and something covered in jewels.  Distracted by the gold, Felix only noticed that the metallic flagstones in the first 10 feet each had single symbol for Water, Earth, Air, or Fire on them [he rolled terrible on his Find Traps roll].  He learned the significance when he stepped on one with an Air symbol on it and a cloud of darts fired out from bas relief faces in the walls.  Luckily, the majority missed him and only two bounced off his armor, the rest embedded themselves in the opposite wall.

Suddenly much more focused on where he was stepping, Felix avoided any metal plates with Air symbols on them.  The next 10 feet did not have the elemental symbols, but he just noticed three grooves in the walls and ceiling.  Looking ahead, he could see a dais at the far end of the crypt with a gold urn on it and a jeweled horn hanging on the back wall above it.  Rather than tempt what he suspected were three more deadly traps, Felix made use of his Boots of Traveling & Springing and leapt the intervening 30 feet, landing safely on the dais.  He inspected the urn and the horn for traps and found none.  He put both into a loot sack and then leapt back towards the entrance, luckily not landing on a trapped flagstone in the first 10 feet of the room.  He then carefully walked back out.

The group climbed to the top of the barrow to scout out the nearby area.  They could see two barrows to the north, one to the North-Northwest (#36) and one to the North-Northeast (#37).  The one to the North-Northwest had no obvious entrance, suggesting it might be completely covered by dirt and grass.  The one to the North-Northeast had an obvious entrance, so they decided to try that one first.

Barrow 37 had a heavy stone door sealing it off instead of a stone slab.  Felix checked the door for traps and found none, but it was too heavy for him to pull open.  Adam tried, but was struggling until Jaxby just stepped up and pulled it open.  [Jaxby has an 18 Strength, who knew elves were so strong?]

Felix cautiously descended into the barrow, finding a large, long room with a foyer area flanked by two statues of Nergal, blocking passage with crossed scythes but portions of the statues broken off and laying on the floor.  At the far end of the chamber was a skeletal warrior sitting on a tall black throne.  There are piles of skulls and other bones all over the floor, some of the piles scattered by partial collapses of the ceiling.

This set off Felix’s paranoia.  After verifying the foyer was not trapped, Felix called down the rest of the group – they didn’t like the looks of things either.  The grouped prepped for battle and then Felix and Daphne slowly made their way halfway across the chamber.  There, Felix fired a single arrow at the skeletal warrior sitting in the black throne.  Expecting the skeletal warrior to animate, they were caught a little off guard when a pulse of negative energy rose from the floor, forming a monstrous body from the skeletal debris as it arose.  This was a Barrow Abomination!  [I forgot to check to see if any of the skeletons activated as well, but there was only a 25% chance of that, so in hindsight, that was fine.]

Felix and Adam attacked the Abomination, doing maximum damage with their ranged weapons [both rolled natural 20s], while Daphne was stunned by its sudden appearance [she rolled a 1 on her surprise check].  Then the Abomination hit both Daphne and Felix [IIRC] with tentacles made of negative energy.  This started looking bad.

Jaxby and Adam quickly talked out a plan and Jaxby moved forward with his bodyguards while Adam held position in the foyer.  The next round, Felix attacked and hit the Abomination, disrupting its spell casting [yes, it also casts spells], while Jaxby and Adam both cast Protection from Evil, the areas of effect just touching.  This provided a safe passage for Felix and Daphne to fall back through.  Daphne ran to the back of Adam’s spell so she could cast her own Protection from Evil spell, extending the safe area up into the stairs.  Then things went sideways.

The Abomination could not attack those protected by the spells, but could move through the area of effect, so it moved to the stairs to either block the exit or take advantage of any opportunities.  It knew if it tried to cast again, Felix would hit it, disrupting the spell, so it had to be patient.

Instead of fleeing, Felix instead pushed forward to look for anything useful or valuable, putting him at the opposite end of the large chamber from the Abomination.  It decided to chance a casting.  Daphne put up her Protection from Evil spell as Jaxby dropped his and moved to the stairs with his bodyguards.  The Abomination cast Fireball at Felix, filling the entire far end of the chamber with flames, killing Felix.

Jaxby told his hirelings to flee, immediately and they ran for it, skirting part the Abomination and running up the stairs to the surface.  Daphne also ran for the surface while Adam prepared to cast Protection from Evil a second time on the stairs, hopefully holding the passage open for Jaxby.  Jaxby instead ran for Felix’s corpse – he had an idea.  The Abomination cast Web on the stairs before Adam could cast his spell and both the stairs and Adam were webbed up.

Adam, literally in a bind, cast his last spell for the day, Magic Missile.  As a pyromancer, the missiles manifested as shards of flame that struck the Abomination…and set the webs on fire.  The webs burned hotly, burning Adam as well.  His screams of pain drew Daphne’s attention on the surface.  She returned to the top of the stairs and through the black smoke and flames saw Adam aflame!

The next round, Jaxby searched through Felix’s loot bag and pulled out the jeweled horn, hoping it was both magic and useful.  He blew on it and learned it was both!  A Barrow Wight clawed its way up out of the floor, dressed in Norse armor.  It turned to Jaxby and asked, “What is thy bidding, master?”  [It was a Horn of the Dead, a new item in the Barrowmaze book.  Sort of like a Horn of Valhalla, but with a catch we’ll see at the end of the fight.]  Jaxby pointed at the Abomination and said, “Kill it!”  This drew the Abominations attention away from Adam and it moved to attack the Barrow Wight.

The Barrow Wight and the Barrow Abomination traded massive blows, the Barrow Wight with its claws, the Abomination with a massive bite attack.  The flames on Adam burned out, dropping him to his knees.  Jaxby took shelter behind the scorched, black throne, waiting to see which undead was victorious.

The next round both undead, staggering from their wounds, flailed ineffectively at each other.  While Daphne cast healing magic on Adam in the stairs [reviving him from negative hit points], Jaxby advanced on the Barrow Abomination and attacked it.  He failed to drop it and the abomination split its attacks between the Barrow Wight and Jaxby.  One of the strikes hit Jaxby and dropped him to zero hit points.  Jaxby slumped to the ground as the Barrow Wight made its attack and destroyed the Barrow Abomination!

Just as the surviving adventurers were going to cheer, the Barrow Wight announced, “My task is complete,” and fell on Jaxby, dragging Jaxby below the floor to the underworld.  [As per the Horn of the Dead description, this is the catch to using the Horn of the Dead instead of a Horn of Valhalla.]

Not wanting to lose two companions to this barrow, Daphne and Adam went back into the crypt to bind up Felix’s corpse for transportation to Ironguard Motte.  They discovered behind the black throne a chest and two coffers.  Weakened and out of spells, they chose to haul the chest and two coffers back to town rather than get caught here by something else.  They packed everything up with the help of Colemore, Jaxby’s porter, and returned to Helix.

End of Session


[So the session ran long and we abbreviated wrapping up the adventure because I had to be at work early the next morning.  We’ll start next session with the opening of the chest and coffers and the introduction of a new character to replace Jaxby.  I had a different scene in mind after the fight was over, but I didn’t expect Jaxby to drop exactly as the fight ended and with no other characters nearby to try and stop the Barrow Wight from pulling Jaxby down into the underworld.]

[I did roll on the Mortal Wounds Table for Adam as he went into negative hit points due to the burning webs.  He only needs a night of bedrest, but his genitals were damaged and now he can no longer have children.  Felix had heavy negative modifiers on the Tampering with Mortality Table and then rolled poorly the first time and had to try again.  As a result, he owes his deity a quest, is now blind, and needs a month of bedrest.  The player took this as a sign and retired the character.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16

Session 18

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 16

[The Revengers return to the barrows to investigate the barrows and get some critical experience, but at what cost?]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Jaxby – male Elven Theurgist-Swordmaster (3rd level Spellsword)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Acolyte (2nd level Craftpriest))
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)
Daphne – female human Blade-Weaver (4th level Bladedancer)
Adam – male human Seer (2nd level Mage)

Recovering from Injury
None [This will change…]

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
Morgullen – professional torchbearer, prefers to be called ‘Len, hired by Boris
Colemore – professional porter, hired by Jaxby
Thesa and Hyrion – female human and male elf bodyguards, hired by Jaxby


Moonday, June 3rd, through Hernesday, June 11th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Daphne hosted the funeral games she and Adam funded in honor of the fallen Norse Whisperers, Rollo and Ivar.  Jaxby traveled to and from Ironguard Motte, purchasing spell scrolls to later add to his spellbook.  Upon his return, he and Adam holed up in Quillian’s mostly complete manor house to scribe a spell each into their spellbooks.

Godric took advantage of the temporary influx of people into Helix [due to the funeral games and the free food and booze, word got around and anyone in Ironguard Motte or Bogtown with time traveled to Helix for the party] to recruit a henchman.  As the Revengers seem to have a problem locating traps, he recruited Proximo, a footpad, for 25g per month and a fifth of Godric’s share of any treasure gained while adventuring.

On Sunday, June 9th, Boris picked up his enchanted [+1] shield from Karg.  Daphne also picked up her inscribed leather armor [which in no way could now be identified as previously belonging to Rollo of the Norse Whisperers].

As a test for his new spell, Jaxby cast Continual Light on Daphne’s saber.  It worked and now her sword glows [and just barely counts as a magic item for creatures requiring one to be hit].

Magusday, June 12th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Early in the morning, the Revengers and their hirelings (Dergos, ‘Len, Colemore, Thesa, and Hyrion) assembled at the Mercenary Guild building [the Norse Whisperers were still sleeping off the aftereffects of the funeral games and week-long party].  Godric introduced his new henchman, Proximo, to the group.  The party then headed south into the moors, following their guide, Dergos.  On the way to the field of barrows, a python dropped out of a tree and attacked Godric.  The python was quickly dispatched and Godric and Daphne took the time to skin the giant snake, gaining 10 feet of snakeskin, its head, and some snake meat they might be able to sell back in town.  This delayed the groups arrival at the barrows until just after Noon.

Looking at their map, the group went over to Barrow 26.  It was already open, so they descended, finding a large, circular chamber supported by four large pillars carved with screaming faces.  A large brazier was on the floor by the base of the stairs.  Godric examined the runes on the brazier and stated the brazier summons something nasty to answer questions.  After searching the rest of the chamber and finding nothing of value, the adventurers left this barrow and went over to Barrow 27.

They found Barrow 27 completely covered with dirt and grass.  They marked it as such on their map and then walked over to Barrow 32 to investigate.  This barrow was open but appeared only recently opened [they suspected the Norse Whisperers].  The ceiling of the entry chamber was very unstable and prone to dropping stones.  There were three passages out of the entry chamber and all three clearly ended with a partially open door.  The Revengers checked the passage on the left first.

The chamber contained an opened and empty sarcophagus.  Looking around and finding little, the Revengers decided that whatever treasure was kept here, the Norse Whisperers probably looted.  Passing through the entry chamber to investigate the next passage, Boris mostly dodged a chunk of the ceiling that fell on him [he made the save for half damage].

The next chamber contained many burial alcoves…that had clearly been searched and looted.  Disappointed, the group returned to the entry chamber on the way to check the third and final passage, this time Godric barely jumping out of the way of a falling piece of ceiling [again, he made the save for half damage].

The last chamber was circular and contained a single stone sarcophagus, still closed, with four white marble statues of women arranged around the room.  Proximo noted that there were signs on the floor of a fight and one of the statues seemed to have dried blood on its knuckles.  Familiar with animating statues, the group stayed out of the room.  Boris entered alone, staying close to the wall on the left, with his axe at the ready.  He attacked the statue with his axe, damaging both his axe and the statue.  Not wanting to destroy his axe, he switched to the sledgehammer and proceeded to demolish the statue.  When none of the other statues animated, he followed the walls around to each statue and demolished them in turn.

Once the statues were destroyed, Boris carefully approached the sarcophagus and opened it.  Some of the statue rubble twitched, but then stopped moving as the magic attempting to animate it failed.  Satisfied it was safe to enter the room, the rest of the Revengers stepped in and looked around.  Other than the person interred in the sarcophagus, there was a tablet with runes on it.  Godric attempted to identify the writing on the tablet, triggering the magic in it.  The tablet attempted to steal his strength [per Ray of Enfeeblement], but he resisted successfully.

With still little to show for their efforts, the Revengers moved on to Barrow 40.  The sealing stone on it had clearly been attacked by a sledgehammer but was only partially damaged and there were signs of a fight in the grass around the entrance.  The Revengers worked out this was the place the Norse Whisperers had been attacked by the ghasts.  Boris pulled out his sledgehammer and finished the job of opening the barrow while the rest of the Revengers rested.

The stairs down led to a 20x20 square room with two giant statues of Set, both with emerald eyes, taking up half the chamber on the left.  A door was at the end of the two passages out.  Proximo carefully searched the room for traps [during which, Boris rested].  After 10 minutes of investigation, Proximo announced the chamber safe and the rest of the group descended the stairs into the chamber.

Deciding it would be best to grab the emerald eyes now, Godric asked Proximo to climb up on one of the statues and pry loose the emeralds.  After popping out the first one, Proximo announced he was now blind!  Godric cast Detect Magic and saw Proximo and the other three emeralds were cursed!  After a short discussion, Proximo was asked to remove the other emeralds [after all, he was already blind].  Proximo warned that without his sight, he might break the emeralds and was told that would be OK.  He removed the other three emeralds, but broke all three of them, significantly reducing their worth.  [Proximo was assisted by Boris when he needed to climb down and move over to the second statue.]

The Revengers next investigated the door across the room from the entry stairs.  The bronze door was sealed, the handles tied and sealed with wax bearing a scarab sigil imprint.  Not liking the look of this, the adventurers moved along to the door to the right of the entry stairs.  This bronze door was merely locked, which was more to their liking.  Proximo attempted to pick the lock by touch but broke his lock picks in it.  Boris pulled out his sledgehammer and attacked the part of the wall the door was attached to, smashing that area to rubble in ten minutes.  The door fell in with a loud gong sound.

The Revengers entered the octagonal-shaped room.  In the room was an altar to Set with four black funeral urns resting on it.  Just as the group started to search the room, Dergos came running down the stairs from the surface, stating that five giant toads were approaching and looked hungry.  The adventurers moved to the top of the stairs to fight the toads, with Jaxby holding back and directing his bodyguards (Thesa and Hyrion) to protect Proximo.  After a short fight, the adventurers killed the toads and returned to the chamber with the altar to Set.

Looking at the altar closely, Godric noticed one of the urns sat on a pressure plate.  Boris carefully removed and examined the other three urns, finding them each full of ashy remains and not worth the effort to haul back to Helix.  The adventurers and their entourage backed out of the room before Boris investigated the fourth urn.  [At this point, Godric asked if he should check the rest of the room for traps, but never got an answer from the other players, so he didn’t.]  To keep the pressure plate from moving, Boris hammered in two spikes along the edges of the pressure plate and then lifted the urn off the pressure plate.  The pressure plate held in place for a second or two before cracking and splitting, allowing the trap to trigger.  A poison needle shot out of a wall and stuck Boris, who quickly succumbed to the virulent poison and died.  [There was an attack roll involved and I rolled exactly what it took to hit Boris.]

Jaxby, Adam, and Godric, all three expert healers, stepped up and attempted to neutralize the poison using their healing arts.  All three failed.  [On a d20 they rolled a 4, a 4, and a 6, respectively, while trying to make their proficiency check.]  The urn in question contained 900 electrum pieces, which the adventurers took.  They then packed up Boris’ body and headed back to town.

Along the way back, the Revengers came across a Neanderthal hunting party.  The adventurers attempted to evade the Neanderthals, but the four hunters had the scent and closed on them.  The Neanderthals dropped Jaxby in the early stages of the fight, but Daphne returned the favor four-fold, cutting down all four Neanderthals in a frenzy of cleave attacks [she rolled a low initiative followed by a high initiative in the following combat round, allowing her to get in back-to-back attacks].  She then cast Cure Light Wounds on Jaxby to get him up and walking again, but he will need a week of bedrest to fully recover.

Cromsday, June 13th, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Boris’ corpse was taken over to the Temple of St. Ygg in Ironguard Motte for a casting of Restore Life and Limb [after securing funds for it from his stash chest].  The restoration was intense and Boris remembered little of the ordeal.  He will need two weeks of bedrest to recover.  Additionally, the magic that now courses through him frightens horses and he may no longer ride them.  When it was suggested that perhaps elephants will not fear him, he immediately started planning on how to purchase one.

End of Session


[Once again, I like the addition of the Mortality Table to the B/E ruleset in ACKS.  Character death would be more devastating and less acceptable to the players without it, especially with “Roll 3d6 in order” character generation.  The Tampering with Mortality Table also adds good flavor to what could easily become a mechanical procedure of having dead characters brought back to life.  It adds excellent story effects and mandatory downtime for characters to recover.]

[Also, this is at least the second time the "intense experience" result was rolled on the Tampering with Mortality Table.  It is starting to make me wonder what the clerics of St. Ygg are doing and if there is a story hook in there I might want to use at some point.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15


Session 17