This session happened Wednesday, August 11, 2010.
Artemis (half-elf rogue)
Arthus (half-elf paladin)
Book (elf rogue)
Gilgamesh (uffnik artificer)
Gilgamesh and Arthus heard from Samuel that there has been goblin activity to the northwest. Richard opined that Samuel has “goblin on the brain” and that there might not actually be any goblins. We decided to go investigate anyways as it gave us an area to explore, even if no goblins were actually around.
We followed the trail from Vestige north, turning off the trail near where it peters out and entered the debris field. This took most of the day, so we made camp and set up our standard watches. During my watch, I heard the distinct sound of coins jingling in a money pouch. The sound seemed to be approaching. Thinking I had discovered a chance to enrich myself, but not wanting to get in over my head without back-up, I awoke Artemis and quickly explained the situation to her.
With her keeping an eye on camp, I slid out into the debris field to find out who was bringing us some coin. I didn’t get very far before discovering the sound came from two skeletons that were slowly approaching our camp. I called back to Artemis to wake up Arthus (paladins have to be good for something, right?) and took up an ambush position. When the first skeleton got within range I attacked.
Now saying “I attacked” normally implies that the target of the attack gets injured. This did not happen. In fact, I very quickly disarmed myself during the fight and did not damage the skeleton I was fighting until near the end of the fight. By then, Arthus and Artemis had easily taken down the other skeleton and Artemis came over to “help” me with the first skeleton. By “help” I mean do most of the damage with me getting in a feeble hit with a broken club I picked up after cleverly throwing my perfectly good one away. I really hate skeletons.
After taking out the skeletons, Artemis and I checked them for loot. Both had a coin pouch. Mine had 12 gold coins in it, the other was empty but felt like it had something in it. No matter how hard the others tried, they could not pull out whatever was inside. Oddly, it was this "empty" coin purse that jingled. We gave it to Arthus to hold onto and neither Artemis nor I wanted a noisy coin purse on our person.
In the morning we decided to head due west, as that would put us in the area northwest of Vestige, where Samuel had suggested goblin activity was happening. Early in our march, Artemis noticed a complete chest in a pile of debris. We pulled it out and she and I disabled a trap and unlocked the chest. Inside were 4 gems and a small pile of gold. Loot! This expedition was already a good one. After emptying the chest, I noticed the inside was not as deep as it should be and pried up a false bottom. Hidden away was a bag of holding, which I claimed. I transferred most of my gear to the bag which maintained a constant weight of 15 lbs. This helped me greatly – I’m not a big burly guy like Arthus and my gear was weighting me down. We tied the chest to Gilgamesh’s pony to act as bandit bait. The rest of the day was uneventful and we found little worth noting. That night it rained, so other than replenishing our water supply and finding the chest, we spent a day and night to little effect.
Being due northwest of Vestige now, where goblin activity was supposedly happening, we started a sweep pattern back towards Vestige, looking for goblin activity. Instead of goblins, Gilgamesh noticed a leopard stalking us. The fight took some time as the damned thing would not sit still and let us hit it. We did eventually kill it, but only after Arthus had been savaged by it. We bound his wounds and used what little healing magic we had left for the day, but he was still not at full health. We then camped to let Arthus rest and heal some. During the evening, Artemis found a locked coffer while on watch, but set it aside for the morning so she and I could examine it in good lighting. Good eyes on that woman – two treasures in two days. Must be from her elven half.
[The party achieved second level at this point.] After breakfast, Artemis and I examined the coffer and easily disabled an arc trap protecting it. The lock was another matter entirely. It took Artemis, Gil, and I over an hour and a half to work out the inner workings of the lock and defeat them. Inside we found two rings. Gil was able to identify them both as rings of sustenance. After some discussion, the rings went to Gil and Artemis and my ownership of the bag of holding was formalized. During this time, Arthus was able to finish healing himself, but we were left with minimal healing for the rest of the day.
We continued our sweep, looking for goblins and instead finding a cemetery. Now it could be argued that everything for miles was one big cemetery, but within the picket fence of this small area, the ground was still hallowed. There were a half dozen graves along the edges of the cemetery and one mausoleum in the center. Above the door to the mausoleum were words in a script we could not read. Not wanting to explore the mausoleum with almost no healing available, we decide to camp early. In the cemetery. Which seemed to be the safest place we had found so far.
During her watch, Artemis was fiddling with the noisy coin pouch we had given to Arthus and was able to fish out a short golden rod with writing on it. The coin pouch still jingled, but seemed to be empty now. Definitely a cursed item.
By dawn, Gilgamesh had finished cobbling together a new magical gizmo. This one creates water while granting the holder the ability to comprehend languages. Why he chose to combine those two effects I’ll never know. The writing on the golden rod is now readable and says “Creation’s Key”. The writing over the mausoleum door turned out to be a warning to not disturb anything inside. Seemed kind of ominous, so we decided to continue our sweep of the area and come back later.
We spent most of the day getting rained on. The one mobile thing we spotted the entire day was a fire elemental, which seemed to be angry about getting rained upon. We decided to avoid it entirely. Something odd happened while we were camped for the night, but I’m not certain what – I woke up several feet from where I went to sleep. Very strange.
Having been out for four days and finding no goblins nor signs of goblins, we decided to start making our way directly back to Vestige. Well, mostly directly back – we checked out a stretch we haven’t been in before on the way back and found a hut book-ended between two immense hills of war debris. There was a low fence across the front, 60 feet from the hut. At the gate was a sign in multiple languages warning “those who can read” to stay away or be “doomed”. On a dual gibbet next to the hut were hung two adventurers, still in their gear. Naturally, we took this as a challenge. Or a trap. Probably both. After discussing it a bit, we decide to not do anything yet and ask Samuel and Richard about the hut. No sense in angering someone we should be friends with.
As we press east, back towards the trail to Vestige, it starts raining. And by raining I mean someone opened the sky and let an ocean start draining. It rained hard all night and all through the next day. What should have been two hours travel at best took us all day due to the torrential rain. By the time we got back to Vestige and could take advantage of getting out of the rain, the rain stopped. Sigh.
We talked to Samuel and Richard about the hut and they knew nothing about it. That gives us two locales to go back to. I favor the mausoleum – who ever hangs adventurers by his front door is likely more dangerous than we can handle right now. Surely the others will agree.
*End of Session*