[Quillian joins The Revengers and honors Chick-Magnet.]
[Also? SPOILERS! This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]
PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Catechist (1st level Craftpriest))
Dr. Venom West – male human Robber (3rd level Thief) [this is a correction from last week where I erroneously listed him as a Footpad]
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)
Jaxby – male Elven Warrior-Seer (2nd level Spellsword)
Quillian – male human Theurgist (3rd level Mage)
Recovering from Injury
[Daphne’s player was out of town again]
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring
Morgullen – professional torchbearer, prefers to be called ‘Len
Colemore – professional porter
Unred and Volrun – male paid laborers
Holmurn and Balunna – male and female hired guards
Disdun – male human guide
Thesa and Hyrion – female human and male elf bodyguards
Freysday, May 31st, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
Having returned with a good deal of coinage [the recovered valuables of The Motley Crew], The Revengers spent a day shopping for supplies [food, torches, and Comfrey, lots of Comfrey] and stashing some of their coinage in chests stored in the back room at Turgen’s Trade Goods.
Quillian, just ending his required weeks of bedrest, tracked down Boris and thanked him for putting an end to Chick-Magnet’s abominable undead life. Quillian asked to travel with Boris’ new group so he can secure Chick-Magnet’s corpse for proper burial and to continue the exploration of the Barrowmaze. Boris, seeing the advantage of having a Theurgist in the group [and quietly side-stepping any charges of looting the bodies of fallen heroes] agreed.
Quillian went to the Mercenary Guild and hired two laborers [Unred and Volrun], two guards to protect the laborers [Holmurn and Balunna], and an extra guide [Disdun] specifically for this group of hirelings. Quillian then asked Osen the Guildmaster to broker the hiring of a henchman for Quillian. They discussed qualities that Quillian was looking for and Osen agreed to have some candidates by next Magusday (June 5th). Quillian then went over to Turgen’s Trade Goods and bought a sheet of leather to wrap up Chick-Magnet’s corpse in and a litter to transport it on.
Jaxby, uncomfortable with the turnover in adventurers, went to the Mercenary Guild and hired two bodyguards. Osen assigned him Thesa and Hyrion, both armed with longsword and shields and leather armor. Jaxby wanted people with chainmail, but Osen pointed out that people owning chainmail are usually wealthy enough to not need the work. Jaxby accepted that and Thesa and Hyrion into his employ. Osen had also posted new rates for Torchbearers – 6 sp per day.
Yggsday, June 1st, 23rd year of the reign of King Shurik the Nimble
The adventurers and their ten hirelings met up early in the morning at the Mercenary Guild building. Just before they left, the Norse Whisperers jogged up and, despite the large number of hirelings, asked if The Revengers needed someone to “watch out for them on the way to the barrows.” Quillian raised an eyebrow at this, but Boris quickly agreed to the same deal as before: the Norse Whisperers would “guard” the group while they traveled to and from the barrows while the Revengers followed their guide. Boris later explained the situation and history to Quillian, who also rolled his eyes but understood the value of buying some goodwill.
On the way south, the group spotted 5 ghouls moving to intercept them. They attempted to evade the ghouls entirely but failed. The adventurers eventually lost the ghouls in the moors [the ghouls rolled a 2 on their pursuit roll], but at the cost of nearly an hour of time. They arrived at the field of barrows a little after Noon.
Ragnar, leader of the Norse Whisperers, talked with Boris about which areas the groups were planning to explore. Boris pointed out Barrow 24 and said The Revengers were going to start there and continue on the northern side. Ragnar pointed at Barrow 17 and said the Norse Whisperers were going to look there, but then work their way south. Both agreed to meet here at the edge of the field at 4:00 PM to head back together.
The groups walked over to Barrow 12, where they parted ways – the Revengers going around it on the north side, the Norse Whisperers the south side. The Revengers walked past Barrow 16, seeking to secure Chick-Magnet’s corpse first and then finish exploring Barrow 24.
At Barrow 24, the adventurers [and their associated hirelings] walked down the stairs, into the barrow. They found the ghoul corpses exactly where they left them. Quillian and his hirelings secured Chick-Magnet’s corpse by wrapping it up in the sheet of leather and putting it on the litter for transport. Quillian send the laborers, their guards, and Disdun back to the surface to wait. Their orders were to head back to Helix if the adventurers did not return to the surface by 4:00 PM.
The adventurers [and Jaxby’s bodyguards] went through the door in the near left corner of the entry room. There was a short corridor leading to a 30x40 room with an altar between two black stone statues. On the altar were as skull and a simple wooden cup. After Dr. West checked for traps all around the room, Quillian picked up the cup, which animated the two statues. The adventurers did not hesitate – they ran. Everyone who could ran full tilt to escape the room – except Boris, who staged a fighting retreat, and Quillian, who was just too slow.
The Barrow Guardians both attacked Quillian while Boris observed from halfway across the room. One statue missed, but the other hit…for minimal damage. These statues were slow and nowhere near as terrifying as the ones they had heard about. With their courage returning, the adventurers formed a fighting line at the entrance to the room and fought the statues. The fight lasted six minutes, but the Revengers eventually won. Godric was seriously hurt during the fight, so afterwards the group rested and applied some healing herbs to Godric. [This involved a couple failed Healing checks until they just applied the Comfrey.]
The cup turned out to be enchanted, able to provide ale, mead, a healing salve, or a random potion once per day. The skull was just a skull. After some discussion, the group decided to keep the cup and not sell it back in Helix. Quillian was given custody of the cup.
Once their rest was over, the group exited the barrow and backtracked to Barrow 16. While making this transit, Boris heard the distinctive sound of a sledgehammer being used on a sealing stone – the Norse Whisperers were breaking into a previously unexplored barrow!
Barrow 16 contained a low dais and surrounded by five alcoves. Each alcove contained the obviously vandalized remains of an armored skeleton. The back wall of one of the alcoves was broken down, exposing a stairwell down into the Barrowmaze itself. Feeling brave, the Revengers descended the stairs.
In the Barrowmaze itself, they found a passageway. To the right was an ajar doorway, to the left a side passage and a closed doorway along a passageway. Boris pulled close the doorway on the right, ignoring the dead body he glimpsed on the other side [Hello, Jersen!]. The group cautiously went left, ignoring the side passage and the closed door. Shortly past that door, the passage ended in a T-intersection. They went left again, which led to a wide hallway at a diagonal away and to the left. Down that hallway they could see two small groups fighting – one side in chainmail and employing zombies, the other in robes and employing skeletons!
Boris hid his glowing sword and the adventurers watched the fight. Godric identified the ones wearing chainmail as followers of Orcus and strongly suspected the black robed combatants were necromancers in the service of Set. The necromancers slowly gained an edge over the followers of Orcus. When the total number of combatants was down to eight, the adventurers decided to attack. The combatants were completely focused on each other and totally surprised when arrows flew out of the dark, killing the lead necromancer. This was followed by a turning from Godric, which sent two zombies and one skeleton fleeing. Boris drew his axe and charged into the remaining combatants, cleaving his way through them all in one round [Fighters get one cleave attack for each level and Boris is now 4th level and his targets…weren’t].
After checking the bodies and destroying all of the unholy symbols found [but keeping a magical amulet that casts Animate Dead once per day], the adventurers continued along. The diagonal corridor ended in a chamber with a charnel pit in the center. Jaxby noticed a secret door at the back of the chamber and the adventurers went through it. The small room beyond contained four giant carnivorous flies that somehow found their way into this room. The fight was short, with Boris killing most of the flies. Jaxby noticed another secret door in this room [because who can hide things from elves?], which the adventurers went through.
This secret door opened up on a long gallery lined with hundreds of burial alcoves. Tired, the group rested, except for Dr. West, whose endurance knew no bounds [Endurance proficiency allowed him to continue on without needing a rest]. Dr. West started searching the gallery for traps, finding a pit trap the hard way. [The player wasn’t certain about his dice, so he asked me to roll for him. I rolled a 1.] As he had been holding a torch, the other adventurers saw him fall into the pit trap, but never heard him hit bottom. His torchlight also disappeared.
With extreme caution, the remaining adventurers walked over to the now open pit and looked in. They were confused – the pit was only 20 ft deep, but there was no sign of Dr. West or his torch [or even a body]. A lit torch was tossed into the pit and it disappeared when it hit the bottom. Suspecting an illusion of some sort, Boris lowered a rope down into the pit. When the rope hit the bottom, the entire 50-foot length disappeared. A teleport trap!
Not certain where it went to and feeling it was time to start heading back [it was getting late], the adventurers threw in a weeks’ worth of iron rations, four doses of Comfrey, some chalk, and a note explaining they would return after re-equipping in Helix. With little else to do, they backtracked to the surface and went to wait for the Norse Whisperers.
Not too long after they arrived at the waiting point, the adventurers saw the Norse Whisperers running back for all they were worth. Out of breath, Ragnar asked if they were ready to go, offering no explanation as to why they had been running. With no obvious threat following, the Revengers shrugged and agreed to leave.
Back in Helix, The Revengers decided to hold onto the Animate Dead amulet until they needed the money and could share it with missing members of the team [notably Daphne and possibly Dr. West…assuming he survives].
End of Session
[So the ending was a bit abrupt because it was getting late and we needed to wrap up. I ran Dr. West’s landing and immediate happenings in a different room and then stopped. Last Saturday he and I got together and I ran Dr. West attempting to find his way to the surface. I’ll do a separate write-up of that, after the rest of the players intersect with his timeline. SPOILERS!]
[Also, as it was late, as I write this I still need to talk with Quillian's player to find out what he does with Chick-Magnet's remains. I know he plans on a funeral service, but will he have the body buried in the graveyard behind the Shrine to St. Ygg or start a new graveyard, dedicated to Silvanus, The Green Man?]
The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start
Session 11: TPK
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers