[This is the first time we’ve done a two-part session, where I’ve ended one session with the PCs in the Barrowmaze itself and picked up the next session still in the dungeon. This is Part Two.]
[Also? SPOILERS! This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]
PCs (The Revengers)
Rhun Thruu – female elf Theurgist-Torturer (3rd level Elven Nightblade)
Daphne – female human Blade-Sister (5th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Exemplar (5th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Magician (4th level Mage)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Outrider (2nd level Explorer)
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
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Footpad, Godric’s henchman
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Sunday, July 20th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Starting immediately where Session 22 ended.]
After concluding their arrangement to rescue to supply a guide to The Revengers in exchange for the rescue of their leaders from the necromancers, the mongrelman leader The Horned One, asked the adventurers to do one more thing. A lone adventurer was rescued in the dungeon by the mongrelmen. This adventurer needed an escort out of the dungeon and back to the surface lands. The Horned One asked Boris if the Revengers would take this elf back. Boris agreed, and the group was introduced to Rhun, whose gear was battered but functional.
With that taken care of, one of the mongrelmen stepped forward as their guide and led them north. They followed the path they’d recently discovered from the mongrelmen room [Room 100A] to the diagonal grand hallway [Room 110]. From there they went north, through two secret doors to the other grand hallway where Dr. West fell into the teleporting pit and was never seen alive again. Their guide walked the group up the eastern wall to the far end of the hall and opened a previously unseen secret door.
Beyond was a corridor that 20 feet in was a four-way intersection. Their guide said, “Take the left passage and follow the left wall until you get to a door. Beyond that door is death. That is where you are going. Return when you have freed our leaders.” He then left, heading south to presumably return to the mongrelmen lair.
Somewhat nonplussed by this, the Revengers entered the corridor. They noted the passage forward ended 20 feet past the intersection and the passage to the right [south] went further than their light illuminated. They turned left [north] and followed the corridor to a right-turn. The corridor around the corner was empty, so they continued, following the left wall. Just as Boris’ glowing sword illuminated a Y-intersection ahead, Rhun’s keen elven eyes noticed a secret door on the south wall.
Curious, and hoping for some treasure, the Revengers decided to make a slight detour and opened the secret door. In a small chamber beyond were 6 skeletons, each with a sapphire gem embedded in their forehead. Sensing loot, the Revengers engaged the skeletons in combat in the doorway [to keep the skeletons bottled up and fight as few as possible at once]. The skeletons were a little tougher than expected, which did not concern the revengers at first. It took two blows from his sword for Boris to drop the first skeleton. As he and Daphne were fighting the next three skeletons, the first one stood back up, all damage from Boris’ sword gone!
Realizing that time was not on their side, Boris switched from his sword to his great axe and started targeting the blue gems in the skulls. This time when Boris dropped the first skeleton again, it stayed down. Calling out this information to the others, the group started targeting the gems specifically. Adam discovered that the sapphire skeletons were also immune to fire attacks when his fire-based Magic Missile spell harmlessly splashed on one of the skeletons. [Adam has the Elementalism proficiency and chose fire as his element. He invoked the option to make his Magic Missile spell fire-based.]
It was a hard fight and several adventurers were injured, but eventually all the skeletons were down and their sapphires broken. Daphne gathered up the sapphire fragments into the loot bag while Boris drank a healing potion. Everyone else who was injured ate some comfrey to heal up some. The chamber the skeletons came out of was a dead end with no treasure, which was slightly disappointing to the adventurers. [The map shows an attached room, Room 124A, but there is nothing in the text that even mentions the room exists. With nothing to go on, I just eliminated the room.]
Side trip done, the Revengers advanced, taking the left turn at the Y-intersection. Thirty feet past that, the corridor ended at a doorway, beyond which the mongrelmen claimed was death. Boris opened the door and found a 30x30 room with an open corridor out in the center of the north wall and a closed door in the far corner on the east wall. The room was otherwise empty, so the adventurers moved in. Rhun noticed a secret door on the south wall [because who can hide things from elves?] and pointed it out. The door was examined and pronounced clear [despite no one having Find Traps as an ability and Adam not casting Detect Magic]. Boris opened it…and triggered the explosive rune hidden on it. He was able to dodge part of the blast [made his save], but was still heavily injured. Based on the size of the blast, Adam estimated a high-level Patriach was necessary to place that rune [Level 12 Cleric]. This gave the adventurers some pause.
Having triggered the trap, the adventurers went through the secret door. Beyond was a short passage east to another room. Eight [ravenous] zombies rushed out of this room to attack. Daphne brandished her holy symbol in the name of Inanna and turned them. While Daphne maintained concentration, Boris chopped up the cowering zombies. [These were Ravenous Zombies – think piranha zombies – but they were turned before they could demonstrate what made them different from other zombies.]
Looking around the zombie room [Room 206], Rhun located another secret door, this one again on the south wall. Cautiously opening this secret door, the Revengers looked through. The room beyond was 20x30 feet, with two wooden doors taking up the south wall and two more doors and a portcullis on the eastern wall. Peat-colored water was leaking in and had obviously swollen one of the doors on the south wall and one on the east wall. The other southern door was open and the remaining door on the eastern wall was ajar.
The adventurers entered the room and started looking around. The open crypt was bare and obviously looted. The portcullis opened onto a larger [30x30 feet] room, where the mechanism to raise the portcullis was visible on the opposite wall, next to a door out. The partially open crypt had a stone tablet on the floor at the far end. Boris went in and stuffed the tablet into his loot bag without reading it…which is when the ochre jelly on the ceiling attacked. [Ironically, this was the first time in quite a while that Boris had not checked the ceiling when walking into a room.]
Despite attacking from surprise, the ochre jelly was quickly dispatched. Daphne and Adam performed healing checks on Rhun and Boris, respectively, while Hrglclxin used Boris’ axe to chop down the stuck door on the south wall. Both healers failed at their efforts. Beyond the stuck door was a crypt with some normal skeletons and no treasure. After another 10 minutes of chopping to open the other swollen door, they found the same.
Disappointed and with no ideas on how to open the portcullis, the adventurers backtracked to the room with the exploding rune. From there they went through the corridor to the north. They took a left at a T-intersection and kept on that path around a corner, where they found stairs going up! They went up the stairs, emerging from a large pedestal in what was clearly a barrow. Next to the pedestal was a toppled and defaced statue of Negal. Ahead of them, on the far side of 50-foot circular room was another set of stairs to the surface with light streaming down them. There was a well-worn path between the two sets of stairs.
The group climbed to the surface and found the barrow was not in the field of barrows, but in the moors nearby. They climbed on top of the barrow mound and looked around to work out where they were on their map. They discovered they were just off the top of their map [Barrow 35]. Having brought Rhun to the surface and with several adventurers wounded, the group decided to walk over to Barrow 20, pick up Dergos, and return to Helix. Rhun was all for this plan.
On the way back to Helix, a giant python dropped on Adam and squeezed him hard enough he nearly passed out [he went to 0 hp, but made a roll against his CON to stay conscious]. In the rush to get the snake off Adam, Rhun bounced her sword off Boris and into a deep puddle nearby, where it started to sink into the mud [Natural 1 on the d20]. She dove after it before it was lost. By the time she had it again, the python was fleeing and she had to drop it [on more solid ground] to free her longbow to shoot [and kill] the python.
Back in town, much healing was done. Rhun went to the newly opened Shrine of the Green Man [built by Quillian on his property]. Daphne used the last of her magic to heal Boris a little, but he had to go to the Shrine of St. Ygg to get healed the rest of the way. Daphne made use of the magic cup [from Barrow 24] to heal her wounds.
End of Session
[So I didn’t mention it in my notes, but Boris actually took more damage from the party making critical failures – rolling a “1” to hit – than he took from the actual monsters. Daphne hit him at least twice and Rhun hit him once. Adam’s player could not roll above a 9 on a d20 for the entire game except once, when he needed to roll low and then rolled high. The laws of probability seemed to be making up for previous sessions.]
The Motley Crew
Session 24 [Not yet written]