Friday, December 14, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 29

[New companions and more harpies - which are scarier?]

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

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Curate (4th level Craftpriest)
Daphne – female human Blade-Adept (6th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Myrmidon (6th level Fighter)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Guide (5th 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
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Robber, Godric’s henchman

Freysday, August 9th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
A messenger arrived in Helix bearing a letter from Adam to the Revengers.  Boris received the letter and it informed him that Adam’s leg was regrown, but he would need bedrest until the 23rd and Verya until the 21st.  Boris tracked down the other Revengers in the ongoing “Grand Party” and gave them the news.  They decided to head out anyway the following day, looking to investigate Barrow 48 [which they had recently uncovered] and then maybe Barrow 34, where they had previously fled from mummies and some form of major undead.

Godric learned that Karl Barrelgut at The Axe and Anvil had a very enchanted Warhammer [+2] available for purchase.  Sadly, Godric did not have the coinage to purchase the Warhammer in question, nor could he work out a deal with Karg to pay the balance later.  Discussing it with the other Revengers, Hrglclxin volunteered to front Godric the balance for repayment later.  Godric gladly accepted the offer and purchased the Warhammer from Karg.

Yggsday, August 10th, 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 to head south.  They were all sober, knowing how dangerous the expedition could be they had refrained from celebrating too much at the Grand Party.  Daphne brought her charmed giant scorpion, Scorpie, along with here after retrieving him from Quillian’s property.

Along the path through the moors the group noticed a shambling mound approaching them.  Hrglclxin, made use of his skills as an explorer to easily lead the group around the shambling mound and deeper into the moors.

Arriving at the field of barrows, the Revengers headed to the recently uncovered Barrow 48.  Boris spent 20 minutes with the sledgehammer smashing the barrow’s sealing stone until it broke open.  [Surprisingly, this did not attract any wandering monsters.]  Inside the barrow was a 30x30 foot room with a single skeleton chained to the back wall.

After checking the rest of the barrow, including the ceiling, Boris approached the chained up skeleton.  The Revengers noticed that the rusted plate mail the skeleton wore had symbology of St. Ygg on it.  Once Boris was close to the skeleton, it lurched at him but was brought up short by the chains.  It then raised its hands in frustration above its head and spoke to the revengers!  Ready to turn the skeleton, the Revengers instead talked with it and learned its name, Dhekeon, and his story [which I’m not going to repeat here due to spoilers].  Moved by Dhekeon’s need for redemption, the Revengers accepted him into the group.

The Revengers next went over to “The Pit” [Barrow 47] and start climbing down on a rope.  [This is where they diverged from their plan for this session.]  Dhekeon agreed to go down first, followed by Boris, at which point the three barrow harpies that previously escaped attack the adventurers, back by a flight of giant vultures.  Proximo and Hrglclxin attacked with bows, which made them primary targets of attacks.  Proximo went down during the fight, but Daphne was able to bring him back with a couple of castings of Cure Light Wounds.  Proximo ended up losing a couple of teeth as a result of the fight, but considered himself lucky.

After killing off the harpies and giant vultures, the rest of the Revengers descended into the pit.  At the bottom they decided to exit through the door on the northern wall, hoping they might find a back way into the Temple of Set area.  The first room [Room 241] was empty, with a single door out to the north.  [To those following along at home – I know.]  The next room [Room 237] was also empty but presented more options, with two doors on the west wall, one door on the north wall, and a corridor east that clearly had several doors along it.

The Revengers decided to check the far door on the west wall first [Room 238].  Inside they found a standing sarcophagus.  They prepared to fight whatever was inside and then Boris opened the sarcophagus.  Inside was a slavering, bloodthirsty vampire!  …Except is wasn’t.  Boris and Godric halted the rest of the group, declaring that what they saw was an illusion.  This allowed the rest of the group to see through the illusion as well [that is, they got another save and made it this time].  Behind the illusion was a human male tied up and gagged.  Once freed, he introduced himself as Sir Pelinore, a paladin in the service of St. Ygg.  He was grateful for being freed and explained he had been captured by evil men and placed here after being captured.  For freeing him, he agreed to serve the group for a year, if they would arm and armor him.  The Revengers readily did so, providing him with a spare sword and shield and an offer to get him more armor back in Helix when they returned.  The conversation around Dhekeon was a bit touchier, with Dhekeon being a revenant and all, but Sir Pelinore accepted the Revengers word on the matter.

While this talking was going on, a group of five gargoyles wandered up [wondering where the harpies had gone].  Boris and Godric were able to bottle the gargoyles at the door to Room 241 and kill them.  This impressed Dhekeon and Sir Pelinore.

Once that fight was over, the group opened the southern door in Room 237’s west wall, finding an empty room beyond with a single door out in its southern wall.  Godric and Proximo carefully checked the room for traps.  Once they declared the room safe, the group proceeded to the door in the southern wall.

The room beyond had five curtained alcoves spread along the south and west wall.  Immediately suspecting ghouls [having heard the story of the demise of the Motley Crew as told by A Loyal Hireling], Proximo and Hrglclxin shot arrows into each of the tapestries to see what they could provoke from across the room.  Anti-climatically, the adventurers were not attacked.  They found a half-eaten corpse, a pile of skulls, a clockwork cobra [hiding under some rags], a magic dagger, and a gold death mask.  The death mask was magic, providing extra damage for undead wearing it.  They gave it to Dhekeon to wear – he was grateful.

Suspecting this area was just a cluster of crypts and did not actually lead anywhere, the Revengers returned to The Pit and tried the corridor heading west.  Boris fell into a pit trap with nine spectral warriors!  He took a good deal of damage from the spectral warriors before Daphne and Godric gradually turned them all.  he then destroyed them at his liesure.

Further down the long corridor, the Revengers found a bashed door to an empty, plus-shaped room [Room 263].  They investigated the next door and found a similar room, but with four hostile gargoyles in it.  After a [disappointingly] short fight, the Revengers searched the room and located a secret door.  Behind the secret door was a plundered tomb where the Revengers found a total of 10 gold coins.

Suspecting the previous room might also have a secret door, the Revengers backtracked [to Room 263] and searched it.  They indeed found a secret door to a short passage with another secret door at its end.  Beyond that was a small tomb with the corpse of an elf and the wraith risen from it.  Daphne turned the wraith, allowing Boris to destroy it easily.  A longbow across the elf-corpse detected as magical [+2].  Hrglclxin requested to use the bow as the primary archer for the group and the others agreed it made sense for him to use it.

After taking a rest [their third for the day] and discussing what shape they were in, the group decided to return to Helix.  They had no encounters on the way back, perhaps the revenant traveling with them scared things off.

End of Session

[So Sir Pelinore is a paladin, a class from the ACKS Player Companion, which is not available to the PCs.  The original reason for this was two-fold: I didn’t own a copy of it yet and as we were learning the game system, we wanted to keep the number of variables down.  Additionally, we were not 100% certain how long we’d be using the system and so making the players get two rule books was iffy.  Well into the campaign now, we are confident in our understanding of the rules and our appreciation of them.  Enough that I’m running a separate, monthly, campaign using the full set of books.]

[I’ve also bought Axiom #7, the quarterly supplement/‘zine for ACKS, which has prices for most of the magic items in the core rules and I think the Player Companion, although I’m not 100% certain about the last part.  It also provides further guidelines for pricing out and constructing magic items.  I needed this due to loot the PCs found in Session 32 (not written up yet but played this week as of my writing this).  It didn’t directly answer my question, but I can make enough inferences to get in the ballpark.  I’m expecting the players’ jaws to drop when the find out the value of the Manual they found.  Heh.]

The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22
Session 23
Session 24
Session 25
Session 26
Session 27
Session 28

Session 30

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