Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Return to Under Drop-Off Tower, Third Trip

This session happened Saturday, May 8, 2010, and is the second of two sessions I ran this past weekend. This is the first session I offered a hireling as an option, mostly as it was the first time the PCs had the money to hire anyone. Tycho’s player ran Gunnar during the game.

Adventuring Group:
Tycho von Helmont (elven alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarven rogue/barbarian)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Gunnar Darkbattler (human fighter, hireling)

Seeking to continue their investigation of the Moldy Halls under Drop-Off Tower, Agnes, Tycho, and Mog hooked up for an expedition. Feeling they needed more support, they hired another miner, Gunnar Darkbattler, to go with them, paying 3 gp/day plus the opportunity for bonuses.

Once again, most of the first day was spent lost in the Edgewood, still miles from Drop-Off Tower [but not as lost as the previous expedition got]. The group arrived at Drop-Off Tower about mid-day and quickly proceeded down into the Moldy Halls. They returned to the Secret Armory and explored the second secret door. This door led to the other side of the portcullis from the previous room. Thoroughly searching the area, they found several things. In one corner they found a (non-mobile) skeleton and two marked skulls, indicating that this was the deposit point for the teleportation mist they had previously discovered. They also discovered that the portcullis separating the U-shaped room was immobile, making this side a form of prison.

Running out of options to search here, they circled back around the halls to the Hall of Statues, where they originally saw two rust monsters. While passing through the Octagon Room, they saw two rust monsters down the west hallway, towards the Pool Room. As the rust monsters had not noticed them, the group just kept moving. In the Hall of Satues, they found two more rust monsters, which immediately attacked! After an extended fight, the rust monsters were dead and the PCs victorious.

Agnes searched the room and found a covered door leading to an empty room with no fungus in it. The group camped here for the night, being rather exhausted. They discussed some alternate search methods, with Tycho and Gunnar assisting Agnes and decided to give it a go in the morning.

The next morning, they implemented their plan and found a previously undiscovered secret door in the Hall of Statues. Beyond it was a short hallway and a room with six locked chests. Agnes checked the chests and found four to be trapped with fireball traps and two rather suspiciously untrapped. Having broken her lockpicks on the secret door to this chamber, Agnes was not willing to take a try at any of the chests here. So the group emptied out their bag of holding and put the chest in it. It barely fit.

Not ready to return to the Iron Keep yet, the group decided to investigate the portcullis to the morlock area. They found the portcullis closed again and lifted it open, spiking it in place in case they needed to retreat. They went to set the latch in the winch room and found six morlocks!

Another extended fight happened, with an enlarged Mog nearly dying early on as the morlocks swarmed him. Agnes dragged his body back while Gunnar and Tycho held the line against the morlocks, slowly wearing them down. Agnes used up nearly the entire supply of healing potions getting Mog back up [due to some bad rolls on the healing] allowing him to assist in the end of the fight. The last morlock eventually decided to run and the PCs let him, rather than run into another group of them. They let the portcullis close again and fell back to the surface to camp.

Out of healing potions, the group camped an extra day to heal before leaving Drop-Off Tower. Attempting to head north for the shore, they found them selves at the banks of the river to the east [they got really lost]. They followed the river down stream to the coast and then followed the coast a bit before needing to camp. The next day they arrived at Jericho’s Grave and attempted to cut across the tip of the forest using the Gravemarker Road (as it is being called now). They got lost and had to camp in the forest again.

The next day they quickly found their way to the Woodcutter’s Camp, but rather than follow the road back to the Iron Keep, they holed up here for the night, hoping to gain a little more experience before returning. [Mog was within 50 points of second level and the group thought they could get through one, maybe two encounters safely, let Mog level up, and then return, despite the fact that most of them had hit points in the single digits. The dice heard their plan and said, “oh yeah?”]

Early in the first watch (Gunnar’s), a group of giant ants showed up, deciding the PCs would make good food. They were wrong and were killed off fairly quickly. On Agnes’s watch, the group had to quickly move to avoid, first, an assassin vine and then two leopards out hunting. On Mog’s watch, a dire boar took exception to the PCs being in it’s territory and attacked. This was a tense fight as the entire party was low on hit points now and there was no healing magic available. The group killed the dire boar, but were now themselves a little closer to death. On Tycho’s watch, the two leopards the group avoided earlier returned, having caught the scent of dead pig. Rather than fight the leopards, the group threw them the ham hocks they had carved out of the boar. The leopards took the meat and left, much to the relief of the party.

When morning arrived, the group rapidly fled down the road to the Iron Keep. Once they were safely within the confines of Spider’s Bar, they paid Gunnar for the eight days of the expedition plus a 26 gp bonus for work well done. Gunnar was pleased with the pay and bonus and left to spend the money elsewhere on ale and whores.

After some discreet shopping, Agnes purchased a masterwork set of thieves’ tools and went to work on the chest. Taking her time and working with Tycho, she discovered a well concealed flame strike trap on the chest. There was much discussion as to whether or not Agnes was up to the challenge of disarming the trap.

Working out that there was a 50-50 chance of not setting of the trap and a 30% chance of disarming it completely, she took the chance. The trap went off anyway, burning Agnes severely but not fatally. Tycho quickly applied several healing concoctions to Agnes, eliminating the burns. Sadly, the same could not be said for the chest or its contents. The chest was destroyed and several books inside were burned to ashes. The gold in the chest melted into a sizeable lump, which the PCs sold for cash to the tune of 7000 gp.

Needless to say, many potions of healing were purchased with that money.

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