Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 37


Character Class Description
Amanka Cleric level 1 Dour, glum, tight-lipped, and baggy-eyed cleric with a gravestone-shaped talisman. She reveres the Fallen One, a petty god of fallen warriors and unsung heroes.
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Eccy Throi Elf level 1 Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Gomm Thief level 3 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Delphine the Spiteful Fighter level 1 Colossal and violent woman so ugly most people flinch when they see her. Gomm's newlywed wife.

Sunstrong 8th, Earthday

“This is the place. But this isn't how we left it...”

Rad warned the rest of his party. And what a party they were! A dozen adventurers accompanied by no less than thirty mercenaries!

Amanka, the newest recruit, was a woman of little words and big bags under her eyes. A gravestone-shaped talisman hung around her neck.

They marched from Kestizar to this abandoned keep, seeking to take it over from bandits whom claimed it at the moment. Or so they thought.

Two dilapidated towers, joined by equally miserable looking gatehouse stood in front of them. Entrance to the east tower was splattered with blood.

Rad, Gomm, Delphine, Eccy Throi, and Amanka formed the scouting party.

Rhovar led remaining adventurers and mercenaries several hundred yards away, looking for a defensible position where they can make camp.

The scouts opted for the west, blood-less tower. Once they came close enough, they could see that the “doors” were in fact just a piece of large wood jammed between two walls. There were no obvious hinges, and it barely fit in.

Delphine the Door-opener made a short work of it. A five foot wide, fifteen foot long corridor laid in front of her. Proper doors were at the end of the path.

Rad remembered some of his former colleagues perished in a similar corridor to this one. Eccy rebuffed all suggestions to find a boulder and push it down the path in order to trigger any floor traps.

Hence Delphine unsheathed her massive two-handed sword, and started methodically pounding the ground with the hilt.

“Jump back!” Eccy yelled the moment he heard a click.

Alas, even though she heard him in time, the floor gave in under her bulk and she hadn't had the time to grab the ledge.

Two nasty cracks were heard.

One from the big woman's neck; the other from Gomm's heart.

“We can't leave her here.” Amanka finally spoke up.

With a little bit of rope and time, they recovered Delphine's warm corpse and left her by the entrance. Some adventurer's helped to her belongings as well.

Pressing on, the scouting party slowly entered into a fifteen by fifteen foot chamber. There were three doors ahead of them; one on each wall. Two statues stood with the back against the norther wall as well.

Upon closer inspection, these seemed to be noble-men. One was male, and the other was female. The latter one had a weathered tablet on which “Vesta Rodemus” was chiselled. Both statues had an overbite, giving them slightly rodent-like face.

“I heard voices!”

Indeed, two voices were heard from behind north doors. They did not sound alarmed, in fact they sounded like a normal conversation between two, or more, individuals.

Gomm and Rad hid behind the statues, ready to backstab any poor bastard coming through these doors. Eccy and Amanka took the centre position. Then they started banging their weapons, and making as much ruckus as they can, in order to provoke the attack.



“OK, time to flee!”

The scouting party exited the same way they came in. Now they turned east, hugging the tower walls, and into the passageway that leads through the gatehouse.

At the center were two doors, left leading to west tower, and right leading to east tower. Gomm went to listen at the left doors, Rad right doors, Amanka and Eccy secured the corridor on south and north sides.

Just as Gomm was to press his ear against the doors, two gaunt figures flung them open. Both looked emaciated, pale, and panicked.

“Get out of the way! Flee you fools!”

Gomm stepped to the side and allowed the men to exit. Cleric of the fallen subtly tripped one of them, while the other fled north.

Amanka and Eccy easily overpowered the man, tied him up, and put a sack over his head. In the beginning he fought quite ferociously, given his frail frame. He calmed once he realised they were dragging him away from the keep.

“Where is the might warrior?!” one of the mercenaries asked.

Gomm's tears were enough of an answer.

Hydra Company applied subtle techniques to motivate their new prisoner to divulge all he knows. Details are best left unsaid.

“Heletor is the name. The lucky git that got away is Eyulr.”

“We were in the former barracks, which are the central room of the west tower, seeking stash of our former company. When we heard the noise we fled in panic, fearing it was the Yellow Demon.”

“Several months ago a band of adventurers assaulted the keep. Their mightiest warrior rushed in and died. That is at least what our allies had told us. But ever since then a horrible creature has been roaming the keep and underground dungeons.”

“It has devastates and demolishes everything in its way. I personally have never seen it... But have witnessed the consequences!”

“Anyone who looks at it dies a horrible death! And you can know it is coming because of sounds of scrapping metal and intense smell of rotten eggs.”

With a little bit more of motivation, Heletor drew the map of west tower, as well as the gatehouse.

“Ser Roenald was quite a savvy businessman. We would intercept carriages and accost any noble passenger. Then we would charge their family for protection services.”

“When he was killed, our company fell apart. Finegan “The Brutal” gathered the most vile members, and took to the forest northwest of here. Last I heard was that they are seeking to establish a new stronghold.”

“But I am much smarter than him.” now the captive tapped the side of his temple with index finger “Why fight when you can come back and recover hidden stashes of treasure? Ha! But then you interrupted me...”

With treasure as the key word, the scouting party hurried back to the gatehouse so they can check the veracity of the map and find this “stash.”

Instead they found room after room of absolutely demolished furniture, scuttling rats, cobwebs and dust. One of the rooms looked particularly grim, with iron manacles fastened against the walls.

Perhaps more curious were large trapdoors that had a pile of broken furniture on them—as if the latter were placed to keep the former closed.

Another room worth mentioning is what looked to be some sort of study. A large desk flanked with tall bookshelves by each side dominated the center of the room. It was utterly devastated, with many scroll cases, parchment papers, and books strewn around.

Still, Rad's and Gomm's treasure detectors (or junk, depends on who you ask) went off, and they dove straight into it. Half an hour later and they were richer by three divine scrolls (recognised by Amanka as Bless, Light, and Cure Light Wounds), three scrolls that Eccy believes might be arcane, and two books.

One was a leather-bound journal entitled “Rodemus family diary.” The pages, unfortunately, were beyond unreadable. The other was “Annals of the Black Dragon” which contains many graphic accounts of devastating nature of acid breath.

Rad also found a piece of parchment that had “Rodemus” and “rat” scribbled on it.

Pressing on, they arrived into the central chamber. What a disappointment! Nothing but cut-up sacks and rotten straw. Not a single coin in sight! Not even a copper one!

Eccy's fine ears picked something else up. Sounds of dozens small claws scratching at the doors just behind them. Gomm rushed to the doors and started hammering in iron pitons. Whenever a rat managed to squeeze from under the doors, he'd smash it as well.

The sounds became louder and louder, as if hundreds of rats were behind that damn door. They could hear the clawing sounds climbing up the doors.

“Time to leave!”

Gomm poured oil right in front of the doors, and set them alight as he fled.

The former study was now overflowing with rats gnawing at the pile of torn parchment papers. The party did not give them time to react, and just kept on running.

Heavily armoured Amanka and Eccy lagged a bit behind. It was Eccy who noticed that pile of broken furniture on the trapdoors was trembling.

What a magnificent motivation that must've been!

Rad was the first to reach the camp, closely followed by Gomm. Amanka came next, and Eccy arrived last.

There they took a breather to study their newly acquired possessions. They were not coin, but were gold none the less.

And then the question came.

“What now?”

Indeed, what now?

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

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