Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 45


Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Kuqhir of the Wastes Magic-User level 2 A thin, tall, dark skinned man with a magnificent beard that tickles his bellybutton. Dresses in silk robes and tightly folded turban embroidered with names of all known angels.
Brother Kallahan Cleric level 2 Crooked, broken nose; big bags under eyes; long hair, bald spot hidden under old pilgrim's hat; and emaciated figure. Mosquitoes and the smell of dampness always accompanies him.
BuddyPuddingBottom Elf level 2 Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.
Neremyn Elf level 1 A tall, pale, and lean scholar of languages with silver hair and a somewhat distant attitude.

Thistleburn 5th, Spiritday

“You have some explaining to do!”


As soon as Kallahan opened his eyes, he found himself being shouted at by Rhovar and slapped by BuddyPuddingBottom.

He was bruised, naked, and had a splitting headache. He couldn't remember much except being beaten unconscious in one of the Shang Ta temples.

The party—Amanka, Rad, Rhovar, Kuqhir, Kallahan, BuddyPuddingBottom, Neremyn and Pipluk—have been thrown into The Pit on the accounts of heresy against the Windgod, the Lawful Deity of Antil. In fact, the whole Hydra Company has been condemned, but only the preceding were brave enough to walk straight into the great Windgod Temple.

Rhovar and Kallahan were completely naked. BuddyPuddingBottom was naked except pants and face painting. The rest were in their adventuring garbs, since they had already learned it never goes planned with the Hydra Company.

“There is a skeleton over there. It's dressed in chain shirt and hold a short sword.”

“Can I take the armour?” Kallahan asked sheepishly.

“Will you take the front rank then?” Rhovar asked impatiently.

“Uh, but I am sooo weak and beaten...”

“I have a big ass flail with which I can hit from the second rank. Neremy, would you like to go up front?”

“I almost died to a piece of rock and just came back to my senses. Could I not?”

“I will be the big man! Give me the armour! I'll protect you! I'll stand at the front—alone!” BuddyPuddingBottom the Hero stepped forward and resolved the adventurers' dilemma.

Unbeknownst to the party, three hours have already passed since they were thrown into The Pit. And nothing did they know of it, nor its nature or inhabitants. All they knew was that they have to get out. Fast.

Most of the tunnels were thirty feet wide, with damp walls and stale air. They'd wind and turn and circle and widen and narrow. Most led nowhere, some led into expansive caves which then led on... It was a sprawling Pit, that's what it was.

A rattling urn scared the party into running away in one of the tunnels. In yet another one the party had found an illusory wall which took them into a large cave.

“Look! An upwards slope!”

Alas, even after climbing for several hundred feet, the party had found nothing but another dead end. This one was different though.

A broad wooden chest was standing just against the cave wall. It was so large two men could sit on it comfortably.

Kallahan approached it from the side. Yes, it was a large wooden chest. Then he checked it from the front. Yes, it was still a large wooden chest. Then he came closer to touch it.

Just as he did so a ghoulish creature jumped on the chest from behind. It crouched, with face to face with Kallahan. The naked cleric could smell the stench emanating from the creature.

“This is mine. Mine!” the creature hissed whilst banging on the chest.

Kallahan slowly backed away while speaking to it calmly.

“You should leave. Now!” the monster screamed.

“I think we should kill it and check the chest. I mean, what's it going to do? It is naked!” Kallahan “whispered” to his friends.

By now the creature had enough, and it jumped straight at the party. Heroic BuddyPuddingBottom stepped in front of Kallahan. He took the full brunt of the assault, successfully deflecting all claws and bites. Rhovar then crushed the monster's head.

“See? Easy.”

“There is a large padlock on the chest. Maybe we should check the creature for keys?”

Indeed, there was a large iron key hidden between the buttocks.

BuddyPuddingBottom approached the chest and unlocked the padlock. Then he grabbed the lid and opened it. He felt a prick on the ring finger. His body went limp and he fell face first into the open chest.

“Buddy no!”

“Quick, pull him out!”

Alas BuddyPuddingBottom had sung his last jingle.

While many were mourning their fallen jolly-maker, Kallahan checked the chest. Inside were five torches, a tinderbox, and a rusty knife. All had dried blood on them. He took them all.

Rhovar gently took off the chainmail from BuddyPuddingBottom and then donned it himself. Leaving the dead elf behind, party backtracked and continued their search for the exit.

They found a cave with an upright wooden coffer in the centre of the chamber. Naturally they set it on fire and fled as soon as something large scuttled out of it.

An hour or so later they found themselves in a remotely familiar large cave.

“This looks like the chamber where we were lowered. But where is the platform?”

“Look out!”

There was a wisp of pale light at the end of the long tunnel they just came out of. It was approaching the party rapidly.

“Form ranks!”

“Who goes there? Identify yourself!” Rhovar yelled.

“Ivaar, is that you?” the figure spoke back.

“Shit, a ghost...” Rhovar whispered to others.

“No, it is Rhovar! We have been thrown into the pit and are looking for a way out. Who are you?”

“I am Grond. I too am lost...”

Now that the figure was just a few steps away, the party could see it much better. It was in fact a man dressed in simple tunic tightened with a leather belt. Grime covered his long braided hair, and his beard braids were scruffy looking. He held a lantern in his left hand. The party couldn't help but notice that they could see through him. Kallahan elbowed Rhovar.

“Have you seen Ivaar? I've been looking for him...”

“Friend, I believe you might be dead. You have to pass on! To Valhalla!”

Grond looked around, his face a cauldron of emotions ranging from confused to scared. Then he suddenly zoned in on Rhovar.

“That armour! Where did you get it?! That is my armour!”

“We found it on a skeleton that looked long dead. Would you like us to take you there?”

“Oh. Oh. OH!”

“Yes. Please do.”

“What a polite ghost this is!” someone whispered.

Grond recounted what he could remember to Rhovar. He was a Skandik mercenary that arrived to Altanis on a paid assignment. Thabrians paid them to fight against various Altanian tribes. He even fought alongside Windriders. Most of his company perished when they demanded a fair share of plunder. Survivors were cast into this pit.

“Here we are. Let me put everything back as we found it...”

Rhovar placed the skeleton in the sitting position, including the sword that was stuck in its ribs with arms resting on the pommel.

Grond went pale(er).

“Oh no.”

He started rubbing his face nervously.

“No no no no no no no”

He mumbled incoherently.

“I remember now. I was here for days? Weeks? I couldn't take it anymore. So I ended it myself. Oh no.”

“Well my friend, Valhalla isn't for everyone.” Rhovar tapped the skeleton.

“I'm sure there are some other afterlives that accept people like you?” Kallahan added in his infinite wisdom.

None of the above landed well with Grond. He lit up like a supernova, his rage boomed through endless tunnels of The Pit,

“You dare lecture me, cur! I roamed the Romilion sea before your grandfathers! I plundered Altanis and stomped nobles into dust! I was the Scourge of Zothay, hated and feared! And you dare mock me!”

The party was absolutely consumed by fear. It was unlike anything they ever felt in their lives. Everybody ran as fast as they could, tripping over each other. They ran in blind panic without any conception or care of what might lie in the darkness ahead. For everything was better than the sickly, ever consuming light that was pursuing them.




Echoed down the tunnels.

The party fled for hours before they settled in some dead end to catch some breath.

“Rad, you don't look like a kid anymore?”

“You look older yourself mate.”

Indeed, all the party members looked ten or more years older.

“What a bad deal this was.” Pipluk lamented to Neremyn.

“We have to move on. We have to.”

By now everyone could feel their bodies slowly failing them. It's been over ten hours in this pit. Adrenaline can only take them so far.

Exploring various tunnels led them to more dead ends: both proverbial and literal. One tunnel terminated with a pit so deep they could barely hear echos of the rocks they threw down. Another led into a large chamber with gold yellow patches on the ground. A tunnel that reeked of rotten flesh, burnt wood, and something acidic was deemed to dangerous to explore. A chamber with many skeletons was also evaluated as too risky to explore.

“I feel a draft!”

Indeed, one of the chambers they were exploring had a whiff of fresh air.

“Everybody stop, we have to find the source!”


After about half and hour of searching, both Amanka and Rad found a spot where they could feel the air stream.

“Give me some rope, and I'll check it out.”

Rad scaled the rough cave wall with ease. It was mostly vertical climb, but after some fifty feet he had to continue whilst hanging from the ceiling since it slopped inwards. Although it was tough, and he was tired, formerly young thief managed to find a narrow opening in the cave ceiling. It was pitch black, but so was everything else.

“It is narrow. Very narrow. I don't think people with armour could fit. And I don't think backpacks could fit either.”

“Do we have enough rope to hang from the hole?”

“I have 50 feet of rope.” Amanka shared.

“I found some 30 feet of rope in one of the caves.” Rhovar added.

“How about we explore a bit more? I'm afraid of what might be lurking above.”

And so the party tried their best to mark the location, and moved on through one of the tunnels.

Eventually they found themselves in yet another expansive dark cave.

“Look ahead. Something doesn't look right.”

Indeed, the darkness up ahead looked like a shimmering sea. A roiling, boiling, glistening, impossibly black sea. It was inching closer by the moment.

“Uh, I think we should leave.”

As the party turned around to flee, so did the black mass pursue. As it came closer and closer, so did the air fill with smell so intense it burned the nostrils of anyone inhaling it.

Tired and bruised, Kallahan tripped on the uneven cavernous floor.

“No, I'm not ready for the great swamps of the afterlife!”

He screamed after the others as black mass enveloped him. He could feel his skin simultaneously burning and shredded to pieces.

Romphlothicus, the Frog Lord of Swamps and Swamp Dwellers, licked its lips. The torture Kallahan endured at the hands of the Shang Ta clerics was nothing compared to the suffering that awaited him.

“Keep moving! Don't stop!”

“Watch out!”

Neremyn could feel the burden of his wounds, despite having guzzled several healing potions. He tried to take a shortcut between several stalagmites. Alas, they were too dense and he had to backtrack. But there was no time to do so.

He pushed, and he slashed, and he cursed as the black mass consumed him, bit by bit. All his efforts were in vain.

“You are faster, move on without us!” Rhovar yelled.

Indeed, Amanka and Rhovar were the only ones in heavy armour. Rad, Kuqhir, and Pipluk could outpace them.

“Head to the cave with yellow patches! Let's get the creature to consume them! Maybe it dies!”

Unwilling to agitate the said patches, Rad, Kuqhir, and Pipluk tiptoed through that cave. Unfortunately, Rhovar and Amanka couldn't afford to move slowly so they did their best not to step on anything.

“Well that didn't go so bad!” Amanka said as she turned back to Rhovar. She could see him standing in a cloud of yellow, coughing violently.

“Take cover!”

Huge stone-coloured grasshoppers suddenly begun jumping across the cave, some of them hitting the walls. Wherever one looked, they could see a yellow cloud rising.

Hydra's heads are getting chopped off one by one.

Will it survive to see another day?

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

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