Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 53
|Harker||Fighter level 1||Top heavy hunk with skinny legs, wielding a massive great-axe with rose-motifs.|
|Rashomon||Elf level 1||A dangerous looking elf.|
|Gildree||Elf level 1||Expat from far away land with a permanent scowl. Attempts to integrate with locals by carrying halberd and blood-red plate mail adorned with little skull motifs.|
|Hagar the Hewer||Dwarf level 1||Imagine Conan as dwarf.|
A bit later...
|Marston Dangon||Magic-user level 1||A tall man engulfed by large cloak with broad, stuffed shoulder pads. Hundreds of sewn fireflies make his cloak look alive.|
|Lyffed||Elf level 1||Thin and balding elf whom also happens to be Rashomon's friend.|
Thistleburn 13th, Earthday
“Let's get the wounded out, recruit some more muscle and return.”
Having left Eon, Edimus, and Helmut in the care of talented acolytes of Poseidon, the enterprising duo ran into two equally enterprising adventurers.
One was Hagar, a savage, extremely muscled dwarf. Heck, the former ironsmith couldn't hide all the bulging muscles even if his life depended on it.
Another man, or rather elf, was a real eye sore on the streets of Hara. He had the face of a person who disapproves of everything and everyone around him. His blood-red armour covered with little skulls did not make him any more approachable. Gildree was all he said.
Both Hagar and Gildree were delighted at the prospect of earning some coin by exploring a cellar of haunted house.
“Then come and follow us!”
And so the new quartet was ready to descend down the ladders that hurt Eon so badly. The party improvised an anchor for the rope. Newcomers weren't really informed of the dangers, but were generously encouraged to rappel down first, nonetheless.
Luckily for all involved, no new traps were triggered.
The party found themselves in a simple thirty by forty feet chamber. Solid-looking wooden doors were to the west, and dark passageway to north-east. The latter led into a long, dark corridor stretching to the left.
“Hmmm, I could hear a yawning sound behind the doors.”
“Let's ignore and move on.”
“But what if it is a monster and we get ambushed from behind?”
“Let's ambush it first!”
And so the party arranged themselves around the door, prepared to cut down whatever might lurk behind.
A large, mean-looking mastiff starred down the wanna-be-ambushers, looking very unsurprised. The attackers rushed forward, finding themselves surrounded by four large canines.
One jumped on Harker, clawing and biting relentlessly. The young man fell down to the ground. The mastiff mauled him unconscious. At the same time, other two dogs took down Hagar, despite the dwarf's bulging muscles. In fact, he might've even lost some in the process...
“Uh, it looks a bit grim!”
Gildree unleashed his violence, leaping over the bodies of his fallen allies. He speared one of the dogs straight through the heart. Rashomon disemboweled the dog that dared charge him.
“You did your best, kid.” was the last thing Harker heard as the mastiff bit off his throat.
The two remaining elves fought for their lives, mopping up the surviving dogs.
“Hmmm... Let's get the wounded out, recruit some more muscle and return.”
Gildree asked, pointing at stiff Harker with gaping wound on his throat, and Hagar's tattered remains.
“The dwarf is still breathing.”
“Won't we look suspicious dragging two corpses through the streets?”
“Hmmm... You are right. Let's make it look like we are distressed and they need healing.”
And so the two elves dragged two mangled bodies to the Temple of Poseidon.
“My good elf, you were here merely an hour ago. Who are these new people that require our assistance? And I'm sorry to say, but that young man looks like beyond saving.”
It didn't matter what the acolytes had to say, for Rashomon flashed the ring given to him by Hara's castellan, and the acolytes had to obey.
“Done. Now let's recruit few more talents like yourself Gildree.”
Lo and behold! Rashomon just happened to run into Lyfeed, an elven warrior priest from the same land as himself. It didn't take a lot of persuading to get him to join. Some details might have been omitted.
Like attract like. A tall man dressed in ominous looking cloak adorned with hundreds of fireflies approached the party. He was flanked by a stacked rottweiler responding to “Danny.”
“Marston Dangon, wizard looking for adventure.”
“Well, you found it!”
The new quarter returned to the cellar of the haunted house just as sun started to set.
“What happened here?”
“Nothing much. Few dogs lying in ambush. We easily dispatched them.”
“Well, myself and the previous party.”
“Ahh, I see.”
The canine corpses were the only interesting thing in this, otherwise bare, chamber.
Moving down the dark corridor, the party encountered another sharp turn as well as closed doors. Peeking through revealed another small chamber—this time devoid of large mastiffs.
A simple table and four chairs were by the west wall. Four empty cups and small casket of wine rested on the table. A large lever on the south wall was set in the “up” position. The party carefully pushed it into “down” position using a pole.
Following the corridor they reached yet another hard turn. And then another. This time there were bloated doors opposite the corridor. One of the member gently broke through, sending them flying into a chamber full of debris. Offensive smell of rot and dampness assailed their nostrils.
“Screw this, let's move on.”
After half an hour or so of walking down the corridor the party encountered yet another hard turn. The corridors were mostly ten feet wide and some seven feet high. They were simple hewed affairs. Sometimes they'd run into pools of stale water. Some wall portions were damp.
Lighting torch after torch, the party moved down the corridors without rest. They ignored all the narrow passageways, opting to stick with the broader ones.
Unbeknownst to them, hours and hours passed.
Indeed, they finally ran into something that wasn't a long, wet corridor.
“Can't hear anything...”
THUD! CRAAACK! THUD!
Another successful gentle opening, as attested by broken doors lying flat on the ground.
The party entered into a large fifty by thirty foot room. Another doors were on in the middle of north wall, two smaller doors were in the south-west and south-east corners respectively, and an open archway in the middle of south wall.
A long table dominated the room. It was surrounded by nineteen chairs. A large, fifteen by ten foot map dominated the west wall. Rashomon recognised what it was a map of—Hara.
Many buildings had weird symbols on them: circles, crosses, check marks, dots, and similar.
“Let's pack the map and get out. I'm sure castellan will appreciate this.”
All other doors didn't budge as well. Forcing the north doors open revealed yet another long corridors. Smaller door in the south-east corner on the other hand led revealed a small chamber.
A crude bed in the southeast corner, a shelf holding an unlit candle on the south wall, and a small closed chest on the floor in the northeast corner were all there is to it. It was the most lavish room they have encountered so far!
The party poured in, dreaming of treasure. Gildree opened the chest with a pole. A cloud of purple gas filled the room, dropping Rashomon and Marston.
Gildree recovered fifteen obsidian gems and seven rock crystals from the chest. Lyffed poked the prone bodies. They did not react. Listening closely, he could hear both were still breathing.
The duo closed the doors of the small chamber, and holed there until Rashomon and Marston awoke from their magical slumber.
Thistleburn 14th, Fireday
“I think now is really the time to go back!”
“But which way? We passed miles and miles of these twisting corridors...”
“Don't worry, for I have been mapping as we went!”
And thanks to Rashomon's fine notes, the party managed to find their way back to the chamber with ladders leading into the haunted house.
Lyffed scaled the rungs. No traps were activated in the process.
The elf was greeted by a number of sharp tips and scowling faces.
“Drop your weapons and slowly come out.”
Rashomon, Marston, and Gildree were engaged in banter, not paying close attention to what's happening above.
Suddenly the doors behind their back flung open, and six figures poured out.
“Drop your weapons, scum!”
“Do you know who I am!” Marston demanded “The mightiest mage you have ever met!”
“Are you mightier than Klekless Racoba?!” one of the armed men yelled back, unfazed.
“Drop your weapons now, scum!”
“Look how they butchered mu puppies! Let me gut them all!” a cracked voice could be heard in the background.
Lyffed prepared to grab the rope and rappel down in the chamber, unaware of the fact his friends have just been surprised.
Rashomon prepared his Magic Missile, Gildree tensed his halberd, and Marston still wondered who the hell is Klekless Racoba.
Will Rashomon have to recruit new adventurers after this encounter?
Or will this encounter spell the end of his worries?
Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.
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