Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Session XVIII: Harrowood

After looting the lair of the Beast-men within Harrowood, Wolfheir, Gnarly (along with his Mushroom-men), Tibag, Skwanky and Nadrak the Adept of Mithra discovered a path leading away from the lair. As they decided to follow the path, Geedleesmote, Slick Vinny and Adara headed back to camp to meet up with the rest of the party later.

Following the trail, it was soon discovered that it led to a source of water; the River Blackmoore. Not knowing where the ruined temple may be, Wolfheir believed that following the river may lead them to another path and then perhaps the temple itself. After all, the current occupants would need a source for water as well.

They decided to head north-west along the River Blackmoore. Travelling through the morning they eventually discovered a recently used path leading off into Harrowood. Following the path deeper into the woods, they soon came upon a gruesome site. Impaled upon pikes on either side of the path were rotting heads of the Beast-men!

Thinking there may be booby-traps ahead, Gnarly moved off the path and into the brush ahead of the party. Sure enough, he soon discovered a pundge trap in the middle of the trail.

Avoiding the trap, the party continued down the trail. Eventually the trees thinned out and revealed an ancient gray stone structure. Thinking that this may be the temple that they sought, they entered. Within the first chamber they discovered a stone statue of a once beautiful woman, now desecrated and defiled. Unlocking one of two doors within the chamber, Tibag led the party down a corridor where they found a circular room with a similar stone statue, again defiled.

Continuing around a corner they discovered a large open chamber. Within the chamber was a raised stone platform. Upon the platform was a heavy wood base onto of which was a cast copper skull. It seems they may me nearer than they thought!

While the others explore the room, Skwanky continued down the corridor and found another large open chamber. Peering in he sees a short, stiffly moving wooden figure walking towards him. Always out to make a new friend, the Halfling stepped into the chamber greeting this new fellow as the others caught up to him. The wooden figure raised his fists and brought them down onto the Halfling shattering bone and knocking the little adventurer to the floor mortally wounded and unconscious!

Tibag, along with some of Gnarly's mushrooms charged into the room defending their little companion. As Wolfheir ran up the corridor to aid the others, he fell into a pit trap. As the Viking began to climb out, Tibag swung at the little wooden automaton but missed and sliced his companion mushroom in half! The little wooden Golem then turned his attention to the master thief and began to pummel the half-elf, half-dwarf. With the help of Gnarly, Tibag and the Druid dispatch the creature. Nadrak used his first healing potion on the near-dead halfling and brought him back from the brink.

Regrouping once again, the party continued forward and found another circular room. This time, however, there was a statue of a woman cast in copper, unmolested. A brief examination turned up nothing of interest.

Throughout their exploration of the temple halls, the party was trying to match their map to the one found within the Beast-men's lair but to no avail. They felt that the next room that they discovered was a potential match. Opposite a short flight of stairs down, the chamber was empty save for a polished stone alter. While Gnarly and his mushrooms examined the stairs, the others entered into the chamber led by one of the larger mushrooms. Suddenly, the floor beneath them gave way and they tumbled into the darkness below!

Gnarly and Nadrak caught sight of their companions disappearing below ground. Not wanting to be separated from the rest of their party, they decided to face the same fate so they charged into the room. Sure enough, the floor opened and they too are dropped below into the darkness….

With the floor swinging back into position with a woosh! the party found themselves in complete darkness. Quickly trying to spark a torch they hear a rush of footsteps coming towards them. With a torch lit, they found themselves in a rough chamber with a passage running out. Coming from this passage were the grunts of pig-faced orcs!

Gnarly sent forth his wounded giant Mushroom-man to delay the orcs while Wolfheir poured oil along the entrance. The Orcs made quick work of the Mushroom-man and began to rush into the chamber to attack their prisoners. Wolf ignites the oil burning one of the orcs to death. As the other orcs wait for the fire to die down, the dead Mushroom-man had sprouted spores which quickly grew into little Mushroom-men. These caught the Orcs by surprise. The trapped orcs fought with the mushrooms and as the fire died down the party finished off the remaining orcs and the last tiny Mushroom-man who would not fall under their control.

Exploring the tunnels beneath the main level of the temple, the party discovered the orc's quarters and their vile debauchery. That didn't stop them from looting the orc's treasures, naturally!

More explorations brought them to a flight of stairs leading up. This led to a secret door and to a passage back within the temple proper. An open chamber revealed to the party a similar pedestal this time with an iron skull.

Traveling up the passage, they saw a dim warm light coming from another chamber. It was decided that Tibag would sneak up to see what's what. Lo', kneeling before a candle lit alter were six dark priests, one of whom heard Tibag sneak up. That priest stepped up to the doorway and peered around the corner. He didn't notice the hidden thief but spied the torchlight from the thief's companions. Sounding the alarm, he and his companions rushed into the hall and charged the explorers. Two of them, however, triped over the hidden Tibag.

A fierce battle ensued with the party standing victorious in the end and with Tibag having slain priests two himself!

3 comments:

  1. This looks to be a hoot! Sorry I missed it but I was worn out from all the travel and D&Ding! Im there next week though! FO SHO!

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  2. There's plenty of action for Geedlee to get into on Monday. I never though one can OD on D&D...

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  3. While I hate to see our mushroom buddies reduced to one (and Tibag feels bad about the one he sliced by accident), there was great beauty in that moment. Sending forth the mushroom man with one hit point, expecting full well that he would spore; blocking the orcs with fire so that the spores could germinate; watching over the flames as the orcs got a nasty surprise; cleaning up the remains. The sacrificial mushroom even dodged the orcs' initial blows to get one good hit in, himself! He really gave his all and took one for the team.

    I agree about the miniatures - excellent for the fighting, and good for marking party order all of the time. The dungeon tiles were VERY useful in the large fights, as it gave us a great handle on the tactics. I remember several specific moments dealing with doorways, etc. that would have been much more difficult/confusing without them.
    It was cool laying them out for the whole dungeon, but not essential, and probably not worth it for most of the place - laying down corridors and other normal rooms is a lot of work.
    I would say definitely do it for the encounters, but we can just map the rest of the place. There's some fun in the inexactness of the general map, too. :)
    ("what the - these should connect, shouldn't they?")
    Makes it more realistic I guess. :)

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