Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...
Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Wang Du (Monk)
With a quick resurrection spell, Minimus raised (the un-killable) Skwanky from the dead, who, in addition to being quite pale due to his run in with the Soul Gem, is also charred black from the Centari's fireball attack as well as being a were-rat having been struck by a poison needle.
With the party all together once again and the were-rat's defeated and destroyed, they continued to explore the throne room of the still sizzling Rat-King. Finding his bedchamber they also found an unlocked heavy oak chest. After assuring everyone that the chest wasn't trapped, Wang Du opened the chest which exploded a puff of poison gas. As everyone dove for cover, the Dwarf, who was occupied with the stonework of the chamber fell dead.
After letting the chamber air out, it was thought best to rest for the night and head back to town in the morning, against the wishes of Wang Du who wanted to continue to explore the rest of the tunnels.
With the party refreshed, Miniumus healed the wounded and brought the dead dwarf, Torvin, back to life.
Making their back way though the tunnels and back to their camp in the hills, they find a tied and beat-up Biggs who was left as a message from the ogres that the party had beaten up a few nights prior. With their horses taken by the Ogres, the party used their raft to float victoriously back to Berkenstok.
The town is quite thrilled to have their drinking supply safe once again but there is concern that there is more afoot than appears. However, the celebration is cut short over at the Hackyshack Inn when the party finds that another group of adventurers had explored Xlarthan's ruins, fought a dragon and returned with treasure and the magical Soul Gem!
There was much debate over the truth of this tale as our party, in the explorations in Xlarthan's ruins, had discovered not one but two dragons within the depths. It was there that Skwanky had given the dragons the Soul Gem. The new group insisted that they had fought only one dragon. Wang Du laughed and insisted that there were two dragons and that the one living dragon will come to town and seek vengeance upon the town. This, of course, frightens the townsfolk, but the rival party insisted that there was only a single dragon. This went on and almost came to blows but eventually it was put to rest with a wait and see attitude. However, the argument then shifted as to who owned the Soul Gem. Skwanky felt it was theirs since his friends were trapped inside while the rival party claimed it as they had found it after slaying a dragon. It was decided to have the local wizard, Mystor, try to free Skwanky's friends and then afterwards, the rival party would keep the gem for themselves.
After a week of rest and recovery and wizardly research, Mystor had successfully freed Arg the half-orc, Wolfheir the Viking, and Torvin the cleric of the Black Church (who have been trapped in the Soul Gem since session 59).
Minimus, follower of Mithra, wished not to travel with Torvin of the Black Church as the two sects are currently at war with each other over the death of Baron Blackmore. Minimus captures Torvin and throws him in the dungeon beneath the Berkenstok's church.
With their old friends back and the rival party their new friends, Mystor and Mayor Tubbutter talked with the party about dealing with the Red Wizard in the Grimmwood. It was decided that the Red Wizard must be confronted for his attack on the town and that the two parties would unite to accomplish this.
The next day, the the last horses that the town could offer up, the extended party left Berkenstok, crossed the River Blackmore and entered the Grimm Hills seeking the Red Wizard. The first night of their journey didn't go as planned as they were waylaid by large party of roving bandits. However, this proved fatal to the bandits as the veteran warriors of the party literally made mincemeat of those brigands before they even had a chance to retreat back into the darkness.
The rest of the night proved peaceful and the next morning the party left the hills and entered the Grimmwood...