Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...
Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Wang Du (Monk)
Sir Gwain (Paladin)
Sir Gwain (Paladin)
Spending the first couple of days in the tower, recovering from wounds and smoking the fine tobacco and drinking the fine wine and ale left by the Wizard, initially puts some of the party at ease. Evenings, however, had proven troublesome as they all continued returning to the same hellish dreams of fire and torture which became more intense as the nights went by. In fact, it became so bad that one by one, each of the party eventually moved to the edge of the forest and set up a permanent camp only returning to the tower during the day. The only ones that didn't seem affected by the tower, and in fact, spent most of their time obsessively going through the library and studying was Centari and Gimp the Imp.
It was two weeks into their stay at the tower then Sir Gwain, a paladin of Mithra rode up to the camp on his horse. The priests in Berkenstok sent him to aid the party. Chatting with the party on the main floor of the tower, Sir Gwain spied the armory room with the untouched armor. Being in need of stronger armor and ignoring the lingering odor of mold, Sir Gwain, followed by the laughing half-orc Arg, tried to take the armor but an explosion of poisonous Yellow Mold puts a quick end to Sir Gwain's quest for armor... no wait, hold on, scratch that.... The party avoided* all talk of the armory and instead discussed exploring the wizard's tower, which they voted on NOT doing due to the deadly traps they had run into previous.
So they packed up their gear and headed out towards Larm to gather an army of heroes to fight this dragon!
The first day bushwhacking through the Grimmwood found Sir Gwain, Fermina and Antiope became enchanted by some mystical song floating on the air. At first the rest of the party tried to subdue their companions from walking off into the woods but soon then let them lead the way to the source - the source being. Three Wood-nymphs were trying to ensnare some protectors but as soon as they saw the party approach, they quickly disappeared into surrounding forest.
By the next day, however, Thenus felt that the party was being watched and they all prepared to protect themselves. Within their protected circle and elven arrow flew and landed in the exact center. The Perenth elves of Grimmwood had surrounded the party. The elves had been spying on the party for a couple of weeks ever since they had fought a goblin raiding party in the woods. They watched as they fought the wizard and took over the tower. But now, the elves say, that the party had unleased something far worse in the tower as a winged and flaming demon had been seen upon the rooftop. The elves felt that the party was responsible and that they should be the ones to deal with cleaning the spoil in their wood.
The elves led the party to their village and to their leader K'saeya who, even with a very strong argument of equality by Thenus, forbade the Half-orc, dwarf and Halfling from entering her village.
K'saeya gave the party the task of ridding the tower and her wood of the demon. So the next morning the party gathered and marched back to the tower to face the Balrog!
*So, we had a bit of a Retcon this session. The new PC, Sir Gwain the Paladin was a replacement for the demised Minimus. However, less than 20 minutes into the session, on Sir Gwain's very first roll - a save or die, he died. Oh, it was a big laugh at the table and quite memorable as he fell to explosive Yellow Mold to gain a magical Plate armor. He even beat out the shortest lived character who, at least made it through almost a complete session. So after our big laugh we rolled things back for a redo with the armor being completely avoided. Now this is something that I don't normally do but considering how the character only lasted 20 minutes and died on his first roll I thought we'd just roll it back and move on - but not without any consequence and that is where the Demon comes in. Now the Balrog is part of the adventure but to trigger his appearance is pretty tough. I just brought him in as another obstacle for the players to deal with in 'payment' of a RetCon. I've only done this once before when I overloaded the encounter and had a pretty quick TPK back in session 61. and worked the RetCon into quite the campaign adventure as the characters had to right an altered universe - which they did with much trial and tribulation. This incedent wasn't as drastic so I rolled with it and just added an unexpected challenge for them to deal with. We'll see how it plays out next session as the players would have happily avoided the upcoming encounter!