Friday, June 9, 2017

Session LXXXVII: Seriously, There Are No Minotaurs In The Maze

At long last, continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)

T'was last autumn when the party hunkered down in the village of Larm for the winter to prepare for the assault on Agathareon the ancient Red Dragon. Agathareon was defeated decades ago by Baron Blackmoore and bowed to his victor to not menace the lands of Eri'an again. But with the murder of Baron Blackmoor by the Little White King (Skwanky, but it was actually Televon dressed as a member of the Black Church - session 59), Agathareon considered the bond broken and began to covet the lands of Eri'an once again. A call went out to find other heroes to expand the ranks with Thenus and Torvin traveling to the east in search of other brave souls (having some wild adventures averting a dwarven army's invasion of a mad duke's village). Then on the night of the mid-winter's Black Sabbath, the Thunderock, home to Agathareon, erupted in fire. The red glow in the Grey mountains was seen even as far south as Larm.

With spring now here and all the heroes gathered together, the journey to Thunderock and Agathareon begins...

Spirits are high as the party left Larm into the wilderness but the first night on the road brought more to the group as four young men wanted to join the party and become famous for helping slay the dragon so as to impress the young ladies back home. Against the better judgement of the party, Chet, Frank, Joe, and Nanzy were brought into the fold, with Torvin giving them some training in fighting.

The third day they came across a Bard named Emerson.  He wanted to follow the exploits of the party's battle with the ancient dragon.

On the fifth day they came across an old blind man outside a hut. When they told him where they were headed, this man, Hithata, offered them a powerful magic item if they could bring back the heart of his rival, Koshan.  Koshan, it seemed, was imprisoned in a maze owned by Hithata during their battles but before he was locked away, he had stolen Hithata's eyes.  Seeking revenge, he wants the party to go into the maze and kill Koshan.

"There's not a Minotaur in this maze, is there?" asks Thenus.
"No, there is not a Minotaur in this maze," answers blind Hithata.

After Hithata had given the party direction and the keys into the maze, they set off of this 'brief' side-quest.

Finding the cave entrance, the party descended down until they came to a locked gate which one of keys opened.  Inside they found a room with two magical portals, one green and one red.  Not trusting the portals and becoming inpatient, Arg picks up Chet and tosses him into the green portal.  He immediately disappears. Testing the red portal proved to be shocking, one by one the party stepped into the green portal.  On the other side, they find that Chet was now dead, a victim of trying to return through the portal the had come from, which now was red also.  

Leaving Chet's body, the party continued deeper into the maze and came across a room with a wall of mist.  Thenus fires an arrow into the mist but it just disappears into the grey fog. Thovin the dwarf marches through the mist with everyone in tow so as not to get lost.  Once on the other side, however, Thovin is attacked by three Minotaur.  The rest of the party come to his aid and, after a brutal battle, finally defeat the monsters.  Thenus becomes quite angry over the fact that Hithata lied to her.

Onward, the come across a magical fountain, the water from which cures their wounds.  They also find a dead-end hallway with a relief carving of a skull with deep set holes for the eye sockets.

Going through a nearby door, the party is magically transported to another part of the maze.

More lost now then ever, they plod through more hallways, triggering a trap that fires a volley of arrows at the wandering group. As they explore, Centari comes across a secret door which leads them back to hallways they had previously explored.  So, they decide to take some other passages and this is when they find a barred chamber with lions on the other side.  However, once the bars are approached, those bars raise up and bars behind the party fall trapping them with the hungry lions.

The quick thinking Centari entangles the ferocious felines in a web spell leaving them simple prey for the party to dispatch....

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sidequest: The Curse of Xanathon Part 2...

...the actual session summaries

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Somebody (Samurai)
McDagger (Thief)
Gorp (Kobold Magic User) 
Kimbra (Cleric)
Steve (Cleric)
Torvin and Thenus left the main party seeking 'heroes' to aid in their battle against the ancient red dragon Agatheron.  They soon arrived in the town of Rhooma.  However, they found that the town was in despair as the Duke had been handing out bizarre proclamations.  
Heading to the tavern of the Spuming Nooga they discover that the Duke had outlawed ale and wine. While there, the city guards passed by with another proclamation making dwarves illegal. The bartender, who happens to be a dwarf, grumbled to the party about the Duke and about the strange happenings around the barracks.  

So, going to check out the barracks, the party was stopped by a group guards.  Not willing to comply with the guards and with McDagger failing to gain favor with them, a fight breaks out that results in the death of the guards. The party, now wanted by the guards, hid in the slums of Rhooma.

At nightfall, they attempted to break into the barracks finding only limited resistance.  Once inside they found clues that some former pirate captain by the name of Draco had taken charge over control of the guards and is the only one that currently communicates with the Duke and Xanathon, a priest of the chaotic god Cretia.  To put an end to the troublesome guards, Gorp tossed a fireball into the sleeping area of the barracks and kills scores of the guards in a hellish infernal.  With the ensuing chaos, the party escaped and hid out in the slums once again.

The next morning, it is learned that most of the guards killed were innocent towns folk with families.  In disgust, Kimbra leaves the party but the party teams up with Steve, a bit rigid man of faith.  The guards are searching the city, sector by sector, for the perpetrators of the murders.

The party hides out in the temple district as the guards have orders to not go to that area.  There, they break into the temple of Cretia and came face to face with Xanathon, however he is invincible - and nude.  The party gets their asses kicked and Xanathon proved to be immune to all forms of attack (as per the module).  The only escape route was through a giant window which they party dove through with a cinematic crash (as per the module).

Receiving the next clue to defeat Xanathon (from the module) leads them to a Cretian shrine hidden in the mountains.  Here the party had lots of trouble with zealots of Cretia who nearly killed the entire party.  If it wasn't for Torvin the dwarf, fighting on, the party would have faced certain doom!

Having more trouble with a transporting hallway and disguised pits, the party eventually found the caves beneath the temple.  There, they almost fell to a trio of carrion crawlers, but once again were saved by Torvin the dwarf.

Deeper delving produces the crypt and the mummy guarding Xanathon's heart - the Achilles' heel to his invulnerability.

Rushing back to Rhooma to avoid the invading dwarven army, the party confronted Xanathon once again, but he proved crafty. Using his godly magic, the party had to fight poison snakes including a giant one while battling the evil priest.  After a heavy toll, Xanathon was finally made mortal and killed.

It was next on to the castle to free the Duke from the clutches of Xanathon's henchmen Draco and captain of the guard. Another fierce battle ensued which brought the death of McDagger and Gorp, but the evil henchmen were eventually defeated and the Duke freed of the spell and the war with the dwarves averted and dead party members brought back to life and thus ended the The Curse of Xanathon.

This module actually took about 5 sessions to play and that was somewhat even condensed. You can read about the thoughts on the module as written here.

From here we move back to our main campaign storyline....


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