Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Session #11 - The Big Sleep - Year 4433, Day 100-105

Baum did not adventure with the group this time.  Instead,studying the keep’s historical notes and tomes kept him busy.  All will be revealed once the party deals with the aftermath of session #11!

The Castellan’s nephew arrived from Bard’s Gate by caravan a day prior (Year 4433 Day 115).  A seasoned, disciplined warrior, Fardalf Wydigast, immediately offered his sword in arms to his uncle, the Castellan, as it was obvious to him evil was all about. The Castellan introduced Fardalf to his heroes disclosing everything.  Fardalf thereby joined the band representing the Castellan. 

With Fardalf accompanying and Baum buried in books, the party descended below the keep.  They continued past the teleport chamber.  One of the elves found a secret door on the northern wall.  As Chopper and the others took a closer look a Roper abomination found them.  Its 50 foot strength-draining tentacled arms flung out from the darkness and snatched various party members dragging them them into its hungry maw.  The strength of the monster was overwhelming.  This is until Morgan pulled out his Wand of Enfeeblement and zapped the thing.  Luckily the magic was great and the roper succumbed collapsing to the ground in a heap of gelatine weakness.  Chopper leap for the helpless creature, blade flaming and he gutted it.  If not for the miraculous wand, some of them would have died for sure.

After the battle, they retreated to Ogden’s secret base.  They had to restore strength drained by the Roper. After many hours they returned to the scene.  Not a moment later, Rothaga was attacked by some invisible creature.  Nilbog cast detect magic revealing its thousand teeth.  The wizards took the thing down with magic missiles moments later.  They then turned their attention back to the secret door.  

Nilbog detected an evil presence pacing back and forth about 80 feet to the north and twenty feet down.  Chopper opened the secret door.  They found a narrow hallway of descending stairs beyond.  They proceeded carefully until discovering an undead spectre chanting in front of a statue of the evil god Set.  There was also a smaller 2 foot pillar in front of the statue.  The pillar was made of the same black rock similar to what they found inlaid all throughout Blueheart’s tomb.  The spectre chanted: “Set, Set, Merchant of Death, let us all feel your soul chilling breath!”  Interrupted, it turned to them and let out a frightening scream and attacked Chopper.  Chopper resisted the fear and the party took it out. They then destroyed the statue but could not deface the 2 foot pillar of Necrostone.

They continued past the Roper lair.  They detected fresh air coming from the southern passage and found it led to an open chimney to the surface some 120’ up.  Weak light filtered down to the floor littered with debris and bones.  They searched for an hour, considered climbing up but instead turned their attention to the southern passage.

That other passage led to deeper caverns.  Now more and more phosphorescent fungi populated the walls.  The light is not enough for humans to see per se, but enough to get a sense of the extent of caverns and movements and the like.  The elves see perfectly up to 90’ when this glowing light source is present.

Continuing downward to the sound of an underground river, they found another massive cavern.  A 20 wide deep river ran through the cavern with no bridge or means of crossing to be seen. Water flows north to south.  The party had enough time to see the extent of the cavern, probe the water depth, and for Chopper to stumble upon some sort of fleshy gibbering crawly thing.  This is about when they realized the structure across the river was the grand entrance to the lair of the Red Masked Orcs.  

The arrows did not begin all at once, but when they began only more and more came.  The orcs had murder holes at almost every possible location in the cave wall across the river.  The party braced themselves for battle, knocking away this or that arrow.  Four cave trolls emerged from the entrance of the orc lair.  The trolls didn’t stop at the edge of the river; they kept coming.  This is about when Fardalf actually tried blocking an arrow with his neck!  A moment later Nilbog’s reassuring hands pulled it out of his neck in one smooth motion.  

So here is the situation, there are possibly twenty orcs shooting arrows, four massive pissed-off regenerating cave trolls already across the river, and a gibbering mound of flesh thing just coming around the corner behind them.  This is when Morgan cast an all-time epic sleep spell.  All the orcs dropped.  The trolls dropped.  The gibbering thing dropped.  The humans dropped.  Morgan set the wake condition to be Morgan saying one’s name.  They quickly awoke the humans in the party and then rather than celebrate, Morgan worried, he knew the range and scope of his spell was massive and likely included all persons in the keep.  Nilbog senses Macrobius knows the keep sleeps.  

What the party does from here we will find out in session #12.


Session #10 - Castellan Ogden's Secret Base - Year 4433, Day 98-100

After a few days’ rest, they ventured past the hallway of pillars below the keep.  More gargoyles awaited their doom including a rather large gargoyle prime beyond the pillars.  The party moved on.  

The cavernous hallway branched to the southwest and north.  They found the northern passage blocked by a massive set of iron doors with a triple-ascending lock mechanism.  Spider webs clogged the passage the other way.  They put themselves on guard while Chopper began picking the lock. After his fifth or so failure, three panic-stricken orcs burst from the webbed stalagmites.  There were four giant scarlet funnel spiders in pursuit from behind them.  Without much trouble, they put down the red skull masked orcs somewhat mercifully and dispatched the spiders quickly as well.

Back to the locks, Chopper picked them less than an hour later.  The hallways beyond appeared lifeless and abandoned.  Probably for years. With the immediate area seemingly secure, the party re-locked the doors and investigated the next immediate threat: the spiders.  

The webbed passage continued farther than any of them could see.  In front of them, they saw a steel bridge ripped and melted in some areas but still intact about 20 feet above.  Spider webs draped the whole thing.  There were passageways on both sides of the bridge – each was web-filled.  An epic battle followed. Ten more giant funnel spiders destroyed along with a gigantic mother spider.  Spider goo dripped from everywhere.  Not a single spider bite amongst them thanks to well-used sleep spells.

The gigantic spider came from the southern way, so that is where they investigated next.  The next room bathed in a dull blue light emanating from the pillars that surround the map scribed on the floor.
There is a matching light at locations on the floor next to each pillar seemingly matching sets.  The map rendering is accurate though rough.  It is 50 x 15 feet in an oval.

The center dot is the Keep they can plainly see.  The wizards read the dwarven scripted labels for the others:

• The southwest dot reads “Harhassan’s Tower”.  It is glowing. 
• The southeast dot reads “Falon Castle”.  It is glowing.
• The northeast dot says “Sulzannarg Lighthouse”.  It is glowing.
• The northwest reads “Gnomeport Dock” but is not glowing.
• The last is in the middle of the maps and reads: “The Keep”.  It glows as well.

One of the party members touches the pillar representing the keep. Indeed, they find the device teleports one to the open rooftop above the Castellan’s chamber.  Back to the group they made their way out of the teleportation chamber and back to the triple-locked doors.

Beyond the doors, they found the secret underground base for the original Keep’s creator: Castellan Ogden.  The base was ghostly quiet. Many discoveries and quiet rooms waited: an armory and training area, bedrooms, a privy, a meeting room, treasure room, and, oh yeah, an evil temple with an active gate to the abyss and a trapped Xolotl demon that slaughtered Ogden and two others in his party.  However, we get ahead of ourselves.  

Before the party moved on the evil temple to confront the demon, two important events occurred: The party discovered the bones Ogden’s Curate: Theseus.  There found a poisoned dagger in his back.  Then the spirit of Theseus spoke to Nilbog.  He explained what this place was and how a band of dwarves help build it and the keep.  He told of their wizard Shang Macrobius’ treachery.  The gate built and demon summon while Ogden’s party fault against an invasion of giants from the southern hills.  Ogden and band never had a chance in melee with the demon. Nilbog saw that the bones were properly laid to rest in the keep boneyard.  He feels Theseus will speak to him again.

The second important event is they told the entire story to the current Castellan.  There was no hesitation; he offered his personal services in battle. Along with four of his sergeants, they all took to the deep to engage this demon.  They burst through the sealed door alerting who knows who and entered Shang’s secret place.  They saw the thing, a ten-foot humanoid monstrosity with emerald skin. It was a muscular nightmare with claws of jade, his neck ended in a glistening orifice ringed with razor-sharp teeth and four pale blue tentacles. Droplets of lavender-scented saliva clung to his neck and dripped down his chest. The demon diseased all the humans right off; they all began bleeding from every orifice.  If not for epic the wizard’s epic magic missiles and a thunderous holy bolt summoned by Nilbog, the battle could have been much worse for them. The only one who had a chance to be hit was the Castellan who tripped and fell face first 20 feet away in front of it.

After slaying the thing, Nilbog had to lay hands on all the bleeding humans.  Blood was everywhere.  He did not make it to the sergeants in time.  All four perished.  After the battle, they searched the odd cavern and wondered how Ogden could not have known.  The found powerful magic items belonging to the former Keep leaders.  The current Castellan offered the underground base and any treasure found in it for the party’s allegiance.  The keep now needs protection from below and fears what might be waiting.

The names of the originators of the keep are:

Castellan Ogden - Paladin
Curate Theseus - Cleric of Mitra
Shang Macrobius – The Corrupted Wizard
Captain Jeddak - Ogden’s right-hand
Dugar the Delver – Security…


Session #9 – The Chimera Prime Below the Keep - Year 4433, Day 95-98

The party rested a week or so.  The nightmares began early in the week for Nilbog.  His dreams were about an evil lich named Macrobius.  In them, Macrobius awaits in a barrow between Blueheart’s tower and the Caves of Chaos.   Nilbog prayed and Mitra commanded.  Nilbog must exorcise Macrobius to become Mitra’s chosen Curate of the Keep.  With Macrobius gone, elves, gnomes, and men will, once again rule the Fellgrim Forest region providing another stronghold against the Prince of Evil, Orcus who resides in Rappan Athuk about 15 miles east off the coast.

They received several reports of activity at the caves.  The Orcs of the Purple Claw are augmenting their ranks from the wild coast.  And, they are moving into the goblin and hobgoblin caves the party cleared out.  Nilbog thinks they are being drawn to Macrobius (whether they know it or now).  The forest rangers, mostly high elves and wood elves, banded together and strike the orcs daily.  About sixteen of them engage the orcs daily; mostly hit and run ambushes outside the caves.

All rested up, they went to dig up Zoltar.  You remember they buried Z in a shallow grave outside Blueheart’s tower.  Worm-food now, of course, they did find three magic items as Chopper promised they would: a ring of protection +1, a wand of returning, and a wand of ray of enfeeblement.  They reburied Zoltar, ending this grisly little side quest.  Before they returned to the keep, Chopper said a few words for Zoltar since Nilbog, who tending to matters in the Temple of Mitra back at the Keep, was not present. 

Upon returning, they found the keep in turmoil.  Guards were on high alert.  The Castellan summoned them to his inner ward and reported that his men discovered a secret passage in lower cold storage.  He explained that he then sent an exploration team, but they returned minutes later fearful and in literally in flames.  All of their uniforms blackened by intense fire.  Two sergeants did not return.  The found a deep cave guarded by a fell beast.  Descriptions of the thing were vague, but most reported it had the body of a lion and a snake tail that breathed fire (at them!).

The party knew what was next.  Yes was the answer.  Of course they would (try to) slay the beast for the Castellan.  They stocked up on mostly free supplies and began their descent soon after.  They found the stairs to be terraced and narrow; a combination of natural and man made elements.  It appears there has been about 50 years of inactivity in this lost place.

They entered a large cavern that was absolutely dark.  The humans couldn't see an inch in front of them.  There was a torch and a spot lantern for light.  As a group they crept along the right-side wall until they saw it: a massive chimera prime, awake and upset; body and head of a lion, another head of a single-horned bull, a fire breathing serpent tail and in other places grotesque tentacles wiggled out of it.

Chopper began climbing to see if he could hide, but fell to the ground, missing a foothold.  The others did what they could before its tail breathed fire on them all.  Burnt and clothing blackened as a group. Morgan practically died and now has permanent facial scarring.  Only a sleep spell from Melkin slowed the thing.  It provided just enough time for the group to heal Morgan and disengage.  

They regrouped upstairs and reported to the Castellan.  The cone of fire caught their attention.  They spent the next day healing and planning a return attack.

On the second attempt the chimera appeared to be sleeping.  The humans stayed near by the entrance while Baum and later Melkin quietly explored the surrounds.  Ultimately they awoke the chimera, but before that they found a room of yellow mold and another with a sinkhole to the abyss.  In the Chimera battle, Morgan cast a remarkably powerful sleep spell that knocked the chimera out (along with most life forms in a 1500 yard radius!).  The magic users slew the thing with a flurry of magic missiles.  They took its heads to the Castellan and the celebrations began.  The Castellan encouraged them to continue their investigations and use his keep as a base as appropriate.  Keep guards keep watch at the secret entrance 24/7.

Next time down, Baum summoned a magic disc to convey him and Melkin on a reconnaissance mission around the cavern’s perimeter.  Morgan stayed back keeping watch with the darkness-limited humans.  The other two exploring found the passage nearest to the chimera lair led to an underground stream and then across it, a well-hidden intricately locked secret door followed by a cavern possibly filled with ghasts.  They were on the run from the ghasts at first.  When they found the things stopped, swaying, seemingly helpless to cross the stream, they calmed their pace.    Continually the pair’s investigations they flew to the other side of the chimera cavern.  They found another sinkhole and the narrowing cavern transformed into a pillared hallway.

From the top of front facing pillars four gargoyles slowly spread their wings and made it straight for the elves.  They used their quickness, back peddling and knocking them off one by one with magic missiles.  Morgan stepped out and nailed a few as well.  There was only one gargoyle left by the time it made it near the humans.  Darthon simply stepped forward, swung his blade, and severed the stone creature’s neck is a very casual fashion.

With the gargoyles dead they grouped up and investigated.  The pillared hallway led to some sort protected structure.  Was it some lost temple?  Possibly it led to the crypts of the original keep builders?  Maybe it was something else completely? 

The party retreated to research and rest.  They visited the place a few hours later to find a six inch high ten foot wide swath of vicious goo smeared across the cavern floor from the far sinkhole to the chimera’s nest.  They thought better of it and decided to leave, but were determined to return.


Session #8 - Evil Chaos Temple Sacked - Year 4433, Day 92-95

With Baum back, they powered up for another run at the evil temple.  Rothaga put down his sword and took up the spear.  When they arrived, the temple occupants were ready.  Rothaga found his new spear glowed in the presence of undead.  Even with this help, they failed everything else they attempted.  Outnumbered and floundering, the party wisely made a retreat back to the keep.

They went back the next day and found the entrance unguarded.  They found a bedroom with four evil priests and killed them.  They destroyed many evil writings in the room as a bonus.  The grand hallway continued, Baum, just happen to notice outlines a secret door on the northern wall.  Nobody else noticed this hard to see entrance.  Chopper quickly managed entrance and found the back of another secret door just inside. He breached both and the party entered the plush evil bedroom beyond befo-re anyone noticed.  The evil bedroom had a chest, but they found it empty.  Beyond the normal door to the room was a room with four zombies who lurched forward to attack.  The party slew them and ventured forth.   They found a huge temple room with tapestries, a throne, an altar, and a huge bell covered in evil depictions.  On the far side of the room, three priests in black robes saw the party and began to attack. The party quickly saw they were actually zombies programmed to ring the bell!  That is just what one of them managed to do before the party took them out.

The striking of the bell initiated an epic battle.  Without relating every exact action during the battle, I will say this: the head evil priest entered through the secret door to his bedroom while his horde of undead swept from an unexplored chamber on the far side of the temple. From it poured a score of powerful zombies and skeletons and a large wight (taken down by one of the wizard’s explosive magic missiles).  The party cleverly positioned themselves between the priest’s chamber and the temple and exploited this to their tactical advantage.  In addition, before Morgan cast a sleep spell that put all the priests into Goldilocks mode, the evil priest managed to summon a demon from the abyss.  It was a spider creature with poisonous lobster pincers.  Darthon almost died fighting the thing.  They did manage to finish the demon, sleeping head priest and kill all the attacking undead.  The room on the other side of the temple contained what might be undead spawning or creation machines.  The devices were dim and not working when the party investigated.  Taking no chances, the team toppled them over. Then they made their way to the exit fully intending to return and explore the reported megadungeon lying between the old tower and the caves.

Upon return to the Keep, the Castellan rewarded them 1200 gp in gems as promised and told them to keep his magic spear.  The party re-grouped in their private (and now free) apartment to begin planning their return to the Caves.


Session #7 - Evil Chaos Temple - Year 4433, Day 87-92

The day began with the group resting in the relative safety of the old tower. Two High Elven wizards appeared from the woods.  They were searching for any trace of the Baum’s Elven war party. In addition, they had news from Baum’s brother Bernard.  He left Lightelf just two nights ago and asked them to deliver this spell book straight away.  With Baum’s brother’s book in hand, and no treachery detected, both groups re-grouped at the Keep.  

The High Elves, Merkin and Morgan, joined our party in a plan to destroy the Orcs of the Purple Claw at the Caves of Chaos.  Baum chose, instead, to study the tome.  The rest made their way to the caves after three full days’ rest.

Arriving at the caves, they approached the orc lair. They witnessed something unexpected on the other side of the cave-filled ravine: two red-robbed evil priest types ducked into the entrance they knew as “evil temple”. 

The party did not attack the orcs just yet.  They re-positioned and moved toward the priest cave.  They heard groans and cries inside.  Melkin threw his voice down ahead of the moans.  This fooled undead lying in wait just inside the entrance into following the sound.  The party ambushed their flank; battle ensued.  In the end, nine dead zombies and more moans coming from either end of the grand vaulted hallway entrance. More battles followed, including a surprise of four evil priests entering the complex from behind.  The lead priest was none other than the Head Curate of Mitra at the Keep!  They battled the priests to the death,though one of the priests managed to blind one of the party with a curse.  They chased the traitor outside the complex.  Chopper finished him with another well-placed thrown dagger.  After that, they fought more buffed up zombies, skeletons with strange glowing broaches, and evil human priests of Orcus, Prince of the undead.  One of the priests escaped the last battle.  The party left to recover and collect Baum. 

Leaving the cave, about 200 feet southeast, a group of gnolls spotted the party, called out and made pursuit.  The party elected to move to the tower for tactical advantage.  When safely away from the ravine, they engaged the gnoll scouts: a shaman, a captain, and two grunts.  Morgan bound the shaman to the tree with his rope trick.  The others performed well in dispatching the beasts.  At the tower safe, they continued on to the Keep. 

There they straightened matters with the Temple of Mitra. Nilbog, by virtue of his rank in the church, took charge of the temple. Then the band met the Castellan of the keep who encouraged them and offered his spear of undead maiming in appreciation for their efforts.  He also promised a reward if they could take down the leadership of the temple.


Session #6 - Blueheart's Tomb - Year 4433, Day 85-87

Because of the odd schedules kept by adventuring types such as we have here, they were well-rested and ready for action about 9 PM Wilderlands time.  They made their way down to see if that sound they heard upon the death of the undead minotaur was from one of the sealed stone doors.  The NECROMANCY doors remained sealed, but upon pressing into the BLUEHEART southern doors, the slabs slid into pockets on either side of the opening.  Beyond was a twelve foot tall ten foot wide black basalt hallway.  It was covered in inscriptions and tales of Blueheart’s life.  Telling information the group possibly found Blueheart's tomb.

The hallway opened into a four-way intersection.  Ahead the hallway stretched into the darkness.  To the right (West), stairs winding down, to the left (East) maybe 100 feet ahead the party made out a dimly lit temple of Orcus (suspiciously similar to the cover of the AD&D 1st Edition Player’s Handbook).  Before the temple, the hallway widened with niches on each side.  Baum made out that there were armed skeletons within each.

The party formed into position fully expecting the skeletons to animate and engage.  They did and battle ensued.  The Cleric turned one who scurried back to the temple area.  The team handled the remaining five.  About that time, a wight crept from the stairway behind forcing another battle.    The party killed it, but not before it managed to suck memories of the past few days from Darthon with its freezing, experience draining touch.

Before delving further down the stairs they checked out the hallway that led straight from the entrance.  Chopper found a pit trap.  Unable to disarm it, he warned the others.  Baum could see that the hallway ended with a room with a fountain-type structure.  Chopper and Baum sneaked past the trap and found the fountain contained a blackish liquid.  Not tempted, they turned around and headed down from where the wight came.

When at the bottom of the winding stairs, the hallway opened into a grand room.  The light dimly revealed a sarcophagus twenty feet in front of them.  It is at this time a ten-foot square stone slab slid across the hallway blocking their exit.  Trapped in this tomb, the crypt burst open.  A tall armored skeleton with a dim bluish glowing 2-handed sword that wore jewelry rose up.  He let out one of those creepy throatless skeletal howls and attacked the party.  It hit hard with that sword in a frantic battle.  In the end, another epic kill shot from Chopper.  They gathered its treasure and determined his sword and armor were magic.  On either side of this crypt were stone doors.  The party unlocked the eastern one.

Beyond was another crypt.  The narrow room had five large niches along the east wall.  Shortly after opening a shadow creature came out of nowhere and attacked them.  It drained the cleric’s strength before the party killed it.  Then they found two secret doors on either side of the room.  One led to an area of evil previously detected by the cleric.  The other, on the northwest wall, they opened first.  Chopper found a secret hallway that turned right.  He discovered an elaborate trap after the turn that involved two portcullises that would trap someone in a field of spears.  Unable to disarm, Chopper directed the party around the trapped floor stone.  Impossibly, Chopper and Nilbog almost stepped on the floor plate, but luckily they managed to avoid catastrophe.  Beyond the trapped hallway they climbed a steep stairwell that led to the hallway near the temple of Orcus.  They didn't look in the temple nor for the skeleton Nilbog turned, instead they headed to the surface and began resting in the tower.


Session #5 - Maze of Blueheart - Year 4433, Day 78-84

The party camped the tower over the next couple of days.  Early in the camp they spotted a Grey Elf Wizardly type scouting the tower from the woods.   They party opened some windows and shouted out.  “Who goes there?”  The elf responded he was on the run from a pack of werewolves that slew his entire party.  His name, Baum.  He was on a mission from Lightelf to attack the Orcs of the Purple Claw at the caves.  Of course, that attack never came to pass.  Knowing they needed a wizard and Nilbog not detecting any obvious evil, cautiously invited the grey elf into the tower.  Shortly thereafter, they were exchanging tales of deeds and adventures.  Baum offered his services as a member of their band and the party accepted. 

Not wasting time, after the party healed, then made their way to the tombs below the tower.  They proceeded directly to the room with three doors where the last battle took place.  The one that ended Zoltar.  The dungeon was as they left it, they inspected each set of double stone doors more closely.  The northern one had the wizard symbol for BEAST.  The Eastern doors have the symbol for NECROMANCY, and the southern doors, BLUEHEART.  Blueheart is a name repeated throughout the place.  The party assumes this place was once owned by this person.

They investigated the doors closely.  The only door with any locking mechanism or obvious means of opening were the BEAST doors.  After finally picking the lock, the stone doors collapsed onto them rather than opening as expected.  Chopper’s leg was badly scraped and luckily wasn't crushed.  With the doors permanently open they found a fifty foot stairway descending beyond.  At the bottom they found the stone to be stark black basalt.  The hallways branched out into all directions forming a triangle-like pattern after deeper investigation.  The party made good use of Baum's nightvision by covering the lantern so he could report what lied deeper beyond where the humans could see.  After a series of bull roars from different directions, a mummified undead minotaur emerged from the darkness engaging the party from behind.  The warriors lined up, blocking the creature from the spell casters and thief.  The party dealt an epic amount of damage and withstood its diseased attacks. As the end neared for it retreated mysteriously floating back almost escaping, but Chopper ended him with an arrow to the brain.  After the thing collapsing to the floor, an audible click emanated from somewhere in the dungeon could be heard by all.  They could not make out the direction for certain.

They investigated the rest of the maze, bypassed an electrical trapped room of sorts, and went through a teleportation mist to get to the minotaur’s lair.  Here is the treasure they found in two huge chests: gold and electrum pieces from over 100 years ago, a magic staff, magic plate armor, three potions and three very valuable pieces of jewelry.  With the maze seemingly cleared, they headed back to the tower to rest. 

After a rest they headed to the keep to identify the loot they found.  The potions turned out to be gaseous form, healing, and growth.  They are plate armor was definitely magical (+1) and very light.  And it was a staff of healing with a limited amount of charges, however the device is rechargeable.  They went back to the tower the same day and prepared for another foray below.


Session #4 - Below the Ruined Tower - Year 4433, Day 76-78

Several days of rest back at the Keep rejuvenated the party. They wondered what the "Old Watchtower" marked on their map might be. And why was it so close to the caves?

They decided to explore the tower to find out for themselves. They also heard rumors there might be a crazy hermit holed up in the place.

An Ogre attacked them a few miles into Fellgrim Forest that the party dispatched quite easily.

With the tower in sight, they decided against walking straight to it. Instead, they sneaked through the edges of the forest. About 200 feet from the tower an old hermit and a vicious Dire Mountain Lion ambushing them from the trees surprised them.. In a matter of seconds it was all over – the party killed both of them. Whatever secrets he knew about the tower, he took with him to the grave. Speaking of graves, the party buried the hermit in the woods… (After taking the ring from his finger and adding it to their combined treasure).

Entering the tower, they found the hermit lived well. Gardens outside, cleaned dishes, secured door, maybe he was not so crazy after all. They also found a magic dagger under his bed. The upper tower levels were in ruin (evidence of past dragon attack). At the base of the stairs on the southern interior wall, was a heavy iron-banded door barring whatever was below. 

The party carefully journeyed down. The first underground room did not follow the tower plan; it was a much larger squared room not a circle like the tower. Evidence of a larger dungeon complex perhaps? Around the walls were pillars. To the East and South led passageways. It was at this time, eight skeletons burst from the walls, plaster flying everywhere. They attacked the party. An excellent battle, all eight were dispatched but not so easily. Working in the darkness was challenging with Zoltar doing his best to keep his lantern on the targets in the heat of battle.

It was time to investigate the passageways. The Southern one, led to another heavily barred door against a natural cavern wall. Behind it was an immense cavern lit by luminous fungus. Not far in, maybe 100 feet, it began descending east steeply. The party closed the door, barred it again and went to investigate the other passageway.

That Eastern passage ended in thirty feet. Along the walls were strange faces with telltale holes for mouths. An obvious dart trap perhaps? The thief, Chopper, found and removed three trapped floor flagstones. With the trap removed, he went to examine the door down the 30-foot hallway. It was inscribed with a riddle in common tongue. 

Ye who enter. Thieves and Knaves
Shall find the terror of my grave.
Oar, ye enter, if ye will.
Beware! Your blood I seek to spill.
If ye seek my burial tomb
Where wealth untold pervades the gloom.
Up, up. up thrice past the Beast
Who waits alone, on you to feast,
Not much farther ‘til you’re free.
But first you’ll have to deal with me.
Enter further, if you dare,
But, one day hence, you’ll have no air! 

Chopper, not finding any traps, pushed the stone slab that was the door inwards.  The hallway beyond led eastward into the darkness. The air was stale and dusty. The door must have been sealed for years. Further down the hallway were empty alcoves on either side of the passage. Beyond that, the passage began sloping downward. It led to a very large 80’ x 80’ square chamber. Other than doors on the North, East and South walls, the only thing here was heaps of bones and garbage.

From the bones and debris rose twelve skeletons that immediately began attacking. One of the skeletons was different than the rest: Dark armor and a nasty looking sword… The battle was both epic and chaotic. The party got separated and the weaker characters were surrounded leading to the death of the Wizard Zoltar. A sad day. In the end, the surviving members of the party finished off the undead and headed back to the surface. 

They buried Zoltar behind the tower and re-grouped inside. What to do next? It began to rain; luckily, the tower was rainproof. 

Here is where the party begins next session. What, is that two elves in the woods scooping out the tower??? To be determined in Session #5.

Session #3 - Goblincide- Year 4433, Day 75-76

The band cleared out the Goblin / Hobgoblin complex.  Destroyed a curious party of Orcs of the Purple Claw including a wickedly evil shaman thanks to Zoltar’s powerful spell of sleep.

At the end of the session, Darthon and Zoltar made level 2.  

The band finished session three eager for more.

Session #2 - The Caves of Chaos - Year 4433, Day 70-75

In the first few forays into the Caves of Chaos, the band discovers the Goblin and Hobgoblin lair and begins the typical extermination process.  After the first battle, the party faces the Ogre (Bree-Yak) and destroys it.  On the third exploration mission an epic battle with the Goblin King and a host of goblins/hobgoblins ensues.  The party ultimately wins out, including Darthon taking the goblin king's magic scimitar, but not without sacrifice.  The Cleric (Omar Yyn), the thief (Carter) and henchmen Agathor and Amef all perish in the battle.  Darthon and Zoltar fill their pockets with all they can and head back to the Keep.

Upon their return, Darthon and Zoltar see more followers of Omar Yyn’s religion waiting in the Traveler's Inn their caravan having arrived.  The arrivals include four adventures eager to explore. 

The new members include a band of Lawful adventurers: a thief (Chopper), a cleric (Nilbog) and two warriors (Rothaga & Fema).  The four join the two making a party of six again.  The new party sets out for the Caves.  In addition to more scores of dead goblins and hobgoblins, the party snuffs out an Owlbear and more….

Session #1 - The Keep on the Borderlands - Year 4433, Day 70

Carter (a thief) and Darthon (a warrior), journey to the Keep on the Fellgrim Borderlands to seek their fame and fortune slaying monsters and looting the fallen.  How they met or knew each other is a bit of a mystery, but no doubt will be revealed.

Four other adventurers also planning their foray into the Fellgrim wilds: Zoltar (the wizard), Omar Yyn (the cleric), Agathor and Amef, warrior henchmen.  The groups meet in the Keep Tavern / Traveler’s Inn.  With the Caves of Chaos their shared goal, they bond and set out.