Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Fantasy Adventure – Act 5a.

This is a dungeon crawl using tiles from DMB Games and the Swords and Wizardry “Old School D&D” rules.

The party consists of 6 third-level adventurers: GIMLIT SON OF GROIN (dwarf fighter), ST.JOHN WILDBLADDER III (human paladin), BELWINA (human female ranger), KRANOVAL (half-elf magic-user), THE BISHOP OF BATHENWELLS (human cleric) and FRITO BUGGER (hobbit thief) as well as Frito’s dog FIDO. Even MEPOO the kobold is following along after the party rescued him from the goblin's lair.

After several days of travelling, the party are at last approaching the small village of Hillview. The narrow road that leads for miles through this forest is overgrown with weeds, beginning to blend and disappear entirely back into the wilderness. There is a feeling of slow retreat and disintegration.

Finally the party sees the distinctive hill upon which the village of Hillview is built. At the top, there is a small cluster of buildings surrounded by a decrepit palisade – you can just barely see the half-collapsed roof of the old Temple of Law that was once said to be the pride of the village. Even at this distance, the place looks run down. The hill is very steep and only one path leads up to the top.

The party follows the trail up to the hilltop where it is blocked by a half-ruined gatehouse. The gates have fallen off and have been pushed to the side to keep them from blocking the entrance. However, the rusting iron portcullis has been lowered, and there is a guard standing atop the building with his crossbow levelled.

The party explained that they come looking for an inn for the night and a place to replenish their supplies. The guard sees that the party contains both a priest and a paladin and raises the portcullis to let them enter the village.

As they walk through the gateway into the village they see two buildings with signs hanging outside, to their left “The Hilltop Emporium” and to their right “The Two Flagons Inn”.

The party purchases supplies and equipment from The Hilltop Emporium and Belwina purchases clothes for Mepoo to replace his rags. They then move on to the Two Flagons Inn where they negotiate the price for dinner and rooms for the night. The party then continues to explore the village, and when they come to the Smithy/Armourer Belwina the ranger orders some ring mail to replace her leather armour.

The party continue to the dilapidated Temple of Law past its weed infested garden. An old one-armed cleric comes forward to meet them. "Greetings my name is Rehab. Wonderful, just like they promised, took a while though, they did send me a Paladin and a Cleric to restore Law and Order to the village and the surrounding area. The Gods be praised. There are supernatural forces at work, you know! You must start with the Globe Temple. Once that is cleansed then everything else will fall into place. The Gods will reward your good deeds and I will get a new roof and an acolyte or maybe even two to do all the hard work. Not a minute to loose."

Somewhat surprised by this greeting, the party decide anyway to accept the challenge and they ask Rehab where the temple lies. He replies, "To find the Globe Temple, go south downriver from the ford, you won’t be able to miss its ruins on the top of a hill. I’ll draw you a sketch on a piece of parchment." The party promise to cleanse the temple just as soon as they have had a good night's rest.

The party follow the sketch map and are now on a trail towards the Globe Temple. A rocky hill rises steeply beside the trail; a few massive blocks of dark stone at the crown making it clear that this is the site of the Globe Temple. No buildings remain, although several blocks of masonry are scattered here and there on the hillside as if they had been tossed around by an unthinkably powerful force. Small groves of trees, bushes and undergrowth have taken hold of the slope, but the party can see an entrance near the top of the hill, which is very large, wide enough for several people to enter side by side, and it is closed by a double door. With no further ado, the party climb the hill to the door.

The party enters into the antechamber. It is an impressive underground chamber with double doors at both ends. The party approach the far pair of doors, over which there is a mosaic image of a green jar. The tiles surrounding the jar are glowing with magic light.

The hobbit, Frito, wants to touch the mosaic but can't reach, so the party hoists him up to stand on the Bishop's shoulders. Frito is sent a vision by the magic image.

The party enters through the next pair of double doors and find themselves in a chamber with a domed ceiling supported by four pillars. They see a short pedestal surrounded by broken shards of green glass.

Frito the hobbit can't keep his fingers under control, and he pokes the green glass. He is knocked unconscious by the magic force it contains and starts having magic dreams. While Frito is dreaming, four giant centipedes crawl out of previously unseen holes in the stone pillars, and attack the party.

The party dispatch the centipedes while Frito recovers. They search the room and find nothing more of interest so the continue on via the door behind the pedestal.

They enter the next room with the dwarf and cleric leading. They see another pedestal, this time two feet high with a concavity in the top shaped like a hemisphere. The concavity would contain exactly half of a one foot diameter sphere.

They inspect the pedestal, all the time expected some undead to emerge, but they find nothing of great interest.

The dwarf and the hobbit start searching the room and find a secret door. The stop searching and jump through the door behind which are steps down leading to a winding passage.

The passage winds through the hillside and then comes to another flight of steps down and then a T-junction. The cleric tosses a gold coin which tells him to turn right.

As the party follow the corridor they come to a small room with a man-sized statue of a demon blocking the archway that leads out of the room.

The party enter the room and the demon moves forward to attack. The party surround the demon but it is a tough nut to crack. The party soon discover that non-magical weapons are not doing much damage to the demon.

While the fight was in progress, cries for help are heard coming from the door to the left.

The demon is defeated so the party enter the room to the left where they find two humans, a man and a woman, chained to the wall. The dwarf uses his hammer to free them. The magic use questions them and they reveal that they were captured by evil monsters from their farm and brought here a few days ago. They have been visited by an evil cleric surrounded by a cloud of ash and given strange painful injections. They decide the safest thing to do is now follow along behind the party.

A small orange demon head is indented in the wall of the corridor to the next room which is empty. The mouth of the demon head is about two inches across, and it contains several small gears and switches, so small that a needle would be required to move them around with any precision. The party ignores these and Gimlit the dwaf and Fido the dog rush into the room towards the next door. A hoard of small darts shoot out from both walls hitting both Gimlit and Fido. They rush back into the safety of the corridor.

Frito the hobbit thief is called upon to use his nimble fingers to disarm the trap. He gets advice from St.John Wildbladder the paladin. He thinks he has succeeded and enters the room only to be hit by more darts. He jumps back out and on his second attempt he disarms the trap.

The party cross the dart-trap room safely and open the door to the next room.

The room has a pentacle marked on the floor.  Four skeletons stand along the far wall blocking the door. What appears to be the statue of a demon, comes to life, snarls and moves towards the party.

The Bishop of Bathenwells raises his holy symbol above his head and cries out "Flee before the power of LAW, foul undead things of Chaos!". The skeletons were turned but the demon seems even more annoyed and charges the Bishop.

After much ado, the party defeats the demon.

Frito, St.John Wildbladder and Kranoval enter the next room which is empty except for a lone treasure chest. Frito examines the chest for traps. He determines that he cannot find any poison needles or suchlike traps but he still thinks there is something strange with the mechanism.

The curious Kranoval decides its worth to take a chance and open the chest lid. A very loud, siren-like noise shrieks from the inside of the chest. The chest itself contains 500 copper pieces. It takes a while before Kranoval decides that the best way to stop the noise is just shutting the lid. The party can ignore the copper coins, too heavy to carry for to little value.

The party kick down the door and rush in. There they find an evil demon cleric surrounded by an ash cloud and two more demons. Alerted by the opening of the chest, all three are ready for combat and looking mean.

Battle commences. The rest of the party rushes in. The evil cleric causes his ash cloud to engulf The Bishop of Bathenwells but the Bishop's luck prevents it from doing harm.

The alarm in the chest had alerted the Evil clerics minions and four entered the fight via a secret door.

Four more of the evil cleric's minions are coming round the back of the party. Things are looking dangerous.

Gimlit son of Groin takes out a potion of haste, swigs it down with one gulp, and sets about destroying the minions (his battle-axe wasn't magic so he had already worked out that it had little effect on the demons). Belwina loads he longbow with her magic arrows and shoots them at the evil cleric. The Bishop of Bathewells takes out his flasks of Holy Water and throws them at the evil cleric. St.John the paladin is using his magic sword with great effect. Frito sneaks behind the demon and backstabs it. Meeto the kobold pulls out his sling, whether to help the party or save his own skin is unsure, but he opens fire with his slingshot.

However things are not looking good. Finally Kranoval the mage, remembers that he has a wand of lightning in his backpack. He pulls it out, aims at the evil cleric and fires. A perfect hit and the cleric is now looking rather scorched.

The Bishop of Bathewells finishes of the evil cleric with another flask of Holy Water. The remaining minions flee the scene, knowing now that they have no chance.

The demons, however, stay and fight but without the evil cleric even they fall prey to the party.

At the end of the fight, Mepoo the kobold was dead and Fido unconscious. The paladin lays on hands and Fido could get back on his feet, although somewhat shakily. Most of the party are seriously wounded and drink healing potions.

The party searches the room, but all it contains is a broken and toppled statue of a bearded priest holding a sphere.

Gimlit opens the secret door and the party goes into the minions' lair. Here they find eight small chests containing personal belongings and treasure (most taken from when raiding passing caravans and nearby farms). There are coins to the value of 200 gp and a rather nice necklace of gold beads worth 100 gp.

As they party seaches the minions' lair they hear the very loud, siren-like noise coming from the chest. The two rescued farmers are filling their pockets with copper coins.

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