Thursday, May 9, 2024

Four Against Darkness #1

This is the first episode in the story of a party of adventures who took up the fight against darkness in search of fame and fortune within the deep and evil dungeons.

It was played using the Four Against Darkness, (4AD), a solitaire dungeon-delving game written by Andrea Sfiligoi from Ganesha Games

Our story begins with a party of four inexperienced adventurers trudging woefully through the pouring rain in search of glory. The party consisted of Sir Dancealot the warrior, Father Braun the cleric, Little Tam the rogue and Salubran the wizard. Night was beginning to fall, the rain was turning into hail and Sir Dancealot was continuously moaning about what the wet weather was doing to his hairstyle. 

Sir Dancealot - Father Braun - Little Tam - Salubran

Little Tam spotted a cave in the hillside and she pointed it out to her companions. After a very brief discussion, they decided to camp there for the night and to cook their meal sheltered from the downpour. They carefully inspected the cave before entering, to make sure it was not already occupied by a band of kobolds or a pair of owlbears. When they were sure it was unoccupied, the party entered and started a fire in the hope of drying their wet clothes. In the light of the burning fire, Father Braun noticed a trapdoor in the floor of the cave, hidden behind a pile of rocks.

Having dried and fed themselves, the party decided to explore the trapdoor. When Sir Dancelot lifted the trapdoor, he revealed a stone staircase disappearing down into the darkness. Salubran lit the party's lantern and they descended. The stairs were wide enough for the party to go two abreast. Deciding that they were more warry of traps than undead, Little Tam led with Sir Dancealot while Father Braun and Salubran brought up the rear. 

Once down the stairs, the party were in a corridor [3]which went straight ahead and branched both right and left.

The party continued straight ahead without changing their marching order. They came to a door to a room [46].

The room contained a large stone gargoyle statue positioned in front of a narrow corridor and was otherwise empty. The party advanced cautiously towards the gargoyle, but when nothing happened, Little Tan stretched forward and squeezed the gargoyle's nose. The gargoyle immediately came to life, surprising the party and attacking.

It was a hard fight for such an inexperienced party [lvl 4 boss] however the party fought bravely and defeated the gargoyle. When vanquished, the statue crumbled into dust revealing 70 gold coins which the party distributed among themselves. 

The party continued on, down the narrow corridor behind where the gargoyle had been positioned. They came to a second door opening into a room [25].

When they entered the room, they were faced by 6 vampire bats. Swinging his two-handed sword with explosive energy, Sir Dancealot quickly despatched these vermin without needing any help from the rest of the party.

Leaving the room with chopped up bats behind them, the party changed marching order with Father Braun moving to the front with Sir Dancelot. They came to a door behind which was a corridor [32] with two further doors. 

The corridor was empty except for a devil-faced shrine. As the party approached, an eerie glow emanated from the devil's eyes casting a curse on Father Brown. The cleric, being trained in such evil at the seminary knew that he need to prey for divine help to bless himself and remove the curse. This he did immediately.

Forgetting to search the empty room, the party went to the left door. 

They opened the door and entered the room [43]. Here they found 3 zombies which they fought.

The zombies were troublesome but the pious Father Braun finally finished off the last zombie using his trusted mace.

Unfortunately, the zombie room contained nothing else of interest as zombies have no treasure.

Still with Father Braun and Sir Dancelot at the front, the party moved past the zombie corpses and came to another door behind which was a room [31].

Entering the room they were confronted by a Chaos Lord in the shape of a winged devil. Not realising how dangerous a situation they were now in [lvl 6 boss], the party chose fight rather than discretion.  

The Chaos Lord's Evil Eye stared at the party, and yet again Father Braun was affected by its curse.

Everyone in the party was seriously hurt during the fight, and were it not for Father Braun's healing magic then the party would have been quickly wiped out.

As the party were more numerous than a single opponent, Little Tam managed to sneak in some telling hits on the Chaos Lord.

Salubran tried two sleep spells and a fireball but none of these succeeded against such a powerful enemy.

Although he had trained for fighting dragons, Sir Dancelot's long sword managed some lucky hits on the Chaos Lord.

Having finally defeated the Chaos Lord, the party searched the room finding seven gold coins and a horde of Fool's Gold. While searching, Sir Dancelot found a scrap of parchment containing a clue.

When the party opened the door, they found that it joined up with the entrance corridor. They decided to leave the dungeon as they were all wounded, their wizard had no spells left and their cleric could heal no more that day.

The party retired up the stairs and back into the cave. 

The map of the dungeon

Once in the cave, they looked after their wounds and rested, recovering so as to be ready for another adventure. But while sleeping, they always had one party member on watch, keeping one eye on the trap door and the other on the cave entrance. 

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