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 Post subject: The Goodman Gang in DCC11 The Dragonfiend Pact.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 1

In the beginning was the word, and the word was… Bugger.


The county of Lincornshire, home of the Yellow-Bellies, or as they’re sometimes known, the Imps, a mischievous folk that mean you no harm, providing you pay them their dues and then bugger off sharpish, else they’re likely to knock you into early next week, steal all that you own, and micturate in your hat for good measure. Salt-of-the-Oerth then, gentlefolk.

The Merry Riot Inn, Lowth, outside the rain lashes down, inside the only noise, although the place is packed to the rafters, comes from the logs spitting and crackling in the fire.

Cue atmosphere.

Lord Duncan Merriweather, the Mayor, a fat man, in fact nearly enough for two fat men, steps into the circle of expectant faces, he’s eating a pie.

“It is time. Chomp-chew. Enough. Chew-chomp. We cannot stand idle, chew-chomp, as this creature destroys our village. GGGGulp… our lives.”

The Mayor stares hard at the empty faces of the gathered folk; his eyes linger on the families of Ginger Barley and Pop Stokes, the victims of the Ogre’s vicious attack earlier today. The families have chosen, this evening, to sit together, which is particularly apposite as Ginger’s wife is Pop’s brother- you work it out, we’re in the sticks now. Goober Stokes dabs his one big eye, while Lillybeth-Jinny-Anne-Sue Barley rubs her stump.

“It is time to fight back. Chew-spit-choke.”

None of them can meet his eye, mainly because of the fountain of lard and crumbs that is raining down upon the hushed crowd.

“For years we have paid tribute to this beast, Gargle-Gulp, even when times were hard- we found a way CHOMP to keep it fed and watered, for sheep and ale was all it wanted…BURRRRP then. But now the creature has become grasping, it craves our gold, and now… PARRRRP, strangely it wants wood and nails- building materials, although Pelor knows what it is GGGulp- that’s better, constructing, or why.”

He raises his arms; they’re like the horns on a space-hopper, he’s about to make a point.

(See below for Space Hopper image)

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur ... %26hl%3Den

“And now the beast asks for CHOMP flesh, human CHOMP flesh.”

The Mayor scans the room, cradles, jiggles and smoothes his flabby folds.

“And what we would not give, it took. GUUUUUULP”

He’s finished his pie. He looks again at the forlorn families.

“It is time to fight, UUUUrp-sorry, back. I have assembled a group of brave souls to deliver our message, once and for all, to the bloody fiend. And that message is… FARRRT, and Death.”

The crowd stirs, begins to look around, an armoured figure steps forward, strides to the Mayor, turns to the masses and bows low.

The Mayor continues.

“Lord Casimir La Frond will lead the group.”

The armoured figure bows again, smiles.

“Hello, I’m Lord Casimir, I’m a Gemini, and quite a catch- no seriously, Ogre-“

He makes chopping motions with an imaginary sword.

“Is over. Call me Cas. Call me anytime… Laydeees.”

He licks his lips, then flattens his eyelashes, all with his tongue, then winks at the damsels in distress.

The villagers know him well, a clean cut and handsome young man, capable, if a little rash- like chicken pox, he gets round; a little, how best to put it- forward. Brave enough when farmer’s daughters are on hand, but enough to face a giant down? Some of the villagers applaud; many more keep their own council, particularly Tarrik (see later).

Cas edges just out of the firelight, swings round to show off his better side.

The Mayor stumbles on.

“Jim Bowen will help to lead the way. Jim.”

A cloaked young lad, just out of his teens, a rough and ready look to him, strides into the light and to the Mayor, shakes his hand, half-nods to the crowd, and edges back into the shadow.

The Mayor turns back to him, “Do you have anything to add?”

Jim shakes his head, trying to hide the burning flush that scars his face, he tenses, a drip of wee snakes down the inside of his farm-boy pants. He shakes a leg and then settles- head down.

The mayor turns back to the crowd.

“Bec will add his strength.”

The crowd parts as a gurning giant strides forth, foaming tankard still in hand, settles next to the Mayor, glugs his drink, wipes his mouth and in the process soaks the front of his jerkin with the tankards contents.

A smattering of laughter, not cruel, but caring. The giant, Bec, grins.

“Wet now.”

He mumbles and, with Jim’s help, shuffles backwards, out of the light.

“Can I have sandwich?”

Jim nods and places a calming hand on Bec’s arm.

The Mayor goes on.

“Anya’drea will of course provide much needed arcane experience.”

A tall, and stunningly beautiful, woman silently steps out of the crowd, swoony-music begins, her red hair aglow in the firelight, she circumnavigates the crowd- for all to see, to admire. She nods at the Mayor who fumbles in his folds, finds a piece of crumpled paper, goes to eat it- thinks better of it, flattens it out and then reads aloud.

“Anya is wearing a calf-skin ‘riding’ jacket with ribbed badger lining, her leather dress is by ‘Goat-e-a’- a daring, plunging, design from their ‘Oh Please Mistress’ Collection. Her boots are Dire Rat pelts, bred in captivity- lovingly killed, flensed, cured and stitched to create a shockingly smooth perambulatory experience. Anya’s jewellery is from the ‘Spangle-Dangle’ Collection from Ratners- for Rats and Rings the best bite in town, be sure to snap them up. Ahem . Hair and make-up by the famous Gnome coiffeur Damp Squib. I give you Anya…”

Anya twirls some more and then, without a smile, or trace of pleasure, passes on to join the others.

A smattering of applause, the odd wolf-whistle. The noise soon dies down.

“And lastly, to complete the valiant group, ahem… Newt.”

A young Gnome barges his way through the sea of legs and into the spotlight, he turns bows low to the masses, and then round to the Mayor, flips a shiny gold coin in the air, it disappears, he strides over to the Mayor, puts his hand out- the coin reappears high above him, it plummets, he catches it and whips it out of sight- he settles into a lazy grin, and when the Mayor turns away presents too his middle finger at the fat fool.

“Good riddance.”

The Gnome turns to face his audience, his right eye twitches; he scans the crowd, his mouth a snarl, till he spots the bringer of bad tidings- Kerwin, a weasel of a man, the proprietor of Kerwin’s Outfitters, an overpriced general store.

Kerwin knows the Gnome, all the members of the village do, it seems everyone in the village has mislaid something or other at onetime or another, the missing items always seeming to ‘turn up’ in the vicinity of the quick fingered Newt. Kerwin has a name for it; he calculated once that he was losing at least 5% of his stock to the miniature crime wave that stands before them, shrinkage- that’s what he calls it, shrinkage.

“Feckowwwwfyascabbycludger.”

Newt grins, and straightens his apparel, bows again, winks and is on his way, all the while making a mental note to fleece the fellow on his return, else stab him through his stone heart.

The Mayor dives on, as the Gnome wraps himself in shadow.

“And so our brave adventurers are ready to strike, to beard the fearsome Ogre in his foul den…”

WHUMP

The door of the Inn lashes open, wind and rain flies in, a cloaked figure steps into the light, the elements seemingly unconcerned with this barefoot child.

“I will go too.”

Mischa shrugs the hood of her cloak down; the Elf scans the crowd looking for defiance.

“The creature deserves to die, it has upset the balance, I will see it done.”

She pulls her hood back up, the audience watches her every move, then makes her way over to the other adventurers.

“Well… Good. Six- the six shall head forth… Ahem. But before they go- who will proffer aid to them on their perilous journey?”

“I have brought these.”

Mischa steps forward again, in her open palm rest eight blue-black berries.

“The Witch of the Wood…”

The crowd collectively suck in air. Mischa continues-

“My mistress, has sent them- Goodberries, they will each heal a minor wound. We will share them.”

She passes them out, too late, Bec eats his.

“Mmmm Jammy-good.”

Then.

“Can I have sandwich?”

The Mayor turns back to the crowd.

“I have brought this.”

Old Tarrik One-Arm (that’s why he wasn’t applauding) shuffles forward clutching a ferocious-looking jet back arrow in his hands.

“It will not break, and it will always find its target.”

He hands it over, Jim Bowen and Lord Casimir step forward to take the arrow, the Lord relents.

“After yew, sirrah.”

Cas bows and admires the cut of the farm-boys pants; Jim nods nervously and takes the proffered arrow.

“I will use it weeEE...”

He realises all eyes are on him, he turns away swiftly, his face a rictus grin, his bowels about to cut loose, he shakes.

The room returns to silence.

It goes on for a while.

“Is there no other? These brave men and women are our only hope; do none of you have any other aid you can give them?” The Mayor pleads.

“Ahem.”

Kerwin steps forward, “Fifty gold- to spend in my place, a…”

The Mayor strides over to the weasel man, “A generous offer.” Clasps Kerwin’s hand and pumps it beaming at the assembled masses. The hypnotic jiggle of his bellies momentarily confuses Kerwin, he flounders then finds his purpose.

“A loan.”
“What?”
“I said a loan- 5% vig. Per day.”
“You can’t be serious?”
“Of course I’m serious; they’ll all be dead by the mor…”

The crowd begin to hoot and moan, stamp their feet, gnash their gums, someone fetches a banjo

“Alright 4%.”

The noise grows louder, a violin squeals up a storm.

“3%- take it or leave it.”

The noise continues but Kerwin contents himself with a close examination of his shoes.

“Then I will pay your 3% scoundrel- and be swift to open your doors, these younglings have a task tonight.”

The Mayor turns back to the six brave souls and in the surrounding silence simply states.

“Remember- Legends are made, BUUUURP not born. FART. Bugger”

Next Turn- Who’s who?

Any comments gratefully received… anyone played this one?


Last edited by goonalan on Wed May 07, 2008 10:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:53 pm 
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goonalan wrote "anyone played this one?"

Yep, here are several threads for you to look at:

This one is by me and is more a "you're watching us game from nearby" kind of report.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=1292

This is by Eryx and is a more traditional story-time write-up.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=1186

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
JediOre wrote:
goonalan wrote "anyone played this one?"

Yep, here are several threads for you to look at:

This one is by me and is more a "you're watching us game from nearby" kind of report.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=1292

This is by Eryx and is a more traditional story-time write-up.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=1186

Hope this helps.


Excellent, thanks for that I'll check them both out today- thanks again.


Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 2: Who’s who?


And the players are, basically the Pre-Gen’s from the module, but for those of you without the book.

“Jim” Bowen

Human Male Warrior Level 1 (Training to become a Ranger)
NG HP 10 AC 18 Init +2
Str 14 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 12 Ch 10
Saves Fort +4 Ref +3 Will +1
+1 Battleaxe (family heirloom) +4 d8+3
Comp. Longbow (+2 Str) +3 d8+2
Dagger +3 or +3 d4+2
Armour: Chainmail and Light Wooden Shield.
Feats: Skill Focus (Trapmaking) & Point Blank Shot
Skills of note: Climb +4 Craft (Trapmaking) +6 Handle Animal +4 Jump +4 Wilderness Lore +3

Items of note: Nothing much.

A shy farm boy who doesn’t like people, or at least isn’t comfy around them, or what he means to say… oh excuse me- Jim heads for a bush. And the fair sex, the poor lad feints away. He will die for the cause (I’ll see to that, DMs note). True and steadfast and with a bladder seemingly the size of a packet of crisps (chips), and always full to the brim. A nervous ninny, except when alone, or with his friend- gah- ‘the animals.’

Bec

Human Male Commoner Level 1 (Training to become a Barbarian)
CG HP 11 AC 14 Init +1
Str 18 Dex 12 Con 18 Int 11 Wis 8 Ch 9
Saves Fort +4 Ref +1 Will -1
Long Spear +4 d8+6
Dagger +4 or +1 d4+4
Armour: Studded Leather.
Feats: Toughness
Skills of note: Climb +8 Jump +5 Ride +3 Spot +3 Swim +5 Use Rope +4

Items of note: Climbers Kit.

Six feet six inches, a brick out-house, as they say this side of the water. Alas, also a sandwich short of a picnic, no fear of head injuries- deals with the right now, little time for reflection, learns by his mistakes, again, and again, and again. Generally point-and-click with a heart of gold, or jam, I forget which.

Lord Casimir

Human Male Aristocrat Level 1 (Training to be Paladin)
LG HP 10 AC 17 Init +1
Str 15 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 11 Ch 14
Saves Fort +2 Ref +1 Will +2
Longsword (Masterwork) +3 d8+2
Longbow (Masterwork) +2 d8
Light Mace +2 d6+2
Armour: Shiny Breastplate & Sparkling Light Steel Shield
Feats: Negotiator & Dodge
Skills of note: Diplomacy +8 Handle Animal +6 Knowledge (History) +4 Knowledge (Local) +6 Ride +5 Sense Motive +6 Spot +4

Items of note: Potion Cure Light Wounds, 3 Flasks of Holy Water, 5 Silver Arrows.

Ladies love Lord Casimir, and he knows it- actually a clever lad with all it takes to be a Paladin, and with the death of his father, and three older brothers, a true Lord of the Land- only kidding. Content with his lot, and happy to pick up as many brownie points as possible by keeping this gang of misfits together for the big win. Oh Anya though… simply delicious.

Anya’Drea

Human Female Expert (Wizard’s Apprentice) Level 1
CG HP 7 AC 13 Init +5
Str 10 Dex 13 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 11 Ch 17
Saves Fort +1 Ref +1 Will +2
Quarterstaff (The Gandalf 4000 with Lantern crook) +0 d6
Sling (actually an old pair of her leather panties) +1 d4
Armour: Leather Armour by Goat-e-a (see previous)
Feats: Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Armour Proficiency (Light) & Improved Initiative
Skills of note: Appraise +3 Bluff +3 Concentrate +4 Craft (Model) +3 Decipher Script +7 Diplomacy +3 Disguise +3 Forgery +3 Gather Info +3 Hide +5 Intimidate +3 Knowledge (Arcane) +6 Listen +4 Move Silently +3 Perform (Vogue) +3 Scry +3 Search +3 Spellcraft +7 Use magic Device +10

Spells: None

Items of note: Scroll Read Magic, Detect Secret Doors & Mage Hand (All Level 1); Wand of Magic Missile (Level 1- 10 Charges); 2 Bags of Caltrops; 6 Tindertwigs.

Beautiful, sometimes cruel but generally just not bothered, except, why isn’t she a wizard yet? Smart as a whip and out to make a name for herself, the latest fashions are her thing, she parades permanently and yet seems not to relish the attention. She doesn’t know what she wants, except to be a wizard.

Newt

Gnome Male Expert Apprentice Locksmith Level 1 (Training to be a Rogue)
NG HP 8 AC 18 Init +3
Str 11 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 16 Wis 11 Ch 10
Saves Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +2
Heavy Mace +1 d6
Light Crossbow +4 d6
Dagger (2) +1 or +4 d3
Armour: Scabby old Chain Shirt
Feats: Nimble Fingers, Low Light vision, +1 To Hit vs. Goblinoids and Kobolds, +4 Dodge vs. Giants.
Skills of note: Alchemy +9 Appraise +5 Balance +3 Craft (Locksmith) +5 Disable Device +9 Escape Artist +3 Forgery +3 Hide +9 Intimidate +3 Listen +6 Move Silently +4 Open Lock +9 Ride (Pony) +3 Scry +3 Search +7 Spot +5 Use Rope +3
Spells: Ghost Sound, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation & Speak with Burrowing Animals.

Items of note: Silk Climbing Rope, 10 Tindertwigs, 2 Thunderstones, 2 Tanglefoot bags, 2 Sunrods, 2 Smoke Sticks, 4 Alchemist’s Fire, Thieves Tools.

A one-Gnome miniature crime wave, his father wanted him to take over the family business, Gingritch Locksmiths, he saw a different opening. He’s also a dab hand with minor alchemical substances. Not evil, more mischievous, in a grand larceny kind of way.

Mischa

Elf Female Adept Level 1 (Training to be a Druid)
NG HP 6 AC 15 Init +3
Str 10 Dex 16 Con 11 Int 15 Wis 18 Ch 12
Saves Fort +0 Ref +3 Will +6
Cold Iron Sickle +0 d6
Short bow +3 d6
Armour: Dirty Leather
Feats: Track

Skills of note: Balance +3 Concentration +4 Escape Artist +3 Heal +10 Hide +3 Knowledge (Nature) +4 Listen +6 Move Silently +3 Ride (Horse) +3 Search +4 Sense Motive +4 Spellcraft +4 Spot +6 Use Rope +3 Wilderness Lore +8

Spells Level 0 (3) Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Poison, Flare Level 1 (2) Entangle, Summon Nature’s Ally I

Items of note: 4 Antitoxin, Healing Salve (Cures d3- 8 uses) 2 Healer’s Kits, Wooden Flute.

The Witch of the Wood’s apprentice little is known of Mischa.

Actually the only real change is with Mischa’s spells, she wanted to be Druid rather than some hanger-on Priest of an Eleven/Nature deity.

The players know that they need 500 XP to get to first level, either that or they need to survive to the end of the scenario, which ever happens first- although they’re not gaining any complex class-based skills till they make time for training.

Next Turn- What’s what?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:24 am 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 3: What’s what?


We press on…

After a short session at Kerwin’s Outfitters spending their loaned “aid” on torches, trail rations and the like the six huddle on the porch, watching the rain, to share rumours of what lies ahead.

“I saw rat bite dog.”

CHOMP

“Bite good- dog runoff.”

Bec starts the sharing.

The others stare at the giant, dare I say it, moron.

“How does that fit in with anything, we’re off to kill an Ogre?” Newt looks put out.

CHOMP

“Bite good.”

Bec is certain.

“Right? What else?” Cas asks.

“There’s another way into the Ogre's cave at Skulltop Hillock.” Anya offers with a look. Mischa nods. “It’s at the rear- a little way up, something lairs there though- something that smells bad.”

“That’s interesting.” Cas rubs his chin, effects a pose. “I think the back entrance maybe the way.”

Jim nods, fingers his Magic Arrow, tries to avoid looking at Anya legs, then Mischa’s cleavage, then Anya’s legs and cleavage, “I could… ah… I could… get that, I mean, I could…the creature” He drifts into silence. The others look on. He starts up again.

“There’s a… A… There’s… A… Tomb… A tomb… some knight… in there… A Tomb.”

“I heard that too.” Anya breaks in.
“Yep.” Newt nods. “Let’s try that way first- see if we can’t sneak up on the big feller, y’never know there might be some gelt in it- the tomb I mean.” The Gnome rubs his hands at the thought of plunder.

“I see pretty lights.”

Bec stares off into the semi-dark, the others follow his gaze.

“Pretty lights in hills… Pretty.”

The others squint, scan the horizon.

“Where?” Cas finally asks.

“I think the operative word is, when… When did you see ‘Pretty Lights’?” Anya cuts through the confusion.
“Other night… Sometime… Lots.” Bec finishes.
“I have… I have…too, lights in the hills… too.” Jim adds squirming.

Newt stares hard at Cas, “Can we concentrate on matters in hand.”
“Yes, perhaps we should.” The paladin replies.

The rain is beginning to ease up, fireflies buzz and dance beneath the near trees, there are still lights on in the village.

“Is there anything else we should know?”

The others think about it a while, Mischa breaks the silence.

“There’s a chimney, in the stone skull at the top of the hill- I’ve seen the smoke, we could get in that way, at least a little one could.”

Newt shrugs. “I’m game.”

Anya interrupts, pushy.

“They say the creature is as strong as any ten men, his club can crush a man’s skull with a single blow. It would take a very brave man to stand up to the fiend.” Anya looks up from checking her nails, changes her stance to reveal a yard of leg. “The question is- is there a man brave enough?”

Anya scans the party.

Cas licks a finger and smoothes his eyebrows, trying to find a jaunty angle to rest his hand upon his sword. Jim pulls at his crotch area, crosses his legs and gurns. Newt fiddles with something, distracted, finally looks up- unsure of what has been said. Mischa dismisses Anya’s gaze, hides deeper within the folds of her hood. Bec claps the air- and a firefly, sniffs the wreck of the creature, now paste in his hands, he licks the spot then grimaces, then licks it clean.

“Can I have sandwich?”

They ignore him.

“Tarrik lost his arm. To the giant… some time ago.” Cas adds still staring hard at Anya, she favours him a look. The others watch on till,

“Right, anything else?” Cas asks.

“They also say that the Ogre is in league with our good Mayor Merriweather.” Anya suggests, she likes to stir the pot.

“No. No, I mean. Surely not. What would he…” Cas stumbles.
“Money.”
“Where?” Newt’s back in the room, and all ears.
Anya shakes her head and tuts at the foolish Gnome.

“My dad took on a Dwarven carpenter, Durbin, to fix the roof- he just upped and left, no payment, no nothing- he had a lovely set of ladders I had my eye on.” Newt drifts off.

“Right.” Cas is about to finish up, his big speech, he strikes a pose- aiming for the thinking man, with a hint of the thinking woman’s draught excluder.

“What we do know is that this can’t continue, the creature was content to take our beer, and our food- tribute it said. Alas things have changed, with the death of Ginger Barley and Pop Stokes things have come to a head. We know where the creature lives- Skulltop Hillock; we know a secret way in, maybe two, if the chimney works out. And if the Mayors right then there’s a good chance the creature will have had his fill of beer, poisoned beer- his reactions should be slow.”

The would-be-paladin looks about him, stands on tip-toes, to give himself that extra presence.

“This is our chance, for ourselves, for the village, for Ginger Barley and Pop Stokes- we owe it to them. We should go now. Who’s with me?”

He eyes his audience, in unison they nod, stitch on their most determined faces, except for Jim-

“Wooolves… WOOOOlves, inthehills.” Jim half-balances on the edge of a table one hand grasping his crutch.

“What?” Anya stares at him, leans in close. “What are you saying? Is he alright?”

The others form a tight half-circle so as to guarantee Jim no privacy.

“Is your leg ok?” Anya touches it, just above Jim’s knee.

Instantly a dark stain spreads towards her hand, the woodsman blossoms red and half-sigh grins.

“Yesssssssssss.” He adds.

The others leave sharpish, and so to no-one Jim restates. “I said there are wolves in the hills, we ought to be careful.” He straightens up, eases his pants away from his skin and frog-like crouch-walks off the porch.

Approximately twenty minutes later the group have crossed farmer’s fields and ditches and are at the edge of the woods.

They stand there, looking back at the village, a final farewell.

“Funny?” Mischa notes.
“What is?” Cas asks.

Mischa points, the others follow her gaze, in the distance a building in the village seems to be outlined by a red furze.

“What do you think it is?” Cas wonders.
“Fire.” Newt states, “I mean… probably.”
“Should we go back- see if they require assistance? Where do you think it is? I pray it’s not the church?” Cas wobbles.
“It’s Kerwin’s.” Newt states, “I mean… probably.”

They turn to stare at the Gnome.

“You didn’t?” Cas is furious.
“No, I didn’t. I was here with you- remember.”

Newt turns and wanders into the woods; the white of his teeth reflects the scant light- he’s smiling.

Next Turn- The Smelly Back Passage.

You might think I’ve gone for the cheap gag but the above is, more or less, exactly how it played out- blame my players, who are incidentally all 30+ years old but obviously, Jim, enjoy playing the giddy-goat (fool).

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 4: The Smelly Back Passage.


The rain has eased up, a waxing moon illuminates the way through the woods, shadows everywhere, the torch lit procession soon finds its way through however. The eagle eyes of Newt, and in particular, Mischa, who knows the route, have not led them astray; the pair’s low light vision, even with the flaring torches, can pick out detail at a hundred paces.

Two miserable hours later the six sit, crouch, and stand in the lea of a copse of trees observing what Mischa says is the rear of the Ogre’s den.

“Where is it?” Cas scans the hillock again.
“Wait.” Mischa counsels.

They wait, in silence, except for Anya who awkwardly scrapes mud from her Dire Rat skin boots. “These are ruined.” She states to no-one.

“I can’t see anything.” Newt moans.
“Wait.” Mischa simply states.

Dusk approaches, and with its approach signals feeding time for the bats. A dark spiral of the creatures erupts from a crag forty feet up the side of the hillock, no more than two hundred feet from where the adventurers watch.

“See.” Mischa scans her compatriot’s faces, and then quickly and quietly, sets off for the crag.

Two minutes later they have reached the hillock, gathered in silence.

“Wait.” Mischa tags Jim’s arm, he spasms at the touch- then relaxes a little, the two crouch down and shuffle forward.

“I’m beginning to see who’s in charge.” Newt states staring hard at young Lord Casimir. The would-be paladin smiles back, feigning indifference; there’s nothing else for him to do.

At the base of the hillock Mischa and Jim circle.

“See. Here.”

The Elf falls to her knees, strikes a pose like some four-legged beast. She gingerly places her feet and hands into hollow depressions in the dirt.

“It’s five feet long, quadruped, big- heavy, look how deep the tracks are.”

Jim grins, all he can see is the young Elf’s twitching rear silhouetted in the moonlight.
“Mmmm… I… I, ah… I see.”

“The tracks head up, their fresh, the creature has fed today perhaps. Nevertheless we should warn the others.” Mischa looks up. “It’s an easy climb. I shall lead the way.”

Two minutes later the group are gathered forty feet up at an opening in the hillocks side, a tear in the rock.

“I’ll take over.”

Newt scrambles forward to the head of the queue, braces himself against the sides of the crevasse and heads on in. In a moment he’s gone from sight.

Inside the dark cave, Newt cautiously, quietly, creeps- tight to the cavern wall, his eyes adjust to the dark, the shaft of light from the crevasse emphasises the shadows that surround him.

A minute passes. He heads back.

“There’s a cave, it smells- not good. There’s an opening on the far side, it smells worse - there’s something down there, I swear I could hear something moving- sounds big. Also the ground is soft- funny.” Newt reports back, confirming Mischa’s warning.

“Onwards.” Cas whispers.

“Can I have a sand…” Bec starts up, Anya reaches up and clamps her hand across his mouth, she shakes his head- no.

They head in.

A minute more and they’re assembled inside, it’s too dark for those not blessed with low light vision, a torch flares, the group take in their surroundings. They’re standing in the centre of a natural cave, a passage heads off into darkness, and lastly, and for Anya most importantly, their standing in six inches of collected bat guano.

“OH MY GOD. Oh my god. Oh my god.”

Anya breaks her cool looking for some way to extricate her boots from the mire. She gloops and slops forward, pulling her ruined boots from the wretched slop.

“Shhhh.” A collective offering.

“OH MY GOD- d’you know how much these cost me?”

“Shhhh.” It comes again.

Bec bends low to sniff at the bats offerings, staggers upright.

“POO POO.”

He half-dances into the thickest part. Slips- catches himself, then slips again and is down; hands, hair, face in the slop.

“POO POO.”
“Will you keep it down.” Cas hisses.

Slowly order returns.

They head over to the exit.

“Oh my god. Oh my god.” A litany under her breath from Anya.

The cavern ahead splits two ways, Mischa sniffs, Jim follows suit.

“The creature’s lair lies to the left.” She simply states.

Newt struggles to the front again, “I’ll check it out. If I call…”
“We’ll come running.” Cas finishes off his remark.

Newt shuffles-squats forward, down the left-hand passage. All is silent for a good while.

Cas looks at Jim, then Mischa, skips Bec, then Anya- who shrugs and gets back to pushing back an offending cuticle.

Time passes.

Then bursting from the tunnel ahead comes the Gnome, at speed, with something large in hot pursuit.

“AAAAAhhhh. Big skunk- angry, big skunk.”

The Gnome bowls through the cavern as emerging, hissing into the light comes the enraged Dire Skunk, all teeth and fur, the group quickly fall back as the creature approaches- snarling and spitting as it surges forward.

All except for Lord Casimir who stumbles and puts one hand down in the mire, he’s left stranded his back to the giant creature.

At the other side of the cavern Newt finishes his tactical retreat by tripping and plunging head first into the bat guano. That leaves four of the adventurers in play.

And yet the creature hesitates, content to defend its lair.

Jim staggers forward hands up. He has no idea what he’s doing, or why, and yet…

“There, there. Nice skunky. Shhhh.”

Mischa nudges Bec, who shuffles forward and grabs Cas dragging him up and back to safety. Newt recovers in the background, wipes sh*t from his face and hands.

Jim takes a step closer, his eyes locked on the twinkling eyes of the enormous beast, he glances back at Mischa, and then quickly forward, locked onto the beast. Time slows.

“There, there. We come in…”

The beast quickly turns, raises its tail, and a geyser of hot skunk piss sprays out, it shakes its flanks and then turns again to see what it has wrought.

“POOOOOOO POOOOOO.”

Bec screams like a frightened child, the scent fills his nostrils, his brain- he hurtles forward, away, anywhere; trips, stumbles and thumps into a cavern wall- out cold.

For Jim the effect is less dramatic, he slowly sags, slumps and then falls flat-out into the mire, bubbles in the guano mark his mouth submerged in the miasma.

“Kill it.” Cas screams.

Anya is however first to react, a wand appears, as if by magic, in her hands.

“LOOK AT MY BOOTS. SMIDGIN”

A bolt of energy rips from the end of the wooden shaft and thumps into the enraged creature’s face- that’s torn it.

Mischa is unsure, she grasps her sickle and stands ready lest the creature launch an attack; it was only defending its lair after all.

Newt quick-draws a dagger and flings it at the creature it misses by a country mile, sinks into the dark, and the gloop, never to be found again- good start.

The Dire Skunk has had enough; it launches itself at Lord Cas, over Jim- pressing him further down into the stinky gloop. Mischa steps in- swings but merely cuts the air. The beast sinks its teeth into Cas’ arm, blood spurts then cascades, his shield falls into the dirt. Off-balance he swings hard with his longsword but the creature is too close, the blow is ineffective, it bounces off the Dire Skunk’s matted fur.

Anya backs away, this is not going well and yet…

“YOU RUINED MY BLOODY BOOTS. SMIDGIN”

Another bolt of energy streaks forward and scores a hit. The creature staggers and yet is now certain where its enemy lies- it charges forward. Mischa is slow to react, the creature bowls past her and rushes at the Model Wizard.

Thwang.

Newt’s crossbow speaks, however the bolt, like his dagger, is lost to the dark.

The Dire Skunk arrives, at pace, smashes into Anya and snaps its jaws shut slicing through leather, skin and bone.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

The creature rears back salivating, makes ready for another strike.

“NOT THE DRESS AS WELL.”

Behind the creature Lord Cas swings wildly, misses badly- still staggered from the creature’s initial attack.

Further behind the melee, Jim lifts his face from the mire, voids his stomach and hearing the screams behind him attempts to gain his feet.

Anya staggers backwards as the great creature sways before her, in desperation fumbles the wand, reaches into a pocket and gulps down her goodberry.

Mischa backs away, weaves magic with her hands, a sudden burst of light before the creature as her Flare spell ignites the air. The creature rears up blinded, leaving Newt and the others with a clear shot.

Thwong.

Newt’s crossbow bolt buries itself deep inside the creature’s throat, it chokes on its own blood, thrashes wildly- Anya dives again for cover.

Then Cas connects, his longsword slicing open the creatures flank, it deflates in an instant, slowly sinks further into the sh*t.

“Can I have sandwich?”

Bec awakens.

Next Turn Beetlemania.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 5: Beetlemania.


The six sit about, arguing-

“What did you say to it?” Cas wearily asks the Gnome.
“Nuthin’” comes the reply.

Jim whispers to Mischa, which is proving difficult to do, he and Bec stink to high heaven, nobody wants to get too close to either of them.

“How did… did he… did he speak to it?”
Mischa is quick to reply. “The Gnomes have the ability to talk; no, that’s not it, communicate with many burrowing creatures.”
Jim nods, confused- it’s a default setting.

“You must have said something.” Cas implored.
“Nope.”

Newt and Cas settle into a staring competition.

“Oh my god. Oh. My. God.” Anya provides background noise.

Mischa continues to do her rounds, there are wounds to be healed.

“Poncey fecker.” Newt mumbles.
“What?” Cas stares hard at the Gnome.
“I said nothing.”

“Leave him.” Anya interjects, “what does it matter now what he said?”
Cas shrugs, staggers off and leaves the Gnome alone.

“Oh. My. God.” Anya again, although there’s something about her voice- a revelation?

The would-be-paladin quickly-turns, “what is it?”

“Well look at this… if we cut here, and here…” Anya makes chopping motions over the dead Dire Skunk’s carcass, “then we’ll have enough hide for a dress, maybe even a poncho… I mean it stinks now, but we can fix that.”

Mischa has heard enough, “you would slaughter this proud creature just to make… a poncho?”
“No sweetie. I slaughtered this beast because it got in my way, sorry OUR way, and as I remember it was that Flare of yours that finally did for it. The poncho’s just a bonus.”

Mischa spins round, defeated, strides across the room and bumps into Jim’s chest. Without thinking he snakes his arm around her shoulders, and gingerly pats the spot between her shoulder blades, a trail of warm wee coils out from his left trouser leg- merges with the bat faeces, what the hell, he isn’t going to smell any worse, he plasters on a triumphant grin- head thinks, girlfriend.

Five minutes later, his arm still slightly numb after the creatures attack, Cas points at the tunnel exit, makes a sign for silence. Newt skips forward and on, the others follow, Anya toting her soon-to-be poncho.

They head left into the Dire Skunks lair, and it’s as simple as that, one stinking corner a toilet, another with bedding, all around the faint ammonia stench, both in the room, and on Jim and Bec.

“No treasure.” Newt is disappointed.
“What did you expect, a ruddy chest?” Cas is still angry it seems.
Newt turns away and silently mimics the Lords words, like a child.

They back out and head off on the right-hand spur, the cramped tunnel, for some, only six feet high and five wide, curves round to a crude stone door on the right, then plunges on, there are lights ahead, a pair of them bobbing too and fro.

Newt goes to investigate but is held back, Cas grips tight his arm.

“You two. Be careful.” He nods at Mischa and then Jim, they sneak ahead.

“What about the door then?” Newt nods towards it.
“Shhhh. Have patience, not yet.” Cas replies.

The Gnome kicks a stone and shrugs into the shadow.

Ahead a much larger cavern, the drip of water to the left, also Mischa spies two possible exits, one left past the water, one straight ahead. Stalactites and stalagmites dot the floor and ceiling, some immense. Between them wend three pairs of flashing lights.

“Wha…” Jim begins.
“Fire Beetles.” Mischa finishes whispering.

She nods for Jim to follow, scuttles into the chamber. Jim follows, after first drawing his bow and setting in place his magic arrow.

The first beetle catches a whiff of Jim approaching, thinks Dire Skunk, and beetles off, the second the same, the third however does not make the connection, it skitters and rattles over, it’s jaws snapping open and shut. Jim draws a bead on the approaching monster, time to be a hero, draws the string as far back as he can.

Fwung-g-g-g

The arrow flies three feet, ricochets on the cavern floor, and then careens off into the darkness.

CRACK.

Jim’s bow snaps clean in half.

The Fire Beetle closes in on Mischa, ready for the kill.

Clunk-scree.

Mischa’s sickle digs a furrow in its carapace, to no effect; its jaws snap shut just missing Mischa’s leg. There’s no use for it.

“HELP.” She screams.

The beetle lunges again as the others come running, misses again, the other two beetles it seems have found the courage to join the fray, they clatter over. Mischa stabs again this time slices air.

Jim drops the remains of his useless bow and steps in swinging his battleaxe.

CRUNCH

Smashing the creature where it stands- one down.

Lord Cas charges in, takes in the scene, spots the nearest threatening beetle and continues his charge to intercept, the beetle redoubles its efforts, the two meet in a horrendous smash. Cas swings high and wide, and off-balance is mown down by the beetle, under it he sways and shrugs as the creatures jaws snap open and closed inches from his face.

Thank heavens for Bec following close behind, his spear lances out and down.

CRUNCH.

Through the creatures carapace, and through its body, stopping only for the caverns stone floor- between the squirming would-be-paladin’s legs. Bec, in one swift motion, levers the beetle up into the air and swats his spear sideways, flinging the dead beetle off into the dark. Just in time for the final beetle to arrive. Jaws agape it sprints the last few feet aiming for Bec’s leg.

CRUNCH

The spear comes again impaling the thing mid-stride; it kicks air for a second and then expires.

Anya tumbles into the chamber.

“BEEE Kal. BEEE-KUL. BEE-KiLL”

Bec stretches down and wrenches Cas back to his feet, the young Lord is short on words, he pats Bec’s arm.

“A is for ‘a BEEE-KUL.’” Bec states, then for good measure, “Can I have sandwich?”

Jim searches around in the dark, tippy-toe, trying to be quiet; he finds the jet black magical arrow after a short while, not a scratch on it, which is more than can be said for his bow.

He heads back to the others, and to Cas, offers him the miserable arrow. Cas smirks, shuffles his own bow off his shoulder and instead proffers it to Jim.

“I… er… I.”
“Take it.”

Cas passes his bow over, Jim awkwardly grins, as Cas clasps his arm.

“We’re in this together.” The would-be-paladin confirms then winks.

The six, no scratch that- five, gather again.

Hang on, where’s Newt?

“It’s open”, announces a small voice from back down the passage.

Cas grimaces, the five head back to see what Newt has found.

Next Turn: Tomb it may concern.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:10 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 6: Tomb it may concern.


The door is wide open, Newt scuttles around inside.

“Come on, it’s safe.” He grins. “Probably.”

The others file in, except for Anya, something on the door catches her eye.

The chamber is twenty by thirty feet with an eight foot high ceiling, towards the back, in the centre, is a flat unadorned stone sarcophagus, either side of it a pile of bones with a weapon planted in the midst of each, to the left a greatsword, to the right a glaive. However, there’s something else, and Newt has found it, a body, lying behind the sarcophagi- an ancient dwarven skeleton, Newt kicks it- it crumbles, even the waraxe it grips in its hands is rotten, but not the breastplate with griffon insignia. Carefully Newt drags it free of the rotten carcass, shows his find to the others.

“Anyone want this?”

“Jim, why don’t you have it- it’d suit you well, a bit of cleaning.” Cas states. Jim grins again, begins to shrug out of his Chainmail.

“No, not yet, let’s see what else awaits us.”

A bone pile collapses as Bec grabs for the greatsword.

“Can I have sandwich?”

He finds a space and practice swings, “it suits you.” Cas adds. The sword is serviceable, not great quality, Bec stows his spear and takes up the blade.

“Well… Do we or don’t we?” Cas stares at the sarcophagi.
Newt chuckles rushes over, begins to lever at the top stone.
“Bec, get here you freak.” Bec shuffles over grinning, swats Newt aside, and lifts the corner.

“Wait.” Anya shouts.

A cadaverous hand reaches out searching for Bec’s arm.

FWUMP

He drops the lid back down, trapping the hand.

“It says on the door to the chamber ‘Here lies Lord Tulwar, our… despicable leader’, that must be him then.” Anya finishes nodding towards the flailing hand.

“I’ve heard of him, can’t remember why though, despicable, that’s not good. Everyone ready?” Cas mentions.

The others form a half circle, weapons drawn; give each other plenty of room.

“Ok. Bec if you’d be so kind.” Cas points back at the sarcophagi’s lid.

“Hang on.”

Newt closes on the still twitching hand sticking out.

SMASH… SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH.

It’s pulp.

“Ok now I’m ready.” Newt grins.

Bec hauls off the lid, it CLUNKS to the floor. An emaciated figure, some ancient warrior returned as a ghoul, levers itself up- just.

CRUNCH

Jim’s battleaxe.

SMACK

Newt’s heavy mace comes again.

The creature is no more.

In a moment Newt is up the side of the sarcophagi and in. He rifles inside, eventually dumping the body out to get more room, “Nothin, although...” He trails off as he spots the pommel of the Ghoul warrior’s longsword- a ruby sat within it.

“Leave it.” Cas comes over, “it may be enchanted, besides look at it- the dull sheen, it’s cold iron, like Mischa sickle, good against demonic foes. I shall wield it- if you please.”

Newt gurns, then grins, “have it, no use to me.”

Cas nods his thanks, “the chainmail the ghoul was wearing looks to be of good quality too, although it will take an age to remove the stink.”

All done the adventurers file out, no-one wants the chainmail, although Newt insists that Bec takes it as, “it could be worth a bob or two.”

The party return to the beetle chamber, except for Jim who takes the opportunity to change into his new breastplate, he has only one watcher, but for now, I’ll not tell who that is.

There are two passages from the chamber, the first, straight on, it seems to go for some distance.

“I suggest that’s the way to the Ogre’s cave.” Mischa states.
“Perhaps then we should see what awaits us that way, we don’t want leave any enemies behind us.” Cas points to the other exit.

They creep over, their torchlight illuminates another circular-ish cave, Newt sparks a sunrod, bathing the chamber in a glorious white light.

The floor of the cavern is littered with a miniature jungle of ochre coloured toadstools, the room is warmer- moist, and… there, up right, an opening about ten feet up the cavern wall.

Newt grins then goes to march in. Mischa grabs him, “they’re poisonous.”
“What?”
“The toadstools. The colour, a dead give away.”
“How the hell are they going to poison me, I’m not going to eat them you feckin Witch.”

Mischa shakes her head, gently touches Bec’s arm.

“Bec go get one of them beetles, a carcass… I mean body.”

Bec does as he’s told returns clutching a beetle.

“Now throw it… there.” Mischa points.

FLING-CRUNCH-SPPPPPPPRAY-SIZZZLE

The beetle is flung, crunch-lands, the toadstools hit release a fine spray, which eats its way through the carapace of the beetle. The thing’s not destroyed just half the mass it once was.

“Bloody hell.” Jim announces.
“Perhaps we should make a pathway to the ledge.”

Several minutes later it’s done.

Newt, of course, is first over, but he’s struggling at the wall.

“Feckin’ thing, give me a boost.”
“Can you not wait?” Cas is getting angry again.
“Fekowf tinman. BEC BOOST.”
Bec complies, the Gnome scrambles up onto the ledge.

“I’m going in.” Newt states as he disappears from sight.
“Pelor save me. Just hold on a minute.”

Bec stares up, then hops up, flaps a hand onto the ledge and drags himself after, he’s up in seconds. He points into the cave ahead, now brightly lit by Newt’s sunrod.

“There’s nothing up here.” Echoes from inside.

Bec stops, stares down at the others, shrugs. Then turns back, someone, Newt as it turns out, is whispering.

“Shhh. Come here Bec, here.”

Bec plods forward, and from below, “where’s he off to?”

Newt’s stands staring at the remains of a crude campsite, a very dead human lying on the floor.

“See.”

Newt squats and points, Bec looks, there’s something, correct that, some things wrapped around the half-skeleton human’s ribcage- they’re centipedes, a whole nest of them.

“Now give me that.” Newt takes Bec’s greatsword, balances it just, “and you have this”, he passes over his heavy mace, he’s still whispering. “If any of the buggers come out, smash ‘em.”

Bec grins- ready.

Newt hooks the tip of the greatsword through a strap on the dead guys backpack, tips the sword, it skitters down the blade, and into his hand.

“Hmmm HUmmm Hummmm.” Newt grins and hums as he works.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” From outside.

“Now this is the hard one.”

There’s a silver chain around the dead guys neck, it takes a little while but, as with all things shiny, it’s soon in the Gnomes grasp.

“Now, pass me that back, and grab your spear.”

Bec does as he’s told.

“Fun time.”

Newt steps in and.

CLUNK

He smashes his heavy mace down on the centipedes, destroying two of the creatures in one fell swoop. Three more burst from the nest, another remains coiled tightly around the dead guys frame.

Bec spears another- dead, the two left running snap and coil around their legs, alas in seconds they’re no more; which only leaves the one still coiled around the dead guy’s ribcage.

CRUNCH.

“There, all done.”

Newt nudges Bec’s knee and grins up at him, “you can get off now- I’ll follow you out.”

Bec grins and goes to leave, Newt grabs him again, “Shhh, don’t tell the others- we’ll see if we can find some other fun later. Well done.”

Bec out of sight Newt drops down and pats down every inch of the corpse, there’s something there, he stuffs the backpack and the corpses cloak in a sack and then into his own haversack. Pockets the silver chain, actually it looks to be some sort of holy symbol.

And in less than thirty seconds he’s back at the ledge, a pair of monstrous centipedes in hand.

“What kept you?”

Newt throws them down.

“These did, if it wasn’t for Bec…”, he shrugs.

The giant man lifts Newt gently down.

The group head off again, the only passage left, to the Ogre.

By the time they’re two hundred feet down the passage they’re all in a crouch position moving as quietly as they can, they needn’t have bothered.

Next Turn: I will survivf, hic.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:14 pm 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 7 I will survivf, hic.


GrRRRRrrr SHHH GRRRRR SH Grind

The door is open, a huge chamber, light spills in from the exit over the far side of the cavern, as does a raucous noise.

“I will survive, I know I know how to live, I’m alive.
I had a piss, a piss of cheez, Ayeeeeeee will survivf, hic”

The singing stops, nobody moves.

“I should be so lucky- lucky, lucky, lucky.
Lucky, lucky, lucky- lucky in love.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.
I will survivf, hic.”

The soft thump of Ogre feet from a chamber beyond, the creature is obviously disco dancing.

The party find themselves in a store room, Cas has found a barrel, mostly empty, he taps it, there’s an “X” mark where he’s pointing.

“Poisoned.”

Cas nods towards the exit.

“Get ready, this is it.”

He gulps and then creeps forward, the others follow on.

Out of the storeroom, an Ogre sized passage right, another straight ahead, the noise of revelry ahead.

The group creep forward, towards a huge chamber, the ceiling hidden from sight, a crackling fire in the centre, an enormous Ogre lurches around the chamber clutching a small keg, from which it swigs.

“I am the one an only, no body toooooooo.
OOooooooooooooooo.

Aye will survivf…”

“NOW.” Cas shouts.

Anya steps out of the shadows, points her wand at the creature, “Smidgin”, a force dart flies out and canons into the Ogre. Anya steps away again.

Newt, Jim and Mischa appear and open fire.

Thung

Newt’s crossbow bolt buries itself in the Ogre’s thigh.

Twong

Jim’s magical arrow catches the creature in its gut.

Thwung

Mischa’s arrow smashes the creature straight between the eyes, a critical hit; it staggers, puts its hands out for balance, finds nothing to hold onto and sinks to its knees.

DMs interlude- Critical Hit courtesy of Game Mastery Critical Hit Deck- very nice.

“I will…” The Ogre mumbles

Bec bursts through the crowd, greatsword in hand, charges.

“CAN I HAVE SANDWICH?”

SWWIK

And decapitates the Ogre.

“Survive?” Offers Lord Casimir, somewhat put out, his sword is only just out of its scabbard.

WOOOOOF

They turn in unison, back to the other passage.

And there endeth the first actual session of play.

Next Turn: New Broom Sweeps Clean.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:51 am 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 8 New Broom Sweeps Clean.


WOOOOF GRRRRRR

Then the rattle of chains.

“Feck it, it’s chained up somewhere down there.” Newt strides into the Ogre’s chamber, there’s a huge chest.

“Hang on.”

The other members of the group freeze.

“There’s something coming.”

Bursting from the passage leaps a snarling wolf, trailing a rusty chain.

Anya spins around, points her wand, “Smidgin”, the Magic Missile strikes the wolf hard.

Thwong

Mischa’s arrow hits home.

Jim shuffles forward drops his bow, and grapples his battleaxe into position ready to meet the foe.

Cas charges in, “for Pelor.”

SLYCE

The second critical of the session, a deep blow, impaling the Wolf on Cas’ longsword. The Paladin turns back to the others, kicks the Wolf off his sword, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

And at that moment Gurt, the Ogre’s staunch hobgoblin follower, swings around the corner… and comes to a dead stop. He takes in the scene- dead Ogre, dead Wolfie, not a mark on the assembled crowd of adventurers, and where the hell did they come from?

Gurt drops his shortsword.

“Please no hurt me. Me tell all.”

Thirty seconds later the hobgoblin is tied up, or at least his hands are, he’s pushed and prodded into the centre of the Ogre chamber.

Jim meanwhile has retrieved his magic arrow, it’s still intact.

“Right then, can you understand me?” Cas prods Gurt.
The Hobgoblin half-shrugs half-nods.
“I can speak Goblin.” Anya settles in, sits, she pats the seat next to her, Cas licks his lips, sits and settles down.

“What should I ask him, brave Paladin?” She places her hand on the Paladin’s thigh.
“Ask him, ahem, ask him who he is, what he’s doing here, and what’s down that passage he came from.”
“Very good.” Anya squeezes Cas’ thigh and starts up her Goblin speak, Cas interrupts- “You know I’m not a Paladin yet.”
Anya smiles, flutters her eye-lashes, and continues her interrogation; Cas sits there like a naughty schoolboy.

CLICK

“Done it.” Newt looks up, the Ogre’s chest is open, there’s a sea of silver coins inside, he begins transferring the contents into sacks- stuffing coins into his pocket all the while, more out of instinct. Bec comes over to help him.

“There you go.” Newt shoves a handful of the coins into Bec’s pockets.
“Can I have sandwich?”
“You certainly can when you get back to town.”

Jim and Mischa meanwhile are thoroughly searching the room; the two are working well together.

“What do you notice… about the wall?”
Jim stares hard, they’re nearly touching, he’s sweating.
“I…”
“Look there.” Mischa points.
“It’s…”
“Go on.”
“It’s a different colour than the other… It’s a door.”
“Good. Good, well done Jim”, she brushes against him, smiles, and heads for the wall.

“So.” Anya turns back to Cas, “he says his name is Gurt, he’s the Ogre, Blogg’s, servant, he was captured by the creature. He does the cooking and cleaning here. He says that the tunnel leads to the entrance, but it’s trapped- I think he knows we mean business. I think…” Anya leans across Cas, stares up into his eyes, she whispers, “anyone can see that you mean business Cas.”
“Pelor save me.” The Paladin mumbles and gulps.

Newt and Bec wander over hefting sacks of coin.

“Tell him, tell him we mean him no harm, we will let him free.” Cas stares at Anya’s eyes, cleavage, yes- eyes, no- cleavage. She translates, Gurt nods, smiles and is kicked in the side by Newt, he sinks to the floor. Bec leers over him; Newt is on him and searching for funding.
“That’s an outrage, I told him we meant him no harm.” Cas is on his feet.
“As long as he plays ball then no harm will come to him. Now get back to your leering.”
Cas is about to explode.

“There’s a secret door here…”

Griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind.

Mischa calls over, Jim nods. Cas changes his mind quickly and darts over to investigate, getting tangled in his sword and scabbard in his haste. Anya calls after him, “careful Cas, you don’t want to get blood on your sword.” She smiles cruelly.

Newt shows Bec the lump of Onyx he has just swiped from Gurt, he whispers, “more sandwiches big guy- stick with me.” He grins up at Bec and winks, Bec smirks back.

The group head through the secret door, except for Anya, who makes a discovery of her own.

“Furs”, she rushes over to the Ogre’s bedding, “yeuch”, the first few are smelly and horrible but beneath them are some quality pelts, including a Black Bear skin and a Red Fox pelt.

“Divine.” She sashays with the items draped around her. Then notices the others have departed, “hey wait for me.”

At the end of the newly found corridor is a ladder leading down into darkness.

“Out of the way, let me through.” Newt barges his way to the front.
“Newt, seriously, slow down- it may be trapped.” Cas offers.
Newt thinks about it, “get Gurt- stuff him down there.”
“You’re not honestly suggesting we use him to trigger any traps.”
“Exactly god-botherer.”
“That’s immoral.”
Silence.
“What’s your point?”
“It would be wrong, I will not allow it.”

Newt looks about him, Bec’s grinning, Anya’s not bothered- more concerned with her furs, Mischa and Jim are shaking their heads, and Cas looks stern.

“Oh alright, I don’t know, if you want a job doing you’ve got to do it yourself.”
Newt lowers himself over the edge, begins his descent, “I told you there’s nothing to be afraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…D.”

A rung of the ladder comes away in his hand, Newt crunches twenty-something feet to the hard stone floor below.

The sunrod he carries illuminates his face; he’s as pale as a ghost, spitting blood, only just clinging onto consciousness.

“Grab this.”
Jim and Bec take the strain, Mischa quickly ties her rope around her waist, scurries down the ladder- no more rungs break.

Ten seconds later she calls up, “he’s going to be ok.”
“Shame”, Cas whispers, looks up at the faces staring at him, “did I say that out-loud?”

Newt is soon up and about; his pride has taken the biggest dent, we re-join him mid argument, with Cas, again.

“And I say we get Gurt and use him to lessen the impact of some of the traps down here.”
“And I say that that would be wrong, against the teachings of Pelor, all life is precious Newt, even lowly forms like Hobogoblins, we are bound to preserve it.”
“You’re just scared. Bwwwwwwooork Bwok Bwok.”
Newt struts about chicken-like, pecking the air.
“Now that’s not an argument Newt.”
“Bwokkk Bwok Bwok Bwwwwwwooookkkk.”
“Please Newt, let’s just get through this… Please?”
“Bwok Bwok.” Newt pecks some more then smiles and creeps further down the passage.

Thirty seconds later his voice comes back.

“Bugger.”
“What is it?” Mischa calls.
“’Nother trap. Stay there.”

A minute more and the trap is cleared, a huge club set to swing down on anyone breaking the tripwire beneath it.

They troop on, Bec grabbing the Greatclub from the trap, along the way.

And into an Alchemist’s Laboratory- beakers, flasks and assorted glassware, other tables and chairs, open books, other books, a row of cloaks on pegs and in the corner a broom.

“Stay frosty people.” Cas is developing his vocabulary.

Anya and Newt eye each other and then run into the chamber, they’re both fond of chemistry sets.

“This is…” Newt looks at his new toys, “mine.”
Anya’s about to protest when she spots one of the cloaks, it has a silk lining, she rushes over to it, “and this is mine.”
“We’re not here just to grab things”, Cas reprimands them, “find out who this stuff belongs to- why it’s here?”

The group set about examining the chamber, which incidentally, has three more passages exiting it at the cardinal points, the group entered from the east.

Newt grabs some flasks- acid, he stows them away for later use.

Anya reads one of the books, then out loud.

“This stuff belongs to Suto, this is his, or her, diary. Listen to this- ‘The Voice Below spoke to me again, it whispered to me in my mind, it shares my passion to revenge the death of my father… What the hell is this place?”

Anya leaves off and the room returns to silence, everyone listening for the ‘Voice Below.’”

Whoops.

Jim trips over the broom.

“Sor…”

The broom dances forward and swats the would-be-Ranger with its bristle end, no real damage, just distracting and a bit stingy.

“Help, broom attack.” Jim screams from the floor, the broom lances at him, he catches the end, scrabbles to his feet- holds on. Bec is quickly over, grabs the other end. The broom pulls back and forth trying to dislodge either one of them.

“Hold on to it.” Cas offers.

Anya’s spotted something, she rolls onto the hard stone floor, immediately beneath the broom- she’s staring hard at the broomstick- there’s something written on it.

Mischa backs away; the broom tries again to get free, slips out of Jim’s hands and catches the woodsman beneath his jaw- he hits the deck, wounded pride once again. The broom swirls round in the air, winding up for the big hit on Bec.

“SPOT.” Anya yells, the broom becomes inanimate, drops into her clutches, she levers herself upright.

Studies the other words on the handle, sets it before her and.

“Weesp.”

The broom clears the floor in front of Anya, makes sure no dirt gets on to what is left of her Dire Rat Fur Boots.

“I shall call him- ‘Swish.’”

The others stare on, open-mouthed.

Anya recovers the diary, looks for something else to read aloud.

“Here’s another one- ‘I intend to finish my father’s task, I must locate the Codex Ilyium- has anybody any idea what we’re doing here now, or indeed what any of this stuff is about?”
“He’s a wizard, I’d guess, at least a meddler in the dark arts.” Mischa states.
“You mean he uses magic, that’s no biggie tree-lady, so do you, it’s just our magic, my magic, is more powerful than yours.”
Mischa looks put out, Jim rests a hand on her arm
“No use fighting, you’re right we’re in a wizard’s lair. Newt what do you think?” Cas turns to the Gnome.
“What do I care? I think Anya should read the book and we should stop guessing until we’ve got all the facts. I’m having the glassware though.”
Cas looks a little frustrated but nods for Anya to continue, the other adventurers find themselves places to sit.

Anya reads on.

“It is my intention to summon Frogroth a mighty demon to assist me in my search for the Codex… What?”

The others look suitably shocked, then more so when the first scream is heard. They leap to their feet; it came from the southern exit.

“AAAAAaaaaaaa Heeeelllppppp us.”

They rush to the rescue.

Next Turn: Army of One.


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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 9: Army of One.


They rush down the passage way towards a chamber ahead, a portcullis blocks their path, Newt points, Bec stretches out an arm, snags it in a rope and pulls- the portcullis raises. They dash on and in while Bec works out how to tie the rope off.

A strange sight, a large chamber with eight or so cages- each a five foot square wooden cell; two of which are occupied. One by a screaming woman, the adventurers recognise her, Dayl, a serving girl from the Merry Riot- she disappeared on the same day that Pop and Ginger were killed. The other cage holds an aging Gnome in leather breaches, a craftsman by the look of things; the Gnome says nothing, stares into the middle-distance.

The strangest sight however is a Dwarvern carpenter, whistling and singing, putting together another of the cages.

“That’s Durbin, he fixed our roof.” Newt proclaims.
Durbin, for it is he, turns at the sound of his name, shrugs- grins, then continues with his work.
“Never mind that- get them out of there.” Cas states.

Newt gets on with freeing Dayl.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you…” She mumbles all tears and hysteria.

Click.

The doors open.

“AAAArrrggh”

WHACK-FUNK

It goes like this, Newt opens the cage door, Durbin screams, picks up a lump of 2x4 and wraps it around the back of Newt’s head, Newt collapses- ko’d.

The adventurers clear a circle as Durbin menaces them.

“Why couldn’t you just leave it, Suto’s my friend, he doesn’t want you here, messing with his stuff… Go AWAY.”

He circles looking for someone else to hit.

Cas leaps in, “Clear the way, I shall disarm him.” He swings with the flat of his blade, misses by a country mile and hits Bec, hardly diverting him however, Bec has just managed to tie the rope off and is mid-rush about to save Newt.

“Sandwich?”

Bec pushes Lord Cas over, he hits the deck, and dashes on towards Durbin, who hefts the lump of wood up above his head ready to bring it crashing down, two-handed, onto Bec.

The giant man spots this, lurches in and grabs him up, arms wrapped around Durbin’s waist- crushing the life out of him.

“Suto’s my friend.”

Durbin’s arms are still free.

CRACK

He brings the 2x4 down onto Bec’s head, Bec sinks to his knees then slumps forward- ko’d, blood gushes from his broken skull.

Mischa scrambles over to look at Bec, Anya points the way to Swish, “Ackatt”, the broom attacks Durbin, keeping him at bay for a while.

Jim fumbles out his blade and stabs it towards Durbin, it buries itself a good three or four inches in to the carpenter’s gut.

“AAaaaaarrrghhh.”

“Keep him alive, if you can.” Cas shouts, then, “for Pelor”, he rushes in and punches Durbin with all his might, the carpenter hits the deck. Seconds later those not comatose are upon him, he’s hog-tied.

“He’s charmed.” Anya states.
“How do you know?” Mischa wonders.
“Look at me.” They all do.
“Well.”
“I’ve had lots of experience with charmed men, believe me.” She grins.

A little while later Bec has been healed by Mischa, Newt is conscious again.

Cas is making sure Dayl, the serving wench, is ok.
“Should we check for cuts and bruises.” Cas winks.
“Oh thank you my Lord, thank you, I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t saved me.”
Cas grins some more.
“I will have to certify that you’ve not received any psychological damage from your experience.”
“Lord?”
“I will have to examine you thoroughly on our return to Lowth.”
“Yes, Lord.”
The pair only have eyes for each other.

Meanwhile Newt has opened the other cage, he vaguely recognises the Gnome within, “hi my name’s…” he begins.

Crack

The Gnome punches Newt out, “I’m Jonas and I know who you are you scheming little thief.”

And that’s all we get from Jonas because Bec gets a second chance to revenge his short friend.

CRACK

The second Gnome hits the deck, and gets tied up for his troubles.

Après a quick search of the chamber the group file back to the Alchemist’s Laboratory.

“Can I have sand…”
Newt shoves a cheese bun in Bec’s mouth.
“… Wijj.”

They eat, watch over Durbin and Jonas, Cas feeds Dayl by hand, it looks like he may lose a finger, she must be ravenous.

Anya gets back to Suto’s journal- reads on, stopping to read aloud any of the good bits, like-

“I have purchased at great expense, not my own, but courtesy of the kind people of Lowth, a scroll which will enable me to summon Frogroth, and yet I do not feel I am ready to chance the spell, I need desperately to increase my power.”

“So it was Suto- controlling the Ogre, we’d better be careful.” Cas states.
The others nod between bites.
“He charmed the Ogre?” Mischa offers, Anya nods.
“Either way he’s a wizard of some sort, that’s certain.” Newt adds.

Anya finds some more to read.

“I have taken precautions; purchased a magic oil which I will use to coat my weapons less The Voice Below prove duplicitous.”

“We should find that before taking on ‘The Voice Below.’” Cas declares.
“You’re so clever… and brave.” Dayl reaches for Cas’ hand, holds it, kisses it.
“Get a room.” Newt snarls.
Anya looks less than happy, just for a moment mind.

She reads on awhile.

“Here’s the last entry- in one more day I will have finished, the magic circle will be complete, then all will be ready- Frogroth will at last serve me.”

That makes everyone sit up, “When’s it dated?” Mischa asks.
“Ummm. Yesterday.”

The adventurers leap to their feet.
“Come on.” Cas heads off north.

Mischa meanwhile has been amongst them healing all their wounds, she tucks away her medical supplies, only two uses of her healing salve left, one of her Healing Kits is also finished, one kit left.

They stumble into what looks to be the living quarters of someone- Suto most likely, a thick red carpet on the floor, a desk and chair- the desk strewn with papers, a large bookcase crammed with texts, a crude bed with a chest as a bedside cabinet. Newt’s already at the lock.

“A quick search, if there’s nothing here we move on. Try to keep the noise down.” Cas warns.

Mischa and Jim head for the bookcase, grab books, fumble through them.

Silently two thick tomes glide from the bookcase and hover into the air.

WHACKx2

And slam, in unison, into the back of Mischa and Jim.

The pair spin around, look embarrassed for a second, and then scramble for their weapons.

Newt meanwhile is having problems with the chest, “bloody thing won’t open.” He slams his fist into the top of the chest, so much for keeping the noise down.

Cas and Anya dive in, both grab the same book, there’s a brief struggle and then the dusty tome springs free again, just in time to be skewered by Bec’s spear.

Newt bangs again on the lid of the chest, whatever’s in it is probably broken by now.

The other book comes at Jim, dashes forward and slaps him around the face, he sees red and slices down hard, the book falls to the floor, flutters its pages for a while, neatly cut in two.

Silence for a second, then…

“Fecking chest wont open.”

Each word accompanied by the thud of Newt’s fist smashing into the lid.

Bec steps in, grabs his greatclub, and swings with all his might.

CRUNCH

The lid of the chest is caved in.

“Ta.” Newt smiles up at the giant man.

And in the same instant a tiny Viper leaps from its position, coiled within the chest, and sinks its fangs into the Gnomes knee.

“AAaaaargh.”

Newt rolls backwards, comes up one hand on his knee, which oozes blood and some black liquid, the other on the hilt of his dagger.

The Viper goes to strike again but Newt is too quick, his dagger darts out, and severs the Viper’s head.

Mischa rushes over, already casting, the area around Newt’s knee glows and pulses, “It’s poisoned; here take this- drink it.” She hands over an Antitoxin Potion; Newt grits his teeth and swigs the foul brew. He feels woozy.

Several minutes later the group are back on their feet, Newt is not feeling very well, his leg hurts a lot and his head seems to be full of fog. Jim’s face still stings from the book slap he received.

Once again Mischa has had to use her healing skills, the second Healer’s Kit has been broached and there’s only one use of her salve left.

The chest contains a blank spellbook- Anya takes it; a ring of keys, they guess they’re for the cells- Newt takes them; and another diary, this one’s written by someone called Erasmus, Anya begins to read it.

“Who the feck is Erasmus?” Newt enquires to shrugs.
“Suto’s father, or at least I think so.” Anya states.

“We should read this.” Anya continues.
“No time.” Cas is certain.

The six gather their stuff and head off.

And into the western passage from the Alchemist’s Laboratory.

They get a way down the passage when…

“Squeeeee…”

Next Turn: Suto


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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 10: Suto


“Squeee…”

Thunk

Jim’s magic arrow silences the Shrieker in a moment.

“Quickly now.” Cas leads them on.

Through a grand pair of stone doors and into a large chamber some twenty-five feet wide and forty feet long. In the centre of the floor a carved pentagram, it shines in the torchlight- silver. Beyond the pentagram a brazier full of roaring flame, illuminating in the far wall a carving of the face of some frog-like demon- Frogroth, the mouth extends, serves as an altar, the demon’s eyes twinkle- gemstones. Before the altar a deep dark circular hole, like a well shaft, plunges into darkness.

A stooped wrinkled man, ancient by the look of him, hovers in the air at the far end of the chamber.

Newt silently appraises the rooms contents, rubs his hands together in glee, and then tenses as the pain in his leg brings him to a sudden halt.

Suto, for it is he, grins, scoops his hand into the fire, and screams-

“IGNATO.”

A flaming creature leaps from the brazier, Suto giggles, floats up higher, out of reach.

“Smidgin.”

Anya darts in wand pointing at Suto, nothing happens, the magic fades.

Mischa tries her luck, claps her hands together and shouts.

“ARIEL.”

A Hawk appears, squawks, and dives at Suto, he struggles with the bird for a second and then swats it away, not without paying the price, blood flows from a cut on his cheek.

Newt hops in, readies his crossbow, at the last moment his leg gives way preventing him from getting a shot off.

Jim however targets his magic arrow, it flies, and misses. Bugger.

Cas salutes, “for Pelor”, and launches himself at the Fire Elemental, slices into it- connects with something, but in the same moment is engulfed in flame, he staggers back, on his last legs already, badly burnt.

Bec wades in, pushes Cas aside, and smashes the Fire Elemental to smithereens with his now smoking Greatclub.

Suddenly the sunrod, which Anya’s holding, sparks, fizzles then flares, she drops it just in time, it’s entirely consumed, a cloud of black smoke fills the chamber, and in particular the adventurer’s vision.

Anya rushes forward, unafraid- seemingly, “Smidgin.” A Magic Missile darts out and thumps into Suto, she’s got the wand working again.

Mischa’s Hawk screams in claws and scratches at Suto’s torso.

Mischa rushes out of the smoke, momentarily turned around, she searches for Cas- she must save him, spots him, runs over only to find he’s swigging from a potion vial, his wounds disappearing. He catches her eye, ashamed.

Newt staggers out of the smoke, awkwardly crouches and fires, killing Mischa’s summoned Hawk in an instant.

“Bugger.”

Jim reacts badly to the cloying smoke, collapses and lies choking on the floor, unseen by the others.

Bec drops his greatclub, hefts his long spear and chucks it at Suto, it wobbles in flight, not really meant as a missile weapon, and yet its aim is true.

Thuds into, and through, Suto’s chest, the wizard gargles his last words.

“The Voice Below.”

And thumps to the floor dead.

Everybody left alive takes a breath.

Mischa, face still thunder, doles out what healing she has left. Jim is dragged from the smoke, which is clearing, and sips water trying to recover his breath.

Newt has already pried both eyes from the idol- topaz and of great quality, only one of them finds its way into the ‘party haul.’

There are other discoveries, not the least of which is Suto’s spellbook, which causes Anya to jump for joy, she knows it now- she’s a proper wizard.

Judicious use of Anya’s Detect Magic spell also snares her a protection ring, several scrolls and two flasks of, obviously, the magic oil mentioned in Suto’s diary.

There are also some silver ingots in the room, and as they first thought the pentagram is etched in silver.

However…

“The Voice Below.” Cas looks down the hole.

Newt wanders over to and gobs down it.

“Use the rope.” Mischa ties her rope around the Paladin’s waist- he’s lowered into the black.

“Ok?” Anya calls after him. Bec’s taking the strain.
“Yep, keep it coming.” The Lord descends, and then suddenly is engulfed in a pall of black fog, that leeches into him.

Momentarily he feels the terror of the unknown surround him, and then as if someone had lit a candle in his heart and head, the blackness fades- Pelor is within him.

“Pull me back up.”
“Everything ok?” Mischa enquires.
“Certainly, we’ll need the oil though, there’s something down there.”

Back up top Cas has changed, everyone notices, they smile for some strange reason.

“Bec take a rope, tie it round Newt. Newt I want you to be lowered in after me. You’re the best we’ve got in a tight spot.” Newt finds himself grinning, stops it as soon as he realises. Cas continues, “Anya, Mischa- keep your eyes on the pit, if anything comes out of there I want you to drop my rope- regardless of where I am, and nail it with whatever you’ve got. Jim help out, watch everything, we don’t want any accidents.”

He pours a little of the magic oil over his blade and Newt’s heavy mace, leaves the rest up top.

He nods to each member of the team, they nod back in turn.

“Right then- death or glory.”

He salutes drops a sunrod into the dark and then steps over the side, Newt follows soon after.

The pair descend forty feet into a ten foot diameter chamber, its obvious there’s something there, but where- there’s nothing visible.

A small demonic looking human, complete with bat-like wings and a stinger tail appears, lashes out with its barbed tail, Cas however is ready for it, dodges and swipes, his weapon leaves a bloody gash across the creatures face and chest.

The Quasit screams.

“Would ya adam 'n eve it?”

And flutters, at speed, up the shaft.

“It’s coming.”

Time passes.

Eventually.

“When?” Anya cries.
“It should be with you now.”

Nothing happens.

“Pull me up.”

Cas is hauled back up, leaving Newt alone to find the hidden treasure cache, inside of which is a minor fortune in jewels, Newt steals an earring, he’s feeling good about himself, and his fellow adventurers- perhaps it’s time he started sharing.

Back up top there’s nothing to be seen, the Quasit it seems has escaped.

“Invisible.” Anya states and listens hard- there’s nothing to be heard.

They grab all that they can carry, which includes the silver from the pentagram, which Newt gouges out, and head for home, freeing Gurt the Hobgoblin when they exit the cave.

The Ogre is dead and the adventure is over, at least for now, they head back to Lowth- with Dayl, Durbin the carpenter, and Jonah, the other grumpy Gnome.

That concludes Goodman Games #0 Legends are Made, not Born.

They’re all up to 1st level.

Next Turn: After the Party.


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Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Turn 10a: Review


At the end of each of the scenarios, which will all be ‘shop bought’, and for this lot from Goodman Games, I will attempt to explain what I, and the players, thought was good and bad about the product, perhaps explain any crunchy bits, or relate other tales.

To begin with an extended word about my players.


Cas is played by Mr. R. who in the real world fiddles with computers, I think, he’s worming his way up to a senior management post though so I shouldn’t think he even remembers how to switch a computer on, he probably has someone to do it for him. With 26 years role-playing games experience, he’s the senior partner (beating me by a week), he specialises in playing characters that try to manage the other players function, and everyone has a function, believe Mr. R. He’s prone to speculating the outcome of his characters actions, sometimes to the nth remove, like some chess grand master.

Mr. R. (as Cas)- I pull down the lever swiftly, dodge right, tight against the wall, that should prevent any sudden attacks from the room beyond. I’ll have my longsword part drawn, and… hang on, I’ll place my bow down first so I can release the sword if the enemy is at a distance and get a couple of missile shots, remember I’ve got cover though. Ok, that’s it… What happens?

DM- The door opens, the sound of music and laughter drifts towards you.

Mr. R.- I sneak a look, careful once again not to spill my bow… keeping my hand on my sword just in case. What do I see? I’ve got +6 on spot, do you want me to roll, I rolled an 18 anyway, that’s 24…

DM- There’s a tavern, it’s pretty full. Several farmers walk in giving you a funny look on the way.

Mr. R.- (Thinks about it) Do any of them Detect as Evil?

DM packs up books and goes home.

It, of course, doesn’t help that I grew up with Mr. R.


Mischa is played by Mrs. R., I know what you’re thinking, you’re right- Mrs. R. now bares the burden of living with Mr. R., I feel very sorry for her, and at the same time very thankful. In the real world Mrs. R. proof-reads science journals before publication, I think that’s what she does, lots of fact checking is involved, which comes in handy. Mrs. R. has been playing role-playing games for about 20 years, almost exclusively with Mr. R. Her characters are a lot less noisy and/or demonstrative, they do however get on with things, and they’re usually very clever. She also spends a little time during each adventure alternatively trying to save Mr. R. from a beating, or, more often, proving him wrong.

Mrs. R. (as Mischa)- I drag Cas into the bar, sit him down with a drink and face him towards the likeliest looking quest giver. I’ll mingle but keep in earshot in case he starts offending people- I’ll cast Goodberry as soon as I can, it’ll save time in the long run.

DM nods sagely.

It should be noted at this point that having earlier decided that she would like to play a Druid, Mischa; Mrs. R has now decided that she’s like to play a Cleric, that’s her privilege, so in the next scenario she’ll be playing- Ala.


Newt is played by Mr. W. who’s a website designer/controller, another IT wizard. He has been role-playing for approx 20 years also. He plays characters that almost always seek to undermine the hero, usually by doing fairly heroic things for less altruistic motives; he’s not after saving the princess unless she’s sitting on a treasure chest stuffed with diamonds. He is also possessed of a sense of humour, which almost always comes to the fore when someone else (Cas, for obvious reasons) is making an fool of themselves.

Mr. W. (as Newt)- I’ll buy a drink and loiter, any of these rich farmers deep in conversation, any games of chance- likely marks.

DM- There’s only one person that seems to be fully engrossed in what he’s doing.

Mr. W.- One born every minute, I’ll sidle over, what’s he look like- the mark? What’s he doing?

DM- He’s talking to a farmer about crop rotation, how important it is to get it right, he’s very passionate about it, oblivious to everything else that’s going on.

Mr. W.- (Thinks a while) It’s Cas isn’t it?

DM nods.

Mr. W.- I’ve got +6 Pick Pocket, I’ll see what I can get, he’s gotta learn sometime.

DM (turns to Mischa)- You’re watching this… Do you say anything?

Mrs. R.- Nah, Newt’s gotta make a crust.


Jim is played by Mr. A. who also fiddles with computers, there seems to be a lot of it about, either they’re extremely popular gadgets or they keep going wrong, or maybe it’s both? Mr. A. has been role-playing for approx 18 years; he bought the D&D 3.5E Players Handbook four years ago and has not read a word of it yet- they say he is an excellent DM. He makes for a, sometimes, quiet side-kick; he likes to be involved in the action, although he veers between the over-cautious and the, seemingly, fearless.

Mr. A. (as Jim)- What spells can I cast?

DM- None. You’re a first level Ranger.

Mr. A.- Can I see Newt stealing Cas’ money, +4 Spot?

DM- Yep.

Mr. A.- Right if it gets out of hand I’ll punch him in the face.

DM- Which one?

Mr. A.- (Thinks) Hang on… has anyone got a dice I can borrow?


Bec is played by Miss E., who’s the real time partner of Mr. A., in the real world she taps at a computer, I think, supervises a shift maybe. It’s not clear. Miss E. has been playing role-playing games for approx 15 years. She plays the same character every time, at least in the games I DM, the strong and almost totally silent type- the lug of a lad that basically means no harm, she’s as quiet as a mouse. Although very prone to ‘going off on one’, which usually ends, or rather starts, with acts of extreme violence and aggression- the term ‘tank’ also springs to mind.

Miss E. (as Bec)- Er…

DM- Bec?

Miss E.- Is there a bar?

DM- Yeeeeees. It’s a tavern.

Miss E.- Right. Er…

DM- Bec?

Miss E.- Hang on. Er… I’ll go over…

DM- And?

Miss E.- Ask the barman…

DM- What?

Miss E.- Does it look like they do food?

DM- Are you going to ask for a sandwich again?

Miss E.- Er… OK.

DM rolls randomly on sandwich filling table.


And lastly, Miss P., who’s my better half. She spends her waking hours, and some of what should be her sleeping hours, managing a technical department (which among things deals with computers- insidious beasts); the rest of the time is spent forgiving me. Miss P. has been playing role-playing games for a little less than three weeks (at the time the above scenario was completed); she’s played twice then- obviously. She doesn’t like it, but she likes the idea of an imaginary new wardrobe, and will soon take to cutting up catalogues, she doesn’t like the idea that they’re animal skins she’s collecting, but understands that this is make-believe. Her ideal character, she says, is a Dalek. I’ve tried explaining- believe me.

Miss P.- What’s everyone wearing?

DM drops his dice.

Miss P.- I strut around giving everyone a good eyeful, is everyone looking at me yet?

DM- They’d be mad not to.

Miss P.- Good.

DM- Anything else.

Miss P.- No, that’s it.

And so onto the scenario

Dungeon Crawl Classics #0 Legends are Made, not Born
An Adventure for 0 Level Characters

Overall score out of 10: 6.8

Review:

A good first scenario, nice idea that they start at 0th level and work their way up to a proper character class, also ensures that they’re good for a few extra hit points, saves and skills by the time they hit first level.

The overall scenario, while nothing new, is well constructed, the players particularly liked the back way in, with its potential minor mishaps and monsters along the way- nice build up to the Ogre. Which was of course too easy- see quotes below. The kicker, the twist in the tail, the secret Wizards lab et al was again, perhaps, too easy.

DMs Caution:

The problem with role-playing with people with near enough 100 years experience is that they understand the full potential of their characters, even when they don’t know how they do it, what dice to roll, skill to use- Mr. A., they understand that Sense Motive is a good skill, that lots of traps look the same, that a lot of the times not saying anything is often the best policy. They likewise appreciate that encounters can be overcome in a myriad of ways, and yet they seem to love fighting, and therefore ‘tool up’ to ensure that they have the advantage wherever possible. They’ve developed techniques along the way that no matter how hard they try to role-play their character they’re not about to see them die when they know the right answer.

Notes and Quotes:

Everybody liked the Dire Skunk, this was indeed the moment that Jim decided that his Rangers mortal enemy would be Dire Animals, that may have been because the creature emptied its bladder on him.

Mr. A. (Jim) says-

“He’s pissed on me? Right that’s it… I hate them… Badgers, whatever it is.”

Five of the six characters expressed delight that there were Fire Beetles to kill, they were disappointed that there wasn’t at least one Stirge; the pair being almost mandatory first scenario fodder.

The poisoned mushrooms were avoided for the simple reason that they always appear here, in this type of scenario- yes, Ala’s a Druid, and therefore at one with all of nature, but mushrooms are almost always to be avoided, except for the single poisonous looking ones that either heal you to full or give you +1 on one stat for the rest of the day.

Blogg, the Ogre, was too easy because, to quote Mr. R. (Cas)-

“The end of level bad guy is always easy because everyone’s sub-consciously saving up for that moment, also, at lower levels, and in this scenario in particular, we knew what we were looking for.”

He speaks like that- honest. I don’t know how anyone stands it for longer than a gaming session.

In the alchemists (Suto’s) lab, after reading out the room’s description, ending in the silk cloak.

Miss P. (Anya) says-

“Did you say ‘Silk Cloak’, what colour is it?”

To which, Jim asks, “Do you think it’s magical?”

“That depends on the colour?”

The captured carpenter made them laugh, as did the punchy Gnome, which also upset at least one of them.

Mr. W. (Newt) says-

“What d’you mean he hits me. I’m not knocked out. A? What’d he do that for? You can’t have Gnome-on-Gnome violence. It’s not right. We’re the little people, kind and gentle…”

The others stare in disbelief.

“There must be something wrong with him. In the head. He’s not right. It’s not Gnome-like.”

And when there wasn’t time to finish the entire scenario in the same session, the reason we stopped was.

Miss E. (Bec) says-

“I’m starving. Can I have sandwich?”

The final ending- Suto, and “The Voice Below”, proved to be somewhat of an anti-climax, possibly because, again, they knew most of what to expect, but also because of Suto, and I fudged it so he had all of his protections cast on him, and I cheated on at least two other dice rolls- the Hawk’s attacks included, it would have been more of an anti-climax if the bad guy got killed in two rounds by a summoned Hawk. And I made it so that Newt’s crossbow bolt killed the summoned Hawk. And when Suto failed his concentration checks, well… he didn’t- if you catch my drift. And still Suto was too weak, as for the Quasit, I didn’t want to give them the pleasure.

And so, I think Mrs. R. (Mischa) should finish us of, she said, on spotting Cas swigging from a Potion of Healing, which he must have just ‘magicked’ up because he never told anyone he had it before-

“Typical, Lawful Good, and a Paladin- and he lies. That’s you all over.”

Thanks for reading.

Next Turn: After the Party


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 Post subject: Re: DCC0 Legends are Made, not Born
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:39 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Goodman Gang, that’s what we’re calling them, for now anyway.

Turn 11: After the Party.

The village of Lowth is a happier place, for many reasons. The citizens go about their business a little more safe and secure, after all the Ogre’s dead, and so is Newt.

It’s been four weeks since the brave adventurers returned- Lord Cas, Jim, Bec & Anya.

And for the six, yes I did say six adventurers; life has changed or is, as we speak, in the process of changing forever.

Jim & Mischa.

Four weeks ago Jim went home, a hero in the pub and town, but still a ‘nobody’ back on his family’s farm. He went back to… heartbreak. The thing he remembered the most about his adventure in the Ogre’s cave was the moment on the return journey when Mischa turned to him and said-

“I’ve got to go, I can’t do this.”
“What… What’d you mean?” Jim looks suddenly lost in the dark forest.
“I can’t be like this.” Mischa shrugs, looks about her, feels the cool air of the morning on her face.
“This is my place- in the forest, not in some dark hole.”
Jim gawps. “But…”
“But nothing Jim, I’m sorry but I can’t be like you, I can’t take part in the slaughter, and some of the others… they mean well, mostly, but their motivations- greed, justice- ha, vanity, even you… you want to prove something. I’m not like that.”
A tear falls onto Jim’s armour.
“Oh, come on- it’s not that bad. We’ll see each other around. You’ll still be at the farm, I’ll visit, I promise.”
Jim sniffs, wipes his nose on his sleeve.
Mischa hugs him, holds him, and then pecks him on the cheek.
“Be careful.”
And then she’s gone.

Jim shakes his head; he’s back home, in his bed, something woke him. And being awake it starts again- the sadness fills him, four weeks, no Mischa- she lied to him, she had no intention of visiting, all she wanted was to get away, to get away from him.

Thunk

The sound again, a familiar sound, he goes to lie down… then stops.

Thunk

A stifled sob.

Jim gets up. Rone his brother wakes, there are four of them in the bed, Jim squats down places a finger over his brother’s lips- whispers, “shush”, then stands and grabs his father’s old Battleaxe, it’s been sat in the corner of his room for four weeks now, gathering dust.

He creeps out of his room, and along the landing.

Thunk

A sob again.

He stops at a door.

Takes a huge breath and pushes it open with his toe.

He’s seen it before, but each time it scares him, his father astride his mother- drunk again, punches and slaps, between hissed threats.

“What’d’you wan?”

His father half turns.

Jim steps closer.

“G’back t’bed.”

Closer.

“I sed…”

SHHHHHHHHK

The blade of the axe makes hardly a sound, he heaves his father over, and onto the floor, there’s a lot of blood already.

His mother gasps air, hiccup snivels as if trying to say something, to scream, to shout, to breathe.

THHHHHHHHK

He draws the axe back out, grips it tight to him, tears fall.

Bends down over his mother, smoothes her hair, and then kisses her forehead.

“I’ve got to go now.”

She half-smiles half-cries- reaches out for his hand.

But he’s gone.

Outside in the cold morning, just like that morning four weeks ago, Jim walks his father’s horse a little way from the farmhouse, then leaps on board, spurs the creature and is away- forever.

A hooded figure, unseen at the edge of the woods, halts their journey, turns to stare as Jim races by, the figure slumps hard against a tree; a hand comes up and pulls down the hood of the cloak, the figure waits- hardly breathing.

Then turns; Mischa walks back into the woods, and her old life.


Lord Casimir.

Lincorn Cathedral, the largest temple to Pelor in all of Lincornshire, evensong, the voices of angels. Cas continues with his letter.

The food is first rate, we had veal last night in a plum sauce, a really thought Paladin-hood would mean hardship and having to make-do, but here I am living the high life, I’m afraid I may have even put on a little weight- filled out. That said they work us hard, and not just at the books, although it’s best to know the Book of Common Prayer backwards, Pelor knows what question Father Darus is going to dream of asking us next. The countryside is beautiful around here, as is the city, there are plenty of places to go on our nights off, and the locals are very welcoming. I feel as though I am at last growing up, becoming a man, the choices that have lead me here seem to be so far in the past. I’m so glad I made them, that you helped me to make them. I miss you and father, so much, as I’ve said the place is wonderful, and the people, but it’s not like home.

All of my studies are going well, you’ll be pleased to hear I got a first in fencing, and after only three weeks of training- my Sword Master, Dr. Valerius, says I am a natural, I guess by natural he’s referring to the four hours extra training I’ve been putting in with the blade most days. My favourite class though is “Leadership”, it’s taught by a bluff old ex-Major by the name of Gurnik, he shouts and fumes quite a lot but all that he says… well, it’s amazing what you can learn. I bless Pelor for everyday I spend here, for every hour of instruction I receive.

Anyway, it’s getting late and I want to make sure this gets to matron so that it’s on the coach of the morrow, I’ll just read through it again, check for any silly errors, and then put it in the post. I miss you all terribly, tell father I shall see him the next time he comes into the city, and mother, kiss little James for me, and shake Frank by the hand, he doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Your Loving Son,

Casimir La Frond.

Cas reads the letter through again, stands and walks over to the window, something outside catches his eye, it’s dark and yet…

A little while later, in the same spot, two robbed figures stand shoulders bowed, whispering.

“And all you found was the letter?”
“Yes Father, the window was wide open- Lord Casimir, it seems, has gone.”

“And you say you spoke to him earlier, he was at the window then?”
“Yes Father.”
“Well… What did he say?”
“I asked him if everything was alright, he was staring out of the window, smiling.”
“And what did he say?”
“He said, ‘Perfect’, and then grinned.”
“He did what?”
“Grinned Father.”
“Grinned?”
“Yes Father, like this.” The Acolyte beams in the half-dark, Father Darus scowls, mutters, and shuffles off- now what to tell the parents.

Anya.

Anya sits in the bar of the Merry Riot, Lowth- her head fizzing with ideas, formulas, theories- she hasn’t done her hair for three days now, well she’s combed it a couple of times, and used a minor prestidigitation spell to heat up a pair of metal tongs to get the fringe to hang right, but she hasn’t done her hair properly- the full works.

She sips some more of the Goat’s Milk, it’s good for the complexion, and works through a magical formula in her head, this one will enable her to find hidden doors, concealed places, already she can see a way, a better way, to shape the incantation- she giggles. She hasn’t felt this good since her father had sent her the money for a ‘Yes St. Laurence’ Sable and Hippogriff cape with Ermine sheen. She shakes her head, clothes will have to wait, she’s a wizard now.

“Why dun ya turn me inta frog den missy?”

He looks like a pig-farmer, he smells like a pig-farmer, oh Wee Jas, here we go again.

“I’m sorry?”
“There’uns no need to be sorree, young missy.”

The pig-farmer approaches, slurring his words, and his legs.

“Tha’s say yous a witch. Tha’ ain’t ryte is it? Bootiful gurl like yous.”
“Look if you don’t mind, and I can see that you’re awfully busy, I have to get some things sorted out, I’m working- thinking, if you’d just be so kind as to leave me alone…”

This was her new tack, be nice to them, try to gently tell them to go away.

“Oh, wud I mine awfully, and yer busy, and yer thinkin’ begging yer please.”
“And so if you wouldn’t mind… please…”

The drunk pig-farmer looks at her a while longer, makes up his mind, turns and wanders off, mid-stride changes his mind again and starts back.

“Yer weren’t always so hoity-toitty, I member yew when yous wer dis ‘igh, an’ yer mother, an she nivver wur sew well mannared. As I recal she didna use sutch big wurds, on accownt of ‘er ‘avin sum fellers co…”

WHUMP

The pig-farmer flies a good ten feet before thumping into the back wall of the bar, slides down and ends up in a heap on the floor.

And Bec.

Bec leans his mop against the bar, wanders over to where the pig-farmer lays. Anya grabs his arm.

He likes her touch, he thinks, and follow this closely; softtouchwarmspreadingfarmerstupidfarmerpigsmellyoinkoinkSMASHhahafarmerpigsmellyoinkoinkstilltouchwarmspreadingAnyalovelythensometimegoneawaytheninOgreCavethengonesometimegoneawayAnyabacksandwich.

“Sandwich?”

Bec looks up, Anya’s half-way to the door, he goes to pick his broom back up, but Anya’s pointing now, past him, Bec turns around, the barman’s holding something out for him to take, he stares at the package till he hears Anya’s voice.

“Bec, come on, get my bags, we’re going… and don’t forget your sandwich.” The barman motions again with his package, as Anya steps out of the Inn.

Bec grins, grabs the sandwich and Anya’s bags and follows.

Ala.

She’d been waiting quite a while, she didn’t like Lincorn, too busy- too many people not enough trees for her liking. She decides to wait a little while longer, it’s getting dark, she knows he’s up there, and then… he is.

She watches him at the window, he must be talking to someone, he turns away for a second, her heart skips a beat, and then he’s back and looking right at her.

She says nothing, he says nothing- time passes, it gets darker.

And then he climbs out.

Thirty minutes later they’re out of town, nestled in the back of an empty hay cart winding its way down a lonely road, the farmer sings a song about the stars and the moonlight- they still haven’t touched, they still haven’t spoke, they’re both just smiling.

She hopes it will last forever.

So does Cas.

Newt.

“You’re dead.”
Newt nods.
“I’ve taken the posters down like you said.”
Newt passes over a small pouch of gold.
The speaker ups and leaves.

The inhabitants of the Smuggler’s Inn, in the port town of Grimbo, continue to shout, cry, drunk, sick, fight, snarl and spit- all is well with the world, except for an itch that for four weeks now Newt has failed to scratch.

He’d left them in the woods, on the way back from the Ogre’s Cave, he didn’t want to go back to Lowth, he knew what was waiting for him, it was easy enough to just slip away- nobody missed him.

Time stood still.

“Nobody missed him.”
“What?”

He hadn’t realised he’d spoken aloud.

“I said…”

Newt takes a good look at the stranger swaying slightly before him, a dockworker, all corded muscle and pent up frustration.

Newt stands up.

“I said feck you yer fairy…”

FUMP.

The beating takes quite a while, passers-by, concerned with the miss-match, try repeatedly to drag the dockworker off of him, and yet each time Newt manages to find something insulting enough set him going again, even though it becomes increasingly difficult to talk through the wreck of his mouth.

When it’s over, when he can talk no more, he lays there in his own blood till they throw him out into the street, and there in the gutter he realises that he feels no better, and that death isn’t the answer; and that although nobody misses him… he misses them.

He leaves Grimbo the next day, a little less itchy than before.

Next Turn: Catch Up.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC0 Legends are Made, not Born
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:42 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 12: Catch Up


And so a moment to catch up with our intrepid explorers.

“Jim” Bowen

Human Male Ranger Level 1
NG HP 12 AC 18 Init +2
Str 14 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 12 Ch 10
Saves Fort +4 Ref +3 Will +1
+1 Battleaxe (family heirloom) +4 d8+3
Longbow (Masterwork) +4 d8 or Rapid Fire +2/+2
Dagger +3 or +3 d4+2
Armour: Chainmail and Light Wooden Shield.

Feats: Skill Focus (Trapmaking), Point Blank Shot, Track, Favoured Enemy- Dire Animals, Ranger Two-Weapon Fighting, Rapid Shot.

Skills of note: Animal Empathy +3 Climb +4 Craft (Trapmaking) +6 Handle Animal +4 Hide +6 Jump +4 Knowldege (Nature) +3 Listen +3 Move Silently +5 Wilderness Lore +5

Items of note: Potion Cure Lt x2.

Bec

Human Male Barbarian Level 1
CG HP 16 AC 14 Init +1
Str 18 Dex 12 Con 18 Int 11 Wis 8 Ch 9
Saves Fort +6 Ref +1 Will -1
Long Spear +5 d8+6
Dagger +5 or +2 d4+4
Greatclub +5 d10+6
Armour: Studded Leather.

Feats: Toughness, Power Attack & Cleave.

Skills of note: Climb +8 Concentration +4 Jump +7 Ride +3 Spot +3 Swim +7 Use Rope +4

Items of note: Climbers Kit, Potion Cure Lt x2.

Lord Casimir

Human Male Paladin Level 1
LG HP 12 AC 17 Init +1
Str 15 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 11 Ch 14
Saves Fort +6 Ref +3 Will +4
Longsword (Cold Iron Masterwork) +4 d8+2
Longbow +2 d8
Light Mace +3 d6+2
Armour: Shiny Breastplate & Sparkling Light Steel Shield

Feats: Negotiator, Dodge, Mobility.

Skills of note: Diplomacy +8 Handle Animal +6 Knowledge (History) +5 Knowledge (Local) +7 Knowledge (Religion) +5 Ride +5 Sense Motive +6 Spot +4

Items of note: 3 Flasks of Holy Water, 5 Silver Arrows.

Anya’Drea

Human Female Wizard Level 1
CG HP 10 AC 14 Init +5
Str 10 Dex 13 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 11 Ch 17
Saves Fort +1 Ref +1 Will +2
Quarterstaff (Masterwork) +1 d6
Sling (actually an old pair of her leather panties) +1 d4
Armour: Leather Armour, Ring of Protection +1

Feats: Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Armour Proficiency (Light), Improved Initiative, Scribe Scroll, Toughness.

Skills of note: Alchemy +5 Appraise +3 Bluff +3 Concentrate +5 Craft (Model) +3 Decipher Script +7 Diplomacy +3 Disguise +3 Forgery +3 Gather Info +3 Hide +5 Intimidate +3 Knowledge (Arcane) +7 Listen +4 Move Silently +3 Perform (Vogue) +3 Scry +5 Search +3 Spellcraft +7 Use magic Device +10

Spells: Lvl 0 (3) All;
Lvl 1 (2) Shield, Mage Armour, Mount, Unseen Servant, Detect Secret Doors, Detect Undead, Magic Missile.

Items of note: Scrolls Read Magic, Mage Hand (both Lvl 1 use) Shield, Bear’s Endurance, Monster Summoning II (Lvl 5 use); Wand of Magic Missile (Level 1- 5 Charges); Pearl of Power (lvl 1); Potion Cure Lt. x2, 2 Bags of Caltrops; 6 Tindertwigs.

“Swish” Animated Broom companion AC15 Mv30 Init+2 +1 Slam d4 Hardness 5 Fort +0 Ref +2 Will -5

Newt

Gnome Male Rogue Level 1
NG HP 8 AC 18 Init +3
Str 11 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 16 Wis 11 Ch 10
Saves Fort +2 Ref +5 Will +2
Heavy Mace +1 d6
Light Crossbow (Masterwork) +5 d6
Dagger (Silver Edged) +1 or +4 d3
Armour: Scabby old Chain Shirt

Feats: Nimble Fingers, Low Light Vision, +1 To Hit vs. Goblinoids and Kobolds, +4 Dodge vs. Giants, Point Blank Shot.

Skills of note: Alchemy +9 Appraise +5 Balance +5 Climb +4 Craft (Locksmith) +5 Decipher Script +5 Disable Device +9 Escape Artist +4 Forgery +3 Hide +9 Intimidate +3 Jump +4 Listen +6 Move Silently +7 Open Lock +9 Pick Pocket +4 Ride (Pony) +3 Scry +3 Search +7 Spot +5 Use Rope +3

Spells: Ghost Sound, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation & Speak with Burrowing Animals.

Items of note: Silk Climbing Rope, 10 Tindertwigs, 2 Thunderstones, 2 Tanglefoot bags, 12 Sunrods, 2 Smoke Sticks, 4 Alchemist’s Fire, Thieves Tools (Masterwork), Potion Cure Lt x4.

And the new member of the team, replacing Mischa is…

Ala

Elf Female Cleric Level 1
NG HP 9 AC 18 Init +3
Str 14 Dex 17 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 17 Ch 13
Saves Fort +3 Ref +3 Will +5
Longsword +4 d8+2
Long bow +3 d8
Dagger (Silver edged) +2 or +3 d4+2
Armour: Chain Shirt & Light Steel Shield

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (Longsword), Turn Undead (4/day).

Skills of note: Concentration +3 Diplomacy +3 Heal +5 Hide +3 Listen +5 Ride (Horse) +3 Sense Motive +3 Spot +5 Use Rope +3 Wilderness Lore +3

Spells: Lvl 0 (3) Lvl 1 (3)
Domains: War & Good.

Items of note: 2 Healer’s Kits, Scroll Protection from Elements

Next Turn: What about OUR Ogre?


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:01 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 13: What about OUR Ogre?


Three miles west of the village of Tetknee, through the forest again they come, nobody knows the way, except Cas perhaps, he has a map given to him by Ladrasar, the wise woman of the village.

They’d all met back up in the Frog & Parrot pub there; a lot didn’t get said, for ages, in fact all night. But then it all came together when the wise woman appeared, staggered over to the table that Cas was sitting at, with Ala, and shouted, while thumping the table hard enough to make their drinks dance-

“What about OUR Ogre?”

A price agreed, glances met shrugs, shrugs met nods and here they are again, nearly- Mischa it seems is not cut out for the dungeon experience, and so we have Ala.

The story is less convoluted this time, Ogre in cave, normally quite sweet, well… except for the odd misdemeanour, suddenly gets uppity- starts smashing up trade caravans, farmers killed, livestock butchered or taken- can you fix it. Well… yes, we can… probably.

And so in a low dustbowl where no crops will grow, between two steep and stony scarps is a cave; and here it is.

“Newt, could you perhaps scout ahead, you all know the plan, anyway, just make it angry, make it come out here, we’ll do the rest. Shouldn’t prove too difficult for you, I mean…” Cas runs dry.

“I know what you mean. One Ogre- coming right up.” Newt winks, and scuttles into the dark.

Less than thirty seconds later.

“Waaaaaaahh…”

Newt comes running out, zig-zags once then sprints hard right, out of the line of fire, he’s giggling, he even manages to click his heals with a little jump- grandstanding.

FWUNG
THUNG
FWOOM
Etc.

Arrows, and associated missiles, fly- Ala buries an arrow into the Ogre’s shoulder, it jerks left, and into Bec who’s following up the artillery fire with his charge, the giant man crunches into the Ogre, immovable object meets… no, hang on, Bec crumples and falls. Cas dances forward, slices, and nearly takes the Ogre’s foot off, the creature screams, stumbles back.

The Ogre swings its enormous club around, Cas ducks, and the Ogre lets go, the club hurtles off into the distance. Cas slices again ripping open the Ogre’s chest, a curtain of blood flows as Jim rushes by Cas and…

THUNK

Splits the creature’s chest open completely, the Ogre paws the air, and then topples over, no more.

“Well that wasn’t so bad. If you’d like to wake Bec up and tell him it’s over.” Cas cleans his sword. Jim smiles, and does as he’s told.

Ala and the others move up, they gather, staring at the Ogre.

“That’s not… usual.” Anya states the obvious.

The Ogre’s skin is jet black, his eyes a vile green, they seem to glow, even in death, rancid oozing pustules dot his face and body, he seems to have scratched them so hard that many of them have turned to scabrous cuts and sores.

“He doesn’t look… well.”

Newt kicks the corpse, “he wouldn’t, would he- he’s dead”, and then looks ahead, to the cave.

“Shall we see what he’s got, before we go collect our reward?”

The others nod, and with one last look apiece, head off into the dark.

A sunrod flares.

The cave is sparse, almost empty, not at all homely- something odd. They find two sacks stuffed with coin, and some rancid cheese. The coins sacks are too big to hide, so Newt steals the cheese, it’s in his nature.

There’s a dank dark dripping passage that winds further back.

Newt shrugs, motions with the sunrod, the others silently follow.

Into an enormous cavern.

“What the fu… fu… fu… fu… fu…”

It echoes in here, the ceiling is lost from sight.

FLAP-FLAP

“Something’s coming, flying, switch to missile.” Cas warns, just in time.

A group of long-nosed half-insect half-bird looking creatures swoop into the flare of the sunrod, Newt drops it, hefts his crossbow and-

FWUNG

Plucks one of the Striges out of the air- dead.

Jim gets off a shot but misses by a mile, and then the remaining three Stirges are on them.

One of the creature’s crunch-lands on Anya, squawks, and then plunges its proboscis into her shoulder, gargles blood as she tumbles backwards, falls, the Stirge swells and grows as it sucks down Anya’s blood.

The other two swoop and circle around Cas and Ala who stand side by side, swords drawn.

“Wait.” Cas readies himself, glances at Ala.

The Stirges dive down.

SLICE

Ala cuts through the creature’s wing, it bundles into the cavern floor, squawks a while, then dies, Cas misses as the other Stirge swoops by him.

Newt quickly reloads, spins and fires, scoring a minor hit on the Stirge that sits on the fallen Anya, it takes to the air, it may have outstayed its welcome. Jim dashes in and crunches what’s left of the thing, it explodes spraying blood everywhere.

Ala and Cas turn to face the last Stirge, it banks and comes again.

“Wait.” Cas again readies himself- like some fencing master, glances again at Ala.

She nods, then dances ahead, and brings her longsword around in a deft arc, slicing the final creature in two.

Cas grins at Ala, shows her his sword.

“Look not a mark on it, and yet”, he looks around, “they’re all dead. You know what that’s about don’t you?”
“No, tell me Cas.”
“Leadership Ala.”

They grin, then remember there place and head over to help Anya, who turns out to be “ok, she’s lost some blood- it’s mainly the shock that made her feint, she’ll be alright in a minute”, Ala confirms after a brief examination.

As good as her word, Anya is up in a moment, a little dizzy, but still up for a little more exploration.

“Thank you Ala.”

She smiles at the Elven Cleric, Cas’ new friend.

“Hey, I’ve found something.”

Newt appears; another burning sunrod in his hand.

They head off to see what the Gnome has found.

Thirty seconds later.

“Up there.” Newt motions upwards.
The gathering stops to stare up into the inky darkness- there’s nothing to see.
“Where?” Anya manages.

“Stand back, it’s up there somewhere.”

The others do as their told.

Newt affixes a lit sunrod to a crossbow bolt using a little Gum Arabic with a special substance known only to locksmiths.

“Wait… and watch.”

FWUNG

The bolt leaps into the air, a firework, and…

THUNK

Jams into the rock, for a second, then falls.

A second is enough to see the opening high above, a constructed opening, man-made, or at least, humanoid, probably…

“How did you work out that was up there?” Cas stares.
The others stare at the Gnome in awe, new found respect for his eagle-eyes.
“Easy.”

Newt shifts his feet to reveal a tangle of thick rope.

“I found this rope, y’see the thing about gravity is, and stop me Princess if I’m getting this wrong…”

The Gnome winks at Anya, then grins at Cas, he loves being right, and right here.

“Good work. Now how do we get up?”
“Do we want too?” Ala asks, causing Cas to turn.
“Yes. We do, or at least, I do.”
“Why?”

Everybody waits for an answer, including Cas.

“That’s a good question. And I think the answer may be up there.”

He points up.

“Newt, how do we do this?”

FWUNG

This time the bolt and attached sunrod sails up and into the opening, catches on something hidden- and brings light to the proceedings.

“Right then, anyone any good with one of these?”

Newt holds a beautifully made rope ending in an equally well crafted grappling hook.

It takes a while, six minutes to be exact.

Newt scurries up the line, Cas holding it taught behind him, the grappling hook has obviously found a good purchase.

He’s up.

“All clear.”

He drags himself the last foot or so and gingerly stands, bathed in the light of his sunrod, he squints ahead, tries to see what the future holds.

FWUNG
FWUNG
THUNG

Crossbow bolts clatter and shatter on the rock behind him, including the one that has just taken the top of his left ear off.

“CAAAAAAAZ.”

He recognises the next sound, they’re reloading.

Turn 14: They’re only…


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:16 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 14: They’re only…


“CAAAAAAZZZZZ, PLEASE- I’LL BE GOOD.”

Newt turns back, a new noise, they’re charging, hang-on, and reloading- damn there’s lots of them.

“CAAAAAAZZZZZ I PROMISE.”

Newt turns back, out of the glare, and the black beyond, a wave of javelins come, they all fall well short but still skitter on down the corridor at pace. Newt goes to dodge backwards, realises what’s behind him, and too late- is caught on the ankle by one of them.

“CAAA… OH you’re there.”

Lord Casimir pulls himself up, as three creatures charge into the light.

“Hold them.” Cas states.
“Feck.” Newt gulps, and leaps into the fight.

He sees the enemy at last.

“OH. They’re only… Kobolds?”

They’re Kobolds, of sorts, burlier, stockier- nastier. Their skin has rough red patches, rubbed raw, their teeth and claws are longer, somehow twisted- more feral looking. They’re wrapped in mail, armour that is- Scalemail, each has a shield and a military looking shortsword- heavy duty all round. There are three of them, and they mean business.

DMs interlude just for the record the Kobold Footmen have AC 19, yep you heard me right, the Kobold Artillery (with Crossbows) are AC 15, and the Elite Kobolds, when we get to them, are AC 18. None of them have more than 2 hit points, but you’ve got to hit them to kill them. They don’t dish out a lot of damage but they hang around, unlike your normal Kobolds.

Back to the action.

Newt ducks, dodges, bends and blocks- not one of the shortswords hit him, he is however miles away from scoring a hit of his own.

He plays out the same manoeuvres, only in a different order; with the same results- all combatants remain unscathed.

“Cas, please.”
“A second.”

And then Cas is there. Bec’s arm flops up into the corridor, soon followed by the rest of him.

The Kobolds fall back slightly as Cas steps in, giving Newt an opportunity, he smashes his mace into the side of one of the creatures, it falls, goes down holding it’s ribs- gasps for a second and then closes its eyes for good.

FWANG

A crossbow bolt shoots through the gap left by the dying Kobold.

Cas looks aghast.

“Wha…”
“Oh yeah, there’s some more of them- a bit farther on, nice huh.”
“What is this place?”

Cas leans back, still keeping the Kobold at bay.

“GET UP HERE.”

And in that second the Kobold leaps prodigiously and slices, cutting Cas’ throat, a curtain of blood gushes down.

He staggers but stays on board, drops his shield and while clutching at his throat, fights on.

Bec’s giant hand grasps Newt’s shoulder and pulls him over and out of the way, the effect is immediate, his longspear skewers one of the creatures, dead. The last one runs.

“Leg it.”

The Kobold screams. Jim arrives.

“What’s?”

Bec grabs Jim, points ahead at the fleeing form, waves his spear.

“Sandwich?”

And runs after the Kobold. Jim shrugs, grins.

“See yah.”

And sprints off.

Another crossbow bolt pings against the ceiling and clatters off behind them.

Cas channels his healing powers into his ragged throat, the flesh is partially closed, he’s still weak- blood loss.

Anya, and then Ala, quickly scramble up, the latter strides over to Cas, her healing hands do their work, the three head off at a sprint to see where Bec and Jim have got to.

Newt has, in the meantime, taken a good look at the dead Kobolds, they’re both very odd looking, although he’s never seen a Kobold before- perhaps they all look this way. The two bodies do have something else in common, they’re wearing crude gold pendants on leather thongs, each of them a botched depiction of a three fingered hand. The only word that really registers however is ‘gold’- Newt has them both.

Bec stops, he’s entered a huge cavern, lit by a myriad glowing fungi, there’s a river in here somewhere he can hear the water, he spots his pray, sprints off.

He soon catches up with the Kobold Footman, who spins round to meet the foe, the two face off, it’s David vs. Goliath, and you know how that one turned out. Bec swings and pokes, the Kobold dances out of the way, manages a snarl, or two- they’re vicious, you’ll have to give them that.

Jim sprints on, figuring that Bec can take care of himself.

He’s approaching a river, actually more of a stream, although the current’s running at quite a lick. What’s going on, he takes a look around.

SNICK

Bec meantime gets his Kobold, spearing the creature through its chest.

He rushes forward to Jim as the others troop into the cavern.

“There.”

Jim spots them, points, the remaining two Kobolds are down the bank of the stream, using slick looking stepping stones, sawn-off stalagmites actually, to get across the stream.

“Save meeeeeee.”

As he watches one of the Kobolds slips, and splashes, into the stream, soon disappears from sight, the river plunges into a dark cavern.

The other makes the far bank, screaming.

“Intruders. Intruders. Bloody help me.”

The Kobold is just about to make it to freedom when Anya strikes a glorious pose, think gangsta rapper with gun, only substitute the beautifully coiffured Anya- with Magic Missile Wand.

“Smidgin”, delivered in breathy-whisper.

The missile hits, the Kobold staggers and collapses- dead.

Newt meanwhile is adding to his new collection, he grabs another pendent-thingy from the Kobold Bec killed.

The group convene momentarily; take a quick look around the huge cavern.

“So what’s going on here?” Cas asks.
Ala shrugs, “What do you think?”
“I don’t know but you saw that Ogre, and the Kobolds… they’re, twisted… somehow.”
“I guess that means we should take a look.”
“I’m game”, Newt adds and then has an attack of conscience, he mentally adds that to his tally so far in life, the total is now at one, “I found some... er, one of these… this.”
He holds out a pendent for the others to inspect.
“It’s an odd looking device- I’ve no idea of its meaning, I must say I’m intrigued too.” Anya states.
Jim nods.
“Can I have sandwich?”
“Then it’s decided, we’ll head on for a while, see where it takes us.” Cas states.
“I’ll keep the pendent then, for safety reasons”, Newt confirms, and grins.

Cas leads them down to the river, hops onto the first of the stepping stones, and seconds later is across- easy. Jim follows, it’s all going well, when the ceiling moves.

“Jim.”

Anya screams, the Rock Centipede is hard to spot, but not now it’s moving, it hangs onto a stalactite above and reaches down to grab for Jim, he dodges aside at the last moment. The creature is a good six feet long, the colour of stone, and yet, on it’s sides, on the individual segments, there seems to be a glowing, at least now the creature is moving, representation of the three-fingered hand.

“Intruders. Get the vile interlopers.”

Cas looks behind him, up the bank, coming out of a tunnel is another Kobold, a solitary individual, he darts over. The two meet, swords clash, there’s something really odd here- Cas thinks, every story he’s been told was about Kobolds running off to get their friends, only attacking when the odds were heavily stacked in their favour? And armoured…

The Kobold holds Cas off, he hates to say it, but- easily.

Jim dives the last few feet across the stream and rushes up the slope to help Cas.

Ala’s bow sings.

CRUNCH

The arrow shatters the side of the Rock Centipede’s skull; it unpeels from the stalagmite and splashes into the river only to be carried off.

Bec meantime has found a short cut; he wades through the stream avoiding the stepping stones entirely. He’s halfway across when the second Rock Centipede makes its appearance, it snaps its jaws inches from Bec’s face, he calmly steps back and stabs his longspear through the creature, wrenches it down and flings it into the water.

The Kobold before Jim and Cas is having troubles, it’s still screaming.

“Tell the Master- Intruders.”

The Kobold stumbles; Jim stabs the thing through its cold heart.

Behind them Ala jumps at the first stepping stone, hits it hard, slips and slides over the edge, she grabs on.

Cas looks back. She smiles- she’s ok, begins to pull herself up.

“CAS.”

Jim shouts, four more Kobolds appear from the same tunnel, two instantly drop to one knee, ready light crossbows to fire, the two others make ready, all are heavily armoured.

Cas, Bec and Jim charge towards them. The Kobolds fire.

FWUNG
CRUNCH

The first bolt misses, the second crossbow suffers some technical aberration, shatters, sending the bolt back and up, through the firer’s face, one down.

The two Kobold Footmen see their opportunity and rush in.

Cas meets the first, he’s still charging, he swings- connects and cuts the creature clean in two.

Bec settles for impaling his.

That leaves one, now heavily outnumbered; he drops his crossbow and flees.

Jim, Bec and Cas charge on into the tunnel- Jim’s sunrod lighting the way ahead.

Back at the stepping stones, Ala slips again, tumbles, banging her head as she goes down, she grabs on for dear life- screams.

“Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas.”

But he’s gone.

“I’ll help you.”

Anya wades into the stream, and in an instant gets stuck herself, the current’s too strong for her, she scrabbles to stay upright.

Newt dives down the bank, he’s not really built for this, he weighs much less than half of either of these ladies, and although he hates to admit it, strength is not his thing- and he hates water.

Then he stops- there’s something on the other side.

“Feck”, he points, shouts over the sound of the river, “there’s another cavern- KOBOLDS.”

To emphasise his point a crossbow bolt smashes into the stepping stone that Ala is desperately clinging onto.

Turn 15: Two Way Split


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:31 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 15: Two way split


The trio of pursuers; Jim, Bec & Cas, head down the tunnel following the fleeing Kobold, he flashes in and out of sight, Bec is having trouble keeping track of the creature, Jim has the light and he’s not keeping up.

The Kobold heads towards a larger cavern, thank Pelor, it’s lit, there’s a brazier burning in there, a guard room, without the guards.

The Kobold zags behind a stone pillar, Bec runs around it, the Kobold comes back round the other side- towards Jim, dodges left and up another sloped passage, and away from his pursuers again.

Meanwhile…

“Help me.”

Ala screams clutching onto the rock, Anya has no way to get to her, she dives forward, onto the bank, and scrambles up the side and out of the stream.

She crawls up the slope, spots the Kobold that Newt had seen earlier, the creature grins, steps aside, four huge Dire Rats spring from the cavern, head towards her.

“RAAAAAAATTTS.”

Newt screams and fires.

Thwung

Wings one of the creatures, only slows it down a little.

Anya drags herself to her feet, reaches behind and looses “Swish”, the broom sweeps forward as Anya steps back.

Meanwhile…

The Kobold dashes up the slope towards a lit chamber, screaming-

“Slazzik, save me- intruders.”

Bec, Jim and Cas exchange glances, they’re running up a slope after the Kobold still, shadows appear at the top- more Kobolds, they seem to be grappling with something.

CRUNCH-WIBBLE-WIBBLE-WBBLE-WBLE-RUMBLEEEEE.

A huge stone comes rolling down the slope, a huge stone bowling ball, and they’re the pins.

Meanwhile…

Two rats snap at Swish, the broom holds them off, the other two snake past the broom and are on Anya- she smashes one of them with her staff- dead.

FWUNG

A crossbow bolt thumps into the side of the other rat, its dead. Anya looks left, Newt winks at her, she smiles, the odds are getting better.

Ala lets go of the rock stepping stone, kicks her legs, swims- thrashes the water, she drifts hard right, and to the shore, she drags herself out.

Fwunk

A crossbow bolt passes over Anya’s shoulder and, she’s back in the room.

Meanwhile…

RUMBLE-CRUNCH.

The boulder takes out the Kobold ahead.

RUMBLE

The boulder rushes on, hits Jim- a glancing blow, he staggers and falls on to the hard cavern floor.

Bec and Cas rush into the room ahead, and into a gaggle of Kobolds, four of them- heavily armed and armoured, as usual- nasty looking, same as the others.

There are another two Kobolds over the far end of the chamber, one guarding the other, the other being a scabrous looking individual, short even by Kobold standards, wearing a tatty yellow robe. The chamber itself is dirty and smelly- five stinky beds and at the far side a crude stone desk, old moth-eaten and filthy tapestries on the walls, a huge black candle burns brightly on the desk.

The Kobold wizard, Slazzik, has something in his hand- it’s a wand.

“Wiiiizard.”

Cas screams.

“Smidgin.”

A bolt of force dances and swoops around the room, and slams into Cas, knocking him back a few feet.

Cas reaches down and stabs a Kobold through the chest, Bec meanwhile fares less well, he over-extends himself and is cut twice, one of them a deep blow to his thigh, the giant man staggers, but doesn’t go down.

“Smidgin.”

Another bolt of force slams into Cas, he staggers back again. Jim gets into the room, a Kobold dashes forward to meet him, catches him on the shin- hard, Jim shoots an arm out to the cavern wall steadies himself, he’s bleeding badly, the Kobold snarls. This isn’t going too well.

Cas swings again and decapitates one of the Kobold guards. Bec’s back on form- stabs one through his armour- dead, lashes the end of his longspear round and smacks the second in the face, the Kobold’s head jolts back, neck snaps.

“Smidgin.”

A third Magic Missile slams into Cas’ chest, he wavers but stays on his feet.

Jim and his Kobold tormentor exchange blows, no damage done.

Cas and Bec rush on, charge towards the Wizard and his guard.

Jim slices into the Kobold, it slumps to the floor dead. He rushes forward towards the Wizard and co.

Flames leap from the Wizard Kobold’s outstretched hands- engulf all three of the adventurers, and his guard, which expires in flame.

Cas hits the deck, crisped a little around the ages.

Jim dodges back, avoids the majority of the flame. Bec just rushes through it, smoking, still burning in places, he emerges- stabs at the Kobold Wizard, Slazzik dodges aside, he misses.

Slazzik’s desperate, he stumbles over Draconic phrases, another spell, Bec stabs again, Slazzik dodges again, he misses but the spell is disrupted.

Jim drags himself up and rushes forward.

Slazzik dodges another crude blow from Bec, and this time conjures up a spell, another Burning Hands, the flames engulf Jim and Bec; Jim is crisped, falls.

Just Bec left standing.

Slazzik stumbles backwards to the cavern wall, attempts the same spell again, Bec charges, disrupts the Wizard’s spell as he rams his spear through the Kobold’s chest, the Wizard sinks, gasps- and dies.

Bec breathes hard then trudges over to Cas, pours a Potion of Healing down the Paladin’s throat, then another down Jim’s- thirty seconds later they’re back up. Jim gulps down his goodberry, he’s been carrying it a while, who knows if it does any good.

Cas grabs the Wizard’s wand.

Meanwhile…

Two Dire Rats snap at Swish, the Magic Broom, Ala drags herself out of the stream and up the bank.

A bunch of Kobolds spill out of the cavern, another guard room, three more Kobold Footmen, and two with crossbows, as usual, armed to the teeth.

“KOBOLDS.”

Newt screams.

FWUNG

His crossbow sings- one of the Kobold Artillery sinks to the floor- dead.

“Smidgin.”

Anya vogues with her wand.

One of the other charging Kobolds crashes to the floor- dead.

Ala draws her sword, ready for the two Kobold Footmen approaching.

Fwung

Another crossbow whistles by Anya.

Swish scratches one of the rats attacking it.

FWUNG

The second Kobold Shooter hits the deck; Newt’s getting good at this.

“Smidgin.”

And another Kobold Footman hits the deck.

Ala and the remaining Kobold Footman slug it out, to no effect.

One of the rats has hold of Swish, dragging the broom left and right, when it lets go Swish is still unharmed, the broom flicks over and ‘clonks’ the rat on it’s skull- dead.

FWUNG

Newt’s crossbow takes out the last rat.

Anya parries the Kobold’s blow then brings the pommel of her sword up swiftly, caves the creatures head in.

Newt leaps from stepping stone to stepping stone, traverses the stream, easily.

And then the other members of the adventuring group reappear.

“Where the hell have you been?” Ala’s angry.
“I…” Cas starts up.
“Of you go, rushing ahead, I was in the river.”
“You nodded, smiled at me, I thought you were OK.” Cas looks guilty, then spots the bodies, Kobolds and Dire Rats.
“What happened here?”
“They did.”

Ala and Cas stare at each other for a while, in the background Newt is scooting round stealing as many of the pendants as he can.

The pair break up, Ala sets to healing the others, they’re not speaking to each other.

Five minutes later the adventurers move out.

“So where are we? What is this place?” Anya asks.

Newt shrugs, nobody has an answer.

They enter the second cavern.

Newt shuffles ahead, puts his hand up, wait. He points up.

“Trap… Look...”

The Gnome creeps in, following a rope down to a tripwire, he cuts it- the net ahead falls, netting nothing.

They move forward, and in, through a guard room and into a rats den, there’s nothing to find.

And in silence they wander back to the stream.

“Look will you two just sort it out?” Newt’s tired of the looks and long silences; he stares at Ala and Cas.

The pair wander off a way.

“I thought you were ok?” Cas begins.
“I was… I am, it’s just you can’t keep running off all the time.”
“I…”
“No listen Cas- I don’t know what you want, and the problem is neither do you… you need to take better care of yourself, of your friends, of me. If you’re going to be a leader, then lead, don’t follow- that was stupid splitting the group up, you could have got us all killed.”
“I know, I…”
“No you don’t know. You need to know. You scare me, I never thought it would be easy… being with you, but you’ve got to understand, you need to look out for all these people- they depend on you. I depend on you. I…”
Ala grabs Cas’ arm.
“Just take it easy from now on.”
Cas goes to reach for her, but she’s gone.

They head off to the Wizard’s chamber, Cas catches up with Anya, gives her the wand he found, “the command word is ‘Smidgin’, use it wisely”, Anya grins at Cas.

“Anything I can help you with back there.”
Cas thinks about it, Anya’s look lingers on the forlorn Paladin.
“Nothing I can’t handle, now let’s stay sharp.”

The chamber is as before, except for a steady pulse from the Wizard’s robe, about where the heart is.

“He’s still alive.” Jim states.
“Nope”, Newt stamps on the Wizard’s heart, a squidgy sound, then rips the creatures robes open, a dead toad inside, “his familiar.”

“Let’s see what else he’s got.”

A full search follows and everything that looks to be of worth is placed on the desk, the Wizard has all the good stuff- a glowing Pearl and a set of Bracers. Anya takes the Pearl, “I think it’s some sort of magical focus… for Wizards.” She stares at Ala. The Bracers go to Bec, because he likes them, or at least he takes them and straps them on- they expand to fit his tree-trunk arms, nobody argues.

The black candle they saw earlier sits in a golden candle-holder, they take that, and a dark tome, that no-one, not even Anya can read, she’ll have to try her magic on it later.

They head off again- another empty guard room and then on, they’re at a docks area, or at least there are several rafts pulled up at an underground pool, they follow the flow, there’s a dark cavern ahead, the stream heads that way.

“We’ll rest here. I think that’s enough for a while.”

Nobody complains so they find a safe place and build a fire, eat something, feel human again.

Next Turn: She’s my one and only…

And thus endeth the first actual session of play in this scenario, the third session overall.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:11 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 16: She’s my one and only…


We’re back at the camp, the fishing expedition.

“And I think we should go back.” Cas states.
Ala grabs his arm- tender.
“What the feck for?” Newt spits.
“Food.”
Newt stops speaking. Ala lets go of Cas’ arm, he looks back, she looks away.
“We need to get some food, I mean who knows what’s down that river, or how far it goes- we may be in here a while.”
“Good idea.” Newt grins.
“Why ARE we here?” Ala asks.
“Because THERE’S something wrong here, you saw the Kobolds.”
“So they’ve got something wrong with them, a disease, it could be a disease.”
Jim itches.
“Ala, please. We should do this right, you said so yourself. There’s something down here- something bad, I can feel it.”
“Me.”
Everyone turns to look at Bec, he struggles for the next word.
“Too.”

Cas looks back at Ala, she sighs and turns away.
“Then what are we waiting for?” Newt is off. “We should check out that big cavern, where we came in, I could have sworn I saw another exit from it, don’t want to leave enemies behind us Cas- you said that, last time.”
Cas sighs, “I remember.”

The group gather up their gear and head back, the stream is easily forded this time- they have time and patience on their side. Same too with the grappling hook and the rope down, although they leave it in place, and well secured.

They’re back in the first large cavern, right at the entrance- the Ogre’s cave; the bodies of the Stirges are still there.

“Look, I told you.” Newt’s spotted another cavern passage already, he heads of.
“Wait”, Cas calls but the Gnome is gone.
Ala rushes past him, after Newt, a glance says it all.

And into another chamber, Newt is pressed hard against the wall fiddling with his crossbow, “there”, he whispers, and points- a pair of bobbing glowing lights approach, at speed, there are other pairs of lights within the cavern.

“Fire beetles.” Newt hisses, and giggles.

THWUNG

Newt’s crossbow bolt buries itself into the creatures carapace, only slows it, a little.
“Ca…” Ala begins, but he’s already there, all of them are.

They fan out to meet the approaching beetles, all three of them.

The Fire Beetles, seemingly enraged, tumble forward into the light, their carapaces glow, tiny human skulls, like a ladybug’s but much creepier.

“What are these things?” Jim asks.

FWOOM

Jim’s magic arrow slices through one of the creatures, it spurts and oozes as it thrashes dead, the stink is appalling. Bec, caught in the blast of the stench, twists away and stumbles over. Ala leaps in and ends another of the beasts. Anya, watches her, and then rushes in with her staff, she connects, but only serves to further enrage the clambering beetle, it snaps and bites at her, she dodges back, leaving a perfect gap.

FWUNK

For another crossbow bolt from Newt, the last beetle stumbles and sinks, they’re all gone, and the smell.

“Pelor save me, is that you Jim?” Cas grins.
The others chuckle, Jim reddens, even Ala smiles.
“Can I have sandwich?” Bec’s up.
“Come on big guy.” Cas pats him on the back.

“There’s another tunnel- straight over.” Newt goes to make for it. Cas reaches out and grabs him.
“OK Newt, this time by the numbers.”
The Gnome grins, dances a little ahead, looks back to make sure it’s not too far.

They head into the next passage, and into another chamber, and into some more Fire Beetles, with equally strange decals.

Newt and Jim are first in, they fire.

FWUMP
THONG

And two of the three beetles are dead, the artillery moves out of the way as Bec jogs forward, longspear at the ready, and skewers the last of the beetles.

“Bee-kul.” He states, then the stink gets to him again and he tosses the dead thing away.

They check the chamber out thoroughly, there’s nowhere to go and nothing in it.

Back to the main chamber and...

“There’s another passage.” Newt dashes over.
“Wait.”
And does so, “same again people, we’re in the groove. Ala?”
“Yes Cas.”
“Watch my back.”
She grins, “yes Cas, whatever you say.”
Anya sneers, silently, and unseen.

They’re through the passage and into another large cavern, nothing of interest, at first.

Then…

< >

No noise, just a blanket of darkness that settles over Bec and Ala, one second they’re there, the next they’re gone from sight.

Becs pauses, then feels something, something rubbery on his shoulder- he seizes whatever it is, just as several other rubbery something’s- tentacles by the feel of them, grab for him. He rips the thing off of him, before it can get a grip, and then Ala’s light spell flares and he’s holding some kind of flying octopus in his hands.

“SQWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”

The Darkmantle is not so enamoured with the light, it pulses, rips itself free from the Barbarian’s hands, and jets upwards.

THONG

Jim’s magic arrow slices through it, it flutters and pulses- struggles to remain afloat.

“Smidgin.”

The Magic Missile finishes the job.

“Good work Anya, Newt.”
The pair smile at Cas.

There’s another cavern ahead, when they get close they realise it’s not all that grand, a low chamber lies beyond, the ceiling only two to three feet high.

“We’ll leave it.” Cas is about to turn around.
“Hang on, there might be something in there.”
“Newt?”
“Please Cas, let me take a look.”
Cas looks at Ala, she looks away.
“Be quick then.”

And the Gnome is gone.

“Jim, watch his back.” The Ranger shuffles in crouches to see as Newt and his sunrod crawl inside.

For his part Newt does the best he can to put his body between the chest he spotted earlier, and Jim’s watching brief.

He scrambles in the dirt to the chest, a cursory check- no traps, he unlocks it, and it’s as easy as that. Knocks it over- towards him, there’s no room to see into the chest from above. The contents spill out- mostly money but there’s some other stuff, including- strange, four wooden dolls which are…

Getting up.

He looks on horrified as the four petticoat wearing milking-maids totter towards him, grab at his ankle, his hand, his shirt, his hair- scratching, biting, gouging- he screams.

“I’M SORRRRRRRRREEEEEE.”

Jim drops his bow and crawls in, Cas follows, and in seconds they’re on the scene.

The four dolls have still got a hold of the thrashing Gnome, who’s bleeding from over a half-a-dozen nicks and cuts.

Cas grabs out, catches hold of one of the dolls and repeatedly smashes it onto the stone cavern floor until it’s splintered wood in his hands. Jim struggles to grab one, so swivels around and kicks a doll, sending it hurtling off into the dark.

“Get them off me, get them off me.” Newt screams.

The other two dolls continue to claw and scratch at the Gnome, he takes some more damage, until Jim swats one, and Cas the other.

“Go.” Cas barks.

Newt furiously scrambles back out.

Jim and Cas spot the open chest, scoop the money back in until-

“Cas.”
“Yep.”
“It’s coming back- behind you.”
Cas looks beyond Jim.
“You too.”

They shuffle round to meet their adversaries again- there’s one heading for Jim, two for Cas.

Outside Newt shivers, “living dolls, living dolls, I hate…”

Cas scrabbles at the creatures, eventually grabs hold of one, he’s clawed and scratched several times in the process, and smashes the thing as hard as he can into the low ceiling- till it’s splinters. He manages to kick the other away.

Jim sees another way out. Waits for the doll to approach and then launches himself at it, kicking it as hard as he can.

“INCOMING.”

The doll shoots out of the chamber, Bec traps it with his foot, Newt picks himself up and runs away, Bec stamps on the thing until it’s gone.

“Kick it out… out to the others.” Jim manages.

The last doll wends its way back towards Cas, he tries Jim’s trick, with equal success, the wooden effigy comes shooting out, Bec goes to stamp on it but it’s not moving, it seems to have lost its head en route.

The pair drag the chest out, as Ala deals out the last of her healing.

The chest contains lots of gold, half-a-dozen small rubies, three scrolls, which Anya examines, and two coils of rope complete with grappling hooks.

A little later they choose straws and, as it turns out, Bec and Anya head off back to Tetknee to recap their adventures so far, grab more food and supplies for a longer campaign.

The others head back to the river, to rest for the remainder of the day and night, await the re-supply mission.

During the rest the four do there level best to ready themselves for the trials ahead, equipment repaired, cleaned, polished- made good again; backpacks re-ordered- everything needed within reach.

Cas takes the opportunity to talk again with Ala.
“I known there’s something bad here Ala, something terrible.”
“I can feel it too- I don’t like the place, there’s something wrong here.”
“Then we’re agreed, we need to go on- to find what’s causing these aberrations, put an end to whatever it is?”
“Yes. Of course, it’s just… I don’t trust some of the others.” Ala states.
Cas looks hard round at her.
“Who don’t you trust, I mean… Who?”
“It’s not for me to say- I can’t, I don’t know, I’m just worried that something bad is going to happen, and I can’t see where it’s going to come from, in front or behind.”
Cas snakes an arm around her, pulls her too him.

By the water’s edge Jim and Newt are refilling their flasks, Newt looks over to Cas and Ala.
“I wonder how they met?” Newt asks.
Jim shrungs, “dunno, she’s nice though”, he grins a little.
Newt spins round, “I’m not so sure… She’s always worried… Something’s always going to happen- dangers ahead, don’t do this, don’t do that… and the looks I get. We’re here to explore… Not…”, he trails off.
Jim stares at the Gnome, and then beyond to Ala.
“She’s alright.” The Ranger rests his hand on Newt’s shoulder, the turns and heads off- canteen full.
Leaving Newt staring hard at the holy pair.

Ala, at that moment, turns to meet his eye.

Next Turn: Incey-Wincey.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:59 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 17: Incey-Wincey.


Out in the sunlight, on the way back to Tetknee, Bec dawdles and wanders, glad again to be back in the light, away from the closed spaces of the dungeon.

Anya reaches back to cradle the giant man’s arm- hurry him along.

Bec thinks-

WarmarmsuuuuunlightlightlightsunlightwarmsuANYATOUCHmmmmwarmanyawarmsunlightwarmanyaANYAANYAANYAwarmmmmmmmHOT.

Bec reaches out to grab at the Wizard’s robe, her nape- the back of her neck- touches, Anya shrugs his hand away.

“Come on, my bloody feet are killing me, lets get this done before I make you carry me.”

Bec thinks-

Anyaanyanicesandwich.

Seven hours later Bec and Anya are back at the river, and loaded with goodies, they’ve managed to scrounge together twenty days supply of trail rations, claim the parties initial reward, Anya thought to take the Ogre’s skull back to confirm their victory, and several more healing potions, after some quick talking and gold to the wise woman. They’ve also managed to secure a few more party favourites, particularly another two dozen sunrods.

There’s a good feeling at the camp, the adventurers are already rested, and itching to see what lies ahead. Cas however is all business, they’ll stay the night here, wait until Ala and Anya have their spells back before they head out.

A watch rota is drawn up.

The night passes.

But not without incident.

It’s late, it’s Newt’s guard shift, and yet here he is, sitting hidden in the shadows, stripes of fire flicker across his face, he’s two feet away from a sleeping Ala.

Not a sound. Not the lap of water. Not the lick of fire. Not the sound of his own breathing. Newt crouches in the dark place, inside his brain, twisting the dagger in his hand- watching her.

And then, slowly. Very slowly.

The sounds return. The lap of water. The lick of fire. The sound of his breath. The sound of Ala’s breathe.

Newt stands and creeps over to the fire, puts his dagger away en route, sits and sips coffee- watches over his sleeping companions.

All is quiet.

Anya doesn’t move, lies still on her side, in the dark- watching Newt.

Early morning of the second day sees the group divided between the two rafts- Ala, Lord Cas & Bec, on the first- Jim, Newt & Anya on the second.

They paddle off into the huge cavern, following the steady flow of the stream. The light of their sunrods bouncing off the huge glistening caverns walls.

“Spider.” Newt yells, and for good measure, points.

They follow his finger, and sure enough high above them sits a enormous spider, it’s body must be eight to ten feet long, it’s nestled on a huge web, which the onlookers follow down- it blocks the way forward, the rafts are about to bump into it.

Cas back-paddles furiously, makes good-water, out of the flow of the stream. Ala fires, unsteady, the arrow flies wide.

“Bec, paddle.”

The lug of a man sets too, as Cas stands up and grabs for his bow.

The other raft spirals towards the web, a little out of control, all three of its passengers take aim, there’s nobody rowing, or steering, for that matter. Jim’s arrow catches the creature square on, ripping into its flesh; Anya manages to launch a sling stone into the creature, although with little effect, only Newt misses.

The spider’s had enough of this, there’s nowhere else for it to go, it scuttles down its web towards the waters edge.

FLiiiirt

A sticky strand shoots from the spinnerets of the beast, snags Cas, hauls him in- the Paladin is lifted into the air, Ala grabs at him but fails to connect, Cas swings madly as he’s reeled in, and up, and into the webs- stuck fast.
Bec back-paddles furiously.
“No, forward.” Ala screams.

Jim grabs an oar and in the last instant tries to keep the other raft off the webs, Anya dives down and does the same, the two thrash at the water.

FWUNG

Newt’s crossbow sings and the spider takes another hit.

Bec drops his oar, staggers to his feet, rocking the raft, which closes in on the web, he rushes to the edge and leaps for Cas.

SPLOOOSH

And finds only the water, he surfaces and slowly drifts into the web.

Ala rocks back and forth, keeps her balance- just, then-

THWONG

Slams another arrow into one of the spiders legs, its heading down now- towards Cas.

Anya leaves off the rowing, the raft half-turns and reverses into the web, she steadies herself, points her wand, “Smidgin”, the magic bolt rocks the spider but it continues on its course. Newt fires hurriedly, falls on his back in the same instant, misses by a country mile his crossbow bolt slams into the cavern ceiling looses dirt and rock that cascade down, along with his bolt, back onto the boat and its inhabitants- he takes a thump to the skull.

And then the spider is on Cas, it rears up- revealing its dripping fangs, and then plunges them into him, he feels the poison pulse, burning him inside, his strength fading, he gasps…

“Ala…”

Bec flounders in the water, trying to climb up to Cas, he can’t, he’s stuck in the web. Ala lies down on the floor of the raft as it finally drifts into the lower reaches of the web, bobs and stays there- captured. She fires, the arrow slices into the spiders abdomen, dripping filthy yellow ichor.

Newt fires again.

THwong

And buries six inches of steel in the creature, the spider goes limp, looks to fall for a second but is caught in its own web. Only then can they finally make out the shape of the three-fingered hand etched on its abdomen.

The operation to remove Cas takes quite a while, eventually the pale-faced Paladin is dragged down, holding his side, the puncture wounds. Ala does the best she can to heal him, the rafts still caught in the lower reaches of the web, safe there for the moment.

With his wounds cleaned and closed the poison still runs its course, in less than a minute the Paladin is doubled over clutching at his stomach, convulsing, sweating- a mess.

“We need to find somewhere for him to rest. We need to get him to land.”
Ala’s not even trying to hide the desperation in her voice.

It’s at that point that the web finally gives way and the rafts drift on- deeper into the cavern.

Bec and Jim paddle furiously but it’s of little use, they’re in the current.

Ala grasps Cas’ hand, he opens his eyes for a second, smiles at her, then heads back to the pain and the dark place, where the poison burns, within him.

The rafts drift out of the cavern into another larger chamber.

“Right.” Anya whispers, “There’s land”, they paddle with the flow and soon scrape the rafts up against a stony shore.

The rafts are dragged out of the water and Newt is sent forward, sunrod in hand, to check the place out, he returns in thirty seconds, there’s a hole, a tunnel, it’s only small but I think it goes into a larger cavern.

“We need to find cover Newt.” Anya states the obvious.
“I know, there’s nothing else.”
Ala nods.
“This way.” Newt heads off.
“Jim, drag the rafts out of the stream.” Anya adds.
Jim nods and sets to work.

The others arrive at an opening, a low tunnel in the rock, all that’s left of a much larger passage, possibly a cave in some time ago.

“It doesn’t look safe.” Ala worries.
“Nothing looks safe. Besides, it’s my ass.” Newt grins.
“Here grab this.” Newt ties a rope around his waist, passes the end to Bec, “if I holler, pull me out.”
“Sandwich?”
“Sure you can”, Newt pats Bec’s arm and scrambles up and through the gap.

“Ala. Ala. Ala.” Cas intones, she rushes to his side.
“I can’t see anything Ala.” He cries.
“It’s cold.” Cas continues, she wraps her cloak around him.

“FECK.” It’s Newt, he comes shooting back out of the tunnel, Bec the cause, he’s banged and bruised, he lies panting on the floor.

“Undead. Ghoul. I think… in there.” He points.

At that point the Ghoul pops his head out of the passage, which turns out to be the last thing he does- Jim’s magic arrow smashes its head like an over-ripe pumpkin. The creature’s body is soon dragged out of the way.

“See ya.” Newt climbs up and back in; he’s a sucker for punishment.
“Wait.” Ala orders, he stops, she strides over and weaves her magic, “this should protect you a little, from anything evil you may encounter.”
“Ta.” Newt nods and is off again.
“Brave.” Anya mouths.
“Or a fool.” Ala completes.
Bec nods, at both comments.

Thirty seconds later the Gnome’s voice echoes from down the tunnel.

“All clear.”

One by one they head through, and into a graveyard- of sorts. The chamber is dotted with open graves, each about six feet deep, at the bottom of each a skeleton.

“Newt.” Ala’s not pleased.
“Where else is there?”

The group fans out, Ala holding Cas up, they creep around the open graves, to the left and to the right- Bec stops and turns, he’s heard something, a door in the wall opens to his right and a vicious looking feral creature, all flaking grey skin and jutting bones, stands for a second silhouetted in the light.

It launches itself at him, the pair tumble into one of the open graves, Bec is dragged down, the creature has remarkable strength, he’s bitten on his shoulder and clawed across the chest. He can feel his limbs stiffen, then his mind empties- or rather… is empty, and he’s up and fighting back.

The creature exudes a nauseous miasma, the air thickens, Cas gags and collapses, Newt and Anya back away as far as they can choking from the stink.

Bec leans way back and then forward at great speed, smashes his head into the creatures face, caving in most of the right side, the Ghast flails and falls against the opposite side of the grave.

Fwang

Newts crossbow bolt digs into the dirt. Ala fumbles for her holy symbol, mutters prayers, but the creature snarls and gets back up. Jim launches himself into the pit, there’s a brief struggle and he’s thrown aside.

Ala tries to turn the Ghast again- fails badly. Bec head butts the creature for a second time, it rocks back- stunned for a second. Jim jumps in with his dagger in hand- only gouges a hollow in the dirt. The Ghast is getting back up.

“Smidgin.” The Magic Missile crashes into it, sitting it back down.

GGGGrrrind.

Another door opens, at the far side of the chamber, unseen as of yet, and rushing into the light come a trio of armoured Skeletons.

“Bugger.” Newt voices everyone’s feelings.

Anya is caught from behind, scratched along her back. Cas, desperate, levers himself to his feet, wafts his sword and slumps down again- exhausted. Ala tries again with her prayers, brandishing her holy symbol, again to no affect, there’s something about this place, it feels unholy.

Anya and Newt attack the skeletons with staff and mace respectively, to no effect.

Bec and Jim however double team the Ghast, both plunge daggers into the creature- it writhes a moment then ceases its struggle.

Anya looses Swish, the broom hops forward to attack the Skeleton but is knocked away with ease, it tumbles into another open grave. The skeleton lurches towards Anya, swipes and connects, she’s scratched across her neck, she backs off instinctively, narrowly misses following Swish into the open grave.

“ALMIGHTY CORELLON…”

Ala finishes her fourth prayer, this time the skeletons glow softly- stiffen, then shuffle back the way they came.

Newt, Bec and Jim leap after the creatures, smashing as they go- they’re soon splinters, shards of bone.

Cas coughs, blood, then fades away. Ala is at his side.

The Paladin is made comfortable, or as best they can.

Bec and Jim head off into the Ghasts chamber, their light casts a feeble glow, the rock walls are a deep blood red, they quickly discover a hidden area. Bec rolls away a great boulder and behind, in the space, is a hidden cache, a large sack full of lumps of agate, maybe two dozen of them, and a beautifully crafted longsword, made of some dark metal, in a battered leather scabbard.

“Cas?” Jim offers.
Bec nods, the pair take the sword back to the sick Paladin, and show the others their find.

Newt and Anya discover a whole selection of swords and shields in the chamber the skeletons emerged from, several of the items of excellent quality, probably Masterwork.

Ala Detects Magic when they have the whole pile before them, the longsword registers, it will indeed go to Cas, when, and if, he wakes. The others re-equip as necessary, Bec takes a good quality longsword and shield in case he needs to fight in close quarters.

They make camp here, Newt and Jim briefly head out the hole to hide their tracks and make sure the rafts are well out of sight.

On the way back the pair lean shields and swords against the crawlspace, figuring that if someone wants to get in they’ll have to dislodge the pile.

They rest again.

The early warning system proves its worth three hours later, when clambering into the chamber come another trio of skeletons, similarly armoured.

The creatures are summarily destroyed by Jim, Bec and Newt, with no harm coming to the brave adventurers.

Newt gets twitchy a while later and without telling anyone slips out, the water seems to extend out from where they’re camped, another huge pool, there may be another landing, over the far side- he can’t make it out for sure.

What he is certain of is there’s a ledge somewhere, he can hear voices, Kobold’s, it must overlook the lake he thinks, and with that he heads back inside.

A little later in the cold dark Jim wakes, Anya’s on guard duty, he can see the whites of her eyes.

“Why did you come back?” He whispers.
Anya thinks, before whispering back.
“I couldn’t go back… to my old life.”
Jim nods.
“Things have changed, no that’s not it- I’ve changed.” Anya goes on.
Jim nods again.
“But Lowth hasn’t. It won’t. Ever.” She finishes and rubs her eyes.
The silence stretches.

“Don’t despair. You can change it.” Jim reaches out, touches Anya’s shoulder, she leans her head down, rests it on his hand.
“Thanks Jim.” She whispers.
He moves in closer.

They hold each other in the dark.

“I thought you came back for Cas.” Jim half-smiles.
Anya, just for a second, stiffens, and then looks away.

Next Turn: A Little Army


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:34 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 18: A Little Army


Day three beckons in the deep dark underground, Cas is back in the land of the living, and thankful, he’s particularly thankful for his new sword.

“I don’t know what to say.”
“Makes a change.” Newt states polishing his bed-side manner.
“Anyway we must get on.”

Ala frets, to herself, for a change.

Cas is briefed on what has transpired since his sudden lie-down, he knows some of the story but the others fill in the gaps. Newt even finds the time to tell them about the ledge he thinks is out there- somewhere, weaves it into the story, without letting on he’s been for a midnight wander.

An hour later, after a decent breakfast, the gang are back on board the rafts and are paddling with all their might, across the current towards, towards… well who knows what.

They’re spotted, at some point on their journey; a crossbow bolt thunks into the lead raft, maybe it was the two burning sunrods that gave their location away, a necessary risk- as I’ve already stated they have no idea where they’re going.

More crossbow bolts rain down; they paddle on in silence, until Newt is hit- a bolt lodging in the back of his thigh.

“Feckin’ buggerations.” The Gnome screams.

There’s a splash in the water behind them- are they throwing things? Actually it’s a Kobold who in all his excitement slips off the ledge above- the creature sinks without a trace; heavy armour meets water- a fatal flaw.

“It’s up there.”

Newt points, there’s a fleck of light, a brazier on a ledge only ten feet above the water, but now a way behind them. The first raft grounds, they’re ashore, the second soon follows.

The group disembark, Ala gathers them quickly, Blesses them all in the name of Corellon. Anya coats herself in her Mage Armour, and is ready with Swish- to let him loose.

The gang jog up a gradual incline towards the outline of a cavern ahead.

“Charge.”
“Destroy the foreign infidels.”
“In the name of Abomination.”

They seem to be expected, a steady line of heavily armed and armoured Kobolds rush down the slope to greet them, there must be a dozen of the creatures.

Ala Summons a Celestial Badger into the Kobold ranks; it distracts a couple of them but does no actual damage. Newt stops where he is.

THUNG

A Kobold falls dead.

The two sides clatter into each other, battle erupts, the Kobolds fare better than the Goodman Gang, Jim manages to slice a one dead however he’s cut on the back of his hand. Cas too suffers, a blow to the side of his head, nothing much but it bleeds a little. Bec is sliced twice, across both legs. Ala gets away with bruised ribs, painful, but not terribly damaging.

As the battle rages four more Kobolds arrive in the cavern entrance ahead, set up for shooting practice, crossbows at the ready. That makes around fourteen of the heavily armed creatures in the fight.

Two Kobolds break off and rush towards Anya, “Smidgin”, one of them hits the cold cavern floor, dead. The other is blocked by Swish, the two dance around each other for a while, trying to land the first blow, then Swish whacks down on the Kobold’s unprotected head- brains it, dead.

The Celestial Badger is proving more of inconvenience than a threat, as is Ala, as is Bec, as is Jim. Cas however stabs at a Kobold trying to get past him- to Newt, runs it through and then turns and slays another, the new sword is working well.

The Badger meanwhile fades to smoke. Bec suddenly sprouts a crossbow bolt, dead centre of his chest, it hurts, but only when he laughs.

Anya steps from behind the raging melee, gets a good eye full of the Kobolds with crossbows, “Smidgin”, one falls dead.

Back in the melee Ala slashes hard, connects, and slays another. Newt’s crossbow jams, he throws it aside in anger, bloody Kobolds, draws his heavy mace and wades into the storm. Cas swings wildly, misses by a mile, smashes his hand into the cavern wall, drops his new sword, so much for that then. Bec is sliced again, they’re all just little cuts and bruises, but he’s accumulating hits fast.

“SANDWICH.”

Bec Rages, if only for the hit points.

THUNK

Cas is hit by a crossbow bolt, doubles up, the pain, grabs his sword, and then comes up swinging again. Jim slices clean through a Kobold Footman, and-

“FoooooR CAS.”

Charges at the artillery, he’s very loyal.

And that seems to perk everyone up a bit.

“Smidgin”, Anya’s getting the hang of this; she’s adopting various poses while pointing her wand- vogue-ing. Ala swings, blood spurts, and another Kobold bites the dust. Newt likewise smashes one about the head with his mace, the creature slumps- dead.

“Foooor PELOR.”

Cas charges at the artillery, there are two of them left, they retreat, firing as they go. Jim catches another crossbow bolt, it skims his arm leaving a bloody trail. Bec faces of against the last of the Kobold Footmen, slices the creature in two, and runs on towards the artillery, who abandoned all pretence and leg it.

“Smidgin”, another one drops down dead, that leaves only one left.

“Everyone forward, follow them. PELORRRRRR.”

Cas urges them on. Ala charges up to Bec on the way, fires healing energy into the giant man. Cas alleviates some of his own pain using his magical healing ability. Newt darts back for his crossbow; he’s not that stupid, and then sprints off after them.

They’re heading down again, a natural looking cavern passage, wide- nearly fifteen feet, with a high ceiling, they head west. Pass a cavern opening on the left and chase on, as the passage twists to head north. Bec races ahead, puts on another burst of speed, catches up with the last fleeing Kobold, and SLICE, kills it dead.

There are shouts ahead.

“Kobold Elite Squad forward.”

CLUNG-CLUNG-CLUNG-CLUNG

“Halt.”

A military formation, two lines with six Kobolds in each, the front row with swords, the back row with crossbows.

“Fire.”

And they do, the gang run, back the way they came.

Cas is hit in the shoulder, he’s feeling woozy, decides this isn’t the place to have a lie down however.

“Charge.”

The six Kobold Footmen come rumbling forward. The adventurers stop, they’re not going to get far, it seems battle number two is about to be joined.

Anya keeps running back, then turns swiftly, wand out and… “Smidgin”, another Kobold falls dead. Newt too makes for the rear ranks, sets to fixing his crossbow, and miraculously in half-a-moment the blockage is clear.

The front line, Jim, Bec, Cas and Ala stand their ground, meet the Kobold charge with full force. Cas upper-cuts unpeeling the Kobold charging towards him- dead. Bec, who has changed to his great club since coming ashore, smashes the thing down on one Kobold, who crunches to the deck in an instant; he swings the club around and brains another. Jim, alas, is cut in the action, another minor wound to the upper arm. There are only two Kobold Footmen left, oh and all the ones with the crossbows, talking of which.

“Fire.”

Bec’s scratched as a crossbow bolt flies by leaving a trace along his cheek. Jim’s not so lucky, a bolt buries itself in his upper thigh, he sinks to one knee, and then struggles up again, he’s on his last legs.

“Retreat and reload.”

The Kobold artillery march backwards, in step, and set about reloading for more fish-in-a-barrel type activity.

Anya screams, “Smidgin”, it’s getting to be her catchphrase; one of the Kobold artillery hits the deck. Newt steps in, sights his prey, and fires- another Kobold hits the deck, only four of the artillery left.

Ala stumbles backwards, swings wildly, two Kobold Footmen turn her, she’s up against the wall, she takes a cut to her side, but fights on.

“CAS.”

And he’s there keeping the two at bay.

Jim and Bec share a look, the way ahead is clear. The Kobolds fire.

“CHA…”

A crossbow hits Jim in the arm and he’s down, Bec charges on, scatters the firers as he swings, they drop their crossbows scuttle back grabbing for melee weapons.

“Smidgin”, another Kobold drops, Anya poses.

THUNG

And another Kobold lies dead, courtesy of Newt, of course. Ala and Cas keep up the fight, the Kobolds score no hits, but neither do the heroes. Bec only has two enemies left before him, he swings hard, smashes one into the middle of next week, the other sees its chance and stabs its shortsword deep into the Barbarian’s leg.

Then the Kobold notices, perhaps for the first time, the rapidly diminishing odds- it flees, and is cut down, actually smashed down in an instant by Bec.

The other two Kobolds, facing Ala and Cas, also think better of it, and scamper. They dodge past Cas and Ala, who swing wildly, with no success, dodge past Bec, confusing him by going one either side of him, and at the same time.

Thung

Newt’s crossbow bolt careens off a wall- misses.

“Smidgin”, the second to last Kobold grips the cold stone floor.

“He’s getting away.” Cas goes to run after the creature, Ala grabs him. Bec limps into a trot.

“Wait.”

Bec stops, looks back, at Newt who’s aiming.

“Wait.”

Newt breaths in- fires.

ThhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhUNG

The last Kobold falls, scrapes along the floor a while, and then comes to a stop- deceased.

The gang head back down the passage, out of sight, swig potions, Ala sets to work with what’s left of her Healing Kits, and at the end of it Bec, Cas, Jim and Anya are all still injured- Jim and Cas the most severe. There are no Healing Potions left, or at least that’s what everyone’s saying, but if I were you I’d not believe Newt, or Anya.

Newt, with a little help from others, has recovered 21 more three-fingered golden pendants, 26 if you include the five he has just stuffed in one of his pockets.

The gang stumble into the cavern they passed in their initial charge, the passage beyond splits, climbs left, while the right hand passage leads into a chamber with a number of braziers burning in it, it’s another guardroom- empty. A routine search, led by Newt, nets a number of pieces of uncut Agate, the party is a little richer, as is Newt- he grins, like taking candy from a baby.

And then on, into a second guardroom, although smaller, and much neater, it has an old tapestry that serves as a curtain so as to guarantee it some privacy, perhaps they’ve found the officers quarters.

“Sniff. You can smell it.” Newt states.
“What?” Jim enquires.
“Treasure.”

Suddenly the two beds in the chamber are upended, turned on their sides to form makeshift barricades behind each a strange, pale-faced, wild-eyed, and haired, Dwarf appears, dressed all in black and pointing crossbows, nasty looking ones at that.

FWOUN
FWOUN

The first bolt smashes through Cas’ armour, he drops his sword and shield, grabs at the bolt, thinks to pull it out, then notices just how much blood he’s already lost, he drops to his knees, blood spurts from the wound. Pelor save me, he thinks, and then the poison hits him, ravages him, he slumps forward smashing his face into the stone.

The second bolt hits Bec, gouges a huge hole in his upper right arm and shoulder, he doesn’t bother to ask Pelor for anything, the poison hits, he falls backwards, twitches and foams at the mouth on the cavern floor.

The Derro drop their crossbows and charge.

“Into them.”
“Death to the top-siders.”

Jim barrels into the first one, stabs wildly, and connects leaving a bloody scar from the Dwarves belly to its chin, the creature staggers back. Ala leaps over Cas, attempts to repeat Jim’s feat, slices only air.

Thung

Newt’s crossbow sings, but as it turns out, it’s out of tune, he misses.

“Smidgin”, the Magic Missile thumps… hang on, blinks out of existence just as it was about to hit.

“Damn. Spell Resistance.” Anya tuts.

The Derro facing Jim swings desperate to connect, misses by a mile, Jim plunges his longsword through the evil Dwarf, head butts him for good measure, the Derro is dead.

“For Cas.”

Ala tries it on for size, she swings and misses, and the Derro buries its shortsword in her gut, she sinks to her knees, the Derro readies his sword for the killing blow, and-

THUNG

Suddenly sprouts a crossbow bolt from the middle of his forehead- dead, thanks to Newt again.

Anya is quickly at the fallen, checking for pulses, they’re all still in the land of the living.

“GO.” She orders.
“Back to the rafts.”

And they’re off again, in retreat, dragging Cas and Bec, Ala now up but staggering, it’s a rag-tag bunch, except for Newt who dodges back to the Derro and rifles through their pockets, he’s soon caught up however, carrying an impressive, but impractical, looking shield, a mixture of gold and silver. His pockets also bulge with gold and a beautifully cut diamond. He’s the only one grinning as they paddle their way back over to their official lair, the graveyard.

Once in they settle down again to wait the latest lot of injuries out, Bec and Cas are unconscious, Ala fades in and out, Jim looks like a man who has been kicked in the balls, repeatedly, for half-an-hour.

Newt’s polishing, and sneaking glances at his new found items, and Anya, believe it or not, is playing nurse maid- badly.

“Shut up moaning, bloody softy, Bec’s not complaining.”

Bec is of course unconscious, a line of bloody drool anchoring him to the cavern floor. Cas turns over to see, wincing and groaning in pain, he blinks once, twice- then passes out.

“That’s better, bloody moaner…” Anya gets on with her nursing.

And with that the second session of this scenario draws to a close.

Next Turn: Feck, Kobolds.

It become apparent at the ceremonial adding up of the experience points at the end of this session that Newt has enough to go up to 2nd level, it’s decided that he can have the hit points, the saves and the to hit improvement; but the feats and the skill points only come with training. Either way Newt’s happy.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:18 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 19: Feck, Kobolds


And so the fourth day begins underground, they seem to have reached an impasse; it’s proving to be a war of attrition- hard to say yet just who’s winning.

The day starts slowly, Cas and Bec are still unwell, their strength is returning, but Ala, who’s up and about now, makes the decision that the group will not go on until they are fully rested.

Anya is a little sheepish, she hunkers down next to Cas, who’s still in his pit, she has something in her hand, she whispers.

“Cas?”
The Paladin turns to her, “Mmm.”
“I have… I’ve got… I’ve got a Potion of Healing.” She opens her hand.
The Paladin nods.
“I never told… said, I should have…”
Cas nods again.
“I never meant to…” Anya sniffles a little, offers the Potion to Cas.
“Keep it.” He whispers, “in case”, smiles and then closes his eyes.

Newt overhears the exchange, pats a belt pouch at his side, the one with four Potions of Healing in it.

Time passes oh so slowly, it’s not until the middle of the afternoon that everyone is up and about again, ready for the action.

Cas calls a meeting, time to talk tactics.

“Look there’s something odd here…”
“You mean other than death and destruction at every corner.” Newt’s feeling the pain.
“Kobold’s though Newt, they’re very… co-ordinated.”
“Mmm.” Newt concedes the point.
“I think there’s something going on, you saw the Ogre, even the Stirges looked different, there’s something terrible in here, the three-fingered stuff, I think we need to press on.”
“We need to take better care of ourselves.” Ala adds.
Cas nods, “and so we need to have a better plan…”
“And you’re going to tell us what that is.” Newt folds his arms across his chest.
“No, you are.” Which takes the Gnome by surprise.
“Oh.”
“All of you. We need a little more order, we need to know what our jobs are. There’s going to be more of this, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Silence.
“Possibly much worse.”
“How?” Anya asks.
“They’ll be waiting for us again, back at the ledge, back at the other side of the pool.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s what I’d do.”
Anya nods, “yes, same here.”
“So what do we do?” Jim asks.
“We look after each other a little better to begin with.”
Everyone nods.
“After that, well what does anyone think…”

An hour later the group are back on the rafts, this time without the light, Newt thinks he knows the way, it’s not far. They’re being as silent as they can, it’s not until they hit the far shore that the Kobolds on the ledge realise they’re there, they’ve got by them.

Fwung x lots.

The Kobold’s shots are rushed however, no hits.

Sunrods flash out into the darkness illuminating more Kobolds equally surprised they scrabble for crossbows.

Fwung x more.

Bec takes a bolt to his right thigh, a flesh wound.

“Now.” Cas shouts as Ala’s Bless spell sparkles on each of them.

Jim, Cas and Anya- march forwards, up the rocky shore, arrows and, “Smidgin”, a Magic Missile is loosed. A Kobold falls dead.

Newt meanwhile kneels behind the front line.

THWUNG

A kobold plummets off the ledge into the water.

More Kobolds scramble, it seems their ambush plans have already gone astray, a rain of javelins falls in the midst of the adventurers, Anya and Ala are nicked, both wounds mere grazes.

The Kobolds ahead reload their crossbows.

The javelin throwers, more Kobold footmen, heavily armoured, clang into the light.

BOOOOOOOOM

Newt’s Thunderstone, disrupts their charge, one goes down holding bleeding ears, another two stand about somewhat bemused, and deafened.

“SANDWICH!”

Bec Rages and charges over into the mix, his great club describes a furious arc, smashes one of the creatures to the floor.

Anya struts and poses as she strides forward, “Smidgin”, another of the Kobold Artillery bites the dust.

“CHARGEEEEEE.” Cas screams.

And everyone is up and running, including several of the Kobolds back the way they came- in retreat. Cas slices one of the heavily armoured Kobold Footmen, across its throat, the blood sprays everywhere.

Ala takes another scratch from a Kobold Footman, but the Kobold line is broken.

Thung.

Newt gets a fleeing Kobold in the back of the head, dead. “Smidgin”, another Magic Missile spirals out from Anya’s wand and finds a foe- dead.

Cas rushes at Bec who’s losing it, crashing and flailing as Kobolds scatter, grabs him by the arm, spins him round.

“After them.” He tries pointing.
Bec looks like he doesn’t understand, follows the Paladins pointing finger- to the scurrying Kobolds.
“AAAAaaaaaarrrghhhhh.”
Bec pushes Cas away from him, with enough force to knock the Paladin over, moves to stand over Cas, raises his club, drool matting the front of his armour, his face is flecked with spittle and blood, Bec shakes his head- looks again at where Cas is still pointing, and rushes after the Kobolds.

A deafened Kobold staggers into view.

Thung.

It slumps to the floor, Newt races forward grinning at Cas.

“Come on; get up lazy bones- lots to do.”

Bec reaches the slowest of the Kobolds, encased in armour, the creature looks round, just in time to see, in detail, Bec’s great club. The Kobold is smashed a good ten feet into the air, it clangs into the cavern ceiling, then wall, and falls to the floor, a twisted wreck.

Cas scrambles to his feet, points again.

“Come on, get after him.”

Jim runs by, winks, “it’s working.” Cas nods.

Ala settles for slapping the Paladin on his armoured backside.

Cas grins again and jogs after Bec and the others.

A Kobold runs into the side of the chasing group of adventurers, one of the crossbow wielding creatures from the ledge, suddenly realises who its fellow joggers are, and dodges for all it’s worth into-

SMASH

Bec’s club.

Newt meanwhile is looting all the Kobold bodies left on the shore, eight more pendants, and as many crossbow bolts as he can carry- he scurries after his comrades.

Bec charges on round the corner, to the place they met the armoured contingent the last time they came this way, there’s a lone Kobold, the sole survivor, a little way ahead, heavily armoured stumbling forward- staring back at the closing Barbarian.

The creature spins round to meet Bec, it can’t out-pace the giant-man.

“Come o… SMASH.”

The Kobold lands twenty feet away, Bec rushes on.

“Hang on.” Cas shouts, then, “Bec?”

But it’s not enough to stop the juggernaut, Bec charges on, Cas shrugs, points the way, the others catch him up, save for Newt who’s still finding corpses to loot. Cas, Jim, Anya and Ala charge after Bec.

The rough stone passage turns into a flagged corridor crafted from some reflective black stone, and through a door into a…

Huge ornately columned temple, or something like it, the walls are covered in frescoes depicting a man in blue robes, eight huge pillars carved to resemble titan size humans, in various guises, hold the ceiling aloft.

Cas, Anya, Jim and Ala slide to a stop.

“Bloody hell.” Jim manages.
“I told you there was something here.” Cas states.
“Where’s Bec?”

SMASH

“Sandwich?”

The foursome crane to see between a pair of pillars, they spot a freshly smashed door on the eastern wall of the chamber, and glimpse the hulking Barbarian disappearing within.

“That way.” Cas points, “where’s Newt?” He looks back down the passage they’ve just come from.
Ala and Jim shrug, rush off.
“Looting.” Anya states and heads off too.
Cas waits a moment, there’s no sign of the Gnome, he can’t hang around- only as strong as the weakest link, he thinks, and follows after Bec and the others.

Unseen by any of the adventurers another pair of heavily armoured Kobolds shut the door at the northern end of the temple chamber, and scurry off to tell their masters.

Bec stumbles down another wide passage, more of the black stone, two lines of statues- he rushes on, there’s a door on the right, and it’s just closing- red rag to a bull.

He slows and lurches over, smashes the door off its hinges, and onto the Kobold Footman beyond, who scrambles out from beneath it. Bec strides into… a library.

Massive stone bookcases fill the room, which is lit by a number of flaming braziers, a cluster of Kobold Footmen back away as the giant-man slashes wildly with his great club. Another cluster of Kobolds can be seen further in- a robed Kobold strides forward from this gang and points at the Barbarian.

“DO ONE.”

Black tendrils shoot from Kobold Wizard’s fingers; engulf Bec, for an instant, the Barbarian flexes and growls, the black smoke fades in an instant.

“Destroy the infidel in the name of the Abomination.” The Kobold Wizard simply states.

The three Kobold Footman guards that surround him rush over to join their comrades. The odds don’t look too good, seven to one, with one of the seven being a Wizard, still reinforcements are on the way.

SMASH

And.

CLUMP

Two of the Kobold Footmen are dead, skulls crushed, however the Barbarian takes three blows in the process, all minor injuries, he soldiers on.

WHUMP

A Magic Missile thuds into his chest, Bec staggers back, close to unconsciousness, then feels warmth flowing through him- Healing. He grins. He can feel Ala’s hand in the small of his back.

Jim however fails to find the brake, rushes, unsighted into the chamber, and into Ala, knocking the pair of them to the floor.

“Sorry.”
“Fool.”

Anya appears at the door way, throws Swish towards a Kobold Footman, “Akkat”, then points her wand, it’s never out of her hand- “Smidgin”, a Magic Missile slams into a Kobold Footman, dead.

Swish uses the impetus of Anya’s throw, roundhouse-kick’s- sort of, another Kobold Footman, cracking its skull, the Kobold slumps to the floor- dead.

The odds are looking much better now.

Cas jogs into the chamber, takes a last look behind him, “where the Pelor is Newt?” Takes in the situation, lances his longsword forward and impales another Footman, dead.

Ala stagers to her feet, the shadow of a Kobold Footman looms over, she slashes out, angrier at Jim than the Kobolds, her sword passes through the shadow which… is just a shadow- strange.

Jim scrabbles out of the room, on hands and knees, it’s getting far too busy in there, he looks up- back down the passage they’ve just come from. There are figures in the doorway, blocking their retreat.

“You guys…” Jim gets his bow out.

Back in the library a Dire Rat suddenly pops into existence, snaps its jaws at Ala, who scurries back, out of range. Anya screams, “Smidgin”, a Magic Missile thumps into the Kobold Wizard, it looks suitably annoyed.

The Kobold before Cas seems to blur, a shadow of the creature darts towards him, he reacts, the shadow dissipates, Cas struggles to present his shield to block the Kobold’s actual attack. Cas shakes his head, he’s seeing things.

Bec’s Rage subsides, his shoulders slump, suddenly aware of the amount of damage he’s taken, the two Kobold Footmen left renew their efforts.

Meanwhile Newt stumbles into the Temple area, the one with the huge pillars holding the ceiling up, juggling more of three-fingered golden pendants in his hand, and chuckling.

He looks up, there’s a cluster of heavily armoured Kobolds pushing their way through a door on the eastern side of the chamber, there must be a dozen of them.

“Intruder.”

A Kobold points at him, Newt looks about, then behind him- nope, the Kobold means him. Three of the Kobolds peel off from the bunch and stride towards him- weapons drawn. These Kobolds are different, slightly taller, much more vicious looking, red scales dot their skins, hardened and glistening in the light, they’re growing their own armour- or so it seems. They’re snouts and jaws extended, huge fangs snap and clack, tasting the air as they approach.

“De…”
“Str…”
“Roy.”

The three close in for the kill.

“CAAAAAAS.”

Jim screams, there are more of them, at least a half-a-dozen of the gnashing snarling Elite Kobolds shamble into the corridor he guards.

Next Turn: The Elite.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:38 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 20: The Elite


Back in the library Bec totters, then swings hard- smashes another Kobold Footman to the ground, launches himself at the conjured Dire Rat, the creature leaps at him, he stumbles back to avoid it, blinks his eyes, the rat hasn’t moved, he swings half-heartedly- misses by a mile.

Ala dodges in, stabs down, the Dire Rat turns to mist and swirls away.

Jim screams again from the corridor.

“I said they’re coming…”, and sotto voce, “whatever they are.”

He fires, twice, Rapid Shot, the first with his magic arrow- the result two head shots, two dead Elite Kobolds, these too are the twisted Kobolds Newt is fighting- even more vicious and feral-looking.

Back in the library the Kobold Wizard swigs at a potion then leaps and runs up the wall and on to the ceiling.

“Ha ha… Fools…”

“Smidgin”, another Magic Missile slams into the Wizard, he doesn’t look best pleased with Anya.

Cas and Bec are fighting the one Kobold Footman left, however the strange Kobold seems able to duplicate itself, shadows form and fall left, right and centre- they both hit air.

Back in the temple Newt stands his ground as the three Kobold Elite warriors approach.

“Screw you lot.”

He slings his last Thunderstone at the threesome.

BOOOOOM

It explodes on a Kobold’s armoured midriff, the creature slumps to his knees, bleeding from ears, nose and eyes.

The other two Kobold Elite are staggered.

Newt tosses aside his crossbow, draws his Heavy mace and gestures for them to approach.

“Come on then, you’re going to need new dentures by the time I’ve done with you.”

FWUNG

Jim hits another Elite Kobold back in the corridor, the creature slumps to the floor, dead. Jim throws his bow aside and hefts his battleaxe- the six remaining enemies charge towards him.

“Death to the intruders.”
“The Abomination is Lord.”

They mumble and chant as they fling themselves into the fray.

Back in the library, Ala stabs hard at the remaining Kobold Footman, that’s so far holding his own against all of them, she too misses.

The Kobold Wizard sprints along the ceiling, out of the library, and into the corridor, stands directly above Jim.

“Smidgin”, the final Kobold Footman in the library bites the dust.

“Help Jim”, Anya shouts and points the way- Ala, Cas and Bec struggle to obey. Swish hops out to stand next to Jim, to guard him.

Ala, Cas and Bec arrive as the Kobold Elite smash into them, the fight is joined, lots of blows go astray, it’s a confusing mess within the melee. Cas manages to land a decent blow, his longsword biting into the body of one of the Kobolds, the creature falls dead.

Anya watches through the door, it’s hard to see what’s going on, shadows of Kobolds seem to form and cluster, spectral shapes flail and slice, and the adventurers locked in the death struggle don’t know which to attack- a bolus of dark energy seems to grip the melee.

Standing on the ceiling above the scrum the Kobold Wizard swigs from another potion bottle, which is harder than you think when you’re hanging upside down.

Back in the Temple Newt’s initial confidence is getting dented, as is he, both of the Elite Kobolds score hits, not deep cuts, but enough for him to reconsider his position.

In the corridor, Ala is shoved out of the fight; she looks up and spies the Kobold Wizard on the ceiling, about to gulp down yet another potion.

“Bastard.”

Ala quickly unstraps her shield, launches it at the Kobold Wizard, like some giant discus, the fiend dodges just in time but in doing so spills the entire contents of the flask.

He doesn’t look happy, drops the empty potion bottle into the furious melee below, and then moves, at lightning speed, a little away from the fight, quick turns and draws a wand.

“Duck.”

Ala does, others try but they’re fighting for their lives.

“FLAME-ON”

The Kobold Wizard screams, a thick wedge of fire rolls over the combat, crisping, a little, Bec, Cas and Jim. An Elite Kobold stumbles from the melee on fire, the creature charges away, flapping helplessly as it burns, hits a statue and collapses to the floor for a little more break dancing before it expires.

The shadows flee in an instant- the way is clear.

Swish bashes another of the Kobolds over the head; it sinks to the floor- dead. Bec smashes his great club down on another, dead, turns the stroke to a baseball batter’s swing and decapitates yet another- the Kobold’s head goes skittering off further down the passage.

Leaving only one of the Elite Kobolds left, it bolts, as does the Wizard on the ceiling- both head back towards the Temple, where Newt is.

“Smidgin”

Another Magic Missile thumps into the back of the Wizard, the creature turns to face Anya, she’s really for it.

Jim quickly recovers his bow, working purely on instinct, notches an arrow and lets it fly- it strikes the Kobold Wizard in his left leg, passes through, the Kobold screams and lifts his leg- then struggles for a second, one foot still firmly planted on the ceiling, the other kicks air, then he falls…

CRACK

And lands awkwardly on the floor, neck clearly broken.

Newt meanwhile, back in the Temple, finds his balance, swings and connects with a Kobold’s head; it staggers back, a face full of mace, and collapses. The second Kobold checks the odds; another of his kind flees towards him, in pursuit is Bec, decision made- he scarpers.

Newt drops his mace, scrambles for his crossbow, and before the creature has got thirty feet.

THUNG

It grows a crossbow bolt from its back.

Bec barrels past him, chasing the last one down.

“SAAA-NNNND-WIIIII-TCHHH.”

A minute or so later Bec returns, all smiles.

The Goodman Gang head back to the library, leaving Jim back out in the corridor to keep an eye on things.

“Well that went better.” Ala states.
The others nod.
“Bec try to retain a little more control when you’re raging, I’m on your side guy.” Cas offers, Bec looks embarrassed, nods. “No biggie, it’s ok, you haven’t got me yet.” Cas checks himself over, then smiles at the giant man.

Everyone has a minor injury or two, or worse. Ala does the best she can to get them back to full health.

Newt has pockets full of the three-fingered pendants, so many so he can’t remember which belong to the party treasure, and which are the ones he’s stolen.

Anya meantime stalks the shelves, selecting texts, seemingly at random, her Detect Magic spell in full operation, this after ransacking the body of the Kobold Wizard, she grabs the Burning Hands Wand, seen in action earlier. Also on the shelves she discovers the Wizard’s Spellbook, it’d take a chisel to remove the smile from her face.

They rest.

“Did you see any… shadows?” Anya eventually asks.
“Only when I was watching the fight, out there”, she continue, points back to the corridor, where Jim stands, “I thought I saw something- shadowy creatures, surrounding the Kobolds.”

Nobody says anything for a while, eventually Cas cracks.

“Tricks of the light, probably the sunrods, the black walls, polished- quite a sheen… Tricks of the light.”

But nobody believes him.

“I tell you what I didn’t see… in the fight.” Ala stares pointedly at Newt.
Newt holds her gaze, not flinching.

Time expands till everyone is watching the confrontation.

“I don’t think we ought to…” Cas starts.
“Well?” Ala cuts Cas off.
“You stick to what you’re good at… Whatever that is? And I’ll do my job.”

Newt looks away.
“You’re a coward.” Ala spits back.

Newt turns back, glares at her, then after a moment, calms down, and smiles.

“A coward? If you’re asking if I’m frightened… Then yes, I am. That would be the normal reaction. If you’re asking me to give my life for… oh hang on, for what exactly, you don’t even know why you’re here- what you’re fighting, and for what.”
Ala goes to speak but Newt jumps back in.
“You’re pathetic- you don’t even know who you are?”

The silence thickens.
“That’s not…” Cas starts.

“I’d give my life to save another, those that I call my friends.” Ala growls.

Newt smirks then shrugs, gets up quickly, and wanders off.

Cas snakes an arm out to Ala.

She pushes him away.

Twenty minutes later they head back to the Temple chamber to check out the door to the north, where the last pack of Elite Kobold warriors came from.

The passage outside the library, the one that Jim has been guarding, also ends in a door; they decide to leave it for later.

“Never leave an enemy behind you.” Jim states.
Cas grins, as do the others- most of them.

The Temple, now they can take a leisurely look, contains dozens of frescoes of the same blue robed man, in various all-action poses- sending down bolts of lightning, binding a scorpion demon inside a pentagram, and many others.

“Any idea who he is?” Anya asks Cas.
The Paladin shakes his head.
“Ala?”
“No.”

The huge figures that hold up the ceiling each possess a holy symbol, somewhere about their person, Cas and Anya tick of the deities represented-

“St. Cuthbert.”
“Boccob.”
“Wee Jas.”
“Heironeous.”
“Pelor.”
“Olidamara.”
“Corellon.”
“The Green Man.”

“Odd”, Anya adds, “none of whom are in anyway associated with Kobolds, or Evil. Whatever this place once was, well… it isn’t anymore.”

“Right, ready- let’s head off again.” Cas leads the way north to the door.

“CAS”, Ala screams as he passes the last line of pillars, two amorphous creatures leech from the pillars, strings of ichor and goo drip from them, the first lashes out scratching hidden claws down Cas’s back, through his armour, and deep into his flesh.

The Paldain screams.

Jim dodges back, as the second creature lashes out at him.

“DEMONS”, Anya screams. The adventurers scatter; fan out, around their new foes.

“Magic weapons”, Anya states and, “Smidgin”, a Magic Missile ploughs into the side of one of the Lemure’s. Ala slashes through the one on Cas, her weapon barely scratches the creature. Jim smashes his battleaxe into the Lemure menacing him, the creature screeches, claws at the air and staggers back.

Cas and Ala fight on against the other, once again shadows twist around the creature, they’re both mesmerised, swing wildly, neither connects with the creature which lurches forward leaving a viscous trail, the Lemure rakes its claws down Cas’ face. The Paladin lurches back blood cascading down his cheek.

Bec hefts his great club, lifts it way above his head, and drives it down on the other Lemure, which is already injured.

SPLAT

The creature concertinas and then explodes, a melted wax like substance liberally coats the area, and the combatants, then slowly dissolves into nothing, the creature is destroyed.

Cas swings off-balance, misses again. Ala connects, but leaves barely a scratch. The Lemure cackles and bubbles filth down itself, suddenly splits- vertically, leaving two wavering halves, a battleaxe clearly visible protruding through its midriff.

The creatures face fades from Cas and Ala’s sight, eye-sockets ooze to the surface, as it now faces Jim, it claws at Jim’s axe, tries to grab it, the Ranger swiftly heaves it out of the creature and dances back, the Lemure collapses into a stinking pile of filth- bubbles some more then vanishes.

“OK. Is there anybody else here that keeps seeing shadows?” Cas asks.
Ala, Bec and Jim nod.
“Oh you can see them now?” Anya asks.
Cas, bows his head, then nods- looks up at Anya, mouths “sorry.”
“What are they are?” Ala asks.
“I don’t know but I think this place is under some sort of terrible curse. The Kobolds, the way they look- there’s a darkness here.” Anya states.
Cas nods, “The fiends are evil, that’s obvious- I can feel their auras, but there’s something else here, something not… right.”
“I think we can bet on encountering more Kobold abominations, as we go on.” Jim states.
The others nod.

“Right then, again, the door.” Cas leads them off again.

Into another black stone passage, this time only five feet wide, it ends in a t-junction, the group head left to a door, which is wide open.

Inside a foul-smelling room lit by guttering torches, a torture chamber, the adventurers cautiously move in.

“This is… This is…” Cas begins and finishes off by drawing out his light mace and smashing the rack that stands before him.
“Smash it all up.” Ala confirms, staring pointedly at Newt, they set to work.

It takes a while, all that’s left of use, in the end, are a set of thumbscrews, they avoid destruction by being safe and secure in Newt’s backpack.

“Feel better?” Newt asks.
“Yes.” Cas nods.
“Much.” Ala concludes.

The group traipse back out of the chamber, and follow it over, to another door, once again, open. Beyond is a very odd looking chamber.

An L-shaped room, more of the black rock, there are six portrait-sized curtains around the walls, as if there are… portraits, what else, behind them. Perhaps they’ve wandered into some strange Kobold art gallery.

“Can I have sandwich?” Bec offers.

“This place gets weirder and weirder.” Jim strides into the chamber.

“Sandwich?”
“Alright Bec… later.” Jim adds.

Anya mooches into the chamber, wary, there’s a bunch of papers on the floor, and a crude looking short ladder, she heads over.

“SANDWICH?”
“You alright big guy?” Jim worries, he passes a cheese sandwich to Bec.

Bec begins to shuffle forward, holding the sandwich in his hands in front of him.

“SANDWICH?”

“CAS, Ala- Bec’s… gone funny.” Jim tries again.

“You’re alright big guy. Calm down. Don’t you want your sandwich?” Jim places his hand on Bec’s arm.

Bec stops his shuffle; the others close in on him, all except for Anya, she’s reading.

“That’s strange… they’re…” Anya states.

“SANDWICH? SANDWICH?”

Bec bursts free from the gaggle of concerned on-lookers, quick-shuffles forwards to one of the concealed portraits, and flings open the curtain.

RRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR

Fire consumes Bec.

Next Turn: Going Elemental


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:42 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
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Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters


Turn 21: Going Elemental

Bec collapses, gibbers, holding in his hand the worlds first “cheese toastie”, he gibbers some more, takes a bite, gibbers once more, for luck- strings of melted cheese trapeze between the toastie and his maw. His clothes and facial hair still smoke, charred.

The company rush towards him while Anya conjures; a kid-skin gloved woman’s hand appears in the air close to her, gently flaps over to the curtain and draws it shut- the fire abates.

“What the hell was he doing?” Jim shouts.
“Bec?” Ala’s by his side.
The big man blinks his eyes, takes another bite, “Sandwich.”
He grins, takes another bite of his cheese toastie, and begins to lever himself up.
Ala uses the last of her healing spells, the burns fade, Bec’s back in full health.

The others help him up to his feet, although he doesn’t seem to need any assistance.
“Bec?” Cas wonders, “what was all that about?”
Bec chews hard at his toastie, waves it at Cas, “Sandwich.” He grins.

And that’s all they get out of him, except for a cheesy grin.

Anya and Newt move back to the pile of notes, begins to read through them, Anya quickly states.

“Don’t open any of the curtains- it seems they’re all portals to the Elemental Planes… It seems our Kobold friends have been spending their time trying to catch the wind from the Plane of Air, in a sack- which tells you everything you need to know about Kobolds.”
“Ridiculous.” Newt states.
“Exactly.” Anya confirms.
“It’d get through the holes.” Newt holds up a hessian sack, it has indeed got holes in it.

Anya shakes her head, “hang on though.”
“What?” Cas strides over past Bec, who grins furiously- licking his fingers, sated.

“Well it seems that…” Anya strides over to a curtain, draws it back with a florish, “this one goes somewhere else...”

Within the window to another world is an office, a small ten by ten room with a chest at the far end, and a small wooden table with a clutter of alchemist’s paraphernalia on it.

Newt dashes over, grabs the small set of steps, rushes back to the portal.

“Newt”, Cas shouts, “it might not be safe.”

And he’s in, he turns waves back at the others, and he’s at the chest, it’s easy to open- Newt grabs everything as the others watch on from outside of the portal.

Anya plucks up the courage, steps in, Newt turns to her and winks- the pair grab as much of the alchemical paraphernalia as they can carry safely and step out of the portal. Newt has located a number of potions, a thick cloak, and a fairly plain looking necklace, with only three beads on it, and a beautifully cut diamond, but that’s his reward for going.

“I think it’s time we rested up again, we’ve enough food for a few more days yet, we may as well take our time. We seem to be winning the war.” Cas states.

The others agree.

The happy gang file back to the graveyard, for another rest- believe me, and this is a DM moment, if I had anything left to throw at them I would. That and the scenario saying that the Kobolds, now without leadership (since before the scenario started), stay put, which means the Goodman Gang are free to retreat for rest and relaxation.

The rest of the day is spent cleaning and prepping, the night in fairly fitful sleep. Anya takes the time to have a look at the Wand she located on the Kobold Wizard, she already knows the command word, “Flame On”, it’s going to be her new toy- I can tell.

Ala wanders over to Newt, when nobodies looking,

“I bet you’ve stolen lots of stuff haven’t you? Picked things up here and there?” Ala smiles.
Newt considers the statement for a moment, then nods, and grins back.
“You’re nothing but a lowly thief, a parasite…” Ala trails off.
Newt takes a huge gulping of cooling water, wipes his mouth with his sleeve, considers Ala’s words again, and then nods some more, an even wider grin plastered on his face.
“Why?” Ala despairs.
“Because that’s what I do.” Newt levers himself to his feet. “You heal the fighters, that’s what you do, sure you wave that thing around a bit…”, Newt points at Ala’s longsword, “but you don’t hit much- do you?
Ala gets to her feet in a rush goes to draw her sword.
Newt stands stock still, “go on then…”, hands out- defenceless, “take your best shot.”

And loud enough for several of others to hear, and react, Cas and Anya, then Bec and Jim get to their feet.

Nothing happens for a while.

“Thought not.” Newt smiles thinly, then wanders off.

The next morning everything is done with a practiced efficiency, the stew tastes better- Newt has taken over cooking duties. Somebody finds a still fresh loaf of bread, Anya has some apples- they share everything, the shadows fade a little And yet...

Nobody’s speaking.

Day five underground, and a Detect Magic spell confirms that the potions, cloak and necklace are all indeed magical items. The potions are easily identified, healing, they’re shared out, Newt declines one- he’s got four salted away already. Jim takes the cloak, he’s no idea what it does but he likes the look of it- dark and plain. Anya takes the necklace, she has a number of ideas as to what it may be, she resolves to have the thing Identified why they return to civilisation.

Ala discovers that she is actually out of food, this proves not to be a problem as a number of the others still have over a week’s supply of hard tack, a brief inventory of supplies is taken, and they calculate that there’s enough food for them all for three more days.

The party return to the Temple complex and specifically the corridor outside of the library- there’s a door at the far end, as yet, remember, untried.

Newt goes ahead, to the door, checks it briefly- nothing untoward. Opens the door a little, a shadowy chamber, funny, the stone floor has been replaced by a gray-ish lifeless dirt, a purple glow emanates from the ceiling some twenty feet overhead.

The gang cautiously enter, into a massively overgrown garden of twisted and spikey plant-life, shrubs and hedges all brown and dead, there’s a small clearing and the remains of a path ahead. The plant-life has taken over, the wall of thorns that surrounds them is some five feet high, and dense, almost impassable.

“What the…”, Newt begins.

Jim takes a look, he’s the Ranger after all, “we’ll whatever they were, the plants, they’re good and dead.” He snaps a twig off, “and dangerous”, he’s cut his hand.

The group fan out, Bec moves forward down the overgrown passage that leads off from the clearing.

“Sandwich.” Bec shouts and points.

“KWAAA.”

At a Kobold, of sorts, the creature has long thin arms that grip tight to a crossbow, it clutches onto the top of hedge, above Bec, with its clawed, bird-like, feet, a long thin tongue snakes out of its beak-like maw.

“KWAAAAAA.”

It studies Bec for a second.

Then fires.

The bolt smashes into the lifeless soil by Bec’s feet.

“KWAAA.”

A half-dozen of the strange Kobolds appear, perched on the hedges, surrounding the intrepid explorers.

TWONG x lots.

It’s an ambush.

Ala clutches at her arm, a scratch. Jim is not so lucky, a crossbow bolt slams into and through his throat, he slumps to the deck clutching at his neck, blood bubbles, he opens and closes his mouth but no sound comes out.

The Kobold-birds spring back, out of sight, only to be replaced by a second wave, another half-dozen.

Thwong x lots.

Bec smashes at the twisted hedge, perched on which is a pair of Kobolds, the creatures dance back, out of harms way. Anya grabs Jim and begins to drag him out of the chamber- she sprouts two crossbow bolts in the process, nearly falters, and yet drags the gasping Ranger out of the chamber.

Newt fires back, kills one in an instant. Cas takes a bolt to the side, nearly folds.

“Retreat.” The Paladin gasps, the gang head for the door, and are intercepted by Anya who’s on her way back in.

She steps into the chamber, using the door for cover, pokes out the wand she found on the Kobold Wizard and screams-

“FLAME ON.”

A carpet of fire spreads out into the underbrush, it ignites, flames shoot up and out, engulfing two of the Kobolds that shriek and caw as they burn.

“FLAME ON.”

Another whoosh of fire, the undergrowth rages.

“FLAME ON.”

Another.

Anya can hear the screams of the Kobolds as they flee.

“FLAME ON.”

And.

“FLAME ON.”

It goes on for a while, Anya screaming over the sound of the raging firestorm.

Two minutes later a stern looking Anya, with blackened face and hands, rejoins the gang- who are in retreat, back towards the water, behind her the door is still open, and on fire, the room beyond an inferno, a pall of black smoke snakes down the corridor towards them.

They make it back to the huge cavern with the pool of water in it, which they’ve already crossed on three occasions. The black smoke follows them, and then filters up- high into the chamber, filling the area with a dark fug.

They wait, and heal, Jim is soon back on his feet, and talking, his throat wound entirely gone, which doesn’t stop him from constantly rubbing the spot.

“There can’t be much more of this?” Anya asks.
“I hope not.” Cas adds.
“What do you make of them Kobolds?” Newt asks.
“I think everything in here is tainted, an abomination.” Jim replies.
“Why though?” Anya follows up.
To silence for a while.

“Whatever it is I aim to get to the bottom of it.” Cas states hands on hips doing his tea-pot impression.
“You can’t cure all Oerth’s ills.” Ala states.
“But I can’t ignore this… We can’t ignore this, there’s something unnatural about this place, alien- whatever it is that’s creating these abominations has a purpose, and I don’t believe for a second that it’s something good. They’re not the most hospitable of creatures, you saw how it affected the Ogre, the Kobolds- we need to find the source of this terror before it spreads.” Cas answers.
Silence takes grip again, the adventurers nod, Ala stares at Newt.

They’re there for four hours, polishing, sharpening, mumbling to each other, watching the black smoke continue to curl from the cavern and disappear high above.

Then they’re back to the once hedged chamber, and what a difference, the true extent of the room is revealed, it must be a hundred feet square, now the home of nothing more than burnt and blackened foliage, a pool of brackish water, and a small stone chamber in the centre- black from the inferno.

The pool of water holds no secrets.

The blackened room in the centre has a stone door on the far side, the group make ready, and whatever’s behind it must surely know they’re here.

Newt, after briefly examining the door, flings it open- Bec charges in smashes at…

A new type of Kobold, this one has an elongated neck, like a dragons neck, a snaking tail that curls and curves behind it, and is covered in thick armoured scales- like… a dragon.

The Kobold ducks Bec’s greatclub, easily.

“Smidgin”, the creature cannot dodge Anya’s Magic Missile however, it steps back, there are stairs behind the creature, heading down.

Jim dodges in behind Bec, spots one of the crossbow bearing bird-like Kobolds from the inferno chamber, fires.

Fwong.

The Kobold flops backwards and tumbles down the stairs.

Two more rush up them, take aim at Jim.

Fwung.

The rear Kobold fires and takes out his comrade- oops.

CRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

A frantic white mist shoots out of the Dragon-Kobolds maw, covering Bec in freezing ice, the mist clears- Bec shivers, Anya however is totally covered in the icey sheen, she topples backwards, frozen solid, onto the floor. Cas dives by Bec and slices at the creature- it’s too quick for him, it dodges back.

Ala dives into the chamber and is on all fours pouring healing energy into Anya, Newt follows her in.

Fwung.

And takes out a third Bird-Kobold complete with crossbow, another rushes in to fill the gap, they seem keen to defend the stairway down.

Bec shakes the ice from him, swings again; but the Dragon-Kobold ducks the blow.

Anya shakes her head, she’s coming round, she’s also being dragged out of the chamber by Ala.

Jim drops his bow and heaves his battleaxe at the final Bird-Kobold, smashing the creature back down the stairs.

Cas lances his longsword at the Dragon-Kobold, “Charge…”, the creature dodges in and slashes down hard knocking Cas’ sword from his hand, the blade skitters off down the stairs.

Newt moves backwards, out of the way of the beast, and-

FWUNG

Buries six inches of crossbow bolt into the creature.

Shadows coalesce around the Dragon-Kobold, the room spins, or at least the shadows seem to spin, Bec swings again- hits only shadow, Cas gets no further- hand over his eyes, the strobe of shadows blinds him- he staggers back. Jim clutches his temple, there’s something going on here, something very wrong- and bad, he staggers backwards.

“AAA-BOMM-INN-AY-SHUN”

The Dragon-Kobold croaks and swings it’s battleaxe at Cas, it slices the air, inches from his head.

“Smidgin”

Another Magic Missile drills into the creature, it stands statue for a moment and then staggers and falls, clatters down the stone steps, coming to rest, neck broken, at the base of the stairs.

Anya’s silhouetted in the doorway, back on her feet, wand out- holding the pose.

“Come on”, Cas looks at Anya, “lets head down- we’re nearly there, I can feel it.”

They head down, Ala checking for wounds as they move off; she uses some of her minor healing skills.

Newt grabs several more of the three fingered pendants on the way, Ala stops to glare at him, he grins and shrugs back.

The stairs end in a door, their soon through it and into another corridor, a T-junction, the group head west, to yet another door. The area is silent.

Newt gets to work again, no traps, no locks, pushes it open- into a nightmare.

Before them is an enormous chamber, bathed in a sickly green light, around the chamber plant-like growths, pods- Kobold sized pods- like seed pods, only for the abominable creatures they’ve encountered so far.

Jim approaches one, touches its translucent skin, inside something bubbles, it’s alive- something moves within, the pod begins to peel back, open, a viscous liquid spills out, Jim dances back.

Within is a newly exposed Kobold, complete with Dragon-like features, just like the creature they encountered at the top of the stairs.

Jim looks back at the others, doesn’t ask permission, turns back and smashes his battleaxe into the newborn abomination.

The Kobolds eyes flutter open.

SQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

And then it expires.

Anya tugs at Jim’s sleeve, pulling him out of the way.

“Anya are you…” Cas starts, she points to the door, folds up the sleeve of her robe, she has the Wand of Burning Hands gripped tight in her hands.

“Get out.”

Jim, Bec, Ala and Newt head out.

Cas waits, “Are you sure? Do you want me to stay with…”

“Get out. Please.”

Cas, head down, leaves.

“FLAME ON.”

The roar of flames.

Outside the other members of the group listen to the rush of flame, and the scream of the yet unborn creatures, suddenly awakened from their slumber, dying- there must be hundreds of them.

Jim clamps his hands over his ears, squats down. Ala turns away- crying.

The flame comes again, and again.

As do the screams.

And again.

And again.

Relentless.

A good while later Anya steps out of the room, flames flicker behind her, not the conflagration of earlier, burnt and crisped bodies still smoulder on the floor behind her.

She shuts the door behind.

Cas reaches out to place his hand on her shoulder.

She shrugs it off.

“Whatever it is at the end of this, it’s going to suffer- promise me that.”

Cas nods.

“That’s what we’re here for.” Jim states plainly.

Newt tries not to meet anyone’s stare, especially Ala’s

Next Turn: The Bitter End.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:48 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 22: The Bitter End


The group gather, Cas makes to mumble something uplifting, but Anya shrugs her way past to another door- Newt skips ahead of her, now all sweetness and light. Gets to work on the door- there’s nothing to be found.

“It can only get worse.” Anya motions for Cas to go past her, go on in.

Cas takes a breath, then flings the door open, onto a scene straight from Hell.

A large Altar, seemingly constructed from the still writhing bodies of creatures- Kobolds, Derro, other less distinguishable monsters. Either side of this are a pair of Candlestick holders, bearing enormous black candles. The Candlesticks are fashioned from still living, certainly able to feel pain- from there yelps, Kobolds. Candles emerge from the creature’s maws, which seem to have been wrenched open, broken, and left to set in this, most painful, position. They clutch a further pair of candles in there crucified outstretched arms.

The walls of the chamber pulse and beat, still-living skin, organs gurgle, veins throb, and bulges towards the adventurers.

And behind the Altar is another abomination- once Kobold, Lerrza, the High Priestess, is almost albino- he skin without pigment, a horny, boney emaciated horror. She stands behind the Altar staring at her foes.

“Tiiiimmmeee tooooo diiiiiiieeee.”

Delivered in a whisper, Lerrza turns slightly to reveal the source of the malediction, a second functioning Kobold face, in the back of her head.

Cas looks behind him, the more perceptive members note the colour has drained from his face. Through a bone-dry throat he screams.

“For Pelor.”

And charges forward, and where Cas leads, the others follow.

The Altar sprouts legs, and other limbs, shuffles forwards to meet them, it grows, arms to claw, heads to see- a living knot of inhumanity.

The Candlesticks hop forward, yelping as they spill burning wax on themselves- Hell’s coming.

Anya doesn’t even bother with a pose, “Smidgin.” A Magic Missile rushes through the chamber and thumps into the Kobold High Priestess.

The other attackers are intercepted en route to the Priestess by the moving scenery, they attempt to slash there way past the Altar and the Candlesticks.

Bec hefts his great club, smashes it down, and takes a chunk of flesh and limbs from the Altar. At the same time a white ray shoots out from the Kobold Priestesses fingertip, and bathes Anya, she’s caught mid-stride, she stiffens, paralyzed.

Jim creeps to a clear spot, bow still in hand, and fires- the Magic Arrow sings for a second and then thumps in the High Priestesses chest.

“Yooooooo willlll alllll meeeeeeeet thhhheeee maaaaaaasssstteer.”

The second head whispers, with volume.

Ala swings, an overhead blow, slashes down and slices the fleshy Altar- clean in two, limbs, heads, and torsos tumble out, a slick of blood forms.

Bec sees his opportunity and charges through the newly created gap- and is engulfed, momentarily, by a black mist; he emerges, a second later, heading back the way he came, his face a rictus grin, terrified- he bowls into Ala, knocking them both to the flesh-like ground, which lurches up to claw and grab at the pair.

Bec crawls away as fast as he can, Ala wrenches herself free and staggers on towards the abomination.

Newt’s crossbow sings, it’s out of tune, as is Jim’s bow- bolt and arrow fly well wide of the High Priestess. Newt recovers, re-aims, and fires again- hits, but it’s just a scratch.

Lerrza spins around.

“DEATH TO LIFE.”

The second face screams.

The wave of sound crashes over the adventurers- Ala grabs her ears but stumbles on- towards the High Priest. Bec continues to crawl away from the fight, mumbling and fumbling for words. Cas’ ears bleed profusely, the Paladin stands statue still trying to shake the echo of the words from his brain, he stumbles then falls.

“CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.”

Ala screams and launches a furious swipe at Lerrza, who chooses that moment to launch her own attack; Ala’s sword slices clean through the Kobold High Priestesses pallid neck.

Lerrza’s stands suddenly still, as if balancing something very delicate.

“Yoooo willll diiiiiiiie.”

She whispers.

“Not here though.” Ala answers.

She strides forward, kicks, nonchantly, the creature backwards. Lerrza’s head topples forward as the rest of her tumbles back.

The two Candlesticks prove to be less of a hindrance, even with the number of adventurers temporarily incapacitated.

Wounds and injuries are tended to, Cas it seems was only momentarily stunned, Bec wanders back into the chamber- wondering what all the fuss was about, and looking a little sheepish, Anya’s paralysis lasts only a little longer,

The High Priest has a number of useful scrolls which Ala identifies and stashes away for later use. The group retire leaving Anya alone for a while with the Wand of Burning Hands, with the usual flame-grilled results.

Outside the horrid chamber Ala continues to stare at Newt who shrinks under her gaze, the Goodman Gang’s purpose revealed.

Ten minutes later the group reassemble and head on, and this time pass by two side passages, Cas is in a rush it seems.

“Er… Cas?” Jim tries.
“It’s this way.” Cas points on.
“What is?” Jim enquires.
“The End.” Cas simply states.

Silence for a while, the passage ends in a t-junction, Cas looks left then right, heads right.

“What about the not leaving enemies behind you?” Jim tries again.
“It’s too late for that… Now come on.”

The passage turns north and ends in a door, which Cas flings open, into another chamber, eight pillars run floor to ceiling, in pairs towards a door at the far end of the chamber.

Five more of the Elite Kobold guards occupy the space immediately before them, the adventurers rush into the chamber.

“Come on, for Pelor.” Cas screams again.

“Smidgin.” A Magic Missile thumps into one of the creatures- dead. Newt fires, a bolt buries itself in the chest of another, which flops to the floor. Jim lets loose the Magic Arrow, it passes through a Kobold’s throat, that’s three down.

The other two Kobolds let loose with Heavy Crossbows, obviously already loaded, a bolt traces a red furrow down Cas’ leg, the other thumps into the centre of Bec’s chest, who topples backwards like a tree being felled.

There’s a sudden movement ahead of the adventurers, at the far door, approximately fifty feet away, another group of Elite Kobolds appears, two dash off, one left, one right- towards the nearest pillars. They blink out of view.

And reappear, step from the nearest two pillars to the doorway through which the adventurers entered.

They fire their heavy crossbows, a bolt sails wide of Jim, the other clunks into Anya’s skull, she drops to all fours, and then further down, onto the cold stone floor.

“KILL THEM.”

Cas snarls, and launches himself forward in to one of the Kobold Elite, cuts the creature down with a single blow, almost severing the things arm.

Kobolds dodge towards the pillars, blink out of existence, only to appear in convenient positions, and yet their missile attacks prove to be ineffective.

The adventurers edge further into the chamber, abandoning Anya and Bec, who’re still down on the floor, for the moment.

Jim manages to tag another of the creatures; his arrow spins the Elite Kobold around, before it drops dead.

And then Jim proves his point, at a cost.

A Dragon Kobold lurches into the chamber, from behind the adventurers, and liberally covers Newt and Jim in a cloud of freezing ice crystals, they both stagger, but remain upright, just.

Newt quick draws a healing draught and glugs it down.

Jim abandon’s his bow in a kamikaze charge, draws his axe, and in the process knocks Newt to his knees, the agile Ranger follows Newt down, lands hard and remains sprawled on the floor- out cold.

Ala is hit in the back by a crossbow bolt, she struggles to grasp behind her, remove the bolt, stumbles, and, like Jim, clutches the ground

Which leaves Newt and Cas still standing, with five Elite Kobold’s and a Dragon Kobold menacing the pair.

Cas strides forward and is surrounded by four Elite Kobolds, he manages to fend them off, if only for a moment.

Newt flings a flask of Alchemist’s Fire, which explodes on impact with the stone floor, forces the cold using Dragon Kobold back out of the pillared chamber, a crossbow bolt passes over the Gnome’s shoulder.

Cas swings wildly, a Kobold steps in, cuts him along his arm, and then Cas’ attack unfolds, another cuts him along the back of his thigh, yet another at his ankle, and the last, more serious, across the forehead. He wavers, but grips tight to his sword.

Newt takes up his crossbow, and in one swift move- fires, the Elite Kobold facing him slumps down dead. The Gnome rushes over to Anya, scrambles for a Healing Potion and then jams the bottle in Anya’s jaws- it drains. She opens her eyes.

Cas holds the furious four Elite Kobolds off for a while longer, no new cuts and bruises in the action.

Anya levers herself upright, “Akkat”, sets Swish before her, to guard her, while she re-orientates herself.

The Dragon Kobold leaps back into the chamber; the Alchemist Fire has burned itself out, Newt fires, instinct, but misses by a mile. The creature rushes at the Gnome, smashes into him, knocking him tumbling back. Newt lands by Jim, clutches another Potion of Healing which he passes to Jim, who’s just coming round, the Ranger gulps the healing liquid down.

“Pelor save me…”

Cas mumbles as he continues to fend off the ferocious creatures, his energies return as his prayer is answered, cuts and bruises miraculously healed, and in the same instant he finds himself in an even worse situation. An Elite Kobold connects with a low blow, striking and slicing into both of the Paladin’s legs. Another cuts him across the chest, yet another almost removes the pinky finger from his shield hand. He’s barely standing.

Newt scrambles up again, fires, the bolt passes just inches away from the Dragon Kobold’s face.

“Smidgin.” Anya’s back on form, the Magic Missile slams into the Dragon Kobold, the creature staggers backwards, on its last legs.

Jim sees an opportunity and charges into melee with the creature, metal meets metal, but no new hits are scored.

Cas meanwhile slices down one of the Kobolds he is facing, and then, for good measure, is cut down himself- the Paladin tumbles forward, unmoving. The Elite Kobolds, now sans enemy, rush towards the nearest pillars.

Newt fires but misses badly. Anya does not suffer from the same malaise, “Smidgin”, the Magic Missile thumps into the Dragon Kobold which tumbles backwards- dead.

The three teleporting, for that is what the pillars do, Elite Kobolds blink back into view, one behind Jim, who takes a blow to his right-hand side, winces but fights on. The other two appear behind Newt, who takes two raking blows to his back and shoulder; he staggers forwards, then turns to confront his new foes.

The Elite Kobolds follow up, slashing and smashing, but Newt is far too quick for them, he fends off a blow with his heavy mace, which he now clutches in hand.

“Smidgin.” Anya’s Magic Missile kills one of Newt’s attackers.

The other exchanges blows, snarling, with the Gnome Rogue.

“Smidgin.” And then it’s no more, which only leaves two Elite Kobolds, one backing away- towards the far door, the other fighting Jim, who, for his sins, receives another wound.

Newt scrambles for his crossbow, clutches it, but too slow- “Smidgin”, the Elite Kobold facing Jim slumps to the floor.

The last makes it back to the far door, flings it open and is about to rush through.

“Smidgin”, nothing happens, the wand is spent.

Thwung

But Newts crossbow bolt merely dents the wall.

The creature escapes with his life, for now.

Jim makes to run forward but Anya grabs him, slows his charge, she looks around them, at their fallen comrades, an unspoken signal.

The three still standing tend as best they can to the wounded. Bec is just stunned, no more, once again though he has proven to be the weakest link, or so he thinks- he has a long face. Ala too is quickly revived; it’s Cas that is the furthest gone, although a pair of healing potions soon do the job.

The limping sextet wend their way back to the stairs, it’s judged to be the safest place to defend at present. They make camp on a rough stone landing, ensure the door is shut in the chamber above, and trapped courtesy of Jim and Newt, they’ll know if something’s coming, they repeat the trick with the lower portal- they’re safe, or so they think.

They set a watch rota, two awake at any one time, they decide on twelve hours rest, the last push- the end must surely be in sight.

“I hate this place.” Anya offers.
She holds Cas’ glare.
“Me too.” Jim confirms.
“Sandwich?” Bec scratches his head.
“Come on, it isn’t too bad.” Cas states.
“I hate you.” Ala seethes staring at the Paladin.
“What? Ala?” Cas is up and moving towards her.
She’s up and backing away.
“It’s all your fault, we should have just gone back when we killed the Ogre, this place… this place, it’s… It’s hell.”
Cas puts his hands out- towards Ala, “We have to do this. It’s what we do- it’s right.”
“I know what’s right, don’t preach to me. We’ve been stuck down here for four days now, four days since we’ve seen the surface, felt the breeze, the trees, animals, plants- life, not these twisted abominations. I hate it down here, and I hate you for bringing me here. And you…”, she turns to Newt, “I hate most of all, your nasty and spiteful- don’t think I haven’t seen you when you’re supposed to be on guard, or asleep, creeping around, always looking- your pockets jangling full of our treasure- you’re nothing but a common Thief”, the last part of the sentence is spat out, in Newt’s face.

Silence.

Slowly the Gnomes features stretch into a smile.

“That’s right. I’m a Thief- maybe not so common, but I’ll let that pass. But here’s the thing Lady Luck, I know what I’m here for, I know what I want… Now tell me that don’t piss you off to high heaven.” He grins.
“Newt.” Cas warns.

And Ala crumples, where she stands, and sobs.
Cas bends to comfort her, places his hand gently upon her shoulder.

“LEAVE ME…” She screams.

Cas gingerly stands, forlorn, moves away.

“Get some sleep, I’ll take first shift”, he stutters.

Ala continues to sob.

Anya snakes out her hand, grasps Jim’s hand, holds on tight, they share a look.

And in the corner Bec sees this, and head down, sucks in air- silently seething, pressing down the Rage inside of him.

Next Turn: Bobby Ewing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Goodman Gang in DCC2 The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:41 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Dungeon Crawl Classics #2
The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho
An Adventure for First Level Characters

Turn 23: Bobby Ewing.


Bec stands statue-still, smoke fills his vision, he moves forward cautiously, opens his mouth to speak, something makes him stop.

“Where?”

He mumbles to himself.

His vision clears slowly; he’s on a cobbled street, a long way away… He’s home- way back home, Grimbo, the town he was born in, grew up in- before he ran away.

Coming up the hill towards him is his best friend, Hovis Presley, except there’s something odd about him; he’s shorter, and younger, maybe only six years old.

Bec looks down, he’s six too.

Ohhh- he thinks.

He waits for Hovis to get level with him and then waves furiously, rushes out to meet him, and passes straight through the spirit. Hovis doesn’t register a thing- marches on, down the hill.

Bec stands still for a second and then swipes at himself, his hand passes through his spectral form.

Confusing.

He shrugs, and follows his friend, all the way down the street to Hovis’ fathers shop, to the Hovis Bakery at the bottom of the hill; then quickly nips in through an open side door, which Hovis locks behind him with his key.

Bec strides into the Hovis Bakery’s floury heart.

Men and women mix, kneed and fold; ovens fume- it’s a production line and it smells like heaven.

He passes on, follows Hovis through into a smaller chamber, men and women make pies, and pastries, and slices, and turnovers, and… with cream, and icing, and jam, and jelly- a fug of icing sugar fills the air.

Bec stands tongue out tasting the sweet air.

He grins.

Then gingerly reaches out for an egg custard, his hand passes clean through the dessert.

He shrugs again and presses on into the front of the store, the shop itself, he stands behind the counter, open mouthed.

On the other side of the counter is Anya, a fully… erm developed Anya.

Naked.

Except for the cream.

And icing.

And one, two… three cherries.

She leans forwards to talk to him, he can see her… Bec blushes furiously, turns away, and locks eyes on his friend Hovis Presley again, who doesn’t look away.

“Go on then… Serve her.” Hovis states.

Bec gulps, “What can I get you Anya, I mean Miss?” He enquires.

She moves right up close, her face in his, her breath on his cheek.

“Can I have a sandwich?” She states in breathy whisper.

And then everything begins to fade.

Bec tries desperately to force his way back into the sugar spun dream, thinks about good things; Anya, sandwiches in rows and rows, the sweet chocolate and cream taste of profiteroles, the moment he heard his father was dead, back to Anya and her hand on his arm, walking back to the Tetknee to re-supply, his hand reaching up to grab her neck, to strangle her…

NO.

And he’s back in the bakery.

And Anya’s passing him one of her cherries.

The one on the right.

From the top.

It’s covered in cream.

He opens his mouth.

And wakes.

He’s on guard duty, still stuck on the stair, Newt’s who should also be on duty lies at his feet, his eyes twitch and blink- he’s dreaming, Bec thinks.

And puts his tongue away.

And shuts his mouth.

And grins some more.

He looks around- they’re all asleep, all dreaming, eyes fluttering in the half-dark.

Bec smiles, his stomach growls- he’s hungry, he reaches over towards Anya, pulls her cloak over her, then settles back to keep watch.

“Anya.”

He whispers.

The sleeping form stirs a moment, smiles a little, and then heads back into the unknown.

Cas shakes violently, it passes.

The other sleepers, one-by-one, follow suit.

Bec snores.

Cas stands again in the pillared Temple, the one with the frescoes they passed through earlier.

A noise.

Louder.

A rumble constructed from deep guttural snarls and shouts. The door bursts open and Kobolds, and worse, tumble out- all manner of vile abominations, clawed, winged, beaked, taloned, a mish-mash of unholy fiends.

They rush towards him, his blade sings.

And then Ala is by his side, sword drawn.

And then Jim, bow at full extension, arrow notched.

And then Bec, hefting his great club, slapping it into the open palm of his hand.

And then Newt, swiftly slotting a bolt into his crossbow.

And then Anya, who turns to smile at him, and then extends her arm to reveal a wand.

The Kobold Abominations hit them.

And fire, and metal, and wood, and steel strike.

And nothing

The tide is gone.

And yet the noise…

The noise continues.

Cas turns to look behind him, the foul abominations have passed through them, moved on.

Darkness for a second, and then the sudden feeling of weightlessness, he passes through rock and earth and stone, and out, and up.

He floats high above the cavern entrance, the way into this hell.

Below him the hills and forests, the meadows and streams of Lincornshire.

He can see Tetknee.

And the black tide approaching it.

Watches as another tide of foul creature’s spills from the cavern entrance far below, head off towards...

And then another.

And then another.

Until he’s past counting.

Too many.

Darkness for a second, and then he’s back in the Temple.

And the blinding light of Pelor engulfs him.

He falls to one knee, head down, eyes up, trying to catch a glimpse, but he’s blinded by the light.

He feels the sun on his back, his forehead, his face, inside of him, filling his whole being.

A flood of light, of warmth.

Unbidden he stands, looks up, and straight ahead, into the eyes of his maker.

“End it.” Pelor winks.

And then is gone.

Cas wakes.

As do the others.

Anya with the tender caress of her fallen mother’s lips still imprinted on her cheek, the press of her hands, still warm, holding her, cradling her.

Newt with the crinkled feel of gold and jewels, the pucker marks still apparent on his flesh, from his bed of treasure and precious things.

Ala with the parting words of the strange woman she met in the woods, in her dream, still ringing in her ears.

“Stop asking who you are, and start being who you are, you’re stronger, by far, than you, or they, think.”

Ala smiles.

Jim with cool breeze of home on his back, the sweat of honest toil on his brow, and the memory of straw in his hair, his mother’s voice, echoing, calling him in for supper, his fathers arm around his shoulders, around his brothers shoulders- how it used to be.

Bec with his hands clutched around an invisible sandwich taking huge bites, wiping the crumbs away from his mouth.

The adventures look around them, awakened.

They know now what will happen if they fail.

They know what their reward will be.

That life will go, as normal, and they’ll be there to see it.

WHUMP

The door flies open and an enraged Derro, one of the maddened, grizzled, evil Dwarves stands silhouetted in the doorway.

The creature gibbers, squawks and rages, foams at the moth, a collar around its neck.

“Who let the dogs out?”

Newt enquires.

FWUNG

The crossbow trap, set earlier by Jim and Newt, fires- misses.

A second Derro, similarly affected lurches into the chamber.

And there endeth the third session of play in this scenario.

Everyone is now up to level two, I’ll post the stats a little later, they’ve not gained there skills, spells, or special abilities yet- that comes with training.

Next Turn: Grind Finale.


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