Saturday, March 31, 2012

Photo post


So here are some more mug shots of some of the mini's for this campaign.
First up are some better pics of the Dung Beetle:

The model is about 1.5 inches tall, and unfortunately lost a leg some where...

Next up are some shots of "Fido" the constructed dead guard of the winch room:
This is another one of my sculptures it is about 1.25 inches tall and 2.5 inches at its widest, and was made from several left over 'bits' from other models, and some "green stuff" sculpting putty.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Report for session #16

Game report for session #16

{Game clock resumes at 9:45am 02/19/3200}

A number of things happen all at once…  As he crosses the threshold into the sanctuary, Grubb falls over dead… again.  Thingerlun is not amused; Hearn feels the sanctuary spell drop, and Gruftus starts screaming at them.  Thingerlun stands over Grubb, lamenting the loss and notices two things:

 1) there are the tattered remains of a spell book in Grubbs hand that looks as if some ‘trap’ spell destroyed it and Grubb in the process; there were two pages left intact.

2) That there was something shiny glinting at him from deep inside Grubb’s cranium.

James: “You’re gonna make me dig that out?!”
DM: “You could have someone else do it…”

He finds a thick platinum ring with a signet carved into a ruby, and showing it to the rest prompts Dwight to divulge that he too had a vision.  It told him to find the signet, but that’s all he would say and they gave it to him to carry.  Hearn pushes some food and water to the prisoners, which actually shuts them up for a bit.  In the strained silence as they are trying to digest everything that had happened since they woke up this morning; a strange melody chirps out.  The strangely melodic tone is muffled from within Dwight’s back pack.  He is honestly confused, but digs through to find whatever is making the noise; he pulls out the strange device that Archie had sent with them.  Its gem was flickering kaleidoscopically through the spectrum while it continued to make that noise… which was actually rather grating now that it was out of the bag.   He taps the gem the way Archie had shown them rather reluctantly, but was only somewhat relieved when his spectral head hovered above them all. 

Archie, scowling; “What in the 13 kingdoms of hell is going on in there!!  By the Gods!  There is smoke pouring out of both sides of the ridgeline!!!  When the first column appeared I was a bit nervous, but thought that you all were making progress, but then all the rats in town turned into people!  Are they wear-rats?!  Should I be slaying them? Some of them are quite crazy you know!  Aand if that wasn’t enough, there are now refugees coming out of the mines.  I demand some answers, you are Guild road marshals after all!”

Dwight and the rest synopsize the events and answer his questions.  Archie, less angry; “Well that explains a few things; I’ll get set up helping these folks out.  I sent Hank into the mines yesterday, has he arrived yet?”

Everyone; “Ummm, no…” but before they could get all worried about it they spot Hank shuffling around the corner and then enters the room; announcing himself with a little dance and a wave of his hand.  The bundles of ropes from which it was made were set to creaking and rustling inside its leather coverings by its motions; a smile on its blue porcelain face.  It was covered in filth and the gore of several battles.

Bob; “Scratch that, he’s here now.”

Archie; “Good, keep me informed. Now go get the rest of those townsfolk and then we’ll deal with the rest.”

At this point Milo has an epiphany concerning the vision he was given.  He suddenly realizes that he is on the front lines of a great battle.  There are minions of Ahriman the lord of shadow and his daughter Lasheeva, the Queen of the dead making evil mischief somewhere down there and that this was the first of many battles to come.  Like any protracted conflict, who wins the first battle has a keen effect on morale for both sides; and is often the most influential battle of any conflict.  What has him greatly concerned is that his God was telling him he has until the end of the day to deal with the problem, or they would likely lose this first battle.

He relates this to them and then looks a Dwight and Bob expectantly, “We need to get back down there and deal with whatever unholy creature is down there and fast!”

Bob, indignant; “Why are you looking at me?!”

Milo Shrugs; “You’re good at getting into things… and we need to get back to that hole you found.”

Bob and Dwight both mutter something about not knowing how to navigate in a mine, then one of them pops in with; “Milo could always use his Godly insights to find our way…”

Milo, nervously: “You know that I can’t always glean anything useful from those interactions, right?”

Hearn pipes in with; “From what you’ve described to me, I don’t think they could make it up that rope, tunnel thing you spoke of.” 

Pat, thinking of all the things she learned from talking with Balinor; “Well I think I can track our way back…” {rolls a 1}

They were all so intently focused on following their expert tracker that they all walked right passed the doorway to the “poop” room and stop when they come to a rock fall that they don’t remember.  There are no other ways out, so they back track and eventually find their way back to the hallway just outside the room with the hole to the lower level.  Milo: “Now would probably be a good place to invoke second sight.” {Fail’s with an 8. }

Pat tries repeatedly over the neck half hour to figure out which way they need to go, but eventually notices that there is only one direction for them to go.  They know it isn’t behind them, and the hole is not an option.  The set off again, this time with the Ditch Digger out in front and twenty feet down the corridor his paranoid eyes spot a second secret door.  He goes up and gently checks for traps, and finding none he carefully listens at the secret door.  {DM: it’s a stone wall…} Then Bob tries to quietly push the door open.  {DM: you can push the button you found.}  Closing his eyes and gingerly pushing the button, straining to leap at a moment’s notice.  The door rumbles loudly up into the ceiling.  {DM secretly rolls for the integrity of the room’s structure: 18}  Milo steps forward to shed some light on things, and reveals a large room covered in old debris.  Apparently this part of the mine isn’t very stable. 

Then Bob spots something shiny glittering in the dirt on the opposite side of the room; one of his eyes twitches as he sees that it is a diamond encrusted map case held in a skeletal hand.  He cautiously enters the room and makes it to the other side and examines it more closely, hoping the dead hand won’t start hitting him with the case.  Then he remembers that so far, every time they have managed to do enough damage to something; it has failed to come back.  He searches for any kind of traps and sees that while no one has built one, the natural precariousness of the rock fall and debris will collapse the instant he pulls out the case.

Hearn and Milo both express impatience with Bob’s greed, but he counters with; “Ya, but I think we may need what’s in there… it seems to be a map case.”

Hearn casts a rather powerful detect magic spell and starts scanning the room and sees that while the case is not magical, there are quite a few items buried within the rubble.  She heads back into the hall to gather some things she needs and is momentarily blinded by all of the magic radiating from Hank, when she recovers she starts to use strips of her endless supply of bandages to make little flags and setting them out to mark the locations.  Bob is visibly twitching by now, as she lists off what is there: “That’s sword shaped, that’s a big blobby thing, there’s a few sets of armor…  So what do we do know?”

Bob is developing quite a facial tremor and glazed eyes; “Well as soon as I pull that,” points to the case, “all of this comes crashing down.  Everyone out!”  He lightly grabs the map case and then pulls for all he is worth. {makes the strength check} then gets most of the way to the door before the room falls in on him.  Hearn was closest to the door and dives back in to grab for Bob in an attempt to save him.  She managed to grab onto him, but failed to pull him out.  When the dust settled all they saw were Hearn’s boots and the hem of her robes poking out from the rubble.  They both get clobbered pretty hard, but manage to survive the collapse, and they get pulled out after Hank digs them out.  Hearn manages to heal herself first, and then works on Bob while he and Pat are puzzling out the map case.  Bob sees that it has a complex lock, but no traps.  He opens it with a deft touch of his fingers. Out pops a couple of sheets of parchment. 


One is a map, with scribbling on the back.  The other is an accounting of the one attempt that was made to “cleanse” the mine of evil.  A party of soldiers accompanied by a cleric of Thormyr, a cleric of Soleth, and a Cleric of Ormazd were sent into the mine, none came out again.  Scrawled on the back of this (in human blood) is and accounting of what the second group of clerics found, and what they did. 

A second group was sent in by Jasper to deal with things, and to keep the clergies of the various temples from causing problems. 

I, Brother Corvis, do transcribe and witness the last words of Jandar Harbrin, the dead garrison wizard of Aristemis.  His restless spirit is now at peace.

“We found the lowest level; it is not entirely a mine, several parts having been previously constructed from blocks of pure silver.  The debris from the break through must have been the “nuggets” the miners spoke of.  The attempts to recover the silver were apparently interrupted by some unholy demon.  We encountered a silver gate blocking our path to the fourth level, we thought we’d have to turn back, but Brother Corvis recognized the warding spell which had been used to guard the portal as having been cast by another Priest of Thormyr.  His holy symbol and a simple prayer let us pass.  Upon our discovery of the grizzly remains of the first expedition, I ordered Brother Corvis and a small detachment back through the gate, ordered it sealed and for him to create another blocking the way down from the first level.  He left us with a silver key, apparently received from on high.  I expressed concern and refused the key, but he assured me that evil will not abide its touch any more than they could touch the blessed gate.

What little we saw seems to confirm the accuracy of the miner’s map, but we lost everyone but myself and the cleric of Ormazed trying to put that foul she demon back into her crypt.”

Pat manages to notice that there are cryptic mine notations on the map and that it is very old and cobbled together by several folks.  It tells her that it covers the fourth level of the mines.  When they get to the next intersection Milo tells them that they are traveling west and the branching tunnel headed off to the south.  Milo fails to invoke his second sight ability again; apparently Ormazd is tired of being pestered.  Pat eventually notices that the tracks are shinier in the southern tunnel and they all follow her that way.  Right up to the point where she failed her search check to notice the two goblin murder holes. She did not fail to notice the arrow piercing her side.  I have everyone roll initiative.

Pat goes fist and manages to crawl under the first one, but gets hit again from the other side of the hall.  Milo rushes over to block one of the holes with his shield, and Hank walks over to the first and takes an arrow to the chest, which barely scratches him and then extends a bunch of rope from his hand into the dark… a few seconds later there was the audible crunch of something’s neck.  Everyone else holds back, and a couple seconds later the same thing on the other side; and they continue to follow the tracks to the south.  The hallway continues southward, and the tracks are kind of shiny, but the tracks to the west are a little shinier.  It takes Pat about 20 minutes to figure this out, but off they go, ignoring the secondary northward tunnel ten feet along this new corridor.  Nearly one hundred paces further along, they see that while the tracks continue on to the west, the shinier tracks turn north down a short tunnel that spirals around to the east.  They can see that 15ft or so down on the west side of the corridor is a door, and directly opposite from where they are standing is an open arch that leads into a chamber of some kind.

The area is fastidiously clean, and Bob smells oiled metal and the ever so faint rustle of chains.  They volunteer Hank who looks concerned, but moves forward with Pat on his left. As soon as they set foot into the tunnel, a dozen skeletons appear out of swirling purple smoke.  {Initiative}

Hank kills the first one, Thingerlun kills one with his wand {1 HD skeletons, and bad rolls by the DM} and Bob steps back into the shadows to let everyone else deal with things.  Milo fails to turn undead then the skeletons miss their attack on Hank, but one skewers Pat for max damage.  It is at this point that Hearn realizes that in her horror over what Hank did to the goblins; that she forgot to heal Pat.  Dwight sees how bad off she is and in a mighty deed of strength manages to lift and move and trade places with Pat fast enough that the skeleton misses its free attack on both of them.  They all spot something new; it is a loathsome mass of nothing but arms flop-rolling into view through the archway. 

Hank kills another one, Thingerlun manages to do the same again  with the wand… and then the ‘spell cannon’ goes off again.

Screaming ethereal eagles fly forth from his hand and destroy everything in their path… including the new horror that had the misfortune to show itself at the wrong time.  After the goo stops dripping from the walls and ceiling they explore the area a bit.  The room beyond the arch way houses a massive spool of chain attached to a winch with a long wooden handle.  They ignore the closed door, but are happy to see the elevator that leads down into the next level.  They discuss what to do next.

Pat; “What about this door over here?”

Dwight; “Leave it, we need to get to the townsfolk and we can check it out on the way back.”

They assume that since it’s been hauling ore much heavier than themselves, there isn’t a problem other than the fact that not everyone will fit.  They divide themselves and Pat suggests that a fighter go down in the first trip, but no one listens.  They load up with Bob, Thingerlun, and Hearn with Balinor’s lantern.  Hank was told to operate the winch.  The elevator clanks loudly as it slowly descends: it will take them 5 minutes to travel the 50ft to the next level.

While that was happening Pat decides that she absolutely must see what is behind the door.  Examining it the way she has seen the ditch digger do things, she determines that they door is locked but not trapped.  She informs Milo and Dwight, but they tell her to leave off they were too vulnerable.  She tries to pick the lock, but fails utterly.  Frustrated she kicks in the door to find that the large room is empty except for boxes along the back wall, and a desk covered with books.  She walks back to everyone else and says; “Hey, I found a bunch of books in there.”

Dwight; “What did they say?”

Pat, shrugs; “Don’t know, I can’t read.”

Milo, indignant; “What do you mean you can’t read?”

Pat, getting indignant as well; “I never saw the point.  I grew up in the forest, and I can hunt and track and commune with the trees.  I can dig through a pile of scat and tell you when it dropped and what they ate for breakfast.  But reading… nah.   That’s for wizards.”

Dwight just shakes his head.  That’s when the screaming started echoing up the elevator shaft at them.  It was the rest of the party panicked and begging for them to lift the elevator again. 

Milo; “Maybe we should read the books?”

Hank has to throw the break and reset the gears before he can lift the elevator.  This is how things happened from the perspective of the folks in the elevator; the ones who have no hope in hell of sneaking up on whatever might be down there waiting for them.  Between the light and the noise, they were an easy target for the wear-rat ogre and his undead cohorts.  The wear-rat ogre leaps for the elevator platform, it is made of steal and rather durable, but the chain is protesting with painful shrieks and creaks.  Everyone in the elevator fails their save and is knocked prone, but the chain holds. {initiative}

Thingerlun casts magic missile again but only does 1 point of damage.  Bob manages to get a good throw with his dagger and does enough damage for the critter to get mad. The cart starts to lift slowly, but the wear-rat ogre is successful at snapping the chain this time and he flings the cart and everyone in it to the ground.  Fortunately they were not that high up so I gave them a reflex save to avoid any damage from the fall.  Thingerlun failed and took 2d6 damage, but he made his luck roll to avoid contacting any of the contaminated silver that is lying about the room.  He also ended up with the remnants of the elevator platform on top of him forming an 800+ pound cage.  Bob and Hearn end up on opposite sides of the room, and the lantern in a third corner by itself.  Being a dwarven mining lantern, it lands both safely and in an upright position.  He takes advantage of the relative safety to try and hastily read and cast the new spell he has.  If he understands it correctly, it will let him lift heavy things and move them around with magical force.  The spell fails and his face breaks out in horrible and incurable pustules {His mercurial magic result was 1, and so he only gets 1d14 for casing.  He rolled a 1 on the casting and now suffers from pustules and lowers his PER stat by 1, I’ve decided they express their contents at random intervals.}

The Ditch Digger sneaks up on the Wear-rat ogre and back stabs it for normal damage, but got a second strike.  Bob runs up the critters back and slices the critter for more damage and removes an ear for a trophy; he then uses the rest of his movement to get back to his side of the room.  {the folks up top get to roll there initiative to see when the can join the fight, assuming they can figure a way down}  The wear-rat ogre decides to go for Hearn, as she looks like a much easier target than whatever just did all that damage to him. His claws rip through Hearn and nearly kill her {Down to 3hp, and I must confess to a DM faux pas:   I was so excited by the fact that one of the monsters lived to the second round that I completely forgot about the other undead in the room.  We also keep forgetting about the extra arcs of electricity from each of Thingerlun’s casting of magic missile.}

Hearn tries to heal herself and fails.  Pat, hearing the desperate screams of Hearn, runs to the edge of the elevator shaft and looks down; she can’t see anything but the over turned lift platform. 
{Mikki; “Can I get down there in one round and still attack? 

DM: “Well its 50 feet, you can make a climb check and if you succeed then you can have a luck check versus a DC of 15, sure.”  15 on the climb check and 19 on the luck check.}

She draws a bead on the wear-rat ogre and let’s an arrow fly… just in time for the wear-rat ogre to step out of the way and let the arrow impale Hearn.  She drops to her knees, near mortally wounded.  Thingerlun the spell cannon goes off again {spell check 24} and the wear-rat ogre evaporates in a fine pink mist and arcane sparks.  The remaining missiles manage to take out 1 of the 3 skeletons, they were much burlier than any of the others they have fought so far.  Then he lets out with a maniacal laugh when he realized that he had actually ended up inside of an impromptu bunker.  Dwight then decides to be mighty.  He looks down and sees Pat standing on top of the ‘bunker’ looking horrified.

Taking his magic sword and magic shield Dwight attempts to use them to break line and repel his way down the shaft.  The sparks flying from the grinding metal get in his face and he is forced to let go of the chain and his over hot weapons.  Pat made her listen check and managed to dive out of the way as Dwight lands face first on top of the ‘bunker’ taking a fair bit of damage, but surviving with no broken bones. 

Milo looking over the chaos of the last few moments sighs warily at the idea of climbing down, as he gets ready to try, Hank comes over and taps him on the shoulder.  Pointing to Milo’s armor, and then pantomiming the act of climbing; Hank then makes the motion of dragging his thumb over his throat.  Milo understands the translation well enough as; “It’s suicide!”  Hank then extends rope from one hand and lashes it to the chain and securing the other about Milo’s waist; lowers him gently to the room below.

Milo then charges forward and smashes one of the skeletons, and Bob creeps forward and manages to destroy the other.  Hearn manages to heal some of her injuries, but not all of them.  Everyone else helps to extricate Thingerlun from under the lift platform.  Hearn examines him and says there is nothing she can do for him other than give him some bandages; something foul has corrupted him.

Hearn weakly asks; “How are we going to help the townsfolk out of here now?”

No one has any magic to fix this mundane problem.  Then Pat pipes in sheepishly; “Maybe Archie can help?”

Everyone agrees that is probably the best solution, so they dial him up.  A few seconds later his head is floating above them; “That was fast.  What’s up now?”

They explain the problem and he is surprised by their tale, but he says he knows the spell they need and starts barking instructions to Hank.  Before Hank is willing to follow his instructions he goes over to Hearn and points at her over large water skin emphatically.  It takes a few seconds for her to understand what he needs, but hands it to him with a confused look… an homunculus doesn’t need food or water.  She gets her answer soon enough when Hank up-ends the container and pours half of it over his head, chest and arms, getting everything all sopping wet.  He extends his rope to grab the dangling chain and then pulls himself and the chain fallen chain back up close to each other and waits for Archie.  Archie mutters a few words of power and then a flash of light pops out of the air near his head and streaks to the chain.  A few moments later there is a spectral arc welder patching up the chain good as new.

{Game clock suspended at 12:45pm: 02/19/3200}

We meet again in two weeks

I forgot my camera, so when I get the pics that my players took, I'll update later with those and some more mug shots.  Here is the first of the player progress maps:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Session 15

Game report for session #15:  Sorry for the late post... 

Early Spring Blizzard 1
Tortog 0

{Game clock resumes at 3:00:01am on 02/19/3200} The following conversation takes place in the characters head.

Milo: “I need to know what time it is, how long is it until sunrise?” Invokes his ability to know the position of the sun. 

DM: “About 4 ½ hours, why?”

Milo: “I have been thinking about the Prophesy, and I have this growing fear that the sun will not rise today.”  To the rest of the party, “I think we should head outside for a bit.”

Pat, with obvious excitement: “OK!”

Then most everyone is carried off on a side trip to lala land.

For Dwight:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy.   You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are back upon that great grey expanse where you traveled after presenting the ‘key’ in the room of the guardian.

Behind you are the sounds of battle, closer now than before.  Hearing it raises the hackles of your soul, but you know it is best not to look upon those horrors never meant for mortal eyes.  Before you stand’s not the guardian of the tomb from your last trip to this place, but instead there stands a tall man girded with a coat of steel rings of the finest quality.  He wears a simple grey woolen cloak about his shoulders and a broad black belt; a sword on his left hip and a golden bugle at his right hand.  His coif of rings is thrown back to show tussled, raven black hair and a few days growth of whiskers giving lie to the youth of his face.  But it is the power in his gaze that has you transfixed.  Jade green and piercing, he closes the small distance between you in a few casual strides.  His voice is gruff, but not unpleasant; “Dwight of Grenvec, I have been watching thee.” 

Now that he is at arms-length from you can see that for all the quality of his attire, there is a battle-worn wariness to all of the man’s equipment and features that speaks of hard use and long campaigning.  The engraved sigil of a bugle and sword upon the clasp of his cloak declaring him better than any herald: Thormyr, the Watchmen.  Legends have it that he was once a simple guardsman, keeping the town watch, but he witnessed a terrible crime; his love and faith in justice drove him into the very Kingdoms of Hell where he rescued a cleric of Justica who’d been abducted by a powerful devil.  For his service the Gods elevated him to the status of Demi-God patron to town watchmen, garrison troops, and caravan guards and all those who would place themselves between the innocent and harm.

He continues, though he is already beginning to fade away; “Ditch digger no more… You chose to stand watch over the weak, the vulnerable, and the sick: you have chosen wisely Dwight, keeper of the Key to the Palace of Kan’harook.  I speak now unto you a plea for mine own aid, in hopes that truly have I found a worthy man.  Find the ring and open the vault… return that which was stolen from my temple before the shadow of darkness falls upon us all.”

With that you find that you are falling back into yourself again…

For Milo:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy.   You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are drifting in the havens, bathing in the radiance of Ormazd.  You fly and swim through the jets of fire, cleansed and reborn by their gentle touch.  Presently a voice quietly enters your mind and says with reassuring tones: “Thou hast done well to have found what was lost, but drawing nearer is the hour of our greatest strife.  The battle for the fate of Aereth begins here: go forth and bring light into the darkness of this place, let not the minions of Ahriman and Lasheeva win this day.”

For Hearn:
While the rest of the party was leading the refugees to the exit; you find yourself floating in a half dream, and everywhere you find meadows of heath and wild flowers. Far in the west there are golden mountains catching the last, the last rays of a setting sun casting them in a halo of crimson fire.  To the east, night is falling over an ancient forest; but it is the gentle weeping from the south that draws you onward, deeper into the endless meadow of flowers.  Someone suffers terribly, their sorrow evident and proclaimed for all in the sobbing tones.  Your trek brings you closer to the forest, where a figure in linen robes may be seen kneeling upon the ground gently prodding something out of your sight.  The person hears your approach and turns towards you lifting a small broken form.  You recognize the face of Elyr instantly as she shows you the dead rat cupped gently within her palms.  Between her sobs she says; “Save them… not all are as they seem… break the silent pipes to end their plight... the vile servant of Lasheeva … he holds the salvation of silver within his cauldrons.” And she turns back to her contemplation of all the rats strewn about at her feet.

The return of your companions brings you back into your body before you have a chance to inquire further.

{Game clock advances 3:02:00am on 02/19/3200}

So they were listening to Hearn tell them about her vision, when something bizarre happens.  {Aristemis forgoes anything like a vision… opting for something a bit more practical}

An ethereal arrow streaks down from on high; straight into Thingerlun’s brain-pan and pinning him to the nearest wall…  The arrow fades into sparkles, leaving him with the following thought: “for your record of excellent service your esteem and worth has been revalued.”  Thingerlun may now Invoke patron up to 2x day and his luck is restored to 5.

Hearn: “Are you OK?

Thingerlun, grinning like the cat that got the canary: “Doing just fine thanks!”

Hearn finishes relating her vision, when Pat jumps in with: “That sounds like we can find a cure for the silver problem in here somewhere.

Before anyone can do anything else, Pat (who is closer to the door) notices something is looking at them from around the corner further along the northern hall.  She recognizes it as the ‘snake head’ of Ffwylldyr’s mandolin.  It wanders off making odd thrumming noises and all but Hearn start to follow after it.  They see that it resembles a wooden turtle with a very long neck that it swings about, it is looking for something.  They follow along until it leaves the mines and starts heading off to find its master.  They hesitate in the main chamber, not wanting to get all covered in muck and a debate breaks out over which of the bards has the pipes that need breaking.  They recollect that Ffwylldyr always played the mandolin as far as they knew, but that bard had been an imposter so they weren’t sure how much of his act was real.

In the end they ask Milo to call upon his Second Sight to guide them, but all he could determine was that they should go through the door on the north wall.  That is when they notice the rail tracks circling the room under the muck and heading out under the door.  Bob heads over and listens, and hearing nothing; he opens the door to see the hall heads north for maybe 40ft and ends in another door.  There is a side hall to the west about 10ft away and the tracks head in both directions.

They decide to continue north on the idea that this was thin direction last indicated by Milo’s Second Sight.  Bob heads off to check the door with the rest following behind.  He searches for traps and finding neither lock nor trap; he listens at the door, but everyone is making too much noise for him to hear anything.  On his next try he thinks he hears the scratching and shuffling of a rat, muttering to himself “Rats… always rats.” He lets everyone know what he heard; the door opens outward so he pulls it open quickly.  He sees 3 things before all hell breaks loose:

1) someone has piled boxes nearly up to the ceiling restricting the path forward to a single file passage for a dozen feet or so then turns to the east; deeper into the room. 
2) there is a rather large brown and grey rat running as fast as it can down said narrow passage and disappearing out of sight. 
3)  a lurid green bolt of energy is streaking from somewhere deeper into the room to land a bout 15ft from where he is standing.  Then Bob and Pat, being the only ones in range of the spell; fail their saves.  Bob by a little, Pat rolled a 1.  Bob starts taking acid damage, Pat collapses to the ground coughing and taking acid damage from a powerful choking cloud of gas that obscures their vision.  

Bob yells for someone to grab Pat as he dives back out of the way.  Thingerlun sends in Grub to pull her out, and he does so… by the hair.  He’s still angry about being shot at.  From inside, somewhere deep inside the room they hear evil giggling; “You will fear the G’zogah!!!  Ahahahah!”

G’zogah moves the cloud ten feet further out into the hall: catching Pat, Bob, Dwight, and Grubb.  Thingerlun pulls Dwight and Bob out, Grubb walks out dragging Pat, who is barely conscious at this point.  On their initiatives, they all scramble back to the last junction, and proceed to wait out the spell duration.  More evil laughter, “I am the mighty G’zogah!!! Grovel like dogs!”

Pat recovers while they are waiting the 40 seconds or so that it takes for the spell to dissipate.  Then, in a surprising act of bravery, she runs into the room, down the narrow hall, and deep into the box maze hoping to move fast enough to find cover before the wizard can cast again. 

Bob; “Grubb, you should run in there and find us another exit.”

Grubb, sneering a bit and looking skeptical; “Wa you say boss?” turning to look at Thingerlun with adoration.

Thingerlun; “It’s a good idea, go for it.” Grubb transforms and skitters into the room while Thingerlun spends the round trying to think up the most effective way to knock the boxes down: domino style.

Milo strides into the room and then tries to cast sanctuary like Hearn did, hoping that they could then use the immunity to search the maze of boxes, but only managed to affect himself for a few seconds which caused his light to appear as if it were moving about on its own.  Bob then tries to sneak into the room only to fail miserably, turning to Pat, “SHHHH! I’m being sneaky!!”  Dwight tries to climb the boxes to get a better look, but his armor prevents him from succeeding.  They have had a chance to get a better look at the room now that there is a disembodied light bouncing about.  This room was originally a huge load of silver ore, long since mined out; leaving a hollow chamber that must be 40ft high at the center and at least as wide on its narrower north-south walls.  It is somewhat longer than that on the east-west axis, but they really cannot tell how far it is from their vantage point.  The crates are piled up nearly to the ceiling in what must be the center of the room, with the ‘walls’ of the maze getting lower as they get closer to the edges of the room. 

The entrance to the box maze.

G’zogah and his familiar spend the round maneuvering into position to spring their next trap, but they failed their sneak checks.  Most of the party as clustered within the first junction of the maze, a wall of crates between them and their attacker and trying to decide left or right. Bob hears the rat scrambling off to their left, and the wizard is somewhere off to the right and tries to communicate this knowledge silently through a series of pantomimes and gestures.  {And that’s when the great sign language debate broke out…  There was no need for dice to determine that the message was not received.}

Pat wanders off to the right and finds the ‘passage’ ends against the wall, but there is a small goblin tunnel going further.  She fires an arrow into the hole and hears it scraping along as it follows the tunnel off to her left.  She decides it is better not to try and squeeze through, and walks the 15 feet back to the junction. 

Pat whispering quietly: “Nothing down there I want to check out, maybe grub can do it.”

Giving up on the sign language, he whispers back: “wizard is to our right and the rat is somewhere over to the left.  We should stick together so we don’t get lost.”

Thingerlun thinks about invoking the reverse of his enlarge spell on one of the lower boxes, but decides that there is no way to guarantee which direction they will fall.  He attempts the same on the theory that his sleep spell can affect an area if he casts it at sufficient strength. 

Thingerlun succeeded at casting a truly powerful version of the spell and stated that the G’zogah must sleep until kissed buy its true love while in the throes of passion, but there were no immediate signs of anything happening.

Thingerlun, muttering; “Note to self: must research fireball at earliest convenience.”

Grubb gets lucky, sort of.  He finds the exit {he made a search check and followed the tracks to the other door while climbing over the boxes with ease} but there was another rat waiting there to deliver a chill touch spell for its master.  Grubb used up his round searching and moving, and the familiar has already done the same so they just sneer at each other.  Milo; “Fire in an enclosed space is not a good idea.” And then wanders off to the left and then east, deeper into the maze of crates with Bob and Dwight following.  G’zogah managed to get line of sight on Milo and fired a magic missile at him from his wand.  Then G’zogah ducks back and starts sneaking into another location.

His familiar misses his attack on Grubb.  Since everyone is traveling single file and there are no targets for them to attack everyone holds action until it is Thingerlun’s turn.  He lowers his gaze to the floor and slaps his forehead and in a hoarse whisper; “I’m an idiot!  Pat! How’ed you like to climb the walls with the ease of a spider?”  His invocation is so powerful that she doesn’t even need to take her boots off to make the spell function, but she’ll need to wait until it is her turn to act before she can put it to the test.  Grub transforms back to a hybrid form and cuts the familiar in half…

G’zogah; “GACK!”  They see him falling from high up on the boxes in the middle of the room, clutching his chest.  He hits the ground with a wet thump. 

Everyone is confused until Tingerlun explains the bond between wizard and familiar to them.  “… and you can see just how dangerous it is.  Note to self: when I get a familiar I need to ask for a 30ft tape-worm so no one can kill it.”

Taking advantage of the spider climb spell they take the time to survey the room and find the dead goblin wizard and the exit.  They looted the body of the wizard and found the wand a few feet away, he had pair of glasses that only had one lens (etched with runes) and a couple of gold rings, but neither are the one Dwight is looking for.  Thingerlun picks up the wand and it starts to hum.

DM; “Roll Thingerlun’s  Luck against a DC of 11.”

Thingerlun is disappointed when he channels power into the wand it only does 1 point of damage to one of the crates.  Pats ceiling walk also let them find what they suspect is the other end of the goblin tunnel she found earlier and after much debate they are too paranoid to risk letting something sneak up on them send in Grubb to scouts the tunnel.  All they hear is a snap and a hideous squelching noise as Grubb’s scream is cut short.  There was nothing else they could do, Milo couldn’t fit in the hole to give last rights.  The characters all stood around in silent grieving for a lowly goblin for a while, and then slowly left the room. 

The tunnel twists and turns for a bit, but they stop when Bob finds a secret door.  In a fit of carelessness, Bob simply activates the door.  Realizing how lucky he was this time, he calls milo over to shed some light into the narrow room.  They see that the room is about twice as long as it is wide on the east-west axis and filled with debris from an old cave in.  Bob, extremely cautious now, starts searching the room, but fails to notice the hole in the floor.  He teeters on the edge for a moment, but seeing that it is a chute and not a pit, he decides to let himself fall in.  Tumbling in the darkness for a time, then out into free fall to land on something that felt decidedly like upright barrels.  He is unharmed; save for his pride, he then gives silent thanks that no one was around to see it.  He estimates the chute at about 50 to 60ft.

Milo, having not heard anything from Bob peeks into the room.  Noticing that he is gone Milo only steps  over the threshold.  His voice echoing down the chute: “You dead?”

Bob says nothing.

Milo, a little louder; “I’m not lowering a rope unless I know you’re down there somewhere!”

Bob, aggravated; “I’m fine, but it’s dark down here.  Now throw me a rope!”

Milo, having followed the sound of bobs voice, finds the chute without falling in; “We can’t find the rope, we think we left it with Hearn!”

Bob sighs, thinking that they are probably correct, and the other 50ft is in his back pack.  Since Milo moved closer to the hole, there was just enough light filtering in to let him make out the crack in the wall 5ft above him.  To anyone how didn’t know, it would simply look like a crack in the wall.  He is also just barely able to make out a door on one wall and the vague silhouettes of equipment.  He can smell the canvas, leather, and oiled metal quite clearly.  He listens at the door, but Milo shouts back down again; “Do you want us to go back and get it or not?” 

Hearing nothing, he tries again, and thinks he hears the faint sounds of battle.  Pulling himself up into the crack he sees that he slid down a smooth water cut channel; it is easy enough for him to climb back to the party: following the sounds of their debate as to the feasibility of the use of spider climb on Milo so they can get some light down there.  A few minutes later he was back where he started and telling them what he found. 

Milo, tauntingly; “Way to go Trap Master!  Some thief you are, didn’t check the door and fell into a hole.”

Bob, indignantly; “Who are you calling thief?!  I’m no thief, I’m a Ditch digger, and proud of it too!”

Milo; “Well you seem to be able to find traps and such well enough, most of the time.”

Bob, proudly; “If you dig around in the dirt long enough, you’re bound to run across things others would rather keep hidden.  It’s an occupational hazard.”

They manage to find a secure location to tie off.   Bob goes first muttering and swearing.  He sighs in resignation when his get to the end of his rope…  Still abut 15ft left to go including the drop at the end.  Fortunately the chute was fairly level at that point and he was able to exit easily enough.  Considering sparking up a torch, he stops and pops the bung off one of the barrels first.  His nose tells him that it is fairly high grade lamp oil, so he decides to feel his way around the room; shovels, “ouch” picks, sacks, rope.  Makes his way back up and splices it on and calls back for everyone else to head down.  The growing light confirms his assessments, and he spends some time examining the locked door.  The ‘ditch digger’ picks the lock while Milo looks on and just shakes his head.

Opening the door cautiously, the sounds of battle increase.  And this time they can faintly make out the whining of a set of pipes amongst the clashing of weapons. Milo informs them that they are facing east, the hallway starts from the door and spirals around to their left and then off down a long stretch heading south.  They proceed closer to the sounds of battle, the noise hiding their approach, the ditch digger out in front making sure the passage is safe.  Thanks to the geometry of the tunnel intersection, they were able to get fairly close, but stop well short of seeing (or being seen by) any of the action. 

That is when they stopped to debate the possible tactics.  This was a very long dialog, and I can’t quite recollect every permutation that they went through, but there was one particularly funny moment after they had gone through two ideas and discarded them for being too cruel…

Milo; “Cleanse them with holy fire.”

Pat; “You were there when Hearn had her vision; she said the rats have to be saved.”

Bob, shrugs: “We have plausible deniability.”

Thingerlun; “I suppose I could use the sleep spell, and then we let whoever is attacking them do the work for us.”

Milo: “We have barrels of oil…”

Pat; “But Hearn will get mad at us, and we left the other ones sleeping up top.”

Bob; “Hearn’s not here: I won’t tell if you won’t tell.  Besides they’re easier to kill when they’re sleeping.”

Pat, horrified as she realizes what he is implying; “You didn’t!”

Bob, grinning; “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.  Besides I didn’t want them sneaking up on us.”

The conversation was interrupted by the sound of wet and irregular footsteps from behind them.

Milo, intuiting what was about to happen next; “Oh no…” There, revealed by the light of his aura was the shuffling form of Grubb: one ear missing, one eye bulging out, and apparently missing one foot.

Grubb, reaching out for them; “FRRIIEennnnd!”  {As opposed to: Braiiiiins!” The player turns to me and says; “Thingerlun is visibly seething with fury.”}

Milo, turning to Thingerlun; “You know we’re going to have to kill it again right?”  Then prepares to smite the abomination.

Thingerlun: “NO!  I will not rest, nor stop at any cost to have my friend resurrected!”  He then ducks around the corner and sees that the hall is packed with wear-rats, goblins, and rats who appear to be waiting their turn to enter the fight in front of them.  He casts sleep, and manages to drop a couple of the goblins.  However no one failed to notice the huge swan-like wings that enveloped the victims, and the goblins start calling for Laurence to come help them.  They don’t notice Thingerlun in all the confusion.

Thingerlun; “They’re calling for Laurence, and I don’t think that will last long, so we should take advantage while we can.”

Pat, failing to stop him and the others from striding forward; “Wait!  You said they are calling for Laurence… isn’t he that Gannu fellow?  We should wait for him to come to us.”  {now they are within range of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty.  The willpower DC was 18; only Thingerlun made his save, Grubb didn’t need to roll.  Everyone rolls initiative: Pat botches her initiative by rolling a 1, which modifies to a -1 because of the song effect.}

Milo fails to bless Dwight.  Dwight decides to be mighty and using his bow he tries to break the pipes, but misses completely.  Relying upon the lingering effects of his song, Laurence switched songs, to something barely audible that drives the rats into a killing frenzy and they surge forward.  Thingerlun sends Grubb out first telling him to attack, and then the draws the wand out. 

{James: “Can I fire the wand and cast in the same round?”

DM: “Hmm, well there are no rules for wands yet, and according to the rules it says that it is possible for wizards to cast more than one spell in a round.  It’s at higher levels, but I should think that casting from a wand would be much simpler than going through the normal routine, or there wouldn’t be much use for them.  Sure, but he can’t move or run away if something goes wrong.”}

Thingerlun then uses the wand to shoot the syrinx in the bard’s hands, which then failed its save and exploded.  The destruction of the pipes causes a terrible curse to be lifted, and most of the rats transform back into half-starved and half-crazy townsfolk who stampede down the hall away from the characters, killing several of their former tormentors in their frenzy to flee the scene.  Thingerlun then he follows up by casting a mighty flurry of magic missiles down the hall.  {He gets 1d4 missiles, plus 1 at 4d12 damage.}  He kills 2 of the remaining goblins with missiles, and 1 with the electric discharge from his mercurial magic results; and then lobs the big one at Laurence, who ends up exploding into goo.

The Battle with Laurence Gannu, just before Thingerlun unleashes arcane hell

Bob steps out into the hall and in front of Thingerlun to protect Thingerlun, and Pat starts dancing along with the tune in her head, ignoring everything that is going on.  All but one of the remaining goblins and wear-rats panic; and then run off in the same direction as the peasants.  The Ditch Digger manages to gut one of them with a vicious dagger swipe.  Dwight, somewhat amazed by the turn of events holds action in case he’s needed.  Unsatisfied, Thingerlun vents his anger again and he unleashed 6 normal missiles as well as the big kahuna at the 5 goblinoids that have the audacity to still be standing even though they are running away.  He was hoping that he could clear more room for Dwight and Bob, because Milo was tending to the dead, and Pat isn’t reliable at the moment.

DM: “The remaining goblins turn into glowing silhouettes and disappear as if they were hit by high intensity phasor beams.”

The Ditch Digger skulks forward down the hall to the ‘T’ junction that their carnage has revealed to find one terrified goblin hiding just around the corner to his right.  He slashes its throat with his back stab, because it didn’t see him coming; but when he looked to his left, his face paled when he saw that that hall was packed full of skeletons with picks and shovels, so he calls for Milo. 

Grubb starts eating the brains of one of the dead goblins.  Disgusted, Milo strides forward at Bobs frantic calls for him; seeing the mass of skeletons he raised his holy symbol and calls forth the power of Ormazd to lay these poor souls to rest.  Only 3 of the skeletons are turned, but they are sufficient for the moment to slow the advancement of the others.  Grubb is in range, so he runs as well, but stops after about 50ft.

This was the only pic I got of the skeleton battle, apologies for the poor quality, but it gives an idea of what they were up against.

On the next round Bob heads back to get Pats help, the Ditch Digger Has had an idea.  Milo fails to turn any more undead.  Thingerlun casts magic missile again, but only gets one missile this time, though it still manages to pop one of the skeletons.  Grubb tries to get back to Thingerlun. Dwight tries to use one of the trampled goblin bodies to knock down a skeleton, but failed, so he moves back. Pat and the Ditch Digger head back to the store room for a barrel of oil.  With everyone else holding action until the others bring back the barrel, Milo takes another chance on turning undead.  {natural 20, but since they all were still under the effects of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty, the total roll modified below the ability to destroy any of the skeletons.  Though 11 of them, plus Grubb, ran away.}

Now the mass of skeletons is moving in slowly in the opposite direction, knocking over some of the few still trying to attack, and everyone waits for Bob and Pat.  When they return, the barrel is opened and they go bowling for skeletons, but even with Thingerlun helping, the barrel only made it halfway through the bony horde.  Then Dwight lit the trail of oil and dove around the corner with everyone else. 

The corridor erupts in flames and is effectively blocked for a while.  Milo tries to invoke his second sight, but incurs the displeasure of his Deity and must now go on a quest to heal the sick and injured: until he completes this quest, he is at -4 on all attempts to heal.  All of them still suffering from the annoying tune in their heads, start back up to the holding cells hoping that the effects of Laurence’s song will eventually wear off, and they do by the time they reach the base camp. {It is around 9am} Milo insists on heading out to see if the sun came up and is both relieved and perplexed that it has risen.  When they get back to the sanctuary, the Ditch Digger begins to itch all over, and that sensation is replaced by the feeling that he is being eaten by a thousand angry fleas.  The Hamster Pox goes into full zoster. 

The hamster headed boils (complete with teeth, hence the biting) are most difficult to treat, as any bites cause the infection to spread.  Hearn caught the pox before managing to use magic, and some of her magic ointment to cure Bob and herself.

{Game clock suspended at 9:45am 02/19/3200} 

Here are the two progress maps:

And last but not least here are some more mug shots of the enemy:

Gruftus the Inquisitor
 His brother G'zogah the Cultist of Krelvax the Weaver

Aaaaand the LATE Laurence Gannu; Pseudo-Rat King, Bard of the Apocalypse

We meet again in 2 weeks.