Friday, June 18, 2010

S&W White Box: Recap; Session Seven, 6/14/10

Another long day at work putting in overtime, another missed D&D session...

Recollections of Fen Sen the Archmagus 7

We were puttering with the locked iron door when we heard the clinking of armor from down a nearby corridor. Believing an Old Guard force was approaching we readied ourselves and were both relieved and disappointed that it was only another adventuring group, or duo better said. A strange duo to be sure, a thickset Dwarven warrior named Talen and a thin lithe Elven warrioress named Terabithia. Both were clad in plate mail and while the dwarf bore a measly hand axe, she lugged a massive two handed blade similar in size to Galathos’ flamberge only without the curves.

We invited them to join us and we spent some time speaking, also verifying that this Elf was not the same as the Elf from that forlorn party where all the males were impaled in the entrance chamber. During that time it became increasingly apparent that the Old Man was having difficulty keeping his eyes away from the fair lass. Not that I blame him, for she was quite fair but being an Elf she was also quite likely to be older than one’s grandmother! The Old Man must have also realized this for he soon excused himself saying he was returning to the city to obtain more paint.

After Galathos and I failed to pick the lock, Talen opened the door by the simple expedient of running into it and battering it down. Within we discovered two mostly rotten wood chests with a skeleton lying between. The skeleton was covered in a yellow mold with some of it splattered upon the chests.

We didn’t chance the mold and elected to burn it away thus beginning what was then a most annoying time and today brings a silly grin to my face. Galathos threw two vials of oil and I one, none of us coming close to the skeleton. What a comedy of errors. Eventually Talen lobs an unlit vial upon the skeleton.

With a lit torch tied to the ranseur Galathos managed to burn away the mold without damaging the chests. In one there was a ball of string, a cane shaped piece of copper wire, and an ornate leather scroll case. Within the scroll case was an aged parchment bearing witness to holy prayers. As the Old Man was now on his way to the city, I just rolled the parchment back into the scroll tube and put it into my backpack for him. Galathos took the string, clearly thinking about how to use it in a trap. The cane shaped copper wire, we left there.

In the other chest we discovered a golden necklace, a small glass vial with a gray liquid within and a huge amount of coin, mostly silver.
The coin we sacked and spread amongst Karhle and Harolde, the necklace went into my pack, as did the potion after Talen gave us a fair indication to its nature. While I wanted to study it using the library once we’d collected enough items of the arcane for the 100 gold coin fee to be worth it, Talen just took a sip. He turned grey and more than a little transparent making me believe it was a potion of gaseous form.

The next door was marked with a large X marked in white chalk. With those large ears, Terabithia listened at the door reporting the creaking of bones beyond. We prepare ourselves and then force the door open, revealing six skeletons armed with rusty weapons.

With Talen holding the doorway, the other two warriors were clear to use their two handed weapons, and it was predictably a slaughter. The skeletons never stood a chance. Within a minute they were just piles of shattered and burnt bone. I made sure to kick the skulls around to verify there weren’t any ingestible arcane before we moved on.

To keep the Old Guard from attacking our rear, we secured all but one of the doors in the Three Stair chamber with ropes and spikes as necessary. Through that last door we ventured south along a long corridor discovering yet another diagonal corridor and a curtain blocking our path.

Talen torn down the curtain and beyond we discovered a massive 70x50 chamber being used by the kobolds as a residence. There were old divans and other battered furniture strew about, three kegs, a large brazier and a large bone pit. This room held a fair bit of treasure, Terabithia found a coin purse with 18 silvers and Talen discovered thirteen eggs within the bone pit totaling 121 gold and 8 silvers.

It was the next chamber that proved to have the best treasure of the day, eight bolts of silk of which we could only take five. Those five netted us 150 gold.

With everyone weighed down with coin, silk bolts, kobold armor and weapons, and kobold eggs, it was time to return to the city. Galanthos’ clerics were very pleased with my 20 gold donation on the way out.

We returned to the city and quickly sold our winnings, all but the potion and scroll giving us each 135 gold coins and 51 to the Old Man. Yes we overpaid him but he had proven his worth thus his petty foibles were of no real consequence.

We spent Growfest in the city and then returned to the castle with newly refreshed and stocked. Both Karhle and Harolde had elected to serve me again, and I had also purchase a mule with saddlebags to help haul out the increasingly larger items of value we were encountering. Galathos had also gotten himself a man, Wilhelm, to serve as a porter and lantern bearer. I inquired why we needed three bearers and his response was priceless, he wanted someone who would obey him.

The Clerics of Galanthor graciously accepted my five gold coins and were happy to care for my mule in their stables. They also believed their portable bridge could handle a small wagon, as I told them I would be purchasing one just as soon as our earnings permitted such. With the potential of even larger donations they told me if the bridge couldn’t take the load, they would reinforce it to do so and make another bridge.
We descended into the castle and returned to the Three Stair Chamber without incident. All our precautions remained in place; clearly the Old Guard had been defeated or was laying low for a better opportunity to strike at us.

We returned to the larder and recovered the last three bolts of silk, and spread them amongst the porters before moving on discovering yet another locked door that Galathos and I cannot pick. His acid and the dilemma was solved.

The 40x40 chamber beyond was an Old Guard armory within which we discovered dozens of kobold sized weapons of various types. Curiously there were no other crossbows. We also discovered 10 of those brass gorgets, 5 suits of “hobbit” chain, a suit of damaged Dwarven plate mail, and a jug of blue dye. The gorgets went into my pack and the rest was marked for our return to the surface.

We moved on and proceeded up the diagonal corridor discovering yet another locked door. This one Galathos picked with ease. The large 50x40 chamber beyond was an Old Guard barracks. We spent quite a while searching the straw pallets, the footlockers, the barrels, and the iron chest discovering another incredible haul: 1000 silver coins, 250 gold coins, and a nice teak box.

With all that weight, we decided Galathos would lead everyone but Talen and I to the surface with our haul that it could be stored with my mule. They looked almost ludicrous under all that silk, armor, coin, and stone jug.

I made sure to divest myself of the gorgets and split them between my porters already heavy packs. I tipped them both ten coppers thanking them for their continued service then gave Karhle the last of my coins, seven silvers and twenty coppers, with instructions to give them to the Clerics of Galanthor by way of thanks for permitting us to store our haul in their stable.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

S&W White Box: Recap Redux; Session Six, 5/24/10

Here is a session recap from our DM Bill in addition to the prior player log.

SESSION SIX (05.24.10)
Godsday the 25th of Coldeven, CY 576

Galathos the Warrior (2nd level Fighting-Man)
Old Man Halgron the Adept of St. Cuthbert (2nd level Cleric)
Fen Sen the Seer (2nd level Magic-User)
“Karhle” the hired lantern-bearer
“Harolde” the hired lantern-bearer

During the period of rest and recovery from their previous exertions below the Castle our band of intrepid adventurers each went their own way, promising to meet up again at the Green Dragon Inn to return for another expedition.

Galathos spent his time visiting such dangerous and dirty areas as the Slums, the Beggars’ Quarter, and the Thieves’ Quarter in search of some less than legal merchandise.

Gloin bid the party farewell for the time being, choosing to accompany some of his new-found drinking buddies on a cruise of the Nyr Dyv.

Fen Sen spent the majority of his time in Clerksburg and the University Area researching the parties’ found magical items. He also hired two husky men to serve as porters and lantern-bearers. Hopefully these two would remain in the employ of the party longer than poor Frahnk had.

Old Man Halgron made sure to purchase what he though was a sufficient variety of colors of paint and after a long night of “proselytizing” at various bars he returned to his room and came across the red teardrop gem and Fen Sen’s notes. Noting that the gem allegedly provided a magical effect when inserted in the nostril, the priest pushed the gem into his nose. The gem bored its way up his nasal passage and Halgron fell into unconsciousness from the pain. When he awakened, the priest discovered that he had the ability to see in the darkness out of his left eye. However, he found that bright lights and sunshine gave him intense headaches so he had a local clothier make him an eye-patch. Ever devout, Old Man Halgron had a silver holy symbol of Saint Cuthbert stitched onto the eye-patch.

Upon their return to the ruined upper works of the Castle the party was warned by the dwarven guardians of increased humanoid activity in the dungeons below and that a party of adventurers (consisting of two humans, a hobbit, and a female elf) had descended but never returned. Throwing caution to the wind, our party headed down into the darkness below.

In the entrance room to the Storage Rooms they were greeted by three staked bodies- two humans and one hobbit. The bodies appeared to be fairly recently deceased and all their clothing and belongings had been stripped. Again throwing caution to the wind, the heroes returned to the room with the painted female statue. This time they were ready with several colors of paint. Or so they thought…

After painting the statue purple as she requested, they were disappointed when she asked to be painted black. Cursing that they had not brought any black paint with them they sequestered the various paint jars in a chest nearby. Galathos and Fen Sen appeared to have gotten tired of the ensorcelled statue, with Old Man Halgron still hoping to paint her the right color and reap his reward.

Heading back through the hallways and corridors towards the Old Guard controlled section of the dungeons they were fired upon by crossbowmen hiding behind a shield wall on the far side of the pit trap. With Galathos and Harolde taking wounding hits, the party ducked behind cover and prepared some flaming oil. By the time they bombarded the shield wall with the oil the Old Guard had already fallen back. Nailing a wooden board Galathos had purchased at a hardware store in town over the pit for readier access, the party pressed on.

Finding the corridor covered in crushed and broken glass, they had to proceed carefully and slowly. Approaching the door to the large room where they had found the three sets of stairs, they were suddenly swarmed by a horde of unarmored kobolds. The heroes easily dispatched most of the dozen kobolds (one managed to flee, but suffered a dagger from Galathos in the back); the kobolds were armed with only chains which they clumsily and half-heartedly swung at the heavily armed and armored fighting man and cleric and the firebombing magic-user. As Galathos charged after the fleeing kobold, Fen Sen conjectured that the kobolds were prisoners of the Old Guard and supposed that they were being used as cannon fodder.

Halgron and Fen Sen continued on after Galathos and found the human warrior retrieving his club from the skull of the fleeing kobold. They chose to continue down the corridor where the kobold had been running, hoping it led to more enemies to fight or more treasure to loot.

Finding a large room with a statue surrounded by a pool of brackish green water Galathos and Halgron moved into the room to explore. As he started to investigate the water the fighting-man heard a buzzing coming from overhead. Looking up he was shocked to see four creatures resembling flying anteaters circling him. A vicious battle ensued, with two of the creatures locking onto Galathos- one at his shoulder/neck and the other on his arm, and one locking onto Fen Sen. The creatures struck deep with their long snouts and greedily drained blood from the two. Galathos managed to strike on of the creatures down, but could not manage to free himself from the second creature. Fen Sen attempted to cast a spell, but with the flying anteater sucking blood from his arm he failed to control the magical energy. Old Man Halgron desperately rescued Fen Sen from the jaws of death, killing the creature in the nick of time before Fen Sen passed on from this world. Freed of his attacker Fen Sen cast his remaining spell, and the creatures fell into a deep slumber. Finally finishing the rest of the creatures off, only gaining a few coins from exploring what appeared to be some tunnels the creatures used to access the surface, and not finding anything hidden in the statue the heroes had to bunker down and rest. They secured the door as best they could and spent two nights healing, resting, praying, and studying with the two porters standing watch.

Thanking their fortune for not being attacked by the Old Guard or more of the flying creatures they unblocked the door and headed back up north. Galathos and Halgron took the lead, their armored bulk shielding the two porters/lantern-bearers and Fen Sen. The magic-user began to notice that his soft leather shoes were getting soaked with some sort of liquid. He quickly explained this to the other two heroes, who had failed to notice this in their heavy boots. Faintly smelling oil they started falling back just as a torch was dropped through the doorway leading out of the corridor. The party fled back and had to wait for the flames to die down before they could proceed.

Once the fire had abated, they continued on and found the door secured shut. After breaking the door down they moved back into the large room, splitting up with Galathos and Halgron moving to secure the other doors. Old Man Halgron was fired upon, taking a crossbow bolt from a kobold hiding behind a partially closed door. Galathos wounded the sniper who fled, and secured the door. Halgron again tried to close off his door, and again was fired upon from the remaining partially open door. Leaving one of the porters behind to keep his door closed Galathos charged the second sniper and quickly dispatched the kobold. Now with the one western and two southern doors secured, the party moved through the eastern door.

Finding the room full of unarmored and chained kobolds and not wanting to combat it out, Fen Sen ensorcelled the group into a magical slumber. The door out of the room led to what appeared to be a cell and torture chamber. Continuing on the party discovered another cell, and then a room with an old and long abandoned iron brazier in the corner. After filling the brazier with oil and lighting it to no ill affect the party picked up a cracked stave they found on the floor and continued on.

The party continued east and then south down an incredibly long corridor coming across numerous doors. Trying to keep a watch for any enemies the party discussed in hushed tones which way to proceed next.

Experience: 133 each (399 total)
Treasure: 3 gp, 10 sp, 20 cp; cracked wooden stave with a carved serpent’s head, one of each- Old Guard chain mail, gorget, short sword, shield
Encounters: 1 Old Guard Regular, 4 stirges, 21 kobolds KIA
Total Rooms Explored: 47

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

S&W White Box: Session Six, 5/24/10

Well, I missed another session, but it was worth it due to a fun vacation on a cruise to the Bahamas. The Memorial Day session was cancelled due to a number of reasons, so the next game recap would be for the 7th.

This recap is written from, more or less, the first person from the perspective of our resident mage, Fen Sen (Oscar)


My time in Belanthir the Sage’s vast library was well worth the one hundred pieces of gold paid both professionally and personally, for there was this young sage-ette…. But I digress.
The Red Tear Drop shaped Gem was one of a collection of gems ensorcelled by the Archmage Barekash. He was one of the leading magus in the art of implanted arcane where an ensorcelled gem must be inserted into a nostril and it is then snorted upwards that it can implant in one’s skull next to the brain. This version of implanted arcane is effectively permanent until death. Several other leading magus in the art of implanted arcane developed a more temporary solution via swallowing that was then allowed to pass through one’s digestive tract granting the effects for that time. The gem would then be cleaned and reused. My research has found there was even a system of renting those gems for a time, a process I’m not quite sure I want to think long upon.
The Clown Doll is one of many enchanted by Pajeto the Storyteller who died tragically along with all of the orphans he was giving a performance. Some say it may be cursed because of that event, others think it may have already been cursed and a cause of the tragedy, and still others believe it may be worth a very great deal to a collector.
The Rusty Dagger is a slightly better than mundane ensorcelled weapon. Not only does this one aid one’s fighting ability it also will glow in the presence of the presence of a specific type of creature and grant the user greater fighting ability AND also causes injuries greater than what could normally be expected of that type of weapon. Galathos spent a good while cleaning it for me while demonstrating the proper techniques, however within a few hours it had been covered with a patina of rust.
It was decided that I would keep the Rusty Dagger thus improving my meager usefulness in matters martial, and Old Man Hedron would use the Red Tear Drop Gem. The Clown Doll would be kept and listed for sale or trade with Belanthir the Sage who would claim a fifth share if he was able to arrange a suitable transaction. A fair fee for his services, should we be unable to find a buyer on our own.
The Old Man took his gem and then proceeded to light up the city, often part of Gloin’s entourage and often not.
Late the following day, Hedron joined Galathos and I for supper where he told us he’d used the gem and found that he could now see in the darkest night, at least with his left eye, although the price was that bright sunlight now bothered that eye. He also told us his ability to judge distances correctly had been affected and thus he would have difficulty in using thrown weapons. That explained the ornate eye patch with Cuthbert’s symbol.
Gloin sent word that he had met a fair maiden and was taking her upon a lake cruise and that he would join us afterwards.
We decided to deal with the Old Guard Kobolds after painting the Comely Lass Statue purple. To that end Hedron purchased a slew of paint colors in the event she wanted another color, or to use as markings were she to come to life and give the Old Man all that he wanted.
As far as the Old Guard, Galathos went to Casa D’Epot and purchased this massive cedar board twelve foot long by two wide and a full six inches thick. Damn thing weighed a ton it seemed, and required all three of us to lug it. Admittedly it did a wonderful job with that pit trap insane as the idea was.
We arrived upon the ruins and the clerics of Galanthor advised us to be cautious for another group had ventured forth the day after we last left and had yet to return. The group was another group of young adventurers, a human man in chain, a human in robes, a hobbit in leather, and an Elven maid in simple garb. For this information and their continued deeds I gave them 25 gold coins and Hedron gave them one of the three that remained to him after his week of excess. To all of our astonishment, Galathos handed over ten gold coins. None of us pressed him upon the issue as we wished him to continue that positive behavior.
It took a bit of effort getting that massive tree section down their circular staircase, and upon our arrival we discovered two young humans and a hobbit nude and impaled upon thick spears arranged to face the staircase. Of the elf there was no trace, however we could well imagine her fate had she not been able to escape.
Of Galathos’ caltrops upon the stairs leading deeper into the ruins, those were moved aside, although one was bloody.
With no signs indicating how the bodies wound up there from the place they met their demise and showing signs of decay, we decided to proceed upon our plans. I made special note to keep an eye out for the Elf, if only to keep her from any predations by our dirty Old Man.
Leaving the board there we trekked the few hundred feet to the statue where Hedron paints it purple and proving my point by taking extra special care brushing those certain spots. The voice then asks to be painted black, and to our chagrin and the Old Man’s despair he had obtained every color but black, brown, and white. We decided to leave the paints and brushes there with mental notes to return with those three colors on our next trip to the ruins.
We returned to the entry chamber with the circular staircase, collected the board, and made our way towards the pit trap taking the long route minimizing turns which are difficult with such a long and heavy burden.
We were only a couple dozen paces away from our goal when four solid thwangs rang out from beyond our light and four crossbow bolts flew into sight. We all managed to dodge the first two, but the second set found their marks. Galathos took a wound to the leg and Harolde took one in the shoulder. Moments later two additional bolts came towards us, however they missed us all as they’d been clearly fired in haste.
We dropped the board and made for the nearest cover, a conveniently placed corridor tee. Ahead of us we could see five Old Guard shields standing tall in line abreast just beyond the pit trap. After landing three flasks of oil just before, in amongst, and finally a bit further than them without hearing even the slightest trace of having inflicted an injury, we forced the board into place.
Galathos crossed leading with his ranseur and as I predicted the shields were propped upon solid wood stands, and our four to six ambushers long gone.
We took the time with our stout warrior covering us to bind Harolde’s injury, leaving the crossbow head in the wound. Upon our return to the City we will arrange for a barber to remove the offending metal and the Old Man will use his god’s blessing to heal the wound. Afterwards we hammered two of our tall warrior’s spikes through the board and into the stonework. It was hard noisy work, but no matter as they already knew of our presence and our work would keep the board in place without an inordinate amount of effort on someone’s part.
With the makeshift bridge firmly in place the Old Man, Karhl, and I pushed and heaved the shield wall sections to the other side of the pit to serve as a redoubt in the event we had to flee.
With all that done we moved forward and discovered those pesky midgets had sewn a forty foot long corridor a full ten foot wide throughout with shards of glass of various sizes. Galanthos and Hedron in their plate boots traversed with a bit of caution and effort. My lantern bearers and I however could not be so brazen in our soft and hard leather boots.  Fortunately I had not hired only brawny men, but fairly skilled ones at that. Karhl immediately took the pickaxe from his back and began pushing the shards to the sides, and with my admonition to shuffle our feet instead of walking properly it only took a few minutes for us to reach our compatriots.
Our friends have spent those long minutes battling raggedly attired kobolds wielding two foot lengths of chain as weapons. In the time it took for the three of us to reach them, they had created a thick pile of kobold corpses.
With only a few left and plenty of commotion in that large chamber with the three stairways leading down beyond the broken steel door, I began tossing flasks of flaming oil into the chamber. Three landed within creating a nice inferno, the last I dropped upon the two furthest from our warrior and cleric leaving them only two more to dispatch. With the great number of body parts strewn about with Galathos’ flamberge, it was neigh impossible to say with great accuracy how many the two of them had slain but suffice it to say it was a great many of them.
Advancing into the large chamber we found all of our work spiking and tying the doors shut entirely undone. We respiked and tied the other doorways then proceeded up a long corridor leading to a largish forty by forty room with a small pool filled with brackish algae filled water. At the center of that pool was a crudely carved statue of a stern man in chain resting upon the pommel of his sword. Overhead we noticed the ceiling was fifteen feet high, five more than normal. Then we noticed the four turkey sized flying feathered ant eaters I have since learnt are the blood sucking beasts called stirges.
My first inclination was to cast them to sleep that they could be given a coup de grace, however Galathos hollered to save the spell for worthy opponents. I should have gone with my first inclination for in less time than it takes to read this sentence, two stirges had alighted upon Galathos. I was casting when one of the beasts crashed into my shoulder disrupting my concentration and my shoulder in the process.
I staggered under the burden, pain, and horror of knowing I was a mere moment from losing my life and I would have certainly died had Hedron altered his swing mid stream walloping the foul beast upon me to death.
With tears blurring my vision I managed to cast my only other spell and put the remaining three stirges to sleep whereupon the Old Man granted me Cuthbert’s blessing which put my shoulder back into its socket and healed all of the deep tissue injuries. The surface wounds would be allowed to heal with proper care and time. The scar is still there and still serves as a most excellent topic for pillow talk all these years later. That was the first time I was near death and it changed me. While I did not become the lech that was my savior nor did I remain the somewhat innocent prude I had been either.
With the foul blood sucking fiends dead, and while the Old Man tended to Galathos, I entertained all with my fumbling use of the ranseur attempting to slice down the stirge nest. Finally Galathos stopped laughing and told me to use the hooked side and just pull it down from its perch three feet from the high ceiling. I recall thinking to myself, ‘Wow! The designer of this weapon sure put a bit of thought into it for it slices, dices, AND hooks!’
Within the nest made from twigs, rotten linen, wool, leather and other bits of debris, we found a small handful of coin, maybe enough for a simple meal and watered ale at a simple country inn but no more.
There was a hole beyond the nest, barely wide enough for my shoulders, that led upwards at a shallow angle for a few feet before turning almost straight up. I declined attempting to scale it to our warrior’s scorn but before things could get ugly between us, the Hedron announced he would go explore it as he was a skinny scrawny old man and would most likely fit better, at least without his armor. He would also be able to see with his new eye.
We tied a rope to his leg and off he went. A few minutes later after almost getting himself stuck a couple of times he had wormed his way the length of the shallow section and was able to look straight up. It went up as far as he could see without any other alcoves or branches.
Once he returned, it was decided to spend two days resting and healing due to our injuries before we continued our exploration of the ruins and our castigation of the Old Guard Kobolds.
We left our hide and moved on a ways before I noticed the floor was damp. I hollered for Galathos to charge but it was too late, and a foul midget beast lobbed a lit torch in our general direction. We retreated for a few minutes for the fire to work itself out. Fortunately for us the kobold panicked and threw too early, giving us plenty of time to avoid injury. That they had poured the oil the previous day and it was somewhat dried out didn’t help their cause either. Fools expected us to only rest one day.
Once the fire was out we once again proceeded into the large chamber with the three stairways and the broken iron door finding our work undone. Two crossbow wielding Old Guard fired, striking a minor wound upon the Old Man’s arm but paying dearly for it with their lives.
We gathered up the equipment from one of the kobolds, the other’s armor had been rent by ranseur so we just closed the door and retied it shut before moving onwards. In the next chamber there were the better part of a dozen chain armed kobolds that I sent into their final slumbers. We even let Harolde kill a couple to get his paybacks.
The light crossbow the Old Guard had been using as a heavy crossbow or ultralight ballistae we gathered up and gave to Karhl to carry. It would serve well for traps if we didn’t take it back to Greyhawk for sale.
The next room was a torture chamber complete with rack, and beyond that a large cell. We then came upon a massive chamber with a large iron brazier and a cracked staff with a decently carved serpent head. I gathered up the staff and inspected it, the eye sockets had never been inset, nor was there a secret compartment in the head. I decided to keep the staff and strapped it to my own upon my pack before inspecting the brazier.
I cleared the soot, and determining it to be safe, a half flask of oil was added and lit, guaranteeing us many hours of light. We would use this as our next hide.
As we were not tired and had done little that day we moved forward encountering a series of long corridors, an angled corridor leading back to a door we’d tied earlier and a number of branches and doors, one of which was both iron and locked.