Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Wilds - Don't Drop Him!

With spells depleted, and worried about the noise of the elevator room drawing foes to the area, the party decides it's time to get out and recover. "We've only been here for a morning and we're already leaving," grumbles Raúguey as he helps Locky and Mordikarr drag the searched goat-thing's corpse to the Reptile House.

"I know, I know, but we got a bit battered in that room, and the noise... well you heard it. If there were more of those goat-things down there, and they have another way up, they know exactly where we are."

"I still don't like it. And we haven't found much of value either."

"Goat man had bag. Maybe something good in it."

[Searching the creature uncovered a fairly hefty pouch. The beast's body / head / horns / hooves appear mundane, and you concluded they weren't worth the bother of cutting off or preserving. Mordikarr was going to sample some flesh, but it has a foul, tainted smell. Suren turned her nose up at it. I'll cover loot when/if you get back to camp.]

"I hope so, otherwise this trip has been a bust so far. We've searched this whole place pretty thoroughly, haven't we?" asks Locky.

"I think so, but we should probably review Ohwatoo's map when we're back at camp. Maybe we missed something." Raúguey gestures. "Get the door Locky, we'll toss the corpse." Disposal accomplished, the trio heads back, pausing to listen at each staircase [quiet], and closing all the doors behind them [all the doors in West Hall, plus the far end of Cross Hall]. When they meet up with the others in the big hall outside the Lever Room, all the doors along that passage are closed too.

"Did you set any traps in there?" asks Locky, pointing to the iron doors.

Ingvild shakes his head. "The walls are too well built to drive spikes. I laid a few thread-lines across the Grate Room, and this end of the angled passage. If something comes through they'll break them, so we'll know. Let's get going if we're going."

The party heads E, then crosses the pit to the S as Ingvild sets another thread-line. S through the Statue Room, E through Summoning, then up the stairs, closing all the doors along the way, another thread-line set at the base of the stairs.

Upstairs, through the crypt, then into the big pillared hall and into the crevice room, closing doors all the way. "If someone puts together a meal, Raúguey and Mordikarr and I can check the crevice," says Locky.

"We'll deal with food, be careful," says Durego. He and Dagmarten start working on rations while Maro and Rawon keep watch at the doors. Raúguey and Mordikarr pull out a good length of hemp and fashion a crude harness for Locky, leaving about 40 feet free. Raúguey ties a loop around his waist, "If something grabs you it'll pull me in too. We got you little guy," he says, then he and Mordikarr lower the Halfing, equipped with Ohwatoo's light stone, down to the floor below.

"I'm down!" whispers Locky after the group above pays out about 20 feet of rope.

Ingvild motions for quiet upstairs, and those nearest the crevice can hear...

"Hall, north south, going to check north first... there's a bit .. re .. l and a .... p .... ..ks ..k. ........" Light starts getting brighter below as the Halfling returns. "South now... more hall, then ano..r ta..s....try.... Oh ho! The... a .... b..e. .... .... Ah!" *patter patter patter* "Pull me up! Quick!"

Raúguey and Mordikarr, aided by Tesso, swiftly pull the Halfing up through the crevice, so swiftly that he raps his head against the rough stone. "OW! Careful, I'm not a grain bag!"

When he's up and settled, and the unappetizing meal of jerky and hard tack is shared around he explains. "It's a hall, there's old tapestries along the east wall. Door to the north, a bend to the south. I was checking the tapestry to the south and found another passage behind it. Then I heard it, something moving in the darkness, and a moaning sound. That's when I decided to come back. The stonework looks like the stuff down below, like the Statue Room and the halls there." Locky shivers and takes a bite of jerky. "Let's get out of here and back to camp."

The fact that the crevice area is on the same map as level 1 may be because they eventually connect up, or because I was lazy when I first started mapping BPM. You decide :D
"OK, we're all fed, let's get moving," says Maro, anxious to see the sun and feel a breeze.

"I hope it's not raining again," grumbles Rawon, taking a nip from his flask.

"We'll find out soon enough," says Maro. "Come on." The elves and Mordikarr take the lead up the nearby stairs to the surface ruin. As the group reaches the top and fans out a bit there is sudden movement and sound from the ruined wall! "Jadrago ga brakna ca caraglog pa yarag ki glorslig dugrima! Kolklikar zo gura plog!"

The party freezes, then draws into a defensive formation, weapons ready, but there's no sign of movement, and no further sound. "What the heck was that?!" whispers Raúguey.

"Gola-ka speech," says Mordikarr, peering at the wall. He could have sworn he saw something there, but... nothing.

"It was Goblin," says Ohwatoo, "definitely Goblin."

"What did it say?" asks Locky.

"Hrrm. Something like 'Jadrago will curse and consume you for defiling his holy temple. Death to the... pale skins.' I can only assume it meant us." Ohwatoo looks around. "I don't see anyone, perhaps it was just a message, triggered by our presence. I've heard of such spells, but never seen a detailed description of how they work. I suspect they use an illusion tied to the audible spectrum and trigger it using a..."

"Later, let's get out of here," interrupts Rawon, pointing to the path out of the ruin. "We can chat later."

As the group heads out, taking the usual care to divide up and obscure their trail, Ohwatoo mumbles, "A pity we didn't find the creature's spell book, I would have loved to study that particular enchantment."

Several hours of dismal hiking later, the mud-spattered and sweaty party (no rain at least) is back at camp. They find Jonquil, Saurabh, and Gorvil settled in, and a cleaned deer carcass spitted over the fire. "Got lucky," says Jonquil, curiously eyeing the stranger in the group.

"This is Tesso. We rescued him from a pit in the Maze. He's had a hard time of it."

"That smells good," says Locky, eyeing the deer. "Who's hungry?"

The party settles in to supper, while the group fills in the guards and the guards fill in the group. [Nothing disturbed the camp, the deer just wandered up to the nearby pool and Jonquil shot it with a crossbow.] Dusk gathers and the party spends an hour or so doing camp chores, then settles down for the night, intent on an early start tomorrow. Tesso receives a couple spare blankets from various people's bedrolls, so he's not sleeping on the ground, an Ohwatoo gives him a spare set of trousers to replace his rather revealing rags. Gorvil tosses him a spare shirt.

[Durego and Saurabh use their last spells to cure remaining wounds before resting. Everyone is whole.]

The night passes quietly, and the next morning dawns warm and hazy. "Well lads, shall we head back?" asks Raúguey as he eats his porridge.

Side note: I think I mentioned that I give a little XP bonus as a reward for participation. Since Locky and Mordikarr have been taken over by new players, I wanted to wipe the slate clean. Usually I only do XP when the party returns to town, but I made an exception for this. It worked out well for Maro, who *just* scraped by into 3rd level. Elves in Labyrinth Lord need a *lot* of XP. This field upgrade gives the party another 2nd level magic-user spell in their arsenal.

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