Real World Info
This session was played on Thursday, 29 September 2011, at Waves on Broadway.
Columbo, the halfling slaying machine, leading his newly constituted Columbo's Corsairs.
Sigmund Serpenthelm, cleric of the totally real god of Justice and Lawful Retribution, Lawdor, and his Pack of Law Dogs Kang the Conquerer the Justice Climber and Munkustrap the door-opening Border Collie of Litigation.
Alatar the Red, mage most magnificent.
Chelos Vexorson (of the one hand), NAME FORGOTTEN, and Myrta, mercenaries, and the torchbearer Argar.
The party takes an uneventful sea voyage to INSERT TOWN NAME HERE, where they discover an inn with a dungeon under it! Seeking a lost group of adventurers to rob and murder save from certain death, the Corsairs enter the dungeon and are ravaged by troglodytes, annoyed by a crazed dwarf, and nearly TPKed by ghouls before fighting a gargoyle at his pool-side abode.
I. Don't I Know You From Somewhere?
With the Serpenthelm Adventuring Company getting a bit of a bad reputation in Threshold, Merrigold decides that Threshold is a silly place. Alatar wanders onto the scene: lucky for everyone, this is no mere stranger. Merrigold met Alatar in prison, from which they escaped some time ago and were separated (whatever happened to the friend that bust us out? meh, who cares?) Columbo, meanwhile, knew him from the "King Midas and his Golden Showers" escapade, of which the less is said the better.
II. Retirement - It's like a long vacation with Germans
The Serpenthelm Adventuring Company quietly retires, as does Merrigold. Thankfully, Merrigold's cousin Sigmund arrives instantaneously to replace him. Sigmund is a much better fellow for adventuring, being a resourceful and honest cleric of the god Lawdor, not like that scoundrel Merrigold. At least, that's what Sigmund insisted when asked why he so closely resembled Merrigold. Columbo's Corsairs is quickly constituted to provide the party with a veneer of respectability something nice to put on the tombstones.
III. New place, same problems
The Corsairs then take a boat across the Crimson Sea to INSERT TOWN NAME HERE (ITNH). ITNH is a wonderful port side town, consisting of a massive cliff through which great winds blow constantly, their eerie shriek driving passersby mad. Apparently (that's what the brochure said). Monsters of all descriptions walk the street at night - name a monster, someone will swear they saw it eating someone else. ITNH itself is built atop a succession of older cities, which means there's bound to be some phat loot. Given those two salient facts, in ITNH adventuring equipment of every sort is double the normal cost.
The Corsairs make their way to the nearest inn, which turns out to be a disreputable place called the Stone Chimera, ran by the innkeeper Rixmund.
IV. Rixmund, mild mannered innkeeper by day, murderer of adventuring parties by night
Rixmund regales the Corsairs with a story about a dungeon under his inn that was carved from the living rock by mad dwarves. Not mad angry, mind you - most dwarves are angry. We're talking mad crazy mad. Like really crazy.
Further, Rixmund speaks of a party of adventurers that entered the dwarven halls a week ago and never returned! (insert spooky music here)
The Corsairs quickly ascertained an opportunity for foul play to help those in need, and asked about this party. Rixmund described the party as consisting of 3 men, 2 sorceresses, and two "dwarfy types like you" (said while pointing at the halfling). The Corsairs vowed to find these lost souls.
Looking about the Stone Chimera, the Corsairs sized up the best men and hired them with promises of wealth and glory: The mercenary Chelos Vexorson (of the one hand and unspellable last name) was taken on by Alatar as his walking, talking meatshield trusted right-hand-man. Sigmund was kind enough to loan Alatar some coins to hire Chelos.
The mercenaries NAME FORGOTTEN and Myrta became Columbo's hireling. The torchbearer Argar stayed near the magic-user where it was safe(r). Sigmund and Columbo bought halberds and chainmail for the hirelings.
V. Of Doors and Spikes
The Corsairs, led by Rixmund, took the stairs under the inn and came to the dwarven dungeon entrance. Or entrances, as it turned out, as Rixmund pointed out two doors. One was locked, while the other was spiked shut from the entrance side of the door. The Corsairs asked which door the lost adventurers took, and Rixmund stated it was the spiked door.
Harsh words were rather quickly spoken at this point, as the Corsairs pointed out that Rixmund had spiked the lost adventurers into the dungeon and perhaps hastened their likely demise. Rixmund insisted he was just protecting the inn but the Corsairs were a little suspicious.
The Corsairs asked Rixmund to unlock the locked door and peered inside to see a bas relief on the wall showing a dwarf crafting a gargoyle. All involved agreed that this entrance could be left till later. Preferably much later.
Instead, the Corsairs had Rixmund unspike the door and, after getting Rixmund's assurance that he wouldn't spike them in unless they didn't return by nightfall, they entered the dungeon.
VI. And Behind Door Number Two…DEATH!
The Corsairs quickly begin searching the dwarven halls, following a simple plan: to find the lost adventurers so we can murder them help them, we'll go through doors that are unlocked and not the locked doors. Sigmund demonstrates an amazing affinity with Lawdor, whose generosity provides Sigmund with a seemingly infinite supply of "Holy Trap Searching" and "Holy Lock Unlocking" spells. The first room they come to contains a dais with a dwarven altar upon it. The statue of the dwarf doesn't look too crazy, and Sigmund assures us that, as a lawful cleric, he can tell that these dwarves were lawful too. Alatar taps the statue and it doesn't fall over, and the Corsairs are bored at this point and continue on, only later remembering to look at the barrels in the room and finding dwarven rum whiskey (dwarves are sensitive about this sort of thing) of a fine vintage in one of the casks.
The next room has a wonderful view of a pool of water. NAME FORGOTTEN, our loyal hireling, is asked to investigate the pool. He walks towards the pool and a lizardman-thing comes out and attacks him and he dies. The rest of the party throws gifts at the lizardthing, but the lizard thing doesn't like arrows, slingstones and daggers and has his three other friends come out of the pool to gut the Corsairs like fish. The Corsairs draw blades and move to attack, only to be overcome by a foul, noxious stench, and the existence of troglodytes becomes known. After some ferocious fighting, the troglodytes lie dead. On their necks are found wonderful golden necklaces, and the gleam of XP shines in the eyes of the Corsairs.
A quick investigation of the pool shows that it is deep and cold and that there is some crumbled rock beside it. The sound of wandering monster checks screams and moans propels the Corsairs onward.
VII. Charming, isn't he?
The Corsairs come across a door which is spiked on the other side, and hear the sound of a crazed someone. They manhandle the door open and uncover a mangy dwarf who can't stop telling us that "he didn't do it" and that "they were already dead" and ensures we understand that he is terrified of troglodytes.
Filled with confidence by these words, the party assures Alatar that this dwarf would make a great charmed thrall friend. Alatar works his magic and the dwarf does become his friend, if by friend you mean someone that doesn't leave the room he's found in. We learn that the dwarf is Grafal, son of Klarl, and that he needs a new ax as the one he's holding in his hand is broken. Alatar does ask his hireling Chelos to search the room Grafal is in, and a body is discovered with a bunch of ax marks in it. A coincidence, certainly. The body does contain a rather nice signet ring with the image of a flaming lion. Alatar holds onto this for now, but insists he'll share equally with the rest of the Corsairs.
The party is then attacked by four more troglodytes, which terrifies Grafal back into his room. Sigmund is able to use his "Holy Transparency" spell to ambush one troglodyte who dies at the end of his blade (Lawdor apparently has an exception to the "no bladed weapons" rule. Truly a forward thinking diety). Alas, poor Chelos is made dead by several blows, but the party manages to kill the remaining troglodytes and retrieve more gold necklaces. The party heads to the surface for resupply, but learn that no more hirelings can be found. They return back to the dungeon and make their way to the next room.
VIII. Where's Romeo?
In this room a balcony is found, and Sigmund uses a "Holy Wall Climbing" spell to climb up and take a look. It looks scary like someplace to check out later once he got up there, though, so he came
back down. The Corsairs proceed along and find a hallway which ends with two doors. Columbo, tired of Sigmund's frequent requests for tithes to Lawdor, opens one of these doors and narrowly misses getting an ax trap to the face.
The other door is opened by Sigmund, who finds it contains a recently-animated zombie. Quickly slain, the zombie's flaming lion signet ring is added to the Corsair's loot.
IX. Disaster strikes! OR Did I Say Germans? I Meant Ghouls
While still in this dead end hallway, the Corsairs are attacked by 6 ghouls. Right off the bat, Columbo was hit twice and paralyzed, which made us wish he'd been hit with a bat instead. It also made us wonder how the *$&% the halfling could roll so damn low. Next round finds Merrigold hit once and paralyzed as well. At this point Alatar soiled his robes, but everyone was too polite to mention it.
The next round finds Myrta, dear Myrta, hit and paralyzed and the dogs decide this is a good time to attack undead. Normally, of course, dogs are terrified of undead, but they wisely decided at this point to man up and do their duty. Alatar tosses holy water but his fear makes his aim wild. Alatar manages to convince Argar, the torchbearer, to fight rather than die doing nothing. Argar grabs Columbo's sword, which legend says is a mighty weapon against the undead. Several ghouls have fallen by this point, but several remain. Alatar continues to throw daggers from his "Bandolier of Many Daggers that Everybody Laughed At Until Now When He's Almost Running Out (of Daggers)" but mostly misses or does piddly damage.
Next round finds Mungus the dog paralyzed. Alatar, utterly terrified, puts a pool of flaming oil in front of himself and lights it, hoping to keep the ghouls at bay. Over the next couple of rounds, Argar manages to hit twice with the halfling's sword and Alatar manages to throw oil over the head of everyone because that is just exactly the most useful thing that he could have done in this kill-or-be-killed situation. Kang gets hit by a ghoul but his hardy nature protects him from the paralysis, and Argar gets absolutely smoked twice and drops dead from the wounds. Claw/claw/bite takes another victim.
The two remaining ghouls strike back at this point, hitting Kang twice and adding him to the "killed" column. For those at home keeping score, that leaves us with Alatar behind flaming oil and a bunch of stiffs versus two ghouls.
The weaker ghoul charges through the oil at Alatar, igniting himself but managing to hit Alatar once and paralyzing him as well. Luckily, the next round finds the flames adequate to kill this ghoul.
The last surviving ghoul, being a connoisseur of sorts, takes the next 30 minutes to drag off the two dogs, allowing the rest of the party to recover from their paralysis.
X. Halfling-sized mosquitoes? WTF?!!
Ah ha! But just as their paralysis is ending, a bunch of halfling sized mosquitoes attack the party, latching onto Columbo and Sigmund and giving the Corsairs a lesson in stirges. After some quick sword work, the stirges lay dead and the Corsairs quickly return to the surface to resupply, being sure to take the crazed dwarf Grafal with them. Grafal insists that Alatar sign some legal documents proving his innocence, but since they were written in dwarvish, Alatar ignored his request. The party was still unable to find any replacement hirelings and so headed back to the depths without support.
Trying a different tack, the Corsairs tried some locked doors. They came across an old decaying zombie which they quickly dispatched. From it they retrieved an emerald ring. Heading over to the balcony, they climbed over and managed to avoid a pit trap. In the pit they found the body of a sorceress which had a flaming lion signet ring, as well as a dead halfling. No ring was found on the halfling. The sorceress' spellbook was ruined from the damp and pit spikes, and Alatar wept bitter tears at the waste. The rest of the Corsairs looked on.
XII. You're the Poolboy?!
The balcony led to a large room containing a 7' tall gargoyle and a bunch of pools of liquid. Alatar said hello and asked if the gargoyle wanted to be his friend, while Columbo and Sigmund wisely stayed in the hallway and let the gargoyle advance, and then Columbo and Sigmund went to town on it. Alatar threw a couple of daggers and discovered that gargoyles can't be hit with non-magical weapons; he continued to ask himself why this practical stuff wasn't taught in wizarding school. After a short battle wherein Sigmund ends up on the receiving end of a lot of claw/claw/bite/horn, the gargoyle is slain. Sigmund drags the body into one of the pools. A quick investigation shows the pools to consist of the following: one pool that's clear like water, one pool that's clear and noxious (not like water), and one that's filled with a putrid, rotting liquid. Agreeing that discretion is the better part of valor, the party drank from none of the pools.
Finally, with fatigue setting in, the Corsairs headed to the surface, a day well done.
Slain hirelings: NAME FORGOTTEN, Chelos, Myrta
Slain dogs: Mungus, Kang
8 gold necklaces (various values between 60-200 gp), three signet rings (valued at 800 gp each), an emerald ring (60 gp), and a cask of dwarven rum (500 gp) were recovered.
This line is important for posterity: All PCs received 1415 xp. Given that Alatar was broke, he was given the lions share of 400gp.