22: Escape From the Desecrated Church

Real World Info:

This session was played on march 20, 2010, at thickets' new digs.

Cast of Characters:

carter the canny thief.
Dalamyr the owl-priest.
Flapgar Trundlebig.
Gamgar Khazam, with Porfyrio Damaschii and Milan Draganovich.
Sly Naptastic, with Feldspar and Terence II.
Tardos the Dwarf.
Warthog, with three retainers.


The timely arrival of the Boon Companions ensures our stalwart heroes escape from the depths of the desecrated church.

I. A Wizard and a Dwarf

Traveling overland, Sly Naptastic and Flapgar Trundlebig arrive in Threshold, and hear about the expeditions to the desecrated church. They decide to take a look as well, and make their way up the switchback trail to the Upper Threshold. At the top they meet Fjolnir and the other northmen, and discover that Warthog's1 motley crew descended into the depths but yesterday and did not return.

Examining the three doors at the bottom of the hidden stairwell, Sly and Flapgar wonder at all the broken stone and the iron spikes nailed into the floor, but find opening the stone door to be a simple process. Once inside, they see the results of previous expeditions. In a fit of inspiration, they pile some of the bodies into the doorway in order to block the door, should it close on them.2 Once they get past the antechamber, they immediately recognize the dulcet tones of Gamgar intoning from behind a secret door: "Beware all ye adventurers who enter here!" A night in the dungeon has not dulled this crazed dwarf's sense of humour.

II. A Pair of Fallen Heroes

Flapgar looks around the pits and decides he wants to retrieve the dead northman. Warthog lowers him down into the pit, and he avoids the spikes to reclaim the body, and its pouch of silver.

However, the party has a fallen member of its own (retainers notwithstanding): Dalamyr is still paralyzed after unwisely touching the psychedelic altar. Gamgar decides he has had enough rest overnight and feeds him some wine and encouragement. But just as Dalamyr is about to return to the land of the living comes the return of the dead!


III. Yet More Skeletons

A new horde of skeletons arrives to plague the party, which splits in two to deal with the undead problem. Dalamyr rouses himself, however, and the skeletons flee from the strength of his faith.

The party goes to take another look at the wall of darkness from whence the animated dead come forth. Dalamyr ties a rope around himself and trudges into the smoky dark. Instead of skeletons, he finds the ghost of his old prior, beckoning him on. Instead of going into what all reasonable adventurers believe must be certain doom, Dalamyr heeds his companions tugging on the other end of the rope and returns.

Unfortunately, the companions can find no way to block this passageway. This shortcoming plagues them again in a nearby passage.

IV. The Gilded Door

Down a side passageway there is a once-gilded door. But this discovery is interrupted by skeletons! No wonder this church has the stench of evil about it. Dead people are marching through it every fifteen minutes! Once the skeletons are dispatched, attentions are turned back to this peculiar door. After much searching, the companions can find no traps, but Carter is unable to pick the lock. Luckily, the door is wooden, so Warthog talks one of his retainers into chopping open the door with an axe.


V. The Jeweled Skulls

Behind the door lies a room with a high vaulted ceiling, two more of those ever-burning torches, and a sacrificial altar. Mounted upon that sacrifical altar are two skulls, so encrusted with gems and jewels that no adventurer can tell if they are actually skulls, or just massive collections of loot in the shape of skulls.

Flapgar probes one of them with a ten-foot pole and discovers they are immobile and completely attached to the altar. Warthog cannot convince his retainer to enter the room, so Gamgar, overcome by Dwarven greed, ventures forth. And yet, it is not to be! As Gamgar lovingly fondles one of the jeweled skulls, he finds it moves slightly on a hinge — and releases a cloud of poisonous gas! Clutching his nose and mouth against what would have killed any normal man, Gamgar reels, stumbling back out into the passageway beyond. His companions flee from the oncoming cloud of death.

VI. Helpful Northmen

Luckily, Sly Naptastic had arranged for Fjolnir to open the door if he had not returned after two hours, and this is exactly what he does! The survivors of the party drag themselves out of the subterranean lair of horrors with little to show for their efforts.


VII. Total losses/loot

Two more retainers were killed by skeletons. Each surviving retainer earned 15xp and each surviving PC earned 30xp.

Gamgar throws a big party for men and dwarves alike, and manages to get into debt and a fist fight. Luckily, he wins the fist fight.

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