Real World Info
This session was played on April 25, 2011 at Waves, featuring:
Merrigold Serpenthelm, the man-at-arms Hurdric, plus the war dogs Bustopher Jones and Mister Sinister.
Jack Rellwood, along with his retainers Kravdar and Killdu.
Bonspiel and his non-cursed retainers Grub and Kronen.
This adventure was based on the one-page dungeon The Vault of Zerduzan, by Craig Brasco.
Members of the Serpenthelm Adventuring Corp. descend into a sinkhole beneath Threshold and discover an infamous wizard's empty tomb.
The party explores an ancient spa, a hidden library, and an impressive collection of heads. Kravdar uses his Dwarven expertise to identify various non-secret non-doors, and several wooden items are set on fire as a precaution. Bonspiel sent the ghost of an ogre back to whatever hairy netherworld is the proper repository for such things, and the war dogs destroyed a stuffed dragonish-serpent creature with the help of the adventurers, who mostly waved their weapons around as a distraction.
The war dogs aren't doing that.
Armored corpses come to life in a crypt and one nearly rips the arm off Jack before speedy application of holy symbol and holy oil makes short work of them. Later meddling with clearly evil runes opens a portal to hell. Merrigold's dogs refuse to satiate its demonic urges on their flammable and all-too-sensible bodies, so Killdu destroys it with a mighty blow. A matching crypt contains a ghostly woman who saps Bonspiel's strength before being turned and laid to rest.
How to Get A "Head" in Adventuring (GET IT?!?!)
The party explores further and finds a collection of embalmed heads. Merrigold wisely collects several heavy jars of the flammable liquid, which are later instrumental in destroying a room full of mummified cultists that are a too much for Bonspiel's tentative faith. Further on they find expensive drugs burning in a brazier, silk pillows and literature of a magical nature, along with a demonic frog creature in a subterranean wallow, ensorcelled to guard the chamber beyond: the crypt of the wizard Zamzomarr.
The Frog Doesn't Swallow
Negotiations to free the creature from its magical bondage are fruitless (mainly because the party is a bunch of uneducated louts), so they attack. Merrigold is swiftly caught by the frog's mighty tongue and drawn into its maw. Quick thinking and a potion of dimunition prevent Merrigold from an ignominious death. The party wastes no time beating the demon until it flees underwater, and then douses the pool with oil and sets it alight. An otherwise ruined laboratory beyond contains a spellbook and several potent magic items.
Hurdric and Kravdar were killed by something or other. Jack took Gauntlets of Ogre Power and a Robe of Invisibility from the lab. Merrigold found a Ring of Protection somewhere or other. A wand of indeterminate powers (lightning bolts, roll 2d10 for number of charges if used) was left in the keeping of Serpenthelm Adventuring Corp., along with the spellbook.
A bunch of valuable helms and the frog demon's library were sold off for cash in town.
This line is important for posterity: All PCs received 1,276 xp and 1,683 gp. Retainers received 638 xp.
Spellbook of False Zamzomarr
Level 1: Detect Magic, Floating Disc, Light, Sleep.
Level 2: Invisibility, Locate Object, Wizard Lock.
Level 3: Infravision, Protection from Evil 10' Radius.
Level 4: Polymorph Self.