25 November 2011 at Waves on Broadway.
Ballard, aka "The Handsome One", aka "Velvet Voice".
Blessimon, the forceful priest of Law!
Columbo, collector of swords and leader of the (in)famous Columbo's Corsairs.
Floria Khazam, the child prodigy of eldritch magery.
Ixirgonthus Serpenthelm, goatly priest of Anthergathos, God of Violence, Cruelty and Goats!
Mern the Blue, mage most miserable.
The mercenary, Beramagut.
And most importantly, our favorite and yours, our dear friend, the clean-living, clean-sweeping Harafalmous!
Floria comes up with a great idea to make us all rich, rich RICH! Gold is found! Then more gold is found! GOLD GOLD GOLD! Also, Columbo gets blown up but he's OK. A vastly powerful sword is found by Mern and given to Columbo! A dead horse, tired of being flogged, lays a beat down we won't soon forget. Columbo gets a magical wand and gives it to Mern, but, alas, only after Ixirgonthus perishes.
I. Your last name sounds strangely familiar…
While in the encampment outside of the great sealed city of Yam, Columbo's Corsairs meet with Ixirgonthus Serpenthelm, a cleric of Anthergathos, God of Violence, Cruelty and Goats. As is always the case, a chaotic priest seems like the perfect fit for the band of adventurers! This is further strengthed when we learn that Ixirgonthus and Ballard were the last survivors of a caravan that resorted to cannibalism - strangely enough, that makes 4 cannibals as members in the Corsairs. This can only bode well….
II. A plan is hatched
Floria hatches a cunning plan to maximize reward and minimize risk in Eibon Fortress. All agree that this seems superior to our current approach, which had somehow become the exact opposite. Floria's plan is to use the spell locate object to search for gold, gold gold! Mern strongly supports this plan as he would like to greatly improve his magical prowess as soon as possible. Columbo demands that Harafalmous is re-hired by the Corsairs. Returning to the square, we find Harafalmous in his dilapitated home with his new wife. Harafalmous gladly accepts our offer to adventure and leaves his new wife with a small pouch of coins…
Meanwhile, Ballard's sly tongue is only able to requisition us one mercenary - Beramagut. Mern offers him some platemail, but he refuses, as he prefers the flexibility of chainmail.
Thus prepared, the party heads to the Eibon Fortress.
Quickly returning to the large courtyard spotted on the first day of exploration in the Fortress, the Corsairs spread out to protect Floria while she casts locate object for gold. After a brief squabble with He Who Must Be Obeyed This spell goes off without a hitch, and Floria finds many, many piles of gold. Two piles are especially interesting as they are very close-by and on the same floor as the party currently occupies!
The party elects to head to the closest pile, which appears to reside just behind a set of giant bronze doors set into the south wall of the courtyard.
III. Fool's Gold
Floria hands Ixirgonthus a crowbar to attempt to open the large gates. This fails, and Floria then resorts to her puissant arts - a knock easily overcomes this stubborn adversary. Beyond these doors a massive passageway is found, blocked by a massive portcullis. Another set of metal doors can be barely perceived at the end of the passageway.
Once again Floria's potent powers come to the fore, as her wisely cast reduce shrinks the portcullis, causing it to be drawn up by the chains that bind it. Ixirgonthus walks into the passageway and searches for secret doors on the wall, as the gold we found should not be that far along the passageway. Unfortunately, none are found. At a loss for what to do, and with no further enchantments available, the Corsairs return to Yam to allow Floria to relearn her spells.
Returning to the courtyard, the Corsairs headed through a large passageway to the north, intent on seeking out the next-easiest pile of gold. This passageway passed through a 90' wall and opened into another courtyard. A set of dog-sized grasshoppers were here, docilely eating a patch of fungus. The Corsairs quickly agreed to leave the grasshoppers be.
Heading south through a hallway, an abandoned bank was found! Enormous houseflies flew out to attack the party but they were quickly slain. Entering the teller's room through a side door, the party uncovered empty sacks and empty boxes, as well as an empty room and another room - this one wasn't empty, but had rotting crates that were filled with no loot.
A little disappointed at this turn of events, the Corsairs eagerly moved towards the expected location of the gold…Columbo opened a door, revealing a human skeleton lying on the ground. The next instant, a whirling dust cloud forms up from the skeleton! The dust cloud began forming multiple little faces on it - but Columbo drew his anti-ghoul dagger and with a single slice managed to destroy the dust cloud.
The dust fiend was guarding a room filled with safety deposit boxes which were quickly rifled through by the Corsairs, uncovering a mass of platinum pieces as well as many silver and some gold.
V. The Inn
Following the map of gold sources, the next location appeared to be on the second floor of the complex. The Corsairs headed straight to that location. It turned out to be the remains of an old inn, which was quickly dubbed the "Lounge Inn" due to the broken hookas and bar…or something. It looked like a lounge, ok?
A quick search revealed nothing but a trashed kitchen. Taking a set of stairs, the Corsairs came across a long hallway with many doors, as one would expect in an inn. Mern began poking through some debris and came across an old scabbard with a sword. A sword with runes upon its handle. Gripping the handle and pulling the sword out, Mern's eyes took in the beauty of a magical short sword, runed along its length and begging to be used!
Being of no use to Mern, he could only pass this sword along to his old friend Ballard. While this was going on, Columbo's keen hearing picked up the sound of hooting coming from a side room.
Mern walked in to see a strange looking owl: dark grey with large pom-pom ears. At his entrance, it looked up, and then dove down and began digging at the bed.
Perplexed, Mern began digging into the bed as well, uncovering a rust iron box. He open it to reveal 2 potions. Pulling them out, the owl immediately flew up and knocked it out of Mern's hand, where it then shattered on the floor. Just as suddenly, the owl flew down to the floor and began lapping up the potion.
Mern, more perplexed than ever, but never one to back down from strange magicks, got down on his hands and knees and began lapping up the potion as well.
After a time, Mern's stomach begins to ache quite badly…but he discerned no other effect from the potion. Mern begins to leave the room; the owl does not follow. Taking a sample taste, he is able to identify the potion as a potion of fire resistance. He gives the potion to Columbo…as a weak-bodied magic-user, there would be little benefit from keeping it.
VII. Gelatinous cubes blobs
Still seeking after the target gold pile, the Corsairs take another set of stairs. Following a passageway, they pass by five doorways when suddenly Haraphalmous spots six gelatinous blobs, complete with teeth and eyeballs, attempting to cut off the party's escape back down the stairs!
Columbo is able to kill one with a single slice, and Floria puts all but one to sleep. With vengeance, the remaining blob lands right on Floria's face! Mern, fearing the worst, casts sleep on the face-grabber.
Ballard, poking around in the corner, finds another magical sword! This one being a long sword, he traded it to Columbo for the short sword.
The party finds a large pile of silver and gold in the adjoining room, just where the location spell told them to expect it, and the room beside that has additional gold and silver.
VIII. Eye tyrant!
Continuing along opening doors in the inn, Columbo opens a door to unveil a huge spherical scaly thing with eyestalks and a central eye! Mern immediately runs away, neglecting to tell everyone else to do so. Columbo manages to dodge it's movement, and Floria acts next. She shouts "DUCK!" at Columbo and proceeds to let loose a lightning bolt from her wand. Sadly, this particular floating pile of eyes was made of explosive gases and at the touch of the lightning bolt it made a big BOOM. Columbo is nearly done in by this blast, but his halfling luck and a second look at the saving throw chart saves his hide from otherwise certain death.
Returning to camp, the Corsairs identify the swords. One turns out to be the great sword Staulkurtan, a defender sword +5. The other blade is a long sword +1.
Columbo, no longer needing his spear +1, re-gives the spearpoint back to Mern, and everyone is happy. Columbo also gives his shield +1 to Ixir as his armor class with the defender sword is absurdly low.
Ballard begins asking around about the location of an alchemist in the tent city and is told that the nearest alchemist is rumored to be in Fortress Eibon.
Columbo is able to track down a sage who identifies the owl as a greater-crested potion guide owl.
While in the camp outside Yam, Floria decides to return to her abode within the city itself and does not return by the time the Corsairs are ready to depart. Thankfully, Blessimon, the good and lawful cleric, is seen traveling around the tent city and is invited along. Blessimon is known to Columbo thanks to his exploits in breaking an enchantment that ensorcelled Columbo long ago.
X. Dead horse beating
Returning to the fortress, the party headed into the courtyard and then down another wide passageway. This passageway contained many pillars and lots of wood. And lots of horsebones. Recalling a rumor, Mern says, "We were told to beware the stables." As per usual, no one listens.
The party enters the stables and Mern and Ixir start searching. At that instant, a skeletal horse rises up from the ruins and strikes Mern squarely on the head, knocking him unconscious.
The party begins fighting heroically! Columbo strikes once and everyone else whiffs. Then everyone whiffs. Columbo strikes it again, and the foul beast brains our mercenary! Blessimon thoughtfully drags Mern away, and notes that the horrific internal damage he sustained will kill him in a matter of days!
The beast, perhaps sensing Blessimon's clerical powers, attacked him next, and strikes Blessimon so strongly that the cleric's arm flies off and hits the wall! Columbo strikes it again, and Ixir's mighty blow finishes the beast off. A small amount of silver is found, but no secret doors.
XI. Don't get hurt in Fortress Eibon, you can't afford it
The party returns to town to get Mern healed. At the Chapel of Eitor, the god of lawful soldiers, the Corsairs are able to get Mern healed. Which is a good thing as he was bleeding from both ends. Once he was recuperated, Mern asks the priests how much it would cost to heal his arm and eye. The priests say it would cost 15,000 gp for each part, and once Mern could breath again he asked if there was some way to trade a service for this healing.
The Eitoran priest stated that there was: 100' below the Fortress is an ancient ruined community, in a hot, misty area. In the second chamber on the left from the stairs (he was very specific) will be found the bones of the saint Sangromar. If returned to the Eitor temple, the priests will heal one of Mern's grevious wounds.
Mern asked if there was anything else they should know and the priest stated that the saint's bones were guarded by the demonic Valpir, a cross between a demon and vampire, who was served by a group of snake men and headless hounds. Mern felt quite crestfallen by this, but the priest offered to get them a map to the bones in a week and the Corsairs agreed.
Returning to Fortress Eibon, the party climbs up the murderholes and takes some stairs into another area which was likely gold-infested. An iron chest is found as they wandered - guarded by a skeleton! Both Blessimon and Irix attempt to turn it with their godly powers but fail. Luckily Columbo is able to smash it apart. The chest contains a goodly pile of platinum. The adjoining rooms and hallways are found to be filled with bones.
XIII. Master Bone
Beside the room with the chest is found a room covered with chartruse fungus. As the party poked amongst the bones, a skeleton arose from the piles and attacked Blessimon. Columbo is able to slay it.
One of the skulls starts laughing and shouting about how a "Master Bone" was going to kill us all. Ixir crushed that skull, and another skull immediately took up the taunting. Mern tried to speak to the skulls, but the combination of Ixir's rapid crushing of skulls and the skull's sudden silence ended his hopes of learning something from these skulls.
Blessimon enters the fungus room and the soles of his leather boots are instantly eaten away! Luckily his living flesh appears unharmed.
Finding a brass door, the Corsairs opened it to reveal a room filled with pillars. These pillars were carved with the images of worms, bones and skulls. An altar of white stone was also in this room, and was similarly carved. Behind the altar was a statue made of sandstone - its arms outstretched and empty, and its face eroded away with time.
XIV. Alas, Ixirthalmous and Blessimon art slain!
Blessimon's searching eye discovered a secret door, which opened up into a large 30 foot square room. Standing within the room were a group of white figures that crouched in the darkness. Ixir spoke to the figures in the Black Tongue, who revealed themselves in the Corsair's light as white ratmen. One of the figures pointed a strange shaped stick at Ixir - it fired forth three magical blasts which struck Ixir a fierce blow, killing him in an instant. Columbo and Blessimon leaped to the attack, each striking one of the white figures dead. The white figures swarmed around the Corsairs, nearly encircling them. One figure leapt onto Blessimon, ripping out his Blessimon's throat with a slashing blow! Blessimon fell to the ground, gurgling out his lifeblood. Two ratmen remained; one was slain with a single blow by Columbo. At that very moment, a skeleton moved up behind Mern and Ballard, nearly hitting Mern! Lucky for the mage, the combined blows of Ballard and Columbo laid it low.
Mern grabbed up the wand, and soon discovered it was a wand of magic missiles. His mind swam with the possibilities of this new source of power. The figures also guarded a huge pile of copper coins.
With so many of their party injured or dead, the Corsairs headed back to the surface.
Ixirthalmous, slain by magic missile wand. Blessimon, slain by white ratman.
120 pp, 1100 sp, 200 gp from the vault.
1600 cp, 4150 sp, 1100 gp, 150 pp from other locales.
shield +1, defender short sword +5, found by Mern, given to Ballard, who traded it to Columbo for the sword +1
potion of fire resistance
This line is important for posterity: All PCs received 644 xp and 520 gp.
DM was Planet Algol.