75: Kings of Chaos

Real World Info

This session was played on Thursday, 20 October 2011, at Waves on Broadway.

Featuring:

Columbo, slayer of many things, and his hireling Marvin.
Sigmund Serpenthelm, Lawdor's justicar, his dogs Tern, Nud and Nuada, and the new hireling Coleman the Poleman.
Alatar the Red, mage most magnificent, and his hireling Gillie and torch-bearer Miller.
Mern the Blue, a magic-user psychically linked to Columbo.

Summary

Returning to the dungeon beneath the Stone Chimera, Columbo's Corsairs suffer the slings and arrows of fate. A magical sword-in-the-stone causes intraparty conflict, poison gas causes intra-magic-user poison gas formation, and several treasure hordes cause smiles on the faces of those that survive the ordeal.

I. Ormok

A new day brings a new attempt to clear the crazed dwarf dungeon. The Corsairs hire some new help and outfit them for the coming battles: as usual, Sigmund purchases a halberd and platemail for his hireling, while Alatar purchases platemail, shield, mace and sword for his, and Columbo purchases chainmail and a sword for his. Alatar has a hole drilled into his quarterstaff and hangs the dog collar bracelet of continual light into it, and then purchases a leather hood for it (instant on/off switch!). The party then descends into the depths. The Corsairs are particularly concerned about the chaos lord dog and his ratmen and were-wyvern minions which they created in their last escapade, and care is taken to not find them.

II. Riparian adventures with Wet Pete

At Alatar's suggestion, the Corsairs head immediately to the natural cave containing the waterfall and stream. Last adventure, a group of troglodytes hid in the water, and it was time for the boys to fish them out and take their loot. Setting themselves up defensively in a nearby room, Sigmund summoned Wet Pete. The bubbling up of the water caused five troglodytes to hop out of the water to see what was the matter, and they were subsequently killed by Wet Pete. Pete was then commanded to search the length and breadth of the pool; he returned 10 minutes later with nothing to show for it. Sigmund then sent him around the dungeon as far as he could go, but again nothing was found, including no dog chaos lords.

III. Office Space

Unsummoning Wet Pete, the Corsairs head towards the melted wall hall and proceed through an as-yet unopened door. Behind it they find an office, furnished with a desk, chair and bureau. On the desk is a stone bowl with a mound of ashes in it, suggesting documents were being destroyed some time in the ancient past. Inside the bureau five warpstones are found, which Columbo instantly pockets. A scroll with two spells is also found, consisting of the magic-user spells identify and message. Alatar is especially excited about this second spell, as it must be of ancient lineage, as it is not a spell he has ever heard of!

A set of stairs in this office leads down into a room full of barrels. The Corsairs open them and find they contain rotten paper, alchemical powder and rotten food.

IV. All Flesh Must be Burnt

Continuing along the hall of melted walls, the Corsairs come across a strange sight. Beyond a door they find a room full of thirteen dead bodies, which appear to have been covered by some sort of strange powder. Alatar suggests throwing holy water on them, or sending in a dog, but Sigmund tries the old fashioned "chin first" approach, and enters the room. This instantly causes the zombies to rise up; luckily, Sigmund is fleet of foot and runs out of the room, as Alatar points out the use of the doorway as a bottleneck. Sigmund sagely pours a bunch of oil at the doorway and lights it, and the zombies are forced to shamble through the fire, and the bottleneck created by the door, to get to the Corsairs. While Sigmund and Columbo hack the flaming zombies to pieces, Alatar tosses daggers at those that manage to survive and Gillie keeps tossing oil on the ground to keep the fire going. The massacre is quick. The room the zombies guarded was completely empty.

V. The Kobold Lair!

Traveling further into unknown parts of the dungeon, the Corsairs find a room full of kobolds. They are quickly hacked to pieces, except for one who Alatar decides to charm. He succeeds but the language barrier is insurmountable, and another kobold stabs the newly recruited kobold in the back. Pressing further into the kobold's lair, the party comes to the kobold throne room. A large dais stands at one side of the room, with two thrones standing on it; on the opposite wall there are three doors. The room has three giant lizards in it, and Alatar immediately throws down a web, which catches two of them in its tangles. The unhindered lizard charges up, biting Coleman on the head and swallowing him whole - the last we see of Coleman is his legs dangling out of the lizard's mouth. Sigmund slays this lizard to revenge his hireling's death. Gillie and Marvin then proceed to stab the other two lizards to death by standing out of bite-reach and stabbing them with their halberds. All's fair in love and war!

VI. Sword in the Stone more like Greedy Bastards I Hate You

Choosing the center door, Columbo charges headlong, heedless of danger, hoping to find the Kobold King and slay him mercilessly! Entering the room, he sees a stone set deeply into a stone, illuminated by light shining from the ceiling. Two stone thrones sit in a corner of this room, and rotting tapestries line the walls. 7 kobolds are in this room, and Columbo begins fighting them, heedless of the danger. The sounds of battle, which consists of kobolds dying and their weapons bouncing uselessly against Columbo's armor draw Sigmund's interest, but Columbo insists that's just the sound of him adjusting himself. Columbo, having slain two kobolds already, and worried that Sigmund will come in and want to take the sword himself, decides to drop his sword and push forward with his shield past the remaining kobolds. Having done so, he grabs the sword and pulls! Alas, he is not the King to be strong enough. Sigmund then comes in and the two of them finish off the kobolds. Sigmund then tries to pull the sword but is also not the King strong enough. Alatar has a thought and asks his trusted and loyal hireling Gillie to try to pull it out. Gillie has no troubles doing so, as he is a good and kind fellow. While Gillie's back is turned, Sigmund prepares a garrote! But Columbo is faster, and raises his sword and strikes at Gillie! He misses however and Alatar, sensing a serious problem, casts a spell! Alas, his spell had no effect and Gillie is slain by Columbo's next blow. Sigmund is suspicious about Alatar's spell casting attempt, but Alatar insists he was casting something unimportant.

Meanwhile, Miller and Marvin, seeing their coworker murdered in cold blood, flee for their lives. No doubt this will make Ormok an even easier place to hire men-at-arms. Alatar then insists that since it was his idea to ask his hireling to pull the sword, and since it was HIS hireling they slew, and since he has no magical items whatever whereas Columbo and Sigmund look like walking christmas trees, that he wanted something for this double-damned bloody sword. Columbo, kindly wishing to avoid a scene, traded Alatar the spearhead +1 for the sword-in-the-stone. Alatar is able to wield this as a dagger +1.

VII. Behind Door Number 2!

Exiting this room and trying the rightmost door in the throne room, the Corsairs find a table with nine silver pieces on it. A door within this room is punched open by Sigmund, and it pops a lizardman right in the nose! 5 lizardmen are behind that fellow, and they are pissed. Sigmund stabs the first one, and the fellow attacks him with the sword still in his belly! It's at this point that Sigmund decides that enough is enough, and he orders his dogs to attack (yes, the dogs were with us the entire time, didn't you know?) The dogs easily help us slay the lizardmen. With them dead, the Corsairs examine the room and quickly ascertain that it was an armoury. Although the weapons and armor are rusty and useless, the armoury actually hides a treasury with 4 chests, each containing 500 gold pieces! An adjoining hallway leads to a statue of a crazed dwarven god king which the Corsairs try to remove but find too heavy.

Following the hallway along, the Corsairs find a secret door that connects to an area of the map they've been to before. In fact, the secret door leads into a room they've looked into but never entered. Sigmund steps inside the room and the floor immediately starts sinking! Sigmund jumps back just in time, as the entire room sinks into a river running under the dungeon.

VIII. The Corsairs Need the Dungeoneering Rulebook

Columbo, in the meantime, is growing frantic about this kobold king, and charges off by himself, breaking Rule # 1 of dungeoneering: never split the party.

Sigmund and Alatar, now alone, check out the third and final door of the kobold throne room. They find it full of sacks of kobold loot - 2000 cp and 3000 sp worth of all and sundry gems, jewelry and so on.

At this point, Sigmund, unsure of where Columbo is, and low on hit points, decides on a desperate plan: he drinks the mutagenic chaos juice. What happens next can only be described as #$%*'n weird. With Alatar watching on in stark terror, Sigmund's eyes roll back into his head. He starts convulsing, and then begins vomitting forth a strange whitish-pink-frothy-slimy fluid. It gets larger and larger at his feet, before forming an exact duplicate of Sigmund! Sigmund fell unconscious at this point, and the doppleganger stole his sword of justicar +1 and his shield of truth +2 and ran off!

At this point, Alatar figures rule #2 should be never fool around with mutagens.

Columbo, in the meantime, is attacked by a mass of stirge, but his powerful armor and powerful blows easily vanquishes them.

Sigmund comes to a few minutes later and finds Alatar in hysterics. Shaking Alatar and demanding to know what happened, Alatar can only point and cry. Columbo manages to find the party and is able to get some sense out of Alatar, who manages to say something about a "doppleganger" and "that way".

IX. Who's Devito and Who's Schwarzenegger?

The party pursues the twin, following the trail of slime it drips. They come to the pool room but the path continues to the waterfall/stream cave; however, at that point the trail begins tapering off and finally disappears. Evidently the doppleganger isn't made of slime, only covered in it. The Corsairs decide the doppleganger must have went to the inn. They come to the door but it is closed. Stumped, the Corsairs decide to continue exploring.

X. Poison…my one weakness…

Checking the map, the Corsairs head towards a door they hadn't checked yet near the kobold lair. Inside they find a small room with a number of dead kobolds and lizardmen, lying dead in a huge pile of garbage beside a chest. Heedlessly following the siren call of greed (and not thinking to check the dead), Sigmund checks the chest for traps and opens it. His trap check clearly failed, as a massive cloud of poison gas poured out of the chest! Columbo and Sigmund are able to cover their mouths and manage to avoid certain death. Lucky buggers. Alatar, unfortunately, is not so lucky and breaths in the gas. He manages to cry out, "poison…my one weakness…" and dies. Sigmund kindly tries to revive Alatar by pouring mutagenic juice on him. This causes Alatar's body to start farting forth a horrible stench, causing Sigmund to begin dry heaving. We suppose his stomach was pretty empty after vomitting out his twin. The chest itself holds 500 cp, which is essentially an insult at this point. The Corsairs strip Alatar of his gear and head to the surface. Once on the street, they discover the body of a dead townsman, who was apparently killed by Sigmund's twin- this suggests that Sigmund's twin is very Merrigold-like. A guard is at the body conducting an investigation, but Sigmund isn't able to get through his thick skull make him understand what happened.

XI. A New Friend

Columbo heads to Izaster the alchemist, hoping a magical potion will heal his eyestalk eyes. The alchemist gives him a potion which does fix the eyestalk problem, but as a consequence Columbo becomes the laughing stock of the city! No one can even gaze upon him without being filled with guffaws. Columbo heads to to Corsairs HQ and isolates himself from the community. But while waiting in this isolation, he finds himself psychically connected to a new arrival in town. This new arrival heads to the Corsairs HQ and is the only person able to see Columbo and not laugh. After a cheerful introduction, Mern the Blue, magic-user, joins the Corsairs. His lawful nature seems to have a calming affect on Columbo's demeanor, and they become fast friends. Mern is very happy to be given Alatar's possessions and puts them to immediate use.

Columbo then asks the alchemist if he knows of the sword. Izaster tells him it is clearly a sword of the church of Law in town, as the runes on the sword clearly state exactly that. Sigmund takes the sword to the Law church and receives a sizable reward, which he apparently gives entirely to Columbo (not) - 1000 gp, or so he says. Sigmund also arranges for the Law church to keep an eye out for his twin, arranging a pass code so they can distinguish the one from the other.

XII. The Dwarf King

The Corsairs head back down one final time, this time to travel down the long natural cave on the west side. This leads past the teleport cave (which drops you into the pool of water) and brings us to a narrow, long pool. Stones project out of the pool to form little "pads" to jump across. These lead to a large pool with a rusted iron gate barring the way. Carvings are on the wall, and fungus grows profusely. Sigmund summons Wet Pete, who smashes through a secret door - but as Pete passes through the secret door, he dissolves! Mern shouts a warning, saying "there must be a powerful wizard or cleric to dispel Pete!" but just then an ancient dwarf king made of living crystal strides from the secret door! Arrayed in his full lordly splendor, he strides forth and attacks Sigmund. Columbo charges at him and attacks, but his sword +1/+3 vs. undead splinters as he strikes the statue, turning into a dagger of the same enchantment. The dogs claw at the statue mercilessly, causing it grevious wounds. Mern sees this all happening and realizes the statue must have a power against metal weapons. Mern shouts at Sigmund to use Mern's quarterstaff instead of a sword. Sigmund takes the staff and strikes a powerful blow on the statue, causing it to lose it's inner glow and stop moving. His lordly raiment makes up a great hoard for the Corsairs. From the hallway from whence the king came, the party can see bas reliefs on the walls, depicting dwarves being eaten by spiders. Sigmund and Columbo also note a strange wavering in the air in the hallway, and recognize that it must lead to another dimension - the phase spider dimension! The Corsairs, so recently reminded of the power of poison, decide to leave this dungeon and never return, for they know the phase spiders will soon take over this entire complex. Sigmund grasped the dwarf king statue and dragged it back to the Corsair HQ as the centerpiece of our hall. Columbo and Sigmund also grab some more chaos juice and then the Corsairs retired to their HQ to enjoy a well-deserved rest. While resting, Sigmund decides to mutate the last normal dog, Tern, who's head is transformed into a dragon's head.

Total Losses/Loot

Slain: Alatar the Red, killed by poison gas. The hireling Coleman, slain by giant lizard. The hireling Gillie, slain by greedy bastards killed due to an unfortunate misunderstanding.

5 warpstones, claimed by Columbo.
Scroll of identify and message, claimed by Alatar and then given to Mern.
Magic Law sword, claimed by Columbo and returned to Church of Law.
9 sp, 2000 gp, 500 cp.
A total of 2000 cp and 3000 sp consisting of various coins, gems, and jewelry.
From the dwarf king: golden helmet (1500 gp), a jeweled torc (1500 gp), a jeweled belt holding up a kilt (500 gp), and five rings (500 gp for all five).

This line is important for posterity: All PCs received 2496 xp and 2108 gp. No retainers survived.
For the Law Sword: Columbo received 1000 gp, and Sigmund pocketed the remaining 4000 gp. Note - the Law Sword did not count toward XP.

Prev: The Myriad Glories of Chaos

Next: Enter the Eibon Fortress

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