Real World Info
This session was played on May 9, 2010, featuring:
Dalamyr hired Gulik and Varghild to watch the camp. Parsnip left his other retainer Hilmyr with them. These three did not venture into Quasqueton.
Adventurers travel upriver to the stronghold of two former adventurers and explore the rambling, underground structure, coming away with a few magic items.
A call to the Unknown
While relaxing in Threshold, Dalamyr, Flapgar, Marrieth and William Parsnip hear tale of a nearby fortress, abandoned in the last decade or so, reportedly replete with riches and magic belonging to the now missing Rohgan and Zelligar.
After making some discreet (and not so discreet) inquiries, it is learned that:
- The duo never finished building Quasqueton before they disappeared.
- The stronghold was built around an enchanted stone, deep within the ground, that will grant a wish to anyone who chips off a piece and eats it.
- Zelligar had a wizard's workshop where he worked on magic stronger than any known to man.
- Rogahn owned a fantastic gem as big as a man's fist that was worth over 100,000 gold pieces, and he kept it in his personal quarters.
- All treasures of Rogahn and Zelligar are cursed to bring ill fortune to anyone who possesses them.
With the village near the fortress only a few hours upriver/northeast of Threshold, the group decides for various reasons to undertake the expedition. Dalamyr to gather resources and riches to fund the repopulation of Yew, Marrieth to get out of town (for she's still wanted), and others for adventure.
Please Wipe Your Feet
The journey to Quasequeton being a quick and uneventful one, the party chose to immediately enter the fortress in the afternoon, rather than waiting for the next morning. A long hallway, hewn out of the rock of the mountain, yet with brick and stone set in the walls, yawned before them after they kicked open the stuck front door.
Luck was very quickly with the group, as they discovered a secret door in an alcove of the entrance hallway, allowing them to quickly delve deep in to the southwestern quadrant of the complex.
A Twisted Necromancy
In very short order, the group was settling in to a smooth flow, with Flapgar both sketching out the lay of the place on his map, and calling out where they should go. Turning a corner, they were somewhat taken aback by a humanoid form slowly moving towards them; one with no eyes nor mouth, with the orifices all having been stitched shut!
Being a single, sad creature, the party quickly dispatched it and moved on around the southwest edge of the complex.
This Stuff, It Just Fell Off the Back of a Wagon
Carefully plotting their way through the twisting halls, and checking the odd wainscottings along the way, the keen eyed elf and rock-wise dwarf have great luck in spotting what the human designers surely thought were well-hidden secret doors.
If only the luck had continued towards what was behind those doors!
Behind one was a 20x20 room full of… construction supplies? Beams, ropes, nails, doors, all manner of oddities.
In another room, dozens upon dozens of barrels; filled with spoiled rye, salt pork, pickles, and other victuals that almost managed to survive the years of abandonment.
Outside of the construction supply room, a number of large centipedes briefly menaced the party but were scared away by the quick application of several flasks of oil. Luckily the wooden wall paneling in that area only scorched, and did not catch fire!
I'm Really Not Much of a Reader
Puzzled and perhaps overconfident about the lack of resistance thus far, the group continued further north, generally along the west side of the map, but twisting from side to side as the designer of the place was revealed to be a truly sick individual, with a hatred for cartographers.
A long, curved passageway described a counterclockwise arc from east to west around a suspicious space, which was determined to contain a cross-shaped library. The books were of no great interest, although they may be of some value - if they're ever hauled out. Three cages, inset permanently in to the wall of the north wall of the library, provided a feeble orange glow from some beetles that were eking out an existence inside them somehow.
In a room near the library, the party found a 20x30' room, with a sparking crystalline rock outcropping in the far corner, but otherwise unremarkable. Flapgar and Marrieth headed in to take a look while Dalamyr and William kept watch down the coridors, and that's when the door quietly closed….
Flapgar and Marrieth found nothing of interest at the column, and turned around to find the door closed. Puzzled, they opened it, and things were not quite right. For starters, nobody else was anywhere to be seen! The corridor outside also didn't extend as far as it should in front of them. Very odd.
Flapgar chose that moment to cut to the chase and bellowed "DALAMYR! WILLIAM!", his thick brogue echoing through the halls, where it struck the ears of the rest of the party. Puzzled, they followed Flapgar's voice and the party was rapidly re-united outside of the other, identical room.
Northeast of one of the crystal column rooms, Flapgar rounds a corner to spy a familiarly piggish visage staring at him from a mere 40 feet or so away through the gloom. He barks "Orcs!" to the rest of the group, who quickly fall back around the edges of the T-junction they were at, as Flapgar tries to draw the orc (and his two friends) back to them - and succeeds.
The ambush is extremely well executed, with one of the orcs dropping like a sack of potatoes after catching a slingstone to the noggin, another falling to the blade, and the third running squealing off in to the darkness. A quick investigation reveals a narrow crack in the wall, with some orcish blood smeared around it - clearly the way the orcs both got in to, and fled from, the dungeon.
The party resolved to come back to this place later, and headed back to the south to fill in areas that remained blank on their map.
The Pit and the Arachnid
While exploring through the southwest portion of the complex, a room is found with a whistling wind inside; this is found to be due to the natural vents leading up to the surface, which had been capitalized upon by placing the smithy for the site here.
Cracks that let out smoke can let in other things, however, and three large spiders ambush the party. Dalamyr and Marrieth choose to guard the approaches (in case of orcish trackers on their trail), thinking that the rest of the group could handle three spiders of this sort. As a result one of William's retainers is bitten and begins to die from poison before the spiders can be completely dispatched!
Dalamyr tried to use the staff of healing to help the poor man, but the poison is too strong to be neutralized - but he is given more time. Enough time, perhaps, to rush him back to the base camp.
Also near the forge is a room with a pit leading down below - and a heavy, if somewhat decayed rope hangs down it, with signs that something has been coming and going in this place. One of the group quickly cuts the rope at Dalamyr's request (since clerics can't use knives, of course), just before Flapgar says "Wait, I want to go down there!" He is mollified by promises that as soon as the party returns from taking the stricken retainer out, the pit will be the first place to be explored.
Hurry Him Home
Rapidly retracing their steps, the party emerges with the stricken retainer shivering on a blanket. Varghild has some feverfew, but not spiderwort; in desperation the feverfew is tried and seems to buy yet more time. Hilmyr, Mulix and Varghild are dispatched with the spare horses to head down to the river, there to wait for a boat to take them to Threshold, and to take their compatriot to a place of healing there.
Round and Round We Go
Returning to the complex, the party stops by the supply room and gets some extremely stout rope, and then replaces the line leading down in to the pit. Flapgar heads down and finds two potions resting beside the recently-dead corpse of a mage; dead for no more than a couple of weeks, it seems. The pit is not sealed, either - an opening stretches off in to the darkness, but Flapgar prudently chooses to leave that for another day.
The party then heads to a door they passed by at the very south edge of the map, near the zombie, and follows a passage that slowly corkscrews inwards, clockwise, leading to a surprise in the middle - more zombies!
These two foes are turned by Dalamyr, and then dispatched at range as they cower in the end of the hallway.
2 potions of Invisibility (Flapgar; Parsnips)
1 magic scroll (Sleep) (Marrieth)
And no money!
All PCs received 34xp. All retainers who ventured into Quasqueton received 17xp.
DM was johnstone.