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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Dwarven Friend is Lawful Stupid!

Katy and Ken, about their characters stats: Unfortunately, you can't change those numbers. - Watch me!
Cathy, describing the basics of the dungeon: It's unworked stone, simple wooden doors, blah blah blah.
Katy, about where they were on the area map: Where are we now? Area 51?
Bruce, after the party discussed their alignments: Our Dwarven friend is Lawful Stupid!
Bruce and Katy, as the party entered a difficult space: The trap doors close on both ends! Poison fills the chamber! We all die! - Great! Let's have dessert!
Ken, singing about his roll: I think I missed, tra-la-la la-la.

Anaka looked over the bloody dagger she'd picked off the first Derro they encountered and realized it was a masterwork dagger. She saw Asteriskes looking over the axe he'd picked up and peeked over his shoulder. "That's a masterwork piece, too," she told him. When they'd finished sorting through the loot they'd been toting about, the adventurers discussed where to go next. They decided to explore the tunnel opposite the one the Derro had been guarding, as this would allow them to cover a portion of the complex they realized they had inadvertantly missed previously.

As they entered the long and narrow section of the cavern, they were met with the glittering of silver and a horrible odor. They immediately saw the desiccated corpse of a Duregar warrior, badly mauled, sitting propped up against the cavern wall at the end of the elongated tunnel. Next to the body was a small, shiny pile of silver coins.

Anaka rushed towards the pile of coins with Asteriskes close behind. "Don't go any closer to the body! Look up!" called Felan, stopping in his tracks with Admiral Barky beside him. Above them the party saw a spider swarm skittering about the ceiling. The spiders retreated into the darkness of the cavern's ceiling.

When they were gone, the thief resumed her pursuit of the money. The spiders did not move. Searching for traps revealed nothing, so she pocketed the 18 sp. She didn't find anything on the body although she could tell that it was wearing studded leather armor. Taking the armor, and with the spiders cowering along the ceiling, the group decided to head further up the corridor.

In this part of the cavern was a body of a humanoid creature hanging from a rope, wrapped in in tatters of bloody cloth. The body was swaying from side to side, just a few feet from the cavern floor. The frayed rope suspending it ascended from the body toward the darkness of the ceiling above, where it was securely tied to an immense stalactite. Just past the body was an entrance to a long, winding tunnel, heading northeast.

Searching for traps, Anaka realized that the body was a dummy with fragile jars of stuff in it. When she told her companions they all quickly looked around. Felan noticed the trip-wires and pulley system attached to the body. The druid counseled retreat to avoid the trap and suggested they see what was back on the far side of the room where they'd met the singing Derro.

This cavern showed signs of frequent use. Scores of footprints crisscrossed the dusty floor, going from the tunnel entrances to a pile of crates against the western wall and back again. A burning brazier in the southwest corner provided the cavern with dim light; several of the footprints led to and from it as well.

Felan looked more closely at the tracks and realized that many of them were recent. He moved a little closer into the room and looked into the alcove next to him, he saw a large boulder, but couldn't see past it to see what else might be in the room. Anaka searched the alcove and the rock started to roll towards her, but she moved quickly and tumbled out of the way. The boulder rolled into the main cavern and bumped to a stop against the column in the center of the room.

Anaka went to the next nearest alcove and looked over the crates. Picking the locks, she revealed a weapons cache. Felan eagerly grabbed the 24 short spears.

In the next alcove, none of the crates were trapped and they were all unlocked. These were supplies. Asteriskes and Anaka each took the opportunity to replenish their rations, while Felan was willing to rely on his hunting skills.

Realizing they'd reached a dead end, the party returned to the room with the hanging dummy. The thief was able to disable the trap. There was nothing else in the room. They crossed the cavern and entered the winding tunnel heading north.

Anaka scouted ahead. The narrow, winding tunnels finally opened into a wide cavern filled with a myriad of long, needle-like stalactites and stalagmites - each no more than a few inches in diameter. Fragments of the stone formations were scattered all over the cavern floor. They were extremely brittle and shattered easily. The thief returned to tell her companions what she'd seen. They devised a plan and set out to take strategic positions in the shadows, waiting to strike the guards when they came out from behind the column.

Dwarf Sentry-1 saw the adventurers, drew his crossbow, and targeted Asteriskes, hitting for 6; Admiral Barky rushed up to Dwarf Sentry-1, but missed with his bite; Asteriskes drew his longbow and targeted Dwarf Sentry-2, but missed; Anaka moved into range, and attacked Dwarf Sentry-2, hitting for 5; Dwarf Sentry-2 retreated behind the column for protection, then targeted Felan with his bow, but missed; Felan closed with Dwarf Sentry-1 and attacked, hitting for 1, although the Sentry Saved against his Touch of Golden Ice.

Dwarf Sentry-1 retreated the other way around the column, provoking attacks of opportunity from Admiral Barky, who hit for 5, and Felan, who missed, when he reached cover, Dwarf Sentry-1 shot Asteriskes, hitting for 8; Admiral Barky ran behind the column and attacked Dwarf Sentry-2, biting for 9, and taking the guard down; Asteriskes closed with Dwarf Sentry-1 and attacked, but missed; Anaka closed with Dwarf Sentry-1, hitting for 8 points and taking him out.

Asteriskes performed coups de gras on both sentries. Then the party looted the bodies.

Anaka scouted east and saw a large spacious cavern, which was empty except for a wooden door in the north and a bound and gagged humanoid figure lying by the door. She returned and told her friends what she found. They decided to go check out the room, especially since they bound figure might need aid.

They entered the room and checked the body. It moved a bit during Anaka's search. It was male Drow. Anaka removed his gag.

"Thank you so much for freeing me. I could be a great service to you. I know these caverns like the back of my hand, I could be a guide, I could really help you. I know all about the treasures hidden here. I know all about the leader of the group, Cyvorak. There's a weapon he's looking for -- it's called the Blood Conciliator -- it's hidden around here somewhere, but he doesn't know where it is. This guy, Cyvorak, is trying to drill a tunnel towards Montrill to take over the Silver Mountain region." the Drow said in all in a rush.

"Why'd they just tie you up and leave you here?" Felan asked.

"This half-Dragon is half mad. Who knows why he does anything?" the Drow replied.

Felan Sensed the Drow's Motive was to get free and that he was holding back, not telling the real reason why he was let live. "What can you tell us about this Blood Conciliator?"

"It's a longsword that belonged to the legendary Duregar warriors. The gems in the hilt are what give it its magical power," replied the captive.

"Well, he's given us some information, if we let him go he's going to betray us...aren't you?" Felan asked, leadingly.

"No! I'd never do that!" said the Drow.

The druid's Sense Motive showed that the captive was not exactly lying, but that he certainly wouldn't be above stealing their stuff while they were otherwise occupied. Anaka searched him, and found nothing on him other than his clothes. Meanwhile, Felan listened at the door in front of which the captive lay. He heard nothing. The thief re-gagged the Drow, who tried to bite her. When she attempted to knock him out by hitting him with the pommel of her dagger, he wiggled so much that she missed and whopped herself severely in the leg. Her second effort did the trick.

They opened the door and peered through. The small cave had been hewn into crude living quarters. Piles of rubble and rock filled the northwest corner, possibly covering a doorway or tunnel exiting the room. A pair of bookshelves lined the eastern wall, filled with dusty books. Four dusty bottles of wine sat on a small table. A spartan cot, looking most unused, was next to the northern wall and a wooden chest sat in the center of the room. Above the chest there was a small black area on the ceiling, sort of shiny and leathery looking, about 1 foot square.

Asteriskes shot at the spot, hitting it for 5.

Anaka threw a dagger at it and hit for 6, knocking it to the ground. When she retrieved her dagger, she performed a coup de gras. The dead creature was an Executioner's Hood. "Oh-ho! 'Hood hates nasty purple wine!'" said Asteriskes, remembering the note they'd found on one of the dead Derros they'd come across upon entering this complex.

Meanwhile, the thief headed over to check out the chest. It opened easily revealing 4 ivory scroll tubes containing various scrolls and a note. Felan was able to determine that one of the scrolls was a Jump spell. The note talked about the "mighty citadel of Cyvorak" and made reference to the Blood Conciliator, the weapon supposedly being sought by the gang of thieves inhabiting the complex, as well as talking about legendary battles and a secret vault.

Searching the bookshelves revealed 4 exceeding rare books: The Ascension of Xhitigal, Draconis Rex, The Hammer of Twilight, and The Iron Laws of C'Bogyg Cyvorak. Nobody could figure out the value of the bottles of wine. Lastly, Anaka found a false panel in the floor behind the chest. She told her friends who agreed that she should lift it out. Below the panel was a crawl space heading west.

Lead by Asteriskes, the party crawled slowly through the small tunnel. Suddenly, the Dwarf came face to face with a rat. "Hey, druid! Come talk to this rat!" Asteriskes called.

Rat attacked, but missed; Asteriskes drew his dagger and retaliated, hitting for 4.

Rat responded, but missed again; Asteriskes struck back and also missed.

Rat attacked, hitting for 3; Asteriskes hit the rat, doing 3 points.

Rat attacked, but missed; Asteriskes hit for 4, killing the rat.

The adventurers continued through and reached the far end of the crawl space, emerging into a hallway just beyond the rubble. Felan checked the area and noticed a net on the ceiling above, about 10 feet away. Anaka had to work at it, but was finally able to disarm the trap. The rest of the hallway had rubble scattered about, but not enough to impede passage.

The wide, roughly circular cavern was approximately 50 feet in diameter. Broken blocks of white marble were scattered across the cavern floor and pieces of ordinary rubble tumbled out of the mouth of tunnel whence the party had come. This had obviously once been a workshop for stone masonry. "An 'undying garden' could be a sculpture garden," said Felan, referring to another clue left in the note they'd found in the scroll cases.

Searching the room yielded nothing other than the blocks of marble. After a quick discussion, Anaka was dispatched to return and close the door next to the Drow captive, thus covering their tracks. She snuck quietly around the longer passage, rather than returning through the crawl space. When she got there, the Drow was still unconscious so she slit his throat with her dagger before closing the door and returning to her friends.

They continued north. The walls of the next cavern were lined with crude wooden bunks and iron chests. Mundane items such as pots, pans, and bedrolls were strewn carelessly about the bunks. The remnants of a large campfire still burned in the center of the room, the embers still glowing a bright orange as wisps of smoke drifted toward the cavern ceiling.

Felan did not see any signs of danger. Anaka headed straight for the chests and searched through them, finding 200sp and 2 daggers, which turned out to be masterwork items. A search of the rest of the room revealed a secret passage. Felan heard nothing so the party formed up to go on.

They came out of the passage at the top of a cliff, nearly 100 feet above a relentless cascade of dark water splashing into a gigantic pool which filled most of the cavern, flanked by towering stone cliffs. A black marble pathway led to the base of the thundering waterfall. The path cut directly across the pool and was elevated just a few feet above the water's surface.

There was a Derro on the ledge next to them, with his crossbow drawn.

Admiral Barky attacked the Derro, but missed; Asteriskes attacked and missed; Felan pulled a short spear out of his haversack and threw it at the Derro, but missed; Anaka threw a dagger, hitting for 5; Derro drew his short sword and attacked Asteriskes, but missed.

Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Asteriskes attacked and hit for 17, taking the Derro down; a crossbow bolt flew across the pond and struck Asteriskes for 6; Felan retreated into the tunnel; Anaka searched the Derro's body.

Admiral Barky followed Felan into the tunnel; Asteriskes retreated into the tunnel; a bolt whizzed by Anaka and bounced off the cavern wall; Anaka retreated into the tunnel.

Realizing how late it was, the adventurers held a quick conference and decided to find a safe place to rest for the night. They decided that the safest room would be where they had fought the Executioner's Hood, since they could close themselves in. They were able to reach the room without meeting any adversaries, and quickly settled themselves in for the night.

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