The Dungeon of Graves - Session 8
Party returns to the Three River Coast.
The Story So Far
October 20th 2021
- Radish, Druid 2
- Sorbo, Half-Elf 1
- Grudge, Fighter 2
- Milo Crest, Fighter 1, Retainer
- Ezrus Farmer, Paladin 1, Retainer
- Pumba, Adult Boar, Pet
Not willing to take up the Duke on his offer of a job, party decided to head back to Zelkor's Ferry. They renegotiated a deal with Milo and Ezrus. Ezrus being convinced only by the promise of purging evil cultists of Orcus from Castle Calaelen.
On their way back they passed through the village of Raudlam. A stop they've made once already. On a muddy square in front of the local tavern they noticed hastily built gallows. Hanged by a noose, there was a corpse of a young girl. One of her legs was a wooden prosthetic. Her hair was crudely cut/shaven and her arms and face was covered in bruises fresh and old. Party surmised it must be one of the people they saw entering the forest couple days ago.
Mood at the tavern was sombre and villagers were somewhat disgruntled by the behaviour of the knights. Party questioned them and learn three knights returned from the forest, bringing the girl with them. They gave her a quick field trial and hanged her for her supposed crimes. Something that's not commonly done, especially to a child. Some of the villagers believed it was the girls brother who was truly responsible. Party briefly considered following the knights but the trail was already couple days old, so they relented. Radish and Grudge visited the local chapel and donated some coin to the attending acolyte. Perhaps to appease their conscience.
Moving on towards the Zelkor's Ferry the party passed by the Mortimer's farm. The old man who was kidnapped by monkey-people from Castle Calalelen. Curiously there was smoke rising from the chimney, so they decided to investigate. Coming closer and calling out, they found out the Mortimer was miraculously freed from his captivity. Well, not miraculously. As he told them Ser Gaebriel and some of his companions rescued him. Gaebriel being the prideful elf adventurer who was causing some trouble at Bristleback's Inn previously. Since it was getting late, Mortimer offered the party a place to stay, reasoning that any friends of Ser Gaebriel are friends of his. Party politely refused and not trusting him fully, they shook his hand, making sure to use the left hand, so that they might check for the mark of Orcus. To their relief, there was none.
Not wanting to camp out in the wilderness, the party force marched the last stretch of the journey. Back at the Zelkor's Ferry, they recuperated for a day. Radish worked on a druidic invention of his. Enchanted spheres of seeds and other plant matter. On impact they quickly spread vegetation in a small area, allowing Radish to cast his entangling spell.
They questioned Gaebriel about his adventure and he mostly nonchalantly boasted about his abilities and the way they managed to quietly sneak in and free Mortimer. "Someone had to do it, I suppose." Party reconsidered their plans to hit the Castle Calaelen, now that there wasn't anyone in danger there. Instead they decided to finally deal with the iron cobra sentinels guarding the way to the second level of the Mouth of Doom.
As they were leaving the tavern they almost ran into a nervous looking farmer. It was Siegfried, one of the farmers Radish preached to. He somewhat sheepishly asked Radish for help. While ploughing his fields, they accidentally broke a way into a some kind of ancient barrow. Smell of fresh blood was coming from it and so they quickly resealed it. As best as they could anyway. Not wanting to change his plans at the last minute, Radish handed Siegfried a pouch of hundred golden coins and told him to hire a group of adventurers to deal with it for the time being. Party made sure to advise him against hiring Gaebriel though.
Finally entering the Mouth of Doom, party once again fell trap to one of the fake doors in the initial rooms. While checking one of the alcoves for traps, Sorbo activated a pressure plate dropping down a portcullis which barred that particular exit. Thanks to using his spear and thanks to his keen elven reflexes, he managed to jump away just in time. Consulting their map, they decided to go the long way around, heading north.
Entering the next room, they saw remains of a feathered corpse lying at the edge of their torchlight. As they walked across a giant bone-plated spider dropped down on Sorbo. Again, thanks to his elven nimbleness, he managed to jump out of the way just in time. Now surrounded by the entire party, the spider has found itself in quite a predicament. After quickly dispatching it, the party noticed a small leather pouch, lying next to the feathered remains. Opening it they found a set of diviner dice fashioned from knuckle bones of various sizes. Grudge rolled them while thinking about their upcoming fight against the cobras and almost all came up as weal.
Pocketing the dice, they headed onward and made their way through several stuck doors. Just the very last door in front of the iron cobra room gave them some trouble. As Milo was working on it with the crowbar, they heard skittering noises from behind. Radish threw a lit torch far into the corridor and the flickering light illuminated three giant ants, Blue in colour, with flat heads covered in bright green fuzz. Milo finally managed to pop open the stuck door. Party saw the ants were retreating, not liking the sight of fire. They decided to pursue, not liking having possible foes lurking behind them.
They caught up to the ants in the next room over. Milo, Grudge, Ezrus and Pumba charged in, while Radish and Sorbo attacked from afar. And that's where things went downhill fast. Party missed most of their initial attacks, only wounding two of the ants. Ants retaliated with brutal strength, felling Ezrus and Pumba in quick succession. Ezrus died to the bite wound itself, while Pumba was finished by a quick acting venom. Party tried to fall back and entangle the ants, but they were too quick. In a flash of an eye, Milo and Grudge went down as well. At that point Sorbo convinced Radish to book it. Radish threw down a flask of oil and lit it on fire to dissuade the ants from following. What remained of the party fled the dungeon and returned to Zelkor's Ferry, no doubt plotting their revenge on the killer ants.
Treasure/rewards acquired: none
Monsters defeated/dealt with: bone-plated spider
Deaths: Grudge, Pumba, Milo, Ezrus
Deadliest session so far. Venomous enemies are no joke in older editions, especially at lower levels. Also party had some miserable rolls on attacks and initiative. Such is the life of an adventurer.