Sunday, March 30, 2014

"The Bedroll Maneuver"--Grimmsgate Campaign, Session 6




The last time we left offm all of our characters were trapped inside a tomb beneath a hill. At some point, as the DM explained, all of us later blacked out and woke up in the ruins of a cathedral dedicated to Virtoaa, the Sun God. It was night, with a full moon in the sky.

Dramatis Personae
Wolfram: a dwarf fighter 1/thief 2
Kristopf: a 2nd level cleric of Virtoaa
Silver: a 2nd level human fighter cursed to look a little like a snakeman
Cross: a 2nd level elven fighter.
Arman: a 1st level monk we found in the last adventure.

The rules were Swords & Wizardry. The DM, of course, had to make some conversions to run the module he'd found--but those were fairly easy.

We found the entrance to the dungeon, killed a giant spider in the first room, found an ivory scroll case in the hands of a skeleton in a second room. The scroll case contained a note, saying that brethren of the cathedral had started worshipping an evil effigy found within the catacombs adjacent to the cathedral's cellar.

Thus, our exploration began.

We found the wine cellar--barrels full of brandy. But one barrel contained the corpse of a woman in her early twenties--about three days old. Across the way was a room used to process and tan leather--we feared that the skins within were human, but couldn't tell.

Soon after we discovered a series of cells, bolted from the outside. Some contained skeletons of a strange humanoids with a cat-like skull. Other were empty. A 10-year-old boy named Tobias resided in the last cell.

It turns out both he and Kristopf spoke High Imperik. Tobias told Kristopf that he and his older sister Clarissa had been playing nearby when they discovered the ruins. They descended the stairs. The next thing he remembers was waking up in the cell.

Kristopf didn't have the heart to tell the boy that his sister was rotting in a barrel a few rooms away. Kristopf cast cure light wounds to help mend the boy's broken leg. We took Tobias to a relatively safe part of the dungeon and continued on our way, intending to come back for him. Kristopf case cure light wounds to heal the boy's broken leg.

A couple rooms and passages later Silver opened up a door and skeleton fell out on him--he failed his fear check and started screaming. This brought the attention of the ghouls in the nearby room down the hall.

We fought a pitched battle against the ghouls. Kristopf discovered to his horror that the power of Virtoaa had been diminished somehow; he could not turn the undead monstrosities.

(Though we did get a laugh as the DM played "Hurt" during the combat as sung by Kermit the Frog. --NSFW).

Fortunately, though Wolfram went down, nobody got paralyzed, and first aid brought Wolfram back from the brink.

Another room or two later we discovered a secret door. Inside there lurked a source of the evil on this level of the dungeon:  reeking and rotting man in armor. He sat on an iron throne, feasting on flesh, watching us.

We shut the door, opened it, and Wolfram without a word took aim at the cannibal's head--but the crossbow string snapped. And the creature, who declared himself "Golmek, the Ghast King" became enraged. Two ghasts emerged from behind an illusionary wall and charged us.

At that point, metagaming-wise, we thought were screwed--even the DM.

But we fell back, and let the ghasts come at us through the secret door--one at a time. After a fierce struggle (once again, we were fortunate nobody got paralyzed--but at least half of the group suffered from the stench of the ghasts), the party defeated the ghasts.

Then Golmek stepped forth, and we knew we were all going to die.



Then Kristopf unrolled his bedroll, which puzzled the party.

As Golmek came through the secret opening, Kristopf draped the bedroll over the vile ghast king's head. Then he grabbed a torch and lit the bedroll on fire.

Wolfram, catching on, took his last flask of oil and splashed it on the creature.

Golmek the Ghast King burned to death before the party's eyes. We discovered three enchanted keys on his corpse.

The exploration of the other parts of the dungeon was rather anti-climactic--but the characters all had gained a level or two (Wolfram became a 2nd level fighter/ 3rd level thief). We encountered a handful more ghouls and ghasts.

We then opened up the door to the vault we had found earlier using the enchanted keys. Inside was a small fortune in gems, coins, and magic items. After collecting these we found Tobias and left the dungeon.

To our surprise and horror, we saw that the moon was still at its apex in the sky, despite that fact that we had been in the dungeon for a few hours.

Tobias said he wouldn't leave without his sister. At that point Kristopf told him the truth. Tobias insisted that we bring back his sister's body to his camp. "What camp?" we asked.

It turns out Tobias and his sister are part of a clan of wandering gypsies. We soon found their caravan in the nearby hills. There we told his parents what had happened, then asked them what realm we were in.

They seemed confused. The spoke of only towns, and how the land had been dark since the night the moon camp up and didn't go away.

"When did that happen?" Kristoph asked.

"About 18 months ago..."

It was revealed that we had entered the nightmare world of... 





2 comments:

  1. Sounds like too much fun was had. Ravenloft! So cool.....

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  2. Sounds scary! Hi Stelios! Cathy Olliffe-Webster here, one of Alex J. Cavanaugh's minions for the A to Z challenge. Just dropping by to check in and see if you're still participating in the challenge! I dropped by your other blog, too, World of Stelios, but I couldn't comment because I don't think the comments were turned on. If you could let me know if both blogs are participating, I'd really appreciate it! Hope you are, and hope you have lots of new followers, new friends and fun! Good luck!

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