Thursday, 20 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Twentieth: „Wer die tiefste aller Wunden / Hat in Geist und Sinn empfunden“

Scene 22

Chaos: 5

Setup: travel North to Chateau Pruduems

Characters: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard, Jola

threads: find Neldir & the book
remove zuhal's curse

day 56.

After their interview with the helpful priestess, the party set out almost immediately. They ride from Casterby to Castle Amnis to cross the river, then north along the river. The day is damp and cold, and a sudden downpour makes the afternoon travel rather miserable.

The daylight is already starting to fade as they finally set eyes on Castle Hræfnmor, an ancient and ruinous pile that seems to glower over the barren moor. A light burns in the highest of its seven towers; were it not for this the castle would seem abandoned.

A patrol of six heavy horsemen ride out of the main gate to intercept the party. The soldiers are dour, wrapped in heavy cloaks against the cold, and seem all to be past the prime of life. Still, they have the look of those who have seen long campaigns and many battles.

The lead soldier calls out. His words are indistinct, muffled by the fierce wind whipping round them. But they seem neither greeting nor challenge. Lycinia rides as close as she dares, and shouts, "I am princess Lycinia of Feyalldra. My companions and I are travelling northward. We request hospitality of your liege and shelter from the storm!"

[reaction roll: 8
Q: Can the PCs stay over at the castle? Likely: 74, Yes.]

The soldier wheels his horse about and motions for them to follow. They ride swiftly  towards the brooding fortress. Age and the elements have not been kind to the castle, but its stout walls still seem the equal of any besieging army, should one ever venture this far into such a desolate place. Once inside the courtyard, the portcullis is lowered. A cloaked figure runs out to meet the returning horseman, flanked by two pages bearing lantern. The figure takes one of the lanterns to lead the guests inside as the pages attend to the horses.

They are led into a great, dark, and dusty hall. It's hardly warmer than the outside; servants are hastily building a fire. A single candelabra provides meagre light.

[d30 Companion settlement events: religious, lights (solemn)]

The cloaked figure throws back his hood. He is a tall, broad-shouldered man with a military bearing. His head is recently shaven; striped lines run down the back of his head, scars left by the claws of some beast. Half his face is a mass of scar tissue, and he is blind in one eye. "I am Jönnick," he says, "formerly Captain Jönnick in his Majesty's army serving under Sir Gaunet, now major-domo of his castle. You must forgive us our lack of preparedness, unaccustomed as we are to visitors. I must also  issue apologies from Sir Gaunet himself, as he will be unable to receive you till the morrow. Tonight he must keep a vigil in the chapel. But come, sit, I shall have some fare and strong wine brought round to restore you after your long journey. It will give the servants time to make up some quarters for you."

Jönnick is more soldier than servant or courtier, but he does his best to fulfil the rôles of both. He takes dinner with the guests, eating just enough to be polite, making as much conversation as he is able without it seeming like an interrogation. Castle Hræfnmor's hospitality is spartan, but it is at least genuine. At length the guests are shown to their rooms, with yet more apologies. The guest's chambers are in such an unsatisfactory state that the only decent lodging is some old soldiers' billets. Théscine assures the major-domo that it's far from the worst accommodations they have seen since leaving fair Feyalldra.

day 57.

After a cold night of howling winds and pattering rain, the party is given word that Sir Gaunet himself will be joining them at breakfast. The hall has been cleaned and dusted, and a roaring fire already blazes in the hearth; Jönnick has apparently had the servants working through the night.

Sir Gaunet is sitting at the head of the long table, dressed in threadbare finery and tarnished jewellery. He rises as his guests enter, giving them a sweeping bow. The ageing knight stands nearly seven feet tall, and yet moves with strength and grace despite his terribly emaciated frame. His face is sharp and aquiline, with vivid green eyes staring out from dark-ringed sockets. His hair is thin and scraggly, though he wears it long to the middle of his back. His once-warm smile seems forced now, an animalistic grimace of sharp and crooked teeth. "My honoured guests," he croaks, as if long unaccustomed to speech, "please join me on this fine morning."

During the meal, Sir Gaunet attempts to play the host, but it is obvious he is so unused to company that it pains him to be around people for too long. He cuts an alternately terrifying and pathetic figure, laughing at the wrong moments, losing the thread of conversation, lapsing into distant silence. The servants move around him wordlessly, as if entrenched in an ages-old routine.

[Sir Gaunet's reaction roll: 9,
Q: Will he let PCs stay for the duration of the storm? Likely: 39, Yes.
Q: Does he want anything? 50/50: 05, Exceptional Yes. Inspect/Death]

When the last of the dishes are cleared away, Sir Gaunet leans forward with his bony, long-fingered hands spread out before him on the crimson tablecloth. "There is something I must ask you," he states sternly, "something important to which I dare not attend personally."

"What is it?" asks Lycinia, trying to hide her trepidation.

"My court wizard," replies the old knight, unsure of how to begin. "It may surprise you, seeing the state to which my curt has been reduced, but I do still have a court wizard. Vethrelcem the Thaumaturge, Vethrelcem the Wise, Vethrelcem, Magister of the White Circle, a powerful wizard, and more than that, my oldest friend. We grew up in this grim manse together, his mother handing him the library even as mine granted me the Land. I've not seen nor heard from him in more than a fortnight. He sealed himself up in his library with some mouldering tome or other to do his arcane research. None here dares to go look in on him; it's unwise to meddle in the affairs of wizards. But wizards all be ye, my fine guests!"

The proposition is accepted with little prevarication. The party is as anxious to solve the mystery as they are fearful of what they may find.

Vethrelcem's chambers occupy the furthest end of the castle. The party proceed cautiously, almost as if they were back in the dungeons of the ruined monastery. Lycinia takes the lead with a torch, the rest follow with weapons drawn. As they climb the narrow spiral stair up into the draughty tower, they jump at the sounds of thunder outside. The stormy day does nothing to assuage their feelings of dread at entering a wizard's laboratory unannounced.

The heavy door at the top of the staircase falls slowly open as Lycinia tests it. The room beyond is cold and dim, but dry. The daylight seeping in through the sparse windows can barely illuminate the scene.

This is evidently the library. Books and scrolls not only line the walls, but are piled atop tables, chairs, and any other available flat surface. A large writing desk sits in the centre, piled high with books, papers, papyri, quills, ink &c &c. The wizard sits behind the desk in an overstuffed armchair, absorbed in a large tome, one finger marking his place in the text. He does not stir as Lycinia leads her companions through the door, nor speak a word as they hastily sheathe their weapons.

Lycinia puts the torch in a sconce by the door and steps towards the desk. "Sir Gaunet sent us," she says meekly. The dancing flames of the torch are reflected in the wizards spectacles, but he does not acknowledge his guests.

"You shouldn't read in the dark like this," ventures Miolla, a bit louder, "you'll hurt your eyes." And yet the wizard does not react.

As they approach, they notice the candles on the desk are all burnt down to stubs, and the coals in the little stove next to the desk are cold. And the wizard himself is dead, from age or the cold it's hard to say, but there are no signs of anything other than a natural end.

Lycinia glances down at the passage indicated by the dead man's hand, reads the first line aloud:  "Capitulum quartum. In quo loquitur de ymaginibus et racionibus que nimis adiuvant hanc scientiam."

"Who's going to tell the old knight?" asks Théscine.

They tramp back to the main keep, deliberating the whole way. In the end, Miolla agrees that she can deliver the news in the least painful fashion. Even so, Sir Gaunet's reaction is hardly what they'd expected. "The old fool!" he says, "I always told him to mind that stove of his! I thought he'd end up burning the place down, not freezing to death. Well, at least there's not demons running rampant through his chambers...."

Jönnick takes charge of the burial, and has a gang of soldiers remove the body down into the castle vaults. He apologises for his liege's strange manner, and says that whilst they should feel in no compunction to leave until the storm has passed, they may wish to stay out of the way whilst sir Gaunet gives vent to his grief, as he must eventually do. He further implores them to have a good look round the wizard's chambers to make sure nothing of a dangerous magical nature has been left behind.

In truth, there's very little of actual value left in the wizard's collection. His library is full of interesting and varied treatises, but almost none of them touch on magical subjects. There is a dearth of potions and wands, and anything but the most mundane tools of the Art. His laboratory is adequate, but seems to have been neglected for many a year.

Research, Mythic questions & notes:

Q: Does the storm continue for a while? 50/50: 41, Yes. (1d6=)4 days
Q: Can the PCs find Vethrelcem's spellbook? 50/50: 14, Yes.

Spell Book:
First: Magic Aura, Magic Missile, Faerie Fire, Protection from Evil
Second: Wizard Lock, Forget, Knock
Third: Dispel Magic, Water Breathing, Army of One, Suggestion

The book he was reading is (again a product of my grimoire generator)--

The Phantasmagorical Silence
vellum codex, containing a medium minor grimoire, set down by a forgotten woman
Comprehend Languages*
Magic Missile
Secret Page
Dispel Magic
Magic Missile

So the PCs have 4 days to conduct magical research in the library, essentially for free since they are using up the dead wizard's supplies. And in any case, they spent 500sp on a book with no game effects, so it all evens out eventually. plus, they'll be more interesting to play if everyone has different spells. But they can't all use the same book at once, so--

from The Phantasmagorical Silence:
Lycinia transcribes Invisibility into her own spellbook, taking 2 days
Théscine transcribes Magic Missile, taking 1 day
Debinvarr also transcribes Magic Missile, taking 1 day

Miolla tries to transcribe Knock from the M-U's spellbook, but fails (INT penalty).

Aldira has decided to transcribe all her spells in to Una's spellbook and make that into her main book so as to always have a memento of her friend lost in the monastery ruins. She has time to transcribe Sleep, Feather Fall, Faerie Fire, and Unseen Servant.

Lycinia also has time to use the lab to cast Identify on her unlabelled potion: Gaseous Form.


I had used the d30 Sandbox Companion's Adventure Generator Tables to flesh out the Investigate/Death result generated by Mythic. The results were:

Key NPC: Magic-User
Villain goal: forgotten reason
Phenomenon: decay
Theme: doom
Artifact: codex

Then I asked Mythic a final question which suggested everything as it played out above:
Q: Has something really horrible happened? Likely: 96, Exceptional No.

This couldn't be put into the narrative without spoiling things, but I definitely didn't want to omit it from the post altogether.

LotFP Solo - Part the Nineteenth: "But from the hour he waved his parting hand / Each trace waxed fainter of his course"

Scene 20

Chaos: 6

Setup: roll 2, interrupt (was: travel to Casterby)

Interrupt: Move toward a thread (Zuhal's curse)

In Huntsman's Gate, the PCs hear rumours of a witch who can dispel curses. She is said to live somewhere in the forest north of Casterbury [~hex# 56.48].

Scene 21

Chaos: 6

Setup: travel to Casterby to (hopefully) pick up Neldir's trail

Characters: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard, Jola

threads: find Neldir & the book
remove zuhal's curse

day 55.

There's 38 miles of road separating Huntsman's Gate and Casterbury. The party can make it in a single day if there are no major interruptions.

Q: Can they sneak through Ander's Well undetected again? 50/50: 15, Yes.

On the road an encounter with an NPC party is indicated: Spc2, 2x C2, D1, F1. The d30 companion indicates they wish to parlay.

Q: What about? Decrease/Animals. The lead NPC (the specialist) approaches the PCs and triesto sell them their (1d6=)5 extra horses. The PCs certainly don't need them, but they tell the NPCs about the griffon.

In the afternoon, on the road between Fort Ander and Emffort, there is another encounter: a merchant. With the d30 companion, I roll up a male dwarven seasonal book merchant with average stock. The PCs are extremely interested in perusing his wares.

Q: Does he have anything interesting written in Dwarven*? Likely: 02, exceptional yes.
Q: Any good Human* books? 50/50: 16, Yes.
Q: Any Elven* ones? Very unlikely: 47, No.
* more specifically, the most common elven, dwarven, and human** languages in the area.
** which I've vaguely determined, based on how I've been naming things, are vague fantasy approximations of middle english (for commoners) and middle french (for the nobility)

With the LotFP language rules, there's a 1-in-6 +INT mod. base chance for each PC to know dwarven, modified by -1 since its an alien culture. Thus, only Lycinia and Aldira, have an actual chance. Lycinia rolls a 1, Aldira rolls 6; only Lycinia knows dwarven.

Since I rolled an Exceptional Yes for the dwarven book, I'll use my grimoire generator (work-in-progress; alas, not quite in a state where I can share it) to generate something interesting.  

The Image of Nothingness
a fragmentary minor grimoire, written by an insane sorceress
This book is actually a commentary thereon, written in dwarvish, but it preserves the remains of the original text so that a spell is contained within: Dispel Magic.

Lycinia buys it for 1500sp (trading the platinum beard ornement & gold coronet).

Aldira buys The Atlas of the Void, an anonymous esoteric treatise (containing no spells), for 500sp worth of gems.

Debinvarr buys a common herbal for 20sp cash.

The PCs bid farewell the the dwarven merchant, and promise to look for him inthe area next season. The arrive in Casterby at dusk and take rooms at the only inn, the Knave & Sheriff.

Casterby is a small town (pop. ~240). It is ruled by a council of 12 elders, and there are issues of major corruption undermining the town's weal. The economy is, in fact, doomed and has a 1-in-30 chance of collapse each day (checking in advance: it will collapse on day 118).

day 56.

The next morning the party get up early to visit the head priestess in the small church. When they enter the small stone building, they find a young man in monk's robes puttering about, ostensibly straightening up. The cleric, friar Hirvid, seems somewhat reluctant to help until Aldira drops 5sp into the collection box, at which point he runs to fetch the priestess.

The Rev. Mother Tourterelle [C5] is a sprightly octogenarian. She moves very slowly, walking with a gnarled stick, and appears to have been sleeping in the vestry when friar Hirvid went to get her, but is still very personable and in posession of her faculties. She seems initially suspicious of her visitors, but relaxes considerably when Aldira presents her with the scroll from Dame Lisbeta [reaction of 8, +2 for the scroll=10]. She breaks the seal, peruses the contents for a moment, then hands it to the friar, telling him to put it on her writing desk. She turns back to her expectant visitors, and asks how she can help them. They briefly explain that they are searching for the renegade elf, Neldir, and were told [back in part 10] that he may have come to Casterby seeking to acquire vampire blood from the vampire said to be plaguing the area.

[Q: What does she know about Neldir and his plans?

Bibliomancy: Aut arguta lacus circumvolitavit hirundo ; / et veterem in limo ranae cecinere querelam
Vergil, Georgics I.377-8
(Or the flitting swallow flew round the lakes / and in the mud the frogs sang their old complaint)

Interpretation: He's going to a place by a lake(s)
I rolled a d80 and a d60 to find a general area on the master Hexographer map, with the intention of picking the nearest suitable hex. I got hex 64.30, which fits perfectly, so no adjustment is necessary.]

"Vampires?" she says, "oh, no! There are'nt any vampires around here. The only blood-suckers are sitting on the elders' council. They'll bleed this town dry, you mark my words!

"But there was an elf through here a few months back. I think his name was Neldir. Strange sort... kept away from the church, but that's none too surprising. He stayed at the inn for about a week. Spent most of his days exploring the forest.

"Then three more elves arrived, travellers coming back from Aylesbyrig. I overheard them talking at the inn; I suppose they didn't think anyone this far from Cheapington really knew their elvish! He convinced them to join him in his travels. He was heading to Chateau Pruduems, about 50 miles N-NE of here. The chateau is the ancestral seat of the Count d'Estancbel, a man of unpleasant reputation. He's supposedly making a power-play --again-- and your friend Neldir is aiming to put a stop to it!"

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Eighteenth: „Erde und Himmel zusammen sich brennen, / Chaos, das alte, will keinen erkennen“

Scene 19

Chaos: 5

Setup: fix the problem at Orlsdorf

Characters: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard

threads: find Neldir & the book
remove zuhal's curse
fix problem at Orlsdorf

day 54.

Orlsdorf is only a three-hour ride up the road from Ander's Well (which the party took pains to circumvent). It is a village of about 115 souls, a jumble of houses and other ramshackle buildings more-or-less in a horseshoe shape surrounding the village square. One of the squat stone guard towers on either side of the road into the square is still in use, the other has been converted into a grain store. The stone wall surrounding the village has never been finished, and what is there is crumbling and full of gaps.

There is a flurry of activity in the square. A large pole has been erected, and around it a scaffolding is being hastily thrown up and kindling collected round and beneath it.

No one seems to have noticed the riders approaching, so the party head round the back of the village, find somewhere to tether the horses, and slip into town to find the mayor's residence.

The mayor, Margrit Daneweal, is a stern old woman. She was formerly the village blacksmith, but age and arthritis forced her to hand the smithy over to her children. Her husband went away on campaign in the army years ago, and never returned.

The back door cautiously opens when Aldira knocks. "Commander Leofstan sent us," she explains. Mayor Daneweal looks her guests over cursorily, then swiftly ushers them into her kitchen.

Some pleasantries are exchanged, grog is poured, and then the mayor outlines the situation.

"Ol' Bairnet used to be a soldier in the King's army. He left years ago, fighting in the wars to the north. He always said he'd be back one day, rich with spoils, and finally marry Hanny Baker and settle down. He did finally come back last twelvemonth. Hanny Baker'd been dead of fever these 18 years since, and he didn't have no spoils to speak of nohow, just silver enough to buy a little cottage and sit in the tavern all day. He were changed, and not for the better. He would talk about the army until everyone knew his stories by heart, but about his more adventurous travels after he'd say nary a thing. If y'asked him about the scar down his face or how he lost the hand, he'd fly into a rage.

"Then about three weeks back this witch comes into town with these two cutthroats in tow, and it's like they know Bairnet from somewheres, and they have unfinished business. They argue in the tavern -- it's mostly the witch what does the talking -- and no one can understand what they're all saying cuz it's some sorta foreign gibberish they're speaking. And they storm off and he storms off and it's over.

"Only it weren't over. The witch starts talking to the folk in town, helping them out with their little troubles, using her magic to find things and what not. And they get to like her. And to trust her. I don't know if that be magic or just her way with talking, but slowly they all come to hate Ol' Bairnet just like she does. An' she's here hell-bent on revenge. She convinced them all that Bairnet done something wrong when he was away -- something evil -- and he gotta pay for it to make everything right again. 'And don't the Light God hate evil?' she says, 'And don't he teach the only way to cleanse the evil is with the light of his fire?'

"And so tonight they're gonna burn him, at dusk, to hold back the darkness and banish his evil for good. But this ain't right. He's not evil. If you ask me it's the three of them up to something wicked. And she got most of the town convinced to join in. This ain't what folk here are like. She's all enspelled them or something.

"The witch is called Yawla or Yolla or something like that. She's from across the sea somewhere. Then there's 'Sir Kirn'. He's from Aylesbyrig, by the sound of 'im. Wears him some fancy armour, struts around talking all thees and thous. But if he's a knight, I'm the Queen! The last one is some scary devil-woman from who knows where, with skin like midnight and eyes like a wolf!"

It is nearly dusk, and the scaffold is finished. The square is empty for an hour or so. The party keep a vigilant watch, peeking out from behind the shutters of the mayor's house. At sunset, the square begins to fill with villagers, about 85 in total. Most of them already bear lit torches. The 'witch' and her two associates have not yet appeared, but the old soldier is led up the scaffold by armed guards and tied to the stake. The party is shocked to recognise the young man lashing the soldier to the pale -- it's Tibalt!

"Please, nobody kill that bastard," says Aldira, "until I have a chance to speak with him first."

"We won't," answers Théscine.

"Lycinia? Lycinia!"

"I won't either."

As the sun dips below the horizon, Jola and her compatriots emerge from the inn. The 'witch' wears a simple tunic and breeches, and a costly brocaded coat of continental style. She is thin as a rail, but oddly striking, with white-gold hair plaited into a long braid down her back. A leaf-bladed shortsword hangs at her belt. The man with her is wearing plate armour evidently cobbled together on the battlefield. The device on his shield does not match the one emblazoned on his breastplate. He may not be one himself, but he's certainly defeated a knight or two in his time. The woman beside him is a native of far-off Ifrac. Her nearly-black skin stands in stark contrast to the white sigils she has painted  on her face and hands. Her chainmail is of local manucfacture, but her battleaxe and shield come from her distant homeland.

The trio walk up to the scaffold in the now-silent square. Jola produces a papyrus scroll, and begins to read from it.

"Bairnet, son of Henult, child of earth, grief-tempered singer of right and dust, sworn-friend of iron, consort of grim battle and jealous strife, you have sinned greatly in the eyes of the true gods, and it is for this you shall be rendered up unto them that they may judge you as men dare not, and the pain that answers for your crimes shall be sweet to them as a morning when the moon yet looks down from..."

"What's she saying?" whispers Théscine, "That's not a judgement she's reading... it's a spell!"

The mayor throws open her front door and strides into the square. "Stop this madness at once!" she yells at the silent townsfolk, "Can't you see how wrong this all is?"

No one seems to take any notice of her presence except for Jola's lieutenants, who draw their weapons and begin to walk menacingly towards her. Aldira and the elves emerge from the house, ready to make their stand.

Aldira, Lycinia, and Miolla begin casting a spell in unison; approximately a third of the crowd of peasants sink to the ground, deep in slumber [Sleep: 11, 6, & 10 HD affected; morale check for the crowd fails]. Frightened by the sudden display of magic, a panic seizes the crowd. The peasants begin to flee in all directions, half of them dropping their torches as they run. The mayor runs back into her own house and bolts the door.

[And then it was time to take this into combat rounds.

Jola MU5 ch 14 cn 11 dx 11 in 16 st 10 wi  7 hp 15 AC 12 shortsword
Kirn F3  ch  5 cn 16 dx 11 in  9 st 14 wi 13 hp 27 broadsword, plate& shield
Aza  F2  ch 14 cn 10 dx  6 in 11 st 15 wi  8 hp 13 battleaxe, chain&shield

Jola's spells-
1st: shield, sleep, holdportal
2nd: invisibilty, mirror image
3rd:Army of One

Q: Does a bad fire start from hastily dropped torches? 50/50: 49, Yes.
Q: Is the pyre started too? Likely: 02, Exceptional Yes.
Q: Will Tibalt join the fight? Unlikely: 53, No.

I'm using individual initiative, so each round I'll go through the segments in order

[Round 1]
Lycinia draws her sword and runs forward towards the magic-user.
Kirn draws his sword, interposing himself between Lycinia and Jola.
Debinvarr unsheathes his rapier, runs forward.
Théscine casts Unseen Servant from her scroll, animates a bucket near the well which fills itself with water.
Jola suddenly disappears [casts Invisibility].
Aldira throws another charm into the crowd. Five more peasants fall to the groundin a heavy slumber.
Miolla run forwards, drawing her mace.
Aza interposes herself between Miolla and the magic-user's last visible position.

[Round 2]
Lycinia charges Kirn, swinging her sword over her head. She lands a nasty blow on his shoulder, crumpling the pauldron [rolling 18+2, hit for 5x2=10 damage, dropping Kirn to 17hp].
Kirn is staggered by the force of Lycinia's blow to his sword arm, and can barely muster a counter-attack [rolls 3+5, missing Lycinia even with her AC penalty for charging].
Debinvarr runs up onto the pyre to free the soldier, deftly avoiding the flames [he needs to save vs. Breath Weapon each round or take 1d6 fire damage; a 15 saves handily].
Théscine commands the flying bucket to head towards the burning pyre.
Lycinia and Miolla hear a spell being cast nearby, but can't see anything [Jola casts Shield].
Aldira grabs her loaded crossbow from off the mayor's porch, and looks in vain for the magic-user.
Miolla and Aza exchange mighty blows. Miolla deals the foreign woman a glancing blow, stunning her shield arm [4 damage leaves her with 9hp.]
Aza swings her strange iron axe at Miolla's head, but she steps right under its deadly arc.

[round 3]
Lycinia's sword is stopped short by Kirn's heavy breastplate, just inchesfrom his throat [missed by 1].
Her chainmail keeps Kirn's blade from her chest, but the force of the blow causes her to stagger back a step [3 damage puts her at 9hp].
Debinvarr begins to cut the ropes binding the soldier to the stake.
Théscine commands the flying bucket to empty itself onto the burning pyre.
Jola runs to the inn, still unseen.
Aldira fights her way through the thinning crowd.
Miolla and Aza circle one another, looking for anopening to attack which never comes.

[round 4]
Lycinia hits Kirn in the side of the head with the pommel of her sword [4 damage leaves him with 13hp].
Kirn bashes her back with the edge of his shield [2 damage drops her to 7hp].
Debinvarr is still cutting the ropes.
Théscine is still controlling the bucket.
Jola runs into the innthrough the front door.
Q: Does Aldira notice the inn door open and close by itself? Unlikely: 15, Yes. She runs forward shouting, "she's fled to the inn!"
Miolla smashes Aza's leg, nearly hobbling her [8 damage leaves her with 1hp].
Aza stumbles, flailing wildly back at Miolla.

[round 5]
Lycinia switches to a defensive posture, parrying each of Kirn's blows.
Debinvarr has cut through the ropes, and pulls the soldier to safety.
Théscine dumps the bucket over Kirn's head [save vs. Breath weapon to dodge: he fails]. Kirn is stuck with a bucket on his head.
Aldira opens the door to the inn.
Jola reappears in the inn's common room as she throws a charm over Aldira [Sleep; 4HD]. Aldira sinks to the ground, asleep.

Miolla presses her advantage [+2 to hit, but rolls a natural 19 anyways]. Her mace crushes Aza's jaw [10 damage drops her to -9hp] and she falls like a sack of flour.

[round 6]
Lycinia presses her attack [+2 for Press, +2 for a blind opponent, who also loses his shield bonus; she rolls a 17 anyway, which would have hit with her normal attack bonus]. As Kirn despeartely removes the bucket from his head, she deals him a painful thrust to the stomach [8 damage puts him at 5hp].
Debinvarr runs to Aldira.
Théscine draws her enchanted sword and avances into the square.
Jola ensorcels the inn's door, shutting it fast [Hold Portal].
Aldira is slapped back into her senses by Debinvarr.
Miolla wheels to strike at Kirn, but meets only his stout shield.

[round 7]
Kirn parries Lycinia's sword inexpertly; his gauntlet absorbs most of the blow, andcomes away mangled [he takes 4 damage, putting him at 1hp]. He nearly drops his sword trying to strike back at her.
Debinvarr finds he cannot budge the inn's door.
Théscine charges Kirn. The magical blade finds a weak spot just below the heavy breastplate and he is run through [danage roll is 8x2=16, putting him at -15hp: so very dead].
Jola runs upstairs in the inn to her room, Aldira watches helplessly as Debinvarr struggles with the door.

-out of rounds-

Miolla uses Aza's axe to cut through the locked shutters, and the PCs enter the inn through the window. They investigate every room, but Jola is long gone [she used a scroll of Improved Invisibility and snuck out the back door in the kitchen].

By this time the villagers have started cooperating to put out the fires blazing round the square. The mayor is out by the well, barking orders. Tibalt is nowhere to be seen. The party collect the still-firghtened Bairnet, bid farewell to the mayor,and ride swiftly back to Huntsman's Gate.

Commander Leofstan sees that they receive healing and rewards them with a paltry amount of provisions (he can't spare any more). The party is anxious to be underway at first light, Aldira particularly, as the longer she remains in the company of the soldiers from her homw village, the more she remembers why she hasn't been back this way since she left 13 years ago.

Friday, 14 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Seventeenth: „O Trost und Freude! Quell des Heiles! / Laß mich nicht einsam, liebes Licht!“

Lycinia is once again sent to treat with Brother Mundlo. She relates the events of their last sojourn under the monastery and shows him the Artifact. He listens thoughtfully, and then finally makes his pronouncement. "I must go back to report this to the Reverend Father de Molleré at once, and bring him the wand. We should leave at dawn."

"No!" she cries, "We can't leave yet. You need to come with us tomorrow underground and say your holy words over the sacred pool and cleanse it of the corruption and banish the foulness from this place for good!"

"My dear girl," he replies, "that is quite out of the question. Underground is no place for one such as I. You shall take me back to my order with the wand and we shall await the Reverend Father's further instructions."

"Miolla, come over here," calls Lycinia to her friend. "Our cleric doesn't want to cleanse the pool."

"But he has to!" says Miolla, "You have to! Look at our little cemetery. Isn't it full enough? You have to stop the evil before it goes any farther."

"Little elf," replies Brother Mundlo, "you must trust my superior wisdom and experience. The Reverend Fath--"

"Look," interjects Lycinia sternly, "I gave you a chance to cooperate. I'd hoped you'd see reason. Tomorrow morning we're taking you down into the dungeon and throwing you into the pool, whether you've cleansed it first or not. Miolla, tie him up so he doesn't try to slink away during the night. Bind his hands together so he can still pray to his god for the proper spells. If he struggles, break his arms."

The cleric is shocked, but too terrified to resist as Miolla binds him securely with a length of rope.

Later that evening Miolla whispers a question to her friend. "Lycinia... tell me you were just trying to scare him. You wouldn't really have made me break his arms... right?"

Scene 17

Chaos: 5

Setup: 5, Force the cleric into dungeon to purify the sacred pool

Characters: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard

threads: find Neldir & the book
purify dungeon
remove zuhal's curse

day 51 (continued).

[Upon their exit from the dungeon, Lycinia and Debinvarr were each healed with a cure light wounds spell, as they were the most injured. In a stroke of genuine luck, everyone made their saving throws to resist the festering disease. The conversation above took place that evening, as a result of the following interrogation of the Mythic Fate Chart (which, as you shall see, led to even more questions):

Q: Does Mundlo go quietly? Very unlikely: 33, No, +Event: NPC Action - Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine - Mistrust Plans. Interpretation: He fears the elves may be too weak to deal with whatever destroyed the monastery. He sends a combined force of clerics & soldiers after them to see what's happening.
Q: Does the Reverend Father come personally? Unlikely: 44: No, +Event: PC Positive - Théscine - Expose magic. Interpretation: Something will happen to revelal the power of her magic elven sword.
Q: Will the soldiers arrive before PCs descend? 50/50: 67, No.

One final note: For as long as the PCs have been camping in the surface ruins, there's been a 1 in 12 chance per day of a random wilderness encounter; the unhealthy atmosphere and sinister reputation combined cause both man and beast to shun the area. Despite checking assiduously at the start of each day, not a single encounter has been indicated.]

day 52.

That morning Lycinia and Miolla dig a hole in which to hide the artifact. Miolla pushes a broken bit of masonry atop it in hopes of concealing it further.

Then it is time to descend into the dungeon. Lycinia is, as usual, in the lead with torch and sword. Debinvarr is well enough to again bear his lantern. Miolla takes charge of the recalcitrant cleric.

As they reach the lower level, they espy the flicker of torchlight coming from the first chamber [room II]. They hear gruff, whispering voices as they approach. Within the chamber they find four dwarves, all having the look of stalwart warriors. The lead dwarf eyes the party suspiciously for a moment then growls out, "friend or foe?"

Lycinia is about to reply 'friend' when the cleric blurts out, "Help me! They're all mad! Save me from this terror!"

[the random encounter produced 4 dwarves: 3x 1st level, 1x 3rd.
reaction roll is 4, so they were quite suspicious to begin with

a 10 15 12 12 13  8  7 warhammer, leather&shield
b 10  5 10 12 11 17  5 broadsword, plate
c 12 13  9  8 14  9 11 hand axe, leather
d 15 18  9 14 11 10 29 hand axe, plate

Treasure Type U&V: a&b have no treasure. c has 64cp d(the leader) has 4 gems-- Blue Quartz-50 sp, Smoky Quartz-250sp, Onyx-100 sp, Sardonyx-250sp.]

The cleric's cries (and generally wretched appearance of the PCs at this point) are enough to convince the dwarf. He shouts a battle cry and the other dwarves follow his lead.

[round 1. The PCs win initiative]
Miolla has the cleric, so can't fight. Théscine swings her sword at an onrushing dwarf [a]. She hits easily, and much to her surprise, the blade sparks, and the metal rings as if rebounding off stone. And indeed, the dwarf before her has been petrified in her tracks [the sword is +2 vs. dwarves, and on a successful hit they must save vs. petrification or be turned to stone; it can only be wielded by elves, and will refuse to land a hit in the hands of any other]. A sickly looking dwarf with a scraggly beard engages with Aldira. He stabs her viciously with his broadsword [6 damage, leaving her at 3hp].

[round 2]
Lycinia, Théscine, and Debinvarr face off against the three remaining dwarves as Aldira steps back to cast a spell. As Théscine runs one of them through with the magic blade (without turning them to stone), the other two succumb to Aldira's magic and fall to the ground snoring [10HD Sleep]. Lycinia and Debinvarr waste no time in dispatching them.

Brother Mundlo is given a stern warning not to try anything like that again. Debinvarr pockets the dwarven leader's coin purse (which is full of gems), and they continue on their way to the cavern.

Without the artifact glowing in the pool, the cavern is in perfect darkness. The stilled water is brackish and foul. Miolla leads Brother Mundlo right to the edge of the pool. She looks to Lycinia for confirmation before unbinding the cleric's hands. Brother Mundlo is nearly in tears as he gazes down at the water. "Such horrible sacrilege," he whispers.

"Work your magic," orders Lycinia. "Or would you rather we pushed you in before you throw the spell?" The fearful cleric does not protest nor hesitate in slightest. He stretches his hands out over the water, and begins to chant his orisons.

[Q: Does a 2nd level cleric casting Bless cleanse the pool? 50/50: 30, Yes.]

Before everyone's astonished eyes, the foulness dissipates from the pool. A pure, white light begins to shine from within the now limpid pool, illuminating the cavern with its holy radiance. "Through me," beams the cleric, "the Light God has truly accomplished this miracle."

Lycinia walks up behind the cleric. "It looks like you did it," she says, "but just to be sure..." And with this she shoves him in to the water. Aldira, Théscine and Debinvarr are smirking and Miolla is doubled over with laughter when Brother Mundlo stands up in the wait deep water, sputtering and fuming. Lycinia drops her torch on the floor and advises the cleric to come back to the surface before it burns out. The rest of them leave him in the pool, and walk back out of the dungeon, except for the giggling Miolla whom they have to take turns half-carrying.

Once again on the surface, they find their camp has been overrun with monks, nuns and temple soldiers. [C5m, F4f, 5xc1mffff, 5xf0ffmmm; reaction=9] All are armed and armoured for the expedition. They are surprised to see the elves and the young wizard emerge from the dungeon is such high and mirthful spirits. Their leaders, Father Hulner and Dame Lisbeta, are anxious for an interview. After the junior clerics have healed everyone's wounds, they party give a full account of their exploration and conquest of the ruins. During their excited narrative, Brother Mundlo emerges from underground, causing Miolla to dissolve into fresh peals of laughter.

[Q: Does Brother Mundlo poison them against PCs?50/50: 65, No.
Q: Are the PCs allowed to go off, leaving the artifact, tithe, and cleric behind? Likely: 66, Yes +event: Move toward a thread: find Neldir]

Father Hulner and Dame Lisbeta seem almost as amused by Brother Mundlo's appearance as does Miolla. The priest makes a shallow pretence of reprimanding some of the aspirants who could not conceal their laughter, but the knight does not even deign to silence her troops. They are anxious to hear the whole story, and, at its conclusion, to see the dreadful Artifact and descend to view the pool.

The party feel secure in leaving the clerics and knight in charge of the ruins. They make their preparations to leave the following morning. Dame Lisbeta gives them a scroll, telling them to give it to the head priestess at the church in Casterby [this is from the Mythic random event; they will get an actual clue to move them towards the Thread once they're there].

They spend the rest of the day talking with the members of relief force, who are all too eager to hear the stories of their travels. Before retiring for the night, the PCs spread a clean blanket out on the ground and count out all their treasure in the sight of all. Father Hulner orders a chest brought round to hold the promised tithe (for the restoration of the Monastery), and the junior clerics are given the religious items (patens, candlesticks, monstrances &c &c) to reconsecrate.

dividing the treasure

The total value of the recovered treasure is 9530sp, 15% of which amounts to 1430sp. Coincidentally, the value of the coinage recovered (1350sp + 800cp) amounts to 1430sp exactly. The PCs thus leave all the coins for their agreed tithe, and keep the sparkly items for themselves.

Aldira takes the gold fibula in the shape of a wild boar's head (400 sp) and pins it to her cloak

Debinvarr already has 16 cheap silver rings, and wants a nice one this time, so he gets the simple gold ring set with lapis lazuli studs (300 sp).

Miolla quite fancies the long amber Necklace (300 sp), and puts it on.  She already has a copper brooch (100sp) and thin gold tiara (100sp). She borrows Lycinia's mirror to admire herself.

Everyone wants the carved black jade bracelet depicting storm dragons playing in thunderclouds (1800 sp). But it really goes best with Théscine's colouration (white skin, black hair) so she gets to keep it.

Lycinia doesn't like any of the other jewellery, so gets the mysterious potion as a consolation prize. (She does have a fine silver necklace (200sp) from earlier.)

The rest of the jewellery and the gems get divided up amongst them all as trade goods: about 3300sp worth.

Scene 18

Chaos: 4

Setup: Travel to Casterby

Characters: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard

threads: find Neldir & the book
remove zuhal's curse

day 53.

In the morning the party bid farewell to the clerics and soldiers, and set off towards Finsover. The ride is uneventful, but the town itself is much changed. It is still looking nice and clean and pleasant after the religious festival two weeks prior (day 38) which was presided over by the King and Queen personally.

The party take the opportunity to resupply, and whilst conducting business they manage to pick up an interesting rumour from a passerby.

[random encounter in Finsover: Acolyte
Q: What do they want? Carelessness/Rumour. Interpretation: they let on something they shouldn't about the current church crisis.

Bibliomancy: hinc Rutulus premit et murum circumsonat armis.
Vergil Aeneid VIII.474
(Here press the Rutulians and surround our wall with clashing arms)
Interpretation: de Molleré is besieged]

day 54.

The next morning they ride east. About seven miles down the road from Finsover, they encounter a group of four [0-level] bandits armed with swords and heavy crossbows.

The lead bandit, a swaggering, uncouth sort of fellow, shouts, "Hand over all your valuables, or we'll take them by force!"

"Are you serious?" says Lycinia. "You're out numbered and everything..."

The bandit leader fires his crossbow at her. The bolt pierces her armour, inflicting a nasty injury [5 damage, she is down to 7hp]. The other bandits fire as well. Two miss their targets, but Aldira is shot in the stomach [8 damage, she has 5hp remaining]. Swords are then drawn, but Miolla waves her hand and speaks a potent charm. The bandits sink to the ground asleep.

Lycinia is about to dismount from her horse and put the sleeping bandits to the sword when Aldira stops her. "I know these idiots attacked us," she says, wincing in pain, "but we're getting close to civilisation here. Perhaps murdering people on the road isn't the best plan of action."

Lycinia mumbles something under her breath, but stays on her horse. The party rides away, leaving the bandits sleeping in the cold. After a few miles, Miolla is sorely distressed at her friend's moping, and endeavours to cheer her up. "Dearest Lycinia, maybe you just needed to explain to Aldira about how they'd do the same to us!"

A few more miles down the road, the party catch a glimpse of a small roc flying in circles over the forested hills to the south. They pause on the road to admire the majestic beast until it flies out of sight. By midday they have arrived at the fort called Huntsman's Gate.

[Q: Do they have any problems passing Huntsman's Gate? Unlikely: 15, Yes. Work hard / the intellectual. Interpretation: (see below)
Q: Can the PCs get healing here? Somewhat likely: 41, Yes.]

The fort soldiers allow them warily into the courtyard. Most of them have never seen an elf before, and the state of their equipment, not to mention the recent wounds on two of the party, are a bit unsettling. One of the guards runs off, and returns shortly with the fort's commander, who approaches the party officiously, then suddenly stops short, wide-eyed. "By all the Gods!" he exclaims, "Aldira, is that really you?"

"Leofstan? How many years has it been?"

"A dozen or more at least!"

Commander Leofstan orders the fort's chaplain to see to the injured, and then invites the party to lunch in his quarters. He and Aldira spend a lot of time discussing people they knew from their childhood in Alder's Well. She gives him a brief summation of her life since leaving: her apprenticeship in a (mysteriously unnamed) wizard's tower, her travels, her adventures with the elves. He has much less of a tale, having joined the King's army when he came of age and spent most of his time attached to this fort.

At length there is a pause in the conversation, and Commander Leofstan decides he must get down to business. "Such adventures!" he says, "Nanny Gartiner always said the village was too small for you. Look, I'm going to be blunt. There's a crisis in Orlsdorf involving this crazy witch and a couple of really nasty mercenary types. The mayor of Orlsdorf has applied to me for aid, but, in truth, this is well outside the ability of me and my troops to handle. You and your magical friends here could do us -- and the good people of Orlsdorf -- a great service by taking care of this matter. I don't want to pull rank and have to order you to do this in the name of the King or anything like that, but... if you don't help us, I'll tell your parents you're around!"


XP: Technically the XP would have been counted when the PCs reached Finnsover, but as I left it until here the total will include 20 whole XP from the bandit encounter on the road.

Combat XP is divided into two sections, before and after Firdeth's demise.

6x Skinklings
3x chattering bones
4x skeletons
7x Homunculi
2x Centaur Lizards
1x Charnel Carpet
3x 1st level clerics
1x 3rd level cleric
1x Bounding Horror
1525/6=254xp each

7x  1st level clerics
1x  3rd level cleric
7x  Suckerlings
13x Homunculi
12x Festering Ones
3x  1st level dwarves
1x  3rd level dwarf
4x  bandits (0-level fighters)
1260/5=252xp each

treasure recovered: 8100/5=1620xp each

Total XP: 2126xp each

Lycinia gets 50XP extra for her 'defeat' of Brother Mundlo (2nd level Cleric).

Aldira, who started her life as a (just) 3rd level NPC, does not have enough XP for 4th level yet. But all the elves' levels increase: Lycinia and Miolla to 3rd, Debinvarr and Théscine to 2nd. I managed to roll either a 3 or a 5 for everyone's hit point increase, so with CON bonuses

Miolla +5hp to 13
Lycinia +4hp to 16
Debinvarr +4hp to 9
Théscine +5hp to 9

So they should survive combats a little better now. I mean I love first level characters and all, but it's nice when they grow a little and can have longer adventures without needing so much time to recuperate between encounters. Sadly, they will have to wait to gain any new spells as there is no time for research. But this will be taken care of soonish; or rather, it has been taken care of, but I need to type the notes up into a proper form.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Sixteenth: „Konnt' ich bisher die Unterirdischen loben, / So wend' ich mich in diesem Fall nach oben…“

day 51.

At dawn, Firdeth is buried in the little cemetery amongst the ruins, becoming its seventh resident. After the short funeral, the party descend once again into the dungeon, intent on destroying the source of evil.

They go immediately down to the lower level without incident, and head north at the first T-junction [off of room II].

They come to a large, long room [room VII] that has a great stone structure, looking somewhat like a 30' long stone sarcophagus, down the centre of the room. The structure is actually very shallow; it was once used as an offering table by pilgrims visiting the monastery. Now it is heaped with rubbish and the dessicated carcasses of humans and animals, and a few less-identifiable things. The party approach it very carefully, wary that the corpses may spring up and attack at any second. It is thus that they do not see the strange tentacled things lurking in the shadows until they rush forward to attack.

[room contents roll was Monster & Treasure; treasure kept in stone containers. I rolled a 1 on the surprise die. There are (2d6=) 7 Suckerlings and two rolls on the Table V.G. at +10%.]

They creatures are humanoid in appearance, man-sized, though with their stooped posture they stand barely 5' tall. In place of arms they have two blubbery tentacles which end in lamprey-like mouths. They are completely hairless; their lumpy grey skin is mottled with irregular black spots. The misshapen head of these creatures appears to lack any features at all.

[round 1]
Aldira and Lycinia are each beset by two of the awful things, the rest of the party need only contend with them one-on-one. Despite being caught unawares, however, none of the creatures' tentacle mouths fasten onto them.

[round 2. the party wins initiative]
Aldira casts a spell [Sleep] at the creatures, and is dismayed to see them shrug it off as if she had merely been waving her arms about to no purpose. The rest of the combatants, elves and monsters alike, move round each other cautiously, looking for an opening to attack. some furtive swings are assayed, but none strike home [I barely rolled any die over 11].

[round 3]
Miolla smashes her opponent in the hip with her mace, shattering bones and crushing organs; it dies instantly. Debinvarr and Théscine leave their opponents with only minor wounds [1 damage each]. One of Lycinia's enemies turns its attention to Miolla, fastening on to her with one of its grasping mouths [1 damage, putting her at 7hp]. Aldira and Théscine also end up with a monster attached [losing 2 and 1 hp respectively].

[round 4]
Miolla caves in the skull of the one attached to her. Aldira and Théscine are not so fortunate, and the things start draining their blood through the tentacle-mouths [1 damage each].

[round 5]
Debinvarr lunges, thrusting his rapier through one of the creature's midsection. The wound is severe [5 points], but it fights on [with 1hp]. Lycinia finally sees the moment she has been looking for, and swings, severing both of her opponent's outstretched tentacles. The thing crashes to the ground, ichor spurting from the stumps. Théscine stabs the monster attached to her clean through. She kicks the lifeless body away from her and retreats from the fight,sorely wounded [2hp]. Aldira still cannot manage to get the other one off of herself, and loses more blood to its greedy mouth [2 damage, leaving her with 8hp].

[round 6]
Miolla comes to Aldira's aid, dropping the one attached to her with a well-placed blow from behind. Debinvarr overcomes his opponent with a lightning-quick upstroke, splitting it from belly to...  "head".

[round 7]
Only one of the things remains, and presses its attack. Miolla kills it easily.

No one is willing to dig too deeply into the pile of dessicated remains, but one human(oid) corpse is wearing a couple pieces of jewellery that are easy to remove. One is a long necklace made of amber (300 sp), the other a carved black jade bracelet depicting storm dragons playing in thunderclouds (1800 sp). There is also a beaten copper flask which is still stoppered and contains liquid, possibly a magical elixir [it is in fact a random potion]. The flask and jewellery are safely stowed in Lycinia's pack for now, and the party continue out the northern exit.

The passage turns to the left, then ends in a T-junction. The party head south, and come to a simple wooden door. It's a bit swollen in its frame, but opens outward without too much effort. The sound of forcing it, however, echoes down the hall.

The room beyond the door [room VIII] was formerly a vestiary. There are rotting wooden hooks and pegs set into the walls, which are themselves covered in stained and mould-encrusted wooden panelling. The remains of several armoires and chests line two of the walls, and there are collapsed wooden benches against the other. The floor is a knee-deep pile of rotten cloth, amongst which the glitter of gold and silver threads can be seen. On the inside of the door there even hangs a mirror, though so pitted and tarnished as to no longer be reflective.

[room contents roll is Monster & Treasure; 13 #11s]

Nesting in the mass of rotten garments is a band of thirteen of the cruel and twisted homunculi, who had been sleeping until the door opening racket. They swarm out to attack. Miolla puts most of them to sleep with a spell, and the rest are no match for the combined arms of the party. In less than a half a minute all the things have been slain. One of the chests holds a fortune in silver and gold vessels: censers, patens, monstrances &c. "This should shut up the cleric for a while if we hand it over," observes Lycinia as Debinvarr shovels the lot into a sack.

Leaving the room by the southern door, the corridor leads back into the offering chamber. They travel in a circle back to the T-intersection, then head north. The walls of the corridors had been carved with sacred imagery in low relief, but they have all been so defaced as to be unrecognisable shapes, with only the barest suggestions of figures human and divine.

The corridor turns and soon empties out into an immense natural cavern [room IX], which is lit with a sickly crimson radiance emanating from a murky pool. Before the pool stands a row of festering zombies [festering ones] with arms outstretched in a gruesome parody of pious sentiment. One of them turns its head slowly as the party enters and seems to regard them for a moment. Then it slowly turns and begins to plod towards them. Its companions follow suit.

"They're a bit spread out," says Aldira. "Follow my lead. If we get them bunched up a little more I can trap them all with my magic." The elves readily assent. They lead the shambling mob on a slow chase through the cavern, until at last Aldira pronounces the words of power. [She casts Web.

Q: Does this work? 50/50: 26, Yes.]

A mass of sticky webs forms around the shambling corpses, catching all twelve of them and holding them fast. Lycinia steps forward cautiously, and throws her torch into the webs, which burst into flame [2d6 damage each]. Four are consumed in the blaze, but the other eight lurch forward as the flames subside, burnt and charred but seemingly indomitable. Aldira and the elves ready their weapons and fan out as the things approach. The battle is joined.

[round 1 (observed)]
Miolla's heavy mace strikes true [max damage]. She splatters one of the advancing corpses into a pile of goo at her feet. Lycinia is a bit more subtle, but no less deadly; one falls before her, cut through at the midsection. Théscine's magic sword bites deep into one of the larger and less-burnt creatures, but it still comes toward her [4 fire damage and 5 from the sword stroke leave it with 7hp]. There are now six of the things left standing. Debinvarr is unlucky, having two after him. He fends off one with his rapier, but leaves himself open to the other. A stinking bony fist slams into the side of his head, staggering the young elf [4 damage; he's got 1hp left].

[round 2]
Miolla nearly slips in the carnage under her feet, but still manages a glancing blow on the horror in front of her [5 damage, leaving it with 5ho]. Théscine very nearly severs the head of the hulking corpse [5 damage drops it to 2hp] and hears something clatter to the ground. The thing had been wearing a necklace hidden beneath all the oozing vileness, a golden holy symbol of the light god, the kind reserved for the highest orders of the priesthood. Théscine knows better than to steal a glance down at the floor to see what fell, but Debinvarr cannot help himself -- a nearly fatal mistake. The moment he averts his eyes is all it takes for one of the shambling nightmares to slip in under his sword and tear at his abdomen. He falls bleeding to the floor [3 damage puts him at -2hp].

[round 3]
Miolla and Lycinia both drop another of the abominations. Miolla pauses to regain her breath, but Lycinia charges right on through to interpose herself between the fallen Debinvarr and his assailant. It uses her impetus against her, delivering a solid blow to the shoulder where her armour is in need of repair [she takes 7 damage, putting her at 5hp].

[round 4]
Lycinia counters awkwardly, slicing off a bit of maggoty flesh the creature apparently wasn't using for anything [2 damage (rolled a 1) leaves it at 5hp]. Théscine's sword seems to sing in her hand. The thing before her falls in three pieces under the swift might of the enchanted blade. Lycinia has once again overextended herself, and suffers another heavy impact from the dead fists of her enemy [3 damage, she has 2hp left]. Miolla swats at the thing advancing towards her, managing only to remove its left hand [just missed her attack roll]. Before she can recover from her swing, the creature lunges forward and stabs the sharp, broken stump through her armour [3 damage drops her to 4hp].

[round 5]
Surprised and angered, Miolla backpedals and strikes out wildly. She is rewarded as the things head is smashed apart (and doesn't even cover her in ick). Lycinia manages another weak blow at her opponent. Théscine comes up behind it and finishes the thing off.

[round 6]
This whole time Aldira has been engaged in a back and forth dance with one of the horrific corpses. Every time it advanced, she retreated. Whilst she kept it at bay, she never managed to get close enough to land a blow of her own. She finally sees a single opportunity. It is enough! The last of the creatures succumbs to her blade, and the battle is won.

Everyone rushes to attend to Debinvarr, and bind his wounds. He is still alive, though his breathing is very shallow. But they've come this far, and cannot leave without knowing the final truth of this accursed place.

[This chamber covers the square where Truth was indicated on the map, so it's time for some revelations. Back in part 12, Lycinia had asked the Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine what he knew about the monastery's downfall. He informed her that "[t]here was a holy artifact, a wand having immense power over the living and the dead, contained within the monastery. It is said that this led to its downfall". The Reverend Father had a favourable reaction towards the PCs, and so one of the truth dice was rolled in advance to determine his opinion of the veracity of the rumour he was relating. A roll of 5 meant he thought it was pretty likely to be true. The magnitude roll for the rumour was 11, indicating something pretty awful. Rolling the second truth die gets a 5, so 10+1 (for good reaction roll) =11, completely true.]

The murky pond bubbles and froths. As the party approach to investigate, the miasma of unwholesome energies given off by the pond seems to become almost palpable. The ruddy light shining within seems to come from a single source. Straining their eyes, the party make out what appears to be a human figure crouched under the water; the light radiates from his hands.

Miolla throws the grappling hook into the water, catching it on the figure. She and Lycinia grab the other end of the rope, and with a great effort manage to dislodge the figure within. They pull it out onto the cavern floor. It appears to be the ancient corpse of a high priest or priestess, gripping a twisted glowing wand in its hands. The corpse is a foul and corrupted as the festering undead which haunt these benighted halls. For a moment it looks as if the corpse will rise, but the movement is unsteady, uncertain. Then all at once the entire corpse loses all cohesion, and dissolves into a foetid puddle of decay.

Though the wand glows no longer, there is none but who still feels its power. Afraid to touch it, they rig up a sling using Lycinia's ruined tabard and a clean length rope cut from the rest (which, along with the grappling hook, is too befouled to even consider taking out of the dungeon). Miolla lifts Debinvarr, Lycinia takes charge of dragging the artifact, Théscine bears the lantern and Aldira, rapier in hand, leads them on their weary way out of the dungeon.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Fifteenth: "We have survived a ruin wide and deep— / Strange thoughts are mine.—I cannot grieve or fear"

"Hey, Cleric," says Lycinia, "I need your advice."

"You do?" responds Brother Mundlo quizzically, "how can I help you my ch-- er, how can I help you?"

"Well, there's all these dwarves held captive in the ruins. They've been tortured by the things that dwell below. They seem like... like they're just gone, inside. They don't react to anything we do or say. I think only thing keeping them alive is the weird magic that permeates the place. So what do we do? If we drag them outside, do you think they'll just die? And if not, can you help them?"

Brother Mundlo considers her words for a few moments before responding. "There is nothing I can do for them. The dwarves have their own gods, who do not give obeisance to the Light God, who is, as you must know, the Supreme God and Most High. When the world was young, even your elven gods came outside into the light, and though they are not subservient to the Light God directly, they praise his divine Luminescence. The dwarves stay down underground in the realms of Darkness and Stone. Leave them then, say I, leave them to their fate in these accursed halls of stone."

So saying, Brother Mundlo returns to his afternoon devotions. Lycinia walks back into camp to consult with her companions.

"Well?" asks Debinvarr hopefully, "what did he say?"

"I hate clerics," responds Lycinia.

day 49.

In the morning, Una is buried. Aldira spends most of the day by herself, sitting atop a crumbling stone wall and holding her deceased friend's spellbook, but never once opening it. Miolla tries her best to comfort her, but Aldira just wants to be left alone, and repels the well-meaning elf with overly harsh words. The rest of the elves debate what to do about the dwarves languishing in the dungeon, and eventually decide to send Lycinia to ask the cleric's advice [see above. I rolled his response on the Mythic charts and got Abandon / The innocent].

day 50.

The next day, healed and rested, they return to the dungeon. They head straight for the stairs, then descend and proceed carefully through the corridors, back to the room where they fought the grisly undead swarm [room III] to try the north exit. Once there, they see flickering torchlight spilling into the short corridor, and try to advance quietly.

The room [room IV] was once a shrine to the Light God's pantheon. Most of the furnishings have been abused and destroyed, the cult statues defaced and repainted to represent gods of filth, darkness and decay. The altar is stained with blood and other, less-identifiable substances.

Four acolytes are here to tend the shrine and worship infernal powers. They are masked and hooded, and dressed in heavy robes of black sackcloth. Each bears a carved bone unholy symbol, and wears a scimitar at their belt.

[room contents roll was Monster & Treasure. The 4 acolytes' (3xC1, 1xC3) reaction roll is 4. No surprise is possible, Initiative is tied, so everything will proceed in descending order of DEX.]

The evil clerics stop when they notice the party enter. Taking one look at the group of elves, the leader hisses, "Kill them!" As they draw their swords, Miolla pronounces a powerful charm. The clerics sink to the floor fast asleep [rolled 7HD for Sleep]. The PCs waste no time in caving their skulls in. There are three fine golden candlesticks (900sp each) on the altar that seem worth saving, even though they will probably have to be handed over to the cleric for re-consecration. Miolla tosses them in her pack.

They then go quickly back through the charnel carpet room, taking the southern exit and following the corridor as it turns west.

They come into an enormous oval-shaped room [room V] with a high, domed ceiling. Large tripedal braziers, made of age-worn and besooted brass, line the walls at intervals of about 10'. They are filled with coals, but not lit, and cold to the touch. There are bloodstains and chalk markings toward the room's centre. On either side of the main chalked circle, sturdy iron chains are set into the floor, each ending in some sort of collar. The room is otherwise silent and empty.

A rank, animal smell comes from the passageway leading north out of the room, but no sound of movement is heard. The party walk quietly up the corridor, and come to a stout, reinforced door. It is unlocked, and opens into a large, dark room [room VI]. The animal smell is overpowering, but the torchlight reveals nothing in the front half of the room. As the party advances across the floor, something leaps out of the darkness to attack.

The furious beast [the Bounding Horror] has an enormous, barrel-shaped body, beneath which is a single powerful, strangely-jointed leg. It appears to have no head or eyes. Two thick, boneless limbs protrude from the centre of the torso, ending in stubby-fingered hands. Its great mouth is full of many rows of blunt, yellow teeth, and its swollen tongue hangs limply forward, emitting a constant stream of foul saliva. Its green-black skin is smooth and oily, and emits an almost overpowering odour.

[Room contents = Monster only. PCs win initiative. Round 1.]
Miolla strikes out at the slavering beast, hitting it solidly with her mace [10 damage]. Aldira attempts to ensorcel it, but the things shrugs off her spell as if nothing had occurred [she cast Sleep, but only affected 4HD]. Lycinia slashes at it as it bounds away, inflicting the merest scratch [3 damage, it's now at 24hp], but in avoiding the worst of her blade its swinging fist failed to hit her at all [rolls a 6 to attack Lycinia, which would have missed her without armour].

[Round 2]
It's difficult to hit the thing as it jumps about the room. Lycinia manages another minor wound [3 damage again]. Firdeth slashes a great cut down its back, exposing fat and bone [5 damage; it's down to 16hp]. She deftly steps under its wild counterattack.

[Round 3]
Miolla hits it again with her mace [5 damage] and Lycinia finally manages a telling stroke [7 damage, dropping it to 4hp]. Firdeth comes in again, hoping to use her small size to stay under its twirling fists, but the thing is now on to her, and smacks her hard across the left shoulder [3 damage, leaving her at 4hp].

[Round 4]
It is sorely wounded, and an unearthly squealing emanates from its horrible mouth. Its leaping has become wilder, its swings more frantic. It is nearly impossible to find an opening for attack. Firdeth comes up behind, ready for the kill. Whether she erred in her judgement, or had angered the Fates, none can say. The beast sweeps its fist in a deadly arc, catching her full in the side of the head and snapping her neck. She falls like a discarded puppet and will never rise again [9 damage brings her to -5, killing her instantly].

[Round 5]
Miolla takes her mace in both hands, and raises it above her head. She brings it down upon the creature as it leaps in front of her, caving in the upper part of its mouth and raining yellowed teeth across the stone floor. It crashes to the floor, leaking some sort of clear fluid, and exhales its final breath [she did 7 damage, bringing it to -3hp: a mortal wound].

Miolla goes over and gently picks up her friend's tiny body. "No more for today," she says, "please..."

Lycinia goes over and wipes the tear from Miolla's eye. "No more for today."

They party make their way back to the surface. As they come into the room [room 10] near the top of the stairs, they are surprised to see another group of masked and robed acolytes heading towards them.

[wandering monster: 8 acolytes. Evil, here to worship the source of corruption. reaction = 10. 'surprised' was narrative, not a game effect.]

The leader motions for the rest to halt, and pulls aside her mask to speak; her face looks to be in the early stages of leprosy. "Come with us, friends," she says, "Worship with us at the altar of foulness! May it change you forever with its all-embracing corruption. Join with us. We can offer power the likes of which you've never dared dream of, wealth the likes of which you could never truly imagine. What do you say?"

Lycinia sheaths her sword, as her friends look on, puzzled. "I say... obdormitote!" And with the magic word and a gesture, four of the acolytes sink into a fast slumber.

[round 1.The party wins initiative. Lycinia has already cast sleep, but only rolled 4HD for the effect. There are three 1st level and one 3rd level cleric left standing. Their stats are:

# lvl Ch Cn Dx In St Wi HP AC armour; spells
a  C3 15 10 13  8  8 15 14 17 chain; Command, Purify Food, P. from Evil
b  C1 16  9 12  8 14 16  4 12 none; Cause light wounds
c  C1 10 12  7  6 13 15  6 13 leather; Command
d  C1 13  9 10 14 16 12  4 16 chain; Remove fear

Each is armed with a scimitar.]

Miolla gently puts down Firdeth's body and draws her mace. Aldira fires her crossbow, but the bolt sails harmlessly past the clerics and sticks in the wooden door. The lead cleric [a] says a short prayer which causes the elves hair to stand on end [Protection from Evil on self, which affects elves as they are magical creatures]. One of the other acolytes orders Théscine to "Begone!" [casts Command; no save for her is allowed] and she obeys, running back into the corridor and down the stairs.

[round 2]
Lycinia draws her sword and rushes at the lead cleric. She swings at her viciously, but is repelled by the divine aura surrounding her opponent [missing by 1 due to the spell]. As the lesser clerics move to attack ; Miolla's mace lays one low [b, 5 damage, down to -1hp], and another is transfixed by Aldira's rapier [c, 7 damage, also to -1hp]. The remaining aspirant attacks Debinvarr, delivering a punishing wound [4 damage, leaving him with 1hp]. The lead cleric attempts to overcome Lycinia with divine might, but she is unmoved by the Command to 'Flee!', and responds with an equally unheeded and most un-princesslike rejoinder of her own.

[round 3]
The clash of steel on steel rings throughout the room. Debinvarr manages a glancing blow against the aspirant [hits d for 3 damage].

[round 4]
The lead cleric is staggered by the combined attacks of Lycinia and Miolla [who hit for 8 and 3 damage, respectively, dropping her to 6hp]. Debinvarr inflicts another light wound against the aspirant, who collapses [1 damage brings d to 0hp exactly].

[round 5]
The divine energy around the head cleric dissipates. Lycinia lunges forward, burying her sword in the evil woman's stomach up to the hilt. She withdraws it quickly; blood gushes forth and the light leaves the cleric's eyes [6 damage drops her to -3, a mortal wound].

The party make short work of the remaining acolytes, as Théscine sheepishly returns. Miolla once again carefully lifts the slain Firdeth, and they all continue out of the dungeon and into the fresh autumn air.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

LotFP Solo - Part the Fourteenth: „Brütend liegt der Tod auf dumpfen Lüften, / Häuft sich Schätze in gestopften Grüften“

day 47.

The previous day's encounter with the undead, whilst profitable, has left everyone tired and sorely wounded. They decide to spend a full day at rest to recover (with the aid of the cleric's spells). They amuse themselves by singing elven songs, which involves much teaching of them to Aldira -- and trying not to laugh at her accent. She speaks very fluently, but no one would mistake her voice for an elf's. They also spend some time looking over their treasures, and dividing out 15% for the Church. They decide that this will include all the coppers: 'the better to give alms to the poor.' Brother Mundlo is not amused, but goes off to pray (or maybe sulk; who can tell?) by himself.

day 48.

The morning is cold, but everyone feels rested and eager to return to the dungeon.

Descending into the entrance chamber, they are pleased to note that the giant skink's corpses still have not been moved, though putrefaction seems to be proceeding at an alarming rate, especially given the cold.

Walking down the western corridor, they come into an antechamber, the mirror image of the one to the east. There is a closet in the north wall, whose door is barely hanging on one hinge. Tramping through the rubbish-strewn floor they continue down the western passage, passing by a passage to the south until the corridor abruptly comes to a dead end [except not really; an illusory wall conceals room 12. Contents: monster & treasure.

Q: Does the monster, (1d3=)1 chattering bones attack from behind? Somewhat Likely: 47, Yes. And a roll of 2 on a d6 indicates it achieves surprise.]

Everyone turns about and is about to walk back to the southern passage when a sudden, familiar gibbering and chattering is heard behind them. Before she has a chance to turn round, Lycinia feels claws rake down her back, shredding her tabard but fortunately not penetrating the mail beneath.

round 1&2. It wins initiative]
Lycinia wheels about and manages to make it back off from her, smashing it hard in the jaw with the pommel of her sword [i.e. it rolls a 4, missing her; she hits it for 5 damage, bringing it to 12hp]. The jaw hangs limply, dangling by one shrivelled tendon, but the chattering emanating from the thing continues unabated. There's just enough room for two to fight side-by-side, so Miolla moves up to attack. The two elves together make short work of the creature [both hit for maximum damage, dropping it to -7hp].

Behind the illusory wall is the undead thing's lair [room 12]. The room appears to have been swept clean; no rubbish litters the floor, and there are almost no furnishings at all. All that remains are four large stone mills, each of which contains 100sp, stacked meticulously in piles of five. The party help themselves to the silver, then go through the door to the south.

The door opens directly into the adjoining room [room 13]. The room once was decorated with costly tapestries, which now all lie in rotten heaps where they fell. The smell of wet wool and decay is overpowering. Grotesque, bulbous fungi grow on the ruined tapestries and have taken over parts of the floor. Rusty kitchen utensils, shattered crockery, and broken furniture have been heaped into the room.

As the party make their way through the room, the door slams shut behind them. And at that same moment, the fungi release clouds of spores which sting the eyes and cause choking, coughing and gagging. Everyone stops, momentarily blinded. They grope their way back to the door, but it won't open. After some deliberation, they decide to get out of the room; there is a passage on the south side. They creep out into the corridor until they are outside the cloud of spores. Their sight seems to take ages to return, but as Lycinia's torch is still burning when they can see again, they surmise it must only have been about a quarter of an hour.

They explore some twisty corridors which seem to go nowhere (though one of the walls seems like a new room was about to be excavated at the time of the Monastery's fall) then finally head back through the entrance, travelling south from the eastern antechamber [room 2], and west at the 4-way intersection.

Heading south again they come to a chamber [room 14; contents: monster only - 6 dwarves. I've added a status table to the dwarf entry on my encounter tables. I roll a 5: Prisoners. Permanently insane]. Six dwarves, emaciated and wearing rags, are sitting in the midst of the floor. They are bound together in a single line, the right hand of one to the left of the next. The ligatures are made from dirty rags: hardly the sort of thing that would contain prisoners. But the dwarves make no move to free themselves, nor do they respond at all when spoken to. The door to the east opens in to the room where the first group of dwarven prisoners was discovered [room 3]. They are still there, in the same state as before.

"What's keeping them alive?" asks Miolla.

"I think it's this place," answers Lycinia.

"We should tell that priest," says Aldira.

They decide there's nothing else to be done with the catatonic dwarves, and head down an unexplored passageway to another chamber [room 15].

It is heaped with filth and smells like a sewer. The party is on the point of turning round to get away from the stench when the torchlight reveal movement in the far corner. A group seven twisted little mannikins [#11s] are doing something unspeakable with a pile of dwarf corpses. The light gets their attention; they swarm and attack. The fight is over almost as soon as it starts; the little homunculi are no match for elven steel. Only Aldira suffers any wounds, and those minor [2 damage]. A cursory look through the chamber reveals that one of the dwarven corpses still wears a worked platinum beard ornament (1300sp); Debinvarr cuts it free and stows it in his pack. Théscine espies a scroll case sticking out of the muck. She gingerly frees the vellum roll inside then discards the befouled case. Studying it for a few moments by the light of Firdeth's lantern [casting Read Magic] reveals it to be full of magical spells:

Magic-User Scroll
Phantasmal Force
Unseen Servant
Stone Shape
Force of Forbidment
Floating Disc
Force of Forbidment

Having explored the whole of the upper level, the party decide to press onward and downward. They return to the untested staircase in the corridor off the sarcophagus room [room 10] and, lighting a fresh torch, make their way down.

At the bottom of the stairs is a short passage leading into a rectangular, open chamber [room II]. Within are two creatures, looking like the all-reptile version of centaurs [centaur lizards]. They panic when they see the approach of lights, and attack with their (apparently dwarf-made) battle axes. They fail to even injure any of the party members, and one of them is quickly slain by the counter-attack.

[round 2] The remaining lizard [failing its morale check] throws down its axe and calls out "I surrender! Please don't kill me!" in perfect common. The PCs lower their weapons slowly, and look to each other for someone to speak. Aldira steps forward without hesitation.

"A friend of mine," says Aldira, raising her crossbow to emphasise her intentions,  "was killed somewhere in this accursed maze about a month ago. About my size, similar armour, red hair with a white streak. We've come to take her out of here and give her a decent burial. Help us if you want to live."

[Q: Does it agree? 50/50: 20, Yes.]

"Oh, certainly," says the lizard. "Follow me." The party follow it down the corridor. Lycina is right behind it with her torch, Aldira beside her with her crossbow.

[Q: Does it know where it's going? 50/50: 72, No. It's playing for time, so I will randomly determine which way it turns.]

Coming to a T-intersection, the creature pauses for a moment to think, then turns south. The passage ends in a door. "Through here," says the creature.

"Well?" retorts Aldira. "Open it then."

An intense smell of decaying flesh assails everyone's nostrils as the door opens. Even the lizard looks momentarily faint. There is a large chamber beyond [room III], which looks like a charnel house. Piles of rotten corpses and parts of corpses, many nothing more than slimy collections of bones, litter the floor of the room. Looses bones crunch underfoot as the party advance. There are two enormous chests in the room sitting amongst all the carnage. Near one lies a corpse of a woman, more intact and fresher than the rest. Her long red hair seems to shine with its own fire in the torchlight. "Oh, Aldira," says Miolla, "don't look..."

But she cannot avert her eyes this time. "Help us get Una to the surface," she says gravely to the lizard, "and we'll let you free."

Just then a rustling is heard; faint at first, then a crescendo of shuffling and scratching. The corpses and bits of corpses covering the floor are starting to move, to crawl forward, clutching and scratching and biting at the living.

[round 1. The Charnel Carpet wins initiative.] Everywhere they look, the floor writhes with grasping limbs and creeping torsos. They are clawed at, nipped, pulled, and tripped up by the gruesome swarm as they frantically strike at it, trying to beat back the ever-advancing horror. Their lizard companion finds a broadsword discarded on the floor and joins in the desperate fight. [Aldira is hit for 3, debinvarr for 1, Lycinia for 4, Théscine for 1, and the centaur lizard for 4. Only Lycinia manages to do any damage this round: 8 points, dropping the carpet to 34hp.

round 2: more of the same.] No matter what they smash or sever, it hardly seems to make a difference. [Aldira takes 2 damage, Lycinia 1, Firdeth 2. The centaur lizard needs a morale check to not cut and run, but succeeds, and hits for 5 points, even. Aldira hits for 6, and Miolla for 8; the undead swarm still has 20hp.

round 3: Aldira is hit for 2, the centaur lizard for 1, Firdeth for 1, Debinvarr for 2.] There is a last, desperate struggle, as the greedy dead are about to pull everyone down to join them in their putrid throng [Lycinia hits for 7, the centaur lizard for 4, Théscine for 3; it has 6hp left]. Aldira begins to scream, in fear, in rage, in terror, as she is confronted with the oozing, flopping, twitching corpse of her former companion. She kicks and stamps on it with her heavy boots, stabs, cuts and slashes with her rapier. The head is severed and sails away, blazing a trail with its crimson hair [6 damage; it's finally at 0hp]. There's a bit more smashing and cutting, as the horror and disgust have clouded everyone's judgement. Finally they realise that whatever hideous force had been animating the carnage has been banished.

Miolla rushes to comfort Aldira, and leads her to the edge of the ring of lamplight, away from others. Lycinia roots around for Una's backpack, and finds her spellbook inside; she presents it to Aldira, who is still fighting back tears. Debinvarr and the centaur lizard (who is visibly trembling) collect the body and wrap it in one of the blankets brought for a winding sheet. Firdeth sets down her lanters, and she and Théscine empty the treasure chests into a few sacks (1500sp & 4 gems: Smoky Quartz-75 sp, Zircon-250 sp, Bloodstone-100 sp, Rhodochrosite-25 sp).

Aside from Miolla, everyone is in pretty bad shape [current hit points: Théscine 3/4, Lycinia 7/12, Aldira 4/13, Firdeth 4/7 Debinvarr 2/5, centaur lizard 4/12]. Miolla takes charge of the body, the rest shoulder bags of coins, and they trudge back to the surface. Fortunately, they meet no more monsters on the way out. Once back in the open air, Firdeth tells the lizard it is free, but should leave the area forthwith, a proposition to which the thankful creature readily assents. The lizard runs off towards the forest, and the weary adventurers return to camp.


Session notes:

In Room 13, I actually rolled Trick/Trap for the contents, which resulted in a gas trap: gas causes blindness for 1d6 turns (I rolled a 1). There's already been an arrow trap and a spear trap. I was beginning to wonder just what kind of maniacs built this monastery. So in order to maintain some sort of credibility, I decided to make up a natural explanation for the 'trap'.