Monday, March 17, 2014

"Against the Cult of theReptile God" Chapter 9 of the Xanthus River Campaign

Our party consists of:
Valerius (Level 2 Warrior)
Absalom (Level 2 Cleric)
Gwen (Level 1 Elf)
Sausage (Level 1 Dwarf)
Babu (Level 1 Thief)
Jack (Level 0 Man-at-Arms)
Knot (Level 0 Rope Maker)
Wheezy (Level 0 Halfling Gypsy)
 
Meanwhile, back in Wince:
Nip (Level 1 Cleric)

Last week, while en-route to their home in Duirndown, the party stopped in Wince to recruit some men-at-arms. While there, they decided to investigate the cult activity they discovered the last time they were in Wince. They soon found some secret tunnels and a map leading to a hidden cult base of operations twelve miles away in the forest. They found the hidden base, an area of the swamp that had been drained to reveal ancient stairs leading underground to an entrance protected by four cult guards, which were quickly dispatched, but only after the death of two of their men-at-arms.

Heading East
The group was presented with three passages to the east, south, and west, and chose the east passage. They skipped a passage filled with doors and found another shorter passage that sloped down and ended in a door. The passage in front of the door was filled with wet mud. The thief inspected carefully and noticed a greenish hue to the mud. Fearing green slime, they poured oil on the mud and set it on fire.

The billowing smoke soon filled the corridor. One of the doors in the untaken passage opened and a female cultist popped her head out, saying "Where's that smoke coming from?" then, seeing the party, shouted, "Intruders! To arms!"

"Intruders! To Arms!"

She rushed to wake the other cultists sleeping in one of the other rooms while her three companions poured out to defend their base. A battle ensued in the hallway with Valerius and Sausage holding the front line and Gwen, Wheezy, and Babu firing bow, sling, and crossbow, respectively, from the rear. Four unarmored cultists, roused from their slumber, soon joined the fray.
Cultists poured into the hall
 
Fierce battle in the hallway
 The battle soon ended with eight dead guards littering the hallway.

After quickly searching the bunk cells, they tried the remaining unopened door, only to find it locked. Valerius kicked it open and surprised the four sleeping guards on their cots.
Sleeping Cultists
Gwen tried to summon forth a dire wolf but failed, miserably, resulting in a sickening amalgamation of inside-out wolf guts, muscles, bones, and fur falling with a sickening splat onto the floor. The rest of the group rushed in and stabbed, chopped, and bludgeoned the unarmed and unarmored cult guards before they could even get out of their cots.
Moving on...

The party then explored the passage to the north and found a kitchen. In the rear of the kitchen was a hall that led to a door. No matter what they did, the door could not be opened, yet it did not appear to be magical. Valerius pulled heroically on the door to no avail. The party concluded that the door was false, set up as a devious practical joke for purposes no one could fathom.

The party then travelled down a southerly corridor, finding two empty but partially collapsed rooms, a westerly passage ending in a flooded cave, and a southerly corridor ending in a door.

They opened the door into two large adjoining chambers with high arched ceilings supported by columns. A ghostly yet beautiful voice echoed from the far chamber, beckoning them forward. Everyone was enchanted by the voice, save Gwen, Knott, and Absalom.

"This looks bad..."
 
"Enter with caution."
Those enchanted by the magical voice walked slowly forward, as if hypnotized, into a deep pit of mud that separated the two rooms. Those with clear heads soon saw the harpy that called to them and began loosing arrows and sling stones at the creature. Absalom, frustrated at the situation, tried to plug Valerius' ears with the only material he had at hand, his bag of night soil, but to no avail.
"Crap! Harpy!"
 
As soon as the enchanted party members had become stuck in the mud, the harpy flew forth to attack them. The harpy ineffectually grabbed at the victims with her claws while she was peppered with arrows and bullets.
"Charmed party members stuck in the mud..No worries the Harpy died"
 Some critical arrow hits quickly brought the harpy down. The enchanted party members soon regained their wits. Babu was able to climb the walls carrying a rope and bypass the mud pit. Soon everyone was across and searched the harpy's nest, where they found fabulous treasure.

After that, they skipped the flooded cave and went all the way back to a westerly corridor they skipped earlier. They found a larder stocked with supplies and a southerly corridor with a collapsed wall, revealing a flooded cave. They followed the corridor and found a trapped door protecting a room filled with casks of wine and beer. They loaded the men-at-arms with the smaller portable casks. Around the bend to the west they located a large entrance chamber supported by four stout columns. Along the walls were bas reliefs depicting an ancient kingdom of serpent men who worshipped giant snakes with humanoid heads.

After confirming that a northerly corridor linked up with the entrance, they backtracked and continued west. At a right turn, Gwen found a secret door. Behind which was a natural corridor that opened to the flooded cavern, and a boat.

The party took the boat across the flooded cavern, taking notice of the albino crocodiles resting on a shore on the north edge of the cavern. Spotting three exits, one west, one east, and one south, they decided on the southern exit. The exit led to a corridor and a four-way junction. The westerly and southerly corridors were covered in mud. Suddenly, a giant angry weasel scurried from the western corridor and attacked! After a brief fight, the party killed the weasel and decided to go east.

Giant Mud Weasel
 The corridor turned to the south and ended in a stout primitive door which was barred from the other side. Valerius busted it down and the party engaged three guards, strange serpent-human hybrids, each carrying two scimitars, in battle while a fourth ran to an adjoining room to summon four others.

Snake-Human Hybrids
Pitched Battle!
 After a pitched battle, all but one hybrid cult guard was killed. The remaining one fled, but Babu and the rest gave chase. As the guard ran down a set of stairs, Babu killed him with his crossbow.

A snake-man fled for his life!

He was followed by Babu and the others!
 The party was exhausted. Though they had spent barely an hour exploring the dungeon, they decided to retreat and rest. They back-tracked to the sleeping cells of the guards, where they left the eight bodies in the hall. They arrived to find a giant lizard feasting on the carrion. The lizard took notice and charged the party in an attempt to defend his find. The party set upon the lizard and it was soon put down.

"Aww... He's CUTE! Who's a cute lizard monster?"
Having secured their rest area, the party pulled all the cots into one room and set a watch while they rested.


TO BE CONTINUED!

Next week: Against the Cult of the Reptile God, Part Two!


Afterthoughts

No real comments this week. Just a lot of fun dungeon crawlin.

Lucinda joined us again. She plans on joining us next week.

The fake door cracked me up. It was fun to see the players put so much thought into it. I finally broke down and told them the truth so they wouldn't spend any more time obsessing over it.

Lucinda, playing Babu, did a great job checking every door for traps, eventually finding the trapped wine cellar.

Absalom and Gwen were out of spells so the group decided to take a rest. We'll see if they get a full eight hours of rest. Ha, right!

After the final fight, all the zero level men at arms leveled up to first level. Absalom and Gwen hit second level.

Explored This Week:
1. Green Slime
2. Fight with Cult Guards
3. Harpy
4. Weasel
5. Snake-Human Hybrids
6. Giant Lizard