Bloodhammer and The Shackled City

Lifes Bazaar: Session 6

Joel: Ilmier 3rd Wizard Scott HW: Talendar 3rd Paladin Luke: Gegnar 3rd Barbarian Andrew: Groanmar 3rd Cleric

Firstly, let me apologise for not completing the last update. I had the best of intentions, but the last session was a little haphazard in that the party covered a lot of ground and I lost track of what happened, particularly without the recording.

In summary, the party had a couple of encounters primarily with:

  • a broken automaton
  • a bizarre rag-creature that attempted to suffocate Vesshye (was this in the last post?)
  • some monstrous centipedes in a fog filled room

At the end of the session, it became apparent that Gegnar’s hands – like Ilmier’s – had disappeared. Furthermore, Ilmier became incapacitated and had turned completely invisible. Ilmier’s clothes and possessions were still visible but his body was not. Given that Ilmier could not walk unaided, the party decides to return above ground to Cauldron.

Incapacitated The party return to the Church of St Cuthbert in order to determine and cure the affliction affecting Ilmier and Gegnar. In order to hide Ilmier’s affliction, Ilmier covers his exposed parts in dust. This works marginally and with the hood of his cloak raised, it is sufficient to pass a cursory glance without raising concern.

The party arrive at the church, and find Thomas waiting. Thomas, eager to help runs off to find Jenya who is still away on business. Algar eventually returns with Thomas, and despite his doddering and procrastination, casts Remove Curse. Ilmier becomes visible and his reduced Charisma returns. Ilmier is now fully recovered. Algar has only one Remove Curse available and in order to cast it on Gegnar, the party must return the following day. The party sleep in the city and return to the church and Algar successfully heals Gegnar. This allows the party to return to Jzaridune.

Another Foray into the Dark Returning to Jzaridune, the party investigate the departure of two humanoids that were traversing the first room in Jzaridune heading to the south. The humanoids cannot be found and nor can any trace of their passing.

Coming down the first flight of stairs, Ilmier detects a secret door. Opening the secret door, the party finds a 20 foot long passageway that does not appear to go anywhere. The party discovers a secret door at the far end of the passageway. Tal and Gegnar walk to the far end to investigate, and trigger a trapdoor. Falling into the trap door, Tal and Gegnar take damage from falling into the trap and from acid in the bottom of the trap.

Ilmier casts Bull Strength on Groanmar and Groanmar pulls the two out of the trap with a rope. But now the open trap stands between the party and the secret door. Ilmier conjures a shadow bridge which Groanmar runs across and pushes the door open. The door bursts open and waiting on the other side are two hobgoblins.

The party bursts through and wail on the two hobgoblins. Gegnar decapitates one hobgoblin with a mighty blow while he is in a barbarian rage. Ilmier has caused the other to become unconscious due to a Colour Spray spell. The hobgoblins are standing on a large disk which operates as an elevator. The party pull the lever next to the disk and descend into the Malachite Hold.

The Malachite Hold The party arrive safely 200 feet below their starting position. They open a door which leads from the elevator shaft and enter a long room which has two cages hanging from the ceiling (both empty) and a strange statue which has four points extending from it, covered in crystals.

The party move to investigate the statue and as they draw near, it animates and attacks Tal. In the process, it attempts to slash at Tal. The party commences their attack on the creature and manage to destroy it. It is peculiar in that it appears to be composed of earth or clay as well as the crystals that cover it.

The party move on to the next room, which contains 4 braziers and a 9 foot statue of a dwarven hero. The statue is draped in a chain which is covered in blades and hooks. Also in the room are 2 sets of double doors, each being guarded by 2 hobgoblins. The party immediately move to take out the hobgoblins which occurs quite quickly.

Curiosity gets the better of Tal and he examines the chain. The chain immediately animates and attacks Tal with 3 slashing strikes. Tal and the party take out the chain creature successfully.

Ambush The party head to the south through the double doors as the northern double doors are barred – which the party takes as an omen to beware. Opening the southern double doors opens into a long twenty foot wide room. At the far end, two hobgoblins wait. As soon as they see the party, one of the hobgoblins yells “Kronmar!” and they knock arrows in their bows and start ranged attacks.

The party responds with ranged attacks and Gegnar, the first to respond runs towards their foes. After 40 feet, a trapdoor opens below his feet and Gegnar falls into the pit and is impaled spikes at the base of the pit. The two hobgoblins start to throw javelins down at Gegnar. At the same time, 4 more hobgoblins appear on the northern side of the open pit trap (the other hobgoblins are on the southern side).

The new hobgoblins engage the party with range weapons and wait the party to move towards them. It turns out that there is a reason for this. Ilmier moves towards the 4 hobgoblins in order to “Sizzle” them with the wand of burning hands. In the process, another trap door opens and Ilmier narrowly manages to escape the trap door.

Now the party is separated by two trap doors. Gegnar manages to climb out of the trap and attacks the southern hobgoblins. He is felled by a hobgoblin and lies prone on zero hit points. Using Benign Transposition, Ilmier is able to use his familiar to move Gegnar back to the rest of the party. Groanmar heals Gegnar who returns to the fray.

A vicious battle ensues and for at least half of the combat, the hobgoblins remain untouched. Once a blow is made against the hobgoblins, the tide of the battle turns. This occurs primarily when the battle changes from a ranged to melee battle. Eventually, after a lengthy combat all 6 hobgoblins are killed.

Mention must be made of Groanmar’s tenacity. He tenaciously attempted to attack and hit but the rolling gods were not with him. One well placed natural 20 managed to hit but other than that, Groanmar had little luck. Better luck next time Groanmar!

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Lifes Bazzar: Session 4

Attendees

Luke: Gegnar 2nd Level Barbarian Scott HW: Talendar 2nd Level Paladin Joel: Ilmier 2nd Level Wizard Damian: Vesshye 2nd Level Barbarian Andrew: Xsubrox 2nd Level Cleric

DM: What a session. It really felt like things ran well last night. Some nice surprises in the game and some not-so-nice.

Return to Cauldron Due to the limited resources a 2nd level party have at their disposal, the PC’s decide to return to Cauldron above and rest for the evening. However they have grave concerns about Skulks returning to Cauldron and carrying out their abductions.

First things first: the party heads to the Church of St Cuthbert where they find Rufus at the front desk. Rufus is the cleric of St Cuthbert that the party rescued in the first session of the campaign. He is very happy to see the party and agrees to alert Jenya to their presence. Jenya, the Head Cleric of the Church returns quickly with Rufus. A discussion ensues in which the party learn that Jenya (also known as Gaylord due to SHW’s poor memory with names) knows nothing of a Malachite Hold or the history of the Gnomes in Jzaridune.

Despite Jenya’s lack of knowledge of the Underdark, she does possess healing skills which she happily shares with the party. She also refills 3 of the healing potions provided to the party on their initial visit.

The party agrees to visit Keyghan in the adjacent Militia barracks. They front up to the desk clerk and ask for the Captain of the Guard. The Captain arrives shortly after and agrees to allow the party to visit Keyghan. He and another solider accompany the party on their visit to Keyghan. On their approach to the cells, Tal attempts to Detect Evil and discovers that they are not evil. Phew.

Keyghan is cowering the back of his cell, and looks worse for wear. He looks gaunt, tired and depressed. They party ask him for any information that he can provide regarding the abductions as well as any information about the Malachite Hold. Keyghan knows nothing of the Malachite Hold and appears sincerely remorseful about the trouble he has caused.

The party attempt to use Starbrow, Keyghan’s familiar as bargaining power to illicit more information from Keyghan as they suspect complicity on Keyghans part. However, it seems that Keyghan is in fact a victim of blackmail, providing access for the Skulks to ensure the safety of Starbrow.

The party returns Starbrow to a grateful Keyghan. Returning Starbrow bolsters Keyghans courage and makes him more rebellious. The party leaves Keyghan behind, finding out no more than they already knew.

Montoring Keyghans The party decide to rest at Keyghans, setting up an Alarm spell and a watch throughout the night. This is in order to catch the Skulks coming through the secret door or at least prevent them from executing more abductions.

2 hours into their sleep, the party is awoken by a ringing alarm and the smashing of wood. The front door is bashed in, as as the party awake they see two large humanoid figures breach the door. The creatures are so large, they can only enter sideways one at a time. The party attempt to respond as quickly as possible.

As they rise from their bedrolls, the creatures take an attack of opportunity and Gegnar cops a wallop from a Great Club weilded by one of the creatures. Another blow from a Great Club brings Gegnar almost immediately into negative hit points. He is on deaths door and languishes as the party continues their melee.

Subsequent attacks along with an assist from Ilmier (as he had not completed resting, he had no spells available to him) take down the two ogres. The ogres have their faces painted in half white and half black, similar to the thieves from the parties very first encounter.

Gegnar is bought back from deaths door. The party check outside the building to confirm there arent any more assilants, and none are found. In order to ensure their safety, the party retreat to the Church of St Cuthbert.

Back to the Church When the party arrives at the church, it is late and an initiate by the name of Thomas is stationed at the clerks desk. Thomas recogises Tal as a Paladin of St Cuthbert and is immediately star struck. Thomas only wants to make Tal happy and enjoy his company. In time, this becomes wearing for Tal but for the moment tolerates the attention.

The party find their lodgings and bed down for the night with Thomas’ face the last face they see before resting. Of course, Thomas has spent the night waiting for Tal’s return and is half alseep when Tal strides out. The party receive healing from the clerics of St Cuthbert and return to the dungeon below Keyghan’s Locks.

Return to Jzaridune The return to Jzaridune is uneventful and the party head immediately for the area where they encountered the Gelatinous Cube. Nothing can be found in the area due to more locked doors for which they do not have a key.

In the first room of Jzaridune Ilmier discovers a secret door (DM: now I am rolling well for Ilmier’s innate secret door detection). Heading through the door takes the party to a small passageway and yet another secret door. After opening the second secret door (into a ransacked armoury) Ilmier discovers a peculiar physical trait he now possesses. His hands are transparent. Along with this comes a wave of nausea which passes but Ilmier never feels quite as well as he did previously.

After some discussion, the party returns to the surface to consult with Jenya (Gaylord) at the Church of St Cuthbert. Unfortunately Jenya is not available and after a commotion by acolytes of St Cuthbert – cries of “undead” and “ghost” after seeing Ilmiers affliction – Algar, an aging cleric assesses Ilmiers affliction. He is certain it is magical in nature but does not have a suitable curing spell to try. He requests the party return the following day to attempt to cure Ilmier. The party return (again) to Jzaridune.

Heading north, the pass through a room that contains a forest complete with sunlight streaming through the trees. The party follow one of the cut passageways and head north. They come out in a long room which appears to be empty. However the moment Gegnar enters the room, he hears a cry in an unknown language followed by running footsteps leaving the room.

Gegnar attempts to pursue but as he crosses the room, he is pummeled by a metallic fist. The metallic fist belongs to an machine that was previously concealed and has now sprung to life. The fist is more like a hammer that is part of the machines arm. Gegnar returns the attack in kind but it is not sufficient to disable the machine, despite delivering a mighty blow.

The rest of the party close to attack and in so doing, make themselves targets for a sonic blast that issues from the machine. Some are stunned and while all take damage. The machine is dispatched and despite the best efforts of the party, nothing can decerned about the machine.

The party forges on to where they suspect the footfalls headed and arrive in a oddly shaped room containing several doors. Ilmier discovers a secret door and in the process of investigation, is attacked by a humanoid creature that was hiding in the darkness. He wears blakc robes and a hood but is larger than the other creatures seen so far. Ilmier is hit by a short sword that is poisoned, taking hit points and strength damage from him. The creature calls out in an unknown tongue and shortly after, 4 more of the smaller creatures appear from the north to aid him.

As the party close to attack, magical fog appears from nowhere and the assailant disappears. Ilmier draws a wand of Burning Hands found earlier and speaks the command word “Sizzle” and ignites the four creatures. Two immediately run, one expires on the spot and another attempts to grapple Xsubrox unsuccessfully.

Gegar runs after the two ignited creatures but loses them around a corner. After killing the remaining creatures, they continue further north to a large forge room. Four forges are situated around the room. Adjacent to each forge is a drum containing putrid water. Tal has a stroke of genius and pushes over one of the drums and looks inside. For his trouble he finds another door key with a new glyph.

Ilmier finds another secret door, through which the party passes. This leads to a short corridor with a northern corridor. Gegnar and Tal head up the path and are attacked by spears from the walls. Gegnar takes a hit and Tal quickly drags Gegnar out of the affected area.

The party continues west and finds another secret door that leads to a room that contains a loom and 3 spinning wheels that spin of their own accord. This spooks the party and despite their efforts to understand the mechanism by which they operate, they leave the spinning wheels a mystery.

The Great Room and its doom The party move into a cavernous room which appears to be a tribute to Gnomish ingenuity. A great cog hangs from chains above the room and two landing straddle either side of the room. They can be accessed from spiral staircases on either side of the room. The party decide to ascend the western stair case. They soon realise that some of them may live to regret this decision.

Following the usual marching order, Xsubrox is the last behind Ilmier to ascend the stairs. He feels a sudden tug as he is grasped by a tentacle and pulled away from the stairs. He takes damage and is paralysed. The party turn to see a creature floating in the air that looks like a giant brain with no eyes, a beak and 8 tentacles below it. One of which holds a paralysed Xsubrox.

The party “leap” into action litterally. Vesshye attempts to climb down from the top of the staircase in order to get a clear shot at the creature. Unceremoniously, Vesshye falls and takes damage. She draws her bow and begins her attack. Gegnar takes a more direct approach and leaps from the staircare, sword raised high for an attack. Sadly Gegnar’s heroism does not pay off with him landing squarely on the ground with a thud, also taking damage. Ilmier runs down the stairs, and aims the wand of Burning Hands at the creature gambling on Xsubrox survivng the flames.

Exceptional damage from Burning Hands and ongoing damage from the creature takes Xsubrox beyond the point where he can be healed. Xsubrox, held, paralysed and on fire expires in a Grell’s tentacle.

The Grell is bought down by arrows and with it comes the expired body of Xsubrox.

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Lifes Bazzar Session 3

Session 3: Wednesday 17th of April 2008 Attendees Scott HW: Talendar Tal – 2nd Level Paladin Damien: Vesshye – 2nd Level Barbarian Hodaka: Amendir – 2nd Level Cleric Joel: Ilmier – 2nd Level Wizard Dave: Geraldo – 2nd Level Sorcerer

Session 3 Part 1 DM: Due to unforseen absences, the party members have been different for every session so far. Rather than attempt to work the character absences into the story every week – which requires preparation and some game time – we decide to commence with the party as is in order to get into the game asap. Due to some delays and attendance confusion, the game doesn’t really commence until around 8:30pm (the 49 minute mark in the mp3).

Hidden Treasures The party are in a small room which is split into sections: a ground level and a loft area which is accessed by a ladder. The room has been ransacked but the PC’s do manage to find an empty map case (of this we are certain) and some candles. A wand found in an earlier is identified by Ilmier as a Wand of Secret Door Detection. Huzzah!

The party decides to move further east into the complex. The party, wary from unfortunate accidents falling into spiked pit traps tie themselves together with a rope. This seemly over cautiousness actually manages to save Tal from falling and taking damage from yet another spike/pit trap.

The Fountain…of Doom! Following the passageway brings the party to a vaguely hexagonal room which contains a fountain in the middle of the room. The fountain has water falling into it from a hole in the wall above. The hole is in a vaulted ceiling roughly 20 feet above. Most noticeable about the room is that a large spider web has been built in the vaulted section of the room. Hanging from the ceiling above the fountain is a cocooned humanoid, presumably captured and stored by a spider. However no spider is visible.

Ilmier and Vesshye head into the room and Vesshye peers over the lip of the fountain. Inside the fountain is crystal clear water. While examining the water, a huge (well, monstrous actually) leaps out at Vesshye and makes a surprise attack. Fortunately the spider fails its surprise attack and missed Vesshye, landing on the ground. Vesshye attempts to attack and hits doing minor damage. However the spider is dispatched quickly with the party weighing in and Tal dealing the primary damage.

Two more tiny spider fall from spinnerets in the ceiling and attack Vesshye and Tal. Problems ensue when Ilmier attempts to attack the spider on Vesshye after Vesshye fails to grapple the spider. Once again, the party weigh in and have problems hitting the nimble spiders. Eventually the spiders are dispatched and the party attend to the humanoid.

In the process of attempting retrieve the body, they discover that the water in the fountain is an illusion. The large spider was concealed beneath the illusionary water. A number of methods are employed when trying to retrieve the body from the cocoon. Eventually the body of a Skulk is bought to ground by burning the webs. The party find some silver and gold in a pouch as well as a gray river stone.

Ilmier recalls some of the details of the Skulks and their society and shares this information with the party. Known as voracious, merciless killers Ilmier decides to have nothing further to do with the corpse.

Ilmier decides to use the Wand of Secret Door Detection and manages to locate a secret door. The characters open the door and find themselves at back of the room in which the session commenced. The party decides to head north from the room with the fountain and locates another door that they possess a key for. They open a door and discover a “talking chest” that has a rat in a cage placed a top it.

Tremoden the Luggage (ok, chest) The characters talk to the chest and discover its name is Tremoden. Tremoden has been tasked with serving its master. Tremoden informs the party of the hobgoblin attendants that occasionally come through the room as well as its knowledge of the Skulks that have been abducting people from Cauldron. He also knows his masters name which is Kazmojen. Kazmojen is the master of the Malachite Stronghold. Tremoden does not know where the Malachite Hold is.

In exchange for rations held by the party, Tremoden agrees to allow the PC’s to take Starbrow the rat, Keyghans’ familiar.

If you cant stand the heat… The party continue their investigations and happen upon an abandoned kitchen. The kitchen contains a dilapidated cabinet, a hearth, shelves and tables. Vesshye heads towards the hearth and two small creatures wearing all black leap out of the hearth to attack. One of the creatures (who have black cloven feet), manages a critical hit on Vesshye.

The party engage in melee with Amendir performing a telling blow to head of one of the creatures with his warhammer. As one of the creatures is mortally threatened, it seems that the creature becomes indistinct and wrapped in a vapour of blackness. Ilmier, having little else to do tosses an alchemists fire at the creatures. The target is hit and is immediately aflame. The second monster is hit by radiating flame and dies immediately. The creature on fire eventually dies from being immolated.

‘Ware the Cube Further exploring takes the party to the south of a large dining room. The southern exit is in fact a 5 foot wide opening. As the party haven’t seen something so simple, they are wary. Will the walls slam shut as they try to pass through them? Is there something waiting on the passageway on the other side?

Vesshye and Tal jump through the opening and respectively face east and west in anticipation of a threat. They take a step in their respective directions and Vesshye walks into a Gelatinous Cube.

Vesshye is absorbed into the cube but manages to stave off paralysation. However valiant attempts to grapple out of the cube repeatedly fail. The rest of the party close in on the creature and commence their attacks. The conscious Vesshye continues to take damage as the rounds pass and begins a barbarian rage.

The increased hit points save Vesshye but not before Amendir attempts to assist Vesshye by applying a Cure Light Wounds through the cube. However Amendir is also absorbed by the cube, his spell is ruined and he becomes paralysed. Things are not going well.

The remaining party continue to attack the cube and finish it off with what has become Geraldo’s signature move: a single magic missile. Vesshye and Amendir are freed from the cube and healing is applied. Amendir’s paralysis soon wears off and he is able to assist the party.

Grick Pets The party decides that discretion is the better part of valour and beat a retreat back to the surface. Along the way – at the last room in the dungeon – Vesshye happens across a hobgoblin that has 2 Grick on a leash. The moment the hobgoblin sees Vesshye, he releases the Gricks and they approach to attack.

The party move to engage and manage to dispatch the Gricks without taking damage. The hobgoblin attempts to throw a javelin at Vesshye but misses. When the hobgoblin sees the Gricks killed he turns and runs.

Vesshye and Amendir follow. As the hobgoblin runs down a passageway, Amendir fires off an arrow and successfully hits and kills the lone hobgoblin.

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Lifes Bazzar Session 2 Part 3

Problematic Doors

The party decides that it might be more sensible to follow the as yet, uninvestigated passageways. Following one of the passageways takes the parties to a long north/south passageway. The PC’s being to realise that the map they discovered in Keyghan’s Locks is in fact the same as the area they are investigating.

They decide to attempt to open one of the locked doors. They had already tried to pick one of the locks without success. Trying a more direct approach, the two barbarians join forces and attempt to roll one of the doors open.

Herculian efforts do not go unrewarded. Well, initially anyway. The door begins to roll open. At the same time, 3 jets of flame blast the party from above the door. Amendir and Morriel take damage serious enough to floor them, one of which is Amendir the only healer in the party.

The party decides, wisely not to attempt to force any more of the circular doors. The two characters can be stablised and using healing potions provided by Jenyna at the Church of St Cuthbert, the party is fully healed. However only one healing potion remains.

(DM: My poor memory – in fact this is where the characters return to Jenya for healing and provide her with an update on their progress)

When the PC’s return Jazridune, they discover that the map that they have been following differs slightly at the end of a corridor. They follow the corridor to determine why a wall exists that doesnt appear on the map. On the way to the wall, a pit trap opens and Gegnar falls onto a spike at the bottom of the trap.

After climbing out of the pit, the PC’s investigate the wall. The wall in fact is an illusion and the PC’s are able to put their hands through the wall. They walk through and discover a room that has a map similar to theirs carved into a wall.

The Plays the Thing The PC’s discover that the burrowed pathways are an effective way to circumvent the dangerous doors. They find a number of rooms that contain the remnants of a once great Gnomish community.

In one room, they find a series of pews that are set up in front of a stage. While investigating the pews a Gnome appears on stage and begins to speak to the party. In fact, it appears that the Gnome is performing to them. As the party watches, it becomes apparent that they are witnessing a play which is a love story about two starcrossed Gnomish lovers and a wereboar that comes between them.

The party attempt to engage the players on stage, but they do not respond to any questions or threats. Vesshye decides to engage the players and walks up on stage. As she does so, a tentacle flies out of a trapdoor in the middle of the stage and latches on to Vesshye.

The party goes into offensive mode and manages to cut the tentacle that is holding Vesshye. A Choker, hiding in wait under the stage jumps out of the trap door and is taken down by the party.

While the melee occurs, the play carries on. It is an illusion.

The Sleeping King The PC’s enter a room that has a series of tiers with stairs connecting them. At the top tier is a throne. Sitting in the throne is a Gnomish king snoring quietly. Morriel sneaks up to the 1st tier which is directly below the King and a stone face in the wall. As Morriel passes the stone face, it speaks asking for the “highest coin” as a tribute to the King.

Morriel is unsure, but continues to sneak up to the sleeping King. In the meantime, Vesshye places 1 gold coin in the mouth of the stone face but nothing seems to happen.

Morriel examines the King and notices a small compartment in one of the arms of the throne which is partially covered by the King’s arm. Morriel attempts to open the compartment and in so doing, notices that his hand passes through the King. The King is an illusion. Inside the compartment Morriel finds some gold (76 gold pieces) and 2 rods that have glyphs similar to those found on the circular doors.

Encouraged by their new find, the party forges ahead attempting to find any rooms that have a glyph similar to the keys they have found. They open a number of doors all of which contain inconsequential items, most of which have been ransacked.

The final room for the night contains a creature that is wearing a wolfs mask and a “wolfs cloak” as you might imagine from a costume in a play. Strangely, the creature underneath is invisible. As the party enters the room, the creature attacks without hesitation. A mightly blow from Gegnar (DM: a critical at last!) with his Great Axe deals 30 points and slices the creature in twain. Huzzah!

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Lifes Bazzar Session 2 Part 2

The Descent into Jzadirune

They head back to Keyghans locks and begin their descent. The stairs descend with a number of 90 degree turns. During their descent, they can hear birds chirping and the sounds of giggling coming from the base of the stairs. Morriel descends into the room at the base of the stairs to find a number of copper masks in the shape of happy Gnomish faces placed around the room. Further to that, 2 four foot round doors are in the south wall as well as a passageway heading to the west. One of the doors has been wedged open and the other is closed. Both have a different glyph on the front of the door as well as a small hole which is in the shape of a diamond.

Morriel checks for traps on the way to the doors, while the PC’s investigate elsewhere in the room. One of the masks animates and starts to speak, welcoming the party to Jzadirune and forewarns them of great danger. Morriel does not find any traps and the party further investigates the doors, ever mindful of the riddle they encountered in the last session that mentioned doors with teeth. Certainly the door that has been wedged open appears to have teeth of sorts.

True to his nature, Gegnar steps through the open door into the room beyond. A lurking Skulk is waiting for the unsuspecting Gegnar and manages a successful surprise attack. Gegnar manages to move from his position that is blocking the doorway and responds with a melee attack while the other PC’s enter. Gegnar is sure that he hears the sound of other footpads running across the room towards a makeshift 5 foot tunnel that has been cut into one of the walls.

The party manage to dispatch the Skulk but not without some serious damage. They decide to return to Keyghan’s store, approach the clerics of St Cuthbert for some healing and rest for the night. The night passes without incident and they return below the following morning.

Returning to the same room, they find the room empty with the exception of some Gnome sized cots and a 1 foot rod that is on the ground, with one end that is illuminated weakly. The PC’s are unsure what the rod is for and why it is on the ground. But Morriel knows one thing – it is his. If he does nothing else in the entire campaign, he has a rod! The PC’s investigate the Skulks body and find nothing.

Gegnar investigates the burrowed tunnel and discovers that it provides and alternative method to traversing the passageways. The PC’s decide to work their way to a large room that contains 8 columns, depicting Gnomes holding up the ceiling. They walk cautiously down the room, which is immense in both length and height. Towards the far end, they are attacked from the darkness by crossbow bolts. They cannot determine where the bolts have originated from. Vesshey charges forward and attacks blindly into the darkness and flukes a lucky attack on an unknown assailant in the darkness. Gegnar follows suit and misses. Amendir fires off a bolt into the darkness (followed by comments about firing magic missiles at the darkness) and Morriel goes on the defensive and hides.

The two Skulks hiding behind the final pillars are dispatched and the party reforms. More investigation identifies a fountain with fresh water. Investigation in the rubble near the burrowed tunnel finds a 5 inch rod that contains a glyph which appears to match the glyphs on the round doors.

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Lifes Bazzar Session 2 Part 1
Attendees
  • Luke – Gegnar 1st Level Dwarf Barbarian
  • Hodaka – Amendir 1st Level Half Elf Cleric
  • Damian – Vesshye 1st Level Human Barbarian
  • Graham – Morriel 1st Level Halfling Rogue

DM: We expected to have a couple of other players participating but for one reason or another, we ended up with 4 players as with the previous session. However only 2 players, Damo and Luke were present from session 1. Rather than have the new players, Hodaka and Graham play Jaela and Xsubrox we introduced 2 new characters. By a fluke, the 2 new characters were the same classes as the characters that were replaced.

Keyghans Locks

Picking up from where we left off last session, our intrepid but inexperienced adventures stand on the precipice. A stairway descends into darkness. Vesshye and Gegnar descend into the darkness, leaving Xsubrox and Jaela to investigate Keyghan’s Locks. Vesshye realises that she cant hear any sound coming from the store and returns up the stairs to investigate. Xsubrox and Jaela are not in the store or outside. Upon investigation, Vesshye notices that there are some subtle signs of a scuffle in the store as well as a mark of blood on the steps outside the store.

Having no obvious leads to follow, the two remaining adventurers decide to head back to The Drunken Morkoth Inn to see if they can find any adventurers to replace their lost companions. Sure enough, the innkeeper directs Vesshye and Gegnar to two likely looking adventurers sitting in the corner of the Inn – a Halfling and a Half Elf. They are companions and after a brief discussion which involves an explanation of the adventure status and some character backstory, Amendir and Morriel join the party.

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Lifes Bazzar Session 1

Lifes Bazaar – Session 1

Session 1: Life’s Bazaar

Attendees

Luke – Gegnar 1st Level Dwarven Barbarian

Damian – Vesshey 1st Level Human Barbarian

Craig – Jaela 1st Level Human Rogue

John – Xsubrok 1st Level Aasimar Cleric

The Drunken Morkoth Inn The game begins with the characters walking through the rain soaked streets of Cauldron. Cauldron is a medium sized city that is built at the top of a dormant volcano. The city roads are made up of 5 concentric circles, with the outermost being the highest and the most expensive region. The very top road is surrounded by a 40 foot high wall. Walking from the outermost ring road to the innermost is at a 15 degree angle. The very lowest ring sits just above a lake that takes up the innermost part of the volcanos cap. During heavy rains, this section floods, often taking the lowest level of houses with it. As you might expect, this section is made up of the poorest residents of Cauldron.

The characters have all made their way to the Drunken Morkoth Inn at the behest of the heads of the city. It’s a town meeting of sorts. The mayor informs all in attendance that the city is attempting to resolve a worsening situation in the city without any success. Residents of Cauldron and their property have been disappearing in the night for weeks now. Those that go missing do so during the night and without a trace. No signs of forced entry are ever found and there appears to be no pattern to the abductions.

The situation has come to crisis as in the recent days, 4 children – 2 boys and 2 girls – were abducted from the Lantern Street Orphanage. Similar to the other suspected abductions, no trace was found of the missing children and no method of egress was determined. The mayor implores all in attendance (over 100 people of all races and kind) to assist. The mayor insists that those assisting will be rewarded in the event that the children are returned however assisting in the investigation does not deputise the characters as part of the militia. They are assisting the militia only.

The characters (who do not know each other at this point) all raise their hands, indicating they would like to assist. In so doing, they introduce themselves (“You can talk to each other now” – The Dead Alewives) and become a party of adventurers.

DM: Being 1st level, it is assumed that until this point in time, the characters have not been adventurers. This call for assistance by the city of Cauldron is their motivation to seek further adventure.

The mayor is grateful to the characters and indicates that the reward for the safe return of the children and information regarding the persons responsible is being handled by the Church of St Cuthbert. The mayor instructs the characters to see Jenya at the Church of St Cuthbert for more information.

Struggle in the Alleyway The party leaves the Drunken Morkoth and on the way to the church, they relate rumours to one another regarding the disappearances. The rumours range from the sublime (one of the children that was abducted was orphaned as his parents disappeared many years ago in what appears to have been an unrelated incident) to the ridiculous (a vicious creature with tentacles takes people in the night).

As they walk, Jaela hears a noise coming from an alleyway that sounds like a person in trouble. Jaela backtracks and sees a man being attacked by 6 other men about 30 feet down the alleyway.

Jaela informs the rest of the party and they all move to the alley to engage. Given that the attack is 30 feet away, not everyone arrives immediately to assist the man being attacked.

Gegnar and Vesshe arrive first and commence their attacks by charging in. Jaela waits at the mouth of the alley and takes out her bow. Xsubrox also heads into the melee and casts Bane against the attackers which makes it harder for the attackers to hit the party characters.

The melee progresses well with some decisive hits being delivered by the party. Jalea finds it necessary to join the fracas as her bow string breaks on her second attack. Xsubrox receives an unfortunate blow which drops him and without assistance, he will soon die. To add insult to a major injury, the wound is delivered by Gegnar, who in a less than skilled moment, fumbles his attack and hits Xsubrox by mistake. A further blow to the party is that Xsubrox was the only healer in the party. Ultimately this means that if any other party member is dropped, there is no way to heal them.

Eventually all of the attackers are taken down, except for one who manages to run past Jaela and escapes into the night. Xsubrox is attended to and the flow of blood stemmed and he is stabilised. Looking at their attackers, they are all human and have their faces painted, half black and half white.

The party then turns their attention to the man being attacked. Despite his tremendous battering, he is alive. It seems the attack was not designed to kill him as the attackers had ample opportunity. He explains that he is Rufus, a cleric of St Cuthbert. He willingly heals Xsubrox using his clerical abilities and Xsubrox is able to walk.

Rufus says that the attackers had warned him not to investigate the abductions any further. He does not know why but insists that they visit his church and speak to Jenya.

The Church of St Cuthbert The trip to the Church of St Cuthbert is uneventful. The party meets with Jenya who heals them as required and provides the following information:

  • The children were abducted from the orphanage on Lantern Street
  • All the rooms are locked at night and there is no indication anyone tampering with locks and all the windows are barred
  • Jenya used a church magical Mace to cast a Divination spell to determine where the children are. The result of the divination was a cryptic riddle:
The locks are key to finding them,
Look beyond the curtain, below the cauldron,
But beware the doors with teeth.
Descend into the malachite ‘hold,
Where precious life is bought with gold,
Half a dwarf binds them, but not for long.

Jenya gives the PC’s a potion of Cure Moderate Wounds each. The potions are in clay bottles with St Cuthbert’s symbol on the side. Given that it is late, the PCs rest at the church. Wary of nightly abductions, they lock the door with Jaela resting against it and a purse of coins resting against the door. The night passes without event.

Lantern Street Orphanage The next morning they visit the Lantern Street Orphanage. They meet Gretchyn the aged Halfling manager of the orphanage. She is crotchety and mistrustful of anyone in the orphanage. She is protective of her charges but once convinced of the parties sincerity, she admits them and reveals what she knows – which is not much more than the characters already know.

The party meets Patch – a half orc janitor for the orphanage. He is a bit dim but despite the PC’s best attempts to have a look at Patch’s room in the basement, they don’t seem to be able to convince him or even sneak away to have a look. Jaela makes a failed attempt to move silently away and they are ushered out by Gretchyn.

Jalea notices that the lock on the outside of the orphanage is excellent quality. Asking a passerby if they know of a locksmith in town, the passerby refers them to Ghelves Locks run by Keygan Ghelve.

Ghelves Locks They travel to Ghelves Locks and enter a luxurious shop containing two leather sofas, a warm open fire and a counter displaying a range of locks. Keygan Ghelve comes through a pair of red curtains behind the counter. He is an aging gnome with salt and pepper hair and a goatee. He is polite and asks if he can assist the party. He is abnormally tall for a gnome – six feet in fact – and has very long legs. When remarked upon, he explains in a matter of fact tone that he is wearing stilts.

The party attempts to question Keygan about the locks at the orphanage, but in order to maintain a good relationship with his clients he reveals nothing about the orphanage’s locks. Jaela attempts to intimidate Keygan without success. Jaela grapples Keygan and attempts to pull him over the counter. Keygan manages to repel the grapple and Keygan’s stilts become stuck, preventing Jaela from pulling Keygan over the counter.

Vesshe investigates behind the curtain and finds a storeroom and some stairs leading up. She takes the stairs and finds herself on a landing, overlooking the shops front room.

Gegnar attempts to assist in the grapple, but being dwarf does little to assist. Gegnar cannot manage the required leverage to pull Keygan over the counter. At this point, Keygan begins to yell for help. Gegnar wisely decides to cover the front door to prevent anyone from entering, now that they have accosted Keygan.

Without warning, Gegnar is attacked from behind from an unseen assailant. He takes a ferocious blow but he manages to continue standing. Vesshe jumps from the landing to the shop floor and lands poorly, taking some minor damage. However Gegnar is attacked again and poor Gegnar cannot withstand the unseen attacker. He drops where he stands and death is imminent.

Xsubrox casts detect magic and determines that a creature is in the room. Both Xsubrox and Vesshe attempt to attack the creature. The creature has pale grey skin, no body hair and looks like a withered human. They manage to attack and kill the creature. Gegnar is stabilised and then healed by Xsubrox.

Keygan is still pinned by Jaela. Jaela intimidates Keygan who eventually crumbles and begins to cry. He explains that he started practising magic several years ago and conjured a rat familiar called Starbrow. Not long after, the creature that was just killed (called a Skulk) and others like it started appearing in his shop, stepping through the wall under the stairs. They took Starbrow and are blackmailing Keygan with Starbrow. Keygan supplies the Skulks and some other creatures (that wear black clothes, capes and have hooves) with Cauldron’s master key. This allows the creatures to abduct and loot from wherever they wish in the city.

The PC’s investigate further into Keygans house and belongings and find a labyrinthine map and a list of name entitled “Abductees”. The party hog-ties Keygan and checks the street for any militia. Amazingly (I rolled a 20 on a d20!) there is one walking by.

Sadly, he isn’t the brightest match in the pack. He is shocked and gets queasy when he sees the blood from the Skulk. The PC’s manage to convince him to guard Keygan until they return. He agrees and waits patiently.

Mayors Office and Barracks The PC then visit the mayors office, however the mayor is away on business for the rest of the day and cannot be contacted. Most people are finding it hard to believe that the PC’s are actually investigating the abductions.

The party takes some directions from the information desk at the Town Hall and visits the town barracks next door. The town barracks is a more austere building than the bustling town hall. They ask to see the Captain of the Guard. They are taken to a waiting room and told to wait.

20 minutes later, 6 armed guards enter the room and are told that they can take the party to the Captain. The PC’s are immediately wary and request that the Captain come to them instead. The militia seem to have little time for banter and insist that they leave their weapons behind and accompany the party to the Captain.

DM: I gave my assurance that it the party decided to take on the militia in the barracks it would not go well for them. That was a fight I could guarantee they would not win. It would be on like Donkey Kong.

They agree that discretion is the better part of valour and have their weapons locked into a secure cupboard, and are given a tag to claim their weapons when they leave.

They are taken to the Captain who is a stern and practical man. The PC’s request to speak to him alone. A request that is denied. They reluctantly turn over their evidence of the abductees list and the Captain seems grateful.

He suggests that their next step would be to return to Keygan’s shop and investigate under the stairs.

The party is accompanied by 3 militia guards who relive the simple guard waiting with the hog-tied Keygan. The PC’s investigate under the stairs and find a secret door.

Opening the secret door they find a darkened stone landing that is at the top of stairs going down into a dark stone passage.

What lies below the stairs? What does the cryptic riddle mean? Where are the children and why is it that Xsubrox is just so darned handsome? Will the PC’s ever get to intimidate someone successfully? And where are all those critical hits?

The next session is planned for a fortnights time on the 2nd of April. Stay tuned.

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