Author Topic: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED IN OUR D&D GAME  (Read 1119 times)


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« on: December 13, 2016, 09:08:07 PM »
Tales from 1974

IC: Starring
Hrund (played by Steerpike) A stout, red-haired Dwarven fighting-woman with visible scars, clad in battered but spotless plate mail. Her eyes are dull save for the glimmer of a cold and constant fury.
Rota (played by Steerpike) Also known as Rota the Craven. Blonde-white hair, riding an ugly mule. She looks a bit tipsy and is half-dozing in the saddle.
Aibek (played by Kindling) A tall, stern-looking in man in platemail and the russet garb of a priest of the Allfather, his shaven pate covered by a deep cowl.
Jackdaw (played by Kindling) Aibek's shadow, a slim, dark-clad mercenary, who has proven as taciturn as he is grim-looking.
Shirka (played by LoA) Known as the Plague Bane, a strange but decent person who is proficient at healing, and dresses like a plague doctor.
Gutboy (played by LoA) Gutboy Barrelhouse, a dwarf with much local renown for all of the important dwarf qualities: martial prowess, drunkenness, braggadocio, and also drunkenness.
Lorelei (played by Llum) A magic-using Elf from the House of Loracan, who has decided to venture out and explore the world.
Oliver (played by Llum) A fighting-halfing with a taste for odd mushrooms and a desire to earn some gold so he can retire.

IC: The Adventure Begins
The vivacious chaos of South Soren is left behind for a certain peaceful isolation on the open road. The sky is blue and clear, with a soft wind blowing off the sea, causing the numerous trees that line the well-worn path to rustle softly a bit. The Coral Coast is only a short distance to the east from here, and the blue vista of what seems like an endless ocean is visible in the distance beyond the path. A steady procession of various merchants and travelers dressed in every manner of garb from simple peasants to the wealthy traveling with their entourages make their way up and down the road, following the coast from parts even more southward, all the way through South Soren itself, and proceeding to the far north, to the bustling capital of this realm, Grand Ardis... but that is not the destination of this journey.

No, this journey goes up into the rugged Black Hills, a much less worn path, and the sort of place most merchants and travelers do not go. The Black Hills loom to the west, on the left side as this group currently walks. As they turn off the path and head into the hills, a watchful wolf on a high cliff gazes silently as this eclectic band approaches, and then scurries back when they draw nearer.

Hrund enters the Black Hills with relief, her Dwarven agoraphobia assuaged.

Oliver says, "If this score makes me rich, I'm going to retire to the Emerald Hills, so much nicer than these Black ones."

A griffon flies by high overhead in a graceful arc, the dark silhouette of the fearsome leonine bird of prey against the cerulean sky unmistakable to any who are familiar with the great (and terrible) beasts of this realm. So long as it remains flying that high, it is merely cause for wariness, not alarm. For now, it is simply circling overhead, perhaps with a keen eye for prey, or perhaps simply surveying its domain.

Jackdaw looks up at the griffon, and then gives a soft grunt and a faint shake of his head, marching onward.

Hrund squints at the griffon warily.

Oliver comments, "Two beasts already, seems like the Black Hills are uninhabited."

Aibek says, "With the Allfather's blessing we shall walk as did Saint Otto the Red, amongst wolves yet unharried."

After a somewhat lengthy but not particularly fatiguing or eventful walk, the gentle slopes give way to rockier, irregular crags, of a dark stone that gives the Black Hills their name. The way forward becomes more perilous, even if the only peril may be a twisted ankle. But there is likely worse... the lonely bones of some unfortunate soul, no doubt still lying where he fell, are proof enough of that.

Hrund eyes the bones with a strange eagerness.

Rota shivers, but keeps an eye out for the glint of any forgotten treasure.

Shirka begins to investigate cause of death.

It's tough to discern cause of death from just bones. The bones seem to be mostly intact, but beyond that... who really knows?

Aibek cocks an eyebrow at the remains and mutters under his breath "Obviously without blessing...".

Oliver mutters, "Fool to be out here alone".

Aibek turns to Jackdaw and gestures to the bones. "What do you make of it?".

Jackdaw shrugs. "Someone just as dumb and less lucky than us.".

Aibek nods grimly and turns to trudge onwards.

Hrund says, "All things return to the earth. We shall all be food for grave-worms soon enough." Hrund looks back at Rota, and adds, "Some sooner than others..."

Aibek begins, as he marches, to half-sing, half-hum a deep, dirge-like hymn under his breath.

Shirka says, "We'll keep on the cautious side from here on. Beware of strange herbs, or mushrooms."

Oliver retorts, "Nothing wrong with the odd mushroom".

The part of the Black Hills that the band now approaches seems to crack open like a giant gaping mouth, great outcroppings of rock overhead covering most of the valley below in shadow. It is here that the ruins are found, a soaring ancient castle, built of ancient black stone that seems to be embedded in the face of the cliff itself, though the main structure of the castle soars above the rock, ending in a spire. Two enormous black towers thrust out of the rock, like defiant raised fists, a gatehouse between them that is showing some signs of age but is itself remarkably well-preserved, although any sort of door or portcullis is long gone. In front of the castle, a row of rune-inscribed pillars stands, some of them broken. It is these pillars that most readily identify the castle as being of the fallen Seleni Empire. A strange chittering starts to become audible over the sound of the wind. Goblin-tongue.

Aibek says, "Hold. You hear that? I fear we may find ourselves beset, as was Saint Uric among the White-Cloaked Men."

Hrund and Lorelei can speak Goblin, and understand the speech. They hear the sound of an argument. "You idiot! You shouldn't have gone in there!" "Don't blame me, there was gold!" "Gold won't bring back Uncle Ubok!" "He was stupid anyway!" They're arguing amongst themselves, currently oblivious to the group's approach.

Hrund grunts.

Aibek reaches for his mace.

Shirka readies the sling.

Lorelei says, "They don't know we're here. They're arguing about gold".

Oliver replies, "At least there's gold".

Aibek motions to Jackdaw, signalling him to take up a wide position with bow at the ready.

Hrund whispers, "Quiet, now, and mayhap we'll watch them unaware.".

Jackdaw nods, readying his weapon.

"I'll, ah, stay with the mule," Rota mutters.

Oliver draws his two-handed sword.

As the band cautiously approaches, the goblins are seen; a rowdy group of perhaps a dozen short and ugly green creatures with pointed ears and oversized heads can be seen out front of the castle. Goblins, definitely, and they seem to be as charming as they usually are.

The goblins continue to argue. "Look how much gold I found!" "You ought to give that gold to me, I lost the tip of my ear!" "I'll take the rest of it if you try to take my gold!"

Hrund has her halberd ready.

Gutboy draws his axe.

Lorelei calls out in Goblin-tongue, "Hello dears, what have you found?"

Hrund looks to Lorelei in intense irritation.

"Stupid elf," Hrund mumbles in the Dwarf-tongue.

Aibek gazes at Lorelei in puzzlement.

Lorelei says to Hrund, also in Dwarvish, "Hush, stone-daughter."

Aibek wonders, to any listening, "Why does the demihuman adress them so?"

The goblins hear Lorelei, and start to turn, surprised. "Wha...?!"

Lorelei smiles winningly at the Goblins.

"Who are they?" "Some elf!" "There are dwarves too!" "Ugh! I hate dwarves!" The goblins become quite agitated. "Kill them! Kill the dwarves!"

Aibek says, "Jackdaw, loose."

Jackdaw lets an arrow fly!

Shirka follows up with a sling stone.

Gutboy glees with justified bloodlust.

Hrund charges, halberd swinging, Dwarven oaths on her lips.

Hrund impales one goblin, her motion continuing to carry her forward.

Hrund yells with bloody-minded joy as the battle-frenzy takes her, Goblin blood spattering her cheeks.

Oliver slips his hand into his pouch and pulls out a glistening black mushroom, then devours it.

Oliver feels a burning in his gut, followed by a tingling all over his entire body.

Lorelei steps to the back of the group.

Aibek advances grimly on the Goblins with mace in hand and the wrath of the Allfather in his eyes.

Aibek's mace shatters the skull of a goblin, while the ranged fire from Jackdaw and Shirka fails to connect.

Aibek, as his mace crunches home, barks out, "Behold the might of the Allfather, godless vermin!"

The goblins scream in chaotic disarray and battle-rage as two of their number go down, counterattacking against the interlopers fiercely!

Hrund steels herself, trusting to the gods of stone and blood to preserve her against these filth.

Jackdaw is struck by a goblin's dagger, fortunately, it is only a slight flesh wound. Their other attacks fail to connect or clank harmlessly off well-made armor; the goblins are in general rather ineffectual, perhaps as one would expect goblins to be.

Hrund bellows another battle-cry, spittle flying from her lips, her eyes gleaming like two black diamonds, her blood-spattered face contorted into an expression of dreadful joy as she continues the slaughter.

Another goblin is eviscerated.

Gutboy Barrelhouse swings his axe, taking off the head of a goblin.

Aibek waves Jackdaw to retreat to a better position for archery before turning back to the task at hand and swinging his mace again with a grimace.

Another goblin skull is crushed.

Hrund revels as steam from the goblins' entrails wafts into the air.

Oliver collapses to the ground, puking a black mess.

Shirka is going to help Oliver to safety, and attempt to diagnose what is wrong with Oliver.

What is wrong with Oliver is that he ate a blackcap mushroom and couldn't handle it.

Shirka will definitely snark at him later, for now sling.

Lorelei attacks with her dagger and manages to stab a goblin, as well.

What remains of the goblins scream and flee in a disorderly mass.

Hrund seems disappointed. "Not much of a fight."

Jackdaw tries not to let on that he was the only one who got wounded.

Oliver seems to recover from the black vomitting and says, "Easy peasy."

Shirka helps Oliver recover from the poisonous mushroom.

Oliver says, "Thank you Shirka, I'll survive though. These old bones have eaten stranger and weirder things than that."

"Oh I can imagine..." Shirka quips.

Hrund begins looting the nearest bodies. Specifically, the two whose bellies she slashed open.

In addition to the low-quality weapons and armor they were using, the goblins had 40 gp worth of various coins, a little cube of onyx worth around 25 gp, a dose of greensalve, two sunfruits, a small bag of bits of preserved animal fur and bones, and a wooden token with a skull carved into it.

Hrund will take the gem unless anyone objects.

Aibek casts a contemptuous eye over the fallen and sneers with distaste. "... accursed creatures." Aibek does stoop to pick up the skull token, however.

Lorelei takes the greensalve and sunfruit, remarking, "I have a small stash on my mule Loxy."

Hrund returns to Rota and the mule. "You didn't miss much," she says, still dripping goblin-gore.

Oliver leans on his sword, steadying himself. "Are we going to pool all the treasure, and divide it amonst the survivors later?"

Hrund tosses the onyx cube to Rota, who nearly drops it, but stows it in the saddlebag. "We can divvy up the treasure later," Hrund agrees. "You can stow anything we find with Rota if you wish."

Oliver says, "Alright, stash all the gold with the craven Dwarf."

Hrund also takes the small bag of fur and bones if no one else does. Who knows.

Aibek turns away from the looting and casts an eye over the way forward...

It smells like goblin.

Hrund is ready to enter the castle, if everyone else is.

Aibek says, "As did Kentigern survey the fields of Alterion.."

Hrund eyes the construction with grudging admiration. "These Seleni weren't completely hopeless with the chisel," she notes.

Aibek nods to Hrund. "Lead on, demihuman."

Hrund leads the group inside.

The open door leads into a grand entrance hall, at least 30' square, with wide stairs ascending gradually, opening into a large chamber adorned with more of those distinctive decorative pillars. The ceiling here is mostly gone, allowing the light to shine in and any number of plants and other small forms of vegetation to grow, giving the place a verdant and perhaps even serene quality. Wide archways lead out of the entrance hall in the four cardinal directions; behind you, of course, is where you came in. To the left, the wall and floor have collapsed, leaving no passage but a gaping black pit from which the sound of dripping water can be heard. An open archway leads off to the right, into a pillar-lined hall. Straight ahead is a courtyard, also open, but intentionally so, with several big trees.

The floor of this room is covered in dust, dirt, and debris, none of it any particular value. There are a few upended tarnished metal pots, as well as smashed pottery, and a pile of rock that seems to have been a statue at one point. The room smells a bit musty, but, on top of that, a foul smell, newer in origin: the reek of battle and fresh death. From behind, of course, from the slaughter unleashed by the group just now, but the smell also comes wafting in from the courtyard.

Oliver picks up a couple rocks on the ground and tosses them towards the center of the clearing.

Aibek strides over to the remains of the statue and nudges it with his boot, seeing if there is anything more to it than a pile of rubble.

The rocks impact with a dull thunk. And the statue is just a statue, it would seem. Typical Seleni design, albeit weathered.

Hrund raises a reddish eyebrow and enters the courtyard to investigate.

Rota remains behind, still riding the mule.

The courtyard ahead was once a peaceful place to sit, with a fountain, large benches, and several trees. The trees have since almost completely taken over, and are now quite overgrown. The fountain contains only a small amount of stagnant water. But the smell of the water is nothing compared to the smell of death that lingers, rising from the numerous quite fresh corpses of goblins that are scattered about. One is right near the entrance, sliced open. Several more are lying on the other side, and one hangs over a flying buttress as if flung up there. One off to the left side is a curious sight, not maimed like the others but instead reduced to an ashen, withered husk that at least has the virtue of not smelling foul. Clutched in its dead hand is a crooked white wand, its tip glowing green.

In the center of the courtyard is a strange large black statue, slightly reflective, and seemingly not part of the original architecture. It is of a hooded form, standing over a group of people who are either begging for mercy or simply dying. The hooded form has an open palm, extended, as if to rebuff them, or perhaps to work the magic that has left them in such a miserable state in the first place. In front of this ominous statue is a small altar, inscribed with various skulls and other glyphs of necromancy. A jagged black sword rests awkwardly on the altar, made of the same somewhat reflective black material as the statue itself. The severed hand of a goblin still loosely grasps the handle of the sword, and the hand's owner, deceased, lies in front of the altar, one more dead goblin among many. Aside from the passageway back to the entrance hall, the only other exit to the courtyard is directly across, a similar archway, but this one is blocked by a large stone door inscribed with various Seleni runes. A large and tarnished lock is at the center of this door. A key would seem to be needed to advance through here... or, at least, a way around the door.

Lorelei takes out and unfolds a 10' pole and passes it to Oliver.

The 10' pole unfolds and locks into place. It is now 10'!

Aibek says, "All thy works shall become decrepit through the passing of the years." Aibek shrugs and turns away, heading for the courtyard.

Shirka looks to see if it is possible to stabilize any of the victims.

They're all very dead.

Oliver says, "The skull token, it was taken from the altar I bet."

Aibek cocks an eyebrow at Oliver. "Well, well. You may be right".

Hrund says, "Hmm. Maybe we should return it."

Aibek takes out the token and slowly approaches the altar.

Shirka says, "Be careful, and don't touch any of these corpses. They could be diseased."

Hrund grunts. "Humans are such a cowardly, fragile species."

Lorelei walks over to the white wand and then gingerly picks it up.

As Lorelei takes the wand, she notices, perhaps almost too late, that the green tip is spewing out a constant stream of coruscating green energy. The thing is like a high-pressure hose, she can barely control it, and narrowly avoids hitting anyone, or herself.

Shirka comments, "It's not the humans I'm worried about..."

The green stream arcs overhead! If Hrund were human-height, it would've hit her in the head.

Hrund looks over in alarm.

Aibek says, "Elf! Are you stupid or do you betray us!? Put that infernal device down!"

Lorelei gives a strained smile, struggling to control the wand. "Perhaps we can put the skull token back to shut this thing off?".


Oliver ducks behind the nearest Halfling-sized pillar.

All of the commotion seems to have attracted someone's attention. Rapid footsteps are heard in the gallery to the group's right.

Hrund continues yelling, "ELF! LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! WHAT FOUL BEAST HAS YOUR IDIOCY ATTRACTED NOW?!?" She braces herself for battle.

Lorelei's smile looks even more strained. "Watch your tone with me rock-chewer. This isn't easy."

Aibek sucks his teeth at Lorelei, muttering "Misbegotten devilspawn..." then makes haste to deposit the skull token on the altar before whatever or whoever is upon them.

Putting the skull token back does... nothing! At all! In fact, it doesn't even look like it's 'back.' It's made out of wood and this altar is made of weird black metal.

Aibek shrugs and picks the token back up. Aibek then checks that Jackdaw is an advantageous position to provide the group with cover when ... whatever it is ... attacks.

A group of four goblins that were apparently lost in the ruins is drawn to the noise and chaos.

Hrund charges immediately.

Lorelei tries to lance the Goblins with the wands beam.

Rota yelps and fires off a crossbow bolt.

Aibek follows Hrund into the fray as Jackdaw looses an arrow.

Oliver stays hidden behind his pillar.

Aibek bashes in a goblin skull, while the other attacks fail to connect.

Aibek says, "As did Saint Mabon work ruin upon the bodies of the Basketweavers, do I work ruin upon thee, bogspawn!"

One of the goblins tries to charge Lorelei, apparently unaware of how stupid an idea that is given what she's holding. The goblin runs right into the beam, and promptly ages about 200 years in 3 seconds, turns gray, and collapses.

Another goblin screeches and lunges at Aibek, but misses. The last goblin goes for Hrund, the attack striking only her armor.

Hrund counterattacks with her halberd, and impales the goblin that tried to attack her. She laughs maniacally as the goblin squeals.

Lorelei aims the deadly beam at another goblin.

Lorelei seems unable to control the beam, at least when she's intentionally trying to hit somebody.

Rota fires off her second crossbow.

Oliver comes charging out from behind his pillar swinging his two-handed sword.

Hrund says, "By my grandmother's beard, you will rue the day you crossed one of the Stonelung clan!" Hrund yells at the dying goblin impaled on her weapon.

The goblins prove to be tenacious, or, at least, they're running all over the place so they're hard to hit.

Aibek grunts "Saints of War!" and hefts his mace once more. Aibek then has to duck as Jackdaw shoots another arrow into the fray.

Except until Jackdaw hits one with an arrow. It goes flying back, arrow in the knee, screeching in pain, but still alive. It joins the other goblin in attack, and both goblins that remain now converge on Lorelei, trying to wrestle the wand from her.

Lorelei somehow manages to evade the goblins, one flailing about uselessly, the other hanging on her leg.

Gutboy attempts to help. Gutboy hits one of the goblins with his very elegant, highly well-crafted axe that Gutboy takes great pride in.

Aibek keeps trying to swat goblins with his mace.

Aibek and Gutboy both slay a goblin, leaving no goblins left.

Oliver charges after the goblins taking another swing with his sword, but they are all dead by the time he arrives.

The goblins had, aside from their worthless goblin-gear, 9 gp in assorted coins.

Aibek says, "Foul sinborn creatures."

There are now more dead goblins adding to the already bad-smelling pile of dead goblins that was in here.

Lorelei says, "Thank you for your help, Gutboy, Aibek."

Lorelei has managed to find some stability, shooting the beam straight up, where it's at least mostly harmless.

Aibek says, "Silence, elf. It was your devilish work brought them upon us."

Lorelei smiles condenscendingly at the humans words.

Hrund turns to Rota. "The mule should stay here, or in the courtyard.".

Rota nods. "I'll, ah, guard it.".

Oliver says, "Rota, please guard our mule as well. Lorelei's Loxy."

"Does anyone need any healing?" Shirka asks.

Oliver pokes at the black sword with the 10' pole.

The sword shifts slightly. The severed goblin hand that was grasping it falls off.

Oliver says, "There, now it's clean if anyone wants to pick it up."

"Thank you very much!" Shirka says with gratitude. "I was worried about that."

Oliver asks "So, what's the plan?".

Hrund approaches the right-hand passage to investigate it.

Lorelei & Oliver follow the angriest dwarf.

Rota is definitely not. That's enough action for her. Rota gets out her wineskin and gets to drinking.

The gallery to the right of the entrance hall contains numerous pillars that frame a what was probably once panoramic view of the Black Hills, though now that the castle has been swallowed up by the mountain all that is visible is a short expanse of grass shadowed by a large cliff, as well as a small stream that flows down from the mountains before disappearing underground. The gallery itself contains four big metal pots, three of them still standing, containing what was once probably a fine oil that has spoiled with age. The last one is tipped over, the black oil spilled all over the floor in a large somewhat iridescent slick. At the end of the hall, a set of stairs proceed up or down, but the upward direction is mostly sealed off due to a partial collapse of the roof. There is still a small passageway, and perhaps rocks could be moved to widen the way, should the group wish to go upstairs.

Hrund eyes the passage. "Down seems easiest, and likely most profitable." Her eyes glint with barely-concealed bloodlust. "Perhaps there are dark elves down there..."

Oliver says, "Let's not be too hasty here. We should fully explore this room before moving on." Oliver takes the 10' pole and swirls it around in the spilled oil.

The oil is just oil.

Hrund rolls her eyes. She then asks, "Does anyone have a lantern? I have torches..."

"Let's just use the elf's death-beam for light. She doesn't seem like she's about to leave it behind," Jackdaw grunts.

Aibek lights a torch.

Hrund asks, "Done playing in the oil yet?"

Oliver says, "Not yet." Oliver tries to tip over one of the remaining pots with the 10' pole.

The pot tips over, spilling more oil.

Hrund groans with impatience and begins cleaning and sharpening her halberd.

Lorelei says, "There are flasks of oil and a Lantern on in Loxy's pack if someone wants to grab them."

Oliver tips over the other two pots.

The floor is now covered in oil.

Hrund gives Oliver a look as if to say "are you stupid?"

Shirka steps as far away from the oil as possible.

Hrund says, "I suppose a torch might set this alight, if we need to beat a hasty retreat."

Oliver says, "There could have been something in them. You never know."

Hrund asks, "For the sake of my grandmother's whiskers, may we press on?" Hrund tugs her braid impatiently.

Oliver scratches at his whiskers. "Lets try up?"

Hrund looks like she is going to strangle Oliver.

Oliver says, "Ok, give me a hand grumpy goose. Let's clear this upward passage.".

As they pass, the less-than-dextrous Gutboy Barrelhouse slips and falls in the oil.


Hrund grunts and complies, turning back to chuckle at the oily Gutboy.

Oliver gets to work with Hrund to clear the rubble for the upward passage.

Rocks are slowly but surely cleared away.

Hrund pokes around as soon as the rocks are cleared.

The once-blocked stairs lead up into the castle's east tower. The tower itself is in considerable disrepair. The floor is covered in straw, sticks and twigs, animal bones, and the dried droppings of what is presumably some very large creature. Stairs spiral around the outside of the tower to go upward, but have somewhat fallen away. Proceeding is possible, if somewhat risky. The floor above is in no better shape, at least if the view from here is any indication. Large holes in the wooden ceiling (which is also the floor of the chamber above) reveal more haphazardly arranged sticks and twigs, and, through those can be seen various slivers of the sky, or at least, of the Black Hills that block the view of the sky.

Hrund says, "This might be the nest of that beast we saw earlier. I have no quarrel with the creature. Let's descend, unless you want to scrounge round here for coins waiting for the beast to return?"

Oliver agrees. "Aye, the griffon next. Well downwards we go? No sense bother the old bird."

Hrund nods to Oliver. "You are sounding halfway-sensible, hobbit."

Shirka adds, "...lion-thing."

Hrund descends.

Lorelei manages to graze the wooden floor with the wands discharge as she turns around.

Back down into the oily room!

Hrund descends again.

"Slippery floor and death-wand. Yeah, real good combination," Jackdaw says, exhaling.

The stairs descend to a small landing, about 5' by 10', and another set of stairs then descends in the opposite direction. At the bottom is what looks like it was once a storeroom, although it is quite bare now. There are a few smashed barrels, as well as one barrel that is intact, and a mostly-rotted wooden box. A number of loose copper coins are scattered about the floor, as well as other various trinkets. Other than the stairs upward, the other exit from here is a rotten wooden door at the far end of the room. The sound of someone... or something... clattering about can be heard from beyond the door.

Lorelei smiles reassuringly at Jackdaw. "Don't worry, we'll all be alright".

Shirka says, "I'm sure that Gutsy over here can attest to the 'stability' of the situation..."

Gutboy fires back, "Easy crow-face....".

Hrund listens at the door to see if she can discern anyything further.

Sounds like rattling bones. Probably walking, rattling bones.

Hrund says, "Skeletons. Either this place is haunted, or there's a necromancer down here with us..." Hrund keeps an eye on the door and quickly investigates the barrel. She is a Dwarf, after all, and enjoys a spot of whiskey...

This barrel is very old, and not well-kept. If it wasn't originally vinegar, it is now.

Hrund wrinkles her nose in distaste.

Oliver boasts, "I can smash a bone boy as easily as slicing gobbers. Let's keep going?"

Hrund says, "Aye, Elfslicer may not be as effective against such things, but it should do in a pinch... Does anyone have a spare mace or cudgel?"

Jackdaw readies his weapons as well.

Hrund observes, "Blunt weapons tend to be most effective against such foes."

Oliver shrugs and unsheaths his large sword.

Hrund sighs and opens the door, prepared for battle.

The door leads into a narrow hallway that immediately turns to the left, proceeding some distance into the darkness. The floor is filthy, covered in dirt, grime, and bones, many of them humanoid. Perhaps more pressingly, there are a number of skeletons, also humanoid, shambling about. Some carry rusty swords, others with broken culinary tools or farming implements or other such improvised weapons. In this corridor, there are at least 5 skeletons milling about, but there are two further doorways, one about 30 feet ahead, the next 30 feet beyond that, and the occasional skeleton wandering about near each door can be seen, as well. In total, it's difficult to tell just how many there are, but a rough estimate would be at least ten, possibly more. They seem to be moving with no real purpose, just shuffling about.

Oliver charges in with Hrund.

The group has some difficulty piling through the door, and the skeletons get the first strike, two of them closing in. A skeleton brutally cleaves Oliver with a rusty farm tool! The other one strikes at Hrund, but misses.

More skeletons begin moving into the hall, but the space is tight, so they cannot attack.

Hrund smashes the skeleton in front of her, scattering its bones.

Another soon takes its place, naturally, and she attacks again, but is not so lucky on that one.

Hrund seems less satisfied with smashing bones than cleaving flesh.

Aibek steps in behind and raises his holy symbol. "BEGONE!"

Shirka does the same.

The skeletons that the group now faces recoil in... well, the closest thing they can show to fear.

Jackdaw takes a shot from the rear rank. He hits a skeleton, but the arrow just gets stuck in its bones.

Lorelei steps in and scythes the beam towards the skeletons.

The beam misses the skeletons, and, in such tight quarters, has nowhere else to go but the front rank. Hrund's beard grows a bit longer, or, if she didn't have one, she has one now! Oliver is less fortunate, taking the brunt of it... he is now a withered husk.

Hrund feels death grow closer. She grins.

Lorelei smiles radiantly. "Oopsy."

Perhaps trying to use this beam in such tight quarters was not wise.

Lorelei says, "Lesson learned."

"Elf, you will pay for that!" Hrund barks.


"I'm standing over there..." Shirka backs away slowly.

Gutboy swings his axe and manages to shatter another of the skeletons.

Most of them are turned, fleeing away from the clerics' holy symbols. Only four of them retain any semblance of 'courage,' at least what passes for it among walking bones. They trudge forward, striking with rusty blades.

Gutboy gets sliced in the shoulder with a pickaxe.

Hrund hacks grimly at the skeletons, undaunted by age.

Her counterattack crushes one of the remaining skeletons. And chops a leg off another, though it remains standing.

Jackdaw looses an arrow, but misses. He curses, clearly alarmed by Oliver's desiccation.

Aibek kneels next to Oliver to see if anything can be done. Sadly, it would seem nothing can.

Lorelei throws her dagger at a skeleton.

Lorelei's dagger hits a skeleton square in the skull, knocking it off and sending it collapsing to the ground.

"Oh, so NOW you can thread the needle," Jackdaw growls.

Trying to throw a dagger and maintain a grip on the death-wand, which, as you recall, has a certain amount of kick, is not easy. The wand's beam goes shooting about the tight quarters again... This time, it hits a skeleton, causing the skeleton to glow bright green and howl with what sounds like glee.

Lorelei says, "Double Kill!"

"Elf, if these bones aren't the end of you, I might well be," Jackdaw curses.

Lorelei replies, "Kill more enemies."

Shirka swings and misses, while Gutboy manages to chop off a skeletal arm.

Only two unturned skeletons remain, damaged at that, but their morale is unfailing. They strike once more. A skeleton grazes Hrund with its blade, while Gutboy evades.

Hrund counterattacks, bleeding from the graze, along with Gutboy, while Jackdaw looses another arrow.

They have smashed two more skeletons. Some nine more remain, but they are cowering in various dark places, turned by the clerics' holy symbols.

Hrund pants heavily.

Aibek turns, looking somberly at Oliver's body, and reading him the last rites of the Allfather.

Hrund turns to Lorelei. "Elf. You have stolen years from my life. What recompense do you offer?"

Lorelei says, "For now, you have my apologies."

Hrund snaps back, "The apologies of an Elf mean nothing to me."

Lorelei replies, "It's just a few years."

Hrund narrows her eyes.

Lorelei takes out some greensalve. "Chew on this, it will mend some wounds and calm your temper."

Hrund says, "We will discuss this further when the treasure is distributed." She grabs the greensalve and begins rubbing it into her wounds.

The pain is eased. One could almost forget the wounds are even there. Almost.

Lorelei says, "Oliver had a small mirror, someone pass it to me please. He also had some rations."

Hrund presses on down the passage, pausing once she reaches the nearest branching passage. She ignores Lorelei's request.

"Are you going to keep that infernal wand?" Jackdaw demands.

Lorelei says, "I think the wand is safest under our control."

Jackdaw fires back, "Yeah, it's been real safe so far." He glances at Oliver's body.

Lorelei says, "That is, unless you want some goblins to use it against us."

The nearest door leads into what seems like a prison. In the center of the room, there is a broken wooden table and a few smashed plates and pots. The left and right walls of the prison contain two cells each, for a total of four, each one blocked off with a very rusty set of bars. At the back of the prison, another set of stairs descends further, into the darkness. Starting at the nearest cell and going clockwise: The first cell is empty, containing only a bit of straw and a dirty floor. The second cell contains a large covering of a strange yellowish-brown fungus with a nasty sulfurous smell, including a desiccated corpse that is completely covered in the foul stuff. The third cell's door is not closed, and it contains a tattered brown robe and 10 gold pieces scattered around the floor. The fourth cell contains a skeleton, although it is somewhat in pieces, with the nearly entire upper half having been violently removed, as if blown apart, one arm hanging awkwardly over the bars of the door. An old brown bloodstain in a rather explosive splatter pattern extends all the way up the wall, with bits of dried entrails and other such unpleasantries stuck to it, albeit mostly decayed at this point.

Shirka says, "Let's compromise. We'll break it."

Jackdaw backs away and follows Hrund.

Hrund grabs the coins while the fools do foolish things.

Lorelei says, "If you want to break the wand, just let me run into a different room first."

"Go back to the storeroom," Hrund suggests.

Shirka says, "Let's do this. Since it was my idea I'll try to break it."

Lorelei says, "Sure thing, right here on the storeroom floor." Lorelei gently puts down the wand and then bolts into the prison room.

Hrund glares at Lorelei.

Shirka looks around for big rocks.

There is ample debris.

Aibek peeks out, and shakes his head.

Hrund begins sharpening Elfslicer.

Lorelei says, "The humans are proving why the Allfather didn't gift them with long lives. It'd just be wasted."

Shirka steps back a distance, and picks up a reasonably sized piece of stone, and throws it on the wand. Then jumps for cover.

There is a bright green flash, and a horrific sound that sounds a bit like a thunderclap, an inhuman scream, and... well, who even knows. The wand, Shirka, and an entire 10x10' area is reduced to bubbling, foul-smelling greenish black goop.

Lorelei gestures behind her. "Humans."

Hrund shakes her head dispassionately. "Should we descend, or continue exploring this level?".

"I'd rather not run into those skeletons again," Jackdaw says.

Lorelei says, "We just lost our Cleric. The skeletons are proving quite deadly."

Hrund says, "Aibek has skills in this regard. You wish to flee, Elf?"

Lorelei replies, "My magicks are those of sleeping and beguiling. Both ineffective against the undead."

Hrund says, "Let us descend further. There may be worthier foes below."

"You are proving far worse than merely ineffective, elf," Jackdaw growls, and then descends.

Lorelei shrugs. "Fine, let us continue then. Does anyone have a sling?" She grabs the 10' pole off Oliver's body, as well.

Hrund descends the stair at the end of the cell-block.

Down the stairs from the prison is a decaying, fetid room containing three bloodstained stone tables; upon each one rests a badly mangled dead goblin. Splatters of dried blood line the walls in various places, and a strange spiked apparatus with restraints that seems to be some sort of implement of torture is in the center of the room. On a shelf on the wall are several swords, daggers, and axes in fairly good condition... but also covered in dried blood. A somewhat rotted black wooden door on the right wall leads out of here. The other exit is found in the back of the room, another set of stairs, that descend even further.

Hrund takes a sword and axe.

The sword is curved and elegant, the axe blade narrow and serrated. Dark elven weapons.

Hrund eyes them with interest, looking over at the goblin corpses. "This could well be the work of dark elves!" she says with obvious excitement.

The goblins have been killed in gruesome fashion, limbs cut off, organs pulled out, eyes gouged out. It was obviously intended to be painful.

Lorelei says, "This definitely looks like my... ignoble cousins' work. We should stop them."

Hrund says, "That's the first sensible thing you've said."

Lorelei searches for any secret or hidden doors.

None are found.

Hrund listens at the rotten door.

No sound is heard.

Hrund tries the door.

The door leads into a partially caved-in underground passageway, where the bricks have started to fall off the wall, exposing rock and dirt. A large section of the floor is missing, as well, and groundwater has seeped in, leaving most of the floor covered in several inches of water. The ceiling is also largely missing, and, high above, two large holes are visible that lead back up to somewhere on the upper floors of the castle. The other ways out of here are through the wooden door that the group entered, leading back into the foul torture room, or to continue to follow the underground passageway, which seems to curve around the room and then turn left.

Hrund has enough architectural sense to figure this out.

Meanwhile, Rota hears someone skulking about, through the large hole in the courtyard floor.

Hrund says, "Rota?" she says, trying to keep her voice quiet enough not to attract anything unpleasant.

Rota hears what sounds like Hrund whispering from below.

Hrund asks, "Do you have a rope up there?"

Lorelei offers, "There should be several 50' lengths on Loxy."

"By gods the elf is actually useful," Jackdaw mumbles.

Rota goes to fetch the rope, ties it off round one of the sturdier-looking pillars in the hall above, and casts it down.

Hrund asks, "Hmm. Should we press on, or return to the surface to rest for the time being?"

Lorelei says, "Let's press on a bit, I still have all my magicks."

"We have lost two of our number," Aibek protests.