Friday, January 28, 2011

Village of Hommlet - D20 Style (Part 5)

[continued from here]

The Crypt

Geffen chants a prayer to the Lords of the Natural World and healing power flows through your wounds. At your behest, he also tends to Kendra, who rises from her paralysis immediately!

“I just needed the warmth of a healing touch to revive me!” she says, smiling shyly at the young druid, who blushes. You wonder if there may be something more going on between the two of them. However, she quickly moves over to Eldoran and likewise lays hands on her, healing the dwarf with the power of her goodness.

You, Bryant, and Spugnoir explore the crypt; it is large and T-shaped, the base of the “T” extending west. In the dim light of the torch you see that a corridor of worked stone in the western end of the chamber leads back into other areas of the moat house. Meanwhile Spugnoir calls to you and Bryant…he has discovered another exit in the southern end of the chamber!

This second exit appears to be a breakthrough dug from the outside in; it does not appear to be part of the original construction and it is narrow, cramped and rough. From inside its depths comes a foul and fetid stench.

The party meets once again by the entrance you came through (in the northern end of the “T”). Bryant reports that he can find nothing in the ruins of the coffins; either the ghouls or someone else has looted the crypt, even of bodies! The others await your decision of which way to go…everyone is excited and battle-ready, though Geffen and Kendra tell you they will be unable to heal anyone until the new day has dawned.

The others follow your lead and agree to try the southern exit.

Poking your way into the tunnel to the south you find yourself in a cramped earthen tunnel about 5’ in diameter and definitely foul in odor. Walking hunched over and tapping ahead with your pole you eventually come to a smelly cave: the apparent den of the ghouls. Besides gnawed bones, there are many pieces of silver scattered about the area, several vials of holy water, and typical relics buried with the dead, now broken and desecrated.

As the others worm their way into the noisome smelling lair, you further find an unidentified potion and an old wooden scroll tube with an intact scroll! Carefully un-rolling and studying the parchment by torchlight, you find that it contains a mystical ward of protection against the undead…would that you had this earlier! The quarters are cramped with the six of you inside, and you find another three foot diameter tunnel burrowing out of this den. If you want to follow it, you will need to crawl!

Back to the Dungeon

Feeling claustrophobic in the cramped confines of the ghouls’ warren, your party quickly leaves after gathering the treasure. You give the scroll to Spugnoir, as per your party’s original agreement to hand over any magical writings found, and you pocket the mysterious potion in case you need it. All take a share of the silver and a vial or two of the (still fresh) holy water.

Back in the crypt chamber, you spurn the northern aperture you came in through in favor of the main exit in the western arm of the T-shaped room. Taking the lead, your party travels easily down the wide, worked stone corridor.

“Good stone went into the building of the moat house,” observes Eldoran. “I’m not an expert, but I’ve seen enough rock in my day to tell good from bad!”

The corridor leads west then jukes south before turning westward again. A few minutes after leaving the crypt, you come to a decision as the corridor splits in two directions, one way going north and the other south. Bryant takes a few steps south, and his torch shows a descending staircase.

“Wait here!” you tell the others, then you pad northwards with a torch of your own. Moving softly and quickly, you move far enough down the northern way to see that the corridor ends in a doorway…but not before a second tunnel branches off to the west. Rather then pass the opening in order to inspect the door (if there’s anyone lurking down the new corridor, you don’t want to be cut off from the rest of the group), you pad back to the party with your reconnaissance.

Deciding against the stairway, you approach the door, pausing at the empty corridor branching off to the west. At the door you stop and carefully lay your ear at the edge: you hear nothing. Carefully you open the door, which swings easily on we’ll oiled hinges.

There is a very short corridor that opens into a large empty chamber. Your party has just entered through the southwest corner of the room. The chamber is about fifty feet east to west, thirty feet north to south and devoid of even furniture. In the center of the north and east walls, corridors lead off into darkness. Spaced evenly across the southern wall are three short corridors, each ending in a door; your party entered through the westernmost one of these.

Taking a moment to look around, you realize there isn’t much here except for five choices in exit, including back the way you came!

Feeling Lost

Fighting your growing feeling of dread at the possibility of getting lost, you lead the company up the northern corridor. It winds about, first to the left, then the right and eventually forks; one passage leading northeast, one leading in a westerly fashion.

As you dig your chalk out of your backpack, the others are relieved that you are taking steps to avoid getting lost…they hadn’t even thought much about it! Everyone is tense because of the darkness and silence and the thought that at any moment, something could jump out at them.

Seeing the mysterious potion in your pack, you ask Spugnoir if he can identify it, but he shakes his head. “I’m sure I couldn’t even hazard a guess…for all I know, it could be rum punch! My spell book contains many spells, but not one that could tell you the qualities of the liquid. Your guess is as good as mine.”

Disappointed yet again with the mage, you are beginning to wonder what he can do! You carefully stash the potion, and lead the party northeast after making a small mark on the wall to indicate the direction. After following the corridor for 20 yards or so, it takes a 45 degree turn to the left for another forty feet or so before going up a stairway. At the top of the stairway, you quickly discover a stone door, disguised to look like part of the wall (at least from the other side…a secret door!). From this side it opens easily, and you find yourselves in a small ten foot square room with one other exit: a stairway leading upwards to the north.

You search the room cautiously for traps, while the others wait on the stairs behind you (the stairs downward). You’re uncertain of your depth below the moat house, and don’t know where this second stairway upwards would lead; consequently, your wary about rushing upwards.

Your search fails to yield any traps, but you must slip a catch somewhere as the wall directly across from the entrance through which you came opens with a creak! You have managed to find yet another secret door! As the others crowd you from behind you look around the new room, noting that it seems to be slightly furnished, though in an untidy fashion.

You realize you should be worried about the light in the room at the same time as you hear a booming voice say, “Lubash SMASH intruders!” Whirling you see a huge ogre who was crouched behind the door, swinging a huge club! The maul misses you but catches Eldoran under the chin and flings her across the room! She hits the wall and does not move.

Kendra is the next one through the door and catches a great blow from the ogre’s club on her shield. It flashes blue but its enchantment holds, and she smites the creature yelling, “Die, fell-beast!” The ogre yelps in pain as the long sword cuts deep. Bryant leaps through the door and likewise puts an arrow into the hulking giant, while Geffen scrambles through, and quickly crawls to Eldoran. You flee farther into the room and fumble for your crossbow. From behind a barred wooden door comes a frantic pounding and cries of “Help! Help!”

You finally manage to nock your crossbow as “Lubash” brings another crashing blow down on Kendra. Unhesitating, she leaps forward and plunges her long sword deep into the ogre’s belly. Bryant misses with a second arrow, but you take off an ear with your bolt and the ogre passes into a red rage! With a howl he leaps forward, just as Spugnoir comes through the door, chanting and gesticulating wildly. In the magical gibberish you can distinguish only one word: sleep! Lights streaks from his hands to engulf the creature’s head, but Lubash shakes it a couple times, and seems to shrug off the spell.

A backhand blow from his club strikes Spugnoir in the chest and knocks him back through the door and out of sight. Kendra strikes the ogre from behind, but her blow lands flat. You place a well-aimed bolt into the giant’s back from behind, and he howls in pain as the shaft lodges deep. Bryant draws his sword and hurls himself at the ogre!

Eldoran is starting to rouse under the ministrations of Geffen, but cannot rise from the floor. The ogre tries to strike the druid from behind but his club swings wild! Desperate to keep the monster from their fallen comrades, Kendra and Bryant redouble their melee efforts. You shoot it with a third bolt but the monster refuses to die!

The pounding from the closet comes louder. An elbow smash from Lubash bloodies Bryant’s mouth. You cannot fire into the melee for fear of hitting your friends, and they seem unable to bring the ogre down! Drawing your dagger, you rush towards the brawl, searching for a good opening.

The ogre stomps down on Kendra but misses as she wraps her arms around its weapon wrist. You stab the ogre behind its left knee and it falls to one leg. The point of Bryant’s sword enters its eye and it is over. As you stand up, chest heaving from excitement and exertion, the pounding and cries of help increase.

The Ogre’s Lair

You warn the others away from the barred wooden door, just as Kendra was approaching it. The voices from behind continue pleading and begging to be let out, but the others obey your command after seeing your leveled crossbow and steely look.

The chamber is large, about forty feet square with a pit for cooking and a heap of rags and fur for bedding. There is also a small table, some sort of cloak rack (holding the ogre’s disgusting skinned hide cloak), and a large flattened rock, hollowed to make a kind of seat. There are also skewers used for cooking, with some sort (?!) of meat on them. Directly opposite the secret door you came through is a large wooden door, unbarred, though there is a bar resting against the wall. Torches light the room.

The barred door is in the center of the southern wall (to your left as you come through the secret entrance). Geffen and Bryant helps a dazed Eldoran to her feet. She tries to say something, but cannot form the words; apparently, the ogre broke her jaw! You realize you have no idea where Spugnoir is.

You firmly tell the others that it is time to go. Kendra and Geffen both object to the abandonment of prisoners, and say that the poor souls deserve at least a fighting chance at life. Kendra points out that they could equip them with daggers, or even the skewers of the ogre! Bryant points out that there may be a reward.

However, you ignore their arguments, pointing out your depleted resources and the fact that you need to get out of here NOW! Obviously the moat house is deadlier then originally thought, and there is a lot more to it then you were led to believe. It is time to re-group and re-strategize. You wave your crossbow menacingly and Kendra moves away from the barred door.

The prisoners are screaming not to be left behind!

You lead the party back through the secret door, without bothering to even search the ogre’s chambers. You find yourself on the short landing at the top of the stairs you came up. In front of you is the stairway leading down to the dungeon (and back to the crypts). To your left is the stairway leading upwards to the unknown.

In the light of your torch, you behold a terrible sight: at the bottom of the stairway you first came up lies the sprawled figure of Spugnoir. His chest is crushed, and even from here you can see his head is twisted at a horrible angle from his fall. Blood has spewed from his mouth and covers the foot of the steps below you. It appears that the young wizard has met his final destiny here in the catacombs of the moat house!


  1. Chello!

    Wow, that's a first. Never heard of anyone leaving the poor gnomes behind before.

  2. @ Anthony: It was several years ago that this game took place (maybe 2004?) so remembering the exact circumstance is hard, but the Doc pretty much freaked out after the whole ogre incident (the party took a lot of damage)...he was ready to quit the whole dungeon and look for easier pickings and wasn't about to risk getting finished off by possible assailants PRETENDING to be prisoners.

    Not very heroic, perhaps, but his character was a Chaotic Neutral rogue after all...