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Otakar

Adventures of the Prides Staves - The Dungeons of Terror

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Chapter II: The Dungeons of Terror!

This episode begins back in Threshold at the Shady Dragon Inn. Valen disappeared. But the group is joined by Halt, the ranger; Elvira, the elf and Horace Whimp, the wizard.

Clifton Caldwell, hearing the news about the dungeons below his castle implores the Staves to clear the dungeon for him. Isla, ignoring the obvious plot hook, advocates against returning to the dungeon. Fortunately, the newly joined, Horace, wishes to advance the plotline and encourages the party to return to the castle and clear the dungeon. Once a gain Kenshi reminds the group to use their funds to purchase healing potions, which they do. After some small provisioning the Staves return to the castle and climb down through the trap door into the dungeons.

Softpaw the wolf left in the interim to find his original pack. With no way to get him down the trap door. the party left Drew, the mule, back in Threshold. Fortunately, Horace conjures a floating disk that easily carries the party’s excess baggage.

Once down the hole the trap shuts leaving the party with their light sources to explore their surroundings. The party is astonished by the appearance of a lone female who looks much like Isla. The female introduces herself as Roberta and wishes to join the party. She doesn’t look very formidable with only a dagger and traveling clothes and the Staves begin to give her the “Third Degree”. Anna Oop, Horace and Elvira lean towards letting her join the group or at least remain unmolested but Kenshi, Halt and Isla refuse to buy-in to Roberta’s coincidental appearance.

Isla puts the discussion to an end by tossing fire at Roberta. Roberta responds by rushing forward and delivering two devastating blows with her fists that crumple Isla into a heap. Elvira and Horace try to stop the violence but, Kenshi, Halt and Anna Oop, take down the assailant. Once dead, Roberta reverts to an androgynous and inhuman being. The party revives Isla while Anna Oop's sharp dwarven eyes spot newer masonry on one of the walls that lead to a cache of treasure (500 GP). From there the party moves on to investigate a door just up the hall.

Isla convincingly makes an argument to find the way out of this place, but Horace and Anna Oop feel committed to their agreement to Caldwell to “clear” these dungeons of baddies. Isla tells them they can investigate the door and the rest of the Staves will wait outside. Isla does detect magic behind the door and Halt and Kenshi ineptly check the door for traps.

Anna Oop and Horace open the door to find two poorly kept researchers who invite them in. The room looks like a wizard’s workshop and the two inhabitants don’t seem violent but Horace decides to cast an illusion that makes the door appear to close behind him but actually leaves it ajar for their escape. Amazingly, the wizards don’t seem to notice and when they think the door is shut, they begin to cast spells. Fortunately, Anna Oop and Horace act first and flee out the door, shutting it behind them. The Staves wait for the occupants to follow out the door but when no one comes forth they decide to move on, thinking that they may return to the room at some point.

They meet the wizards sooner than anticipated when the party finishes exterminating a nest of fire beetles that connects to the wizards’ workshop. One wizard puts Kenshi and Isla to sleep while the other launches magic missiles, but Elvira is impervious to the sleep spells and between her and Halt riddle the wizards with arrows. Isla finds a small, onyx cat figurine at the fire beetle nest and Horace finds a wizard’s staff at the workshop. Both items radiate magic, but the party knows they’ll need more time to divine how the items function.

There’s some “storming” within the party as some of the group, led by Isla, argue with the other half lead by Halt. The arguing and name calling are put to an end when the Staves encounter a gelatinous cube. The cube all but makes a meal out of the party except for Halt and Kenshi who fire their weapons at range and stay out of the creature’s reach, finally dropping the ooze and freeing the group. The newly revived Isla and the rest gratefully decide to set-aside their differences and commit to better camaraderie. Halt feels particularly rewarded by finding a magical ranger’s knife that was suspended within the cube. After gathering themselves together, the exhausted group settles in for some well-needed rest.

The new day begins with a tussle with some berserkers. The great-sword wielding chieftain leaves Horace at death’s door but fortunately Isla can bring him back to life. Kenshi and Halt, continue their tactic of fire and move to bring down the durable chieftain. Isla determines the great sword is magical and Kenshi decides that it will work well for him.

In their explorations the party came upon a locked-magical door which they couldn’t open. They finally find the key after defeating some strange regenerating goblinoids. Upon opening the previously closed door, they see a cabinet overflowing with treasure. The Staves quickly discern that this is an illusion but find when they get within a few feet of the treasure they’re teleported to another room with ten sarcophagi and a magic circle centered in the room.

Careful examination shows that two of the sarcophagi are not as old as the others, so the staves decide to open one of those. They are surprised by an undead warrior who begins to attack them. The group quickly takes down the warrior and decides to open the other, similar sarcophagus only to find that it also contains an undead warrior who attacks them.

Although the Staves defeated the warriors the battles took their toll, depleting them of spells and strength. Somewhat demoralized and unsure of what to do, Halt gets the impression that he may sacrifice his magical ranger’s knife by stabbing it into the center of the magic circle. He does this, forcing the knife to shatter and making his arm numb with pain. In return he’s given the vision that the seventh sarcophagus will reveal their exit.

Opening the seventh sarcophagus activates the magic circle and reveals some treasure (coins) and a scroll. The scroll details an incantation that will reveal the exit from the dungeon. The Staves return to the illusionary treasure room and move to the point where they speak the incantation: “OWA TAGOO SIAM”. They chant it quicker and quicker until they groan at the silly joke and the secret door leading out of the dungeons reveals itself. The Staves exit unto a forested side of a slope below the castle successfully completing their mission.

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