Society of the Upper Room, Session 2
by, 05-19-2009 at 01:02 PM (1736 Views)
Before going on Taijiya decides that she cannot tolerate Rummy's repugnant handling of the goblin corpses. She declares that this is not the proper conduct for any Eladrin and demands the moonstone (precious to Sahanine, her deity) that Rummy found as her share of the treasure. Out of principle Rummy starts to refuse and has the support of Balim, who believes any deity who covets gems Balim helped find must be inherently evil. Tuan and Phaldara remain indifferent and only Thalion's coaxing forestalls a potential conflict. Rummy hands the proud Taijiya the moonstone and she departs the dungeon and the game, for now.
Ready to get back into the action Thalion listens at the closed door but hears nothing. Rummy listens as well but can hear nothing either. Confident that nothing is in the next room the party opens wide the door to be greeted by a group of 5 wolf-keeping hobgoblins including a warcaster who orders a hobgoblin to raise the lever that operates a portcullis and dispatches the lone kobold among them to go and warn "Broot". Phaldara, being the strongest and best armored now that Taijiya is absent, is at the front and ready for the fray. The warcaster rewards his bravado by "force-luring" him to the edge of a pit that is at the foot of a large but crudely carved demon statue on the west side of the room. Tuan reacts quickly by firing two poorly aimed shafts at the hobgoblin moving to the leaver to "release the beast". Tuan's arrows did nothing to deter the hobgoblin grunt from tripping the lever to raise the gate while 2 of his compatriots move to intercept Phaldara who is already set back on his heels from the last attack. Both hobgoblins deal telling blows and the aforementioned gray wolf leaps over the pit to finish Phaldara who must now fight against death. Thalion maneuvers to take out a hobgoblin and puts himself in position to deal more damage while Rummy and Balim fire missiles at the enemies. The chamber behind the portcullis reveals a horse-sized dire wolf that charges right at Thalion over Phaldara's dying body.
Tuan drops his bow and draws his scimitar and longsword to go toe-to-toe with the dire wolf and his smaller gray companion. Thalion gets no opportunity to do more damage as the warcaster force-lures him into the pit. The feckless kobold fails to make it to the southwest door as rummy blasts him between the shoulders. Balim finds that hobgoblins are no easy foes as he takes maul to shield against the remaining grunt. While reckless, Tuan proves adept at avoiding and minimizing damage from wolf bites while he hacks away that the larger of the two. Although Thalion fails to extract himself from the pit he finds that he is not long without entertainment as the warcaster unintentionally joins him after a failed attempt to leap the pit. Thalion is not found wanting and quickly dispatches his foe to return to stabilize the hapless Phaldara who is but one step away from oblivion. Rummy and Tuan finish the dire wolf and are joined by Balim who introduces the smaller wolf to the business end of his maul. The grey wolf's whine of pain is cut short as Thalion's rapier pierces its lung finishing it.
The companions search the area in vain without exploring the two southern doors. Feeling well worn from the battle they wisely decide to finish the remainder of the night in rest as they retreat to camp outside the tower ruins. Being somewhat hidden in the thick forest near the entrance to the tower, Rummy is left in alert meditation while the rest of the group slumbers. Rummy arouses himself in about 2 hours as he notices a muscular, hooded, and torch-bearing humanoid emerge from the entrance and start poking around the side to the rear of the ruins. He rouses Thalion from his rest and the two go to investigate. They remain hidden and leave their interest unmolested as it comes back around and returns to the ruins.
All are rested (except Thalion) and choose to reenter the ruins and make their way to the site of their last conflict. As they traverse their previous battle sties they note that all of their enemies' bodies as well as the light sources are gone. Choosing to save their sunrods, Rummy casts a light cantrip upon Phaldara's shield as he leads the way. They reach their previous point without incident and notice that the south east door, which was previously closed, is now ajar. Further investigation shows that the door concealed a small room empty of contents but Rummy and Thalion's insight leads them to believe that a heavy object such as a chest was recently removed, dragged and carried out of this room. The group chooses to open the south west door and venture down the corridor.
After about 20 feet the atmosphere becomes more humid and the party notices glowing lichen along the walls providing adequate light for all of them. A horrid odor assails their sense of smell bringing to mind dead, maggot-ridden bodies ripening in the sun. The smell comes from a short way ahead around a corridor with an open door. Sensing an immanent threat the party rushes around and into the room to be greeted by darkness only broken by Phaldara's lighted shield and the glowing eyes of 3 zombies and 2 skeletons crammed into a small room with a pedestal upon which lies a small humanoid body. The foul stink clearly comes from one of the zombies and Phaldara's bright light is answered as the corruption corpse hurls a mote of its fetid body at him. The macabre adversaries pose little trouble for the intrepid heroes saving the corruption corpse whose stench affects Balim's and Phaldara's battle prowess preventing them from doing heavy damage. Thalion and Tuan wisely stay out of the reach of the incapacitating stench pelting the corpse with missile fire while it hammers against Phaldara's and Balim's shield and armor. Rummy deals the bulk of the damage staying ahead of the corps's ability to regenerate with clouds of daggers and finishing it with a well placed magic missile to its midsection. The victory is not without cost as the corpse explodes showering Balim with stinking muck.
Tuan wakes the unconscious form, which proves to be a little human boy. The grateful boy, Jammy, tells them that he was captured as he was returning home from the mill and that big hairy monsters we poking at him and planning to feed him to something across the room. An adult prisoner kicked Jammy a pair of special boots that allowed him to escape to this small dirt floor room where the monsters refused to follow. The zombies and skeletons rose up from the floor and Jammy made a man-sized leap to the pedestal before he was overcome by the stench of the corruption corpse. The next thing he remembers is being rescued by Mr Horny (Tuan the Tiefling) and out of thanks gives the party the Acrobat Boots. Amid the slowly dissipating stench the party looks across the hall to a pair of doors where Jammy points and in a small voice adds, "Something that eats people lives in there."