Monday, 17 January 2011

Labyrinth Lord session 1 - The hole in the oak

  • Min - greedy dwarf.
  • Slippy - halfling (rat-man) endebted to serve Min for 99 years.
  • Rivain - elf (fey).
  • Esalai - elf (fey), henchwoman of Rivain. Esalai almost instantly became known as 'Princess' as none of us could remember her real name.
  • Bunbery - magic-user (necromancer) with an undead rat familiar.
  • Ismelda - dwarf henchwoman of Bunbery.
As described in the previous post, the party discovered a shaft leading underground from a huge oak tree with a split in it. They climbed down, some daring to use the tree roots as a ladder, and Bunbery the necromancer taking the more secure option of using a rope to descend. At the bottom of the 20' shaft was a sandy tunnel winding into the darkness. The tunnel's walls were riddled with tree roots and moss, and as they lit a torch and passed by, Princess noticed that the moss was crawling with insects and worms. She pointed this out, and Bunbery immediately uttered a few arcane words and summoned a centipede to do his bidding. They soon came to a small round chamber where glowing moss covered the tree roots. As they stood there trying to work out which of the continuing tunnels to take, the mossy roots began to move around. Bunbery sent his servile centipede to investigate, and it was crushed in the forming jaws of a tree root face. Two faces formed out of the roots, and offered the PCs information if they would give them gold in return. Having nary a copper bewteen them, the PCs had to decline the offer, and continued on their way, heading south into a large cavern.

Somewhat daunted by the vastness of the cavern, they turned off into a passage they discovered. As the group filed into the passageway, the last members (Min and Slippy) were jumped by a black shape dropping opportunistically on them from above - a giant crab spider. Both Min and Slippy were very badly hurt by the spider's attack, and used up two of their precious healing potions. The beast was slain by the sword of Rivain, who was then dubbed "the spider slayer". After fighting the spider they re-entered the passage, and found a strange archway carved with skulls through which they'd have to pass, and, rather ominously, a warrior's skeleton lying halfway through the arch. Obviously wary, they began to investigate. After some ineffective probing, Slippy was ordered by his master to walk through the arch, and only narrowly avoided getting sliced in half by a scything blade trap. A couple of the party then jumped through the archway, avoiding treading on the assumed pressure plate, until Ismelda had the clever idea of jamming a bone into the slot where the blade had come from, preventing it from re-emerging.

They next found themselves in a long hall with six kingly statues, and a choice of six doors to follow. Choosing to investigate a door which had an arrow chalked on the floor next to it, they discovered a corridor with walls covered in a strange writhing thorny black ivy. The corpse of a dead adventurer laying on the ground yielded a small amount of coins and a note reading "could the river ghouls be tricked out of their treasure?". Unsure of whether to continue, as the ivy looked somewhat threatening, the party dallied for a while in the passage, allowing a lurking troglodyte to sneak up on them from behind. Only Princess' keen elven ears gave the game away and alerted them to the creature's presence. They spoke to the troglodyte, attempting to get some information out of it. It in the meantime had eyes on the smaller members of the party -- it evidently had a taste for flesh, and in the end could hold back its hunger no longer and lunged forward and grabbed Min the dwarf, who had just offered it some gold coins in exchange for help. The dwarf fought back with his pickaxe as the troglodyte rushed madly towards a nearby underground river. The party raced after, wounding the monster with missile attacks, but were too late to prevent it diving desperately into the river with the armour clad dwarf. Min was seen no more.

They soon found the troglodyte's lair, and two more of the creatures hiding in a secret room full of fish skeletons and junk. Combat ensued, with Princess being savaged by one of the creatures, before they were dispatched by the joint efforts of the group. They cremated the elf's body then and there, and Ismelda discovered a chest of coins amongst the troglodyte's junk, which she cleverly opened with her crowbar, thus avoiding the poisoned needle which sprung from the mechanism.

The party then discussed their next steps, torn between further exploration and retreating with their significant haul of treasure. They agreed to just investigate one more room and a strange red rug which they'd passed earlier, and then to leave. Complications followed. The rash Slippy stepped onto the rug and vanished into thin air. Rivain followed him, also vanishing, while the more cautious Bunbery and Ismelda avoided the rug, which Bunbery identified as having some kind of dimensional magic (presumably a teleporter), and looked into the room they'd agreed to check out. The room contained an odd mystery -- a collection of glass jars containing the corpses of tiny inch-long people, a scroll which Bunbery identified as containing the magic-user spell reduce, and a page from a book written in the fey tongue, which neither could read. Seeing no sign of the others returning, and being chaotic in alignment, the necromancer and his servant returned to the entrance and left the dungeon. They did however have the decency to wait in the forest in case their companions managed to find their way out.

Slippy and Ravain, in the meantime, teleported into the deep darkness of a huge cavern, and both, fortunately, blessed with infravision, had no idea where they were. They explored the cavern, finding a sequence of huge pillars, and then a series of carved rooms. Entering a corridor, Slippy smelled food wafting from somewhere, and his nose led him south. He knocked on a door and was greeted by a small woody gnome-like creature wearing a pointy red hat. The creature turned out to be rather friendly, and even invited the halfling to join him and his family for tea, but he declined, not 100% sure if he trusted the creature. Nonetheless, the gnome gave him good directions to the way out, which they promptly followed.

On the way they came across an odd phantasmal battle, between a warrior and a troll, which the heroic Rivain couldn't help but get involved in. He defeated the troll, with the help of the spectral warrior, who looked flabbergasted at his eternal battle finally being brought to an end. The warrior gifted them with a clue as he parted "a great treasure lies hidden over the water".

After that, Slippy and Rivain traced their way back to the surface, and found their companions lounging in the sunshine of the glade and eating a spot of lunch. The party returned to town, laden with coins, and with some interesting clues to investigate on their return to the dungeon. (The page found with the tiny people was identified by Rivain as being a small excerpt from a story about someone's journey to a land of such micro-creatures.)

By the way, I forgot to mention in the last post what a brilliant idea the inclusion of an area for a "character sketch" is on the character sheet! We got some works of sheer genius -- Slippy the halfling tipping his bowler hat, and Ismelda the dwarf with a saucepan on her head!


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