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Session 4 - Hobgoblins & Gricks...Oh, My!

Started by Johan, February 22, 2005, 01:27:25 PM

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Session 4
August 5th, Year 591 (continued)

Dave and Decal (known by non-Mel cronies as Dhaige and Dakahl) escort the companions one-by-one across crossfire alley.

Editor?s note: I would think that it would be enough for only one dwarf to escort folks across the hall, and further, I wonder what would happen if one dwarf escorted a host of folks across the hall. A test for next session, perhaps?

As the companions make their way across the hall, Mel requests to keep the torch, being that he is the only member of the group who cannot see in the darkness. He decides to have a look around. Behind the now-open door there is a stairway that descends down into the darkness. As noted, the air carries an acrid smoky scent on an otherwise fresh breeze. Assuming that the acrid smoky scent is due to an ages-old BBQ, Mel inspects the stairs for signs of soot ? there are none.

Mel grabs his protractor, pen, paper, and abacus and determines that the stairs descend at a 30-degree, 14-minute, 12-second slope. Knowing that the inhabitants of this space were paranoid schizophrenics, Mel proceeds with caution: examining every individual stair for signs of traps, and every bit of wall and ceiling for signs of falling debris. There appears to be none.

At the bottom, the stair opens into a large room that was clearly an armory of sorts. Three large fire pits are adjacent to the southern wall, all now lie dormant. Near each pit lie shards of decayed wood that could have been tables or workbenches long ago. A heavy looking large iron anvil also lies next to each. The eastern wall is lined with barrels of various shapes, sizes and physical condition. Some are so badly rotted that there contents have spilled onto the floor. Some appear to still contain materials that had once been used for smithing. There is a 10 foot wide arch in the eastern wall, and another opposite in the western wall. A wall sconce that at one time held a torch is placed in 10 foot increments around the room.

The air down here carries the unmistakable scent of currently burning wood: someone is cooking. Nearby. Mel?s stomach growls noisily.

Mel putters around enough to determine that the smoke is entering the armory via the westerly arch. There is a faint capering light coming from that hallway.

Mel weighs the situation: he could wander down the corridor to investigate; he would go with or without a torch. With a torch, he would be obvious to the cooks; without one, he wouldn?t be able to see the traps in the tunnel. He ponders the dilemma as the others arrive.

T?Riad decides to go stealthily down the westerly corridor (move silently, hide in shadows?the whole bit).

After a short corridor, T enters a room from its northeast corner, it appears to be about the same size as the one you just left. In places about the floor of this large room there appears again to be the remains of what could have been wooden furniture. In the southeast corner is a large pile of blue rags. In the center of the western wall is an archway exiting the room. In the center of the room appears to be a small campfire, the small fire is emitting a small stream of smoke that is slowly traveling along the ceiling and out a southern archway.

After a few moments, Mel and El creep up to look down the passage that T disappeared down.

Still curious about the far pinpoint of light, T pokes about a moment and decides to investigate the pile of blue rags. The cloth is rather negligently piled in the corner, and the only sense that he has that lends suspicion to the situation is the arrow that is now sticking out of his back.

T is beset by 4 hobgoblins, who, apparently were waiting down a north passage! GGGAHHHH! It would seem that they have a hankering for monkey meat (perhaps that should be ?monkish meat?? NAHHH.

The hobgoblins rush at T across the room, affording Mel and El a (poor) shot each as they cross his view.

The battle does and does not go well (depending upon what you like to see in a battle). T is badly wounded early on and goes down. Mel is magnificent (he downs 2 with a single bolt each?they will sing songs about the hobbit?s battle prowess, mostly because Mel will create them and sing them at beachstock). At length, and without any dwarven back-up, the battle is won. Amy heals T.

Back to business: the blue cloth is old and torn but bears embroidered helms, shields, and gems.
Mel checks the hobgoblins and finds 40 (or so) platinum pieces, all of which bear the tree on one side and the eye-in-the-ellipse on the other. This mintage has been dubbed the ?Isle of Brennan? coinage. The group has accepted this term since the DM had thus coined it, and what the DM wants, the DM gets. (Note from DM: Mel is correct, as always.)

As an oddity, the group takes note that these hobgoblins wear chain mail, and carry long swords and short bows. The strange thing is that the armor and weapons are all well cared-for, contrary to the hobgoblins that the companions are familiar with. Hmmm?

All said and done, the companions continue down the westerly corridor. Toward the light aforementioned. The corridor intersects with a grand hall that spans a mere 20 feet distance north, but stretches more than a hundred of feet to the south. The grand hall is 20 feet wide east to west and is over 60 feet tall. The smaller corridor continues on the other side of the hall via an archway that mirror the one you stand under. 10 feet beyond it you see and iron door.

Columns of fine black and white marble are inset in tight alcoves within the wall. They rise and curve with the arched ceiling to form part of the elaborate, overhead beam structure, which is similar to the concrete beam structure found in the throne room. Each pair of columns is in 20 foot increments down the southern hallway. Centered between each, a large iron wall sconce, that has a fire plate three feet in diameter and is mounted a human mans? height off the floor. Infrequently down the hall, some of these are ablaze, enough to illuminate the hall.

The walls from floor to the arched ceiling are covered with engravings, carved reliefs, runes and symbols similar to the throne room. The same deep blue gems are scattered about the engravings, but many holes appear where gems have been pried out over the years.

A decayed tattered carpet 15 feet in width, runs down the center of the Hall. A faint pattern of gems, shields and helms can be seen upon it. In the 20 foot alcove to the north stands a statue of Moradin. At 20? tall it is larger than the one viewed in the entry to the throne room and made of a solid piece of stone, this grand sculpture is no less impressive in its? fine detail.

A slight breeze is coming from the south and past you, as you stand at the intersection of this small corridor and the grand hall.

Dave and Decal must be getting really tired, because this room sends the two dwarves once again into ecstasy.

The companions take a moment to stare out through the fissure in the southern wall. You can see that the southern end of the Hall is abruptly interrupted by a ravine. The floor, ceiling and walls open to a large chasm. As you step closer to the edge you see the ravine stretch for hundreds of feet to the east and west and descends about 200 feet from where you stand. The forest floor above you on this cliff face is 150 feet above you.

On the opposite side you see a carved opening 40 feet wide and 100 feet tall. Its? floor is 90 feet above the floor you stand on, and slightly ajar to your left. From here it appears the sliced room is only 20 feet deep before meeting a wall. It appears there are two huge iron doors in the center of that wall. The forest floor on that side appears to be an equal distance higher, 90 feet, than the forest above you.

T?riad wants credit for an exceedingly obvious connection that the chasm we are standing in at this point is the chasm that we can barely see standing on the flatland at the base of the mount. We?ll give it to him. I?m not sure what we mean by ?flatland at the base of the mount?, but?

A collective question ensues: how did the hobgoblins gain entry to this facility? Speculate; perhaps an answer will become obvious as we continue our search; it does not appear as though they climbed either up or down to gain entry via the chasm. Across the chasm we can see that a hole is in the opposite wall. Despite that this hole is a good 90 feet above where we are, the companions conclude that this must have been a continuous tunnel, but the chasm was opened up in some cataclysmic happening, and either this side fell or the other side rose (or both).

A giant eagle soars overhead, heading south-ward and screeching to the mid-day sky. The companions decide that now would be a good time to have lunch and talk about next steps: do we open the locked door? Shall we go back to the east?

Heading back east through the campfire-dead-hobgoblin room and then the armory, the room to the east of the armory is somewhat familiar to the companions.

The short corridor brings them into a strangely familiar large room with same non-descript walls that run to a ceiling 60 feet above. The room runs 70 feet east to west and 30 feet north to south. There is a 30 foot wide brick wall centered on the northern wall to your west.

Adjacent to the mason brick wall is a large steel staging platform that would allow a demi-human to stand approximately at chest-level height with the bottom of each pair of rows and again at eye-level height with the top of each pair. Each platform, made of what appears to be deteriorating wood, is 8 feet higher than the other. At the each end of the platform is a column of steel rungs spaced every 12 inches vertically forming a steel ladder.

At the eastern and western walls closest to the northern wall is a 10 foot wide archway leading to corridors beyond. On the southern wall is a iron door that is slightly ajar.

In the northeast corner of this room are seven barrels, the wood siding split, cracked and in some places gone. Only the steel straps hold together the barrels that seem to have been here for quite some time.

The southern door, which sits ajar, turns out to be a sauna. Before exploring the bowels of the steam room, the company explores the other parts of the labyrinth. Mel climbs the murder wall, Amy goes with him to carry a torch by which Mel might see (There was much discussion about Mel taking the torch: he could hold it in his mouth while he climbed, but ultimately he could not stop his mouth from moving for long enough to make the climb, so?). Beyond the murder wall, is a northern 30 foot wide immense hallway with a ceiling 60 feet above the floor. Except for the fine lines between each large mason brick and the noted size of this corridor, the passage is otherwise non-descript. It expands north, out of the field of vision.

Making our way north, we soon saw that the hall, after approximately 100 feet from the mason brick defense wall, reduces to a 10 foot by 10 foot corridor, as the previously explored defensive halls had. However, unlike the other halls, this particular corridor turned right (east) after 10 feet.

Scribe?s note: does this seem rather odd to anybody other than me? Why would dwarves build a murder wall only to also build a passage around it? And what would they have been defending against? There?s no way out (and therefore in this massive hallway) that we observed from the other side of the wall; is this just a big dog house for fido the grick? Hmmm?this warrants a closer look, gents.

As we near the north end of this room, and are about to enter the passage there, Mel hears a breathing sound from around the corner; he begins a methodic, controlled, backward retreat, alerting the others to the sound. El, Amy, Dave, and Decal back up along with the Hobbit, but the Monk does not. T valiantly places himself on the menu so that the rest of us have a ready exit.

M: ?Guys, I hear some breathing from around that corner?, begins walking backward.
T: ?Breathing? What could be breathing down here? There are no trees, nor the sun? Life doesn?t exist down here.?
[A massive creature (DM describes a Grick, name discovered later) appears around the corner] M: ?Then what?s that??
T: ?EEEEEKKKK! Good thing I haven?t any armor to clean up later.?

None of the companions are familiar with this beast, and we all retreat (except for the dwarves ? fodder that they are). Mel, being the cowardly strategist that he is, runs back to the other side of the murder wall, crossbow in hand. El follows, Amy follows, and T follows.

Suddenly a loud bang-type noise is heard from the armory. ?Blast we?re surrounded.? Mel keeps an eye in that direction, but nothing emerges. He divides his attention between the fight in front and the shadow enemy behind (on later investigation, this bang appears to be from an old barrel that spontaneously collapsed).

The companions do well, not that it helps. The monster appears to be immune to physical attack (even Mel?s critical hit does no damage, as does El?s beautiful shot at the critter?s mouth ? all blows simply bounce off of the monster). Amy?s bow and the dwarves? attacks all meet with similar results.

Suddenly, someone thinks of the hammer (Mel is going to take credit for this, whether it is his or not). T races back up the stairs where it was left and retrieves it. The rest of the company holds the beast at bay. Dave goes down as the tentacles on the beast grab the stodgy dwarf?s face and wrench his head (lacerations galore); El searches this room and the armory for anything that might help in this fight.

T returns with a hammer and gives it to Decal, who strikes with great success at the enemy, knocking the beast?s lower beak off. Collectively the group (or at least Mel, who else really matters anyway?) realizes that the beast must be susceptible to magical weapons only. Fire might also do the job, so Mel runs into the room to help distract the monster while we think of other plans.

T gets the spectacular idea to feed the damned thing a hobgoblin, which we just happen to have in abundance just behind us. He goes to fetch one. Before he can return, however, the dwarf finishes the beast with another mighty whelm of the hammer.

Amy heals Dave, and is now out of spells for the day.

Out of ammo, spells and energy they decide to return to the beach front to report. The companions find out that the monster the fought was a ?Grick?, and that they are relatively common. ?Great!? Also more good news, in light of the fact that a claustrophobic half-orc is of limited use to the spelunkering group, we lose the ?services? of Grush.


August 6th, Year 591

The next morning, it is raining. Mel, sporting his nice broad-rimmed rain hat, asks for a couple of tangle-foot bags (these are bags of glue) and a couple of alchemist?s fire vials from the quartermaster; if he?s going to meet up with invulnerable beasts, then they might either burn, or he?ll try sticking them to the ground.

The company returns to the grick chamber and explores beyond, carefully circumnavigating the great big gobs of greasy, grimy, grickey guts. The north tunnel (which actually heads east) proceeds to a dead-end. There is a hobgoblin corpse there, but nothing else.

Back west-ward to open the door that was in the great hall. Mel curses himself for not asking if someone at the camp could replicate the key that we have to open all these doors.

Until next time...[/u]
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