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Session 6 - The Lord of the Manor

Started by Johan, July 05, 2005, 11:46:14 AM

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[Sat 05 Mar 05]

Featured Characters:
Amaril [NPC] elven male cleric
Elberrin [Matt] elven male archer
Erinalia [fraz] half-elven female druid
Garbhan [Phin] human male fighter
Mel [Johan] halfling male rogue
T' Riad [Wildfire] elven male monk
Ted [NPC] Dwarven Male Supervisor

07 Aug 591
The morning after Freeday dawns late for many revelers who enjoyed a late evening of beachstock. Top on the morning?s activities is breakfast, over which Iveillos and Tretorn preside, appraising the gathered host as to the previous week?s progress and the coming week?s plans.

As a result of what is now affectionately referred to as ?Snoozefest?, our heroes all get a very late start to their day?s spelunkering. The sun is riding just shy of its zenith when the companions at last return to the Dwarven Hold. Today?s plan is to finish exploring the dormitories of the hold.

Mel is chattering as usual as they pass the first (broken) murder wall and approach the bowels of the hold. As they approach Crossfire Alley he continues on oblivious to their proximity and enters the throne chamber; Elberrin quickly follows the Halfling in, trying to restrain the scout from immersing himself (yet again) in trouble. The gems come alive as the pair is nearly halfway across the chamber ? they run for the southeast door, racing through it for cover.

The guard gems darken and return to dormancy once the pair are through the door. Mel tentatively re-enters the throne room, but elicits no response from the guard gems. Elberrin sets foot within and they awaken again only to dim when he retreats. Mel no longer appears to awaken the gems.

The remainder of the companions, yet at the entry to the throne room, decide not to chance the anger of the gems; they retrieve the hammer that was left at the entrance to the room and cross over in unison.

There are no additional surprises as the companions make their way to the dormitory wing. They spend their day searching each of the rooms and find little of any interest, save for under one of the beds there appears to be a false floor. Elberrin is shadowing Mel the whole way and is right behind the Halfling as Mel draws from the compartment under the false floor piece a large book (very nearly as tall as Mel himself is). Neither of the companions can read the text therein, but to Mel (Decipher Script check) it appears as though it is a diary of sorts that details a particular family?s lineage.

The day done upon completion of the dorm search, the group heads back to camp to make their report and to turn book over.

Conversations en-route to camp beget a request from the team that they be accompanied by a team of Dwarves whose job it should be to seal off the centipede nest and to begin reclamation of the hold.

Over dinner and early evening, the companions discuss their next steps. Of greatest interest is spanning the chasm to investigate the ?other side?. Discuss options on how to get there. It is pointed out that we are likely nearing a task that will take us away from base camp for days at a time. Indeed, were we to try to circumnavigate the chasm, the journey to get to the far side would likely take a whole day (this, based upon the amount of time it took us to go overland to this side the previous day).

For practicalities sake, it seems that spanning the chasm would be the best way to go. Trigonometrically, we would need to span a [color=green:ef09692962](what was the number? 250 feet?)[/color] gap at an upward incline. We discuss the options for a time, then join the Beachstock festivities already commencing.

08 Aug 591
Early morning rain finds the group converging upon the quartermaster?s.  A team of dwarves has indeed been assigned to the reclamation of the Hold. The Quartermaster produces a number of special bolts that fit a large crossbow. These bolts are special in that they are fitted with special heads whose purpose is to set in stone (fire from the crossbow at the far wall of the chasm, the bolt digs into the stone wall and we climb across). He also produces a fully assembled and folded (and cumbersome) rope bridge, but it is too short to span the chasm (it is only 60 feet long), so right now it is for naught.

Fast Forward: The party stands in the great hall, overlooking the chasm. The sounds of dwarven activity and voices echo from the dormitories behind, testament to the industry of the hairy little stone-eaters.

The plan to span the chasm works well. Elberrin expertly plants one of the rope-dragging stone-piercing bolts in the chasm wall near the far entrance; on this side, the rope is tethered to one of the stone-worked arm-shaped ?sconces? (which hold the brass braziers at intervals along the walls of the Great Hall).

Mel threads a short length of rope through his sleeves, tying them together and around the spanning-rope (as a safety should his grip on the spanning-rope fail), and pulls himself across the chasm.

Elberrin comes second. While the ranger is crossing the great divide, Mel takes the opportunity to look around briefly. He notes that there are some footprints here, but cannot decipher who or what or when might have made them, except to say that they are human-like feet. Upon his arrival, Elberrin confirms that the tracks are hobgoblin, and that they are fairly old.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]
The rest of the party crosses the chasm [color=green:ef09692962](I don?t recall what order they came in[/color]?).

It is yet early as the party begins flirting with entering this side of the Hold. T peers through the hole between the great doors, which hang askew upon damaged hinges, but sees nothing as he is of such a size to be blocking most of the outside light, which is sparse as it is on this particular day. He backs away from the gap to light a torch by which he might see. While he is away from the doors, Mel climbs in through the gap and finds himself in a broad room. T quickly follows, torch in hand.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]

The only truly interesting feature in here is the big, square hole. The group collectively wonders how deep it might be; the bottom is beyond the limits of the group?s keenest vision (T?s vision, that is). For a quick estimate of the depth of the shaft, Garbvan drops a rock down. The rock takes 5.5901699437494742410229341718282 seconds to hit bottom ([color=green:ef09692962]I actually did the math for this, but still treat it as a rough estimate[/color]  :) ). The shaft is quite deep ? roughly 500 feet, according to T?Riad?s calculations.

Damn Vulcans.

On the hope that there might be tunnels leading into this shaft, but that are yet unseen, the companions strung all of their rope together (end-to-end, creating a single 300-foot long rope) and lowered T?Riad into the hole, bearing a rock upon which Amaril has cast a light spell.

Reaching the end of this tether, T?Riad has not seen any other tunnels entering this main shaft, and still cannot see the floor, which is yet far below. He can see the still-burning torch, perhaps 200 additional feet below, where it came to rest upon a pile of debris.

Looking for options, Mel spots the remains of the ?elevator?. He foolishly throws the lever and the hidden mechanism comes loose, allowing what chain remains to unravel from its ancient resting place and descend into the hole, luckily missing the monk depended therein.


Without further evident options, the gang hauls T?Riad up and brainstorm.

The option that presents itself is thus: we need more rope and an additional person to ?man the top? as we venture forth. Garbhan volunteers to go back across the chasm and get a dwarf.

Encountering Ted, the leader of the dwarves ([color=green:ef09692962]his name has been changed to protect his identity[/color]). Garbhan talks him into coming across the chasm.

Ted surveys the area and submits that there?s no way to get the elevator working again. If we want to get to the bottom of the shaft, we?ll have to do it the old fashioned way. As a group, the suggestion comes to get more rope (enough to reach the bottom of the shaft) and we?ll climb down (T?Riad first). Ted goes back across the chasm and returns with a suitable length of rope. T?Riad climbs down.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]

The companions hold a fairly long conversation about going down to accompany T?Riad. The candy-ass sissy?s don?t want to go down without a way back up (without climbing) Mel scampers over the edge, followed by his new shadow (Elberrin), then Erin and Garbhan. At length the companions are in the lower hall.

Explore beyond the damaged portcullis. On the other side of the portcullis is a long passageway that eventually opens up into a large room with a vaulted ceiling. By the meager light of our torch, we are unable to determine the dimensions of the room?in any direction.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]

Enter the hall towards the left, keeping near to the wall. The room seems circular (at least this part of the room). As the companions near the far side of the room (the wall is turning), darkness descends. The sounds of fluttering can be heard near-overhead. The team tenses for battle while Mel runs back from where they came, but the darkness seems ubiquitous. The whooshing sound is evident over Mel?s head as well as over the heads of the other party members, who have remained in a cluster.

A fairly brief fight ensues, with T?Riad (I think) killing first one darkmantle (a flying squid) after but a few rounds. The darkness around the main group evaporates. T?Riad races toward where he can hear Mel?s voice, approaching another patch of blackness. T?Riad quickly kills the other darkmantle.

T?Riad and Mel make their way back to the others, but en-route something very odd appears?

[color=green:ef09692962]Find the keep. My recollection is that the underground keep is in the room with the darkmantles. It became illuminated in an odd way by ?Hollywood? lighting technique. I was sketchy on this at the time, and temporal displacement hasn?t helped any.[/color]

Nonetheless, at the front of the keep is a glowing dwarf.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]

Hail the dwarf; he hails us back, albeit in a foreign (dwarven dialect) tongue. This dwarf has no weapon, but is armored and carries a shield that bears the symbol of Moradin (whose name appears to be the same in his tongue as well as ours, as we find out by speaking the name (pointing at his shield) to hear him echo it (nodding and grinning)). Mel approaches the dwarf and proffers his dagger in a gesture of peace. The ghostly dwarf raises a hand towards the little weapon; the dagger rose from Mel?s hand and floated over to the dwarf?s hand. He inspected the dagger briefly and smiled. Levitating the weapon back to Mel, he stepped aside from his guard duty and motioned permission for the companions to pass into his stronghold.

[color=red:ef09692962]DRAY?S DESCRIPTION[/color]

After much consideration about what to do, and the apparent devastation that his keep endured before it fell, Mel decides to go and try to communicate with the ghost. Through gestures they are able to communicate poorly; the ghost makes a ?quill and parchment? gesture and T produces both. Telekinetically manipulating the quill, the ghost (we never did get a name, did we?) is able to draw pictures that, with additional gesturing, begin to tell a story:

1) This keep fell as a result of inside treachery (oh, the shame of it);
2) The area (island continent) was home to these dwarves, the Sahuagin (with whom these dwarves appeared to be at war), and another band of dwarves
3) The Sahuagin and the other band of dwarves were in cahoots, and were both under the control (or leadership) or a higher power (looks like a giant slug, which the ghost gestured to be an intelligent and powerful one ? I?m thinking Green Dragon?)
4) It appears that one of the ?enemy? dwarves was able to summon an Earth Elemental from within the hold, which destroyed this hold and those within, and explains why all the portcullises and other barriers and walls appear to be rent asunder from within. Wonder: would the Earth Elemental have been able to create the earthquake that we all like to talk so much about?

Return. Report. Beachstock.
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