Posted on October 10, 2011
The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XXXV
Okay, where were we? Waiting this long to type up the notes for the game means I’m almost certainly going to forget something. So roughly, here is what happened…
Torgor and Don reappeared as the party was picking itself up and dusting down after its desperate fights against an insane Kobold, two young Dragons and two wicked Lamia priestesses of Lamashtu. As bewildering and frantic as those fights had been, they must have seemed pretty terrifying to the dwarves in the forge room. Told to stay there because everything would be fine yay rescue; the dwarves rescuers stepped back out of the room and there was almost nothing in the next five minutes that wasn’t fire, arcane explosions, carnage and destruction. Thoughtfully, Albedon popped his head around the corner to let them know that this was all fine, business as usual.
Everybody wanted to sleep, because everyone was tired and the spellcasters were getting frazzled by this point. Wands may be expensive when you consider their cost vs spells you get for free every morning; but wands start paying for themselves when the spellcaster is out of spells completely. Not only does it keep them busy, it keeps them from making terrible mistakes, like charging into combat with a quarterstaff or any of the many terrible ideas I always had as a spellcaster.
Torgor and Kerplak crept ahead, following the scent of the Lamia’s incense. They discovered the cave temple in which Halvard had been bound for sacrifice. Rooting around, they found candles, incense and Torgor found a nice scroll wrapped around two bones, which he pocketed.
Dagfinn and Don, meanwhile stopped to check out a cave leading off to their right. Dagfinn stopped to check it, Don stopped to check that nothing tried to kill Dagfinn.
Something tried to kill Dagfinn. As the party’s source of light, he had spotted that the walls further down the cave were lined with hanging bear skins. Sidling up to them to get a look a ranseur shot out from between a gap in the furs and gouged him pretty badly. As he backed up, Don sounded the alarm and the rest of the crew piled in. A few seconds passed as everyone stayed clear of the walls. Don sent a Spark into the furs to set it smouldering and Arradin walked over and yanked one down. Behind the fur, a many-gapped wall of stone hid the lair of a troll. The trolls lumbered into view from further down the passageway and Halvard and Arradin stepped up to engage them.
The trolls laid down a savage flurry of ranseur strikes against Arradin and Halvard and it looked like they may be overwhelmed. The first missile responses hit home against the trolls, but to everyone’s horror, the wounds caused healed a few seconds later. Here’s where Torgor and Albedon’s fiery arrows really started to be a killer combo. By reliably hitting at least once per round, the fire arrows prevented the trolls from regenerating.
Nevertheless, the trolls proved formidable. Arradin weathered devastating attacks by planting her feet and using her shield to its utmost. But as Halvard was lifted off his feet and into imminent death by the thrust of the troll’s ranseurs, Arradin also found herself overcome. Don rushed in and was taken down too. Dagfinn stopped his inspirational song at this point and turned invisible, rushing forward to supply Don and then Arradin with healing potions. One troll smelled the bard as he tiptoed by invisibly and tried to locate him in vain. (If I was going to look for Dagfinn, that’s where I’d look for him). Don arose from unconsciousness as a wooly rhinoceros and gouged the troll visciously – with some supplemental missile fire, it went down.
The other rushed the back line of non-melee adventurers. Torgor split left, Albedon split right. Kerplak continued to critically fumble EVERYTHING. I’ve never seen so many fumble cards. While Albedon cast damaging cantrips, Torgor kept up the slow rain of fiery arrows and the second troll went down too.
As Halvard was brought back to consciousness and healing was passed out, Albedon heard horns, many horns, sounding on the surface. Conna appeared soon after, come to warn them of the discovery of the raid. There was some discussion about what to do; whether the stone giant prisoners should be killed, whether the dwarves should be hidden or put back in the cage, whether the Jotunblood should be sought out.
In the end, the stone giant prisoners were left alone, the dwarves brought with the party and the last room in the cave area left untouched. the party descended to the lower levels where Conna felt the stone giants would never dare venture.
The tunnel descended sharply and then began spiralling down. The corkscrew shaft eventually began to take on the style of other ancient Thassilonian structures they had encountered; in the depths of Thistletop and in the lair under Sandpoint. Actually Thassilonian stuff is all over the place – most of Magnimar, the Storval Stairs. It’s just that the Thassilonian style of “tunnel down which may lie terrible things” is a familiar architecture now.
The quality of the structure improved as they descended; going from cave, to crumbled wall, to crumbling wall, to distressed wall to perfect wall they noticed that recently, something had rasped at the corners of the walls near the bottom of the descent. Right angles of any sort were smoothed and curved, very faintly, but noticeably when up close. When they arrived at the end of the spiral down they found a magically preserved passageway – completely unharmed by the passage of so many millenia – leading off to darkness.
Rather than progress they set up camp 3/4 of the way down the spiral. Weak as they were, the dwarves volunteered for picket duty. Spacing the dwarves out, close enough that they could shout simple warnings from above or below, the party called it a night and bedded down where they could. Arradin rested and she was soon joined by Halvard who needed little rest due to his Ring of Sustenance, which is honestly the bees knees.
These two were awake when torchlight was seen at the top of the spiral. The stone giants were evidently combing the caves, but as Conna predicted, they did not descend to the lower level. The torchlight retreated and everything became quiet again.
…nah, it’s just quiet.