Finally we had time, a playing space, and enough people - barely - to play. Last session was June!
Sunday, July 15th, 2012
Characters: (approximate net point total)
Vryce, human knight (286 points)
Nakar, human wizard (about 280 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (250 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Reserve (players couldn't make it)
Inquisitor Marco, human cleric.
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (283 points)
Fuma, human thief (252 points)
Borriz, dwarven knight (280 points)
We opened up with the PCs in town.
They'd spotted a gargoyle last session, and decided they'd go for them this session. So Nakar used his (limited) contacts at the Wizard & Enchanter's Guild to find out what he could. He spent a full gold piece (100 sp) on research, which isn't much but helped. They found out that gargoyles are creatures of elemental stone, neither bleed nor eat nor sleep, are moderately intelligent, and collect shiny things. ("Much like adventurers.") They could be hurt by normal weapons, too.
Vryce spent some money getting four cheap padlocks and four identical keys made, plus getting four iron spikes with loops in them that would fit through the eyes on the ends of their bridge/ladder. The idea was, pound them in and leave them, and simply padlock the bridge on and remove it on the way out of the dungeon.
Armed with this information, and their ladder/bridge, the foursome headed up the mountain. They headed right to the already infamous dungeon entrance. Once there, Galen went down and scouted a little and reported back the usual noises but no guards or hobgoblin snipers. While Nakar made some light stones with Continual Light, Galen noticed a faint rotting meat smell on the breeze. He headed out (invisible thanks to Nakar) to investigate.
The smell came and went with the breeze, but it seemed to come from the ruined/burned structures to the west of the castle. (You can see them on this map on the left). He inspected the burned ruins, long ago wrecked during the most recent siege of the castle. One of them turned out to have a pit-like basement area, partly covered with a burned floor that hadn't collapsed yet. The only way down seemed to be an easy-to-climb wall but one which was covered with poison ivy.
Some drag marks went around the building to the far side. Galen followed them wide, which was a good thing - he spotted some cunningly concealed giant maned rat spines interwoven with the grass along that drag path. The drags also went to a pit surrounded by and covered with long grasses. The path then ended - clearly a trap. Nearby were two tripwires attached to bones, hollow bits of wood, and other noisy things, strung up along the ground between the two buildings. The rotting meat smell came along again once or twice but it was impossible to pinpoint.
Galen returned to the group and brought them along and they inspected it further, which is when those tripwires were spotted. They debated setting them off to see what came but decided it wasn't a good idea. They inspected the rest of the burned buildings but nothing of note was found.
So they went back down and layed their bridge over the "moat" and hammered in their spikes. Nakar and Galen covered them. One hobgoblin came up into the right pillbox but an arrow in the face for his trouble and narrowly avoided another as he left, yelling "Bree yark!" and "[archers!]" in goblinese.
Next the group lifted the left portcullis and propped it up with a 5' piece of wood Vryce scrounged up in the ruins.
They went through and investigated the room they'd found before that eventually led them to the wights. Instead they checked the door to the right. They opened it up and found a midden-like pit. Galen (invisibly) went up to the edge and got a mental flash that, hey, someone must have tossed a knapsack full of loot into that to conceal it, so let's look. He told the others and Nakar used Seek Earth to look for gold. No, no nearby gold. While they discussed it, though, suddenly Raggi yelled an alarm. Gargoyles!
Three gargoyles had stealthily moved up from behind and, having corner the PCs, swarmed in. Raggi got hit a few times and (unluckily) fell unconscious quickly. The gargoyles moved in so fast poor Galen stayed mentally stunned for a few seconds of the fight. As they attacked, an otyugh errupted from the pit and reached up and attacked the still-invisible Galen and crippled his bow arm. It kept after him even as he got up and drew his sword, but eventually he managed to slice its tentacle. The otyugh retreated back down into the muck after that.
Nakar Great Hasted Vryce and himself. In a short but brutal fight Vryce beat down two of the gargoyles with his wooden sword (and he'd gotten a spare just in case, for gargoyle beating). He ended up smashing one into the door (which collapsed on top of it). One horn-slammed him and put him down and bit his arm, but he wrap-shotted it from the floor and knocked it out (-4 for prone, -8 for a two-hex weapon in close, -4 for grappled . . . and he hit and did a lot of damage despite the minuses to that.)
The third got put down first by Vryce and then finished with a massive 18d stone missile from Nakar, who'd been saving it for one-shotting the otyugh.
After the three were down, Vryce tried to bash one's head into piece but did little more than re-arrange its stoney face. They hastily dragged the one out in the room into the midden area's entrance. They fed Raggi a healing potion and Galen a few of them, healing them enough to go on. They debated chucked them after the otyugh but decided not to. Instead Nakar shaped the stone into a 6-7" thick wall to seal the door, with the gargoyles inside. No sooner was this done than more gargoyles piled in. Eventually six more showed up, including their bigger, nastier, fangier leader. The PCs tried to keep them penned up at the door but they forced their way in, getting beaten with Vryce's wood sword and Raggi's axe and at least one with a stone missle. Galen hit a few with arrows to no effect and then switched to (slightly more effective) armor-piecing arrows.
In the end they beat down the gargoyles, who just couldn't do any real damage to Vryce and who couldn't seem to hit Raggi often enough or hard enough. The fight cost a lot of mana but not too much blood. They moved on, where the gargoyles came from. They moved into a large vaulted room down a corridor, and it was all scratched and clawed and scraped from gargoyles. Three ways out - double doors (heavy ironbound ones, scratched), a regular door, and a corridor that went a short way to some shallow stairs that opened out into a wide room with pillars.
They rested a bit, while Galen watched the doors (and heard some skittering he never did identify).
They went for the double doors and pushed them open. Inside was another vaulted room. At the far end was a scratched up area surrounding an equally scratched up lump of rock with some glittering stones on it. Apportation and investigation showed the stones to be gemstones (levitated back to Nakar), and the lump of rock to be a statue's headed and hipless/legless torso. They decided it looked like the gargoyles bowed and scraped in front of it, but couldn't figure out exactly why (they have ideas, though).
From there, they went back out and through the other door. They found a room with a side area that was dusty and ended in a blank wall. In front of the all something glittered, and a skeleton in rotten clothes and several rat skeletons sat moldering. Nakar's See Secrets spotted both opening for either darts or gas as well as three pressure plates. He levitated over and tried to get one of the (copper) coins he saw but it was stuck down. He decided to leave it be.
Sometime around here they heard a distant metal bang.
They found another corridor and two more doors. Opening one led to a small room with stains on one wall (investigated, but nothing was found), and kicking open another found a short (10' long) staircase down. Not wanting to risk going deeper, they went back and looked at the pillared room. They decided against that too, for the same reason (stairs down). Only four adventurers, no healers, and low on healing potions, (and all of us short on playing time) they headed home. They heard some stone-on-stone scratching, much like from the gargoyles they'd dispatched before. So they went into the room carefully.
But the gargoyles were waiting. Three (including the big guy) waited by the door, while the others were digging at the magically-shaped stone with their claws to free their friends. Their stone claws were making fairly short work of the stone, especially since they'd been working it from both ends. None of these guys had stayed dead.
Re-fighting the gargoyles:
The PCs fought briefly from the door and then moved in. Vryce used his steel sword instead, Raggi his axe, and Galen and Nakar their bow and stone missiles. The fight went much shorter - the gargoyles were more split up, and just didn't managed to dodge so often. The big guy did land a crit and bit through Vryce's plate armor and wounded him seriously, but not too seriously. Raggi simply smashed the big guy down off Vryce. Raggi did get nailed and go berserk, and shoulder checked one down and then smashed him with his axe. Vryce chopped the rest down, cracking their stoney bodies but not inflicting any structural destruction. Neither did another big stone missile.
In the end the gargoyles were down, and a few hits from Vryce's "backup" weapon - their flaming broadsword - didn't seem to help or do more damage. They left, taking their bridge and meager loot with them.
Not a bad expedition, but they've hit a lot of dry holes. Hopefully they'll stumble across some of the better loot soon. Like, next session. Research might point them to some, but they don't have a lot of money to spend on research . . .