Friday, July 27, 2012

Westmist Session #9 - Goblin Gotterdammerung

The next expedition into Stonehell featured an expanded party; Turrick was a little beat from slogging through the swamp, so he chose to sit out this trip. Erijay and Rylee were instead joined by Eazam, a fighter eager to show his daring and skill in the dungeon. Also coming along was Kern, a merchant with a flair for acquiring items, and his mule Sweet Jenny.   Rounding out the party were the dogs Fifi and Ruff.

After taking some time figuring out how to get the mule down the stairs, the party found itself back in the familiar entry hall.  Reviewing their previous explorations with the newcomers, the party chose to explore the area west of the old Open Sore tribe lair to fill in the blank areas on their map. Kern and Eazam both showed their worth by leading the investigation of the first halls, Kern sneaking ahead to scout and Eazam bolding taking the torch and lead when opening doors. A pair of giant toads were encountered and quickly dispatched.  A group of hungry fire beetles followed, who were dissuaded from attacking when Rylee threw the dead toads into their midst, which the beetles proceeded to rip apart.  Cautiously, the party exited opposite the beetles to continue exploring, but only after Eazam collected some mushrooms from one musty room, continuing a party fugal tradition.

The party next explored a serious of octagonal room, similar to those encountered before but with different themes.  In the desert chamber, they encounter a sphinx who challenged them with a series of riddles. Though at first unsuccessful, and suffering the sphinx’s dusty breath as a consequence, the party answered the second riddle easily and were rewarded with a treasure of coins, two Potions of Extra Healing, and a Wand of Metal Detection. In the chambers of the sea, a series of tunnels dug out of the wall were found but avoided, while in the chamber of the jungles  a pile of offal and junk was cleared of giant centipedes and Eazam recovered a quiver of 3 arrows +1.

Further exploration brought the party in contact with a goblin outpost. These proved to be members of the Wolf Gang tribe, who recognized and were overjoyed to see the “Elf Witch”. In the conversation that followed, the party learned that another goblin tribe had settled in the old Open Sore orc lair. Although the Spider Rider tribe was originally invited to help the Wolf Riders fight the orcs, they had taken over much of the area themselves and the Wolf Gang were not pleased. Kern, showing his wily merchant side, took the opportunity to bargain with the goblins, to see what they would offer the if they helped the goblins deal with the Spider Riders.  Taken to meet the Korag, the goblin chief, a bargain was struck where the Wolf Gang tribe would join forces with the party to eliminate the Spider Riders. In return, the party could have all the treasures recovered except for a single piece to be chosen by Korag.

Goblin squad in tow, the party set up an ambush at the four way intersection near the former orc lair. They then sent one of the goblins down the corridor to knock on doors and yell insults at the Spider Riders before running back. This brought four goblins, who were quickly dispatched by missile fire and melee.  Trying to repeat the tactic, the party found the goblins adamant that they weren't going deeper into the lair to act as bait. Kern, after learning a few goblin curses, played the bait instead. Quite successfully, as somewhere between 15-20 Spider Rider goblins chased him back to the intersection. Here, the party laid a barrage of oil, torches and Erijay`s Sleep spell. This took care of all but two, who fled back to the lair. Following, the party confronted the remaining goblins, three riding on giant spiders. Trapping them in a room, they pelted the area with oil. This not only made it all but impossible for the spiders to charge due to the slippery floor, it again resulted in a fiery inferno and a lot of charred goblins and spiders.  Only one goblin survived, the Spider Riders chief. He charged the massed group and went toe to toe with Erijay before falling to the fangs of Fifi. 

 Fetching Korag, the party broke into the goblin treasury and looted a load of silver coin and a number of gems, the largest of which was claimed by the Wolf Rider chief. Loaded with treasure, the group parted ways with the goblins and headed back to Westmist to rest and refit.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Westmist Session #8 - A Swampcrawl for Mushrooms

The latest excursion found Turrick alone and left to his own device;  Erijay was again deep in arcane mysteries and Rylee was putting in his shift at the Temple of the Three Virtues. Not being especially eager to face the dangers of Stonehell without his usual companions, Turrick instead rounded up some hired help to explore a little of the area surrounding Westmist.  While casting around town, Turrick met a fighter by the name of Chaz who had heard the bands tales of adventure in the taverns about town and wished to join Turrick. Turrick agreed, and meanwhile recruited an elvish man-at-arms by the name of Elineel as well. And of course, Hamburger the loyal guard dog was not about to leave his masters side.

While discussing what to do and where to go, Turrick received a message from Sythini the Alchemist, with an offer of further employment for the halfling. She this time needed a pile of curious mushrooms, the Findler’s Green Swamp Mushroom, for use in her alchemical studies. Turrick eagerly agreed to help, and Sythini gave him directions to a place known as “The Devil’s Cauldron”, a bowl shaped valley nestled on the edge of the foothills west of town, in the Marsh of Whispering Mists.

Collecting his compatriots, the party headed out of town and located the “Cauldron” easily after a few short hours, flanked by the hills to the north and two rock spires to east and west. Initially following a faint footpath, Turrick and friends soon wandered off the trail to explore and search. Exploring sloughs, hills and copses of wood, they did find a number of the strange green mushrooms. They also encountered some odd sights; a perfectly round rock half buried in the swamp; an old corral of unknown providence; and both a dead mule and the skeleton of a huge snake. They also encounter a strange standing stone inscribed with “Here Lies Greatness” in archaic Common. Curious, Turrick and Chaz dug for hours only to find the base of the stone and nothing more, which they then toppled into the marsh with a thud and a splash.  

While wandering, they also encountered one of the giant marsh snakes, which they were able to pepper with arrows and javelins before it closed within striking range. It did, however, grab Turrick and was ready to squeeze the life out of the little halfling. Turrick’s phenomenal luck held, however, and the band dispatched the monster before it turned Turrick into jelly. They also encountered a nest of giant toads, sitting in the middle of a huge patch of mushrooms. A flurry of missile fire killed one and drove the others away, and the band wiped away the toad poop and filled their sacks with fungal goodness.  

Next stop was a large pond, in the centre of which stood a wooded island obviously loaded with more mushrooms. Climbing a nearby hill, the three cut some trees and built a narrow bridge so they could cross to the island. Bridge in place, Turrick sent Elineel across first, but the clumsy elf promptly fell in the water.  While Turrick was helping the elf out of the pond, a huge catfish head-butted the bridge. Quickly, Turrick put an arrow in the beast, only to be shocked and surprised when “Old Whiskers” the catfish yelled out “Wha did ya do dat for? I just wanted to talk!”. The talking catfish had apparently lived here for many long years, and didn’t get many visitors. Turrick was able to negotiable with the fish, trading free passage across to the mushrooms for a meal of diced snake. To which “Old Whiskers” agreed, although he did indicate elf would make a fine supper as well.  

The interlude with “Old Whiskers” was interrupted by another giant swamp snake approaching to attack Chaz, who had remained ashore to hold the bridge in place. Turrick decided to head to the island for safely first, while Chaz and Elineel held off the snake and then followed once the halfling was across. Elineel had other ideas, and pushed Turrick off the bridge and raced across himself. Luckily, Chaz and Turrick were able to fend off the snake, with some magical assistance from the now safe elf, and aided by the teeth and claws of Hamburger.  

The snake defeated, they chopped it up to give “Old Whiskers” another meal, and then withdrew the bridge. This stranded the cursing Elineel in the middle of the lake, unable to cross without risking becoming part of the big catfish’s menu. Leaving the elf to cool off and learn a lesson about abandoning companions in need, Turrick, Chaz and Hamburger explored some more.  They found an old campfire, and old lean-to with a skeleton lying on the cot inside, and noted a ruined tower on the western spire of the Cauldron. Already loaded down with mushrooms and not wishing to push their luck, they decided they had explored enough for one day. Having collected and placated the elf, they headed back to Westmist to collect their mushroom fee.