Saturday, June 21, 2014

Westmist Session #74 - Free at Last

Dai-sen stood still for a moment, unsure whether he should advance into the room or retreat. Behind him came a muttered "we've got to deal with it sometime to get to the gate; might as well be now". So the warrior stepped forward, Sheriff Ironbritches joined him in the front rank, and battle was joined. Sheriff Ironbritches quaffed a potion of growth to make him human sized, and Erijay cast haste. The lion leap from it's crouching potions, striking Dai-sen with one paw, but missing with it's massive jaws. The hasted party now rained blows on the thing, and chunks of amber flew left and right. The beast made one one leap, this time at Sheriff Ironbritches, before the combined blows of the party shattered it into a thousand pieces. Erijay and Ironbritches each scooped up a few bits of the gemstone, while Dai-sen scooped up the silver key which lay amidst the rubble. Looking now at the gate, the party could see it had three locks, so they had just enough of the keys to get it open!
Ironbritches, Erijay and Dai-sen inserted their keys into the locks simultaneously, and the silver gate  swung open into the room. Where once there was just a blank stone wall, there was now the view of a weird, infinite, flat plain.  A greenish grass like substance covered the ground and the sky was an odd blue-purple colour. Nothing else could be seen. Sheriff Ironbritches shoved the other three aside and boldly stepped through the gate. Turning around, he could now see a square, featureless, amber coloured stone building some distance away. The rest of the party joined him, and they began to move towards the stone edifice, a journey that took much longer than it seemed it should have. But they were soon standing in front of a set of double doors, on which was painted a black shield with a gold phoenix. Over the door was carved "Stephan d'Amberville. It would appear they had reached their goal.

Although the plucky, still growth-ed, Sherriff wanted to barge in boldly, the others persuaded him to hold back while Erijay began the ritual to summon Mr Windy with the censor, just in case a nasty surprise waited for them on the other side.  That done, the elf donned the elven cloak she carried and then the party cautiously entered the tomb. They found themselves in a large room containing signs of past battle. The west wall was scorched with fire, and two human skeletons lay there. To the east was the massive skeleton of a dragon, in front of which lay a third human skeleton. Once they were sure the dragon skeleton was not about to move, and the party spread out to search. Dai-sen found that the skeleton in front of the dragon held an obsidian sword in its outstretched hand, a sword he carefully picked up. The mighty warrior felt a strange feeling in his sword arm as if the blade was drawing on his life force. Finding no other ill effects, Dai-sen slipped the blade into his scabbard. Erijay meanwhile had found that one of the other skeletons held a white wand (with the word 'boreas' carved on the end) , while Sherrif recovered a burned leather bag of gems from the other.
Looting complete, thoughts now turned to which door to try; east or west. Deciding the dragon must have been guarding something, Sheriff Ironbritches headed for the east door.  On the other side, the surprised halfling found open sky. Although there were walls, where the ceiling should be was open blue sky, while thousands of feet below could be seen earth. Stretching out in front was a 10' wide conveyer belt of cloud, which turned a corner some 50' ahead and disappeared out of sight. Ironbritches was about to step on the cloud when Erijay grabbed his shoulder and held him back. She dropped a coin onto the cloud, and it sank a few inches, but otherwise did not fall through. Dai-sen then pulled a massive leg-bone off the dragon skeleton, and dropped it on the next cloud to appear. Again, the cloud held it's weight, and the bone was carried off around the corner. Satisfied that it would hold his weight, Erijay let Ironbritches go, and the halfling stepped on a cloud and let it carry him along. The other three followed some distance behind.

When Sheriff Ironbritches turned the corner, he saw a wall of black fog blocking his viewed about 50' away. Just before that, the cloud path split into four, two above and two below. Ironbritches chose the upper left path, and after passing through the fog bank, ran right into a swirling elemental whirlwind that rose above him, then dropped to attack.  The halfling screamed the danger back to the rest of the party, and Erijay quickly completed the ritual to summon Mr Windy. Dai-sen and Sloth rushed forward to help the halfling, who was now being buffeted by the elemental, but at the same time rained mighty blows on the summoned thing. Just as Dai-sen and Sloth arrive the join the fight, the halfling was hit hard and lost his footing, dropping off the cloud conveyer and plummeted towards the distant earth below.  Erijay quickly sent Mr Windy in pursuit, and by shear luck the elemental caught up with the halfling and buffeted him back up to the cloud path. By this time, Dai-sen had finished off the other elemental, and the party stopped to take stock around them. Of the other three paths, they could see one continued on, a second ended right past the fog bank they'd passed through, and the third was lashed by a massive lighting storm. Ahead lay another fog bank, so the party let the clouds carry them that way. Breaking through it, they found that the paths all rejoined into one, then turned back to the west and ended in a door. Since they had him there, the party decided to send Mr Windy to bust open the door, which he did with ease. While Erijay held back with the elemental, the other three moved thorugh the door to see what lay beyond.

Essentially nothing. Another 50' cubed room, but this one featureless, and with doors to the east, west and south. Dismissing Mr Windy, Erijay joined her companions, and they decided to check out the southern door. Sheriff Ironbritches opened the door, and beyond was another 50' cubed room, this one with a slightly slopped floor and a 10' diameter pit in the center. Suspicious, Sheriff gently lay a coin on the floor, and it slipped off towards the pit at high speed. He then touched it with his finger tips, and the halfling's hand slipped away just as quickly. The floor was completely frictionless. Dai-sen tried to scrap it with his dagger, thinking it might be some sort of coating, but he nearly lost his dagger as it slipped away as well. Obviously unable to touch the floor, the party used rope and grappling hook to grab onto the pull-ring on the east door, and Sheriff Ironbritches was sent across. A serious of complicated moves later, the halfling had the door open. On the other side was a room filled to the level of the open door with water. Deep by the look of it, and stretching off into the distance some ways. Since that didn't look promising, Sheriff detached the   grappling hook while  Dai-sen and Sloth pulled him quickly back through their door before the halfling could slide into the pit. Which, sliding close to the edge, he could see was filled with upright spikes.
Back on safe ground, the decision was made to set camp for the night and tackle the other door on the morrow. Erijay took advantage of the rest to relearn spells, including read magic so she could read the spell scroll she'd recovered earlier.  The rope/hook/halfling maneuver was then repeated with the west door. Beyond this door was a room full of bubbling mud, scattered throughout which were a number of 10' square stone platforms.  While this way didn't seem much more inviting than the water room, they had to move forward somehow, so a plan was hatched. Erijay and Dai-sen shimmied over the rope.  Erijay cast levitate on herself , and then helped Dai-sen hop over to the first platform. Which began to sink into the boiling mud.  The elf quickly helped the warrior bounce from platform to platform to a door at the far end of the room.This Dai-sen opened, and on the other side saw another dragon skeleton. This one, however, sat on a huge pile of treasure, and it rose on it's haunches to face the warrior. The undead thing opened it's jaws, and a blast of small bone shards hit the warrior, who nearly tumbled back into the mud. Erijay, still levitating above, helped Dai-sen bounce back to the other door. And the party started to discuss what to do next.

They first checked the west door in the previous room, in case it led to an easier path. It opened into a room full of fire, so it looked like the mud room was the best way to go. Erijay then revealed that the scroll she'd found included (among others) a dimension door spell. So the following plan was hatched: the elf would once more levitate to the skeletal dragon's room, and try to dimension door the creature into the fire room.  Taking advantage of her elven cloaked invisibility, Erijay got close to the dragon-thing and cast her spell. Which worked! The dragon disappeared, and the rest of the party could hear something thrashing about and cackling in the fire room. The trio then quickly but carefully shimmied over the rope and hopped to the now empty dragon's room with the help of the levitating elf.
Well, empty except for the pile of treasure, which with great force of will they ignored for now, and instead headed through the door beyond it so they could find their final escape. Through the last door they found another 50' cube room. This one, however, had a dais in the center, on which sat a mahogany casket. A silver candelabra and iron brazier, both burning, stood at the the head and foot of the casket. The walls were covered with a tapestry, which based on what the party now knew, depicted the assassination of Stephan d'Amberville.

'Right, to the casket' said Ironbritches. Lifting the lid, inside they found a skeleton wearing a golden crown and dressed in the remains of rich, amber colored velvet robes. Carved into the lid were the words "Burn the tapestry to break my curse". That seemed easy, so up in flames they went (but not until after Erijay had checked out behind them, to make sure there were no surprises).

The surprise came after the tapestry had finished burning. Once the smoke cleared, they found themselves standing back in front of the chateau. Lying the the grass was Bjorn, and standing around him were Kern, Darnorth, Gurruk and Rylee. All of whom looked a little dumfounded. There also stood a tall distinguished man, dressed in fine amber velvet and wearing a crown. He bowed low to Erijay, Sloth, Dai-sen and Ironbritches, and said graciously "I am Stephan d'Amberville. My most sincere thanks for freeing me from my curse.  In than ks, allow me to present your lost companions. And please accept these further gifts as a token of my gratitude". Seemingly from thin air, Prince Stephan presented 4 identical, heavily jeweled crowns, one each to  Erijay, Sloth, Dai-sen and Ironbritches. He then proceeded present a magical item to each: a wand of detect metals for Erijay, potion of climbing for Sloth, Plate Mail +2 for Sheriff Ironbritches, and Plate Mail +2 and Shield +1 for Dai-sen. He then bowed once more, and with a wave of his hand was gone.
Meanwhile, the chateau behind them had, now released from it's own curse, crumbled into ruin. Kern muttered something about "all that treasure!!" There was nothing to do but to head back to New Breven (on foot as their horses had disappeared), filling in Darnorth, Kern, Rylee and Gurruk on all that had happened since their unfortunate demises.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Westmist Session #73 - To the Gate!

  • Dai-sen opens the door to the cold room with the ice lizard thing, while the rest of the party lingers behind holding Meat/Princess Catherine. The ice lizard thing starts to snort and paw at the ground, obviously aggressive. It charges Dai-sen, who grabs Meat/Princess Catherine, hamstrings him/her, and pushed him/her into the room.
  • The ice lizard is distracted by Meat/Princess Catherine, so the party rushes past it and out the door on the other side of the room. Close door behind them to the sound of rending flesh.
  • Find themselves in a green room, with a green man holding a two handed sword standing in the center. He challenges the party and tells them they may not pass until a champion chops off the green mans head using the two handed sword. Dia-sen accepts, and takes the sword. The green man draws a longsword and stands ready for the duel. Dai-sen raises the two handed sword, and with a single swipe chops off his challengers head.
  • Party loots body as it hits the floor. Find a green leather bag around his neck, containing another silver key.
  • Party continues to next room, which has a black motif. Searching around , Gort pulls back the carpet and finds a trap door in the floor. Opening it reveals a shaft that drops at least 30' down. A torch is dropped, which reveals the shaft turns to a 45degree slope after about 40'. 100' of rope is lowered, and Dai-sen and Gort shimmy down. Once they reach the end of their rope, they find themselves in a 30' dungeon corridor. Call up to Erijay and Sloth, who follow them down.
  • Enter a room with a pattern of letters on the floor. Much discussion over how best to thwart this obvious trap. In the end Dai-sen walks boldly straight across one line of letters (NEHOG). Sloth follows by another straight route (GOHEN). Both feel measurably more competent when they reach the other side. Gort and Erijay try to be smart and cross diagonally; both begin to grow hair on cheeks and feel the urge to howl at the moon. 
  • Next room contain a number of prison cells. In one is a minotaur, which Gort tries to engage in conversation. The man-beast throws itself at the bars, trying to reach the dwarf and tear him limb from limb. Gort then explores an empty cell, only to be attacked from behind by an invisible form. Two blows later and the dwarf is dead before anyone can help. Help now comes in the form of the remaining three party members locking to dwarfs corpse in the cell with the unseen assailant, so they can avoid a similar fate.
  • In a third cell is a man with a bucket of paint and a brush, staring at a realistic painting of the moon on the wall. He barely responds to the party's presence, just muttering "the moon, the moon, beautiful moon" over and over.
  •  Leaving the lunatic behind, they party enters a huge room, with four 10' high vats, engraved with magical writing and  filled with frothing liquid. Sloth wanders around, and suddenly sights 4 naked men at the end of the room.
  • Sloth runs back to the Erijay and Dai-sen, who have been joined by a newcomer, a short round halfling named Sheriff Ironbritches. The strange men follow, and a fight ensues. 
  • The men have the same weird skin tone as the boxer and valet encountered in the chateau. One throws a lighting bolt at Erijay and Sloth, another tries to charm Dai-sen. Another stretches his arms to 20' long and tries to wrap Sloth in them. All four fall relatively quickly to the swords and arrows of the party, and their bodies disappears in a puff of oily smoke.
  • Erijay is boosted up to one of the vats for a look, and finds a pinkish frothy goo. Takes samples for later analysis. 
  • Heading out, the next room is a huge alchemical lab full of tables, benches, and alchemical glassware. When everyone is in, the door lock clicks shut, and a fine black powder begins to enter the room from hidden overhead vents. 
  • All four fall into a deep sleep and dream strange dreams:
    • Sloth dreams of falling for infinity.
    • Erijay dreams she is captured by strange lizard creatures who cage her and put her on display. She is saved by a passing wise man with one and a half heads and three eyes, who teleports her back to the dungeon. 
    • Sheriff dreams of saving an important courtier of the king, and of being make a Lord of the realm in reward. 
    • Dai-sen dreams of performing a heroic quest, something about saving a dragon from a fair maid or something. 
  • All four awake with no ill effects, although Dai-sen feels much mightier than before.
  • The room doors are now unlocked, so the party leaves by a new door and finds themselves in a series of corridors leading to various rooms. 
  • First room contains a pit filled with some sort of liquid, in the snetre of which bobs a glass sphere containing another silver key. Sloth dreams up a Rube Golbergish plan using ropes to lift out the sphere. Unfortunately the liquid turns out to be acid and the ropes dissolve. Dai-sen flicks a pebble at the sphere, which immediately shatters and drops the key into the pool. Where it dissolves. 
  • With a few grumbles, the party moves onto the the next room. It is an old storage room full of shelves thickly coated in cobwebs. Sloth pokes around and finds a box containing a scroll of magic user spells. Erijay claims the scroll.
  • Next room containing a pile of coins, 10' high and 40' long. Once shock wears off, Dai-sen suspiciously pokes the treasure pile with his sword.  At which point the pile rears up, exposing itself as a huge slime worm which then tries to swallow the noble fighter. Who dodges, and then joins with his companions to slay the the slimy slither-er.
  • They find the worm is covered in uncountable thousands of coins, mostly copper and silver, and some gold. They do scrap off as much gold as can be carried, and have to leave the rest.
  • In the next room they find three dog houses and a smell of brimstone. Figuring there must be hellhounds, the party flees the room and bars the door. 
  • Opening the next door, the party sees the object of their quest! A 10' silver gate! Unfortunately, their way is barred by a large amber coloured lion ...