Session 03 played on 11.22.20
This session was an abattoir. Running old school D&D games like Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) can sometimes challenge the Judge to fudge dice rolls. When you roll up some things that could or will destroy many of the PCs there can be a voice in your head saying "your players may all quit your game!" That happened in this session. Particularly when the Gnolls showed up and got surprise on the players.
|Don't get too attached, kid.|
Again when I did the math on travel time and realized the survivors wouldn't be able to get their near-death fellows back to the Keep for healing in time to save their lives!
Ultimately you MUST not fudge the dice. If the players all quit then the game had no staying power to begin with.
The party spent a minimal time in Turos Tem discussing their options. I reminded them of some hooks that dropped during downtime: BriarWhisper (PC Elven Ranger Level 1) stumbled upon a system of caves in a different portion of the Viaspen Forest. He reported massive footprints trailing about outside one cave in particular. The party shook their head at this prospect, instead choosing to return to what they have begun to call the "Blister of Doom".
BriarWhisper, in fact, chose to return to his Fastness to report the new information that had come to light about the beastmen issues in the forest. Instead the party was joined by a new PC for this player, a Legionnaire named Mandonio Terkikos (PC Fighter Level 1). Said Legionnaire had heard of Gaius's (PC Fighter Level 1) great success saving peasants from marauding Warg Riders and wanted in on the action.
|Blister of Doom|
About a day later the party was again entering the crack in the side of the dark stone dome some 12 or 18 miles deep into the vine-choked Viaspen forest. Exploring down the wide stuccoed hallway to the west they scoured a couple of abandoned rooms before coming to one covered with the long rotting corpses of kobolds. Had the party been here before?
During their investigation a half dozen goblins came upon the party and seemed eager to talk. Dama (PC Venturer Level 1) instead used his nigh magic merchant machinations to distract the goblins while the party turned the tables into a surprise combat. 12 blood soaked seconds later and the martial band had tenderized many a goblin skull to their end.
Deeper they went. But it appeared they had been to this place before! Kobold corpses upon every inch of blaze bricked flooring. The kobold king, no more. The kobold treasure room? Ransacked by these same heroes 2 weeks thence. Calefa, Cruel Lady of Fortune! So much exploration time seemingly wasted. Until, what's this? The party came upon a hollow in the wall. Exploring further it opened into a room with three chests; painted Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Rather than rush ahead full tilt the party allowed Felix the Thief (PC Thief Level 1) to investigate in a manner most careful. Some 30 minutes later (3 Turns in OSR-speak), the chests appeared safe indeed. Traps? Certainly not.
Sadly Felix's years of study in locksmithing under the wrinkled lockmasters of the white city of Aura failed him. He could pick the locks on none of the chest. Their wealth stood inaccessible until such time as Gaius smashed the bronze chest open with his sword.
Yellow acrid gas filled the tiny treasure chamber! Gaius fled easily but watched with shaking head as Felix fell in fits of coughing. Dama, who wisely loomed over the Auran Thief's shoulder to prevent pilfering, was also trapped in the chamber of certain doom, rolling here and there upon the floor with lungs full of sour.
At just the moment three jackal men chose to strike from behind the party. Those adventurers standing bored whilst Felix tapped and scraped at lock and chest were caught off guard and in darkness. Don was struck roughly with a thrown spear from the darkness. Darius (PC Assassin Level 1) hugged the wall and avoided the wrath of unseen foes. Mandonio (PC Fighter Level 1) chose to charge at the hidden haranguers but merely closed the distance; unable to strike true.
Don (PC Fighter Level 1) and Pratashabi (NPC Henchmen to Dama, Normal Man Level 1) fled to the other end of the chamber. But where to? The end was dead. Through the fracas they fled past Mandonio and the halberd holding jackal men. Treachery or wisdom?
Dama held his breath to chose to brave the room of acrid gas. Groping in the smoke for Dama's grappling hook with the intention of fishing his unconscious poisoned friends from certain doom, he sadly gulped his last breath as well. Live by the poison, die by the poison.
Gaius found his way to the battle with jackal men and he and his fellow Legionnaire locked shields to bring the beastmen to their final judgement. The chamber was quiet again.
Don returned from his previous fleeing quite nonchalantly, prepared to claim his cut of treasure, such that Mandonio was quite offended indeed. Flee yet expect pay? Legionnaire justice was instead the rule of the day, as both fighters chose to strike down their former ally. Yasema's (NPC Henchmen of Gaius Normal Man Level 0) eyes widened with shock. Could such fate await him? His tongue would wag when he returned to Turos Tem. (DM Note: for 1 month the party has a penalty to recruiting henchmen).
The fighters looted the bronze chest, finding glorious treasure indeed. Enough to warrant the loss of so much life? Tauran's scales will tell in time.
|"Look at my face. I'm the party now."|
They grabbed up the unconscious bodies of Felix and Darius, leaving Dama to foam at the mouth to death upon the floors of this place of nightmares. One assumes Dama will count his interest in the life hereafter. But greedier hearts prevailed and the fighters carried the gold painted chest instead.
The Legionnaires double-timed it through the night, muscles aching and crying out for relief, to get their unconscious companions back to Turos Tem so that the powerful Priestess might heal them with words of the divine. Yet, the fever took both lads. Too young they were gone, Dama and Felix would both find their way, in the coming days, to a funeral pyre. Ave, lost friends!
In some days to follow Mandonio hired a locksmith to unlock the gold painted chest, allowing the tradesmen to hold the container for a fortnight. Near the end of the time Mandonio was visited by the Subaltern of Turos Tem.
"Legionnaire", after a strong salute, "we have your chest and items in custody. The locksmith was found dead over your opened chest. His records were clear and we have surmised this chest is yours from the darkness beneath. Foul play is suspected. Poison? We have Priestess Genelen looking over the body. All the locksmith's affects, including your chest and treasure, are in holding for four weeks. Assuming you are not a suspect you might claim them from the Quartermaster after such time."
The gods must be crazy.
Surviving PCs present:
Gaius (L1 Fighter) played by VoC. Liquid treasure Gained in Session 3 was 43 GP. XP gained in Session 3 was 742. Current Total XP: 1338
Mandonio Terkikos (L1 Fighter) played by RM. Liquid treasure Gained in Session 3 was 43 GP XP gained in Session 3 was 742. Current Total XP:742
Yasema (L0 normal man) henchman to Gaius. Liquid treasure Gained in Session 3 was 0. XP gained
in Session 3 was ENOUGH TO GET L1 FIGHTER. Current Total XP: 0 upon hitting Level 1 fighter. Can no longer serve under Gaius since the PC is not level 2. Told Gauis to look him up when he advanced to
Level 2 and he'll hear out his offer at a +3 Reaction Check to hiring.
Briarwhisper (L1 Elven Ranger) played by RM. Current Total XP: 570
Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498
Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR.
Current total xp: 75. Poison gas in Session 3.
Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. Poison gas in Session 3.
Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by
MP. Current Total XP:570. Intra-party justice in Session 3.
Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2.