Friday, 8 August 2008

Journal of the Wayfarers 4

The Hall of the Gargoyle

22nd Pretor, Year of the Wolf
Seven days after the Ides, Fluff, Smily and John had gone to spend some time fishing. Shadow and Whistler were joined by three new adventurers, a fighter named Asumel (Alec), a Korslander barbarian named Jim (!) and a wizardess called Bobita ( played by James and Charlotte respectively). Kularni was buzzing, a 10,000 gold reward was on offer for the notorious bandit Toorkman. His latest outrage was to raid a caravan belonging to the Red Cardinal, but he is also notorious for cutting off the third finger from the left hand of any noble lady he captures. After some asking around, they learnt that Toorkman raided along the east road. Working out that the reward was worth 2000 gold each, they decided to capture him. They bought some equipment, Bobita bought a scarf out of the market.
Setting off along the east road, passing through Axbridge they crossed the bridge and followed the road . After an hour or so they heard strange, fey music coming from out of the woods to their left. Climbing a tree, Shadow saw a ring of toadstools with several merry pixies dancing round, drunk on elderberry wine. Bobita tried talking to them, all was going well ( although the conversation was somewhat giggly and random) until Shadow tried to grab one of them. The pixies got annoyed, handed over all their treasure (3 blood rubies), then vanished. Asumel, Bobita and Jim took a ruby each. Bobita glimpsed a stone building deeper in the wood, square with a domed roof and four entrances, one in each wall. Inside was a 12’ stone pillar with a gargoyle on top, staring at a spot on the floor. Shadow shot an arrow at the gargoyle, they decided it was probably a statue. Asumel found that by pulling the right arm, a hatch slid back in the floor where the gargoyle was staring, revealing steps down.
At the foot of the stairs there was a choice of passages, The right passage had a human skull nailed over it, the left hand passage had three orc skulls nailed over it. The centre passage had nothing. They found a lever on the wall that opened and closed the sliding hatch. They chose to investigate the right hand passage. All, that is except Bobita, who chose to go it alone along the centre passage…

The right-hand passage led to a guard post with 2 orcs. These were easily taken down but not before one yelled an alarm. More orcs came from the west passage, again after a brief fight the party won through to a larger room where they found some treasure and evidence that it was a larger guardroom.

Meanwhile, Bobita found a large hall with an artificial ditch crossed by a drawbridge; the bridge was down and the winding mechanism was on the far side of the ditch. She continued through into another hall with four supporting pillars. An archway led to a sloping passage down, there was a rank, sewer-like smell. A further slippery slope dumped her into a water-filled passage. Wading along this, suddenly a huge shape reared up in front of her…

Having cleaned their weapons, Asumel, Jim, Whistler and Shadow headed through the south passage. Turning left at a crossroads they came to a large hall with an artificial ditch, crossed by a drawbridge. Over the ditch the hall stretched away, with passages to the left and right. The bridge was down and the winding mechanism was on their side. They raised the drawbridge; as they did so a party of orcs came out of the left passage, stopped in confusion and then, in guttural Common, asked to be let in. There was some argument and eventually the orc leader smelt a rat and told his men to go round the other way. Shadow then confirmed their intentions by shooting an arrow at the leader ( which missed). The Wayfarers chose to stand their ground and ambushed the orcs as they came charging down the passage. Shadow took out the leader with a superb shot though the eye, Jim and Whistler took out two and Asumel leapt forward to protect Shadow from the last orc. After a brief rest, they lowered the bridge and ran across, heading right.. They passed into the pillared hall but ran straight through the archway (unknowingly following in Bobita’s footsteps). Turning left, they found a dank-smelling room with a set of manacles and chains fastened to an iron peg in the wall. They surmised that this was a prison cell. Investigating a sloping ramp, Whistler, Jim and Asumel lost their footing and slid down it into a flooded passage. Jim landed head-first and swallowed some water; he spent some time retching and throwing up. Shadow managed to keep his balance at the top of the ramp. The water surged and suddenly a huge, slug-like creature reared up in front of Whistler, a hideous sucking maw had traces of Bobita’s scarf stuck in it. Whistler hit it, but then took a serious wound from the creature. They retreated down the passage; Asumel struck his foot on something under the water. It was a sword in a scabbard; the blade was bright and had runes of power inscribed on it. Telling the others to escape, he faced the slug-creature alone. The sword dealt it a serious injury, bits of dissolved bone spewed out of the wound and it retreated. They managed to get out and back to the pillared hall. Investigating one of the passages, they triggered a spear trap that hit Whistler in the back, nearly KO’ing him. Asumel led the way and narrowly avoided falling into a pit trap. Two orcs across the pit entered into a brief shooting match but were taken out, but there was no way of crossing the pit. As Whistler was hurt, and with no way of healing him, they headed back to the surface; meeting nothing en-route. They made it back to Axbridge by nightfall.

“So, what happened to Bobita?”
“I think we found what was left of her”

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