Pirouline’s player is sick tonight and can’t make it, so the elf is deemed to be receiving a magic lesson from the Kobold Queen. “I’m learning magic,” he says.
The two goblins in the next room are startled by the entrance of the party. One bolts, one shoots at Jimbo, who blocks the arrow with his shield. “Ho Ho!” says Jimbo. Jimbo smashes the goblin and then runs after the other goblin. Jimbo cleverly spots the caltrops on the ground and delicately dances around them. In the next room, he is puzzled by a blank door but Ted spots a secret door. Beyond is a four way intersection. Jimbo again spots a small cloud of dust to the left. “The goblin!” He chases after him. He maneuvers around a pit trap that is nailed open, then almost falls in a second trap, but avoids it agilely. The door from the room smells of rotten meat.
The others throw a rope to Jimbo, who holds it so they can use the rope to cross the pit. Ted calls upon Pelor to aid him who helps him to climb. Jimbo suggests they stop and check for other exits. Gertie stops Jimbo from triggering a trap in the pool with a diving dragon. There is a message in Draconic on the pool. Jimbo is the only member of the party that speaks Draconic, but unfortunately he can’t read it.
Jimbo opens the door and on the other side an oppressive smell of humanoid bodies and rats, all gnawed upon, make a large and vile nest. Jimbo enters and spots three dire rats chewing on a recent goblin kill. “Idiot,” says Jimbo to the goblin corpse, and then prepares to smite the vermin. Then an even larger, monstrously swollen rat appears. Jimbo and Ted are surprised but Jimbo gets a big grin on his face and launches himself on it while Ted tackles the anklebiters. Gertie taunts them viciously but the rats do not retreat. Jimbo smites the mama rat and she hisses. Jimbo hisses back. She bites but the armor deflects her bite. One of the ankle biters attacks Jimbo but can’t penetrate other. A second tries as well, but misses. The last one attacks Ted but misses. Ted kills it with his magic mace.
On the second round, Ted bravely attacks one of the other anklebiters. He hits it and squashes it flat. Jimbo misses the mama rat, but the remaining anklebiter and the mama miss him. Gertie hits the mama rat and wounds her again.
Gertie attacks mama rat and wounds her again. Ted attacks the smaller rat, and squashes it as well. Locked in mortal combat, the mama rat, bleeding from several wounds, attacks Jimbo but she cannot penetrate his shield and armor. With a grunt, Jimbo stabs the leprous mama rat through her eye, putting her down for good.
Poking through the refuse, Ted recovers 300 in silver, 68 in gold (worth 680 silver), and 3 gems. The humanoid bodies are two goblins, a kobold, and a human. Rolling over the human corpse, they note that it is probably Karakas, the missing ranger. The slimy corpse has on ranger’s leather (+2 stealth), 5 daggers (one of which is +1 to hit), a longbow, a quiver with six arrows, a potion of healing, a pouch with 17 gold, and a gold ring with his name engraved on it (Karakas), and a backpack with a waterskin, a few iron rations that smell of the corpse. There is three torches, a bedroll, and a tinderbox. The tinderbox is magic and will refill itself once per day. The armor is stained from the liquefying body. Jimbo takes the +1 dagger and tinderbox. The armor goes to Pirolin. Gertie takes the bow and armor. “Ooh,” says Ted, “one of them has a copper necklace. I’ll take that.”
Ted says a prayer over the dead Ranger. Jimbo is beginning to be interested in the worship of Pelor, whom Father Ted describes as a God of Blessed Light, so he joins in the prayer.
In the next room is another dragon pool and a locked and trapped door on the western wall. It is cold to the touch. The southern door is not locked, not trapped, and isn’t freezy. The party chooses it.
Beyond is another empty room. And a door.
In that door is a corridor leading west with a door at the end that leads them back to the start. The party retraces their steps and goes to another unexplored door.
There are only abandoned rats’ nests in six more rooms. The party find 11 silver, 4 gold, and 6 gems.
Ted prays to Pelor for guidance regarding the wintry door, and thinks it is arcane magic. PIrolin shows up, tries to detrap it, and just barely avoids a scything blade. He pees himself in terror and then goes to wash up.
Ted mentions that he has had dreams about peeing himself. Jimbo is not surprised.
Ted opens the door and sees five dusty sarcophagi, 3 to the north and 2 to the south. There is an unnatural chill in the air as if something undead slept within. “By Pelor!” exclaims Jimbo. “They are elf sarcophagi.” A single candle burns on the altar next to a small whistle and crystal flask. “They look old,” says Jimbo. “Indeed,” says Ted, “they look to be the same age as the complex we are in. If I had to guess, that candle is magical.” “That would explain why it is burning in a locked tomb,” replies Jimbo. “Were these elves good guys or bad guys?” asks Jimbo. “It was a dragon cult,” replies Gertie, “and cults are generally bad. There are five types of dragons and five sarcophagi. Perhaps there’s a connection.” Jimbo is impressed with her reasoning. “The cultists worshipped a dragon. We don’t know if they were good or not,” says Ted.
A skeletal figure with one eye and one hand introduces himself as Vecna. “Just kidding,” says the DM. “Who’s Vecna?” asks Gertie. “It’s Ancev, backwards,” says Jimbo. “Or Vance, if you mix it up,” says the DM. “Or Caven,” adds Ted.
“Let’s check the other door,” says Gertie. The party agrees, but first talks to the Kobold Queen about the sarcophagi.
The Kobold Queen reveals that the giant mama rat was called Goothash. She says that Meepo can read Draconic. The Queen insults Jimbo for being unable to read, and Jimbo considers how heroic it would be to slaughter the entire kobold tribe by himself. He’s tempted. Jimbo instead adopts the additional title of “Slayer of Goothash.”
After hearing what’s for lunch (goblin and rat stew), Jimbo tells everyone that it sounds utterly disgusting (disadvantage = “Big Mouth”) and then says, “Let’s go.” “Come on Meepo, you come too.” Meepo tries to evade but Jimbo deftly grabs the kobold and drags him along (using several bennies to do so). The DM then decides that Meepo can’t read Draconic after all.
They go to the rearing dragon door, which has a slight magical aura matching the key the party got from the Goblin Queen.
“A gigantic dragon as big as the dungeon appears and chews off Ted’s leg delicately. Just kidding!” says the DM. The party remains unamused.
Ted opens the door. A hissing noise and a puff of dust accompany the opening of the door. “There’s a lot of dust,” says Jimbo.
There are three alcoves with stone pedestal with fist sized globes that are cracked and darkened crystal. The one in the south alcove glows blue and tinkles. “The noise kind of tinkling,” says the DM, anticipating Jimbo’s next words. There is a door on the west wall.
Ted and Jimbo both critically fail at an occult knowledge roll. “Oops,” says Jimbo. “I bennie it,” says Ted. The DM sadly shakes his head. “You both fall in love with the music and then run back to the entrance.” Jimbo runs faster than Ted. “I’m winning!” He drags Meepo with him. “Help me!” screams Meepo.
Gertie tries to smash the glowing orb and breaks it in half. Jimbo breaks free of the charm. Ted doesn’t, and keeps running. Jimbo throws Meepo into Ted’s retreating back to wake him up and Ted wakes. “Nice job Meepo,” says Jimbo, offering Meepo a high five. Meepo runs away.
“Good job,” says Jimbo to Gertie.
The party goes through the next door. Beyond is a corridor with a door at the end. Jimbo investigates successfully and spots an arrow trap. He goes around it safely and tries to disarms the trap. He fails. The weapon bounces off the stone work, but he drops his sword and has to pick it up again. The arrow hits Ted for 13 damage, who is shaken. “Sorry!” says Jimbo.
To help Ted recover from the experience, Jimbo tells the story of his sister Gloriana, slaughtered as a young child by the mountain goblins. “She fought the goblins with all her strength,” he says, “though she was but a young girl.” He turns to Father Ted, “so pull yourself together and start acting like a man!” he says to Ted, who pulls himself together.
In the next room is a very realistic statue of a red dragon. “Hail and welcome,” says Jimbo in Draconic, showing proper respect for a powerful foe. It speaks in Common. “We come at night without being fetched; we disappear by day without being stolen. What are we?” “Shadows!” says Jimbo. Nothing happens. “Stars!” says Gertie, and a secret door in the west wall opens.
The next room has 5 humanoid figures of elves in plate mail. Five are in the 6 alcoves. One alcove is empty. There’s a green light through an archway to the west, with a pit in front of it.
Gertie finds in the southwest corner that the dust is disturbed in the empty alcove. She sees that the tracks are made by small humanoid clawed feet that went into the pit, which is 10 feet deep with spikes at the bottom. The wall of the pit is rough and easy to climb. The feet look magical or faerie (you can tell from the curlicues on the bottom), and were here long ago.
Father Ted investigates one of the statues. Jimbo climbs into the pit and sees the footprints going out the other side of the pit.
Father Ted climbs down with Jimbo’s help but is scared by the effort and shaken again. After climbing down 10 feet! Jimbo tells him to man up again. Gertie climbs down. She tries to climb up but fails and is shaken as well. “Pelor!” exclaims Jimbo, “you people suck! It is just a ten foot climb.” Father Jim climbs up the western side. “Why don’t you go first,” says Gertie to Jimbo. “Ok,” says Jimbo, leaping gracefully up the western side.
Ted hears in his ear, “you broke the binding, my watch on the dragon priest is over.” An imp hits him but doesn’t do any damage. Jimbo prepares to whack an imp. It’ll be a bit more difficult since it is on Ted’s shoulder, but Jimbo is pretty certain he won’t hit Ted.
We’ll take that up next time.