MERP: Exploring the Ways

Before the party began to explore the caverns, Drogo first flew up to the top of the island and picked out a teleportation spot on the 80 m. tall tower. Then he returned. Delcarnan casted shade on the area, making it darker. Then Drogo casted Shadow and sneaked down the tunnel to the left. He saw a pirate and paused. He spotted a trip wire, stepped over, and spotted three knives rigged to slice into anyone activating it. He teleported the pirate 5 miles out to sea (only half effective, because the corsairs are -20 for spell resistance). Two more pirates appeared so Drogo stepped back and activated the trip wire. One pirate jumped out of the way, the other was hit, but Drogo couldn’t see how well, because he was already retreating to their dark hideaway.

Once back, two of the pirates ran over to the injured one, while three stayed in the room. Delcaran enflamed one of them, the one in the center. Drogo sent another ten miles out to sea. Grafarlig ran to the attack and hacked at another, wounding him. The next round, Drogo sent another to sea. Delcaran sent a fireball against another, wounding him. Grafarlig was caught fighting two of them, with one of them flanking her. She took six damage, even through her field plate.

Delcaran was then attacked by his foe and took 3 points to the leg.

Drogo teleported another out to sea (the uninjured one facing Grafarlig) but was now down to -25 spell fatigue, -20 for the corsair’s spell resistance, and -20 for spell difficulty. The spells were getting difficult to cast! Grafarlig retreated and chopped off the ear of Delcaran’s attacker. The other injured pirate ran, but shouts were coming from both tunnels.  Delcaran ran forward and immolated the injured pirate. At the same time, Grafarlig entered the hidden tunnel, a “way.” Delcaran set a wall of fire on two of the tunnels. Then he noticed the party was not there any more, so he headed for the tunnel as well.

A dozen pirates ran in. A tall ugly guy had them close their eyes. Three others came in non-descript in black clothing, thin and humorless. One of them, a young woman, was shouting angrily at the tall pirate.

Grafarlig noticed another hidden tunnel to the left and directed the party into it. Delcaran set a wall of flame to their rear. The party advanced (following Grafarlig) through the next room and the tunnel.

They came into a library hobbit hole with a terrified hobbit.

“My name is Jacklesprat Fludergork Wisperwammer,” says the hobbit. “The ways lead into this room. I have lived here for decades.  36 years. There’s a ghost. He’s not here right now. He talks sometimes. He’s a very pretty tall dour elf. I call him Mr. Silence. I think he likes the books. “

It turns out that Jacklesprat has been here for over 50 years. “We were planning our assault and went to Torlumen,” he says. “The ways are all over the Nabal Mayzri. If you dull all your senses you can see them. You need to know the way to get into Torlumen.”

Jacklesprat’s library was largely full of romances, pirate stories, and a well-thumbed copy of Tulric Hammrammr on the table.

Delcaran’s gentle side (rarely seen) came out as he talked about fantasy books with Jacklesprat.

“Do you know how to find the ways?” Grafarlig asked Jacklesprat. “I don’t go to the lower levels,” he replied. “There are terrible things down there. I think that’s where they hid the things.”

The party searched the room. Grafarlig found a note in the tale of Tulric Hammrammr. The note was to Tia, and read, “I’m sorry more than you’ll ever know. Everything fell apart. They’re all gone now and I don’t know how much longer I can keep away. I have hidden some money for you in this map near Brilthen. Hopefully you can use it. Don’t let Liaf do anything bad with it. He’s too much like his father. Barlens never have a lot of sense. Not like you.” It was signed T.H.

The ghost entered and stared at another copy of TH’s book. Drogo turned the pages for the ghost.

Jacklesprat explained he was from Glaeven on Nabal. “How’s Bovo doing?” he asks. “He’s doing well,” replied Drogo. “Tally and other left me here,” said Jacklesprat. “Don’t touch the statues. I wonder if they are still awake. The water down below looks like ink and is very cold. I think Tally came back and maybe hid something here.”

Drogo flipped to the end of the book. It ends with Tully on the Elgaer River. He’s holding a beautiful elven maiden Liniel and telling her to look to the west and believe in heroic acts. There’s an inscription at the bottom. It says “for Tully, it’s everything you deserved. LL.”

The ghost pointed at a particular section. At one point, the silliness of the book stops and Tulric starts talking about the underneath. “Where the treasure is hidden, no one will find,” he wrote, “and if they do they will wish they didn’t. There are places to fall. If one knows where to step, one can avoid them.”

At this, the ghost demonstrated a set of directions of movement.

The ghost stepped through the wall to the south. Grafarlig was able to spot the way, and the party followed.

There was a pirate in the room beyond. Drogo popped him out to sea.

The party followed the ghost into another storeroom with chests.

Drogo disarmed the trap on the chest and opened it. There was 100 s., 4 gp. Delcaran took it to carry out.

The next room had a trap but Drogo couldn’t see where it is. Grafarlig was sure she knew where it was, but she was wrong. She avoided the giant axe that swung down, as did Drogo, but Delcaran took a hit and lost 5 points.

In the next room were a number of rotting paintings of stentorian elves whose eyes tried to follow them. Delcaran wanted to set them alight but the party convinced him it would be a bad idea.

In the next room were more books. Mr. Silence walked through the wall. Grafarlig spotted the way, though the others didn’t. There were voices behind them. Delcaran set the painting room on fire while the other two disappeared into the wall. He then followed them. Delcaran is hearing voices that direct him to use fire and cast spells.

There were stairs going down. At the bottom, there was water, dark and inky and deeply cold.

The Ghost hopped across the room, showing the party where to jump. Then he returned to the party and looked in the book to a page where TH and Jori Balen encountered the same room.

Drogo flew across the room, taking a rope and the book. Grafarlig followed, hopping across successfully. Delcaran hopped poorly, and started to fall, but Drogo gestured and flies Delcaran to safety. Delcaran flails all the way across.

Two pirates entered the room, looked down and were transfixed by lightning in the water. The ugly tall man entered and shouted, “Stop you fools!” Drogo sent the tall man out to sea.

In the next room were stands with books. The water was getting deeper. And the elves in the paintings were smiling preternaturally wide.  One started talking to Delcaran. “I’m going to eat you up. I going to eat you the hell up,” it told him. Grafarlig shoved the mage out of the way.  

The ghost pointed to another page in the book. In the story, Tulric was saying, “You can’t do anything about what’s underneath. It needs to be distracted somehow. Going into the deep to be the distraction won’t be good.”

Two figures in black appeared behind the party. Drogo sent one out into the pool as a distraction. The woman in black tried to cast a spell against Drogo and captured his spell but Drogo’s hobbit spell resistance saved him and the woman went out in the pool where a variety of lights appeared. Then she was dragged down by a tentacular creature with a very wide smile.

Delcaran used his 9 eyes hand axe on the other woman and scared her back.  Grafarlig attacked and chopped off his left arm. He was stunned for two rounds.

Four more pirates ran in. Delcaran threw a fireball and set their clothes on fire and wounded them.

Delcaran saw the paintings attacking again, but Mr. Silence appeared, gripped the heart of the painting and killed it.

Grafarlig attacked her same foe, and cut his right leg. She chopped again to the top of his head, stunning him.

There was an unearthly scream from under the water, as if someone’s mind was being ripped to pieces.

Delcaran cast another fireball into the three flaming foes, and they were stunned by the flash of light.

Grafarlig attacked her same foe, again, chopped off the top of his head. He fell.

Grafarlig hit the last foe in the leg.

Drogo cast another foe into the pool. The creature pulled him down as well. Drogo then cast Otterlungs and went underwater. Below he saw the tortured pirate. He went deeper and found hundreds of black globes, all of which looked like palantirs. He realized they were eggs and frantically swam out as fast as he could. Delcaran suggested that he could shock the creature to death, but Drogo ignored him. If the palantir was there, he thought, it was safe from anyone. Drogo sent another foe into the water for the creature. Grafarlig chopped off the arm of the final foe and he died.

The three books on stands were a pristine copy of The Tale of Tulric Hammrammr. Another was a pristine copy of The Lies of Tulric Hammrammr. Another was a pristine copy of something different. Delcaran saw it as The Lies of Delcaran. Grafarlig saw The Fall of Grafarlig, and Drogo saw The Cowardice of Drogo. The party left them alone.

Drogo flew the party over the hopping pool, taking 20 spell fatigue.

They headed back to Jacklesprat’s room. Jacklesprat explained that the creature under the water was said to be a dead demon, a Balrog, who was so powerful that his spirit remained.

The party searched the remaining passages. Drogo and Delcaran found nothing. Grafarlig did not find the ways, but saw a pit trap.

Delcaran spotted some statues he wanted to touch, but Drogo teleported him to the top of the island, 50 m. above the entrance.

Drogo spotted another Way entrance and the two entered the room. There was a dark robed figure and two pirates in the room.

The black-robed man told them that they needed to reach a deal. He said they will eventually win. This convinced Drogo that he must kill them. “Kill,” he told Grafarlig in an undertone. Grafarlig attacked the black robed figure and hit his right hand.

Drogo sent one of the pirates out to sea. Grafarlig renewed her attack. Drogo sent the other pirate out to sea. Grafarlig was still fighting. The Black robed mage tried a spell but failed.

Drogo attacked with his staff to help but the black robed mage vanished (teleporting away). Drogo and Grafarlig went to the pirate ship. Drogo flew up to the top of the cliff to get Delcaran, who promptly boiled the rain off of the hobbit, causing first degree burns. Drogo teleported to the main ship and brought it into the tunnel. He picked up Grafarlig and dropped off some sailors. Drogo then sailed away, and prepared to teleport Delcarnan down to the pirate cave. Above, Delcaran tried to fireball the retreating ship but failed.

And there the game ended for the night.

Score for the night:

Drogo killed 9 (3 fed to a demon, 1 by trap, and 5 swimming in the sea)

Delcaran killed 3 by fire

Grafarlig killed 3 by axe

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About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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