Thursday, September 22, 2011

Caves of Myrddin update

So last night my tabletop crew launched their second, third and fourth expeditions to the Caves.  The first and second visits were short jaunts to the Big Cave.  The first visit involved a clash with some giant tiger beetles and the party dwarf finding and selling a necklace that he failed to tell the other PCs about.  The players know, but their characters are out of the loop.

The second expedition involved finding Joe Mama's larder, which is a like a meat locker but with people instead of sides of beef.  They retrieve the corpses for proper burial back at the monastery and among their effects they find a couple of spellbooks.  After transcribing some spells out of them, they sell the spellbooks off.  So if anyone in the FLAILSNAILS multiverse has 500gp or 1,000gp to blow, you can buy a dead elf's spell book with one or two first level spells in it.

The third expedition was a doozy.  Let me set it up for you.  Zak S. has been trying to sell this map he made of some of the Dungeons of Dundagel.  Dane has a potion of ESP he got from his witch/girlfriend.  So he asks me if he could find the guy selling the map and feign interest in buying it to get an opportunity to scan the dude's mind for free info.  This is a tricky situation, since Zak is not present to defend himself, but I think it's a clever ploy so I decide to go along.  I describe to Dane a mental image of this vast pile of gold in a room lit by blue torches which is at the bottom of a spiral staircase accessible from the south tower of the ruined castle.

Damn, these guys are hot and bothered to lay their hands on this treasure.  They locate the hatch that gives access to the stairs.  Only after a descent of over a hundred feet do some of them start to wonder if this plan is so great or not.  At over 100' down they encounter a door, but the stairs continue to spiral down.  Continuing down, a little while later they pass another door.  Maybe 50' deeper there's a side passage.  Tom volunteers to send his elf into the passage to scout ahead.  He spots what are clearly 4 or 5 corporeal undead of possibly vampiric persuasion coming up another set of stairs.  The party runs back up the stairs, but not before hearing one of the undead whisper to one of his fellows "Do you smell blood?  I smell blood."

After they decide vampires are not pursuing them up the stairs, they head back down.  When they reach the bottom, at maybe 300' below the surface, Dane is very confused.  The treasure room should be right here.  Instead there's a small passageway leading to a ladder further down.  Exploring that passage reveals four things:
  • Another set of non-spiral stairs leading up.  Some giant rats come pouring down these stairs, but they are quickly burnt up with some well-aimed flasks of oil.
  • A set of imposing bronze doors.
  • The statue of the Anti-Virgin.  Even drunk, no one in the party talks much about that one.
  • A secret door beyond which is yet another ladder down.
At this point tensions are pretty high with the group, as they realize they are way deeper into this dungeon than any group of 1st and 2nd level characters should possibly be.  But they seem determined not to leave empty handed.  So Tom agrees to go down that ladder and scout ahead.  For maximum movement rate he doffs his chainmail.  As an additional precaution he ties a length of rope around himself so he can be pulled up quickly if that becomes necessary.

50' down he reaches the end of the ladder.  The shaft he descended ends with a pair of doors, one on eaither side of the ladder.  Before he can do anything else, the metallic blue giant spider enters the shaft, emerging from its concealed spider-hole halfway down the ladder, between the party and the elf.  The spider starts moving up the shaft.  The party dumps several flasks of flaming oil on the spider to no effect.  A d30-powered magic missile careens right off it's shiny blue carapace.  Fearing they have no means with which to hurt this beast, they close the hatch.  Cursing the rest of the party, Tom quickly dashes through the nearest door.  Luckily, there isn't anything on the other side waiting to immediately eat him.

While Tom is searching the chambers beyond, the party discovers the spider is intelligent.  They negotiate a payment of gold to get the elf back safely.  Meanwhile, Tom's elf has discovered a fiery pit of some sort and a strange creature nearby.  It's a smallish worm with a human face.  And it pleads with Tom to rescue him.  Tom stuffs the little weirdo in his backpack just before the spider arrives to tell him he's being returned to his friends.  There's a tense "prisoner exchange" type situation in the ladder shaft, with a bag of gold dangling by a rope and an elf tethered by a length of webbing.  But the swap is made fairly by both sides.  Then the party gets the crap out of the dungeon.  Net haul for expedition three: negative 250gp in ransom money, plus the cost of several flasks of oil plus the laundry bill for an undetermined number of soiled underpants.

Back at the monastery, the party casually hits up Father Abbot to see if he knows what's wrong with little worm dude.  The Abbot recoils in horror and explains that they have in their possession a damned soul.  In short TOM'S FIRST LEVEL ELF NEARLY STUMBLED INTO THE UPPERMOST LAYER OF HELL ITSELF. 

That's how deep this dungeon goes, motherfuckers.