The Great Hall
Continued from Introductions
The DM: Seems the only time I have to work on this is now. This will get more detailed as we move along. The party is moving in from the bottom of the map: at this time I assume Vafrandir is at the front.
Vafrandir: So the door I just opened, that is this corridor I see?
Pandred: In. Wishing I had infravision right about now.
Vafrandir: You still have the torch, right?
Pandred: Sure do. I just can't help but feel like a big "Intruders This Way" sign on us.
Lexent: Not sure there's anything to be done for it though.
Lexent: Shall we proceed down that hall or take a look at the other doors first?
The DM: Just working on a better picture. Vafrandir, assume you're in 2331, where I should have put you. The space in the room is unexpectedly well-lit, with a pale robin's egg blue colour. This seems to be coming from two fist-sized stones on the floor, which are grey-blue in colour and are just slightly more luminescent than the rest of the room. The light is twilight-level, but enough to make Vafrandir cast a shadow into the Great Hall.
The DM: Please pay no attention to the lower white space on the map; it isn't accurate, I'm just establishing that Marcule and Pandred are there.
Marcule: If I cast Thingamajig can i create a flask (or lesser) of oil?
The DM: The hall Vafrandir is looking at continues about another twenty feet, turning to the left.
Vafrandir: Very good. Establishing my intent, I'd like to check through each door before moving on. But of course we will take it door by door. Does the hall show anything of immediate interest? Also, let's not forget to collect these stones before we leave for the surface.
Pandred: Already looking forward to it.
The DM: Which is the next door?
Lexent: I open the door just to the north of the already open one.'
The DM: As you reach for it, you start to hear sounds coming from the door. Sounds of something moving inside, and the door is shuddering.
Lexent: That being the case I instead move to 2030 and inform everyone else of the noise.
Pandred: Vafrandir, shut your door. I don't want the sound of a fight to carry farther than it has to.
The DM: I'm putting Vafrandir in 2331 and Pandred in 2131.
The DM: On close inspection, you see that there’s a small hook holding the door closed.
Lexent: "Should we leave this door alone since it appears to be somewhat secured?"
Pandred: I'll nod. "Move on, we can come back to it."
The DM: something is banging around in there. What next?
Lexent: I inspect each of the doors in turn working my way anti-clockwise around the room listening for sounds and looking for other locking mechanisms.
Vafrandir: I shut the hall door. I say we take on whatever's in there.
Lexent: By the way, Is anyone in need of healing at this point? I could cast cure wounds if desired.
The DM: Obviously, you’re not a thief, so you can only see or hear what’s obvious. None of the doors are fixed shut in anyway that you can see and what sounds you hear may only be in your own imagination.
Lexent: Of course, but only that second door is latched and has obvious banging behind it, correct?
The DM: Vafrandir, I have you in 2231. Correct, Lexent.
Pandred: I have 14hp. Anyone with more? Get whatever you plan on using for zombie smashing ready.
The DM: Anybody want to change positions?
Lexent: "Pandred, would you like me to heal you before opening that door?"
Vafrandir: I'll move to 2229.
Pandred: I'll take 2231, moving the table and so on to the other side of the room. "No, not yet."
The DM: Pandred, the door is in 2330. Do you reach for the latch? And while I’m on that, I understand Lexent has a godentag; Vafrandir has the short sword; what are you armed with, Pandred?
- Oh, and may I ask: who has the shaman’s staff just now?
Lexent: In that case I ensure that my shield is strapped on and that my Godentag is in hand and stay where I am. "Go ahead and open it Pandred."
Pandred: Torch and Handaxe. Marcule had the staff last to my knowledge. I will reach for the door.
The DM: your hand is poised just short of touching or opening the door.
Pandred: Tee hee. I will open the door.
The DM: Opening the door reveals two skeletons, with swords; Pandred, roll initiative. The door is open, but is blocked slightly by the chair.
The DM: That’s good enough. You’ll have to move into 2230 to fight them in the door.
The DM: jeez, I missed that. Let me fix the map.
The DM: Go ahead and attack as you are, Pandred.
Pandred]: 10+1 hits AC 6 for 6+3 cau-2. I'll step back into 2131, unless my being where I am prevents the skeletons from striking out of the same hex.
Vafrandir: May the rest of us attack?
The DM: Vafrandir, yes ... but: according to the rule, only one combatant may attack from any single hex per round. Pandred attacked from 2231 and pulverized the first skeleton before moving back. The other skeleton is deeper in the room, but I’ll rule it comes boiling out, so you can attack it from 2230 this round. You’re closer to 2230 than Lexent, so I’ll give you the option first. If you don’t want the attack, Lexent can take it if he wants it.
Marcule: In, move to 2128. Holding my scimitar.
The DM: Marcule, I’ll just have you start there.
Vafrandir: Understood. That'll open up the frontage. I'll attack: 7 raw, 8 to hit; 8 raw, 10 dmg. Don't think that hits so the floor is Lexent's.
Lexent: I believe that removes any attack options from me, so I hold my position.
The DM: Okay, Marcule can’t attack from 2231, because technically Pandred is still “in” that hex. Does Marcule want to take any action before I attack?
Marcule: I am good.
Party’s 2nd Round
Here’s the position before I attack. The first skeleton is a heap on the floor. The second attacks Vafrandir, rolling an 8 on a d20 and missing. I’ve added letters for the two doors investigated so far. Vafrandir moves first here.
Vafrandir: I'll back up to 2229 and encourage Lexent to have at it.
The DM: Whoever gets there first.
Lexent: I move, S-1, to 2230 and attack. 13 I believe hits AC 7, cau-4 damage. I assume that my racial bonus against goblins would not apply even if these are goblin skeletons.
- The DM: Correct regarding goblins. Just to be clear, I’m confused about the damage. You’re saying you rolled 2d4 and got a 1 and a 1? Please just write that as 2.
- Lexent: Apologies. I still had the flail damage in mind and rolled that. Correct damage is 4
- The DM: I've made enough mistakes today, no one need apologize to me.
- Lexent: Apologies. I still had the flail damage in mind and rolled that. Correct damage is 4
Pandred: I can't hit, so I sit. No action from me.
The DM: Ah, the additional damage kills the skeleton. That’s the combat. No one took damage, so no bonus x.p. Pandred, take 22 x.p. for the first skeleton and Lexent, take 44 x.p. for the second one.
The DM: An investigation of the “closet” indicates two manacle sets hanging from the walls. Apparently, these two goblins were hung here until they died, became skeletons and slipped their bonds.
Lexent: It appears as though that does include the 10% bonus, correct?
- The DM: Yes. 10 x.p. per point of damage done.
Vafrandir: Very interesting. The mystery thickens. On to the next door!
Marcule: "If this is the case this place has been here awhile."
Lexent: I open the next door.
- The DM: Be more specific.
Lexent: I open the next door going counterclockwise. I believe it would be hex 2329
The DM: A flight of stairs down. You cannot see the bottom; it is intensely black. Should point out that Pandred is carrying a torch, but that this does not actually affect infravision. In this case, Lexent’s infravision is being foiled by something else.
- You also receive a wash of cold upon your feet and lower legs; it’s undeniable, though unlike the shaft earlier, there’s no rime on the walls.
Lexent: Can I tell what is foiling my infravision?
The DM: Your best guess is that there is no radiation escaping from the bottom of the stairwell.
Lexent: Very well. "Shall we close this door and look at the next?"
The DM: You hear a deep, rumbling sound. Not sure where it came from.
The DM: I failed to mention that the stairs are very steep; at least a 25 foot drop, with steps that are 9 inches wide and 9 high.
Lexent: "Did all of you hear that? I fear these stairs may lead down to whatever is in that pit."
The DM: Marcule, it seemed to have come from behind you; Vafrandir thinks it came from his right.
Vafrandir: I agree. Let's keep going through the doors - shut this one.
Lexent: I shut the door, move to the one at 2328, and open it.
The DM: You see a hallway, 24 ft long, with carbon black streaks leading from a real wooden door at the end.
Marcule: If I cast Thingamajig can i create a flask (or lesser) of oil?
The DM: You can make the flask but not the oil.
Lexent: "Marcule, would you be willing to move around the room with the staff and we can listen to see if it has any apparent affect on anything on the other side of these woven doors?"
Lexent: I cautiously move toward the door, stopping 1 hex away from it, attempting to notice any current temperature difference.
The DM: Lexent doesn’t notice any temperature change.
Lexent: I move back into the main room then. "The stairs down seemed very cold, but I don't notice any temperature difference with this door. Should we investigate it, or continue around the woven doors?"
The DM: You see that the wooden door has the handle on the other side, and no hinges; it opens in, not out.
Pause for Investigation
Lexent: Of what quality and construction are the shields and swords in the room?
Vafrandir: This really does seem to be a hall of mysteries. My suggestion is to leave the rest of the doors for now and explore the first hallway (a) more deeply.
The DM: The ones on the wall? The shields have cracked and dried from some dessication, but are still serviceable. There’s no appreciable wear at all on ANY of the swords; they don’t even look nicked.
Marcule: Staff in hand I wave it around the room.
The DM: Feels awfully well balanced for a staff; you've had some training in one, though not a proficiency, yes?
Lexent: Would the swords then be salable to someone in Stavanger even if only the puddler? If so, do they have scabbards?
Lexent: Also, does that include the swords that had been wielded by the skeletons?
Lexent: "Would anyone like me to try to detect if there are any magical effects on the swords, staffs, orbs, or room before moving down the hallway?
The DM: Vafrandir, who’s just used one of the swords in combat, will profess that it may be the best sword he’s ever used. It is profoundly well balanced and lighter, yet feels quite strong.
Vafrandir: Ha, I was just about to make a statement to that effect.
The DM: Vafrandir, are you referring to my sword comment or Lexent’s ask?
Vafrandir: Your comment. Yes, Lexent, there is something special about these weapons. I'd be glad to know if it's magical or merely workmanship.
Marcule: Not Proficient.
The DM: Marcule, moving around the room, you detect the slightest whiff of something sour coming from the door that’s fifth from the entrance, on the right.
Lexent: I cast and discharge detect magic, gleaning what I can about the staff, swords, stones, room, and doorways in that order until the spell runs out.
The DM: Okay. The spell detects type of magic, strength and direction. First, the staff in Marcule’s hand is off the charts powerful. I doubt even with all of Lexent’s travels, he’d have encountered something this intense. It is a “magical” type of magic. There is a source of magic coming from Pandred’s backpack, which can be guessed is his bottle of salves. There’s also some coming from Marcule’s backpack, though Marcule knows of no magic item there. None of the swords give forth any magic; there is no low level magic coming from them. It might occur to Lexent to check the shaft you came down, where the rothe were being thrown; but if there’s anything magical down there, it is probably out of range. The bottom of the stairs has no magical emanation. I might have missed a magic item the party already knows about.
The DM: Oh, the stones in the first hallway. They’re not magical either.
Lexent: "Marcule, do you know of any magic you are carrying in your pack? If not you may wish to empty it while I still have this spell up to determine what you have?"
The DM: The spell lasts a flat 2 minutes, so Marcule probably hurries. It’s the bronze medallions the goblins on the surface were wearing around their necks. Once exposed, Lexent gets a strong sense of uneasiness from them; these are clerical magic and not a positive sort.
Vafrandir: Not surprising. This cult doesn't strike me as particularly positive.
Lexent: Is the magic in the staff clerical? druidic? Does it give off the same uneasiness as the medallions?
Lexent: Are the shields made of metal and therefore of better quality than the strictly wooden shield I am carrying?
Marcule: "Well now I wanna point this at something" I chuckle
The DM: Lexent, as a cleric, can explain that skeletons and zombies only occur from having been created by Something Else; they don’t form spontaneously.
The DM: Lexent, you’re getting mixed feelings from the staff; both magical and clerical, suggesting it was made as a composite of both.
- the staff seems positive.
- the shields are reinforced wooden shields with low-grade wrought iron.
Lexent: Question regarding magic items, what does it generally take to learn how to operate them?
Lexent: I take one of the shields and replace my own with it. I then stack the unused sword and my old shield next to the pathway back out to take with us when we leave.
- The DM: knowing what it does is needful. Generally, you need to use the item and auto-features will kick in, like a +1 sword will operate like one, even if you don’t know it. But special features are a mystery unless you identify (1st level mage spell) or divine the value of the object.
- Lexent: So it seems a safe assumption that the staff will act as a magic weapon but probably has other features we cannot yet access.
Lexent: Once all of the equipment managing is complete, on Vafrandir's suggestion I open doorway a and move down the hall to where it turns.
The DM: Okay, we can stop there. Hope everyone had fun. New game working out for you, Lexent? I'm out.
Lexent: Excellent. Thank you for running such a captivating game. Out.
Lexent: By the way, Thank You Vafrandir for allowing me the chance to earn that XP from the Skeleton.
Lexent: I have a meeting scheduled from 10-11 that I am hopeful will be out early but it may be until shortly after that before I can be back in. Until then, unfortunately Out.
Vafrandir: No problem, it can be tough to get that XP early on. I also have some errands this morning so I'll be back in hopefully around that same time.
The DM: In. I'll check every 20 min. or so. Just as a warning, next week, I have doctor's appts on Tuesday and Thursday, so I will be calling those days. As well, I'm going to take the first week of March as an opportunity to work directly on the poster without distractions, so I won't be on from the 1st to the 5th.
Pandred: Also here, but don't want to move forward without at least one more.
Lexent: Well, no one showed up for the meeting, so: In.
The DM: And I'm here still. What's the plan, all?
Vafrandir: Is everyone amenable to my suggestion? Delve the first hallway? It may take some time to really probe the depths of this single room and Grond is here somewhere.
Lexent: I concur. I move my pack next to the shield and swords I had collected and move to the point in that hall where it turns and take a look.
Vafrandir: I'll follow. Looks single-file.
Pandred: Works for me. I join the line.
Marcule::I also join the line.
The DM: Everything here forward is lit by the same soft blue light. You discover that the hall leads to a shaft, 10 ft. wide and 8 ft. across; there’s a thick chain that extends from the ceiling above the shaft, about four feet higher than the ceiling in the hallway (more coming)
Lexent: And now form a walking bell curve.
Marcule: (ooc sorry out back in half an hour 11ish)
The DM: The chain apparently leads right down into the darkness, you don’t know to where. The shaft is well over 60 feet down, and becomes obscure despite the lighting. This chain is operated by a wheel on the right of the shaft, which has been locked in place (but the lock is just a lever that can be opened and what appears to be an elevator can be pulled up.
- About twenty five feet down, on the opposite side of the shaft, there’s a seven foot wide opening, about five feet high, not shown on the map. This opening is also softly lit.
Pandred: I'm starting to feel increasingly self-conscious about my torch in the face of this illumination. How bad would my to-hit penalty be in this blue light? The illumination page seems to suggest none, but I would really like to be sure.
- There's enough light to see perfectly well.
Lexent: Can we hear any sounds from the pit? What about the temperature?
Vafrandir: I mean, if we pull up the elevator, a warning torch may be moot. This dungeon is alive.
Lexent: Also, would we need to remove both the torch and the stones to use infravision to look deeper into the pit?
Pandred: I douse my torch and swap to the battle-axe. Let's stay at this level until we've checked the hall.
The DM: With people moving around, you cannot hear very much. The temperature just now is chilly (high 30s F, 6 C)
The DM: Vafrandir, as you note that the dungeon is alive, you see something moving in the small window of the lower opening in the shaft. It appeared to be the floor, but as it moves now you can see its a ghoul.
The DM: Lexent, if you look at my infravision rules, you’ll see that other light does not affect infravision; they operate together in tandem.
Pandred: I do not care for ghouls. I will move for the main hall. Let's check the next door and hope we're not about to get rushed.
Lexent: What is the ghoul doing?
The DM: It seems self-involved. It doesn’t appear aware of you.
Vafrandir: At some point we'll have to fight it. I'm game for trying corridor (c) I suppose.
- Vafrandir: (d), rather
Lexent: I concur with Pandred and Vafrandir. I move as quietly as possible back away from the pit back into the main hall.
The DM: Action?
Pandred: Moving for the door at the end of corridor (d). Handaxe in one hand, Battleaxe in the other. Opening the door.
The DM: The door is blocked. It’s solid as stone.
Pandred: Blocked as in, it feels like there is something behind it, or blocked as in this door moves so little it may as well be painted on the wall?
The DM: since the door is solid throughout, and doesn’t shove at either the top or the bottom, you’d guess that its barred; that’s more likely than it being spiked or bricked in on the other side. If that’s the case, you’d have to break it in; that would need a real axe (it would wreck your weapon) and time.
Pandred: Mmm. Okay, let's move up to what would be door (e) then and give it a try.
Lexent: I also close door 'a'
Lexent: By the way, how sturdy do these doors seem?
The DM: working. Closing door "a". The thatch doors weigh about 15 lb each and close with varying gaps between the closed door and the wall. Not enough to look through, as they overlap the walls by 3 inches.
Lexent: So hopefully they will dampen our sound and light, but they wont be much of an impediment to anything trying to come through.
Lexent: I also close door (d).
- I’ll fix the door to “d” after.
The DM: This space seems to be a sort of dry storage. It is packed with crates and sacks; which, upon rapid examination, appear to be filled with dried powder and desiccated fungus and tuber vegetables. Without pulling it all apart, it’s uncertain if there’s a way through or if its a dead end; it appears to be the latter.
Vafrandir: I'll open door (f)
The DM: working.
Marcule: I would like to cast coloured lights.
The DM: The door opens easily enough, but it is stuffed full of furniture, including one very high end soft-felt chair sitting atop the mess. Pandred had better light another torch (the first would have burned out anyway) because it is dark on this end, away from the hall (particularly with the door closed). It’s hard to see, but the blocked hall seems to be turn left after twenty feet.
[OOC-DM: I’ll be unavailable about 25 minutes]
The DM: I'll cope with coloured lights when I get back.
Lexent: "What do we think? Should we move this furniture and see what's beyond?"
Pandred: "Doors first. Does us no good to get trapped in here if something comes up behind us. Ghoul paralysis is a nasty way to go."
Lexent: I inspect the furniture for dust, trying to ascertain whether it was recently moved here to deter our progress or had been put here earlier, either for storage or to deter something else's progress.
- The DM: The furniture has little dust on it; but you can’t tell if that’s because it hasn’t been here all that long, or if its because there isn’t much ambient dust in the air. It does seem to have been put here specifically to block the door ... from the other side. It reaches floor to ceiling, so about two tons of material.
Lexent: "Should we save the double door for last, or open it now?"
The DM: Back. Something thumps the double doors to your left, Vafrandir ... and you heard grinding of something on the floor.
- I didn’t time that to Lexent’s question; we were both writing at the same time.
The DM: Marcule, what form do your coloured lights take?
Vafrandir: There's something behind the double doors. Let's take up position and throw them open, shall we?
The DM: the double doors are thumped again. Apparently by something BIG.
Lexent: I move to 2028. "Let's see what's there."
Pandred: 2127 for me please. Hroagh!
Vafrandir: Is there enough space for me in 2226?
- The DM: yes.
Vafrandir: Alright then, if everyone is in position, I'll open the door that I can reach.
The DM: working. Vafrandir, I will need you to roll surprise. d6.
Vafrandir: I roll a 5.
Marcule: Blue, I would like to cast it above the door we are opening.
The DM: Moving to a new page: Dire Wolf Battle